Beautiful eastern med: Celebrity Silhouette Cruise Review by tomhiker

Celebrity Silhouette 5
Member Since 2007
97 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Beautiful eastern med

Sail Date: June 2012
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Other
This was our first cruise with Celebrity. Celebrity cut their prices for the med before Princess so we booked. Really a great price. I had shied away from Celebrity in the past as they were a bit pricey in the med.
The ship was 11 months old. It took some getting used to. At first I thought they missed the boat with the decor. Too much stainless steel and rugs that don't match. As the cruise went on the more I saw how beautiful the ship is. The ship is spotless. Our balcony cabin was the nicest cabin we have ever had. Well appointed and roomy. The flat screen's free on demand was very good. It had a feature to pause viewings for 48 hours. You could view pictures taken by the ships photographers of you and also your on board bill. No baseball but plenty of soccer, rugby, and cricket scores.
The crew of the Silhouette was absolutely the best of our 12 cruises. This was consistent throughout the trip and throughout the ship. Everyone was terrific. Exceedingly went out of More their way to help us. Very pleasant.
The main shortcoming of the ship is the main dining room. It is way too small for 2,800 pax. The tables are on top of each other. I like meeting people but usually only those at my table. This needs to be fixed. Perhaps less shopping area and more main dining room area. The MDR food was average.
The buffet area was the best that I have seen at sea. Very large, plenty of seats, lots of outdoor seating over the wake of the ship, and plenty of crew. The food was better than the 5 other lines we have sailed. Very, very, clean.
Room service was excellent. Prompt. Good selection of hot food for breakfast and diner. Very good. We ate on our balcony one night and a full breakfast one morning and usually coffee the others.
Bistro on Five for $5 cover was excellent. I mean excellent. No one there. Excellent food. We went for lunch. They made my wife a gluten free Crepes. These were delicious. Our waiter , Igor was the greatest. He set us up with a 25% discount off the $30 surcharge for the Tuscan grill that night. There we had a table for 2 on the big windows over the wake of the ship at sunset. The place is beautiful. I can say this meal was the best I have had a sea. Not a lot of people there. The discount seemed to be readily available throughout the cruise with the staff out and about during the day looking for customers.
Celebrity was excellent with a standing order for my wife's special, sugar free, flour free, dessert. The head waiter set this up. We were able to get this in the buffet, room service, speciality restaurant, and MDR. It was always ready.
The sun decks were a problem. The lawn is silly and takes up too much room. It should be abandoned. The result is the sunbathers are crammed like sardines. Sea days were bad. Lack of chairs and when you did get one it was right on top of the others. Princess Grand class ships have tons of sun deck space. This is a major shortcoming. I would not take a Solstice class ship to the Caribbean.
This is also true for the 2 pools. They are way to small for 2,800 pax. Crowded. Less lawn and more space for deck chairs and the pools. Its abusive where everyone is crammed into the available space and then you go to the lawn where there is no one and they charge $140 to sit in a cabana.
No laundry facilities. Missed this. They had a special where it was $35 (usually $65) for a small bag to be done. Socks they charge $2 a pair.
The sauna was good and it was free. The steam room was $20 per day.
There is not a wrap around promenade deck. Missed this a lot. The walking/ jogging path on the sun deck is no replacement. It is way too small and has to compete with other users in an already cramped area.
The itinerary was wonderful. We did cruise critic excursions, running one of them, and saved a fortune. The people we met from cruise critic were great. We went to the gift exchange and got a gift from Toronto and gave ours to a couple from Syracuse.
Naples: dont take the jet boat to Capri. A Lot of people vomited and it was hot and stuffy. Take a regular boat. They might take 20 min longer but it is worth it. We took the jet over, my wife got sick, we took the reg boat back and it was great.
Catania: Great tour with a local provider. We had a cc van for 8. Went to mt Etna and Taromia. Mt Etna was great. I went up the cable car and then up the 4 wheel drive to the upper area. Good tour there. Very windy. Lots of smoke coming from Mt Etna.
Mykonos. The port was shut down due to 60 mph winds. Extra sea day.
Athens; CC tour for 12 with an official licensed guide. This was the best day. Athens was beautiful. I found the history awesome. The museum is a treasure for the world. The Greeks are very friendly. The nicest subway I have seen. Our guide, Athenesia, was very knowledgeable and wonderful to listen to. I felt that I learned a lot. The food was very good.
Ephesus: This was the unknown hidden gem. This was as good as Pompeii. This was another CC trip of 5. We had an official guide and the bus driver. We still saved lots of money vs the cruise line. Ephesus is a fabulous work in progress. We got to watch the archaeologists piecing together parts of ancient murals and mosaics. Others were cleaning decorated floors and walls. The Turks have put a lot of money into the excavations in partnership with the univ of Austria. The cliff houses are one of the best things I have ever seen.
Santorini: This place is absolutely beautiful. Its right there with the Amalfi coast and the inner lagoon at Fanning Island in Kirabeti. We went on a boat next to the ship to a volcano. Hiked up to the top. What a place. Then the boat went to a hot spring swimming area and then to an island. We had 3 hours here for lunch and if you wanted a donkey ride to a town at the top of the cliffs. This whole area is stunning esp on a bright sunny day like we had. I would like to go here again for a week.
Rhodes. CC car for 4 with a very good driver/guide. Went to old town and the town of Lendros (35 miles). The Acropolis of Lendros is well worth it. I took a donkey to the top. Beautiful place. Lots of shopping in old town.
Crete: Short day. Took a taxi to the beach. Nice sand and water. Good shopping in the town. 1 euro for the shuttle bus.
Venice: A little confusing what to do as far as the shuttle. Celebrity wanted $22 for the shuttle boat to St Marks. Take the people mover for 1 euro to Roma plaza and then the vaporetto ( regular water boat). Buy the all day ticket for the vaporetto. We went on a gondola ride for $70 for 1/2 hour. You can split this if you go with 4 people. Celebrity wanted $200. The tour excursion desk really is not interested in helping you. They want to sell way overpriced tours to those who don't know any better.
This was a fabulous vacation on a fabulous ship. Less

Published 07/02/12

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