We were excited about leaving from Newark which would eliminate having to fly to Florida. From the moment we stepped on the ship, we encountered problems that should not have occurred.
First of all, we had booked our dining reservations in July 2011 when we were on another Celebrity cruise. This was confirmed at the time of booking as well as in the email sent from Celebrity two weeks before our cruise. When we arrived in our room, the paper we were given stated that we had second dining at 8:30PM. We went to guest desk to asked that we be given the early seating which had been confirmed. They referred us to the dining room. There we encountered a long line of people who had similar problems. After staying on line for 45 minutes we were told that there was nothing that could be done about it. We went back to guest desk and asked to speak to a supervisor. A woman came out and said that the dining room supervisor was busy and that our concerns would be noted. They would try to resolve our problem. She suggested we go to the dining room at 6PM. We arrived at 6 and the maitre d said that he could not assign us to a regular table but was able to give us a table for two. We wanted to be at a table with other people as part of the cruise experience. But, this was never done. We can't understand why our initial confirmed request for early dining was not able to be honored when we made this reservation since July.
While the room was clean, we noticed that the closets were small and that there were no shelving for storage. The cabin staff were pleasant and tried to solve any problems we had.
The dinner menu in the dining room did not compare well to our previous celebrity experience. The dining room staff were professional.
The large production shows were well done. However, the entertainment in the evening was not up to par with our other cruising experience.
The biggest problem was the outbreak of stomach virus that happened. We were not officially informed of this until 8 days into the cruise although we had spoken to several people before such time and knew that there was a problem. Official report as of yesterday from the CDCP stated that 174 passengers and 11 crew were affected. We know that several of the people we had spoken to were ill for one or two days and did not report this so many more people were affected by this virus. It was only after the official notice went out that the ship began to enforce the cleaning of hands before entering the dining room and passengers were no longer able to serve themselves in the buffet area and tables were cleaned after use. Although of a few occasions we had to ask that the table be cleaned. While we cannot blame the ship for the virus happening, we feel that these precautions should have been put into place way before they were.
We were asked to be ready to debark at 9:15 and were told to go to the theater and wait. We sat there for one hour and 15 minutes before we were told to leave. Disembarking was disorganized and we had a problem finding our luggage.
We are hoping that the Silhouette can address some of these issues in the future. We have serious reservations about leaving from Newark again.
On a more positive note, we are appreciative of the dining room and cabin staff who were always pleasant and did their best to accommodate us.