After our first ever cruise experience on board the lovely Celebrity Equinox last year, it was so perfect with out one fault, we had such a fantastic cruise and we were rather spoilt, we decided to go with the Celebrity Solstice class again.
We decided to go on the Silhouette..!
On Boarding the ship in Venice was really quick and hassle free, very relaxing, this may be because we stayed pre cruise, it was lovely just waking up in the hotel all relaxed, having breakfast and then being transported by taxi to the port,
When boarding the ship we came in at the Martini bar entrance and were handed a glass of "Bubbly", this was a welcome drink whilst awaiting for our stateroom to be ready.
We had booked a Concierge C2 class room and had found this room to be comfortable and perfect for our needs, again we had a lovely balcony etc. Our room attendant was very good and kept our room very clean and tidy and to boot was a towel folding expert, a different towel animal greeted us each evening. Loved the monkey..!!
This ship is obviously the same to the Equinox in regards again to the fact that all areas were kept exceptionally clean and tidy and all the staff we encountered on board had a friendly smile and a hello and remembered your name, we were greeted on first names in a few places.
However we were not pleased to see there has been a few tweaks, two new expensive alternative dining venues were added , we happily found the food in the MDR (all bar the service being rather slow to that of Equinox...!) to be very good and did not feel the need to pay an extra $80/$90 to dine elsewhere,
Maybe if the surcharge was a little cheaper we may have been tempted, we also found the food in the Ocean View cafe very good for breakfast and lunch,
A morning tip for the British coffee lovers - if your stateroom is anywhere near the Hideaway then this is a great place to grab an early morning coffee to take back to your room. We were on Sky Deck 10 and it was good for us to go down in the lift and grab an early morning coffee.. we met many others doing the same..!
We were pleased to see that our favourite bars, The Martini, Sunset and Ensemble remained untouched. Just such a shame that the Rip Tides did not reside in the Ensemble lounge, we only saw them there on the first night (out of 12 nights)..!, thereafter, it was the same jazz band which were good, but night after night after night....!!, it got boring...
Rest of the Ship - The addition of the Cabanas on the lawn seemed to take up a lot of space on the grass area which is a unique feature of these ships and seemed under used on our cruise, we believe the grass areas could be better used for the benefit of all, the people who seemed to want to use these cabanas was purely to show off, they had nothing better to do, if you want to do nothing but pose then have a beach holiday.
Our only other slight grumble (and again we are comparing this with the faultless service on the Celebrity Equinox)is the fact that we found the service at times a little too slow in all areas..!! For example - trying several times to attract a waiter to order drinks during the day at the Ocean View cafe (on the outside area) to end up ourselves having to walk around for what seemed ages to find someone - by then the hubby had finished his lunch and mine was still waitng on the table and was cold, and by the time I got to eat it after trying to find someone was not good ..!, at points I ended up going directly myslef to the bar to order drinks...!,
Then at times the service in the MDR was a little frantic, maybe staff cuts have been made, as in a lot of companies, however at times they seemed a little understaffed. We waited 25 minutes to be offered wine one night, again we had a little wonder around to try and find someone, and this was in the MDR....!!! not good.
Regarding the ports of call, they are all easily accessible apart from Ravenna and Dubrovnik where a shuttle is required,and two others are tendered.
The entertainment on the Silhouette was boring - on the Equinox last year we went to quiet a few shows, this time on the Silhouette, we went to one....!! the one and only show we attended was on the second night - the captains speech, and to be honest, it was really funny
Try not to miss the Captains speech, as a second profession awaits, "He is Greek..!!" and as a stand up comedian, he is really good.
Its just such a shame the rest of the shows did not follow suit, on the Equinox last year there were magicians, fire fighters and comedians, not all musical....!!, but sadly this year it was all was pianist, violinist and singers, where was the real comedy and fun like last year..!, we missed that.
To summarise, the Silhouette is a super ship, fantastic ports, great staff where applicable, but boring shows, slow service...!
Will we go with Celebrity again..! Emmmm maybe, but we do not know when now, as newbies to cruising and this being our only ever second cruise, we felt the service let us down, (may be we were just spoilt on the Equinox last year..! (but we wanted and expected the same service on the Silhouette), it was the service we received on the Equinox that made us book with Celebrity again this year. However on the Silhouette, that little touch was missing.
We have decided to try a different cruise line next year, then we can begin to compare.