The seventeenth cruise, 7 with Celebrity, first on Silhouette.
Flew from Gatwick to Marco Polo, were met by a private transfer and in Cabin 6178 by 6.30 for an overnight stay. The Cabin was a 2C category with a partial obstruction with the top of the tender in line with the base of the balcony. The cabin was satisfactory except for a lack of drawer space.
The ship is glamorous with lots of facilities and plenty of room. Our opinion being that we preferred the size and layout of the Millenium Class but there was nothing to dislike about the Silhouette.
The staff were at all times very helpful and a strong feature was the number of Ship's Officers that walked about and were very approachable. The desire to please was very evident and a comment card to put in the cabin after 2 days to ask for any comments on how they could improve the service.
We were Elite members and used the evening happy hour to meet people who had been on the Cruise Critic Message Board. We had made arrangements to go on 5 Cruise Critic members private tours and besides reducing the cost of going ashore it helped to make a friends. The Elite happy hour and private tours took up much of our time and we used very little of the on-board activity facilities.
We took the Select dining option in the Main Dining Room and this allowed us to have dinner with people we met on the private trips. We mostly went to the AquaSpa Cafe for breakfast, were nearly always off the ship for lunch and usually ate dinner in the MDR except once in Quisine, Bistro on 5, and twice in the buffet. We went to the MDR for Brunch, Elegant Tea (didn't go a second time), Tuscany for one breakfast and had one served in the cabin. The food was plentiful, adequate and enjoyable.
Select Dining and arrangements with others meant that we didn't go to the theatre as much as usually. The first big 'broadway' show was a repetition of performances we'd seen on other cruises but the final show was different and interesting.
Celebrity have sorted out disembarkation and it was easy, swift and uncomplicated. There was a confusion over the Shuttle but that was quickly resolved. We stayed two nights in Rome. We had been there twice previously and the ruins etc remain wonderful but they were the same ruins! Our journey back was dreadful. The private car had been arranged to early so we had to wait to check-in. The plane was late boarding. We arrived late in Gatwick and missed out bus by one minute and had to wait 2 hours. The journey to Heathrow took 2 hours and there was a thirty minute delay on the M4 at Bristol so we arrived at an empty bus station and there were taxis.
The itinerary was port intensive with eleven ports and only one sea day. This was very demanding and it would have been better if there had been at least one more sea day. We enjoyed the cruise and Celebrity is now our preferred cruise company.
Easy transfer from cruise terminal to town by local bus.
Having been there previously, it didn;t not have anything new to offer. We went on a glass botom boat but didn't seen any interesting fish.
There is a Hop On Hop Bus about five minutes llak for the port gates. We went to Medina... very interesting.
Went on a private tour. Went up Etna and then to Taormina. The town is overrated.
Went on a private tour on a boat supplied by VeniceByBoat. Excellent service.