Butlers & Baths How To Sell The Understated Elegance Of Silver Muse
by Vanessa Lee
La Dolce Vita on Muse
Tor’s Observation Lounge high on Deck 11
The Arts Café Silver Muse
Pizza spot al fresco on Deck 11 called Spaccanapoli. There is also an actual jogging track on that deck as you can see.
This luxury cruise expert has just returned from a “shakedown” voyage on Silversea’s new Silver Muse, the latest addition to its ‘Classic’ fleet.
This 596-guest beauty is the first of a potential four. Chairman Manfredi Lefebvre challenged all of us aboard – and all of you cruise specialists out there – to “fill this ship” at the right per diems so sister models can set sail in 2020, 2021 and 2023.
This column is a review of my personal experience on the Muse last week and my impressions of her service, cuisine and the physical attributes of the ship herself. Next time I will elaborate on plans by Silversea’s global marketing team to attract the right guests for all of the line’s ships, both in the Classic fleet as well as the burgeoning Expedition fleet.
Silver Muse is an elegant, understated ship and is very similar, other than the colour palette, to the Silver Spirit, launched in 2009. There has been no attempt to “put on the glitz” here. The ship’s décor is muted, too much so for my personal taste but nevertheless she is obviously a discreet beauty.
In some public areas, particularly the La Dolce Vita lounge/bar which greets guests on Deck 5 as they board, there could be improvements in both colour and design. There is a sea of brown chairs and the “Vita” is missing. This can be easily remedied and I suspect it will be. More art in the corridors and a few other small changes will take this delightful Muse to where she needs to be.
The suites are fantastic (please call them SUITES – they are not staterooms and certainly not CABINS!). They are more spacious than those on the Spirit due to the increased size of this vessel and are absolutely lovely in every respect.
My superior verandah suite measured 387 sq. ft. including the verandah (64 sq. ft.). My bathroom was lovely, with a full-length tub, big shower and single sink. The amenities are perfect including the robes, slippers and choice of bathroom products – with Bvlgari being the stand out.
There is a 9-choice pillow menu, the linens are Pratesi and fruit and champagne are but a request away. There’s great walk-in closet space, a mini-fridge, loads of storage and two TVs built into the mirrored walls, one in the bedroom area and one in the living space which offers a comfy couch and a very sexy chair for lounging.
The Wi-Fi was outstanding and all guests get one free hour per day. Those sailing in the Grand, Silver, Royal and Owner’s Suite enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi at all times. I spent some time in a Grand Suite. -- it’s a fantastic space with a massive wrap-around balcony.
My butler Edmundo was just about the best amenity on the ship. He pampered me, cared for me and was always nearby. When delivering my in-suite breakfast (on time which is very important) every day, it became apparent on day one that the orange juice was out of the can, not out of the orange. Edmundo immediately offered to personally squeeze fresh juice for me every day – something my palate much prefers.
That is what butlers do – they take care of you. He offered to unpack and pack (not my thing) but everything else was managed beautifully – no request went unfulfilled. Trust me, your clients will love having their own butler, so talk it up when referring to Silversea's service.
I mentioned the eight dining venues in my previous column and your clients will enjoy these choices as well. Only two charge a fee and both are US$60. This is for La Dame, the Relais & Châteaux intimate dining spot and the Japanese Kaisecki. There is a new gourmet pizza spot on Deck 11 (yummy) as well as the perennial favourite Hot Rocks on deck where guests can cook their own meats and fish and enjoy al fresco dining.
For a ship fresh from the yard, the Silver Muse was in impeccable condition and the service, for the most part, was really excellent. A few of the dining venues could use a little more staff training, but that will come quickly. The main thing is that every member of staff was attentive, charming, thoughtful and friendly. That is the key as small mistakes with a new ship can be very easily forgiven. They try hard to please and they succeed.
For my next column I will review the baby boomer audience on which Silversea intends to focus, and a few other key points including world cruises in 2018 and 2019 and more on the Silver Cloud transformation as she leaves the Classic fleet and becomes an Expedition ship this fall.
Chris Lackstrom, Ensemble; Marilyn Conroy, Tracy Anderson and Vanessa. Standing: Mark Conroy, MD of Silversea Cruises The Americas, and Van Anderson co-founder Avoya Travel.