Day Two: Cruise Log | At Sea
If there is an essence of the true ocean-going indulgence of a cruise, then it is a sea day, that chance to genuinely slow down and take advantage of the all-out pleasure of being far from land, with nothing to do but enjoy yourself among the facilities and activities of your vessel.
Aboard the sleek Silver Muse, that means finding your perfect spot to sit back and relax, soak up the Silversea vibe and take in the ultra-luxury cruise ethos to the max.
And, if we’re being honest, we have rarely found such a perfect vehicle for that total chillout experience. Of course, it helps that we have largely clear Caribbean skies as we sail past Cuba on our port side, en route to Cozumel, Mexico.
But this is a truly remarkable ship for personal space. There are literally dozens of spot in which to establish that maritime rapport, from the extensive Dolce Vita lounge on Deck Five, which is largely empty during the day, to the little eyries aft on Decks Seven, Eight and Nine.
True, most people do opt to be beside the pool on Deck 10, and space is at a premium there but, stray just a few yards aft or saunter up to Deck 11, and the options for stretching out either under the full sun or in some shaded nook increase enormously.
In short, this is a ‘space’ ship in the most literal sense of the word. It absolutely, positively invites you to luxuriate in that travelling luxury of plenty of elbow room in deluxe surroundings, whether you want to read a good book (or even a bad one, come to that), plug into your iPod or just kick back with a cocktail or three (bearing in mind that all drinks are included on board Silversea – indulge judiciously!).
Our day began slowly, with a (rare) lie-in as we caught up with email, etc, and then accelerated at full snail’s pace with tea and coffee in our suite, delivered by our butler, Anu. Yes, our butler. Every suite on Silver Muse has butler service, and Anu is the epitome of Silversea’s gracious-but-friendly service ethic. From shoe shine to technocrat (showing us how the clever little iHome box in our suite works), he is The Man as far as we are concerned, and it is a tribute to the company’s blend of European formality and American modernity.
Breakfast consisted of a stroll to the all-day Arts Café, which is rapidly becoming our go-to venue for tea, coffee, a pastry or something more substantial. This is a wonderfully chic little option, serving Illy coffee among many other tasty tid-bits. It offers a wide range of snack material as well as a full lunch, if necessary, and it’s ideal for (ahem) late risers.
From there it was off to La Dame, one of the ship’s 10 dining choices, for a wonderful Relais & Chateaux wine-tasting event (with skillful food pairings from the restaurant’s vintage French menu), which gave us a great insight into the essential quality on offer in this clever tie-up between cruise line and the luxury hotel and restaurant company.
This being a sea-day, it requires a lot of chillout time, and we have discovered that the area immediately outside the Arts Café is the perfect bolthole for catching some rays while catching up on our reading. For lunch, we are quickly developing a penchant for The Grill, adjacent to the pool. The menu is so diverse – from succulent burgers and hot dogs to a fresh salmon wrap and delicious steak – we find it covers just about every base we need at lunchtime.
We lingered poolside after lunch before taking another tour of the ship with our camera and notebook, paying attention to how few people we actually encountered, and how well Silver Muse spreads her passenger load artfully over her generous, full extent.
The afternoon featured a fun game of Team trivia with cruise director Vicki, followed by some welcome conversation with some of our team-mates. And then, dinner. Formal Night aboard our flawless voyager brought out a variety of suits and tuxedos, along with ballgowns and sparkly dresses. But, for those whom dressing up is not the thing, there was still casual dining at no less than four restaurants, including La Terrazza and the Japanese option of Kaiseki.
After Atlantide last night, we opted for sister main restaurant Indochine, with its tempting Asian-fusion cuisine. We weren’t disappointed. This is another terrific main selection from the restaurant line-up and the menu was positively delectable, featuring sushi-style choices as well as soups, fish dishes, several excellent vegetarian options (a real Silversea feature, it seems) and – our joint favourite – a Malabar Chicken Curry.
We enjoyed a long and conversation-filled dinner in the company of Chief Finance Officer Tomislav Perkovic from Croatia and then hit the Venetian Lounge for the big show, Blues Brother, Soul Sister, a high-energy 45 minutes of Motown magic from a talented sextet who were new to the ship but obviously know their stuff.
All in all, it hit the perfect sea-day note for us and, while the next four days will all feature ports of call, we will certainly be looking forward to another day of total ocean-going indolence!
See you tomorrow…