Live From Celebrity Silhouette: 7 Hits & Misses

July 26, 2011 | By | 32 Comments

After 48 hours sipping Old Dead Guy on the just-launched, 2,884-passenger Celebrity Silhouette, it’s time to reflect. The fourth Solstice class ship to launch in 32 months — which amounts to some 13,000 new berths — was christened on July 21 in Hamburg, and media, travel agents and executives were on hand for a two-night preview sailing.
Despite Silhouette’s status as the fourth of five siblings, sister ship, as we’ve said before, does not mean carbon copy. There was much new to praise and ponder, like a restaurant where passengers wear the apron and flip the filets, a watering hole stocked with 64 beers (including the aforementioned Old Dead Guy Ale) and new added-fee venues to spark debate.
Click here for 7 hits and misses gleaned from our 48-hour sail-by.
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    Comments

    32 Responses to “Live From Celebrity Silhouette: 7 Hits & Misses”

    1. Joe
      July 26th, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

      I agree with the writer in that “more added fees” are a miss. It would be different if Celebrity was offering deep fare discounts to counterbalance all of the a la carte items on the ship, but they are not. Passengers still pay premium prices and the fare-covered services are seemingly being squeezed out. It feels like the big cruise companies are testing how many straws that they can put on the camel’s back before people start to opt for a land-based vacation.

    2. Craig
      July 26th, 2011 @ 8:53 pm

      I disagree
      Just snagged a concierge C1 aft view for $1095
      on the 15 sept 2011 12 DAY east med cruise
      if I have to pay an extra 5, 10, 20 here and there so be it..I find it keeps the complainers
      away from me ..worth the extra cost. after 65 cruises I find celebrity to be the best bargain at sea…
      and the soltice class the most refreshing of all.

      HAPPY SAILING

    3. Michael
      July 26th, 2011 @ 11:52 pm

      In regards to the Bulgari shop onboard, I agree that most people won’t pay sky high prices for these expensive items. But if a few people buy enough high ticket items, the shop could be successful. For example, I am one who does not pay a lot of money for clothes, accessories, etc. But on my Celebrity Equinox cruise in June, I did shell out $2,000 for an amazing Gucci watch that I walked by everyday and couldn’t ignore any longer. And I’m sure others who normally don’t pay that much in their normal lives, would do it as a special occasion like how I did.

    4. arthur loev
      July 27th, 2011 @ 7:18 am

      We have been on several Celebrity cruises in the last few years {two transatlantic, one Meditteranean, two Central America among others} We were on the last voyage before the Constellation[ twice} was remade, have been on the Summit twice, and the Equinox three times. I MUST SAY I WILL MISS THE CORNING GLASS SHOW VERY MUCH. A VERY VERY POPULAR AND INTERESTING EXHIBIT. ALSO I WILL MISS THE PIANO PLAYERS IN MICHAEL’S CLUB. May i suggest that a list be printed and placed in each cabin showing added costs in the various restaurants and food outlets. We are booked on the Silhouette in mid November for 12 day cruise. We do like Celebrity very much though it seems the extra costs are creeping in.

    5. Manon
      July 27th, 2011 @ 10:00 am

      I agree with Arthur Loev, they should put a list in each cabin showing added costs.

      And in regard of the Bulgari shop, My husband and I were on Equinox in June 2010 (mediterranean cruise) and he bought a Tag Huer watch (+$2500) and I loved the Kabana Jewels they had in their boutique.

      Just to say that we don’t buy expensive jewelry on every cruise we do.

    6. Z
      July 27th, 2011 @ 10:15 am

      Will Celebrity be going the way of the RCCL Oasis and Allure? Several friends have sailed on these ships and did not like all the ‘for fee’ items/dining and having to reserve shows in advance.

      I’m concerned that the increased number of ‘for fee’ dining venues means Celebrity will take the opportunity to reduce the quality and selection of the food in ‘non-fee’ dining venues. As a solo traveller who pays double the room rate, many added extras become burdensome.

      With regard to Bulgari, have purchased jewelry on QE2(H Stern)and Azamara. Would purchase pieces if truly unique and not likely to be found in Sts. Kitts, Maarten or Thomas.

    7. Theresa
      July 27th, 2011 @ 10:40 am

      I think we have spent upwards of $20,000 on board ship for jewellery but that was for our 25th anniversary. Yes, I am spoiled!!! LOL

    8. Debbie
      July 27th, 2011 @ 10:42 am

      I’ve sailed Celebrity one time and it was my first cruise. I fell in love with cruising on that cruise! One thing that “got me” was that it was all inclusive…how could you go wrong? I’ve been so looking forward to my next cruise and was disappointed to see that there were a couple of things you now have to pay for in addition to your original cost. Now reading this review I’m very disappointed in so many different things you have to pay additional money for. Guess cruising is becoming like everything else and they should not advertise it as being all inclusive. I wondered how they were going to do the cabanas and thought maybe they would have them as a special feature of certain cabins. If you want the cabana you need to reserve these certain cabins. I was looking forward to going on a cruise on this new ship (loved that it was cruising out of New Jersey too), but now after seeing all the additional costs involved I guess I’ll wait until she’s a bit older and maybe some fees will be dropped. I’ll just have to check out some of the other Celebrity cruises and hopefully find one that has places I want to see and no additional fees. I’ll look forward to seeing what other people have to say.

    9. Joe
      July 27th, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

      I am a big fan of having the specialty restaurants on board and I always make a point to try them throughout my cruises, but the thing that made me post the first comment was the removal of the glass show and replacing it with a for-fee cafe called “The Porch.” This isn’t a fine dining establishment such as Murano, but I believe just a cafe. This is now one less inclusive entertainment venue that has been replaced with a revenue-generating eatery which in my humble complaining opinion should be included in the fare that you have already paid.
      This also goes for the removal of formerly free lawn space to make room for-fee cabanas, and the removal of the free piano entertainment to make room for a beer bar.
      I am a bit mixed on the Lawn Club Grill as I wouldn’t balk at all about paying $30 for a churrascaria, but is this a show in addition to a real churrascaria or are we just eating the meat “props” that everyone has just burned on stage or put their hands all over? I’d rather eat Lady Gaga’s meat dress ;)
      I am on the Silhouette next week and will have a first hand account on how all of this is working out. Can’t wait!

    10. Richard
      July 27th, 2011 @ 3:00 pm

      We have been on five Celebrity cruises and thoroughly enjoyed all of them. We have been on six cruises on other cruise lines and each one fell short of Celebrity in some respects. Our last cruise was on Solstice and it was the best ship. The added fees for extra cost dining and other things don’t bother us because we rarely pay them. We have eaten in the extra cost dining rooms a few times and enjoyed them, but we have decided that the food is so good in the regular dining rooms that it isn’t necessary to pay extra.

    11. Joyce
      July 27th, 2011 @ 3:28 pm

      Re: Specialty Restaurants–I have no problem paying extra for specialty restaurants and I am glad to see “The Porch” as it’s less expensive than the others. It’s nice to have a place to go when you want to get away from the crowds.

      Re: Bulgari–I do not purchase high-dollar ticket items on cruise ships simply because they’ve never been competively priced. I always research items before purchasing. Example, I priced a new Movado watch before my cruise, on the ship, and at several ports. It was still cheaper online when I got home. One exception is that we did buy a new camera on Solstice and it was competively priced for the market.

    12. Scotté
      July 27th, 2011 @ 5:12 pm

      Disappointed to hear about the loss of an additional Corning Show where apparently a fee-based cook-it-yourself (or burn it) has come in. Something great apparently doesn’t last, even when its one of the most popular items ever on a cruise ship.
      Don’t mind the fee-based restaurants for FINE DINING… but no “The Porch” for me, not even for $5.
      VERY disappointed in the cabana-type sitting areas. Not only because of the ungodly prices, but the take away of space for sun-tanning in the natural setting (on grass), and I can’t wait to see how bocce-ball and croquet is going to go… one of those landing on someone’s head or in “their space” is going to cause a few problems… and the sunbathers in front of the cabana’s? I’d do it, even though the cabana people may not like it. The whole lawn concept was one of the primary reasons we have sailed on Celebrity the past few years. It’s big, is spacious, and it offered a LOT for FREE. Great views, games, mini-golf, glass-blowing, open areas of grass everywhere to walk, reflect, sit down and talk (geez, what a concept), it was just fine the way it is on Equinox… but I understand Celebrity likes to “mix it up”… this is a bad move though. HOWEVER… who ever thought of grass on a cruise ship at Celebrity, is a genius. It’s a lot of work for them, but worth it to the passengers. Oh dear, I view a fee to get to the top deck and the “lawn deck” soon… yes, just to get there.
      If the fees are going to go the way of Allure and Oasis, Celebrity is making a HUGE mistake. They separate themselves from the rest of the cruise ships (even their own sister companies)… Celebrity has always been about the guest, NOT about nickle and diming you (even if they are, I don’t feel like it)… but when you put it in my face, I don’t like it. Maybe I will just have to stick with Equinox… my favourite ship ever (hope they haven’t changed it, otherwise I am done with Celebrity). As the lady stated above… if its not inclusive, don’t call it that… and the newbie ship obviously isn’t.

    13. kay
      July 28th, 2011 @ 4:49 pm

      we have been on 59 cruises so far. celebrity being our favorite. we are booked on the silhouette november 30. Maybe some will pay $149.00 for a cabana just to see what it’s all about,but that is just totally out of line with todays consumer. that’s the cost for one days cruise. whaaat? good luck celebrity. I hope you don’t turn away your steady customers.

    14. Gerald
      July 28th, 2011 @ 10:21 pm

      Buying jewellery or watches on board a cruise ship is like gambling in the ships casino. You pay your money and you take your chances. The smart shopper prices what they have their eye on before leaving home, by visiting their local jewelers or by going online to trusted e-mail discounters. You then take a print out of the watch or jewelery item with you and off you go!I realize this is easier when shopping for watches then jewellery, but at least you have something to compare it with you, especially if it is a name brand piece of jewellery.! Don’t be taken in by the on board policy of price matching-it doesn’t work out!I know, as I spoke to the manager aboard a Soltice class ship. Any way,why would you want to negotiate on board the ship with the staff, after the ship has left port and your anticipated purchase has been left on shore? What do you have to negotiate with? If you find what you want ashore just negotiate and buy it! If you don’t and you have your heart set on that one and only on board the ship, then just buy it and be happy. Remember, ships stores generally lower prices on certain name brands as the cruise comes to an end, but not all brands. A previous cruiser wrote about her husband purchasing a $2500.00 Tag Heuer on board. Well at duty free ports, Tags are generally discounted by 20%, like most other luxury class watches, while the discounts are larger for higher priced watches. Also various jewellery chains have regular promotions that exceed 20%.

    15. R
      August 10th, 2011 @ 9:20 am

      So where will Perry Grant be if Michaels Club is gone from the Constelkation?

    16. marilyn finkelstein
      August 26th, 2011 @ 11:24 am

      we are sailing on sept 27,2011on the silhouette on the holy land tour. can you suggest tours that are reasonable in greece and haifa?

    17. Scott Compton
      September 6th, 2011 @ 11:34 pm

      The proliferation of “specialty” dining for a higher price begs the question: Are the “regular” dining rooms substandard? Celebrity (and everyone else as well) constantly touts “award-winning cuisine, superlative service, and stunning ocean views in a most refined dining atmosphere.” If the regular dining room is that good, how can the specialty dining be better? (or, heaven forbid, could it be we have been handed a line?) I suspect the standard in the main dining room has been lowered a notch or two.

    18. Valerie
      September 16th, 2011 @ 10:40 am

      I loved the sailing on the Solstice this past May on a transatlantic and was so happy to see their newest class ship sail out of NJ as I happen to live there. I booked on the Nov. 30th sailing and am so looking forward to it. However, high end jewelry? The most I have ever spent on board the 19 cruises I have taken was $125.00. I do not cruise to shop. I cruise to relax and enjoy good food. I will spend for the specialty restaurants as they are a bargain and every experience is just that, a dining experience. I am a travel agent and love having first hand knowledge about the products I recommend.

    19. Pete
      October 10th, 2011 @ 7:26 am

      Celebrity remains #1 in our books but I guess we’ll see after our May cruise on Silhouette. The extra fees are a sign of the travel industry. You hear about it all the time with the airlines. While it may appear nickle and dimming, it is actually a way to re-coupe some of the added expenses that the airlines are also forced to pay. The nice thing about the pay-for-extras is; you don’t have to pay for them if you don’t use them. It’s like buying expensive jewelry onboard; you don’t have to if you don’t want. The loss of public space is bothersome, just like the loss of leg room on a plane. If you are willing to pay for it, you can get it.
      If the “extra-fee” locations don’t pan out, the cruise lines will know. We do one specialty restaurant per cruise and I did buy my dream watch on a ship for $795. Suddenly I’m feeling real cheap.

    20. Lynne Coppoletta
      January 30th, 2012 @ 6:57 pm

      Has Celebrity decided to keep changing so much? We’ve found Oceania, smaller ships and most everything included including cappuccinos all day long. Even ALL sodas and water. Our first cruise in recent times was on the Infinity around Cape Horn. It was fantastic! Food, activities, crew. New ships – not so much at all. Since then we’ve been on 28 cruises with three more booked. Much rather pay a little more – sometimes – on a ship that cares.

      Lynne

    21. Harriet
      February 13th, 2012 @ 5:22 pm

      Just came back from 11 days on the queen victoria three months after 12 days on the Silouette. The Queen Victoria was so much better-the food-only one extra pay restaurant and was so much more inclusive than the Silouette Everything was lovely on the Queen. On the Silouette it seemed that everything they advertize are the pay amenities and we found the regular dining room food to be so mediocre that we had to go to all the pay restaurants to have good food. Celebrity hates us now for all the complaining but they are not what they used to be when the food was excellent and all inclusive. Just charge a little more if you want a higher class ship and stop with the nickel and dollaring to death. Service on the Queen was exceptional as well.

    22. Recce60
      February 15th, 2012 @ 6:03 pm

      Was on the Equinox for a Eastern Med cruise in May 2011 and landed in Kusadasi, Turkey. I walked by this shop selling watches, I kept walking by it. The shop kept calling to me!!!!!
      So I bought the Rolex. You know the shop! Genuine Fake Watches.(LOL)I get as much fun telling the price as some who go the four numbers, but I don’t think they do it for fun!
      I hope the move towards things like the $100.00+ “private” spaces on the lawn is not a trend Celebrity is moving towards. (Following the airlines in 2″bitting”their customers?) But am looking forward to trying 50 beers in Michael’s club!
      We like Celebrity having been on the Mercury, Summit (2), Constellation and Equinox.

    23. Art Fahie
      February 27th, 2012 @ 7:43 pm

      We are among Celebrity’s biggest fans. BUT… BUT… BUT the new “plastic” look the line is heading in has all the earmarks of “Tomorrowland” at DisneyWorld… “Here this morning… wish it would go away this afternoon.” The BIGGEST OH NO !!! ???… strip off great piano lounge type jazz for a bunch of nice, but none-too-creative guitar strummers and “soft sounds” ! Where are the remnants of gracious living ?.. plastic chairs, plastic “looks” and plastic music ! LOOK AT THE DEMOGRAPHIC… We remember Sinatra, Dorsey, and the rest… and most of us are only baby boomers at that ! It could be that we’ll be (reluctantly) frequenting Cunard in the not too distant future… why is Celebrity abandoning classic cruising ???? ALL THIS ESPECIALLY TRUE ON EUROPEAN VENUES !

    24. trilastin
      May 15th, 2012 @ 4:50 pm

      After reading the inset of the hits n’ misses, including your full review of the new Silhouette I am convinced that upgrading to the new Oceania ships is worth paying the small difference in the cruise fare. I am an experienced Celebrity cruiser and do not think it is a smart idea to nickle and dime their devoted clients. I much rather have everything included in my fare. Besides, another point to make is that cruising with 3,000 people vs 1,200 is a hugh difference when it comes to quality and personal service. Does anyone share my views?

    25. Lillis Butlin
      November 21st, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

      Last Feb. we cruised on the big ship, Allure. I chose it because it was our first time cruising but it cost me a small fortune. DO NOT agree with charging for pop and water?!!!

    26. Lillis Butlin
      November 21st, 2012 @ 3:09 pm

      Also, was surprised to see the extra charges for the Specialty Restaurants. With what you pay, and we did not get a deal, I think everything, except the liquor, should be included!! Buffet breakfast and lunch restaurant was very crowded, esp at breakfast. Difficult to find a seat. Main dining room was good. Loved the eat at your time option and with whom you wanted. We did both. Ate with people and ourselves. The service was impeccable and I especially loved the cabin stewards. I just said his name out loud and he was there!! I left most of our tip to them.

    27. Pat
      December 4th, 2012 @ 8:07 pm

      We just returned from a 14 night Holy Land cruise on the Silhouette. THe ship is beautiful, great food, comfortable beds and very attentive service. We had an Aquaclass cabin and the Blu dining room was a real treat. On the down side, the spa facilities are small and the adults only pool in the spa area is not heated! Holland America has much better spa amenities. We also thought there was too much pressure to spend more once we got onboard. We were pestered by specialty dining sales people, wine and beverage package representatives and the spa never stopped advertising and asking us to book treatments. THe specialty restaurants we ate in (Law Club Grill and Tuscan Grill) were good but not worth the extra cost. I think for the high prices they charge they should back off with the sales pressure once onboard.

    28. Ricker
      January 19th, 2013 @ 6:56 pm

      This is a Great ship. The staff is great, although sometimes a little pushy in the alcoholic beverage department. That being said they are relatively lax on bringing your own booze on the boat. The Grand Cuvee dining area is really nice. Having a lineup of new choices every night on the right side of the menu and delicious staples like new york strip French onion soup, chicken breast ect.

      From the specialty Dining standpoint if you dont mind paying a little extra for the change of pace, the Qsine is an interesting tapas like experience. The Lawn Club Grill was fun I made a Really cool custom Pizza with cajun crust and delicious steaks on the Grill with the Grillmaster, but when it comes down to it your just paying extra to cook your own food. I liked the room service Breakfast in the morning. I recommend that instead of the hustle and bustle in the main chow hall.

      So it is all inclusive if you eat in the main dining area every night, which wouldnt be bad, But you’re on vacation and going to spend money in the shops, casino, bars and specialty restaurants. Drink up and Be Merry Variety is the spice of life.

      I just got off a 14 day holy land Cruise this Boat is top of the line in my opinion but I dont have 60+ cruises under my belt.

    29. Chris
      May 28th, 2013 @ 5:18 pm

      Just got back from 11 days in the Med/Adriatic on Celebrity Silouhette. Its 2 years since I was last on a Celebrity cruise and I was appalled at the amount of extra fee things on the ship. The balcony in the main dining room is now “extra fee” speciality dining. The result is that they have crammed so many tables onto the lower floor that the waiters can’t do a proper job serving you because they struggle to get between the tables. We witnessed several plates of food ending up on the floor as a result. Dining was a not a particularly private affair because we were so close to the other diners.
      The whole experience of them constantly trying to get their hand into your pocket was not pleasant.
      I think Celebrity are making a big mistake because, by the time you’ve paid for the cruise, the dining “add-ons”, the drinks package, the gratuities and all the rest, you may as well go on a Seabourne or Regent Seven Seas cruise where everything is included, the cabins are bigger and better and the standards of cuisine and personal service leave Celebrity in the shade.
      i won’t be going on Celebrity again in a hurry.

    30. helen
      July 17th, 2013 @ 6:55 am

      will be sailing oct 8 from venice on the sillohette..sorry to hear of all the extra charges paying enough as a single which i have never agreed with..will stay away from the speciality restaurants ..was looking forward to my trip but now have the feeling of being taken..have over 50 cruises under my belt over the years and nnever have run into what i’ve been reading here

    31. nat
      July 1st, 2014 @ 4:10 pm

      I’m cruising on the Silhouette next year and I’m actually looking forward to the pay cabanas.
      We always rent cabanas in Las Vegas, so when you’re used to paying $500 to $1000 for a cabana experience, $149 sounds like a real bargain!
      There’s 4 of us, so $37 each to have a prime spot for the day is well worth it to me. I would imagine they would have a dedicated server as well, so we can put that drink package to work :)

    32. Christine Buise & Kay Venn
      September 11th, 2014 @ 12:23 pm

      We sail on the Silhouette tomorrow September 12th 2014 and after all of these negative reports we are wondering if we have made the right choice. Am not on favour of added extras as it took so long to save for this trip. We were not aware when we booked this trip that there are so many things that you still have to pay for. This is a total disappointment for us but we may change our views after the cruise. Not everyone has endless amounts of money.

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