Celebrity Silhouette Cruise Review by sail4seas: No more reasons
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The transfer bought from Celebrity from Rome to the port is not worth the money. Celebrity's buses were at a hotel way out of the city of Rome, so by the time you take a taxi to this hotel for their bus, sit around waiting for the bus to leave, it would have been much cheaper for two people to hire a private car shuttle and get there in half the cost and half the time.
The Silhouette ship is the most beautifully decorated I have ever seen. And the embarkation process was as smooth as silk. However...
This is my 16th cruise, and 7th with Celebrity. Over the years I have learned to love cruising with Celebrity for three reasons: 1) The indoor heated pool on the Millennium class ships, 2) The wonderful Friends of Dorothy gatherings, and 3) The superb dining. Well, Celebrity on the Solstice class ships such as the Silhouette have managed to eliminate all three reasons why I loved Celebrity. First, the indoor pool is no longer heated to a comfortable temperature. Not More only that - on our cruise from Rome to Bayonne New Jersey, half the time the pool had a net over it, or there was no water at all in the pool. As to the Friends of Dorothy gatherings - Celebrity decided to have it at the Martini Bar, which is the busiest and most scattered bar of the entire ship, so nobody could find anyone among the crowd gathered there. It is like trying to meet up with someone for the first time at New York's Grand Central Train Station at rush hour. Last, and the saddest of all, the dining: I remember the days when the Celebrity waiter would offer fresh pepper for each course, and scrape away the crumbs at the end of the main course. No longer. You neither get the offer of fresh pepper nor the clearing of crumbs. In fact, our single waiter and his assistant had to serve 14 passengers. The worst decision Celebrity made was to place tables merely 1 or 2 inches away from each other. I had requested a table for two, and our table was inches away from the next. The end result was like eating in a canteen, where the waiter had to throw dishes at you from left, right, behind you or even reaching from across the table.
If you read the wonderful description of Celebrity's website on their new Silhouette - each feature they highlight requires an additional fee, which is not mentioned.
As to the Cruise Port of Bayonne New Jersey where the Silhouette docked at the end of its journey, the terminal is clearly not equipped to handle a ship the size of the Silhouette. When we arrived, it took hours for the luggage and passengers to get off - many hours after the scheduled arrival, and causing many passengers to miss their flight. Some friends of mine didn't get off till 12:30 PM, as the next passengers were already getting on board. (On my travel summary from Celebrity, the scheduled arrival time is 3 AM.) To describe how ill-equipped the "cruise port" is - here is the procedure for the luggage: small cages of luggage were first one by one off-loaded onto the dock. Then the cages were lifted two by two by forklifts onto a truck. Then the truck had to driven the luggage cages to the cruise terminal, where each cage had to be lifted off the truck and then the luggage had to be taken out of each cage to be made available for the passengers to pick up. This of course took hours. Think of 2,886 passengers with at least 2,886 pieces of luggage. There were only two trucks at a time being loaded. The procedure for passengers were no less cumbersome: even when we were told we could get off, we had to stand for half an hour on the stairs and exit, waiting to get off the ship. After we got off the ship and got onto buses which had to transport all the passengers to the terminal, we sat on the bus for another 10 minutes because the terminal could not accommodate beyond a certain number of passengers. The entire disembarkation process took hours. Bayonne New Jersey as a cruise port is definitely not ready or prime time. Less
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