Celebrity Silhouette Cruise Review by Meanderer: Celebrity Silhouette
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
This was our second cruise on Celebrity. Both Celebrity sailings have been on Solstice class vessels, the first being the Solstice itself and this past cruise, the Silhouette. Both ships are magnificent! Engineering marvels, really! This review will concentrate on the Silhouette primarily. Check-in was a breeze. We are currently stationed in Germany so a European embarkation point just makes sense for us. We now know Venice a little better and can say that it is so very very easy to travel from the Marco Polo International Airport to the Piazza Le Roma by bus! From Piazza Le Roma, it is a one stop trip (only 1/2 a kilometer really) directly to the cruise port on the People Mover monorail. You can't go the wrong way as there is only one direction out of Piazza Le Roma. 14 Euros one way for both of us! Private taxi, you had better have 70 - 80 Euros handy. Once at the cruise port, we went directly to check in. We were early, 11:00am and no lines. We had done the online check in process More
which saves a lot of time at the counter. Verification of travel documents and credit card for the on board account and we were off to security for clearing. Rooms were not ready yet but there were parts of the ship ready for travelers (like the buffet for lunch and pool area.) Announcement let us know when rooms were ready and luggage arrived very timely. On the first night, specialty restaurants were %50 off so we went to Murano.
- Murano is a very nice on board restaurant with exquisite cuisine. This was our second meal in one. The food quality is excellent, presentation remarkable, and taste is very pleasing! We had the premium drink package and opted for wine with dinner. This is where the experience went south... Sommelier informed us of our options with the drink package. He also recommended a wine that was $2 over the allotted drink package and since our package was premium, it would only cost us the difference. We said yes to my wife's glass of wine. All was good except the Sommelier decided to bring out wines for the other courses and failed to mention they too, were over the drink package cover. By more than $2 dollars! I did not appreciate him taking liberties with our bill. On day 1 I decided to not let it spoil the trip and not raise a fuss, but what he did was wrong. And from that point, I made darn sure I was getting what I expected with no more surprises.
- Aqua Class: This was the first time we sailed Aqua Class and I give it mixed reviews. Overall, I very much liked it! Priority boarding was excellent. Champagne is the room was good if unspectacular, but a nice touch none the less. Access tot he Persian Gardens was oh so relaxing! Loved that and couldn't understand why more people didn't take advantage. I did like the quiet relaxation all to myself though... Room shower with the jets was nice for my aching bones.. Access to Blu, the Aqua Class restaurant was worth the upgrade in my humble opinion. Although we did not dine there exclusively, we did dine there quite a bit and it was like a specialty restaurant experience every night! Maria, our Sommalier at Blu gets a special shout out for being what all Sommeliers should be.. She was excellent and enhanced our dining experience so much! Thanks Maria! Only drawback on Blu - Where is the coffee cream at breakfast? Only Brits like milk in their coffee... They were always gracious enough to get us some and we appreciated that! Blu = EXCELLENT! Aqua Class downers:
1. No flowers in the room until late on day 2
2. Fruit plate daily was apples. ONLY Apples. Like there was a shortage of other fruits or something. We threw away the apples and they brought us MORE apples! We gave up.. Grabbed a banana in the buffet...
3. Daily canapes.. What are these things anyway? hor d'oeuvres? Whatever they were intended to be, the thought was nice but quality was questionable. Stale tortillas. ham wrapped around a bread stick? Looked like leftovers from the buffet at times.. Olives were good though!
4. Pillow menu? WHAT pillow menu? Not sure what I expected but I sure didn't expect to have to describe what a pillow menu is to the cabin steward. Hey, Celebrity advertises a pillow menu for Aqua Class, not me.. You should know what you are promising to people... As it turns out, not much there... Although the regular pillows are fine.
Overall food grade would be a A-. To be fair, that is an exceptional grade for any cruise line to achieve with someone who loves food they way I do! I am totally amazed at the quality of the food on board with Celebrity considering the sheer quantity they prepare! Kudos to the chef and crew! The ONLY drawback is food can get a little cold or stale of the buffet line. Not a lot mind you, they do keep it reasonably fresh. I also believe there is always room for improvement when handing out grades so do consider my scale a half letter down from the average person.. Food = GREAT on Celebrity.
Drinks - I LOVE the drink package thing! I don't ever want to worry about the cost of anything when I am on vacation! And in this case, I prefer to have my drinks prepaid and not go against my on board account! Its a personal preference for my own budgeting.. All specialty coffees are covered. i like that! Got my money's worth right there, never mind the two glasses of wine at dinner or the beers poolside... Vacations are supposed to relax you so take the worry out of the equation and prepay the expenses.. Then experiment with new tastes at THE MOLECULAR BAR! AWESOME!! Second time there and I have now worked around the menu! Would never have tried it if buying drinks individually...
Pools - not enough pool space yet, had a great time up top on deck! Soothed my aching bones in the whirlpools too! Standard on ships and very nice! Deck got REAL hot in the sun though.. Wear flip flops! Solarium is so relaxing and quiet. It's like an indoor pool area without the noise of kids or music. Designed for quiet relaxation.
Casino - We made $5 on slots. I'm happy! Nice casino with assortment of games. Very clean and new, like the rest of the ship!
Onboard shopping - Never understood this. Why would anyone spend all that money to go on a cruise to spend even more in specialty stores.. But nice to window shop as the merchandise in the high end stores is quite nice. If you want to do duty free shopping, wait until you're at the airport...
Crew - A very professional crew. Always took care of business. Knew what their job was and did it. Not as engaging or as friendly as the Solstice with a few exceptions. (Maria and Anna from Blu, Suzanne at the Molecular Bar) Slobodon, the manager of the Blu restaurant, does a wonderful job.
Entertainment - Did not take in any shows so no comments.
Specialty Restaurants - Only ate at Murano. REALLY wanted to try out the new grill restaurant but can't fathom why anyone would spend $40 on a steak.. Bring your price back to reasonable Celebrity.. We got nice steaks in Blu for free... QSine was pushed awfully hard but I thought the concept to be too playful.. I like to eat not play with my food...
Shore Excursions - Only took one and was a little disappointed. I'll never be a fan of the scare tactics all cruise lines use to get you to sign up for an excursion - letting you know that they WILL leave you behind at port UNLESS you are on their authorized excursion. That is all well and good but after telling me 20 times, I get it.. And still managed to get my butt back on board all by myself on time. Got to see the ports of call on my terms which frankly, always is better (for me) than being herded onto a bus.. Grab your Rick Steves book and go your own way. Plan your adventures in advance to include reservations for museums you may want to see. Have a good watch and plan on getting back to port and give yourself an hour of leeway in case of unforeseen delays.. If the ship offers transportation to a particular city (i.e. $12 for shuttle service to Dubrovnik's old town) take it.
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Cabin review: 2A1506 Deluxe Veranda 2A
(Aqua Class) Nice size for shipboard accommodations. Closet space in good. Hangers are provided as were slippers and bathrobes. Room is the same size as regular balcony rooms. Nothing special on the size for Aqua Class. Flowers were nice touch, when we got them. Very quiet in Aqua Class. very high up so great views from the balcony. Bed was comfortable, but nothing too special. Like a decent hotel room. Plenty of pillows. Storage for suitcases under the bed. Don't know why I couldn't find a wake up call option over the TV system.. Everything else is easy. Account review, room service, TV and movies are all easy finding on the various menus but no wake up service...Read All Deluxe Veranda 2A (2A) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
The pearl of the Adriatic! Beautiful! Walk the walls. Take the cable car up top for a magnificent view! Have a drink at the cafe up there and just take it all in... Have another drink at the bar just outside the wall on the cliff side. Don't be surprised if you feel you've seen this before. Game of Thrones "King's Landing" scenes have been shot here.
Kotor may be the most beautiful sail in for any port in the world. Wow! Get up early and take pictures! The top of the ship gets crowded but you get awfully nice pics from your private balcony as well... The old town is small but so pretty and quaint! Loved it! Wished we had a couple days to explore more of Montenegro... May be the best kept secret in the Adriatic... What Dubrovnik used to be 10 years ago... And the town is right at the drop off from the tender. No excursion needed unless checking out other parts of Montenegro...
HOT! Left my butt in a pool of melted fat somewhere in Malta.. Bring water! But seriously, a beautiful place. Saw Mdina, which was nice. Caught a bus from Mdina to Valletta and walked around the city center. Very nice day. DO take public transportation! Not that far from port, up the hill some is the main bus depot for Valletta. DO NOT take the hop on hop off bus! They sell more tickets than seats on these. We hopped on at the port, hopped off at Mdina and could not hop back on.. After missing out on two buses in the stifling heat, decided to take a regular bus back. Piece of cake as they speak English in Malta! 5 Euros for two people on the public bus. 30 Euros for two people to be stranded on the hop on hop off fiasco... Go ahead and take a horse drawn ride. 40 Euros for 45 minutes and spectacular views for pictures!
Someday maybe I'll see Naples.. But its awfully hard to see Naples when you have Pompeii, Capri, and Sorrento so close by.. This is one port where an excursion might be best for first timers, although you dock right next to the hydrofoil and can go to Sorrento (15 Euro RT) or Capri (20 Euro RT) so easy on your own.. But don't deny yourself the chance to see Pompeii and the Amalfi Coastline...
MUST see city! We've been there 3 times and it doesn't get old. If only there one day, Vatican is #1 with the Sistine Chapel. Colosseum is nice and worth a look. Grab a brochure that tells you about the construction instead of paying someone to tell you.. DO have an espresso.. DO NOT have a cappuccino after breakfast. Only tourists do that..
Loved Split! A young population with an exciting pulse to the city! Saw plenty of old ruins from Diocletian's palace. Had drinks on the Riva right on the waterfront. Walked around and found the locals to be downright friendly and they spoke English fairly well. Croatia is a definite vacation destination! No tours needed here as Diocletian's palace is right there where you get off the tender.. Not even 5 minutes walk.
What's not to like about Venice! Well.. Food can be hit or miss.. Not Italy's best destination for food. You can walk all you want here! Crossing the bridges is neat. DO take a gondola ride. DO NOT pay their 120 Euro asking price. Talk them down to 80-85 Euros.. Singing is extra.. Just so you know.. Public transport is actually pretty easy.
Enjoyed a week of R and R
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