Postponed a January trip on RCI upon learning of Celebrity Silhouette's sailing from Bayonne. Booked through a travel agent and received free bus rides to and from. Boarding was quick and our room was ready in no time at all. Needless to say, the ship is beautiful and we quickly learned where everything was located.
Buffet was nicely laid out with plenty of seating. We booked early seating in Grand Cuvee dining room but found many unhappy table mates upon arrival. Most left and our table for twelve was quickly filled with replacements as most opted for the early seating. This made the theater quite crowded at showtime and one needed to find a seat immediately after dinner or risk having to stand. There are many small bar areas as well as the expansive Sky Lounge above the bridge.
The single worst problem Celebrity failed to address was the lack of proper enforcement of hand washing rules. Numerous Purel dispensers outside every food venue but no one there to enforce their use. As a result, many became ill and a few from our table were quarantined to their cabins. No announcements regarding the outbreak but daily newsletter items about the importance of hand washing. Once the illness took hold, everything changed at mealtime. Every food station at the OVC buffet was wrapped with plastic and nobody served themselves anything. A cup of coffee could take ten minutes to obtain as cream, sugar or whatever had to be dispensed by serving staff. Tables in the Grand Cuvee were devoid of salt, pepper, sugar, rolls and butter making it much tougher on the staff. Our waiters Kumar and Haddish handled it well but the extra work made it all the more difficult.
On the final night prior to docking the next morning, the Purel dispenser outside the theater, port side, fifth deck was totally empty. Rather than replacing, staff tried fruitlessly to dispense minute drops to everyone prior to entering the theater. After the show, I noted the dispenser had been removed.
While I haven't been on many cruises, I know RCI, NCL and even Carnival take the hand washing issue far more seriously. Most make it a game and everyone walks away singing WASHEE WASHEE while ensuring a germ free environment.
Celebrity needs to get far more serious before I'll consider returning.