Embarkation: This our 19th cruise and 5th Celebrity cruise. The embarkation was very smooth and very organized. Perhaps the best ever. All the staff and volunteers were very pleasant as if they really enjoyed their jobs. We entered the ship around 11:30 am so obviously rooms are not ready so we checked out the Oceanview Café. We were familiar and again impressed with the setup since we had twice been on the Solstice. Very well designed with ample room to walk around, compared to other ships.
Cabins: By 1 pm, the rooms were ready for occupancy. Our preference is always a balcony. We decided to take this cruise on short notice therefore our room was four balconys from the front on Deck 6, port side. This was a little distance from everything but never a major problem. Room attendants were Elizabeth and Das, both of which met our every need. The room and balcony did seem smaller and storage was definitely less which was interesting since we were told we had been upgraded.
Dining: Due to our late registration, we had to take "anytime dining." In my opinion, this is where the most junior waiters are placed. Our preference has always been the late seating in the main dining room but told that was not available. The first night we made our reservation and were placed in a crowded corner of the upper dining area. Our waiter from India seemed very unsure of himself as did his assistant. The wine steward proceeded to get our order confused so the evening was off to a rocky start. It became apparent to the staff that we were less then pleased with our dining experience. Soon 3 supervisors and the matre'd descended on our table. The next night we were reassigned for the early seating on the main floor near the captain's table. I guess someone had to keep an eye on us. From that point on, service was excellent from our waiter John (Philippines) and assistant waiter Raysema (Yukraine) and wine steward Andruos (Croatia). They are to be commended for a job well done. Selection was good and quality of food was excellent
Service: In general we were very pleased with the service whether it was in the restaurants, specialty shops, guest relations security, restrooms, etc. All were very helpful and seemed to enjoy their jobs.
Bars: On every cruise, we identify a bar which provides outstanding service, quality drinks and a friendly entertaining atmosphere. The Martini Bar is the place on the Silhouette. We have cruised on the Solstace twice and met a great bartender from Bali by the name of Gusti. We were so pleasantly surprised to find him on this ship with his outstanding partner Sasa from Croatia. They are a class act. The drinks were excellent and so was the entertainment
Entertainment: We were very disappointed with the sailaway party. Caribbean music would have set the right tone. Instead we had some rock group. The variety of nightly shows in the main theater was good. The ships singers (2 males and 2 females) were the highest quality we have seen on a cruise ship. The small ensembles in the various lounges and the grand foyer left something to be desired. The only exception was the combo from the ship's orchestra.
Excursions: Because another couple joined us who had not visited any of these ports, we booked excursions at every stop. San Juan - tour of old and new town; St Kitts - island tour and batik visit; St Martin - catamaran and bus tour to Marigot. In San Juan, the tour was a little long leaving little time for shopping. We attempted to drink and eat at Barachinas. The food was cold and the service so slow we almost missed the ship. In St Kitts, the tour was obviously oversold. Ten of us were asked to ride in an eight passenger older model van. We had to open the windows because he seemed reluctant to turn the air on. Then you had difficulty hearing him. On the return trip the van overheated to the point of smelling like it was on fire. We had to bail out and be rescued by another van. Very disappointing. All ship excursions were very overpriced. My advice is to use the locals outside the main gates at a much reduced rate.