At only 596 passengers, the new ship by luxury stalwart Silversea Cruises — its first in more than a decade — isn't the glitziest of the new luxury ships on the market, but it offers a decadent amount of space. You notice it as soon as you board this understated vessel and walk into the giant, open Dolce Vita space, which serves as a reception area and cocktail lounge. The hallways, too, are unusually wide, and the cabins feel comfortably open as do many of the public spaces, especially the massive swimming pool and the spacious Arts Café. And while there's a quietness to the decor — don't expect giant chandeliers or dramatic, bright color schemes here — there's also a formality to this ship. The butlers wear tails, and if they see a woman leaving their cabin alone, they offer their arm to walk her to dinner; the waiters will also offer to carry your cocktail on a silver tray if you're headed to dinner from one of the lounges. For those looking for a quiet, genteel vacation — with no risk of being elbow-to-elbow with other passengers, or giving up white-glove style service — they may have found their ship.
What We Love
The Pool Dazzles: This pool is one of the largest we've ever seen — dare we say, the largest at sea? — and the pool deck is long and spacious with plenty of deck chairs to stretch out on, even on sunny sea days when it seems like the whole ship gathers around the edges. There's also a Capri-based sandal maker on deck lacing up custom leather thong sandals and other bespoke footwear.
The Italian Fare is Impressive: This should come as no surprise in a line owned by Italians and headquartered in Monaco. We love Spaccanopoli, the fabulous pizza and gelato spot just one deck up from the pool that's named for a road in Naples. Our advice? Go straight there and order the pizza topped with prosciutto and arugula followed by pistachio gelato, which tastes like roasted and salted pistachio nuts straight from Siciliy. There are also beautiful pastas on the dinner menu at La Terrazza and gorgeous Italian meats and cheeses on the lunch buffet there, too.
The Gym is Enlarged: This is the largest gym in the fleet and there are enough weights and cardio machines that you may never have to wait your turn. Most of the bikes and treadmills face out over the ocean, and there are classes — from boot camp to yoga and Pilates — offered every day.
Best Known For
Every Cabin is a Suite: The spacious suites — all of which have verandahs and butlers — are decorated tastefully and elegantly, with plush linens and down-filled duvets as well as fluffy towels. When you arrive, your butler will bring you an array of bath products to choose from, and offer to unpack your suitcase and fill your fridge with your favorite soft drinks.
The Whole Ship is an Open Bar: The open bar nature of this ship is a pleasure, as is always the case on luxury ships. And while there's only a truly cool specialty cocktail list in Dolce Vita, our favorite bar in which to sip away the evening was the intimate lounge attached to Atlantide.
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Who It's Best For
Empty Nesters and Retirees: From the lack of trendy cocktails to the lack of edgy restaurant concepts (instead, you'll find French, Italian, pan-Asian, pizza, and the hot stone concept that did well on previous ships) and the polished but subdued decor, it's clear that the ship is designed for older travelers who aren't looking for anything racy on their vacation.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
The Asian Fare is a Miss: While the Italian food in La Terrazza wowed us and we heard great things about the French fare in La Dame, the pan-Asian dishes in Indochine missed the mark on our pre-inaugural shakedown cruise, as did the sushi in Kaiseki. (Picture overcooked rice on the maki rolls and dishes that the menu claimed were hot but seemed to not include any spices at all.) When in doubt, stick to continental fare on this very European ship, where the French and Italian ingredients and preparation often feel special. Oh, and don't miss the late-night cheese buffet, expected to roll out later this month in the ship's library, with some of the world's best frommage flown in from France and Italy.
Sherri Eisenberg is a New York City-based writer and editor. She is the former editorial director of ShermansCruise.
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Silver Muse at a Glance
- Line: Silversea Cruises
- Number of Passengers: 596
- Ship Size: Medium
- Launch Date: 2017