The Silver Muse was our first introduction as guests to the world of “Ultra Luxury” cruising. I hate to use that phrase “Ultra Luxury” as it implies that it might be too high brow or beyond the reach of most people. However, with so much included in the price of the cruise, it is already in the price range of folks who are booking higher end suites on more mainstream cruise lines like Celebrity, Royal Caribbean (two sister brands), Holland America or Princess. The overall experience is one of worry free vacationing with out the hustle and bustle of the crowds that you have on these larger cruise lines.
Those mainstream cruise lines have tried to compete with this type of product by offering more inclusions for all guests and giving special priority and privileges to suites guests. However, none of those special statuses are needed on Silversea with it being all suite accommodations and nearly all inclusive. The only few things one might spend extra on would be the connoisseurs wine list, spa treatments and two very small dining venues that have a cover charge. Starting with most voyages in spring of 2022, almost all cruises will include excursions and economy air (with reasonable prices for upgrading to business class).
Equal pampering is what Silversea is all about. From the moment we boarded, we were met with a glass of champagne, lots of friendly faces (although crew did have to wear masks) and very intuitive service. I think that the crew must be trained never to say no and to accomodate all requests. We had pizza for lunch when we boarded and my husband asked for Italian red wine, which they didn’t have on hand that day at that venue, but they kindly brought some up to us shortly after he made that request.
The service onboard the ship was above and beyond anything I have experience at sea. We had a three person cabin team that included our European hotel trained butler and two cabin attendants. When we arrived in our room our suitcases were already in the room on stands. Shortly after we arrived in our room, our butler came in to open our champagne and inquire if we would like him to unpack for us. After our quick muster drill we were back in the room, when our butler, dressed in tuxedo tails came in with two others from his team and a stack of hangers and hung up and put away all our hanging and folded clothes. They left more personal items in the cases for us to unpack for ourselves later. This was such a nice touch for me because on other lines, usually our suitcases arrive out in the hall right about sail away time, and I have sometimes missed it because I am unpacking and hanging clothes so that they aren’t too wrinkled the next day.
Our suite had a walk in closet and large bath with a shower and tub and large counter with a sink. Two people could easily fit in the bathroom. The room was nicely set up with our preferred arrangement of the bed by the entry to the room and the sofa and desk closer to the balcony. On some ships, only every other room has this configuration. There was also a set of black-out curtains that can be used as a room divider if one guests wakes earlier than the other. The room had two TV’s that were built into the mirrors, which was a nice touch as the TV was not obvious or obtrusive. The suites come with that famous butler service also, so either a glass of wine or some hot tea was just a phone call away.
Since we were on with a group Silversea sales reps and other travel agents, they gave us a chance to see other unoccupied suite classes on the ship. For those folks who need a little bit more room than our cabin and separate living and bedrooms, I would recommend the Silver Suites, which are the mid priced rooms on the ship.
The layout of the ship was different than any other I have been on. Most of the decks shared space with suites forward to mid ship and then public areas on the back of the ship. This again corresponded to that “All Guests Equally Pampered” philosophy, with the aft facing views being accessible to all guests on the ship.
The main entertainment area of the ship was Deck 5 which featured the lounge area La Dolce Vida and the Venetian theaters. Daily team trivia hosted by the cruise director Rico, was held each afternoon. Forming a team and playing along every day was always fun for those who attended. On the back of the ship was the Venetian Theater which hosted both enrichment lectures and evening production shows.
Just below on Deck 4 were several of the dining venues, which will be discussed in detail in my dining reviews. Deck 6 Featured the Spa and Gym.
Deck 7 featured the beautiful aft facing La Terraza dining venue. This venue is open for breakfast and lunch with both quick service stations and plated options. Dinner is full service. More about this venue in my dining review section.
Deck 8 featured the shops including a fine jewelry shop, and ship wear shop, the art lounge which featured specialty coffee and a variety of snacks. Next was the Connoisseur Lounge, an indoor smoking lounge with Cigars and Fine Liquor. The door to this lounge was always shut and your could not smell smoke even just outside the door. There was also an outdoor smoking area just outside, again on the aft of the ship so that you did not smell it anyplace else.
Deck 9 included the Panorama Lounge which had pre-dinner live music and entertainment, after dinner trivia and games and late night disco for those who wanted to stay up a little later. The production singers even presented a few shows in this venue. There was also an outdoor terrace on this venue.
Deck 10 included the pool deck, the Terrace dining venue, the pool, hot tubs and weather permitting, live music.
For those of you who enjoy a morning walk on the track, deck 11 is the place to be. Then, after walking the calories off, guest can put them back on at the fresh Pizzeria at lunch or dinner.
Dress Code – Silversea does still try to offer the traditional elegant cruise experience with most nights falling into the Informal Category – dressier outfits for the ladies and slacks and jackets for the men. On our cruise, formal night was optional, so most of men work sports coats or suits with or without a tie, and a few of the men wore dinner jackets or tuxedos. Ladies wore a variety on formal nights from really fancy dressy pants and tops ensembles, to cocktail dresses to evening gowns. However, though most people fit right in with the dresscode, there was really no need for enforcement as those that were under-dressed were just slightly under dressed and not really an issue. There were no folks walking around in gym shorts and t-shirts during the evening dress code hours. So if your jacket doesn’t fit, or you have a medical or physical condition where a coat and tie might not work for you, just dress as nicely as you can and you’ll be fine on Silversea. Or just visit a local men’s wear store and pick up one neutral jacket that you can wear on those informal nights.
Service – It is hard to put into words how the service exceed expectations. Starting with that butler service where if you want hot tea or a glass of wine in the afternoon all you have to do is call. The butler even came by to polish Steve’s shoes before formal night. We had in-suite room service breakfast and dinner and a nice touch that Silversea adds is that they have a table topper that fits right on the coffee table so that you have a full size table for in room dining. They cover it with a white table cloth, and it is elegant dining right in your room.
The crew were all happy to see guests back onboard, and even though they had to wear masks, you could see that they were all smiling. There didn’t seem to be anything we could ask for they they weren’t able to get. During afternoon trivia sometimes I would have glass of champagne and other times it was hot tea. But they always came right to me for my request and came back promptly with the item. There was absolutely no standing in line at any point to be seated or served. It tried to imagine how it would be if the ship was at full capacity, and with the high staff to guest ratio that they have, even at full capacity it would never be a wait. I’ll cover the dining service in more detail on the dining review page, but I’ll just touch on the fact that there was never a wait or a want, if they didn’t have exactly what you requested, they would get it for you. My husband wanted salsa for his eggs, the chef made it from scratch in about 5 minutes and had it for him. At every meal they were poring a white and red wine, but if you wanted something else they would ask you what you like and then just bring you what you wanted. There was also never a wait to speak with guest relations. My husband and I both bought the upgraded internet package and when we realized that it would have been a lot less to add an additional device to my plan, they consolidated us and refunded his upgrade price. When I had a question about my shore excursion, I just walked up and asked, no waiting there either.
Entertainment – Entertainment on this ship was small ship cabaret style shows, a classical/jazz guitarist, a pianist, a music trio and a DJ. There were six singer/dancers that performed several production and cabaret style shows. Two of the singers were trained opera singers who did one featured night with live pianist of opera selections. Other nights featured different singers in their own solo show. One performer did Broadway and Westend, another performer did Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble style songs. These were very talented vocalist who stood on the talent of their vocals rather than a big production and flashy sets and arrangements. My other favorite performers on the ship were the Jazz Duo that performed jazz classics and jazz takes on more modern songs in the Silver Note venue. This was like a New York style jazz club that had a dining option, or guests could come in listen after dining hours and enjoy a drink.
Activities – The ship had many included activities including fitness classes, craft workshops, trivia, name that tune, putting contests. I particularly enjoyed participating inthe afternoon team trivia with fellow guests. The cruise director made it fun for all, and folks enjoyed the friendly competition. I was on a working trip, so much of the day I spent on the computer or on the phone via Wifi calling.