This cruise was booked as a celebration of my husband's 50th Birthday last year, our 30th Anniversary, and my upcoming 50th Birthday. My DH was not aware that our friends from Australia were going to join us on this adventure so it was exciting to share the trip with them.
After three days pre-cruise in Rome, we were excited and ready to experience the Silhouette.
Embarkation was the easiest of our 9 cruises. We arrived via personal transfer from Rome around 11am. A quick question and answer sheet about our health and we were ready to hit the "line" for getting our on board cards. Surprise, surprise there was no line!! It took a matter of minutes and we were heading off to Bistro on 5 for lunch. We met up with several Cruise Critic members who also wanted to avoid the crowds of the buffet area and enjoy a relaxing first meal on board. Our rooms were ready around 1:15pm and we headed off to drop off our carry on luggage.
Upon opening the door to our room we were pleasantly surprised by the space and atmosphere that surrounds Aqua Class. We have been on the Equinox and neither of us recalls the room being as spacious as this one. Perhaps it is due to our memory but we thought that the entry way seemed larger. The bathroom is wonderful and the shower set up is awesome! There will be a panel like that going in my bathroom this fall! The welcome aboard bubbly was exchanged in BLU for something more to our palette. We never ate much of the fruit nor drank much of the iced tea but they were nice touches. The daily water was very much appreciated as we took it on our excursions at each port. Our room attendant (Denis) kept the room clean and tidy and handled all of our requests promptly. The Isotonic pillow was great and when I replace my pillow, it will be the one I choose.
This was a port intensive cruise and we didn't use the Aqua Spa facilities due to time issues. We did check out the Persian Gardens and the Relaxation Lounge but preferred our own balcony for some down time. The biggest draw was the dining room BLU. We did try the main dining room one night but were quite disappointed by the atmosphere and staff. Wasn't horrible but it wasn't great! As we tended to dine around 7pm we never had to wait and they were quite willing to seat us wherever we wanted to sit. The breakfast staff was always smiling and seemed happy to be there. As we had private excursions in most ports we were never rushed to eat and be gone in the mornings.
We did do several of the "specialty" dining experiences and thoroughly enjoyed them. As previously stated we visited Bistro on 5 when we boarded and we went to The Porch twice for lunch. As a group of eight we attended The Lawn Grill and had a blast, highly recommend this as a group. We went to Qsine with our Australian travel mates and enjoyed the presentation of the food. We would have eaten more but really couldn't stuff any more in our stomachs.
We attended several of the shows and enjoyed most of them. We would check out the entertainment in the Celebrity Guide and if it didn't seem like we would be interested we didn't bother to go. There was never an evening where the theatre was packed. We did find that a bit odd but the age demographics of this cruise were much different than our previous two Celebrity cruises. We did partake in two of the dance classes and have decided to take some lessons here at home! Having only two scheduled sea days (we had three due to high winds in Mykonos) we didn't find it too difficult to find a couple of loungers to fry ourselves on!!
As for the age demographics, we found this to be the youngest Celebrity cruise that we have been on. We were expecting a rather grey haired crowd but they were in the minority. We found ourselves in the "older" crowd and we really aren't that old!! It was interesting as I think the youngsters were not quite sure what to do on the sea days and tended to just hang by the pool.
As for ports of call, WOW!! We did private excursions in Naples, Sicily, Athens, Rhodes, and Ephesus. They were wonderful and our two ship tours reminded us why we prefer to book private tours. The ship tour in Santorini (Oia and winery) wasn't bad since the guide was quite entertaining. The ship tour in Crete was just short of a disaster. The guide was rather monotone and hard to understand. Despite that we had a great holiday and will need to go back since we missed Mykonos. Sailing into Venice while enjoying breakfast on our balcony will be something we both will hold in our memory bank for a very long time.
We having nothing booked yet but are looking for our next adventure with Celebrity and all that they have to offer.