Silver Muse was launched in spring 2017 to great excitement, as it was the first new ship built for Silversea since 2009. It was also the luxury line’s biggest vessel to date, carrying 596 passengers, although this is still a modest number by today’s standards.
Silversea’s rivals, Seabourn and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, had both launched ships of similar levels of opulence in the 12 months prior to Muse’s inauguration, but as it turned out, each line has gone for a very different look. In the case of Silver Muse, it is subtle elegance. Acres of Italian marble, floor-to-ceiling windows flooding every space with light, polished wood and a vast collection of contemporary Italian art add up to the feel of a very smart boutique hotel.
Where to eat
Silversea has tried something new on Silver Muse, doing away with one main restaurant and instead, offering eight different places to eat. What would have been the main dining room is divided into the posh grill, Atlantide, and the Asian-fusion Indochine. Both offer open seating.
Elsewhere, there is casual dining by day in La Terrazza, which becomes an Italian restaurant after dark, serving high-class regional specialities (try the pasta with a creamy walnut sauce) and offering indoor/outdoor dining. Japanese-themed Kaiseki, dark and intimate, has mouth-watering displays of freshly made sushi and sashimi at lunchtime, and in the evenings, becomes a teppanyaki restaurant with a $60 cover charge. Here, watching the chefs chop, sizzle and serve at lightning speed is all part of the entertainment.
For those who prefer something more formal there is a very smart restaurant, La Dame, operated in association with Relais & Chateaux and offering high-class French cuisine for a $60 cover charge.
I love Silver Note, an intimate jazz club with an adventurous menu of Peruvian fusion cuisine. The real reason to book a table here, though, is the music, as there are some outstanding performers. The atmosphere really is one of a sultry jazz club: dark, romantic, just one fantastic singer and the piano. If you can’t get a table, you can always nip in after dinner at La Terrazza next door and sit at the bar. Or on warm nights, dine on-deck at Hot Rocks, a grill where you sear your own steaks, fish and prawns on a hot lava stone, which is a lot of fun. Or go ultra-causal and snack on pizza under the stars at Spaccanapoli, where there is a real pizza oven custom-made for Silversea.
Where to sleep
The suites on Silver Muse are stunning. They are wide, so have a really luxurious feel, with a deep balcony, a walk-in closet, and a breathtakingly beautiful bathroom lined with marble, with a separate bath and shower. Nothing is too much trouble; butlers will bring your favourite spirit to stock the mini bar, polish your shoes and fetch more Bulgari goodies for the bath. Design is clever; the décor is mostly restful cream and beige but there are smart touches, like a TV hidden in one of the mirrors. As you work your way up the price range, the accommodation just gets more extravagant, from interconnecting suites for family groups to the Royal, Grand and Owner’s Suites, with enormous balconies and lavish entertaining spaces.
What to do
Silver Muse is more a ship for quiet relaxation on-board and exploring in port. Don’t expect round-the-clock action. There is a pretty spa with a thalassotherapy pool and a gym offering regular exercise classes. You can shop for diamonds, gamble in the casino, make up a four for bridge or read in the library. A new concept, the Arts Café (a colourful little coffee and cake shop that also serves alcohol), is a popular gathering place by day. As the ship is all-inclusive, there is often a happy, party vibe around the pool on sunny days, as waiters circulate with cocktails, and evenings are pleasantly social, with live music all around the ship.
Bars and lounges are dotted all over the ship. The Panorama Lounge is the place to be late at night, with a live band and later, a DJ, the ship’s professional dancers helping to get the party started after the nightly shows in the Venetian Lounge. Tor’s Observation Library, over the bridge and forward-facing is the perfect spot on a sunny evening for a quiet martini, or for reading during the day. If you are dining in Atlantide, have your pre-dinner drinks in the smart little cocktail bar just inside the restaurant.
What I loved
While the ship’s interiors are exquisitely crafted, I love the outside space, too. The pool deck is stunningly beautiful, with what must be one of the biggest pools on any ship. You can actually swim laps in it. There are sunbathing spaces and quiet areas everywhere, not least a little-used Jacuzzi on deck 10 with dreamy views of the ship’s wake.
Do not, under any circumstances, miss a chance to try the pizza from Spaccanapoli. It is the real thing, melt-in-the-mouth thin but crispy round the edges, with only the finest quality ingredients – Parma ham, great handfuls of rocket, mozzarella and fresh plum tomatoes. If you have come back starving from a morning excursion and fancy a late lunch al fresco, head up to deck 11, order a chilled rosé and tuck into the best pizza at sea.