We just returned from our second cruise ever. After our first ( a different cruise line) we were not cruise enthusiasts and doubted we would take another. This cruise came up as a completely unexpected trip because the price was just too good to pass up and we were able to get our airfare on credit card points thus making a hard decision very easy. And are we ever glad we did! This was our first time on Celebrity and the experience was night and day from our first cruise experience. The Silhouette was a five star hotel on water. Everything from the food, to the service, the appointments, the staff, and the cleanliness was superb. My wife and I commented more than several times that we couldn't believe that there were 3000 people on board. There was never a time we couldn't find a great place to lounge, hangout and read, swim, or enjoy a cocktail without feeling crowded. Even on sea days we were always able to find a nice little niche to relax and read. So much so that we rarely used More
our balcony. We had select dining (open seating) and never had to wait more than 5 minutes to be seated. The dining menu was much better than we had experienced on another cruise line and the food quality was very very good. As opposed to our first cruise where I ate mostly pizza from the pool buffet because we were so disappointed in the dining room, we ate dinner every night on the Silhouette in the dining room and never had a disappointing meal. The wait staff was always friendly, though not always attentive. They seemed to have way too many tables for each group of staff. There were several times we finished dinner without being able to get a glass of wine refilled, but that only saved us money.
Our room was a delight, much nicer than we had hoped, with plenty of storage space for our clothes. The room steward kept it spotless several times a day and always left us a full ice bucket after I had requested some ice on the first day.
The ports of call were the icing on the cake. They were an armchair traveler's dream. Rome, Naples, Sicily, Crete, Athens, Rhodes, Santorini, Venice. What's not to love. We booked several private tours and did a couple of ship excursions. We found that although the ship's excursions were convenient and passable we enjoyed the private tours even more. The secret to the private tours is to find several other people to share them with to cut the cost down. If traveling with a group, no problem. Otherwise a site like Cruise Critic puts you in touch well before the cruise and you can make arrangements with others. The largest private group we had was 7 and the smallest was 4. Obviously you can avoid the "cattle car" tour bus this way and will get to see much more in the same time frame.
In summary: We LOVED this trip and will be actively looking for another one with this cruise line. Less
Celebrity Silhouette Cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean
Took a full day private tour all along the amalfi coast with several stops. Saw Sorrento, Positano, Ravello, Amalfi. Had lunch at our tour guides home. Homemade antipasto, pasta, caprese, wine, and lemon cello then off to Pompeii for another private tour.
Best tour of the trip
Toured Rome on our own. There are many "must sees" in Rome but once you have seen them and have great photos to remember them there is no good reason to go back. Traffic is a nightmare and people have an attitude. Of all the ports we went to Rome was the worst place for people trying to take advantage of you. We're very happy to have been able to see the things we did but will probably not go back.