My husband and I chose Celebrity Silhouette for an April-May 2013 Mediterranean cruise due to the ship being only a couple of years old combined with the good reviews we found online and the ports of call. The only other cruise we had taken was on Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas in 2004 during which we were a little disappointed in the food, so we felt that Celebrity would be a good upgrade. We were right.
The ship was beautiful, mid-size so it was easy to get from one end to the other, and clean. There was a library, a coffee/tea room with seating, a card/game room, several bars and cafes that looked interesting, among other things. Our room, 7219, was roomy and the bed was very comfortable. Prior to the cruise, we requested an egg-crate mattress topper be added, so that may have helped. We chose this room because it was mid-ship and we did not want to take a chance on being seasick. We never felt sick, never felt any movement at all, just a very slight vibration at times which was no bother. Another reason for us selecting this room was because it had an oversized balcony due to it being on the portion of the ship with the hump, facing forward, port side. This planning did not really work that well because the balcony seemed to catch so much wind that it was uncomfortable. It seems like a better choice might have been on the back side of the hump, which we plan to try next time. The closet and other storage spaces were sufficient to keep the room organized--suitcases were emptied and stored under the bed. We brought an inexpensive over-the-door clear shoe storage container with about 20 pouches and hung it on the wall to hold odds and ends such as my various hair tools, chargers, scarves, umbrella, etc. What a great idea this was for reducing clutter!! (I found this hint from another cruise reviewer.) Magnets and clothes pins also come in handy. The room had a mini frig where we kept our bottled water and sodas. We bought water and soda at the ports and brought on the ship to avoid paying $3.00+ onboard.
The food in the main dining room was excellent every night. If we didn't care for the featured entrees, we simply ordered the steak which was available every night and we must have had about 4 during our cruise and never had a bad one. We did not have an alcohol package but I did have a glass of wine with dinner several nights and the price was similar to a nice restaurant--about $10.00. We did not eat in the MDR on the 2 formal nights, a decision we made as we were packing. We intended to order room service on those nights as I had read you would be able to order from the MDR menu on those nights--THIS IS NOT CORRECT. You only have access to certain items on the room service menu. We utilized room service every morning to get coffee (it is very weak) and juice prior to leaving for our port activity. The other times we tried room service we either did not get everything we ordered or were disappointed in the quality of what we ordered. We did not eat at any of the specialty restaurants since one of the reasons we chose this line is because the food in the MDR is good. We ate the buffet several times and were pleased with everything other than the crowds. Hand sanitizer was everywhere and usually a staff member was offering it at the entry of the restaurants and as we returned to the ship from ports. We never felt sick in any way during the cruise. Our dinner time was the early option and we were seated adjacent to one other couple who we enjoyed visiting with. Wait staff was excellent and very attentive.
The entertainment was mostly music of various types that we found to be enjoyable. We had an internet package; minutes were wasted trying to connect, especially during "peak" times. However, internet access for us was mandatory and it got the job done. The ship offered several choices for shore excursions at each port, some of which we participated in and some excursions we booked on our own. I am offering no opinion on the excursions because I don't feel that qualified having only cruised twice; however, I enjoyed the ones we did take, both through the ship and on our own. We felt safe at each port and had absolutely no trouble in getting back to the ship on time for departure. I would suggest that you might save a little money by booking your own excursion--just check them out online thoroughly first. Another thought is that if you book on your own, the group will probably be smaller, which we prefer. My husband and I were the only two for a "group" tour of the Colosseum/Roman Forum/Palatine Hill we booked in Rome so we essentially had a private tour guide for 3 hours.
We spent 3 nights in Rome prior to the cruise departure. We hired a private driver online at the last minute for the transportation from our hotel to the terminal because we didn't want to hassle with our luggage and the train station. A taxi was more expensive than a private driver. When we departed our ship in Venice, we simply walked around the corner where taxis were waiting to take you to the airport. Lastly, I will mention that we checked in online and printed cruise documents at home; it was very fast and easy when we arrived at the cruise terminal. Disembarkation was a little more of a hassle for us because our flight left Venice at 10 a.m., and we felt a little stressed to get to the airport in time. So I would recommend a flight later in the day if possible. Overall, the ship did a wonderful job of people and luggage management.