We have just returned from a wonderful Adriatic cruise on the Silhouette. I'll try to highlight some of the postive points and issues that I would have wanted to know in advance of taking this particular cruise.
The Ship: The Silhouette is beautiful and in excellent condition. I thought there was interesting art throughout the ship, but didn't leave myself enough time to just hang out and enjoy it. Our voyage was very smooth and everything seemed to 'work': we left on time, activities were well-organized, and I didn't realize there were propulsion issues on the ship until I read about them on Cruise Critic after the cruise was over.
The cabin: we were in a concierge class room, which was kept clean and everything was attended to appropriately. We even had towel animals! I suspect we may have had a change in stateroom attendant after a couple of days because we didn't see our original attendant (Antonio) during the later part of the cruise. In any case, though, the More
room was consistently cleaned and perfectly maintained (whoever was doing it). Re concierge class: the cabin location and balcony stools were great. the canapes are gross. The fruit is nothing you couldn't pick up yourself around the ship. There is an actual concierge who seems like she is very sweet, but we didn't need her services. No flowers anymore. There was an upgraded totebag with black handles.
The food: Both the MDR and the buffet are consistently very good. In fact, I think this ship had the best food of any of the last 4 celebrity cruises we were on (two on the solstice, one on the reflection). Room service using the concierge menu for breakfast was actually much better than it had been. We enjoyed the yogurt/fruit/granola parfaits and the croissants on those early excursion mornings. We didn't risk the room service coffee; Caffe Baccio was open at 7 every morning and we would pick up our coffee there. Our favorite foods in the MDR were the veal chops, the duck with french toast, the onion soup, the ahi tuna appetizer, the spring roll appetizer, and the sirloin. Favorite foods in the buffet include the scones, the Indian food, the fish and chips, the English breakfast, and the stirfry. We went to Qsine once, which was fun (M's Favorites is HUGE), but it is easy to get way too full, way too soon.
The ports/excursions: We did a mixture of independent excursions, cruise critic organized excursions, and Celebrity excursions. One of the Celebrity excursions was very fun and lively (the blue grotto boat ride in Malta), and the other was a bit slow-paced (wine-tasting in Dubrovnik). Here's a quick rundown:
Venice: we stayed in a terrific hotel, Ca Pisani, and didn't do any organized tours.
Slovenia: Cruise Critic group: interesting tour of the Postonja caves, castle, and capital city. So-so lunch at seafood 'food truck' recommended by our guide (Roundabout).
Ravenna: Did mosaics on our own. Lucked into a good lunch at a place called Scai near the John F Kennedy Piazza
Split: Rafting organized on Viator, but almost identifical to the Celebrity rafting trip (same stretch of river). Very fun!
Dubrovnik: Celebrity excursion, wine-tasting, a little slow paced.
Kotor: Kayaking/Biking organized on line through Kotor Bay Connect. Excellent! Look for the Active Day Tour.
Bari: Cruise Critic group: Alberobello and Polignani through Tours of Puglia. Interesting places (but unfortunately we had some rain). BTW, it seems like most tourists thought downtown old Bari was too decrepit and crumbly for them -- but I really liked it, particularly the ladies drying orichiette in front of their buildings. A chance to see a less touristy, authentic slice of Italy.
Malta: Celebrity trip: Blue Grotto and fishing village. Beautiful, fun, and interesting.
Sicily: Godfather tour, organized by a member of our Cruise Critic group. I thought being in these small villages was very picturesque and interesting (but I heard later that others became a little bored). Lunch in Taormino at a place recommended by our guide called the Granduca (good!).
Naples: Amalfi coast, organized by a member of our Cruise Critic Group. LOVED the lunch at La Tagliata. Go if you can!
Rome: stayed in a small, clean hotel in a wonderful location: The Duca D'alba. Did an excellent Food tour of Testaccio on our own (arranged on line through Eat Italy).
Drinks on the Ship: Our favorite bars are the Molecular, the Martini, and the Sunset bars. I hate to write this, but the bartender at the Molecular always seemed a little down. The drinks were great, but the energy was a little low. There's a tall bartender at both Martini and Sunset (Ilya maybe?) who was extremely friendly and upbeat.
Entertainment on ship: We missed a lot of the shows due to the busy schedule. But Nick Page, the singer, was excellent. The music around the ship seemed fine, not too loud or intrusive, and the variety was good.
The Celebrity Life staff was hard-working, but it's possible that some of their activities were eclispsed by the World Cup games, which were being broadcast the week we were on board. Did catch the LIar's Club and was impressed by the dry wit of the captain.
Embarkation: Walked right on in seconds at about 5:00 during the extended embarkation period (overnight in Venice). Debarkation was well-organized as well.