DH and I are both in our early 60s. This was our 8th cruise - 3rd on Celebrity - 1st on an S-Class ship. While the Constellation will always be a favorite since we sailed her on our very first cruise, the Silhouette is now The Favorite. She is gorgeous.
Arrived in Ft. Lauderdale 3 nights early to ensure weather would not be an issue. We spent three nights at the Beachcomber Resort in Pompano Beach. The weather was too cold to go to the beach, but we found lots to do in the area and enjoyed a couple of relaxing days prior to the cruise. The hotel room was very nice and we had a balcony that had an ocean view. We did noteat in the hotel's restaurant, but they do have a bar with a happy hour. The staff was friendly. There is additional parking across the street if there are no spots in the lot in front of the hotel.
Embarkation - We were Aqua Class so we were on a separate line entering the terminal. The main line was pretty long, but we were online no more than 10 minutes to go through security. Check-In line was very quick (only one couple in front of us). Took us no more than 30 minutes to drop off our luggage, enter the terminal, check in and walk up to the ship. We were greeted with a choice of champagne or mimosa and lots of smiles from the crew.
We immediately went to Bistro on Five for lunch. It is worth the $5/person to not have to go the buffet on embarkation day. It was 1230 when we arrived at Bistro on Five. While we were eating lunch, the announcement was made that the cabins were ready. After we ate, we went to our cabin and met Peter our cabin steward. Two of our three pieces of luggage arrived while we were in the room. The other piece arrived as we were leaving.
In our cabin was a coupon for a discount to the specialty restaurants - first night only, as well as a letter from Blu asking that we come to dinner at a specific time frame due to crowding on the first night. We took advantage of the discount and went to the Lawn Club Grille for dinner. Food was very good, service was great and the restaurant was not crowded. It was cold and I suspect that passengers thought the restaurant would be rather chilly that night. However, they had clear wind panels down, plus heaters on the ceiling. Restaurant was warm - no issue with the cold weather.
Our cabin was very well appointed. We had enough storage because of the cabinets above the bed. The closet is very large. However, there are only three drawers. There is alot of extra storage in the bathroom for the toiletries and other small items.
My husband was hesitant about trying Blu. We went there for dinner on the second night and never went anywhere else. Food was excellent. We alternated breakfast between Blu and the buffet - both were very good. Christophe, the Maitre'd and Anita, the hostess in Blu, were always smiling and helpful. Christophe assisted the wait staff when necessary in clearing off tables, waiting on guests, in addition to making the rounds to ensure every guest had everything they needed. We never ate in the Main Dining Room so I will not be commenting on it.
The Sommelier in Blu ensured that my dinner wine was always within the Classic Beverage package price. After the first couple of nights, I let him choose the wine and told him what I was ordering.
Cafe Al Bacio - the coffees (extra $) and desserts (free) are okay. The Gelato (fee) was wonderful.
The ship is absolutely gorgeous and beautifully decorated. It is easy to find your way around. Every member of the staff that we met was friendly and smiling. I can't say enough about the wonderful service. We rarely had difficulty getting service. Once, while in the solarium, I had to find a server. However, once we ordered (a group of us in the hot tub), he came back several times to see if we needd anything else.
There are many public spaces and the ship never felt crowded. The only time we had trouble find a lounge chair was at the solarium on the first sea day.
DH's only complaint about the entire cruise was that the entire staff was so eager to please that they kept asking us if everything was good. Sometimes, my husband wanted to be left alone!! :)
The shows - We saw a couple of the production shows and they were fine. We also saw the Sin City Show - that was very funny. However, the show is repeated several times during the cruise so you only need to go once.
Excursions - Did not take any in San Juan or St. Maarten. We have been to both several times so we did our own thing. We did take a ship excursion on St. Kitts - "Scenes of St. Kitts". We had three stops - the last of which made the excursion worth the money!!! Imagine standing on top of a hill looking down on a strip of land with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Caribbean on the other!!!! The downside of that stop were the people with their monkeys wanting to sell you pictures.
There are two floors with shops - One floor has the expensive items (Bulgari, etc.) and the other one has the gift shops and less expensive items.
We will definitely sail on the Silhouette (and any of her sisters) again.
San Juan is an easy port to just walk around Old San Juan. There are hills, but nothing that I couldn't handle (asthma, arthritis). We walked to Barrachina where the Pina Colada was invented (and, of course, ordered one). The Coach outlet was near Barrachina so we bought a couple of items there.
We saw Fairview House and garden, Romney Manor and a Picturesque stop overlooking the Ocean and Sea. Romney Manor's grounds were pretty and there is interesting history, but you have to stop at the Batik store and listen to the demonstration on how Batik is made and then walk through the store before going outside to see the grounds. At the Overlook - the view was magnificent, but there was distraction of people with their monkeys trying to see you pictures.
We love St. Maarten. We have been there several times and do not take excursions - no need to unless you want to. We take a cab to Orient Beach (the non-nude side). Cabs charge based on the number of persons and are easy to get at the port. We then took a cab into Phillipsburg, walked around, had some lunch at a French sandwich shop, then took the water taxi back to the ship.