I have written about my enthusiasm for the changes at Silversea Cruises since Royal Caribbean purchased it; pumping much need money into this luxury cruise line. Now is the time for me to personally experience these changes rather than vicariously through the feedback of my clients and others.
I will be sailing September 9 – 19, 2021 on the Silver Muse on a roundtrip Seattle cruise to Alaska. This 596 guest ship is the first of the “new” Silversea ships, built in 2017, she is 40,700 tons carrying 411 crew. Silversea’s newest ships, the Silver Moon (just launched…delayed by Covid) and Silver Dawn (soon to be launched) are improved iterations of this, their sistership. (For the sake of comparison, she is about the same size and carries about the same number of guests as the Seabourn Ovation while the Regent Seven Seas Splendor is 20% larger and carries over 800 guests and Explora Journey’s Explora I is 50% larger and carries 950 guests.)
This will be my fourth time venturing to Alaska and my second with Silversea. My first cruise was in 2005 on the Regent Seven Seas Mariner before I started my blog and where I had my young family with a good bit of pre-cruise time spent in Anchorage and on the Kenai Peninsula. My second was in 2013. Silversea Silver Shadow Alaska Cruise Review – Part I. Honestly, it wasn’t the best experience. My third was in 2016 with Seabourn. Seabourn Sojourn in Alaska – Part V (Seabourn Ventures: Inian Islands, Icy Strait and College Fjord) which had more of a luxury expedition feel with lots of kayaking, zodiac tours and a full expedition team.
I am most definitely taking this cruise as a Silversea “cruise” experience rather than as an Alaskan “travel” experience. I agreed to accept Silversea’s invitation so that I could experience first hand what Silversea now offers. So with there being four pure sea days and another (Tracy Arm) that is pretty much a sea day, 50% of my experience will be, well, experiencing Silversea’s service and cuisine. Also, unlike Seabourn and more akin to Regent Seven Seas, there is no expedition element provided by Silversea. (Silversea does have an excellent expedition program on its expedition ships and in normal times that would be an option.) Silversea does, however, provide tours including a few hiking and kayaking experiences, which I will take some advantage of.
Here is the itinerary:
I was to be staying in Superior Veranda, but I was given a last minute upgrade to a Silver Suite; which I know is a favorite of my clients. I will talk more about the suites in a later article.
The Silver Muse does not have a main dining room, per se, but eight venues plus room service. There is a curious combination of open seating, reserved seating, and additional charge/reserve seating options. I will detail the reservation and extra charge systems as I try each venue. I must say that not having experienced this, it seems a bit confusing and less user-friendly (although Silversea’s My Silversea portal had been down due to a cyber security issue for weeks and that most certainly has affected my pre-cruise experience, which is not a Silversea fault.)
Consistent with the smaller dining venues is the variety ofsmaller public areas, rather than just larger ones. One of them that I enjoy is a proper cigar lounge, referred to as the Connoisseur’s Corner. Located aft and away from the dining venues (a serious flaw in the old layout of the Silver Shadow) it is one place I know I will visit over the many sea days.
By now you are probably saying to yourself, “This is rather mundane for Eric. Where are the culinary adventures? Where are the amazing off-the-beaten path experiences he has lined up?”
Getting to this cruise is most unusual for me. I don’t have multiple flights with overnights and bad connections. I have a simple (please let it be!) two hour flight on Alaska Air that doesn’t leave at 5:00 AM and it is even in my same time zone. So with my 10:00 AM arrival and boarding not starting until 2:00 PM, I will most definitely drop my bags off and head out into Seattle for some sort of culinary experience wherever my nose and stomach lead me!
And with but a limited time on land I am going to try and make this as much of a true Alaska expedition experience as I can:
I am truly looking forward to seeing what the “new” Silversea has to offer. Aren’t you?