Celebrity Silhouette Cruise Review by mdcruiser1: Upcharges upcharges and more upcharges.
Overall Member Rating
Upcharges upcharges and more upcharges.
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
It has been a few years since I've cruised. I've been on 4. This was the nicest ship - but not the best experience. The trouble started when the booking agent told be we were in concierge class, when on to describe all the benefits - and then booked us in non-concierge. The said I should have noticed on the reservation, concierge is called C2, the one they put us in was called 2C. So its my fault. Ridiculous.
The main dining room is fine. Not great. Just fine. The food ranged from poor to excellent, depending on what you ordered. Service felt rushed.
Ship itself was impeccable, well maintained, staterooms very nice, and well serviced - best showers on a ship for sure.
The upcharge restaurants are range from good to great, and are worth the extra money. Dinners lasted between 2 hours and almost 4 hours. Qsine was the most fun, Tuscan Grill the best food, Murano over-rated but still good.
The embarkation was OK. Herding mentality. - watch More the concierge class and above walk right by you as you wait to board the ship - so they can have their special treatment and board first. - part of a theme here - pay more, get more, don't pay more - get an average experience.
My biggest issue is the extent that Celebrity goes to to make sure you have the opportunity to spend more at every turn. It feels like - "well you paid to be on the ship, but if you want the good stuff, get our your walled, .i.e ship card"
They automatically add 15% to every service, bottle of wine, etc... that you pay for. Then they add a line for you to write in an "additional tip". the waitstaff expects the "additional tip" and you feel obliged. So for example, a $44 bottle of wine (the cheapest basically) + 15% = about $50. But the sommelier is great so you add another $5? So now the wine costs $55 at a minimum? - don't forget you can bring your own wine for an uncorking charge of $25 - plus tip I presume. What a deal.
These additional tips are on every drink, upcharge restaurant, etc... Want a nice place on the lawn to hang out? Pay $150 for that privilege. The whole service staff feels like one big salesforce.
Basically my review should be interpreted as follows: This is a beautiful ship that has pretty good service - but if you aren't ready to spend more at every turn (like $3 for real orange juice, or $3 for nice coffee, or $5 for gelato, $5 to $40 additional for every meal) you will likely have an average experience. Don't forget to pay for a class of room that includes early embarkation and debarkation too.
Debarkation was horrible. Booking agent suggested there is no reason to pay for transfers since a cab is faster and cheaper. That worked fine getting to the cruise, but when we finally got off, there was a line of at least 100 people waiting in the hot sun for a cab. All the other transfers had to be prepaid. We waited almost an hour and a half for a cab, and nearly missed our flight. Stressful.
I would have much rather paid more upfront and had the freedom to not worry about each and every expense. It cheapens the experience. Less
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