I do not know how to begin to review this cruise other than it was very un-expected and changed the whole tone and mood of the cruisers on this trip.
First, lets take care of business and let you know that this ship is about 9 months old, so mostly everything works and it is of high quality, and the crew and captain have been hand picked from the best of other vessels. The cabin is spacious, well distributed, many have balconies, with decent size and good furniture. Flat screen TV's, plenty of hot water, toiletries, minibar ... etc as expected. The cabin attendant was always smiling, provided us with information, attention and care. Plenty of food venues, from the plentiful buffet, great burgers on sun deck, specialty restaurants galore and many other options. The main traditional dining was excellent too, no need to go to specialty, unless you are dying for superb sushi or other exceptional food experiences. In most port of calls we were the envy of other cruisers, since Silhouette had always out a welcome and departure service point with cold drinks, ice towels and even sofas to rest if you needed it.
For the un-usual cruise experience, this trip departed 12/24/11 thru 1/5/12, and the almost 3000 passenger capacity was booked solid. We expected mostly US travelers and this was not the case, there were plenty of Brits, Mexicans, Russians, US, Germans, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Latin Americans.
In addition, it seems that a lot of people had the same idea at the same time, so there were plenty of families with children. The Ship carried between 600 and 700 children of all ages and they had plenty of opportunity to socialize or follow the activities designed for them, and you could review on your TV screen if you wanted to! In addition, we traveled with our son 23, the cabin phone kept on ringing from new friends, when he decided to take a break from the activities and rest in the cabin for a while, asking him to come out and join the fun!
I have never seen so many passengers running thru the halls at the same time (other than in a sinking ship!), when the announcements from the PA system let them know that Santa had arrived on the ship and was making his rounds on all decks starting on deck 14. We also even enjoyed two new year's eve, since the ship crossed the time zone at 12:15am and rolled the clocks to 11:15pm and had another new year's eve for 2012.
We run into friends on Amadea bound for Lima, Peru in St. Martin and out of the 1460 cruisers there was not a single child on board. They could not understand how we could cope with 600+ children on our ship without going nuts, it must be miserable to travel like that and we disagreed completely.
Actually I never knew how much more pleasant our trip could be, having all these mini-cruisers having a blast on board of a superb ship catering to all their needs.
Great Going Silhouette, if anybody can do babysitting in style you can!