Silver Muse cruise ship review: There's no bling but plenty of suave luxury and European flair

Our rating

4.5 out of 5

 

THE SHIP

Silversea's most luxurious ship Silver Muse launched in 2017 and carries more passengers (596) than the Italian company's other vessels, yet is still agreeably small, and retains a small-ship ethos of attentive service, intimacy and elegance. Its muted colour palette, aristocratic air, snug size and all-inclusive policy sets it apart from many American-operated cruise ships. Expect generous spaces, sophistication and upmarket enrichment programs and excursions.

THE SPACE

Silver Muse never feels closed-in or crowded thanks to its considered decor, wide corridors and abundant public areas. It isn't short of outdoor options either, with ample deck space and interesting nooks in which to relax. The couples' pods at the stern are a great spot to cosy up and stare over the ocean. Smart wooden loungers surround the swimming pool, and the expansive spa has an outdoor whirlpool and low-lit, music-soothed Mood Room. The ship also has a casino, theatre for evening shows, and multiple restaurants, bars and lounges.

THE ROOM

I'm in cabin 660, a Deluxe Verandah Suite identical to Classic and Superior versions but for its mid-ship location and various add-on perks. This is an all-suite and upmarket ship, but even so the generous size (36 square metres, including the balcony) surprises me. There's a big sitting area and a marble-clad en suite large enough for double sinks and that shipboard rarity, a full-size bath. Beyond its generous dimensions, the wow factor seems lacking, but I quickly come to appreciate the understated comforts that this suite provides, such as a choice of pillows, posh Italian soaps, TV concealed behind the wall mirror, prosecco in the complimentary minibar, and sheets and bathrobes soft enough to induce a fetish.

THE FOOD

Eight restaurants (though no traditional main-dining restaurant) provide remarkable choice on a ship of this size. Top picks are Relais & Chateaux-branded French fine-dining venue La Dame and seafood and grill venue Atlantide. Other choices include Asian fusion and Japanese, the latter focusing on sushi and sashimi at lunchtimes and teppanyaki in the evenings. Silver Muse has tapped into the trend towards more informal cruise dining with outdoor pizzeria Spaccanapoli and popular Hot Rocks, where guests cook their own salmon or steak at a table set out under the stars above the pool deck.

STEPPING OUT

Head to the Arts Cafe, which showcases contemporary sculptures and paintings, for afternoon cakes or evening canapes, and the convivial Dolce Vita bar for cocktails to the sounds of a softly burbling piano. Empire-builders can chew cigars and enjoy brandy in Connoisseurs Corner. The Panorama Lounge is where you'll want to perch as you sail into port

THE VERDICT

Sedate comforts, outstanding choice of intimate dining venues and highly attentive, somewhat formal service are the hallmarks of Silver Muse. In short, there's no bling but plenty of suave luxury and European flair to suit people who like considered, upmarket, quiet cruising.

ESSENTIALS

Expect to pay from $600pp per night, though this varies with destination and time of year. Phone 1300 306 872, see silversea.com

HIGHLIGHT

Butler service for all. Butlers book restaurants and excursions, personalise your cabin's minibar and toiletries, and can deliver entire three-course meals from a seven-page in-room menu.

LOWLIGHT

Nearly everything on this ship is utterly excellent, but you might find yourself longing for that extra je ne sais quoi to add colour and character.

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Brian Johnston travelled as a guest of Silversea.