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14th – 31st Oct 17 Fort Lauderdale to Santiago aboard Silver Muse Silver Suite #1007 Having sailed on Silversea many times before, we booked to go on this voyage on the Silver Muse a year ago. We deliberately avoided going soon after its maiden voyage in Apr 17. Surely, all the gremlins would be fixed by Oct 17? In Apr 17 we started to monitor the reviews on Cruise Critic. They seemed almost completely negative. So many complaints – some pretty serious. We almost got to the point of cancelling. But we were looking forward to the itinerary. So, with trepidation, we suffered the 9 hour flight to Miami and, after a night at the Marriot in Fort Lauderdale, we embarked on Silver Muse. The first point to make is that, once on-board, we were told that the much criticised reservation system had been modified and that Atlantide and Indochine – the two side-by-side biggest restaurants - were now open seating. To be fair, we had already made reservations for every night online before we left and we pretty much kept to our plan anyway. But I could see that many guests were very happy that they could now dine when they wanted and with whom they wanted. It was a daft concept anyway and ‘good riddance’! The Dress Code had also been altered so that, rather than applying by restaurant, it applied by night. Most nights were casual or informal. On the few formal nights I counted 50% of men with dark suits and ties rather than evening dress. Other changes related to the menus – which now change every 7 days (or thereabout). Heaters had been installed on the pool deck to allow dining in colder climes. Also, it looks like fresh fish was loaded wherever possible. All great changes! Décor I really liked the light, modern, tasteful décor. We had been on the new Regent SevenSeas Explorer which had dark wood, sequined cushions and ‘Bling, Bling, Bling’. The Silver Muse was much more to my taste. Silver Suite #1007 Our Silver Suite was really spacious – over 700 sq ft- and had everything you could desire. As well as Butler Service, Silver Suites come with free laundry and complimentary internet access (ie NOT limited to 1hour per day as in most other suites). Worth saying that the speed of the internet is the fastest and most reliable I have experienced on a ship. Our Butler – OKI – was excellent. Apart from the usual stuff like bringing us tea in the morning and afternoon, he went the extra mile. I always found my shoes freshly cleaned and wrapped in tissue! Our chambermaid – ROMELYN – did a great job. Always spotlessly clean. The niggles we had revolved around there being no drawers anywhere in the bathroom, loo or dressing room. Crazy! Whoever decided that was a good idea should be sacked! Also, the Silver Suites have a totally useless corridor which could easily have been incorporated into the suite making much better use of the space. The beds were to our liking as they were quite firm. We had the best sleeps ever. Our suite was quiet (we always choose suites with no public areas above or below). The suite does creak when there is any sea motion. You could hear our neighbours TV through the flimsy walls. But they seemed to go to bed early like us so we were never really inconvenienced. We are both allergic to air conditioning and have had some miserable voyages as a result. Why on earth in this day and age you can’t control the fan strength, or even switch the AC off completely as you can in some hotel rooms, is beyond me. But the AC was efficient and the fan strength very mild. Ie it didn’t blow a gale across you at night. So we had no problems there. Fellow travellers There was a good mix of nationalities. Indeed, I’d say the British were the second most ‘popular’ after the Americans. Anyway, everyone was really pleasant. Age-wise I’d say almost everyone was 50+ but without the preponderance of ‘very old and infirm’ you get on some cruises. I believe, however, that only about 490 passengers (the Silver Muse has a capacity of 596) were on board for this voyage – and 94 of them got off for four days to go to Machu Picchu and another 17 left at the ship at Lima. So the Muse was running at far less than max. capacity. Obviously not good for Silversea but a ship that is not full often provides a better experience for guests. The service levels everywhere – from bars, restaurants, around the pool and in the suite – were really excellent. Could not be faulted. I wonder what service is like when ship is full? Food We do like our food. Therefore the criticisms in the 70+ previous reviews were pretty alarming. Of course, they might have taken these criticisms into account and changed things – as they had with the reservation system. But on our cruise we thought the standard of the food overall was excellent. Breakfast is faultless whether you go a la carte in Atlantide or buffet in La Terrazza. You can literally get anything you want. Eggs always cooked exactly as I had asked for. Lunch is either on the pool deck, buffet in La Terrazza or a la carte in Atlantide. The pasta station in La Terrazza is excellent and there is always a ‘roast of day’ as well as many other choices. On deck they grilled freshly caught fish on many days. The sea bream on our first sea day was a high point. You have 8 restaurants to choose from:- Atlantide was pretty good. I thought the lobster salad as a starter was v good. Indeed I had it several times. Service was good – attentive, friendly and no noticeable delays. Food was hot. Wine choice (we never paid extra for any premium wines) was good. However, on one night the restaurant was full and the service level suffered accordingly… Menu changed in the last week. Indochine had a great modern layout. The first dinner we had here was the star of the whole voyage. Foie gras starter, the Kamchatckacrab legs main and sesame fried bananas for dessert. Pure magic. We went three times. They changed the menu on the last night. Personally I preferred the first one! La Terrazza – Serves dinner too. Good standard of Italian food with wide choice so you can visit several times without repetition. We would have preferred to select out own antipasta but we discovered that you could ask for a shared antipasta plate as a starter. Silver Note. Very relaxed with music. Food ‘OK’ but nothing really special. My lobster with mashed potatoes was disappointing. The plates were ridiculous -particularly the ones that resembled a snowy volcano. Bring back proper plates! The Grill – This is the Deck 10 restaurant by the pool which serves lunch (everything from grilled fish of the day to burgers and chips) and at night becomes a ‘HotRocks’ venue. We really enjoyed cooking our own prawns, steak , lamb chops (other choices were available). Could have done with a wider range of starters (just salads on offer). The newly installed heaters were appreciated as we ventured south and it got colder. La Dame – You pay an extra $60pp for this restaurant and, frankly, we did not think it was worth it. The food on offer is no better than Atlantide. Indeed, we were disappointed on our visit. I chose frogs legs but the batter was soggy. My breast of duck came as just that. It could have done with some vegetables. But the real disappointment was the soufflé. You can judge a good chef by his soufflé which should have risen considerably and be light as air inside. This soufflé had not risen at all and was both soggy and undercooked inside. We sent it back but the replacement was little better. To be fair, every other guest we encountered spoke very highly of La Dame. Maybe we had a freak night. Kaiseki – Without doubt the BEST restaurant on the Silver Muse. The food is cooked in front of you at this Japanese restaurant. No real choice – just dish after dish. Three starters followed by mains of Butterfly Lobster, Miso Black Cod and Wagya Beef Teriyaki, followed by Tempura Ice Cream were all ‘to die for’.Worth every penny of the $60pp extra charge. We went twice! Spaccanapoli – Is the open air pizza restaurant on Deck 11. Sorry - we never went. Spa – Some say the Spa was small but the treatment rooms were fine and well equipped. I had two massages from a young lady called Briony. Excellent – although they did cost $249 each! Entertainment/Lectures Corey Sandler was, without doubt, one of the best ‘Destination Lecturers’ we have had on any cruise. He had that mix of knowledge and wit. We seldom go to the shows at 10.00pm. On this cruise they had entertainment that started at 6.30pm and, as a result, was extremely well attended. Indeed the theatre as full! Not only that but the shows – opera, show music, classic rock etc.- were of a very high standard. They ended at c7.10pm when we went off to dinner. I don’t know why more cruise lines don’t do this. As usual, we participated in Team Trivia each afternoon with the Cruise Director – Jimmy – who was very good. It always astounds me how seriously everyone takes this and, indeed, how extremely knowledgeable our fellow guest are! Excursions You have to pay extra for all the excursions. Our bill for the 18 days came to more than $4000. They were mostly enjoyable. The exceptional trips were: Lima - Peru Civilisations & Private Hacienda which included a display by Peso horses and associated dancers. Lima – Colonial Lima which included a wonderful visit to private villa. BTW – Traffic in Lima is terrible and we spent many hours in traffic jams Pisco - Flight over the Nazca Lines in a Cessna. This was, for me, THE high spot. Although it did cost $798 for the two of us. Arica, Chile – Atacama Coastal Trek. It was such a joy to get some decent exercise walking for about 2 miles along the fantastic coastal path. Some well-made, some just a sandy ridge with a steep drop, even some scrambling over rocks. We saw sea lions, lizards, brightly coloured crabs, rock pools teeming with fish and, of course, lots of birds like pelicans and vultures. Really great trip. Worst excursion by far was: Matarani, Peru – Mejia National Sanctuary. Over four hours on a minibus – most bumpy over unmade roads. We got out, I guess, for 20 minutes in total. I have seen far more birds in my garden at home. A real disappointment. Just a warning to guests who decide to go out on their own in these ports in Peru. The ship is usually a long way from the port security entrance. Guests taking private taxis were dumped at the port gates and had huge problems – and not a little danger – getting from there to the ship at night. Be warned. Several other cruise lines (eg Scenic) have moved to equipping guests with audio headsets for excursions. We prefer that as you can always hear the commentary even if you wander away from the guide to look at something. Alternatively, you can switch it off on the coach if you have a guide who thinks it is their job to fill every minute of a two hour journey with talk… A personal note to the management of Silversea Compared to the experiences of those who had sailed on the Silver Muse in the early months since its launch in April 17, we seem to have had a better experience than many. Certainly, better than the majority of those who have taken the trouble to write a review for Cruise Critic. Silver Seas have listened to its critics and had changed a whole host of things like open seating in the main restaurants, a sensible dress code, changing menus on a regular basis, more fresh, local food, heaters on the pool deck grill etc. But Silversea has been a leading cruise operator for decades. Not only that but they should know their clientele well as they have a very high level of 'repeat business'. We now have 100+ nights on Silversea. So all these changes just put the Muse back doing it the 'tried and tested' way employed on their other ships. But there are issues on the Muse that are more difficult to fix. Why can't the theatre accommodate the Captain's Welcome or Farewell parties? Why is the Dolce Vita lounge so huge it resembles an airport waiting area? Why do the bathrooms and dressing rooms have no drawers? Why are there no 'coffee corners' where you can go to help yourself to a coffee/tea and a biscuit? Why is it impossible to hear any of the announcements in your suite? It was a standing joke that everyone opened their suite doors to hear the announcements! Why do the ceilings creak? Why can you hear your neighbour's TV in your suite? I could go on and on. Then there are the staff. The staff on Silversea are exceptional. They have made every cruise we gave been on. Indeed they were exceptional on our cruise this time too. But they weren't like that in the earlier Muse cruises. I asked several staff members about this and got the same story. Silversea took on a lot of 'new to Silversea' staff initially. The combination of inexperience plus the constant complaints from guests meant that many resigned (I was told). All the staff we met on our cruise been drafted in from other Silverseas ships - often we were told at short notice. On our cruise, the Food and Beverage Director of the whole Silversea fleet was in board supervising the changes to the menus. Remember this is SIX MONTHS after its maiden voyage. The point I would make is that all of these are basic management failures. I hope the Project Manager for the Muse has been fired because he would have no place in my own company having made so many basic and totally avoidable mistakes. I know several people who sailed on those early Muse voyages who have vowed never to sail Silversea again. That inflicts huge damage on a company that relies on customer loyalty. At the very least I would advise Silversea to let these people know of the changes that have been made and maybe offer them some incentive to try the Muse again. We had a great cruise. The Silver Muse is a lovely ship. With a few further tweaks it could become what it clearly intended to be - The best luxury cruise ship in the world.

Silversea makes major POSITIVE changes to Silver Muse

Silver Muse Cruise Review by Holway

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2017
  • Destination: South America
  • Cabin Type: Silver Suite 1
14th – 31st Oct 17

Fort Lauderdale to Santiago aboard Silver Muse

Silver Suite #1007

Having sailed on Silversea many times before, we booked to go on this voyage on the Silver Muse a year ago. We deliberately avoided going soon after its maiden voyage in Apr 17. Surely, all the gremlins would be fixed by Oct 17?

In Apr 17 we started to monitor the reviews on Cruise Critic. They seemed almost completely negative. So many complaints – some pretty serious. We almost got to the point of cancelling. But we were looking forward to the itinerary. So, with trepidation, we suffered the 9 hour flight to Miami and, after a night at the Marriot in Fort Lauderdale, we embarked on Silver Muse.

The first point to make is that, once on-board, we were told that the much criticised reservation system had been modified and that Atlantide and Indochine – the two side-by-side biggest restaurants - were now open seating. To be fair, we had already made reservations for every night online before we left and we pretty much kept to our plan anyway. But I could see that many guests were very happy that they could now dine when they wanted and with whom they wanted. It was a daft concept anyway and ‘good riddance’!

The Dress Code had also been altered so that, rather than applying by restaurant, it applied by night. Most nights were casual or informal. On the few formal nights I counted 50% of men with dark suits and ties rather than evening dress.

Other changes related to the menus – which now change every 7 days (or thereabout). Heaters had been installed on the pool deck to allow dining in colder climes. Also, it looks like fresh fish was loaded wherever possible. All great changes!

Décor

I really liked the light, modern, tasteful décor. We had been on the new Regent SevenSeas Explorer which had dark wood, sequined cushions and ‘Bling, Bling, Bling’. The Silver Muse was much more to my taste.

Silver Suite #1007

Our Silver Suite was really spacious – over 700 sq ft- and had everything you could desire. As well as Butler Service, Silver Suites come with free laundry and complimentary internet access (ie NOT limited to 1hour per day as in most other suites). Worth saying that the speed of the internet is the fastest and most reliable I have experienced on a ship.

Our Butler – OKI – was excellent. Apart from the usual stuff like bringing us tea in the morning and afternoon, he went the extra mile. I always found my shoes freshly cleaned and wrapped in tissue! Our chambermaid – ROMELYN – did a great job. Always spotlessly clean.

The niggles we had revolved around there being no drawers anywhere in the bathroom, loo or dressing room. Crazy! Whoever decided that was a good idea should be sacked! Also, the Silver Suites have a totally useless corridor which could easily have been incorporated into the suite making much better use of the space.

The beds were to our liking as they were quite firm. We had the best sleeps ever. Our suite was quiet (we always choose suites with no public areas above or below). The suite does creak when there is any sea motion. You could hear our neighbours TV through the flimsy walls. But they seemed to go to bed early like us so we were never really inconvenienced.

We are both allergic to air conditioning and have had some miserable voyages as a result. Why on earth in this day and age you can’t control the fan strength, or even switch the AC off completely as you can in some hotel rooms, is beyond me. But the AC was efficient and the fan strength very mild. Ie it didn’t blow a gale across you at night. So we had no problems there.

Fellow travellers

There was a good mix of nationalities. Indeed, I’d say the British were the second most ‘popular’ after the Americans. Anyway, everyone was really pleasant. Age-wise I’d say almost everyone was 50+ but without the preponderance of ‘very old and infirm’ you get on some cruises.

I believe, however, that only about 490 passengers (the Silver Muse has a capacity of 596) were on board for this voyage – and 94 of them got off for four days to go to Machu Picchu and another 17 left at the ship at Lima. So the Muse was running at far less than max. capacity. Obviously not good for Silversea but a ship that is not full often provides a better experience for guests. The service levels everywhere – from bars, restaurants, around the pool and in the suite – were really excellent. Could not be faulted. I wonder what service is like when ship is full?

Food

We do like our food. Therefore the criticisms in the 70+ previous reviews were pretty alarming. Of course, they might have taken these criticisms into account and changed things – as they had with the reservation system. But on our cruise we thought the standard of the food overall was excellent.

Breakfast is faultless whether you go a la carte in Atlantide or buffet in La Terrazza. You can literally get anything you want. Eggs always cooked exactly as I had asked for.

Lunch is either on the pool deck, buffet in La Terrazza or a la carte in Atlantide. The pasta station in La Terrazza is excellent and there is always a ‘roast of day’ as well as many other choices. On deck they grilled freshly caught fish on many days. The sea bream on our first sea day was a high point.

You have 8 restaurants to choose from:-

Atlantide was pretty good. I thought the lobster salad as a starter was v good. Indeed I had it several times. Service was good – attentive, friendly and no noticeable delays. Food was hot. Wine choice (we never paid extra for any premium wines) was good. However, on one night the restaurant was full and the service level suffered accordingly… Menu changed in the last week.

Indochine had a great modern layout. The first dinner we had here was the star of the whole voyage. Foie gras starter, the Kamchatckacrab legs main and sesame fried bananas for dessert. Pure magic. We went three times. They changed the menu on the last night. Personally I preferred the first one!

La Terrazza – Serves dinner too. Good standard of Italian food with wide choice so you can visit several times without repetition. We would have preferred to select out own antipasta but we discovered that you could ask for a shared antipasta plate as a starter.

Silver Note. Very relaxed with music. Food ‘OK’ but nothing really special. My lobster with mashed potatoes was disappointing. The plates were ridiculous -particularly the ones that resembled a snowy volcano. Bring back proper plates!

The Grill – This is the Deck 10 restaurant by the pool which serves lunch (everything from grilled fish of the day to burgers and chips) and at night becomes a ‘HotRocks’ venue. We really enjoyed cooking our own prawns, steak , lamb chops (other choices were available). Could have done with a wider range of starters (just salads on offer). The newly installed heaters were appreciated as we ventured south and it got colder.

La Dame – You pay an extra $60pp for this restaurant and, frankly, we did not think it was worth it. The food on offer is no better than Atlantide. Indeed, we were disappointed on our visit. I chose frogs legs but the batter was soggy. My breast of duck came as just that. It could have done with some vegetables. But the real disappointment was the soufflé. You can judge a good chef by his soufflé which should have risen considerably and be light as air inside. This soufflé had not risen at all and was both soggy and undercooked inside. We sent it back but the replacement was little better.

To be fair, every other guest we encountered spoke very highly of La Dame. Maybe we had a freak night.

Kaiseki – Without doubt the BEST restaurant on the Silver Muse. The food is cooked in front of you at this Japanese restaurant. No real choice – just dish after dish. Three starters followed by mains of Butterfly Lobster, Miso Black Cod and Wagya Beef Teriyaki, followed by Tempura Ice Cream were all ‘to die for’.Worth every penny of the $60pp extra charge. We went twice!

Spaccanapoli – Is the open air pizza restaurant on Deck 11. Sorry - we never went.

Spa – Some say the Spa was small but the treatment rooms were fine and well equipped. I had two massages from a young lady called Briony. Excellent – although they did cost $249 each!

Entertainment/Lectures

Corey Sandler was, without doubt, one of the best ‘Destination Lecturers’ we have had on any cruise. He had that mix of knowledge and wit.

We seldom go to the shows at 10.00pm. On this cruise they had entertainment that started at 6.30pm and, as a result, was extremely well attended. Indeed the theatre as full! Not only that but the shows – opera, show music, classic rock etc.- were of a very high standard. They ended at c7.10pm when we went off to dinner. I don’t know why more cruise lines don’t do this.

As usual, we participated in Team Trivia each afternoon with the Cruise Director – Jimmy – who was very good. It always astounds me how seriously everyone takes this and, indeed, how extremely knowledgeable our fellow guest are!

Excursions

You have to pay extra for all the excursions. Our bill for the 18 days came to more than $4000. They were mostly enjoyable.

The exceptional trips were:

Lima - Peru Civilisations & Private Hacienda which included a display by Peso horses and associated dancers.

Lima – Colonial Lima which included a wonderful visit to private villa. BTW – Traffic in Lima is terrible and we spent many hours in traffic jams

Pisco - Flight over the Nazca Lines in a Cessna. This was, for me, THE high spot. Although it did cost $798 for the two of us.

Arica, Chile – Atacama Coastal Trek. It was such a joy to get some decent exercise walking for about 2 miles along the fantastic coastal path. Some well-made, some just a sandy ridge with a steep drop, even some scrambling over rocks. We saw sea lions, lizards, brightly coloured crabs, rock pools teeming with fish and, of course, lots of birds like pelicans and vultures. Really great trip.

Worst excursion by far was:

Matarani, Peru – Mejia National Sanctuary. Over four hours on a minibus – most bumpy over unmade roads. We got out, I guess, for 20 minutes in total. I have seen far more birds in my garden at home. A real disappointment.

Just a warning to guests who decide to go out on their own in these ports in Peru. The ship is usually a long way from the port security entrance. Guests taking private taxis were dumped at the port gates and had huge problems – and not a little danger – getting from there to the ship at night. Be warned.

Several other cruise lines (eg Scenic) have moved to equipping guests with audio headsets for excursions. We prefer that as you can always hear the commentary even if you wander away from the guide to look at something. Alternatively, you can switch it off on the coach if you have a guide who thinks it is their job to fill every minute of a two hour journey with talk…

A personal note to the management of Silversea

Compared to the experiences of those who had sailed on the Silver Muse in the early months since its launch in April 17, we seem to have had a better experience than many. Certainly, better than the majority of those who have taken the trouble to write a review for Cruise Critic.

Silver Seas have listened to its critics and had changed a whole host of things like open seating in the main restaurants, a sensible dress code, changing menus on a regular basis, more fresh, local food, heaters on the pool deck grill etc.

But Silversea has been a leading cruise operator for decades. Not only that but they should know their clientele well as they have a very high level of 'repeat business'. We now have 100+ nights on Silversea. So all these changes just put the Muse back doing it the 'tried and tested' way employed on their other ships.

But there are issues on the Muse that are more difficult to fix. Why can't the theatre accommodate the Captain's Welcome or Farewell parties? Why is the Dolce Vita lounge so huge it resembles an airport waiting area? Why do the bathrooms and dressing rooms have no drawers? Why are there no 'coffee corners' where you can go to help yourself to a coffee/tea and a biscuit? Why is it impossible to hear any of the announcements in your suite? It was a standing joke that everyone opened their suite doors to hear the announcements! Why do the ceilings creak? Why can you hear your neighbour's TV in your suite? I could go on and on.

Then there are the staff. The staff on Silversea are exceptional. They have made every cruise we gave been on. Indeed they were exceptional on our cruise this time too. But they weren't like that in the earlier Muse cruises. I asked several staff members about this and got the same story. Silversea took on a lot of 'new to Silversea' staff initially. The combination of inexperience plus the constant complaints from guests meant that many resigned (I was told). All the staff we met on our cruise been drafted in from other Silverseas ships - often we were told at short notice. On our cruise, the Food and Beverage Director of the whole Silversea fleet was in board supervising the changes to the menus. Remember this is SIX MONTHS after its maiden voyage.

The point I would make is that all of these are basic management failures. I hope the Project Manager for the Muse has been fired because he would have no place in my own company having made so many basic and totally avoidable mistakes.

I know several people who sailed on those early Muse voyages who have vowed never to sail Silversea again. That inflicts huge damage on a company that relies on customer loyalty. At the very least I would advise Silversea to let these people know of the changes that have been made and maybe offer them some incentive to try the Muse again.

We had a great cruise. The Silver Muse is a lovely ship. With a few further tweaks it could become what it clearly intended to be - The best luxury cruise ship in the world.
Holway’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience

Cabin Review

Silver Suite 1
Cabin S1 1007
Silver Suite #1007
Our Silver Suite was really spacious – over 700 sq ft- and had everything you could desire. As well as Butler Service, Silver Suites come with free laundry and complimentary internet access (ie NOT limited to 1hour per day as in most other suites). Worth saying that the speed of the internet is the fastest and most reliable I have experienced on a ship.
Our Butler – OKI – was excellent. Apart from the usual stuff like bringing us tea in the morning and afternoon, he went the extra mile. I always found my shoes freshly cleaned and wrapped in tissue! Our chambermaid – ROMELYN – did a great job. Always spotlessly clean.
The niggles we had revolved around there being no drawers anywhere in the bathroom, loo or dressing room. Crazy! Whoever decided that was a good idea should be sacked! Also, the Silver Suites have a totally useless corridor which could easily have been incorporated into the suite making much better use of the space.
The beds were to our liking as they were quite firm. We had the best sleeps ever. Our suite was quiet (we always choose suites with no public areas above or below). The suite does creak when there is any sea motion. You could hear our neighbours TV through the flimsy walls. But they seemed to go to bed early like us so we were never really inconvenienced.
We are both allergic to air conditioning and have had some miserable voyages as a result. Why on earth in this day and age you can’t control the fan strength, or even switch the AC off completely as you can in some hotel rooms, is beyond me. But the AC was efficient and the fan strength very mild. Ie it didn’t blow a gale across you at night. So we had no problems there.
Deck 11 Suite Cabins