INTRO: We did the 7 night Western Caribbean which left out of Ft. Lauderdale on April 7. The cruise was absolutely amazing! I had only been on one cruise prior, on Celebrity, in 2009. Because of some of the "less great" reviews I had read before leaving, I was a little bit worried that maybe Celebrity had changed in the past four years and we wouldn't like it as much. Fortunately, this was not the case and all four of us (me, husband, and my parents) had a wonderful cruise.
PRE-CRUISE: My husband and I flew in the day of the cruise but my parents stayed at the Holiday Inn Express on 17th (convention center/cruise location) the night before. We stopped into their hotel that morning to meet up with them and shuttle over to the boat together. The hotel seemed just fine and was close to the terminal. One negative -- we arranged to take their shuttle for $8/person from the hotel to the boat. The shuttle was supposed to come at 12:30 but didn't arrived until close to 1. This was slightly frustrating as we could have just taken a cab but chose to take their shuttle out of convenience. Maybe this was a one time thing, but next time, I'd be inclined to take a cab.
THE SHIP: Check-in at the terminal and boarding was pretty easy and before I knew it, we were aboard the Silhouette! The ship is just so amazing and beautiful, I am still daydreaming about it and we have been home for over a week. The Silhouette has such a classy, elegant, and modern feel. The crowd of people on the cruise was also great. I was expecting a much older demographic than we actually had. There were tons of people in each age group and I found the ship to be perfectly energetic after dinner (just not in the clubs). We are in our late 20s.
My husband and I had a 2A veranda on deck 7 and my parents had a 1C veranda on deck 8. The rooms were great. We found there to be plenty of room, good storage space, and we loved the balcony. We had the 123 promo, so all of us had a beverage package, which we thoroughly enjoyed. It will be hard to cruise again without a beverage package, as we had so much fun trying all the different drinks and bars on board.
The public areas on the ship, as many people have described, are immaculate and beautiful. Some of our favorite spots were the sunset bar, martini bar, and the pool deck. I do agree that the cabanas take up too much space on the lawn and that it would have been nice to have more open seats in that grassy area, like they do on the sides of the sunset bar. However, there were lots of other great spots to relax, so this didn't bother us too much. I also wish the actual pool was bigger. Loved the deck, the seats, and the decor, but the actual pool size was just too small to fit everyone, especially in the Caribbean heat.
FOOD: The buffet in the Oceanview cafe was pretty good -- we enjoyed a few lunches and all breakfasts there. The only thing I didn't like were the scrambled eggs, too wet! We ate every dinner in the main dining room and really enjoyed it. The food and service were both great and we thought the menu had some great offerings. Having a four course meal every night is just such a treat, it was hard for the experience to be bad. None of us felt the need to try a specialty restaurant because we so enjoyed our meal every night in the MDR :). Our sommelier constantly filled our wine glasses up throughout dinner, another reason why it will be hard to cruise again without a beverage package!
ENTERTAINMENT: We only went to a few shows, because we didn't find them too riveting. If I had to suggest one area of improvement, it would be the nightly shows. The two we went to were "fine" but we decided we'd rather spend our pre-dinner time at the martini bar or in the casino. We did enjoy the live music on board though, specifically the steel drums and the group, The Runaways. We also went to some of the game shows (dancing with the stripes, family feud) and those were enjoyable.
DISEMBARKATION: We were expecting this to be a nightmare but it wasn't at all! Had an 8:15 departure time and were off and through customs by 9. Sweet!
SUMMARY: After this cruise, I can easily say that we will be back on board celebrity. The wonderful friendly staff, beautiful ambiance, and great food left me wanting more. Celebrity really does make you feel like you are a celebrity (for example, cold towels after getting back on board at the ports!). The feeling you have while on board is like no other. I am already thinking about where to go next (if only we had more vacation time...and money!).