Having previously sailed a similar itinerary with Princess, we thought that our previous experience couldn't be bettered. How wrong we were. Celebrity Silhouette, being less than 12 months old, is simply superb. The layout leaves lots of widely varying types of venue, but still allows easy access from one end of the ship to the other. Lots of glamour and amazing decor, but yet the atmosphere is low-key, and the service friendly and 'easy'.
The food is much better than on any previous ship we have sailed on. We particularly enjoyed the wide variety of cousine on offer in the Ocean View Cafe - unusually for an 'American' ship, they had good Indian curry dishes, as well as English bacon and sausages for breakfast!
The entertainment was good, but not exceptional: for example,this is the first ship we have been on where there wasn't a singly open deck event, such as a party night or something similar.
The only drawback was Celebrity's administration, which was poor. When we got our flight details, they involved a 6am flight and a change in Amsterdam - its only 2 and a half hours direct from Manchester to Venice. On enquiry, we were offered direct flights at extra cost, but this meant the return flight was the day after disembarkation. The cost of Celebrity's post-cruise hotel package was exorbitant, so we made our own arrangements, which caused Celebrity no end of confusion on disembarkation day - and we had to make our own way to the airport. Embarkation was also badly organised - hordes of passengers thronged towards the arrivals hall, uncontrolled by insufficient staff. In consequence, the process took nearly 2 hours. Once on board, however, the 'Wow' factor took over and we soon forgot the negative aspects of the experience. We took organised ship's shore excursions in most ports of call, which ranged from good to excellent, always informative and well organised. Will we ever go back to Princess?? I doubt it.