We booked the September 3rd Holy Land cruise on the Silhouette because it was a brand new ship and was spending four days in Israel which we had always wanted to visit. I hoped the growing pains of a newborn would be smoothed over after the earlier cruises. I was amazed at how smoothly everything flowed! From an easy embarkation to meeting our cabin steward Reynaldo at 1:00 PM when we were able to move in, everything worked like a well oiled machine. We found our cabin quite roomy with enough closet and drawer space. We were a C3 on the starboard aft but were not bothered by motion or smoke. Plus, we enjoyed the exercise benefit of the walk to the elevators! The bathroom was roomy and well stocked with fresh towels twice a day. Reynaldo gave us a pitcher of ice water several times daily as requested, and when we asked for cheese and crackers one day, he also brought canapEs as well. The bed was very very comfortable and turned down with mints on the pillows each evening. We requested different pillows and found the perfect fit. Drawer space is just adequate, though with room in the bathroom and over the bed, we were not cramped. The closet design allows for long and short garment hanging space that maximizes the usable area. We loved lounging on our veranda in our robes, as it was private and protected from the wind. The Apple TV system allowed us to watch BBC, CNN, the navigation channel, or check our account daily. When we saw an error in a charge, one phone call had it corrected.
As we explored the ship we kept discovering new areas like the Solarium with its indoor pools, the Porch with paninis, salads, and soups for a $5 extra charge, or the Sky Lounge at the top forward of the ship. Moving between decks was quick and easy especially on the midship glass elevators. They zoomed up and down like a science fiction movie from decks 2 to 14, past the mature tree suspended in the center of the glassed in atrium. Music and dancing took place on deck 4 in the marble Grand Foyer in the center of the ship. We always stopped to hear our favorite quartet Aquadio. Interestingly, despite 2800 passengers and 1400 crew, it never felt crowded. We all seemed to sort ourselves out and found our favorite haunts: we loved having our late night drinks at the Molecular Bar with amazing mixologists Susana from Serbia and Viktor from Sweden.
We had Select Dining which we liked a lot. We never had a wait, despite rarely reserving ahead, and always had great service, particularly from Matthew and Silva. In the main dining room, the Grand Cuvee, you can order from the left side of the menu which is the same night to night. The escargots, French onion soup, creme brulee and the apple pie were all excellent. The right side changed nightly and the steaks and lamb were delicious. I found ordering rare was the way to get medium rare as I prefer! The wait staff is so attentive and wanting to please that they encourage replacing a dish if you had anything less than total satisfaction. We also dined at the specialty restaurants Tuscan Grill and Murano. Tuscan Grill had excellent steaks but my wife's Branzino was a little dry. Murano was an extraordinary extravaganza of service, beautiful presentation, and an amazing menu. It served the best dessert onboard...a Gran Marnier soufflE. Our only criticism was that the appetizers, soups and salads were too generous and we were stuffed when we finally left. But it was all sooooo good!
On port days, we usually ordered room service the night before. Since we were Concierge Class, we had fresh squeezed orange juice with our eggs or French Toast and a big pot of fresh coffee. It always came on time and was hot. It made getting ready for a day of touring much easier than going to the dining room or the Ocean View cafe, at least for us. We had arranged private tours in Israel with two other couples we met on our Roll Call and had wonderful full days of touring. In Kusadasi we took a ship's excursion to Ephesus and then wandered and shopped in the bazaar in town. It was great fun capped off with an excellent lunch at a small cafe. Mykonos was just fun to wander around and soak up the charm. In Naples, we joined our friends and toured for the day with a driver to Herculaneum, Sorrento, and had lunch in Positano overlooking the Amalfi coast.
After amazing day after day on board and excellent evenings filled with entertaining shows or casino stops or dancing, we finally came to our last day. We had a 7:30 disembarkation which was, as expected, very smooth and easy. Our bags were easy to find and our Roma Shuttle driver (another recommendation, by the way), waiting to take us to the airport. It was sad saying goodbye to our new friends but we still have the glow from the amazing Silhouette!