Onboard Silver Muse: Understated Elegance And A Family Affair
Having fun at the welcome cocktail reception: Linda – guest of Chris Lackstrom,
Renata Grant, Worldview Travel Toronto,
Chris Lackstrom, Ensemble
Stephanie Anevich, Vision Travel YYZ.
My suite - superior verandah
Upon boarding the Silver Muse in Genoa this week, we were the first guests to experience her elegant style and charm, albeit on a short voyage that had been dubbed a “Shakedown Cruise.”
Just hours before the ship had been handed over by the Fincantieri shipyard to Silversea owner and chairman, Manfredi Lefebvre, the Silver Muse Captain, the young and affable Alessandro Zanello, executives of Silversea Cruises, and the ship’s staff and crew. One flag was lowered and the Silversea flag was raised denoting the newest arrival to this fleet that combines classic and expedition ships.
Lefebvre’s teenage daughter Costanza will christen the ship in Monaco on 19APR and the proprietor has spoken often these last few days about the importance of family in this business. He discussed his own father and the tradition behind Silversea and its ships, the first of which was launched more than 20 years ago.
Here are my first impressions of this shiny new ship that carries 596 guests:
Muse is elegant with a muted, understated décor, at times almost monochromatic, yet certainly timeless.
It offers a calming ambience yet provides delightful design moments in some of the public spaces.
The new and contemporary Arts Café, located aft on Deck 8 is a welcome addition. Serving snacks, coffees and light bites throughout the day, it is peppered with books and art and will showcase art from a wide-ranging selection of artists. One of the best points about this Café is that it offers a lovely and quiet outdoor terrace as well. It will be very popular.
I love my suite. It is spacious, comfortable (although the mattress is a little hard for my liking – but my Butler, Edmundo is fixing that) and well designed with ample storage and seating. A sofa and a leather chair offer relaxation and the light wood and surfaces are all in neutral, soothing beiges. The bathroom is fab with a huge bathtub and a separate shower, although with just one sink.
Rudi Scholdis is the Fleet’s Executive Chef. He has been with the company for 17 years and has been instrumental in helping to create not only the 8 dining venues on board but also raising the menus to new heights.
The dining venues explore modern flavours, the slow food movement and, in the lovely Silver Note Supper Club (which debuted on Silver Spirit as Stars) offer a new menu of Peruvian Fusion cuisine.
We dined there and it is certainly a different take on food with much of it being raw seafood, ingredients from both Ocean and Earth (as described) and definitely a spot for foodies who wish to stretch their culinary experience.
These aforementioned 8 dining venues include the perennially charming La Terrazza as well as Atlantide (pronounced ATLANTEED) which offers a Continental dining option in a glamorous setting and is receiving rave reviews.
There is no one main restaurant any more. Other choices include Hot Rocks at the Grill, Indochine, La Dame (which is Le Champagne on the other ships), a Japanese restaurant and more. Chef Scholdis notes that within these 8 spots there are in fact 26 dining choices. New (and yet to be tested by me) is a Cheese Bar in the Observation Lounge which opens at 9 pm each night for guests who desire a post-prandial cheese course with wine or port pairing.
For a brand new ship, Silver Muse is performing admirably. The staff are attentive and thoughtful. This can be somewhat unusual on a shakedown so congratulations are in order.
Equally the food is also very, very good, in some instances superb. Again, this is a difficult feat to pull off when your ship is delivered the day of your first guests boarding and when you have not, in some instances, even been able to cook a meal in a particular dining spot’s kitchen.
So Bravo Silversea, you have a winner on your hands. You should be justifiably proud and I congratulate you on a gorgeous ship that takes your ‘Classic Fleet’ into a new and welcome realm.