Celebrity Silhouette Cruise Review by grtfldave: Truly Modern Luxury on Celebrity Sihouette
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Truly Modern Luxury on Celebrity Sihouette
My DW and I are in our mid 40's. We've been on 11 cruises (1 NCL, 1 Princess, 7 Royal Caribbean and 2 Celebrity). We flew from Chicago to Ft. Lauderdale the day before our cruise and stayed at the Hilton Marina. We've stayed here before and love the location. It is right near the port (we watched the parade of ships from the front of the hotel). While the hotel is a bit older, it is comfortable and is right on the waterway with tons of huge yachts docked on property. But this is about the Silhouette so I'll get right to it.
We left the hotel at 11am and on board before 11:30 am. This was a very smooth embarkation process. When we walked on board we were offered a glass of Champagne or a mimosa and headed to Cafe al Bacio for a brief rest. Once finished with our drinks we headed up to the buffet (we could have eaten at Bistro on 5 but didn't feel like crepes). The Buffet opened at noon and we found a seat pretty easily. My DW and I are not fans of buffets but let me tell you, More Celebrity has one of the best. Choices were plentiful and fresh. You had a choice of the basic burger, hot dog, pizza and salad as well as carved meet (prime rib and leg of lamb), plus many other choices. We walked around the ship to familiarize ourselves with the public areas (we were on her sister ship Reflection last year) and were in our cabin by 1pm.
The cabin was a C1 balcony which had plenty of storage space and a good size balcony. While checking out our cabin we were greeted by Louis, our room steward who was one of the best we've ever had. After we put our carry-on's down we took another stroll around the ship. The color scheme is very light and reminds me of a luxurious Las Vegas hotel like Aria, Wynn or Venetian with a little Caesars Palace for good measure. Lots of whites and blues. I'll talk about the public spaces shortly but want to briefly mention the shops on board. You have your basic logo store, duty free liquor, and perfume. There is also a Breitling/Omega watch store, Bulgari, Cartier and a few other clothing options.
This ship is not for thrill seekers and doesn't have a water park, rock climbing wall or flow rider.... The pool area is decent sized and had plenty of chairs on two decks. The main pool area also has two person lounges which are shaded. This doesn't take away from deck space at all as there is ample tables and chairs in a covered area around the pool deck. There is also an adult pool which is covered and very quiet. It has a water fountain as well as a spa food station where you can get salads, fruit and parfaits (a minor charge for some items).
I know you are waiting for food, service and entertainment so I'll start here. Food is something I believe Celebrity leads all other premium lines on. There was not one night were we wouldn't want to eat in the Grand Cuvee dining room. The room is two stories and its center piece is a two story wine tower designed by Adam Tihany. Each night you had a choice of the everyday menu which included starters such as shrimp cocktail, escargot, and french onion soup and entree's such as NY Strip and Salmon. The daily specials were spectacular. From the first night choices of beef/veal bolognese and Prime Rib to other nights specials such as Duck a 'la orange and various lamb dishes you couldn't go wrong. The 2nd formal night included Beef Wellington and Lobster tail. Let me tell you, this was not a small tail. It was an Australian lobster tail at least 7oz. Service in the main dining room was very good, We were visited by the sommelier each night and since our whole table had the beverage package, wines were flowing. I even had him pair each course with appropriate wines on two occasions and the choices were perfect.
There are four specialty restaurants on this ship (Qsine, Tuscany, Lawn Club Grill and Murano each cost $45pp). Since we ate at Qsine last year on Reflection (you must experience this restaurant) we decided to eat at Murano. This is a french restaurant and it can be compared to any of the top french restaurants in Chicago. The service and food were outstanding. I also paired wines for this meal. The server started by explaining how we should order...2 starters each, one entree each and a dessert each. We probably could have ordered one starter but you live and learn. Anyways, the meal began with an amuse bouche of a mini crab cake surrounded by green pea puree. Starters for me included a scallop wellington and a peeky toe crab and salmon parfait with two types of caviar. DW had goat cheese souffle and the restaurant version of a caprese salad which was a bit too large as a second starter but very good. We had Chateaubriand for two and I added a broiled lobster tail all of which was cooked to perfection. Then we had a cheese course before desserts of grand marnier and dark chocolate souffle's....Yes, we were stuffed. Well worth every penny.
We also had coffee and desert at Cafe al Bacio which is one of the best coffee spots at sea and The Porch. A little cafe towards the back of the ship on deck 15 that serves pannini's, soups, salads and desserts for a $5pp fee. Very good food here as well. The ship also has a pool grill that serves made to order hamburgers, turkey and veggie burgers, hot dogs and french fries all with fresh fixings...
There were plenty of bars as well. Since we had the premium beverage package we didn't have to worry about prices. My favorite bar was the Molecular Bar which has drinks created by the Liquid Chef Junior Merino. There is a Martini Bar with Crush (a vodka bar) and the Sunset Bar at the back of the ship which had an acoustic guitarist almost every time we visited. With two pool bars and a few other locations inside the ship, it was easy to get your drinks.
Entertainment was very good. The house band for this cruise was from the UK called Smart Casuals. They were by far the best house band we have seen on any of our 11 cruises. They played everything from jazz to blues and rock. Our favorite performance was on deck at night for Celebrity Rox where all our favorite 80's to present day rock was performed first by the ships performers with the band as back up and then as the headliner. Each lounge had something different. The Ensemble Lounge (by Murano) usually had a jazz trio or a quartet, the Sunset Bar as I mentioned earlier had the acoustic guitarist. The Silhouette also has Celebrity Central where a comedian from the Comedy Show Sin City performed each late night. This was a raunchy but hilarious show. If you enjoy games on the pool deck you won't find a harry chest contest or belly flop competition. Instead you will find a ship Olympics in the pool as well as an Officers vs. Passengers pool volleyball game and the occasional Zumba class. The theater band was very good and the ships singers and dancers were on par with Royal Caribbean. My DW enjoyed the shows more than I did but they are subjective.
This was a Western Caribbean cruise that stopped at Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Falmouth, Jamaica and Labadee, Haiti (RCCL, Celebrity Private Island). We love Cozumel and have been there many times so for us we just walked to the new mall across the street, walked around the pier and then went back to the ship for lunch and the pool. Many of our CC friends did tours or hit beach clubs like Nachi Cokum and Mr. Sancho's. Both are private and some the best beaches on the island. We found both through reading cruise critic reviews. This was our second time in Grand Cayman. While we love the Island we don't enjoy tendering because it takes time. This was the only issue we had with Celebrity. We waited two hours to get off the ship and on to a tender. Passengers were told it was the choppy waters but the 5 other ships in port didn't have the same problem. After talking with some people "in the know" we determined that there weren't enough tenders available and Celebrity made the decision not to use lifeboats as tenders. Well anyways we did get on the Island and were able to reschedule our tour. We visited Seven Fathoms Rum Distillery and because we missed our original time, received a private tour with special tastings...In Falmouth we got off the ship and walked around the pier and visited the new Margaritaville. This is one of the nicest in the Caribbean. It has outdoor seating and pool with a waterfall. You can use the pool with the purchase of any item in the restaurant. Our last stop was Labadee which we love. Unfortunately we spent very little time there (2 hours) because the swells and wind forced us to arrive late and leave early (first time a ship ever evacuated the island and it was done very smoothly...all on board in one hour). During our brief time on the island we were invited to join another CC couple in their cabana at Barefoot Beach. If you get the opportunity to reserve on of these, do it! It was fantastic. We were met at the entrance to the island by a golf cart which took us to our cabana...Our butler Marc took great care of us bringing water mats and fruit and walking us to our private cabana buffet which had lamb chops, steak, seafood kabobs, chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs with plenty of sides. Too bad we had to leave early but Captain Alevropoulos made the correct decision and nobody questioned this. He was open and willing to discuss the safety issues of staying any longer whenever anyone asked.
One thing I have to say is that the Celebrity Officers are always visible around the ship. They eat in the Buffet and interact with guests where appropriate. At our CC Connections get together the Hotel Director, Cruise Director Damian, and Marketing Manager all attended and mingled with Cruise Critic members. I would not hesitate to recommend the Silhouette and Celebrity cruises to cruisers of all ages. There was plenty to do, the service was top notch and the food...well you get the picture. From embarkation to Debarkation this was one fantastic cruise. We will be sailing Celebrity again as it has become our new favorite cruise line. Less
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