We boarded the ship in Venice & it was all pretty seamless, except for the fact that the girl who was checking us in said they had no record of our credit card details which we had entered online, along with our personal information, including passport details etc. No big deal though, just gave her the details she needed and after a bit of a wait to go through security etc...we boarded the ship. And what a beautiful ship she is! Absolutely stunning. We made our way to our stateroom and our first...and only...disappointment with this cruise awaited us. They had given us a cabin which was obstructed by not only a big orange lifeboat but also by two large white brackets directly in front of us! We had been assured by both the travel agent & by a girl in Celebrity Cruises that the obstruction would only be a maximum of 30%....this was inaccurate & patently untrue as both of us were unable to see much at all...I would estimate it to be about a 75% obstruction & it really spolit our view & almost negated the point of paying so much extra for a balcony cabin! We approached Guest Relations immediately but the guy informed us it was a full to capacity cruise & therefore he was unable to change our stateroom. The only category he was able to offer us was an inside cabin category & obviously that would have made a nonsense out of having paid for a balcony cabin grade so we declined that option immediately. He told us to keep checking back with him during the duration of the cruise in case things changed, either by virtue of someone disembarking the ship early or if someone cancelled. However, neither of these happened & so we were stuck with our highly unappealing & unacceptable obstructed balcony cabin. I really do not think that Celebrity should sell these staterooms on deck 6 as partially obstructed as the guy we were dealing with informed us that people invariably complain about the degree of obstruction in these cabins, particularly the ones with the large brackets directly In front of balcony. (I believe he said they are called davits). This huge disappointment aside, everything else about this ship was perfect. Food, service, entertainment, atmosphere, ports of call....all superb. We dined in Oceanview cafe for most of the cruise as my daughter is vegan & we figured she could always find something there to suit her with no fuss or bother but upon going to the Grand Cuvee dining room
for our last 3 nights, we realised what we had missed & the maitre'd (Marian) was superb & arranged for there to be something delicious available for her each evening. Our waiters were excellent as well & nothing was too much trouble. We LOVED the delicious chocolate cake for dessert....yummy! I have no problem with the automatic 15% service charge for waiters who bring your drinks but query why it is also added automatically to items from minibar in your cabin. Why a service charge when you have effectively paid over the odds already..and served yourself! Also, the automatic 10% added to purchases made in the shops sure mount up pretty fast & if you have spent over $480 as I did, then that's nearly a further $50.....for what exactly??
The weather was beautiful during our cruise & we loved al of the ports of call...except for Ravenna that is. What's the point of this port of call? Nothing to see or do unless youwant to hire a bike. Catania was beautiful & we had the most delicious, authentic Sicilian pizzas & gelato. Yummy! The people were very friendly & Catania is truly lovely with some amazing architecture. Croatia was absolutely beautiful, we did the city walls tour but d to give up half way through as it was just so hot. We did the cable car ride which was worth doing for the outstanding, breathtaking views from the top. Split was a revelation & so stunningly beautiful. And more delicious gelato here as well! We did two separate open top bus tours in Valetta, Malta & it was one of our favourite days...a close run thing between Catania, Venice & Malta.. One of the tours was the blue route which covered one part of the island & that lasted almost 3 hours..then we did the other route (think it was red...or was that just us in all that heat?!) A total of 6 hours and the best value of the entire holiday at only â‚¬10 each! Wow! The blue grotto was breathtaking...well worth seeing if you can. Kudos to our bus driver who ensured we got back in time for the ship's departure..with plenty of time to spare. Thank you to him! Well worth the generous tip as he kept to his promise & got us back in plenty of time, despite our initial reservations & misgivings about whether we would have enough time to do e second bus tour. The entertainment was excellent in the Silhouette theatre & we especially enjoyed Katy who was a superb singer in her own right & who also did superb impersonations of Cher, Tina Turner, Annie Lennox, Dusty Springfield etc. Also the a Capella group..the Riptides...they also sang at different locations around the ship for 15-20 mins at a time, as well as in the theatre on the first and last nights of the cruise. Paul Baya the cruise director surprised us with his great singing voice..what a revelation he was! All in all we had a wonderful holiday but please Celebrity be honest about he degree of obstruction some of the balcony cabins on deck 6 have, as it really was the fly in the ointment and the only downside of what otherwise was a perfect cruise. Also, despite having put all our information online pre cruise...then again at check in at Venice....I received a letter asking me to report to Guest Relations to "update my credit card information for billing purposes". I did as requested & it only transpired that the girl informed me that they had no record of my credit card information. Third time lucky I told her!! Small gripe compared to the balcony obstruction issue but still a hassle you don't really need when you have already complied with all of their requests.
Bottom line though.....I highly recommend Celebrity Silhouette to all.