My wife and I sailed on the January 5th Silhouette Cruise. We looked forward to it since no airlines would be involved. This is our 40th cruise. We used a New Jersey car service to take us to the ship. We planned to arrive at about one o'clock to 1:30pm. Check in went relatively easy, for that terminal. Patience is the word of the day, since you check in and then get on a bus to go to the ship. It took us about a half hour from start to finish. By the time we dropped off our carryon bags the the rooms were open and the bags started to arrive. We had lunch in the Oceanview Cafe. Food was fair, not much of a taste or choice. To be honest, we never make a big thing of the arrival lunch. Not fair to judge.
We took a conceirge cabin off the back of the ship. Small storage space, especially for a twelve day cruise and three formal nights. Bed and bedding very comfortable. Small shower, although I have been in smaller. We had room key issues over the course of the cruise. It interrupted a few things, but was not the end of the world.
In light of the recent accident in Europe I will comment on the muster drill. Not just this ship but others. (4 last year) They eased up on the drill. We don't need to bring the vest. We travelled 5 decks and to the front of the ship to the restaurant where they showed a video. Was not clear what would happen next.
I took the premium beverage package. I basically was able to get any drink coffee or water and soda. A great convenience. Nobody treated me any different, because they felt they were not going to be tipped. Same with my wife, as she took the water package. We also prepurchased our specialty dinners, so we could get the nights and times we wanted. We as always break our evenings up-one night in the MDR and then one in the specialty. In the MDR we were at second seating #227. As with every one, they were terrific people who went out of their way to give us professional service. The problem was the food awful. I sent mine back a number of times, and would wind up eating the appetizer and salad. Breakfast was not much better. Thank goodness there was the elite captains club breakfast. Not only was the food no better than cheap diner, but there was no presentation of the food as Celebrity was noted for. Murano's was by far the best specialty restaurant. However, I would highly recommend taking one of the alcoves for the day. My wife and I thouroghly enjoyed it and ended the day at the Lawn Club Grill. That said, the Tuscan Grille leaves a lot to be desired. The help, because it was empty, spent more time entertaining each other, than tend to us.
The ship was clean! Any problems, people we knew traveling had, in their room was handled quickly and professionally.
I have learned to provide my own entertainment on the ship, since it's slowly going away. Not difficult what with IPADS-Kindles-and IPODS. The entertainment was much better on the front of the cruise as opposed to th last half. Cruise director was a very engaging individual as was the captain. They could be approached! Being a cigar smoker, I used the sunset bar every day and got to meet some very nice people. Don't worry all you smokers, you are gladly accepted there, not to mention, it is also very comfortable. I don't get what Celebrity is try to do with Michael's Club. It used to be so elegant. I get the no smoking in there, but turning the one wall into a beer refrigerator, found in my local liquor store. That I thought was tacky.
Trips in port. I went on all three golf trips and found the same thing. Waiting-confusion-poorly run at the course. At Antigua's Ceder Valley, all the golfers from all the ships as well as locals showed up at the same time. I finally went up to a totally bewildered starter and suggest he do a shot gun start for the cruise people so they can make it back to the ship. Otherwise it would have been a good hour for us to get out. Like my smoking a cigar, as a golfer, I felt like a second class citizen compared to the other tours.
When we arrived back in Bayonne, I was pleasantly surprised to see how easy and simple it was to disembark.