Sunday 20 January 2019

Silversea's Silver Muse - once over lightly, alas

There was knife-twisting aspect to today's outing which, at best, added piquancy to the visit; at worst, gut-churning envy. It was the first visit to New Zealand of Silversea's newest ship, Silver Muse. Regular readers 😃 will recall that I have over the last ten years built a relationship with the line's PR people, which has enabled five actual cruises (plus one we actually paid for) - the most recent a Norwegian cruise last July into the Arctic Circle on Silver Spirit.
That last sentence could have been so different: it could, so easily, have read "the most recent a cruise from Singapore to Myanmar on Silver Muse". Because that was the invitation that popped into my inbox in mid-November (hence my email-checking addiction, multiple times daily) - not just revisiting two places I haven't been to since NINETEEN-EIGHTY, but cruising there on this fancy new ship that everyone's been fussing about all year. And I had to turn it down, because it clashed with an important family event. Sigh. [NB Family first, always, forever. But...]
So I accepted the invitation for lunch on board with a tiny degree of reluctance, knowing I would be made sad by seeing what I'd missed. And so it was, dear reader. It's a beautiful ship, one of Silversea's two biggest at 600 passengers, but still small and intimate, though at the same time remarkably spacious. I know that seems a contradiction - but the public areas are open, uncrowded, light and airy (I preferred Muse's warm browns and beiges to Silver Spirit's purple and silver), and there are so many of them, big and small, around the ship. There are eight restaurants, too.
After bubbles and a welcome in the theatre, we toured all over before sitting down to lunch at Indochine. Having recently been shown over Regent's Seven Seas Mariner, it was no surprise to see the big suites with all their elbow room, furniture and expansive verandas, but I think Muse's Owner's Suite has the edge - it is, after all, the first cruise ship bathroom I've ever seen that has a bidet. That's on top of all the marble, Bulgari, big-screen TVs, Bose, Illy, dining table, writing desk, multiple sitting areas, vast wardrobe with a challenging number of hangers... You know, the usual.
It was, most of all, just so nice to be back on a Silversea ship again. They do look after you so well, everything is done properly, the surroundings are so comfortable and attractive, and the staff are so friendly and welcoming. I know people who actually despise cruising, as an option - curled lips, raised eyebrows, derisory snorts, the lot. Poor, misguided souls. They have no idea what they're missing.

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