As the worldwide pandemic thankfully gets further into the rearview mirror, more and more luxury travelers are recommencing cruising as an ideal way to see the world comfortably and conveniently, and to travel deeper into the destinations with a minimum of planning effort. While there are a few choices in the luxury cruising space, a sojourn with Silversea’s Silver Muse will satisfy even the most discerning travelers.
I first fell in love with the Muse on a voyage from Singapore to Sydney just prior to the lockdown. In late May, the Muse recommenced sailing and earlier this month I was on the Muse’s fourth sailing in Alaska. As expected, it provided the same joy as visiting a dear friend after a long absence. To say that absence makes the heart grow fonder would be a vast understatement.
A Muse Like No Other
The 698-foot Silver Muse is the mighty matriarch of Silversea’s Muse series of ships. The creative processes that produced the magnificent Muse also produced her offspring, the Silver Moon, inaugurated in June 2021, and the Silver Dawn, inaugurated in March 2022. On all three ships museum quality art is displayed throughout resulting regularly in some serious swooning. Often so mesmerized by a piece of art I could usually be counted on to be fashionably late to wherever I was headed.
The Silver Muse has eight passenger decks with 411-crew and carries a maximum of just 596-passengers. Such a high crew-to-passenger ratio coupled with the brand’s signature superb training, ensures that service is always impeccable. That is the case whether you are sipping a perfectly brewed cappuccino, drinking a stirred, not shaken martini, enjoying caviar with all the accoutrements, or simply having a question answered about an excursion. Like the softest high quality cashmere blanket, guests are comfortably wrapped in a cocoon of warmth, yet never suffocated.
Also onboard, a large swimming pool, jacuzzis, humidor, card room, casino, expert enrichment lectures, live entertainment, and curated activities both onboard and ashore. One can stay as busy as one would like or decidedly unbusy. Either way, options are bliss, bliss and bliss. The choice will be yours as to which bliss you select.
The Suite Life
The Muse is an all-suite ship, and her beautifully appointed suites decorated in calming palettes are large, starting at over 330-square feet. A pillow menu provides several options from which to choose the perfect slumber mate. The Tiara pillow covers, Italian-made cotton and satin Rivolta Carmignani sheets, and dense black-out curtains pretty much guarantee that one’s repose will be delightful while sweet dreams will ensue.
Suites also have bar setups and refrigerators are replenished daily with tailored items. For those wishing to stay connected, suites have two large, mirror-embedded flat-screen HD televisions with all manner of news and entertainment, and unlimited ship-wide WiFi. Marble bathrooms have separate, large soaking tubs with scented sachets, spacious enclosed rain showers, and Bulgari amenities.
All Silversea cruises come with a dedicated butler for each suite. His task is to make certain no desire or need goes unmet – in my case, caffeine-free diet Coke, roasted almonds, and a steady supply of fresh fruit. Did I mention champagne and caviar? Happily this starts the moment one embarks. From assisting with unpacking, making dinner reservations, taking care of laundry, or delivering early evening canapes to the suite.
The most difficult part of being assigned a Silversea butler is the truly awful realization and difficult acceptance that one day you will have to disembark the Muse and bid one’s butler adieu. Some things in life are just too sad to think about beforehand.
Food for Thought
The Muse has 24-hour room service serving outstanding meals within 30-minutes. Nine restaurants and nine bars and lounges with live entertainment make for some difficult choices. Happily, food or drink tedium is simply never on the menu. Two speciality restaurants beckon: La Dame with excellent, classic French fare in elegant surroundings, while Kaiseki serves artisan Japanese cuisine in a traditional, yet hip Japanese atmosphere.
At Indochine creative southeast Asian dishes delight in a chic dining room while Atlantides has all manner of delicious continental cuisine. Silver Note, one of my favorite spots, is the Muse’s jazzy supper club and presents music to keep your toes tapping and some of the most artistically delicious land and sea dishes on the high seas.
For pizza lovers Spaccanapoli will likely cause intense feelings of giddiness, while the Muse’s gelato stand caused a near religious experience. If gourmet burgers, sandwiches and salads float your boat, you’ll no doubt be found at The Grill. In the evenings The Grill turns into Hot Rocks where you cook-your-own steaks and seafood table side as fresh air and sea breezes caress your skin.
The Pampering Zagara Spa
The Muse’s Zagara Spa has several treatment options on its menu including various massage therapy, facials, and a full hair and nail salon. The steam room was relaxing, and the sauna had a strategically placed enormous window to watch stellar views go by while any residual stress simply went by the wayside.
The Muse always has an onboard physician who can slow down the hands of time with cosmeceutical Restylane, Microneedling facial peels to enhance collagen production and Thermage, an FDA-approved treatment to smooth wrinkles. Also on this cruise, a naturopathic physician specializing in acupuncture who could provide relief in one to three treatments for a host of maladies from back, neck and knee pain to disturbed sleep. The state-of-the art fitness center with all manner of equipment and free weights meant guilt free eating was in order.
Great Destinations, Easy Access
Given the Muse’s size, it’s able to dock where larger ships cannot. In all but one port on this Alaska itinerary, guests simply walked off the ship and the center of town or transportation to one of the many included excursions was steps away.
However, cruising in Alaska also means that one can sit in the privacy of one’s balcony or on one of the ship’s decks, and delight in incredibly dramatic and unspoiled scenery without budging an inch. Snow-capped mountains, miles of verdant trees, frolicking Orca whales and bald eagles vie for attention.
Excursions on the Muse are well curated and often partnered with local businesses to provide unique experiences such an excursion to Ketchikan’s Bonfire Bay Oyster Farm, a small, family run hatchery operation that started out as the patriarch’s trial-and-error hobby and now supplies local restaurant and sends the freshest oysters around the country.
Another great excursion in Alaska’s remote capital of Juneau, was a short ride to Mendenhall Glacier then boarding specialized dinghies to traverse Mendenhall River in Class II rapids with bald eagles soaring overhead. In Sitka, a bike and hike excursion provided a nice workout amid the grandeur of glass-like Silver Bay and Thimbleberry Lake.
As Rembrandt once said, “Choose only one master – nature.” While that may be good advice especially in Alaska, when choosing which luxury cruise ship to travel on your next journey, with Silversea’s Silver Muse, you will undoubtedly be pleasured beyond measure. Happy Travels!