First of all, the ship feels huge. She is not, of course, but she does have an extraordinary amount of space for each of her 728 guests, which translates into hidden nooks and crannies, a whole host of different lounges and bars, and an extensive choice of dining options (more on that later).
Secondly, the whole vessel feels flooded with light - in fact she is essentially made of glass (an incredible 4000 square metres of it), with floor to ceiling windows, glass lifts with ocean view, glass-sided verandahs for every suite and extensive unobstructed views from the pool deck, bringing the destination on board. Whilst the ship feels like a resort, you can never forget you are at sea.
Much was made of the 'asymmetrical design' - loved by architects, hated by engineers! But it was not until stepping foot on the ship that I understood what that meant from a guest perspective. Never have I found it so hard to work out where is forward and where is aft, as the public spaces flow organically from one to another. Every time you think you have grasped it, you find another hideaway.
This is most apparent on the pool deck which features the spacious Marquee incorporating Silversea's traditional Spaccanapoli pizza restaurant. This light-flooded but shaded space, with a beautiful choice of tables, many with banquette seating, are arranged in what feels like a lush garden. Every single table has sweeping sea views, so whilst in port you are at the city's prime dining venue, and at sea you really are at the best table in your private yacht.
The pool itself, to the starboard side, boasts open and unobstructed views, and has two intimate conversation areas incorporated in the layout. I initially balked at the numerous rows of sun loungers, but with a clever use of different deck levels, shaded space, a bar, and comfy sofas, the area when occupied takes on an inviting beach club vibe in resort style.
Outside space is fantastic both here and aft where both La Terrazza restaurant (deck 3) and the Panorama Lounge (deck 4) boasts plenty of outdoor space, with a firepit on deck 4, whilst up on deck 10 the Dusk Bar is THE place to enjoy sailaway.
As for dining, an extraordinary choice of venues and styles mean that you really need a personal concierge to curate your time on board, as you work out when you are going to plan an extraordinary culinary experience such as Kaiseki, La Dame or the S.A.L.T. Chef's Table and when you are going to opt for a much more casual experience in the S.A.L.T. Kitchen (for locally inspired cuisine) or La Terrazza. Classic Silversea favourite Atlantide is back, as well as hot rocks at The Grill.
On the question of food, we have to mention the whole S.A.L.T. programme, whose passionate designers, experts in their region, open the door to elusive and exclusive authentic experiences where food and wine act as a central entry point to local culture.
Finally, of course, the service: this has been charming, with a warm welcome and smiles at every turn. This is the one aspect of the ship which is, thankfully, not new but Silversea at its traditional best.