Light, airy, luxurious and very pleasing to the eye… That is how I’d describe my suite, No. 644, a Deluxe Veranda Suite on Silversea Cruises’ 596-passenger Silver Muse.
Let just say that walking into it immediately brought an aura of “calm,” making me think all was all alright with the world – just what one desires while on vacation.
I sailed on 40,700-gross-tonnage ship (delivered in 2017) last week on a one-week voyage from Bali, Indonesia to Manila in the Philippines. It was just enough time to get into the flavor of the voyage, watch how life at sea unfolds on the vessel and, most importantly, learn about the line’s new S.A.L.T. (sea and land tastes) program.
That program – very hands-on and “local” – will debut on Silver Moon in 2020. Guests will be given options to connect with the destination through authentic, local cuisine – what the locals cook for themselves, with recipes often handed down through the generations.
It’s not Michelin-type dining, nor a high-brow focus. It’s local, highly authentic (not touristy) and designed to be a deeper approach than luxury lines have typically taken to the culinary side of the destination experience. Check out our original story with details from Barbara Muckermann, chief marketing officer, and Adam Sachs, S.A.L.T.'s program director in the link above.
Suite No. 644 and Service
Now, about my stay....
Entering this Deluxe Veranda Suite, two luggage racks were out and I had a printed note, stating that the butler would be happy to help me unpack. I just had to call.
I appreciated the option but having been on a long trip in Asia for four weeks prior to this boarding, I wasn’t sure what was where and just preferred to just unpack myself.
However, soon my butler, Raquel Macamos and my housekeeper, Rosalie Timbancaya, both from the Philippines, proactively introduced themselves. Throughout the week, this was a great “team” for handling guest needs. Both ladies were exceptionally friendly and yet professional in how they did their jobs.
One thing I noticed right away: Service from both was superb, despite the fact that they were both leaving in Manila for their break so, both were coming to the end of their cruise contract and were eager to see their families once again.
But, they absolutely took the same care with guests during the final leg of their contract as they'd likely done with guests when they started their contract. That was how their service was perceived, and that says a lot.
With 387 square feet of space, including the veranda, Deluxe Veranda Suite No. 644, had a central location; it's the same as a Veranda Suite, just a bit better location amid-ship.
It had a comfortable sitting area with a couch, leather side chair and an elongated granite table; this surface can be made even larger with a tabletop the butler can remove from the closet and set up.
Important Note: In my photos, the chair was close to the couch, but in reality, it can be moved much farther out – opening up a nice amount of space in the living area.
Two 42-inch TVs are imbedded within two mirrors; one facing the living area, the other facing the bed. This ship had a good "edu-tainment" system, which we found easy to access; it had free movies, TV news from the U.S., U.K. and other countries, documentaries, voyage information and more.
Across from the sofa and chair was a large credenza that doubled as a counter, writing desk and spot to put on makeup (with a nice pull-out stool beneath).
It also held a mini-fridge, already filled upon arrival with sodas and beer. The line also stocks the mini-fridge or counter with the guest’s favorite wine or spirits.
The teak deck balcony had two chairs and a small table; it was about what one expected for this type of accommodation.
I did like the overall position of this suite within the ship as the deck's balcony was covered by the superstructure. Thus, it felt a bit more private that some other balconies I've used at sea. Plus there was very little wave motion in this suite.
A floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door connects the suite with the balcony. One thing I really liked were black-out drapes. That's a nice touch, particularly if guests wish to sleep in after a late flight arrival from overseas or on a sea day when they don't have to get up early for touring ashore.
There were also drapes that could be pulled between the living area and bedroom to separate those spaces. The comfortable queen bed was convertible to two twins, and featured high-end linens and down duvets.
A pillow menu allowed guests to choose their favorite type of pillow. I also liked that there was a sheet under the duvet as sometimes duvets can get hot.
Around the room were power plugs; standard adapters are needed for U.S. devices. There was a wall-mounted USB plug along the credenza counter.
But I moved the clock radio from the counter/credenza and put it next to the bed and there was one plug-in on the back of that, so I could keep my phone plugged in at night, and still access it, if need be. That worked fine.
FYI, the clock is also an alarm and iHome Radio in addition to having the charging station (usable with a USB cable or Qi wireless charging). It has NFC Bluetooth connectivity.
One nice perk is that this ship now has unlimited standard Wi-Fi, which I'd describe as "adequate" during my cruise, although sending photos was not easy given the speed, which is typical for satellite use at sea. For those seeking a more robust online or streaming experience, the line had a few upgrade options.
Storage & Bathroom
The walk-in closet was well-designed with a shelf under the hanging clothing and about six inches or so up from the floor; it was really nice to not have to bend down all the way to pick up shoes, which could be stored there.
Guests could use two hanging Etro robes during their cruise, plus the line provided slippers as well.
Another nice touch was the jewelry case located inside the cabinet at right and atop the safe. I also liked the size of this safe. On some new ships, even, the safes are too small for a small laptop or tablet. This one held large items including the jewelry box and a decent sized laptop.
Above the safe (located within the two vertical doors in the photo at right) also were the cloth laundry bags, a hair dryer, shoeshine kit and more.
I found the one long hanging bar for clothing plenty for my one-week adventure. It would also be adequate for most couples as well, unless they bring their entire wardrobe.
That said, the amount of drawer storage in this suite was super duper. The closet had a dresser with multiple drawers (see photo at right), as did the living room credenza (shown in the photo above) with three humongous drawers.
Plus, there were pull-out drawers under each nightstand on either side of the bed, and storage shelves on the end tables in the living area.
The marbled bathroom is a full set-up with both a shower and a large soaking tub. The vanity offered one sink, Bvlgari bath amenities (other European brands were also available) and plush towels. I particularly liked the large size of the towels.
Overall Stay Experience
Overall, the suite was very nice. I think most clients would find it relaxing and pampering, with just the right amount of features. For me, it had a soothing feel.
One could be improved? The phone system from my room was okay at times, but very noisy and muffled in clarity other times – particularly when calling room service. It was almost impossible to understand people at times.
Big pluses? I particularly liked the line's attention to detail – with everything from providing make-up remover wipes to the jewelry storage case to the bath scrub waiting in a tray across the soaking tub. As a guest, I felt the little things had really been handled. I also loved the orchid plant in my room.
Service from my butler and the housekeeper was fantastic. My advise to Silversea is to hang onto those two ladies. They were exceptional.
I also was impressed with the guest-friendly approach taken by hotel director Paolo Percivale, who was often seen around the ship checking things, greeting guests and tackling any concerns. He wasn't afraid to pitch in and do it himself, at times, so not just delegating everything as some in the position do.
A native of Genoa, he's the epitome of Italian hospitality. Another guest told me he had known him for nine years and "he is always excellent."
Stay tuned for more from my five-week trip to Asia including Seabourn Ovation's time in Vietnam, a land stay at the upscale Kerry Hotel and destination touring in Hong Kong, as well as Silver Muse’s port days on Malaysian Borneo and in Romblom Island, the Philippines.