Celebrity Silhouette Entertainment
Daytime entertainment, which falls under the auspices of the line's "sounds better than it is" CelebrityLife program, consists of the typical cooking demos, wine-tasting seminars, port shopping talks and bingo. There are a handful of twists, including self-taught language classes from Rosetta Stone (for a fee) and lectures sponsored by the Smithsonian (on select cruises).
Another new stroke for Silhouette: Two artists are stationed onboard to answer questions and teach classes (for a fee) in the ship's art studio at the portside entrance to the Lawn Club. The space replaced the Corning Museum of Glass' showcase room.
The Silhouette Theater is the place to see the ship's "cirque-lite" productions. A new offering, "Silhouette: The Show" stars an everyman type thrust into a bizarre and colorful world of flying acrobats, opera singers and hip-hop dancers. Other shows include "Broadway Nights," which features -- you guessed it -- popular song-and-dance numbers from New York's theater district, and "Velocity," another cirque-style show featuring lots of flashing lights, performers dangling from the ceiling and hit pop tunes (think U2).
Silhouette's casino is located on Deck 4 and features the standard smattering of losing propositions, including slots, craps, blackjack, roulette and three-card poker.
More than a dozen lounges, from the ice-topped Martini Bar to the steaming cocktail-producing Molecular Bar, are found throughout Silhouette. We have a special commendation for CellarMasters, one of cruising's only truly 24-hour bars. How do they pull it off? The wine on offer is dispensed via self-service "enomatic" machines. Passengers without two left feet should head to Quasar, the ship's mod-futuristic discotheque. Though we must warn you: The older the crowd (see longer, non-summer cruises), the less populated the club tends to be.
Michael's, Celebrity's staple piano bar, modeled after a world explorer's parlor room -- think globes, leather chairs and atlases -- has morphed into an uncluttered bastion for beer snobs. Celebrity is putting cache into the fledgling at-sea concept, which offers a rotating lineup of at least 50 bottled ales, stouts, ciders and lagers with names like Old Speckled Hen, Old Dead Guy Ale and Delirium Tremens (and also Bud and Guinness). Oddly, there are only two ho-hum options, Heineken and Amstel, on draught. Long the spot for sometimes bawdy piano sing-alongs, the venue now features acoustic guitar music. It's the end of an era -- but beer aficionados think the chance couldn't have come sooner.
Silhouette splits time between the Caribbean and Mediterranean, so shore excursions reflect the different deployments. In the Caribbean, options focus on snorkeling, beach days and island tours. Mediterranean cruises may concentrate on more cultural endeavors, with food, wine and city tours informing many of the offerings.
Celebrity Silhouette Public Rooms
In addition to being elegant, Silhouette is effortlessly organized. Deck 3's marble-washed Grand Foyer is the ship's entry point. Passengers will find the guest relations and shore excursions desks there, along with the requisite lobby bar, a place to relax before or after registering a complaint or booking a tour.
Decks 4 and 5 make up the ship's main hub and are the location of Silhouette's entertainment venues, casino, shopping venues, art gallery, dining rooms and most alternative restaurants, as well as countless bars. Amidships are some 20 boutiques and shops. Running parallel to the casino on Deck 4 are the shops on the Boulevard, showcasing the standard mix of jewelry, clothing and duty-free goods. If that's not enough, the Galleria Boutiques, which include the first dedicated Bulgari boutique at sea, are just a flight of stairs away.
The iLounge Internet cafe, "Hideaway" lounge, card room and library are stacked midship on Decks 6 through 10. Each venue abuts a towering vertical corridor in which a massive potted tree appears suspended in mid-air. Cool. The iLounge, Silhouette's trademarked computer lab, is populated by Apple products. The venue also holds classes on subjects like photo and video editing, rents out the latest iPads and sells iPods and notebook computers at legit prices. Using the Web, either in the cafe or via bow-to-stern Wi-Fi, starts at 65 cents if you're paying by the minute. Purchasing a package can bring the cost down to 42 cents a minute.
Exclusive to Silhouette is the aforementioned Hideaway, a two-deck venue punctuated by a pair of overhanging second-floor seating arrangements that look like dangling wicker cages. The venue, which is basically a place to relax (there are coffee machines nearby), replaces Team Earth, an interactive environmental exhibit that has elicited shrugs even from Prius drivers.
The ship does not feature self-service laundry facilities.
Celebrity Silhouette Spa & Fitness
Silhouette's spa offers a slew of treatments from all manner of massages to teeth whitening and acupuncture. The Persian Garden, a large suite of centrally located rooms for DIY spa enthusiasts, includes a coed sauna and steam room, tropical rain shower and heated oceanview relaxation chairs. The facility is available for free to AquaClass passengers and for $100 to all other passengers (based on a one-week cruise.)
The glass-and-steel-covered Solarium, a fixture on every Celebrity ship but Century, battles the Lawn Club for most eye-catching space aboard. The adults-only greenhouse features a pool, two hot tubs, loungers with extra-thick cushions and a small "cafe" serving up salad, chilled soups and pre-plated dishes of grilled chicken and fish.
Silhouette's main outdoor pool area, midship, has a shallow family pool, a "Sports Pool" and the "Wet Zone," a rectangular rubber deck space that offers randomly firing water jets. There are four hot tubs mixed in.
Silhouette's well-outfitted gym features the expected ellipticals, StairMasters, treadmills, bikes, weight machines and free weights. Fitness classes (mostly for a fee) include yoga, Pilates and cycling. The jogging track (eight laps to the mile) is one deck up from the gym. Silhouette's Lawn Club also hosts a few sporting activities, including bocce ball and golf putting. At the forward end of the ship, on Deck 15, is a basketball court.
At the top of the ship, Silhouette's rectangular Lawn Club is less a public space than previous iterations. There's simply much more that's private or for-fee there, including two up-charge restaurants not found on the first three Solstice-class ships and a set of eight private cabanas called "alcoves." The alcoves, which line the port and starboard sides of the Lawn Club, four to a side, certainly are photogenic: white wicker chairs and chaises with thick, striped cushions, potted shrubbery and a canvas roof that stretches sail-like over occupants, all set atop a soft carpet of grass. But while evocative imagery is one thing, will people actually pay $99 (port day) or $145 (sea day), a cost that includes bottled water, fruit and use of a loaded iPad 2? But location is our main concern. Alcoves occupy real estate open to book-and-towel-toting passengers on Solstice, Equinox and Eclipse, who can plop down (surcharge-free) on sunny days. Moreover, while the alcoves are "private," they're situated on Silhouette's open-access lawn and face inward. Will the riff-raff be jockeying for space at the foot of the Cabana-dwellers? It could be muddy.
There is still some space for non-Alcove passengers in between the cabanas and along two grassy strips that stretch sternward on either side of the rear funnel. Also, opposite of the Lawn Club Club are eight free-to-use hammocks and a novelty-sized Adirondack lounge that's a favorite of many a photographer.