We were about to be welcomed back to the Silver Muse in Seward, marking the return of another Silversea Cruises’ luxury vessel to service. Kicking off a summer program in Alaska and Canada, the 2017-built Silversea ship embarked on a seven-night cruise to Vancouver, calling in Skagway, Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan, in addition to scenic cruising at the Hubbard Glacier.
We started our journey flying from San Diego to Anchorage via Seattle with Alaska Airlines. A very pleasant flying experience indeed. Once we arrived in Anchorage, we took an Uber from the airport to the historic Captain Cook Hotel in downtown Anchorage where we also enjoyed a fantastic gourmet dinner in their signature restaurant on the top floor, “The Crow’s Nest”. This restaurant’s dining experience is paired with one of Alaska’s largest wine cellars (10,000 bottles), a “Wine Spectator” Best of Award of Excellence winner since 2016.
I have been to Anchorage a couple of times before but never looked for the LGBTQ Bars in the area. There are two gay bars, The Raven and Mad Myrna’s. We visited The Raven for a pre-dinner cocktails. The Raven has been Anchorage’s neighborhood gay bar since 1982, offering a large outdoor patio, pool, jukebox, darts, pinball, and lots of friendly locals. We also visited Mad Myrna’s after dinner and were quite surprised at the beauty of the bar. The bar hosts Diva Variety shows in its beautiful show lounge with cabaret lights and disco balls. Fun times were had by all!
Onto the ship……
The ship is docked in Seward, which is about a 2.5-hour bus ride away. The journey from Anchorage to Seward is one of the most scenic in Alaska. Our luxury motorcoach traveled the 130-mile Seward Highway along the Turnagain Arm and through the Kenai Mountains. We were treated to views of mountains, bridges, creeks and canyons, and Kenai Lake with its beautiful turquoise water. We passed through the small community of Moose Pass before arriving in Seward.
Embarkation was extremely smooth with only one bus load of guests embarking at a time. The ship was only carrying 300 guests on their inaugural sailing of the season. The capacity of the ship is 596 guests. We were greeted by waiters welcoming us on-board with champagne, then we were escorted to our beautiful suite where more champagne awaited us!
The Silver Muse offers various suites, all with butler service included. Suites vary in size from the Classic Veranda Suite measuring 387sq.ft to the Owner’s suite which is an impressive 1,389 sq. ft.
Our suite had elegant décor, a beautiful marble bathroom and ample seating area. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors open onto a private veranda. We had a writing desk, flat-screen TV’s (2) hidden in the mirrored walls featuring interactive TV and ships services. We had a walk-in closet with a safe inside and plenty of drawer space for storage. Our Butler offered to press our shirts and pants on the first evening, so of course we agreed.
Complimentary WI-FI is offered on board. We were asked for our pillow preference prior to boarding from the pillow menu. We also had a refrigerator and bar setup stocked with our preferences for the cruise. Champagne, more champagne and various red & white wines throughout the voyage.
The Silver Muse offers 8 dining options ranging from Spaccanapoli, their Pizzeria on board (with some of the best pizza I have tasted at sea) to La Dame, which showcases excellence in French dining. Indochine is their Asian restaurant as well as Kaiseki, which features Teppanyaki, Sushi and Sashimi. La Terrazza is their Italian menu featuring freshly made pasta and other Italian specialties. Silver Note is their supper club featuring small bites while listening to live jazz and blues. Atlantide is an elevated version of the main restaurant on board and The Grill (located on the pool deck) features lava stone cooking on your table. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day! We did not go hungry on board for sure. La Dame is an additional $60 charge per person and Kaiseki is an additional charge of $40 per person.
There are several lounges and bars on board. We enjoyed “La Dolce Vita” with live music in the evenings and great martinis. We also enjoyed the Panorama Bar for late night drinks listening to live music or dancing with music from the resident DJ. There is a Connoisseur’s Club on board with a nice selection of cigars and cognacs to enjoy. Of course, you can lounge on the luxurious pool deck all day and enjoy your favorite libations. Did I mention that all alcohol is included in the cruise fare!
Entertainment is varied but not your large cruise ship Broadway shows. The cast was very talented but this was their first cruise of the season and their first performances of their shows to actual guests. They were very good overall and I’m sure they will improve after each cruise. There is Bingo, trivia and a small casino on board (I won the Blackjack tournament on the last day, which I was very happy about!)
There is a nice spa on board with a sauna & steam rooms (separate for male and female) and an adequately sized gym. You can be pampered with a massage or a facial, get your hair cut, and a manicure while on board.
The gift shops feature designer labels and logo merchandise.
Many excursions are included in the “All-Inclusive” rate that you pay for the cruise, which was very nice. This is especially a great value in Alaska, where the shore excursions can add several thousand dollars to your bill at the end of the cruise. We enjoyed hiking in Juneau and a Alaskan Culinary Cruise where we saw whales and sea otters. In Skagway we rode the famous White Pass Yukon Railroad. The views were incredible. After the train ride we enjoyed lunch in town at the Skagway Brewery. In Ketchikan we experience a wildlife boat tour and a bonfire on the beach, which featured reindeer hot dogs and s’mores. This was fun.
A highlight of the trip is visiting the Hubbard Glacier, the longest tidewater glacier in North America. The staff served hot chocolate (spiced with rum) as we enjoyed this spectacular wonder of nature.
We had a fabulous trip and I would highly recommend Silversea if you want a smaller luxury, all-inclusive cruise experience in Alaska. This year is a fabulous year to go to Alaska as ships are not sailing full, yet they are fully staffed. This will not be the case next year for sure. Contact us for more information, availability and rates. [email protected] – 206-399-2138 or 619-879-3601 – www.martindaletravelandtours.com