This was our 30th cruise, our 5th Transatlantic crossing, and 6th cruise with Celebrity. Embarkation in Rome (Civitavecchia) and ending in New York (Bayonne).
HOTEL - In Rome, we stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Cavalieri hotel. Highly recommend this hotel if you would like to be away from the chaotic pace of Rome, yet only minutes from downtown. The hotel is at the top of a hill with amazing views of Rome, overlooking the Vatican. A bit pricey, but what a great way to relax after a long flight from the US. The breakfast buffet was the highest quality and largest offering of any we've ever experienced. The spa is one of the highest rated in all of Europe. TIP: Ask for a room facing the city on a higher floor. THE best views of Rome, amazing!
TO THE SHIP: We took the Celebrity shuttle from downtown Rome to the port of Civitavecchia. They pick you up at the Crowne Plaza hotel near St. Peters, and the port is just over an hour from the port. Great shuttle service. TIP: Taking the train from the airport or anywhere in Rome to the port is very easy, and is only about 4 Euro, and the train drops you off right near the port, and the ship provides free shuttle from train station to ship. We opted to use the ship's shuttle service for convenience.
EMBARKATION: Very easy - - from arrival to check-in it took only a few minutes, and we were on board within 1/2 hour.
SHIP: The Silhouette is amazing in design. We've been on other Solstice class ships, and Silhouette is the best. The theatre is large enough that you never have to arrive early to get a good seat, and there are very few "bad" seats. Indoor and outdoor pools are rarely crowded. Jacuzzi water temperature is a bit low, at all times, in all locations. Pool water temperature not heated enough either. Plenty of open deck spaces. Great shops, from high end Bvlgari, to logo shops with good prices. Decor is very modern. Immaculate clean everywhere! So many bars are restaurants to chose from. The Hideaway a great improvement over the use of this space on other Solstice class ships. Also the Lawn Club greatly improved over other Solstice class ships, with the cabanas, The Patio, Art Studio, and nice relaxing hammocks. Casino was typical for Solstice class, but the Casino Host (Andrew) is amazing and stands out amoung other Casino Hosts. Great casino staff, which so often you don't get on ships. There's a reason the Solstice class ships of Celebrity are the highest ranked ships in it's class. And Silhouette stands out amoung the best!
ENTERTAINMENT: In the main theatre, there were 3 "main" shows during the 11-day voyage. The Broadway Hits show is one of the best at sea, loved it. But the other two main shows were just ok. One comedian was just awful, and boring. The other two were great. The ship offered several other entertainers, from the acapella group (great), to a string trio (amazing!!), and a great main show band that was so enjoyable and entertaining. The Celebrity Life series is good, with many seminars offered. The free art classes were nice as well. Overall -- Silhouette entertainment always offered someting for everyone, and kept you busy. Even for six consecutive sea days! Early morning, to wee hours of the evening, so much was happening.
CABIN: We always get a cabin facing the back of the ship, Sunset Verandah on Solstice class. Plenty of closet and drawer space. Flat screen TVs with so many free movie's and channels, which is rare. Beds very comfortable, but the sofa not so much. Bathrooms roomy with great lighting. Cabins on Solstice class ships are larger than typical rooms offered on similar class ships. Very quiet, can't hear a peep from neighbors, or those above.
RESTAURANTS: OMG so many choices! Food was great in each and every food outlet. The buffet has so many options, though many are the same each day there are so many to chose from you don't eat the same items too often. We tried nearly every restaurant. The pay-per-service restaurants were great. Only complaint is the Bistro on Five, but for $5 I guess you shouldn't expect more from crepes. Good coffee on board! Tea, not so good. TIP: Try the differnt venues, you'll be very pleased, it's well worth the fee.
SERVICE: Great Great Great! From the dining room, to each lounge, to cabin steward and Officers, service is amazing on Silhouette. Room service always on time. Dining room service always timed well. The buffet staff could improve, especially the pasta counter guy who was always grumpy. And we appreciate spa staff not pushing products on you so hard!
VOYAGE: We had only three ports in 11-days. All were great, with limited but great shore excursions to chose from. We had very high seas for most days across the Atlantic. Pools were closed much of the time, as were outside decks. Captain Pagonis did a great job circumnavigating the worst of the storms. We prefer southern Atlantic crossings as they are smoother and warmer, but this North Atlantic crossing was ok. Just wish we wouldn't have ran into such high seas.
DEBARKATION: Two words - - a disaster! Just terrible, the worst we've ever experienced. This was very surprising as Celebrity can do so much better. Took so long, we missed our flights. Chaos and stress was the theme. The once you get off the ship, luggage took almost two hours to get. I'm sure this was not a typical debarkation, our late arrival may have compounded the systemic breakdown.
OVERALL: Amazing voyage. Enjoyed the ship, the service, the food, the entertainment. Ended on a poor note with the debarkation. We like Transatlantic sailings, as the clientele is great. Few to almost no kids, no rowdy drinkers, no impolite smokers, just great sailing patrons. We met many friends as we always do on Transatlantic crossings. I highly recommend Silhouette, a stand out amoung Solstice class ships.