This trip was our second time on the Silhouette and we had another great time. Because of my husband's limited mobility, we basically use the ship as our destination. We are creatures of habit and often return time and again to the same vacation destination, whether it's a vacation beach home, vacation club destination or a cruise ship. Returning to the Silhouette gave us the feeling of returning home.
We are in our mid-50's and live in Northern NJ, and we love to cruise without our now grown kids because it gives us a chance to be by ourselves and reconnect after 20 years of raising, focusing on and vacationing with them, which is the way it should be.
We arrived the day before the cruise and checked into the Embassy Suites 17th street with views of Port Everglades. The place was buzzing with people either getting ready to cruise the next day or having just gotten off a cruise that day. The hotel never felt crowded even though we knew the place had to be fully booked. We had a nice meal at the restaurant before turning in for the night.
The comfortable room had a balcony with views of the port and the 8 ships waiting for passengers. Between the sunset and the sunrise, and views of planes taking off at the airport, the location was perfect.
The next morning, we thought breakfast would be crazy but it wasn't. People about to embark on a cruise tend to eat and get going quickly so finding a table wasn't a problem.
Shuttle vs. Taxi to port - We had never done this before, so we asked at the front desk about taxis to the port and we were told to make a reservation for the shuttle since it cost about the same. We were told to get a reservation for the 2pm shuttle but I thought that would be late. Turns out it really doesn't matter when you reserve, because they always find room for you. We were tired of sitting around the room so I called downstairs and was told to come down now. However, even though the lobby was crowded, they have this shuttle thing down to a science and before we knew it the lobby cleared out and we were next. Off to the ship. I think that was around noon and we were on the ship by 1:15.
This to me is the most amazingly coordinated effort on the part of the porters and van drivers and taxis, etc. Pull up to Porter, pull out luggage from the back of shuttle, hand to porter who piles it on cart and off we go. It's a bit of a walk to the terminal from where we were dropped off and for many that wouldn't seem like a big thing but for a man with two osteoarthritic knees it was farther than he wanted to walk. Thankfully, we had Aqua Class tickets so we didn't wait much at all on the security check line or the check in line to get our sea passes. Another long walk to the escalators and then to the gangway and then on the ship.
Our cabins were ready shortly after we sat down at Cafe Il Bacio so we finished up our snack and headed up to check it out. We booked an accessible AQ because of the rental scooter we needed for my husband. The cabin size worked perfectly . We were able to maneuver very easily. The cabin was big enough for my husband to move the scooter around and do a k turn to face out. The bed is in the middle with a 1/2 couch in the corner by the door. The cabin is 1/2 size bigger than standard with a balcony size again 1/2 size bigger. The furniture on the deck was comfortable but the desk chair and couch were not.
Storage is limited to a dresser/closet with no over-the-bed storage. The only real complaint that was a total surprise was that the door didn't lock. That creeped me out a bit but I guess that's for safety reasons. The bathroom is very roomy with a roll in shower. We did what everybody does and threw down some towels to keep leakage onto the floor at a minimum.
Overall we were happy with our cabin, great location, some overhead noise in the morning but we were always up anyway. The cabin steward was a little aloof but tried hard to be nice. No towel animals. :(
Ship: Beautiful, always clean, smooth sailing, not a bump or complaint.
Food: BLU! Need I say more? Awesome. One night we had lobster tail cooked in a way I'd never expect - over a bed of spinach and served with mandarin oranges.
Lawn Club Grill - waited until last Sea Day for 50% off offered to AQ and suite guests. We met another couple on the ship and had a lovely lunch. They let us stay and talk well after closing, until 4pm. Wonderful meal.
Entertainment: We went to one show, it was very good. We spent most evenings after dinner at the Molecular Bar. Quiet and out of the way but still part of the festivities. I wandered down to the Martini Bar one night while Hubby stayed at the Molecular Bar. Chaos noise and crowds (all having fun but not what I wanted). You must try the Molecular bar, great cocktails using herbs and fresh fruit essences and ingredients.
Pool: Here's what I like about this ship, there's something for everyone. Laid back and quiet if you want it or in your face crazy entertainment and activities if you want that. We spent a lot of time at the adult pool. I preferred it to the outdoor loud crazy pool. Hubby opted to sit with me and swim in the outdoor pool. He spent a lot of time there and heard a great Mariachi band on our cruise away from Cozumel.
Alcoves - fully booked on last sea day.
That's it. The only bad thing that happened was that on the day before disembarkation, our liquor box didn't show up so I called guest relations and to make a long story short, the cabin steward thought we had accused him of stealing it. Never in a million years would we do that, we just wanted to let someone know we hadn't gotten it yet and it was 9:30pm. They ended up finding it and delivering it.
Disembarkation - long walk to terminal building left hubby's knees barking so we found a porter to help us through the mobility challenged line. In taxi to the airport in no time, again, these people do this for a living and it shows.