Silversea’s newest flagship Silver Muse may have taken its maiden voyage from Europe this past April, but she made her U.S. debut on Oct. 12, 2017 from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida—her homeport for the next two years. Before voyaging on an itinerary bound for South America, Silversea invited Recommend along with other media members and travel agents to experience the ship on an overnight sailing to The Bahamas.
Upon boarding the Silver Muse, an instantly relaxing vibe washed over me. The kind of vibe that will signal to your clients the beginning of their hard-earned vacation. Was it the soft cream and beige color scheme with pops of green and other nature-emulating tones that felt so soothing? Or was it the warm and attentive staff leading the way and answering questions around every corner? Perhaps it was the just-perfect size of the ship, which accommodates only 596 passengers, making it big enough to explore and discover new things in every nook and cranny, but not so big that you feel lost and never run into your fellow cruisers.
The answer was yes to all of the above, but I couldn’t put my finger on what tied it all together until speaking with travel advisor Caron Lusk from TTI Travel in Toronto.
“Everything is so clean and sophisticated-looking so it has almost an understated elegance,” Lusk said. “I’ve been on some ships where there’s a lot of glass and chandeliers and stuff like that. This doesn’t have that, but it’s almost like a calming kind of elegance instead.”
Taking another look around, I realized she was right. There isn’t too much glitz and glam on the Silver Muse. It was classy and elegant without trying to prove to you at every step that it was. If this ship were a real muse, she’d be a confident one. Silver Muse subtly gives guests an artsy atmosphere with unique paintings and sculptures throughout. As a matter of fact, each deck has what feels like a mini art gallery at the foot of the main staircase. On one deck, there are sculptures made of gold spray-painted blowdryers, while another has colorful glass pots.
For those looking to admire even more artwork while sipping on coffee or treating themselves to tasty pastries, the Silver Muse does not disappoint. With comfy couches, board games, nearly unobstructed views outside its floor-to-ceiling windows, and a rotating collection of artwork, the Arts Cafe is perfect for admiring the beauty of masterpieces both natural and manmade. In many ways, the ship feels like a floating art gallery.
It’s important to note here that the understated and toned-down elegance of the ship does not equate to a lack of bells and whistles. Silver Muse has all the usual amenities of a luxury cruise ship and more. Nowhere was this more apparent than in my Superior Veranda Suite, my accommodations for the night. The 451-sq.-ft. suite featured a walk-in closet, a seating area with a table perfect for room service meals, floor-to-ceiling glass doors leading out to the verandah, and a spacious, marbled bathroom fully equipped with a vanity, a full-sized bath, a separate waterfall shower, Bulgari toiletries, and my personal favorite: a couple of loofahs. Up against the walls by the bed and in the seating area are outlets fit for European and U.S. plugs. Guests whose electronics don’t fall under those categories aren’t out of luck, though, as the suite also has a universal plug and USB outlets. As someone who often forgets a converter when traveling overseas, I appreciate that forethought.
The pillow menu with options from buckwheat to memory foam is also noteworthy, but what truly impressed me were the two 42-inch flat-screen HDTVs. Now, normally I wouldn’t pay much attention to a standard amenity like a TV, but two things made these bad boys stand out to me: their location and their utility. In front of the bed is a wide floor-to-ceiling mirror that covers a decent portion of the wall. Built inside that mirror is the first TV. At first I thought the mirror would make for an awkward movie-watching experience with my reflection lingering in my peripheral vision, but with the lights off, the slightly tinted mirror was perfect. The second TV is also built inside of a mirror covering most of the wall in the seating area.
Another area in which the Silver Muse really shines is in its food and beverage offerings. On board there are eight different dining venues. From the poolside eateries, including The Grill, where guests can cook their own food on lava stones, to the chic vibes and bespoke menu of La Dame by Relais & Chateaux where guests can sit back and enjoy a white-gloved service dinner, Silver Muse has options highlighting flavors from around the world that will satisfy anyone’s taste.
For our sailing, we were treated to 4-course meals that included dishes such as the essence of vine tomato risotto, opaque-seared king scallops with strawberries and a lemon butter sauce, beef and caviar tartare, plus desserts like chocolate mousse and lemon meringue pie. It was a small taste of what the ship’s talented chefs can whip up in their kitchens.
Inside the Zagara Beauty Spa, your clients can indulge in treatments that awaken all the senses. From the waiting area with relaxing images and soothing music playing on the TV to the choice of what essential oils your therapist will use to create a certain atmosphere, no detail is overlooked. The spa offers a wide variety of services from facials and body wraps to massages and acupuncture. Guests can also enjoy complimentary access to the men’s and women’s saunas and steam rooms.
This high level of service is what Lusk noted when she later added that the understated and toned-down elegance of the ship “allows the people to come out to the forefront, the service level comes out.” And Lusk wasn’t the only one who noticed. In fact, the staff and impeccable service aboard Silver Muse was a common theme that emerged in discussions with other travel advisors and writers about what set the ship apart from other luxury cruises.
Lusk notes that the varied itineraries of Silversea make it easier for repeat clients to continue cruising with the luxury cruise line without visiting the same places.
“My clients always have the same sort of response to [Silversea cruises]. Their most memorable part of the cruise is actually the people and the places. Not so much the ship itself,” she said. “The food they always talk about, but what they talk about most is the staff.”