Embarkation and Disembarkation: The process was excellent at both ends of the cruise and better than what I have experienced on a couple of other cruise lines. Celebrity knows how to swiftly and conveniently move a lot of folks who are either anxious to board or get to the airport at the end of the trip.
Cabin: We were very pleased with our Aqua cabin on Deck 11. The room was very well appointed, meticulously clean, and had a very nice verandah. My wife (who is particular about such matters) was impressed with the bathroom. The shower was large compared to other ships and the location of the shower head and lower nozzles made us want to take longer showers than we normally do. The no fogging mirror is a great touch. Our cabin steward (Sebastian) was attentive and very professional. He seemed to anticipate our needs and fulfilled requests quickly. We also enjoyed the fact that there were so many free first-run movies available. My only nitpick is that there was no soft reading light near the couch so that I could get up early to read without disrupting my wifes sleep.
The Ship: What a pleasure it was to be on one of the first sailings of this magnificent ship. It was spotless everywhere, spacious and tastefully decorated. Not sure if this is due to layout or clever scheduling but with a couple of exceptions, we never felt crowded. In fact, we never had trouble finding a deck chair. There were also plenty of places to wander, including several interesting bars (Michael's, Martini Bar, etc.). We absolutely loved the fitness area, with plenty of great equipment and it was never too crowded. Again a small nitpick but I would have liked better yoga classes.
The Staff: All departments of Silhouette were well represented by the ships personnel. Everyone (with one exception) was receptive to requests and greeted us with a cheerful good morning or good evening. One thing I noticed (and appreciated) on this cruise was that the staff treated the guests as professionals, not as party types. They referred to passengers as Sir or Madam not you guys like they seem to do on lower quality cruise lines. Also, while the staff was always available, they were not constantly shoving drinks and photos at the passengers. Celebrity has again proven to be a quality and discerning cruise line.
Dining: We had most of our dinner meals in Blu and each was a pleasure. The Maitre d' and waiters got to know us and were friendly and professional. They not only went through the mechanics of great service but genuinely seemed to care that we were satisfied with every meal. They even made a special dish for my wife when she inquired about whether they were going to have it on the menu. Our three dinners in the main dining room were also excellent. The best dinner we had on the cruise was at the Tuscan Grill, one of the many specialty restaurants. The staff and chefs at Tuscan exceeded our expectations. The Ocean View was sometimes a bit crowded but food quality was good for buffet service. It was a great place to have a quick bite before heading out for an early morning tour. We also had several quick (and healthy) breakfasts at the Aqua Spa Cafe. One other important factor the coffee was uniformly good throughout the ship. We used the room service twice and the service and food was good.
Entertainment: We were expecting average entertainment but were pleasantly surprised at the quality. We attended all except two shows and would give all of them an A or B grade. The visiting entertainers (Jack Walker, Mike Doyle, and the young lady pianist who performed on the last night) were particularly impressive, as were the circus entertainers on the next to last night. Nick Weir is an enthusiastic and professional cruise director. The shipboard groups were also great, especially Spira, the acapella group and the jazz group that played in the Ensemble Lounge.
Education: We were disappointed with the two professors who did lectures. The astronomer did not stick to the title of his presentation and the historian cut the length of his lecture on the fall of the Roman Empire in half.
Itinerary: What can you say about the itinerary? While we were disappointed that Egypt was dropped, how many chances does one have to go to Italy, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Israel on the same trip? We had excellent guides at all ports, some private and some arranged through Celebrity and others via private tours.
Overall, we give this ship, staff and itinerary very high marks. We look forward to sailing with Celebrity in the future, either on the Silhouette or one of the sister ships.