We had a most enjoyable 14-day (back to back) (Eastern and Western Caribbean) cruise on the Silhouette from 3/31-4/14/13. We traveled from Charleston, SC to Ft. Lauderdale (with an overnight stop at Vero Beach, Fl.) We parked at the close-by Park-N-Go with no problem at all, and our embarkation was speedy with no lines at either the CC Elite or Concierge, so we arrived at 11:30am and were proceeding on the ship at 11:45am. We were in a C-3 Balcony Concierge and the cabins were ready at approximately 1:00pm. Cabin was very nice, with iced champagne, fresh fruit, and flowers awaiting our arrival. We enjoyed the cabin very much, including canapÃ©s each afternoon, and breakfast on the balcony several times during the trip. We found the cabin service excellent with both Joaquim and his assistant Raull meeting our every need for both weeks.
We found the food in the dining room (Grand Cuvee) to be outstanding and the service by Waiter Kasri and Asst. Tasha (1st week) and Martin and Seriff (2nd week) to be excellent in every way. Our tablemates were very amicable (Al/Maryellen, Mike/Gloria, & Fred/Brenda the 1st week) and (Rudy/Mara, Ron/Susan, and Jeff/Melina the 2nd week). We found ourselves feeling like family and it was hard to say goodbye on the last evening. We were fortunate to be invited to dine at the Captain's Table on formal night the 1st week and did enjoy the evening with Staff Captain Vittorio Cantu from Italy and three other couples.
We met many nice members of our Cruise Critic Roll Calls at the Connections party on the first sea day of each of the cruises. The first was a small gathering and the second was a much larger one, with many activities planned for the week. The Captain, several of his officers, and Lisa, the cruise director, attended and it was handled very nicely. We met Grace and Rudy, who were fellow cruise critic posters, and fellow back to back cruisers, and were able to enjoy their company many times over the next two weeks. We even saw them at debarkation, and they shared a porter with us as we waited to get through customs.
We found all the officers we met to be very personable, including and especially Captain Dimitrios Kafetzis; he was from Greece and was very friendly setting an example for all his staff to follow. He had an excellent sense of humor and we could hardy wait for his 10am address each morning. He made himself available for photo ops each sea day at the Cafe el Bacio from 11:45 am to 12:15 pm. Hotel Director Bernhard Stacher from Austria was very accommodating during the entire voyage (we had met him before on a couple of cruises and he remembered us.) We enjoyed meeting Brett Coleman, Food & Beverage Mgr.; Anthony Wilson, Executive Chef; and Tanushka D'Souza, Captains Club Hostess, who sent red roses to our cabin each week from the Captains Club and reminded us by letter and voice mail of all the special CC activities. These included the Elite CC social hour in the Sky Lounge from 5-7 each evening, the backstage tour, the elegant tea, the Senior Officers Cocktail Party, the CC Celebration; and we attended as many of these events as we could manage.
We met and got to know Lisa Richard, the Cruise Director, who is an outstanding CD as well as entertainer in her own right (she can really belt out a song!) We thoroughly enjoyed the Liars Club and Newlywed Game, which either she or Maria (activities mgr.) hosted or participated in. As far as the entertainment goes, this was the best we have seen in 25 cruises. The full production shows (Broadway Nights, Velocity, and Silhouette-The Show) were outstanding, particularly the singers & dancers (and the dancers who did the aerialist portions of the show, along with Ulia from the Ukraine, who was super with the silks). From our understanding at the backstage tour on the 1st week, they were losing six of their members at the end of that week, and getting replacements for the 2nd week. Well, we went back to each of the shows, and the new replacements worked right in and the shows went on seamlessly.
We also enjoyed the other entertainers, two different violinists who were great, a super juggler, and a very funny comedy magician. Our favorites were the High-C's, an A Capella group, made up of Eric, Tyler, Shawn, and Robert. We met Robert's parents, Bob and Nancy Hart, from Atlanta, the first night, and became friends and they introduced us to all the young men and we were able to chat with them and enjoy their performances for the full two weeks.
We enjoyed all the ports, even though we had been to most of them previously. We did a short shore excursion at St. Thomas (since most of our previous trips had been to St. John) and a sightseeing trip at Falmouth, Jamaica.
There was a fabulous Brunch held in the Grand Cuvee dining room on the last or next to last sea day on each of the cruises. This is not to be missed. It was held from 10 am to 1 pm and had everything you can imagine.
Of course, you could make it do for both breakfast and lunch if you desired.
Debarkation for us was painless. Of course, after the 1st 7-day cruise, we just had transit passes issued, exited the ship for just a few minutes to have our passports reviewed by a customs agent, and entered the ship again (with a complimentary lunch served at Bistro on Five (excellent food & service). Then we were fortunate enough to have the same cabin for the 2nd cruise, so we didn't even have to move. The final debarkation was fine for us; we received a #2 debarkation ticket and were called off at 8:08 am, were finished with luggage and customs by 9:08 am, picked up by Park'N'Go shortly thereafter, and were on our way home by 9:30 am.
All in all, I have nothing to say but "We had a wonderful time and we are ready to plan the next one." If there was anything to complain about, I can't think of what it might be; and if there were things that bothered us, it was a momentary thing, and nothing to write home about.