Some cruise ships get bigger, others simply get better. Silver Muse, new flagship of ultra-luxury company Silversea has taken to the seas as one of the most luxurious cruise ships ever built. She carries only 596 guests in understated style, one that doesn’t need waterparks and other amusements to keep passengers entertained.
A world of softly-burnished pale wood, from the decks to the walls of the rather hypnotic corridors. All very pale but very definitely NOT Beige, something cooler and more contemporary altogether.
There’s a decent sized pool and smart wooden sun loungers with comfy cushions. A short running track circles the pool on the deck above, but this isn’t really a place where people run. They wander, stopping for a cappuccino at one of the deck bars, or sit in Tor’s Observation Library, a giant, curved spot at the top of the ship, rather like the control room of the Starship Enterprise, with books and a bar.
The time you spend onboard will be pleasantly laid-back and unmistakably, unshakably Italian. Most cruise lines are, whatever their affectation, American-owned but Silversea is still family-owned by Italians who are proud of their baby.
The boutique sells flashy, upmarket Italian gear – lots of bright blues and posh linen – and you can get a stone-cooked pizza 12 hours a day at Spaccanapoli, named after the Naples street that is pizza heaven.
Nightlife is just as relaxed – unhurried dining, a singing and dancing show at the glam, cabaret theatre-style Venetian Lounge followed by a bit of dancefloor action with a DJ and what might well be modern music in the Panorama Lounge.
Off the ship, there’s a free shuttle to take you into town if the dock’s not close enough and a wealth of excursions.
Rooms have a relaxed palette of pale greys, greens and browns – and everyone gets a suite and a balcony with glass floor-to-ceiling doors. The main accommodation, Superior and Classic Veranda Suites differ only in deck and position.
There’s a big bed, seating area with marble-topped table – and the most astonishing TVs at sea. They’re not there then at a click of the remote, everything appears in the huge wall mirror, with UK channels (Sky News, Sky Sport, BBC News), films and voyage info. And you don’t even need to get up – there’s another filling the mirrored wall at the bottom of the bed. Bathrooms glow with marble and there’s a rain forest shower and a bath. Everyone gets a butler, who’ll bring snacks and fill your mini bar with your favourites, all free.
Food and Drink
Very moreish, courtesy of Silversea’s Culinary Director Rudi Scholdis, who was poached, as it were, from his job as Executive Sous Chef at the Dorchester.
Unlike most cruise ships, there’s no main dining room; instead there are eight restaurants which Scholdis, a ruddy-cheeked Belgian, runs like a personal fantasy collection offering, he says, 26 “concepts” that can change during the day.
The al fresco Grill, light poolside dining by day, morphing into Hot Rocks cooking by night. La Terraza is an Italian where pasta comes as a small intermediary dish while Silver Note has a jazz club ambiance an served ‘Peruvian fusion cuisine’, a difficult to categorise mix of raw fish, salads and warm dishes.
Or you could go for Atlantide, a seafood and steak house. Only two (La Dame, a Relais & Chateaux French experience, and Kabuki, a sizzling, theatrical Japanese venue) bring an extra charge, $60pp. Beef? Not just beef, beef from Buenos Aires, Piedmont, Holland, Limousin in France and Japanese wagu, depending on the dish.
The spa is subtle and sophisticated, with nine treatment rooms for massages and more. There’s even a doctor of acupuncture for a session in the dedicated suite, or at least a free consultation to tell you what it would feel like. A pool-like hot tub sits on deck, fishing sculptures swimming above it.
The yoga room has a projection screen with images to get you in the right frame of mind. There are men’s and women’s sauna/steam room areas open to all, and a bookable (chargeable) unisex one. And the gym has picture windows – perfect for an early-morning workout as you’re heading into port.
A 12-night Barbados to Fort Lauderdale cruise, departing December 6, starts at £5,680pp, two sharing, flights not included.
A 12-night Rome to Venice cruise, departing May 29, 2018, starts at £3,8250pp, two sharing, flights not included.
More info: Visit silversea.com