Sarah Hedley Hymers explores Silversea’s ninth ship, Silver Moon where the caviar is all-inclusive and bathrooms are fitted with Jacuzzis
Overview: Small-ship intimacy with big-ship facilities is the hallmark of Silversea Cruises. Part of Royal Caribbean Group, Silversea Cruises is its ultra-luxury line offering roomy all-suite accommodation. Silver Moon, the ninth ship in the 10-strong fleet, follows sister Silver Muse, and precedes Silver Dawn. All three vessels were built by leading Italian shipbuilders Fincantieri. Subtle enhancements to the Silver Muse layout include repositioning the Dolce Vita bar to the centre of the lounge. The big news is the introduction of S.A.L.T. – a new culinary triptych, Kitchen, Bar and Lab, offering cooking demos and revolving menus employing local produce at each port. With just 596 guests and 411 crew at full capacity, the service at all venues, from the restaurants to the leisure facilities, is attentive.
Silver Moon has 298 suites, 96% of which have a balcony
Cabins: Silverseas guests are guaranteed one of the highest space-to-guest ratios at sea and its palpable. Silver Moon has seven cabin categories, starting from 334 square feet for entry-level Panorama and Vista suites (those without verandas) climbing to 1,055 square feet for top-tier Owner’s Suites. The ship’s top 10 suites – four Owner’s Suites, four Grand Suites and two Royal Suites – have handcrafted luxury beds by Savoir.
Neutral in shades of beige, all suites have pillow menus, walk-in wardrobes, TVs loaded with a music and movies, writing desks and phone chargers, lounge areas and marble bathrooms with separate tubs and showers. Amenities are by Bulgari. Butlers are on-call around the clock. They’ll pack and unpack, run a bubble bath, book excursions and spa appointments, stock mini bars according to preferences and deliver all-inclusive in-room dining.
Veranda Suite, Silver Moon
Food and drink: Foodies will appreciate this ship. From hot dogs to steak, room service offers an impressive selection of both casual and fine dining options from the ship’s many outlets. There are 15 restaurants and bars in total, including the S.A.L.T. Lab, S.A.L.T. Kitchen and S.A.L.T. Bar trio. Pool Bar is a prime location for sun-worship with a glass of something frozen, though sadly you can’t take cocktails into the whirlpools.
The 220-seat Atlantide, upholstered in claret velour with brass trimmings and a low ceiling, recalls vintage rail carriages. Here, caviar is served with all the accoutrements, and the steak is good, too, competing with The Grill’s version on the open-air pool deck.
Intimate supper club Silver Note serves its steaks with a side order of live jazz and elegant cocktails
Though the all-inclusive grape selection is surprisingly limited, and premium bottles carry a supplementary fee, guests are never more than a few steps from a well-crafted aperitif, with tempting menus perched open on tables at Panorama Lounge, Dolce Vita, Arts Café, Connoisseur’s Corner smokers’ bar and the Observation Lounge. The latter, rarely occupied, is home to an impressive library of travel tomes; ideal for those who want to isolate with a good book.
Casual snacks can be sourced at the Arts Café deli counter, and the traditional pizzas from Spaccanapoli’s oven are a huge hit, proving sometimes diners just want simple meals, even when all-inclusive caviar is on the menu. restaurants impose a supplementary fee: 56-seat La Dame, loaded with Parisian chic (another good spot for caviar), and tiny Kaiseki, a minimalist retreat inspired by the style-savvy Japanese restaurants of fashion capitals. The latter is free to visit during lunch when it serves an all-raw menu with butter-soft sashimi and creative sushi rolls.
There’s just one buffet restaurant, La Terrazza, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. By night the vibe is Italian, by day it’s international. Overall, vegans may struggle, but vegetarians are well catered for.
Facilities: Zagara Spa offers a full range of treatments from Botox and blow-dries to massages and facials, as well as his and her steam rooms and saunas. The well-equipped gym has a studio hosting daily fitness classes (some incur an additional fee). Outside, there’s a therapy pool. The main pool is flanked by a pair of powerful whirlpools and looped by a jogging track; eight laps around the pool deck and funnel upper deck equals one mile. Those looking for a romantic spot for sunset-gazing should commandeer the third whirlpool, hidden at the stern.
As a result of the pandemic, only related parties are allowed to share the whirlpools at any one time ensuring a more intimate experience
In addition to an overwhelming selection of all-inclusive port excursions, onboard activities and entertainment are plentiful. History lectures, language lessons, cooking demonstrations, jewellery auctions, cinema screenings and Broadway-inspired shows are among the diversions. There are also fashion boutiques and a casino, primed to part sailors with their earnings. Items by Louis Vuitton and Chanel are among the temptations.
For more information, visit www.silversea.ae