My wife and I sailed on the Silhouette on July 19, 2013 from Venice. It was an amazing cruise on a terrific ship.
We took only shore excursions from Celebrity in each port and they were all terrific...well organized and on a very high level... the guides were outstanding. All of the ports on our itinerary were amazing.
The singers and dancers and entertainment team and guest artists for entertainment in the theater and the house party band Sipra were simply terrific.. really beyond belief...superb..
Every show was a masterpiece...and the blend and harmonies of the singers in the Sipra party band were amazing.
Unfortunately, Celebrity chose to send our outstanding cruise director Alejandro to another celebrity ship, the Reflection SOS which was our loss for the remainder of the cruise. He was truly irreplaceable.
The activities manager who replaced him was very friendly and competent but needs to "tone it down a bit" when addressing the passengers on the Mike...
The warm outreaching friendly contact between staff and passengers was truly amazing.. every staff person was extremely friendly and warm. especially the captain Alevropoulos and his crew.
Prof. Diego Lucci, the scholar in residence.. for beyond the podium lectures was outstanding.
The indoor swimming pool is fabulous and is a tremendous asset to the ship.
Despite all of the above, the following needs to improve or be changed.
1.When you go out on deck 12 and 14 and even 5... there is non stop smoking which means when you want to jog or run or walk or just go to the buffet you have to pass the smoking area and cover your face.
The smoking area by the outdoor pool travels everywhere by the outdoor pool and makes for terrible secondary smoke inhalation.
2.The outdoor pool is over 6 feet in depth and makes for standing impossible. Since most people are just hanging out in the pool... it needs to have the depth reduced. they did this for a volley ball game in the pool and it made the pool much more enjoyable... Swimmers could still swim and bathers could still stand and enjoy the pool.. MUCH TOO DEEP. If you are not a good swimmer you cannot use any of the outdoor pools.. One is for chldren..too shallow and the other one is too deep...over your head.
3.There were virtually no free exercises offered in the afternoons except for zumba. Not everyone wants to get up at 7 or 8 for an exercise class and there is a need for free exercise classes in the late afternoon after excursions or swimming.
4.Our cabin attendants were not very helpful and my wife's insulin was damaged because they did not take the time to replace our broken refrigerator despite numerous requests to do so. They also did not replace soap, shampoo and conditioner.
5. Although pre paid gratuities were included...the maitre di s and other dining room staff make it very obvious that they are expecting an additional gratuity for either writing down your order or simply serving you...
I would prefer that Celebrity raise the amount of the pre paid gratuities to the maximum level and make it very very clear to the dining room staff and the maitre dis that they are receiving a generous gratuity for all services rendered and should not make guests feel that the pre paid gratuities are not really sufficient.
if the pre paid gratuities are not sufficient or not generous ... then the amounts should be increased so that the staff feels appreciated without the need to "hint" for more....
I was very embarrassed when my friend presented the maitre di an envelope with an additional gratuity and I had not as yet put the money into the envelope which i had brought down to dinner...and the maitre di just stood there waiting for me to follow suit as my friend had done... which I was prepared to do but had not as yet gotten the envelope ready.
..at the end feeling somewhat embarassed I just handed him the money without an envelope but it was obvious that the matre di expected an addtional gratuity for writing down our dinner order and submitting it to the chef.
Please do not misunderstand me... This does not reflect cheapness but rather the desire that the staff on board receive the most well deserved generous gratuties possible... and if you pre pay them prior to boarding you should be pre paying the highest largest amounts to make sure that the staff is happy and providing their good services with no anticipation for additional tips...just raise the amounts and make sure everyone is happy to avoid any embarrassment or bad feelings. I realize this is probably a minority view...