We sailed on the Silhouette the week of February 17th. My husband and I have only cruised 1 time before on the Eclipse, which we loved. This time we booked two cabins and brought our sons, 15 and 9 years. We traveled with family and were 13 total. We flew in from NY the night before and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express by the executive airport. The next morning we returned our rental car back at FLL, hopped in a cab and went to the port. This all took less than an hour. We left our luggage with a porter and were checking in at the ship by 10:30. We were concierge and there was absolutely no line at check in but they wanted to rush us and made my husband and I check in our two cabins with 2 separate people. I checked in with my 1 son quickly but the woman checking in my husband said she couldn't find his sea pass cards, told him to go wait by some seats and would give no other info. In the mean time, the woman who checked me in dismissed me to check in the 2 other only people on line. We had done all of our check in online so this was annoying but luckily it was early. They had us wait over a half hour while no one spoke to us and then a random person appeared with our sea pass cards. After that we were happy to board. We were greeted by many of the wonderful staff and champagne.
We went up to Oceanview Cafe for lunch and met with the rest of our family who live in Florida. The staff were wonderful and were helping people find tables and clearing plates constantly.
Cabins: we booked 2 cabins in concierge together for us and our sons. We never ended up using the outer vestibule door since we found it easier to just have the balcony separator opened. If our children were a bit younger we probably would've used the other doors. Our cabin attendant Isman and his assistant did a great job all week . He always greeted my 9 year old when he saw him in the hall with " hello friend!" Which my son loved. The storage in the cabins worked fine for all of us. The showers are great with plenty of hot water and water pressure. Rooms were very clean.
Service: this is one reason I am taking the time to write this review. Previous reviewers have written some very unkind things/complaints about the crew. All I can say is this seemed really unfair. We found everyone on the ship to be kind, helpful and hard working. There were always people in the buffet each morning serving coffee and tea and clearing plates. There were people on the pool deck and above circulating constantly if you wanted a drink. We ate in the MDR 3 nights (with 3 different serving teams) , the Lawn Club Grill, Tuscan Grill, and Qsine and had only exceptional service. Meals were well timed, drinks served by the assistant etc.
Some have complained about crew from certain areas of the world. This seemed unwarranted as well. Maybe people need to understand there are cultural differences and adjust their expectations. None of us found anyone to be rude or unhelpful. We did however, see crew being treated rudely. SO many people can't even manage a simple " please or thank you". Remember how hard these people are working and please stop griping to me and anyone else who will listen about tipping, not tipping the automatic tipping....they earn it!
Food: After reading previous reviews we were not looking forward to trying the MDR. Once again we were pleasantly surprised. The food was actually very good. You cannot go into it expecting LeBernadin when they are feeding hundreds at once but it's still very good. The soups, salads and appetizers we tried were excellent. Everyone's meats were cooked as requested. They had Ribeye, Ny strip, prime rib, various seafood, veal, and even a very nice turkey parmigiana one night. The portions were much larger than I thought they would be. We followed the wait staff recommendations and were never disappointed. One night the maitre d came around with the head chef who inquired whether our food each night was being prepared as we requested and were we happy with the selections each night.
The Lawn Club was a great experience. We weren't sure if we wanted to spend the $40 x4 of us for food which we "could get at home". We decided right before we left for the cruise to book it for a more relaxing night rather than doing the whole formal night. It was the 2nd day of the cruise and the winds that night on the deck were INSANE, hurricane like. We were tempted to see if we could reschedule for a different night but they have a roof and panels that kind of protect the restaurant so we went ahead with our dinner. SO glad we did! Everything from the staff to the food was top notch. And no, they don't pressure you to cook your own food. I did make pizza with my 9 year old because he wanted to do it. I won't spoil anything for those who haven't been but we had fun and I even learned a few things from the chef. The meats and fish were all really excellent quality, well seasoned, and perfectly cooked. My sons had filet mignons that were very generous cuts. Desserts were fantastic, save room. We can't say enough about the wonderful staff from Karol the maitre d to the servers and the chefs! They made the best of the " hurricane wind" situation and made it a great night that we will never forget.
The food and the service at Qsine and Tuscan were all fantastic and worth the extra money. We were larger groups for those nights and everyone enjoyed.
Cafe al Bacio was a favorite of ours throughout the week (great iced tea!) and the gelato, of course.
Drinks at the Molecular Bar were interesting and strong, but good.
Entertainment: can't say much about shows since we did not go to them. We did really enjoy trivia in Michael's Club most nights with "British Daniel". He was fantastic as was the staff there. We also went to some very interesting Celebrity Life Beyond the Podium lectures with a guest speaker Dr. Hal Tinberg. He is an expert in DNA testing and did some fascinating presentations on CSI and the Mystery of the Romanovs, for example. If he is on your cruise, don't miss it!
I did a class in the i lounge also which was really informative.
The staff in the Fun Factory were wonderful and they do some great activities and are very organized,
Really have only one "complaint" about the cruise. I had to go back to guest relations FOUR times to fix an issue with my boys' sea pass cards. We had authorized the accounts so they could charge to our credit card but they kept having issues with the cards. I signed a form saying they could, still not working. They sent me back one time for my credit card to swipe it yet again. The fourth trip down in 2 days I went to the concierge who was not very nice at all. Everyone I spoke to kept telling me it was fixed or there's no problem. She made me fill out another form and basically made me feel like an idiot. I understand that they are cautious about kids charging but our kids knew the rules and we were fine with it so Celebrity should be too or at least apologize for making me wait in line over and over to fix the same problem. I think my kids charged about $25 over the week total and shouldn't have to hunt us down to get a gelato. Anyway, my only complaint.
This is getting long so I will just say we had a wonderful cruise, which was made even better by the terrific crew and beautiful (practically non-smoking-horray) ship. We can't wait to sail again!