Celebrity Silhouette Cruise Review by Elizabeth0829: April 6, 2014 - Western Caribbean
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April 6, 2014 - Western Caribbean
I am a solo traveler. I flew in from Boston on the morning of 6 April and took the transfer bus from Fort Lauderdale Airport to the Celebrity Silhouette. Processing at the pier was quick and I was onboard within a half hour. As I had missed the lunch in the main dining room, I went to the cafe on deck 14 for the buffet. There were many choices. Chinese, Italian, Grill, Standing rib roast, sandwiches, pastries & ice cream. I went back to my cabin (a large balcony on deck seven, port side) and unpacked my carry on. When I travel, I make sure I have a change of clothes, toiletries, reading material, and a scarf or two in my carryon. After unpacking, I went to Customer Relations and mentioned that my other bag was not in my cabin, and I was told that bags were still being delivered to staterooms. I decided to explore the ship, I saw the library, and the pool deck. Then it was time for muster after which there was a sailaway party in the Sunset bar up on the same deck as the lawn. I More
had a premium drink package, and, I must admit, it was nice to just present my card and not have to sign anything. After the sailaway, I went to visit the shops (on both decks 3 and 4). As I passed by, I saw that all the bars were crowded and lively with conversation. It looked like passengers were having a wonderful time. The shops had the usual logo t-shirts, jackets, but also had dresses and tunics for ladies. That proved to be valuable for later. More luxury items (fine jewelry, watches, fashion-house shops) were available on another deck. I went back to my cabin, still no luggage, so I went back to the Customer Relations desk. I reported that I had no luggage and the folks there were most gracious, providing me with a full "Dopp kit" with toiletries and T-shirts. They provided hairspray, and offered to pay for other things I might need to buy at the shops. One of the CR agents even went to her cabin and found me some talcum powder. The CR folks suggested that they were still hunting for the luggage and they hoped it would be found in the luggage area of the ship. That night, dressed in one of my alternative dresses, I went to the speciality Restaurant ( Murano) and had a fine dinner paired with wines. This speciality restaurant is an experience I enjoy each time on Celebrity.
It was the next morning, when I visited Customer Relations again, that they said they had put a $200. OBC on my account so I could buy necessary clothes etc. By now, they greeted me by name, and updated me on the luggage search, so far, nothing had been found on the ship. They were now tracking where the luggage might have been left on the way from the airport to the ship. I went to the shops and bought a lovely full length dress and a stole to wear at that night's formal dinner. I went to the excursion desk, cancelled my tour to swim with the Dolphins in Cozumel and the manatees in Grand Cayman (as I had no bathing suit). I spent the day trying to find suitable shoes for that night's formal dinner (not an easy task, they had flip flops, but no shoes). Back to the CR desk, another update: they had found the luggage in Fort Lauderdale and were attempting to fly it into Cozumel. That afternoon I went on an onboard excursion, a galley tour. There was a presentation with some amusing stories. I met the executive chef, Tony, and suggested that his sense of humor must assist him in his executive duties. I asked him about the star he wore on his lapel, and he reported that it was meant to remind staff to smile and greet passengers. Then he gave me his star. WOW, how nice. After the tour, I went back to the CR desk, and they noticed my star (every staff member wears the star, presented to them after special training). "Eddy" told me that "S" stands for Smile and greet, "T" stands for take responsibility for any issues, "A" stands for Attention to detail, and "R" stands for Reach higher. Staff members asked me how did I get my star. I told them and they all said that Tony is a wonderful person. Many staff spoke to me, noticed my star, and I have had memorable conversations with many CR and other staff.
The evening of the first "sea day" was the formal dinner. I chose a late seating with seven wonderful table mates, it was an International group from Denmark, Ireland, and Germany, all were full of witty stories.
Next day, in Cozumel, which was warm and pleasant, I met up with a Tequila tasting group. We had a tour of the Cuervo tasting room, an art museum, had tacos for lunch, and visited their gift shop. When we got back to town, the sky opened up it poured, it wasn't just rain, it came down in what seemed like buckets. We had to walk back to the ship on what seemed like an endless pier. We all got soaked. I begged for a large plastic bag from one of the vendors, and, under that cover was able to get back to the ship only slightly less drenched than others. When I reached my cabin, there was my suitcase. TAA DAA.
I was able to change into dry clothes and go to dinner with my new International friends. Each had stories to tell about their day and the pouring rain. The Dutch couple went to the ruins on the mainland, and they, too, were drenched and also frozen in the air conditioning on the ferry on the way back to the ship.
Next day we were to visit Grand Cayman. Alas, in the morning, I heard the captain's announcement that the harbormaster had closed the port of Georgetown due to bad weather. It seems we were traveling the same path as the storm we had in Cozumel. Another enjoyable day at sea. I found that I could return the clothes I didn't need for additional OBC. The day was overcast but warm so I was able to sit by the pool and read. That night, another wonderful dinner with my amusing International friends.
Thursday in Jamaica I had arranged a private tour with Patrice Bailey (high ratings in TripAdvisor). Rather than a regular tour of the Falls, The White Hall, or other Jamaican Tourist sites, our previous established itinerary took us to a several small farms: coffee, papaya, and coconut. We talked with the farmers, learned about raising the crops, how to rid them of pests, and how to know when they were ready to harvest, At the coconut farm, the farmers chopped off the ends of the nuts and we could drink the water. Then they halved the nuts and we were able to eat the soft coconut meat. She took us to have lunch at a local place called "Scotches" where they grill the chicken, BBQ, or fish over a HUGE open grill fired by logs and it is served with beer or soda and a fried bread called Paradise (a little like a large hush puppy). She took us to the "White Witch" golf course and we were able to take pictures of the beautiful landscaping and multi-hued Caribbean sea. This was not a typical tourist excursion, this was a tour of local Jamaica. We stopped at a local place for shopping and Patrice was able to get us Blue Mountain coffee at much less expensive than typical tourist prices.
The next day was Labadee. The storm had moved past us and the day was sunny and hot (95 degrees F.) I got out to the pier, but it was so hot, I decided to turn around and stay aboard for the day. My dinner companions went into Labadee, to the beaches, to the shops, and even on the zipline. They all described their days as exciting and fun, hot in the sun but cool in the shade, especially with the breezes.
The last day on board was relaxing. I packed and put the requisite numbered labels on both my suitcase and carryon. Per instructions, I left the double labeled suitcase outside my door by 11 PM. The next morning I enjoyed an express breakfast in the main dining room. One does not need to order, express breakfast means, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, croisssants, and coffee or tea. The plate comes quickly, hot, and ready, The condiments (butter, jam, milk/cream) were on the table. Absolutely perfect! Disembarkation was very organized. We were instructed to go to the theater at specified times, and we disembarked when our number was called. My porter could not find my suitcase on the pier, (but finally did, using the nametag, as the two number tags had come off. (what are the odds that my suitcase would become "lost" twice on the same cruise?) The bus to the airport was well organized as were my flights (all arranged by CruiseAir).
Concerning Children's clubs and Entertainment, I travel solo and had no experience with the Children's Clubs. I did not go to the evening entertainment as my dinner companions and I were all having such a good time at the late sitting dinner.
Overall, this cruise was second to none. My previous experiences have been multiple crossings, cruises and trans-canal on Cunard, as well as many cruises on Holland, NCL, Carnival and other single cruises. Because I was greeted so warmly, my "lost luggage" taken care of with such generosity, the wonderful table companions, and great excursions, I think that Celebrity will become my cruise line of choice. Thank you for all the wonderful times and days on this vacation. It was wonderful. Less
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Cabin review: Celebrity Silhouette 7253
Great balcony cabin on Deck 7. The cabin was laid out well, spacious, plenty of storage space, and always clean. I think of myself as a bit of an "engineer", and I liked being one deck above the life boats. On a previous cruise, I had the wonderful experience of being able to lean over my balcony railing and watching the lowering (and raising) of the life boats as they had been used as tenders. On the Silhouette, as we were not allowed to go into Georgetown (the harbor master closed the port due to bad weather), I was not able to relive that experience. Oh well, next time. I will choose this cabin again, if able.
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