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1,930 Celebrity Silhouette Cruise Reviews

I did the Transatlantic cruise on Celebrity Silhouette. A transatlantic cruise has been on my bucket list since I was 10, and overall I was not disappointed. I had read many reviews on Cruise Critic, so I was forewarned that Celebrity has ... Read More
I did the Transatlantic cruise on Celebrity Silhouette. A transatlantic cruise has been on my bucket list since I was 10, and overall I was not disappointed. I had read many reviews on Cruise Critic, so I was forewarned that Celebrity has made some very noticeable cuts and I had adjusted my expectations accordingly. Starting with the best: embarkation was easy and fast - it took less than 15 minutes, from arrival at the pier to stepping onto the ship. My cabin (9374) was comfortable, with a slightly larger verandah; there was enough storage, and the steward (Andrew - who is wonderful) warned against putting anything heavy into the cupboards above the bed. The itinerary was very good, and one of the reasons I chose this particular cruise, but I wish Celebrity would offer an itinerary with ports both in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. The weather was incredible; we kept being told in different ports that the weather a day or week before had been awful, but for us it was perfect. We had rain on a few nights, but sunny days in every port and no storms as we crossed the Atlantic. The worst weather was on disembarkation day in Ft. Lauderdale, where it was very windy and heavy clouds, but it still hadn't rained by the time my flight home left at midday, so no complaints. Food in the Oceanview Cafe and the MDR was consistently good. Our waiter's suggestions were always good ones - ignoring them lead to some disappointment. This said, Celebrity made its reputation on fine dining, and even as recently as 5 years ago formal nights meant an exquisite experience from amuse bouche to appetizer to soup and salad to a palate cleanser to entree to dessert, which was followed by bonbons. Now, formal night is the same dinner as any other; the diners are just more dressed up. The menus are also changed: you no longer have "appetizer," "soup & salad" and "entree" headings; now it's wines on the left side and "appetizer" and "entree" on the right. And the service was less than it used to be: in the past, the waiters were training the assistant waiters to meet very high standards - you had the feeling that they would be able to work in any Michellin-starred restaurant anywhere; now, they're good, but not any better than the waiters at a nice restaurant on land, and on the last formal night, both my entree and dessert came out of the kitchen broken (Beef Wellington & Baked Alaska). In the past, the waiter would never have brought plates from the kitchen with a torn and dangling pastry or separated ice cream and meringue. The food was good, but not great; so was the service. I did have a dining package, so I got to eat in Muranos (wonderful, and the only place on board to offer "fine dining"); the Tuscan Grille (very nice); the Lawn Club Grille (outside cookout and "picnic" in the middle of the Atlantic, so no ants, bees, mosquitoes, or other bugs, which was a treat); and Qsine twice (a concept more in love with the concept than great food). All at least nice, but if I do this again, I'll get the 4-dinner package, because I really don't need to eat at Qsine more than once on a cruise. The al Bacio coffee house and gelateria was great - I had several very nice afternoons with a book, a pot of tea and a sweet. I especially enjoyed the mousse sweets there - just a shot glass of mousse, which is wonderful; it's enough without being more than. Shore excursions were a bit mixed: I did the Taste of Florence which was very good. I got to eat things I've never eaten before and see places I've never seen before. The only downside was that we were there on the last Sunday of the month, so all of the state museums were open and free. The lines to get into the Accademia or the Uffizi were hours long, so we saw the outsides of both museums, but never went inside. So, a good reason to go back to Florence... I also did the tapas tour of Barcelona, which gave a pretty good overview of the city. It was good, but a bit rushed at times; perhaps 3 tapas stops were too many, and it should have only been 2. We only had 10 minutes in the Baqueria market, and could easily have stayed there for 30. I also did the tour of Rome with transfer to the ship. This was a good tour, but nearly didn't happen. The brochure from Celebrity had instructed that anyone who did not arrive in Rome on embarkation day, would have to meet at the meeting point outside La Feltrinelli bookstore in terminal 3 of the airport. I confirmed this with an email to the shore excursions department, got my flight into Rome arriving the day before embarkation, and scouted out the La Feltrinelli bookstore so I would find it easily the next morning. I arrived early, and waited. And waited. And waited, nearly an hour. There was no one from Celebrity there. I wandered around the terminal, looking for them, and didn't find them. I was about 5 minutes from giving up and just taking a taxi to the pier, when someone with a Celebrity ID appeared. Apparently, the bookstore relocated, but the brochure wasn't updated. So, I finally found them, or they found me, and it all worked out, but there was someone else who was on the excursion, and never showed up. Once I met the tour and boarded the bus, it was wonderful. The spa is now affiliated with Canyon Ranch and so much nicer than it was before. I spent more than I should have there, but enjoyed every minute of it. The captain was very entertaining, and his daily briefings were hugely enjoyed and highly anticipated. People went out of their way to be sure to be in a public area at 10am just to hear him. The ship is kept spotless - someone was always cleaning or polishing. There was a bit of norovirus and another group with colds, but the crew did everything possible to contain and eliminate the illness. You could not go into or out of a public area without hand sanitizer spritzings. Disembarkation went well, right up until we got off the ship, and then it was the usual pain in the patoot. I blame the port for this, not Celebrity, however. As usual, the longshoremen lined up the bags in a huge cavernous building with very little attempt to put them in the correct groups (i.e. tags for 65 mixed in with tags for 70 and for 59 all in the same lines) and the lines didn't allow room for people to get a bag, and then get back out of the line, so it was the usual chaotic pushing, crowded mess of people looking for bags, and then trying to figure out where to go next and how to get there. It was obvious that someone had tried for organized, but the attempt did not succeed. Overall, I had a wonderful vacation - the food was good, the bed was very comfortable, the shower was very good, the ship was beautiful, the itinerary was good, and the service was good. But, the cuts are obvious. Royal Caribbean might want to consider that Celebrity is a different demographic than Royal Caribbean, and having the 2 brands gives them an appeal to a larger group of passengers. I'll take Celebrity again, but probably just for the Caribbean, not for a special trip like Alaska or another transoceanic cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
This was the first time I traveled on Celebrity cruise line. I have been on NCL and Princess before. Here are some opinions about this ship majorly based on food. Actually, except food, I am pretty happy with this ship. But for me, ... Read More
This was the first time I traveled on Celebrity cruise line. I have been on NCL and Princess before. Here are some opinions about this ship majorly based on food. Actually, except food, I am pretty happy with this ship. But for me, going on a cruise, food is one of the most important things. This is a beautiful big new ship, nice clean stateroom, public area, a very nice in door swimming pool, friendly staffs etc. I like the bathroom a lot, so nice big and clean. Service was very good and thoughtful, especially every port, there were staffs stood at the entrance gave you ice water, punch and cold towels. I saw another ship Royal Caribbean didn't have this service for their customers. But you ask me if I would go on this ship again? The answer will be NO. Why? Because of the food. This ship has one main dinning room, and lots of special restaurants that you have to pay $40 cover charge per person. My husband and I ate at main dinning for supper every night, and couple times for lunch ( main dinning room didn't open for port days which my other cruises' main dinning rooms were all opened for port days). Service was good if you find the right waiters. We used the selected dinning. So one night, we had waited 20 minutes for somebody brought us the bread, then about 40 minutes somebody came over to take our order after we complained about it. Next day we switched to another side of the dinning room, had great service with different waiters then. Appetizers: Many of them didn't taste that good, very plain. I normally just got one, cause nothing good on the menu. On other cruises before, I wanted to try all the appetizers on the menu cause they were so different. This ship uses the cheap food material to feed main dinning room customers. I especially remember one night, there was one appetizer called cured meat platter. If you know cured meat, you know these are the meat preserved or cured with salt such as prosciutto. But the platter l got, there was only one piece of prosciutto that you can call it cured meat, other five pieces are those really cheap processed lunchmeat, such as bologna, ham, the ones you can find in Subways' $2 cold cut combo. Before on other ships, the cured meat platters I got were all those expensive Italian and Spanish cured meat that I usually buy from grocery stores. This ship really tried to be cheap on food in the main dinning room. Several appetizers that I got had too much rice for the base, if you eat whole thing, you will be filled up by the rice before you get your entrees. Soup and salad: Soup were pretty bad except French onion soup you can order every time. I tried several daily different soups, none of them tasted that good, some of them actually I didn't want to finish. So finally I had to have French Onion soups many times. Salads were not bad, but the Caesar salad on the everyday menu was really good flavor except the croutons were always tasted staled. So I always just ate everything in there except the croutons. Entrees: The bread on this ship was very good, loved them, we always ate too much bread before our entrees came. Entrees were very boring, not that many things looked different and special that made you want to try. Couple nights I even didn't know what to choose, cause I felt like I just had the same thing yesterday. Like different beef everyday, you feel they were pretty much in the same brown gravy. Not too much seafood on the dinner menu except some fish. One night, there was one seafood finally was not just fish. I ordered it, there were just 3 shrimps, one scallop and couple mussels on top of bunch of rice. You call this seafood entree? The ship had lobster night the day before the last day. Plain broiled frozen lobster tails, not bad, not that good as fresh ones. Good thing was that you could ask them to put three lobster tails on your dish. Entrees were pretty normal taste, only one veal entree I would say delicious and wrote home about it. Deserts: deserts were not good on this ship at all. Several nights I had to skip it cause nothing on the menu was good. They only served souffle one time that I had on other ships a lot. Many deserts I ordered I only had one bite cause the taste. Tiramisu they had one night was a joke, it was made from sponge cake, no lady fingers in there, and tasted pretty bad. I talked to their pastry chef, he told me they serve the real version tiramisu in their special restaurant. So don't' call those coffee flavored sponge cakes tiramisu then! Horrible ice cream on this ship, even the factory ice cream tastes much better than theirs. The best ice cream I had was on one of the Princess ships, best ice cream I had, so smooth and creamy, tasted just like those Italian ice cream, they made it everyday on the ship. Lunch at the main dinning room was worse, I had to eat at buffet upstairs most of the time. So main dinning room, if you like plain food, you probably will like it. But if you like trying different tasty food, and you love deserts, you will feel the same way I feel. Now let's talk about buffet: Ocianveiw Cafe was pretty good for breakfast. Lots of breakfast items, much more choice than the breakfast served at main dinning room. Wonderful pastries, croissants were great! So we ate most of breakfast in the buffet. But buffet's orange juice was pretty bad, it tasted like half orange juice half water most of the time. Coffee was horrible! The worst coffee I had than everywhere I've had recent years. It tasted so bitter, burned and had really bad old coffee taste. I couldn't even drink it, it tasted like it were filtered through the sewer pipe. You could smell the staled coffee smell when it was brewing. The self serve coffee you could get on the ship were all tasted like this. But I actually got good taste coffee in the main dinning room at dinner time. Lunch at the buffet was normal but fresh everyday. I like it has Indian and Thai food stations. But the food were pretty much the same everyday except the hot entrees were changed a little bit, but not that much. Hot entrees were repeated a lot. Desserts at the buffet most of them were pretty bad, tasted and looked like those cheap buffet restaurant deserts, and they were repeated a lot, many items were there for at least 5 times. Supper at the buffet was amazingly not that much different than lunch buffet, some items actually were leftovers from lunch. Only one different was there was sushi at night. But the sushi sucked, you can get much better sushi than those even from you local cheap Chinese buffet. Maybe it's good that supper at buffet was not good, so people could all go eat at main dinning room and get their money worth. One cruise I was on, their dinner buffet were so good. There were different themes every night, Italian night, Caribbean night , Mideast night etc. Tons of food to choose from, totally different from lunch, lots of special food belonged to the themes to eat that you can't even get from main dinning room. Bad things were the buffet were so busy for dinner, many people gave up their main dinning for the buffet which I thought main dinning room was still the better choice. So I would get something I liked from the buffet before I ate at the main dinning room. But this ship, supper time, only a little bit people ate at the buffet. Well, that's it! For the food, I am not going on this ship again. My husband has been on Celebrity ship before, and he said it was way much better. And they even don't have the snail dish( don't know how to spell it), such a disappointment! The food I had on this ship was the worst. The cheap NCL cruise I took, their food was even better than this one. I don't know if all other Celebrity ships are the same way now, but I will definitely try another cruise line next time. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Background Information Hotel Info (if any) I stayed at the Intercontinental hotel in Hamburg and was pleasantly surprised to find it very close to the American Embassy there. The hotel was really nice, and had free wi-fi (which was ... Read More
Background Information Hotel Info (if any) I stayed at the Intercontinental hotel in Hamburg and was pleasantly surprised to find it very close to the American Embassy there. The hotel was really nice, and had free wi-fi (which was very slow though) in the lobby. Ship Info I went on the Inaugural sailing of the Celebrity Silhouette out of Hamburg, Germany to Rome, Italy. It was very similar to the Celebrity Millennium (the only other Celebrity ship I've been on). The ship was brand new and they were putting some finishing touches in the main centrum area of the ship when we were boarding. Activities I used the Casino and played Bingo. The Bingo didn't go over very well, mainly because the majority of those on board were German, and I guess they don't play too much Bingo. The Casino was typical, although I think the payout could have been higher. Service The service was excellent, with one exception. I don't drink alcohol, so had the Soda package. Sometimes it felt like staff didn't want to get you a soda, since they tend to make $$/tips on the alcoholic beverages. Otherwise, everyone on board was very friendly and helpful. There were quite a few Filopino on board, they enjoyed helping me learn a few Tagalog phrases (I learned how to say "Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening, Thank You and Good bye). Not to be outdone, my Maitre D' taught me how to say "Thank You" in Turkish. *smiles* Port & Shore Excursions The only port we stopped at was Barcelona. You have to take a bus (which you have to pay for) into town. I guess I feel like if you have to take a bus into whatever port city you get to, it should be included in the cost of the cruise). We chose to do the Hop-on, Hop-off bus because we only had about 12 hours in town. We were off the ship about 10 hours. Barcelona was nice (and we were very safety conscious to not be targets for pickpocketers). The cruise ended in Rome, the port is about an hour from the City by train. There *is* a bus that takes you to the local town and then you can walk about 3-4 blocks to the train station from there. Summary Overall, the ship was beautiful and the staff were great! Travel To Port of Embarkation Since I currently live in Germany, I just took the train to Hamburg and then took a taxi to the port. The port was a little chaotic, but we got through the boarding process in less than 30 minutes. Stateroom I had a concierge level balcony cabin. I didn't eat all the evening canapes, I didn't care too much for the room service for breakfast I did a couple days (the food was a little cold, and don't order the smoothies... they're separated by the time you get them). I liked having a footstool on the veranda, this is the first time I've had a balcony cabin. There was one day that someone above us must have been smoking on their veranda, we had ashes on our veranda, and we don't smoke and we could smell the smoke that day. Yuk! The bathroom was a nice surprise... no shower curtain and a larger glass-enclosed cabin. Dining I did the "my-time" dining, but ended up eating about 6:30 each evening. The food was great. I loved having Escargot almost every night and Creme Brule' almost every night. The food was good, I didn't hear any complaints from my table-mates. I did eat in the Murano one night, it was okay. I can't eat too much at one time, so I feel that eating in the fancy restaurants is a waste of money for me. I thought the service in the Olympic dining room on the Millennium was more precise. I felt the Murano was a little more crowded, but that also made it feel a little more intimate? The wait staff were great in the main dining room. Children's Clubs - not used Entertainment The entertainment was okay, I tend to enjoy the music throughout the ship more than in the theater. I did enjoy the acrobatic show one night. I'm not into the "Broadway" type shows. Disembarkation It went smoothly, no problems. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
I was lucky enough to be invited on the 2 day cruise which launched the ship. I have sailed on Eclipse and Equinox so am familiar with this class of ship. Some new areas were great, others not so! The Porch looked wonderful, ... Read More
I was lucky enough to be invited on the 2 day cruise which launched the ship. I have sailed on Eclipse and Equinox so am familiar with this class of ship. Some new areas were great, others not so! The Porch looked wonderful, like a little bit of New England, it is in the place where the Lawn Club shop used to be so has fabulous views, I think it will be very popular; as will the Lawn Club Grille - unfortunately we did not get a chance to eat there. I wasn't too keen on the Cabanas, there is little privacy as they face on to the lawn, I think they should be the other way round so you can watch the sea. There are new hammocks and super-sized chairs on the lawn as well and I think the 2 new eateries and the new seating areas will draw a lot more people up there now and the comments that the 'grass is a waste of space' should now stop. The Sunset bar is as fabulous as ever. There appeared to be more seating. The dining room is red and cream so appears much 'warmer' than the earlier designs. The Hideaway area looked a great place to curl up with a good book - again the chairs in the 'treehouses' face the wrong way they should look out over the lifts so you can people watch IMO! In the bedrooms they have done away with the ghastly leatherette sofa and it is now red material - still uncomfortable and still no more drawer space. They have also removed the magazine rack on the corner of the unit for some reason. No kettles in the rooms unlike Eclipse. Still no hanging facility in the bathroom for your wet swimmies. They have got rid of the silly taps too - it doesn't stick out over the sink any more in the bathroom so you don't bash your teeth or your chin now. Michaels Club looked very different - 3 big fridges of beers. It didn't seem right to call it MC any more - think they should have changed the name! It seemed cold and soulless. Bring back the piano player and cosy atmosphere please. They have removed the curved banquette seating in TG too - it appears much larger now. They have also taken away the water feature by the pool to provide more seating areas. They have also taken away the bar at the back of the buffet area, so again more seating. Several staff from Eclipse were on board that we recognised including Bernard the singing greeter in the Ocean View; and the fabulous Roul. It seems they take their best staff and put them on the new ships. I could do without Nick Wier though. I didn't go to the shows. Food and service was excellent during this short cruise. We noticed all smokers kept to the designated areas; but I do wish they would stop smoking in the Sky lounge too though. There were a lot of Italians on board ergo there was a lot of smoking! We ate in Tuscan Grille - possibly the best piece of fillet I have had in my life, and we also ate in Blu (remember this was not a normal cruise) - after reading all the comments on Blu I was very interested to see what it was like. I had a delicious risotto. I would certainly be tempted to book AQ on a future cruise All in all I think that X have raised the bar with this new ship. She is beautiful and most of the new changes are a definite improvement. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
What a voyage! My 6th cruise in the last 30 months and the best and not for the obvious reason that it is a brand new ship. Aqua class was a treat and Blu is the place you will/should be spending most of your dining time. So many ... Read More
What a voyage! My 6th cruise in the last 30 months and the best and not for the obvious reason that it is a brand new ship. Aqua class was a treat and Blu is the place you will/should be spending most of your dining time. So many places on this ship to call your own and to hide out, if you had 2 weeks you could find a new nook every day to call your own. Crew was really great as you would expect on the maiden voyage. Rooms are narrower and longer than in the Millennium I sailed on in December. Entry way is different, doors open out instead of in. Closet has been moved to the side of the bathroom instead of across from it. Greatly reduces storage space though there are some over the bed compartments to partially make up for it. Great multi-head shower and good bathroom storage. Full time night light really nice, no more blinding yourself on those late night trips to the head. Large flat screen TV with lots of entertainment choices. Bed alternate room o room with half being close to the balcony and half having the couch closest. The walls are not perfectly straight and bend around the beds for room to get by. I can go on and on about what worked but let's talk about what didn't. Shower leaked out onto the bathroom floor. Sink stopper broke the second night and still wasn't fixed by the time I disembarked. A constant "bongo drum" sound coming from the water waste line. Adult only indoor pool, rules not enforced e.g., kids.... Water too cold in both pools and spas. Aqua cafe on deck 12 always crowded, hard to get a seat. Bistro on 5 food not very good (especially given it is an extra charge) and service there was by far the worst on the ship. Security at our one port call very slow, over 30 minutes to get back on board at an "off time". Was only after people started complaining that they opened a second line which was even more maddening because they had the staff and ability to do it all along. Entrainment was uniformly great but too much over lap and no live entertainment in Michael's or the Wine Cellar. Speaking of the Wine Cellar, at least one or two selections at every machine (6 in all) out of service or empty. Also way too pricey for what you get. Some "tastes" (about 2 sips) cost in excess of $10. However, as a place to go hang out or relax before or after dinner, very very nice. Sky lounge very nice as well. Good mix of seating. Only eat at the buffet twice, once for breakfast which they do not even open up until 7. Lunch was packed, packed, packed, despite only being at 70% capacity. And for a new ship, they didn't put much effort into cleaning up the dining area. Even first thing in the morning, dirty tables everywhere, debris on the floor and windowsills. Room service menu only available via the TV. Both days I ordered breakfast it arrived hot, exactly what I asked for at the time I asked for it. Eat at Quisine which at $35 in my opinion wasn't worth it. Sure it is different, but for all that showmanship you get very little substance in the food. Tuscany Grill has the best view of any eating location on the ship. But again for the extra $30, very little "wow" factor in the food or service and if your going to advertise yourself as a "steakhouse" you better get it right. My medium rare steak was medium well at least. Blu was the star of the show both in service and food quality. All of the service was at a very high level throughout the ship though the wheels sort of fell off our last day at sea. Blu very slow and they botched my order. Bistro on 5 service was non-existent ( I had to go complain to the person in charge) and I promptly got "Helga", the no personality, 250 pound waitress. The menu is also misleading, so make sure to ask. For instance my "brownie" was actually 4 small bites of brownie buried under whip cream and some fruit sauce. The $13 charge for the bus shuttle into Barcelona was a complete rip off. Should have been provided for free. Getting on board could best be described as "chaotic" though once you did get to a window you were on board in 10 minutes though it was the steepest climb I had ever experienced. However, getting off could not have been smoother. Didn't partake in any of the SPA offerings but the relaxation area forward nice but noisy. Persian Spa was also nice, but again noisy, especially in the sauna where something in the room was squeaking with each passing wave. Overall a highly recommended experience. I hope I get to sail on her again in the near future. Past Celebrity passengers won't be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
This is our third cruise with Celebrity Cruises having previously travelled on Eclipse last year. We were soo impressed with Celebrity that on our return from a Caribbean cruise on Eclipse in January we couldn't hesitate but to book ... Read More
This is our third cruise with Celebrity Cruises having previously travelled on Eclipse last year. We were soo impressed with Celebrity that on our return from a Caribbean cruise on Eclipse in January we couldn't hesitate but to book the next cruise with Celebrity. Anticipating the launch of Celebrity Silhouette we decided to try our first maiden voyage on a brand new ship where we just returned from on Saturday.To sum up the overall experience on Silhouette and Celebrity Cruises in three words?Stunning; Fabulous; Incredible!Celebrity like previously cruises were simply amazing from start to finish and what a week to remember!Special thanks to the booking agent Carl who gave us some great on board spending credit which certainly came in handy with lots of cocktails!!Silhouette is by far the most impressive ship in the Solstice class and the newest features onboard simply adds to an already impressive experience. The hideaway is my favourite location and just located on Deck 7. The new lawn club gets a makeover although my major gripe was the sheer extortion on the cost involved in hiring the new Alcoves at $100 a go! The Porch was also a nice addition but was surprised to see a service charge of $5! given the limited food options available. OK thats where my nit picking stops!! Overall Silhouette is one amazing new vessel and is worthy of its 5 star awards. The food onboard was simply delicious and to an exceptional high level - from the fine dining in the main restaurant to the Ocean View restaurant where the food was consistently fantastic over the 7 nights onboard. The ship interior is plush, sophisticated and elegant. Unlike P&O ships the quality on Celebrity's vessels are amazing and you can tell that Celebrity has invested heavily into its ships where the whole sailing experience is simply out of this world! I have posted some photos I took of the new Silhouette on Flickr and for those who would like to see the ship in all its glory check out this link:http://www.flickr.com/photos/65844463@N03/My biggest love of Celebrity is also down to its professional staff who are simply amazing. Everyone is treated like Royalty and staff are incredibly friendly from the ships officers to the cabin stewards and waiters. Staff onboard take a genuine personal interest in its passengers and they are committed to providing a professional and high quality service and nothing is too much trouble or hassle. All they want is for you to enjoy yourself and for you to have the best cruise experience. A special thanks to our cabin stewards, our restaurant staff & waiters; Charles, Recaldo and Marian (table 404) for providing the BEST service we have ever received on all of our cruises. These guys deserve a glowing recommendation and nomination for employees of the year!!. Entertainment was fantastic from the first night with a rich variety of theatre shows of which we have come to admire from Celebrity Cruises. Very good all round day activities on board throughout of the maiden voyage.Our cabin on Silhouette (like Eclipse) was elegant, smart and everything you wanted to make you feel at home - including a variety of on-demand TV channels and movies. The bathroom was amazing and felt more like a 5 star hotel (proper vanity units, full size double width walk in glass shower) rather than a giant piece of plastic as we have found on other cruise ships such as P&O. Like Eclipse the cabin and service provided by the cabin steward was simply ranked as first class!We cant wait but to venture again with Celebrity Cruises and we are already looking to book our next cruise on the brand new yet to be launched Celebrity Reflection. If you haven't yet cruised with Celebrity Cruises my only advice (as former disgruntled P&O passenger) is to give Celebrity a go! You wont be disappointed and you wonder why you hadn't made the decision earlier! They are in my opinion as an experienced cruiser, THE best cruise company I have come to known. Thanks Celebrity yet again for an amazing holiday!! See you on Reflection!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Wow is really the one word which sums up this ship. From the moment you walk onto the Silhoutte and are met with a glass of fizz from a white gloved waiter you know you are going to be truly pampered.We were lucky enough to be staying in ... Read More
Wow is really the one word which sums up this ship. From the moment you walk onto the Silhoutte and are met with a glass of fizz from a white gloved waiter you know you are going to be truly pampered.We were lucky enough to be staying in a balcony cabin on deck 6. The cabin itself was beautifully decorated in soft tones with striking artwork and accents of red. The cabin consisted of a large sofa, wardrobe with plenty of hanging space and lots of hangers, dressing table with powerful hairdryer under it in a draw, large flat screen TV, mini bar, safe, coffee table, over bed storage, lots of lighting and a full length mirror.The bathroom has a large corner glass enclosed shower cubical with a great hot powerful shower and lots of storage.After checking in we went around the ship to look at all the amazing facilities this floating resort has to offer and below is an overview of the different areas on the Ship.The AtriumThis truly is the heart of the ship with an amazing soring 11 deck high Atrium the full size living tree suspended 33 decks above the lobby. There are a bank of glass elevators zooming up and down the atrium. The area is like the rest of the ship truly awe inspiring, understated elegance.Crush and the Martini BarThis was the place to head after dinner to watch the world go by. The area was again beautifully decorated in what I would call an Ice Palace theme with whites, blues and silvers being the main colours used. The Martini bar itself is ice topped and located next to the walk way. Behind the bar are some alcoves which had comfy sofas and lounge chairs and the Crush section was a high tabled are with an ice ridge down the centre for you to put in a bottle of your favourite tipple. This area was my favourite bar on the ship.Cellar MastersThis is something I have never seen before. The wine bar reminded me of a country house Library with comfortable sofas, subtle lighting and attentive staff. The wine selection here is amazing and I'm sure if your a wine drinker many a happy hour would be spent in this lounge.Michaels LoungeThis area reminded me of a gentleman's club with high back chairs around fireplaces decorated in dark woods. This was a lovely bar for an after dinner drink.Fortunes CasinoThis was a nice size casino big enough to have all the facilities you would expect from a modern cruise ship casino. The area was unobtrusive on the rest of the ship.QuasarThis was a great spot to end your night. The night club was one of the hottest at sea with a spectacular DJ box. The feel was very modern and so was the decor with lots of private areas, amazing lighting and a large dance floor that spilled out into the small Atrium next to it.Sky LoungeWith its floor to ceiling windows on three sides this place was light and airy during the day and packed and happening on a night. This was the 2nd nightclub venue on the ship with everything from live music to Karaoke. The seats were all set up in small groups perfect for going with friends or for making them. The decor in here was ultra modern with white furnishings.The Lawn ClubThis area was a real surprise to me. When I read the brochure I thought it would just be a waste of space gimmick but I was pleasantly surprised this was my favourite outdoor space on the ship. Curling up with a good book in this area would be spectacular in one of the over-sized chairs or on a picnic blanket. This area also housed the Lawn Club Club (an area to get involved and you can even grill your own meal) and the Porch an area for light breakfast and during the day they had a great selection of paninis etc. Just behind the lawn club is the sunset bar which is also outdoors but with great aft views.Adult only Indoor poolThis area was a great retreat whilst there were very few kids on our sailing I bet when the ship is busy with kids this would be a welcome retreat. The area was large and airy with a large pool and two whirpools/ hot tubs. The main focus of this area is a large waterfall effect water feature on the main wall. The Aqua Spa cafe was also in this area and seemed very popular.Main Pool AreaThis was very large with comfortable padded loungers and very attentive staff we were offered Ice cold towels and sorbet several times around the pool to freshen up and bar service was attentive but un-obtrusive. My only criticism of the entire ship is that the sun loungers were to close together for me but it certainly wouldn't put me off sailing on her again.Speciality DinningCelebrity really has outdone itself on the speciality (extra charge) dinning. Unfortunately apart from attending a tasting at the different venues we didn't get the opportunity to try the full experience but from the tasting I know I would definitely dine at these on my next cruise. The speciality dinning consisted of -Qsine - modern venue where you use I-pads to order and create you foodTuscan Grill - Italian steak house with great aft views very cosyBistro on 5 - Light bites and crepes in a lovely venueCafe al Bacio - Home made ice cream and cakes yumMurano - High class European dinning experience menu looked amazingBlu - This is healthy bites for Aqua class passengers only. I loved the feel of this restaurant and wished I was in an Aqua Class cabin.BuffetThe ocean view cafe is the main buffet on this ship we ate lunch here every day and were really surprised with the quality and variety of food on offer. There was a huge array of stations, Pasta, Pizza, Grilled Chicken and Meats, Salads, Stir-frys, Indian foods, Breads, Cheeses, Desserts, home made ice cream plus so much more to mention.The buffet was also open late at night for those midnight munchiesMain Dinning RoomWe had dinner here every night the food and service was very good and the decor was modern but welcoming and that amazing wine tower was truly a talking point on our table.In SummaryThere are so many facilities on this ship that I can not mention everything I have seen but as I am sure you can tell I was incredible impressed. I have cruised ten times this being my first Celebrity experience and I can honestly say that this has been my best cruise ship experience.This ship is truly spectacular and really lived up to all the hype I had heard and read about the ship and its planned facilities. It was so good we are looking to book our next Celebrity Cruise already.This ship is very large but has been built and furnished in such a style that it never feels crowded and there are lots of little corners and bars to escape into. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
This, our first cruise, had been booked and eagerly anticipated since September 2010. What a magnificent ship,unbelievably huge, clean and white. We arrived at Hamburg dock to be shuffled with masses of people, through what seemed like a ... Read More
This, our first cruise, had been booked and eagerly anticipated since September 2010. What a magnificent ship,unbelievably huge, clean and white. We arrived at Hamburg dock to be shuffled with masses of people, through what seemed like a temporary storage shed-the only clue that this was a special Inaugural Cruise being a few pathetic blue balloons, an 'Oom-pah' band, and a foretaste of the money grabbing photographers, who in the midst of this melee, tried taking pictures of everyone against a false backdrop--not designed to keep you calm! Eventually we managed to clamber aboard, only to be told to wait in a lower floor bar area, while the staff finished getting the rooms ready!!!! Eventually, an hour and a half later, we were directed to the lifts and found our room. Our room was somewhat narrow, bur long and opened out onto a good sized balcony at the back of the ship. The stateroom facilities were faultless, the bed extremely comfortable, and, when you worked out where it all was, plenty of storage room for all our belongings. Our stateroom attendant and her staff introduced themselves and were excellent throughout our cruise. We were quite overwhelmed by the size and magnificence of the ship, and by what was on offer. We then went up on deck and watched for the next two hours as 'Silhouette' steamed up the Elbe and out to the North Sea, preceded by a fire-boat spraying fountains of water, and many people in Hamburg who lined the banks for many miles to see such a magnificent and somewhat awe inspiring sight. But that was IT--oh, apart from a row of bunting that was strung along the ship from stem to stern!! Where were the bands on the quayside, maybe the odd firework, but there was nothing. The Silhouette left Hamburg with a whimper and not the magnificent 'bang' that I had expected! The Dining Room, the Grand Cuvee, served excellent food, and depending on where you sat, the service too was excellent, so much so that we cancelled a 'Speciality Dining' reservation that we had made. The theatre was quite magnificent, the envy of many a town hall, as were the shows, especially the final night. We attended many talks and lectures in the smaller theatre, and I especially enjoyed the History of Art lectures given by Armando. I also attended the art classes, and was delighted with the progress I made during the week. I had a manicure at the spa, a lovely experience, and the fitness room, adjacent to that, was very well equipped, although the 7.30 yoga classes were too early for me ( I was on holiday!). The pools and hot tubs looked very inviting and were well used in the calmer waters of the Med. There were other delights that we didn't really have time to explore, the Hideaway, the Library. the Casino, and the 'high-end shopping. For the price of a Bvlgari watch, I could take another cruise! We spent much time in 'El Bacio' for coffee and light snacks, and some of the top deck bars for cocktails. And of course, we loved our Captain Demetrius's daily position updates and quips--of course to us he is 'Captain...Out'!! So what was wrong about this cruise. I tried booking packages and excursions and spa treatments online. It was very, very difficult although I ultimately succeeded in ordering a beverage package, a spa treatment and two tours online. Never succeeded with the dining packages! Eventually, after much badgering and expensive phone calls on my part,I managed to get online acknowledgement that I had paid for these, (despite the money having been taken from my account, several days earlier!). On the first rough night at sea, I woke to a bad smell that seemed to emanate from the AC. It did not dissipate, but did not get worse, so I reported it next day. Something must have been done, because it did not happen again. I was asked if there was anything they could do for me--actually I would have preferred it if a compensatory offer had been forthcoming--I am not used to demanding this kind of thing, but I know that 'speciality dinners' were offered to another couple who had a 'gripe'! But our main problem was with Customer Relations and Shore Excursions. Due to a misunderstanding we were charged $4.50 for a bottle of water standing by the TV in our room. Having replaced it,(We had a Premium Beverage Package that include bottled water!) we wanted the money refunded, and it took them 4 days and repeated visits and phone calls, to get them to take it off our bill. Finally by about 10.00 pm on our last night, that item had been removed. As for Shore Excursion-my advice is don't book through Celebrity-do some personal research and do-it-yourself. They cancelled, very belatedly, the tour that I had arranged and paid for, to Barcelona.Despite being refunded the money, we were hugely disappointed, but having paid 13 Euros each, just to catch a shuttle bus from one side of the port to the other, we bought Hop-on Hop-off bus tickets and had two tours around Barcelona in an open topped bus. I also organised that we would take an organised trip and transfer to Rome, as we were staying there for a couple of days. The guide was a very nice, but disorganised lady, who, by the time we arrived outside St Peters Basilica, first of all had us all trudging into St Peters Square for a 'loo-break' and then trudging back to where the coach had dropped us, to pick up audio sets and a male guide whose english was difficult to comprehend, and then back again into the square-, where, because we did NOT have 'Skip the Line' tickets, we had to stand for half an hour in temperatures of 30+ degrees, queueing to get into the Basilica. Then straight onto the Colosseum, where there was still much hanging about, and very steep stairs to climb that I could not manage due to an operation on a knee. The lady guide took me to the exit where I waited for the rest to finish the tour. We had paid nearly £100.00 each for this tour, and the least I expected was no waiting in lines to get in--that is WHY you are willing to pay premium prices--so I do wonder who has pocketed our money--Celebrity or the Tour company in Rome. The following day we had already arranged a limited group tour of the Colosseum and the Forum through Viatours for £34.00 each. We had an excellent guide, no waiting in any lines, group of 10, were privileged to see the underground area, and the third floor, for those who could climb!! And her descriptions of the history in the Forum brought the whole thing to life. Now that was value for money! So all in all would we cruise again--yes, I think so. We are looking at another Celebrity Cruise, and we, much like the company, have learnt lessons that we would apply to future cruises. It would pay the company to learn how to say 'Sorry' occasionally--it takes the sting out of difficult situations. Our stateroom attendant was mortified that I had not woken her at 3.00am when I smelt a bad smell-she was sorry -on behalf of the ship!!But maybe that is an american 'thing'-possibly for them, saying sorry admits liability and someone will sue!! I wouldn't suggest that anyone builds up the idea of going on an inaugural cruise--in our experience you'll be mightily disappointed. But you will love the ship, and you will miss her when you leave her. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
My husband and I joined the New ship in Hamburg, the weather was not good. We had flights included with the package which included the transfers which we heard from others were expensive if booked individually. It was $91 return ... Read More
My husband and I joined the New ship in Hamburg, the weather was not good. We had flights included with the package which included the transfers which we heard from others were expensive if booked individually. It was $91 return from the port in Rome to Rome Airport. Embarkation was fast but we are Elite so not sure if that made the process quicker. No coaches to wait for, you walk straight onto the ship up a walkway. Welcomed with Champagne as we crossed the ships rail, very nice touch! We were in a balcony cabin, on the side of the bump which had a huge balcony and you could see the bridge to the front and all along the bump cabins to the aft. Would defiantly recommend upgrading to 1A. The bed is by the sliding doors in this cabin, with plenty of space underneath for suitcases. As this was our first celebrity cruise we cannot compare storage space in the cabin, but for two people we had plenty of space for storage and the bathroom cabinet had lots of space for toiletries. The bathroom also has a nightlight which stays on permanently, which is great for those who get up in the night! (especially with Seasickness!) The shower is big enough for two! The safe is large enough to get an ipad in easily. Flat screen TV which is all interactive for music, photos, the bill, TV etc. The room steward does a turn down service every night and leaves chocolates on your pillow. MDR food was acceptable, nothing to complain about but nothing special either. The waiting staff were polite and helpful at all times. One annoying thing about the MDR, even if people don't want to eat there they still get allocated to a table, this sometimes leaves couples sitting on tables set for eight on their own - something that should be addressed by Celebrity. We ate in the speciality restaurant Tuscan grill one night, the views are wonderful if you can book a window seat. The food was very good, meats, fish, pasta etc and the service excellent. Our waitress and waiter were very attentive and friendly. we thought it was worth the extra $30 per person. We also ate lunch at the Lawn Grill. This was a special (not normally open for lunch) as it was booked out for evenings all week and people were complaining. We suggest if you want to eat here, book on line or as soon as you get on board. $30 per person. It was fantastic, you can either cook your own food with the chef or they will cook it for you, but the fun is defiantly in doing it yourself! Again the waiting staff were excellent, and you never have an empty glass. I should point out that we were on the classic drinks package, which we would absolutely recommend. It includes non alcoholic speciality coffees and morning bucks fizz as well as beers up to $5 and other drinks up to $8 and sodas. The only extra drink we had to pay for was in the Micro bar near the art gallery where they serve speciality Martini's with a twist that are $12 each plus Tip. Defiantly worth trying at least one, some even have liquid nitrogen on them!! They have three shows on board of which two were presented on the first cruise. One is a circus show, which is fantastic considering it is at sea however in our opinion it was too long. The second show was a musical review of the Westend shows and again was fantastic. The singers and dancers really put their heart and souls into the performances. Other entertainment that we saw was a fantastic jazz singer and band who sung everywhere, a guitarist guy, another band and a barber shop quartet, again all great. The cruise director was Nick Weir who we found to be very friendly and sociable. The captain was also very sociable, a very funny and witty guy, he even attended a Cruise Critics Cabin Party that was held by one of our group. We didn't visit the casino so cant review, however we can say that the bottled beer from the casino bar was the coldest on board. Great for us. The sky lounge has great views as you would expect from the top of the ship, however, celebrity have decided to allow smoking inside the sky Lounge on one side and unfortunately this does drift across the whole area. That said it is a very smart area with comfy chairs and sofas to chill out with a book if you don't mind smoke. The hideaway is great with comfy round chairs and free coffee but was always busy so get there early on sea days :) The Library is great and full of books and the card room had lots of board games to occupy the sea days, although there are also lots of bars to keep you busy on sea days too. The best bar in our opinion is the sunset bar on the lawn area at the back of the ship. It has cane chairs and sofas, and is a great place to relax in. The bar service was slow however this was more that there was not enough staff on duty rather than the staff not doing there job. A brunch was served on the last but one day which was out of this world, so well presented and you were spoilt for choice. Definitely worth a visit. Plenty of towels available on the pool deck, blankets are available on chilly days. There are double beds available for romantic couples and one half of the ship is a smoking area. Plenty of shaded areas for the non sun-worshippers. The mast Grill does great burger for those not wanting formal lunch. The solarium is a nice area with wooden beds and thick mattresses, the salad bar in the solarium is superb with nice tea/coffee and soft drinks available all served on china crockery. Disembarkation in Rome was very well organised, we were requested to be in the Curvee dinner room at 8am and were called to disembark at 8.15. The luggage was waiting for us and we were shown straight to our transportation. Rome port is 1 hour and 10 minutes from the Airport (FCO) All in all we had a fantastic cruise and really couldn't see much to complain about. We have definitely been converted to Celebrity from Royal :)and will be sailing on Silhouette again next year. Lets hope she is still as beautiful.... Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
We really enjoyed our holy land cruise. The ship was lovely and the staff were fantastic. Our stateroom attendant could not do enough for us. All the staff we met were always smiling and many stopped to talk. We were select dining and ... Read More
We really enjoyed our holy land cruise. The ship was lovely and the staff were fantastic. Our stateroom attendant could not do enough for us. All the staff we met were always smiling and many stopped to talk. We were select dining and never had any problem getting a table for two. We did not like the location of one table we were allocated but just said and the staff moved us to a better located one. food was delicious with plenty of things to choose from in the dining room. We mainly ate breakfast and lunch in the buffet and had no problem getting a table. There was always plenty to choose from and especially loved the omelettes at breakfast. We did not sit around the pool but made use of our balcony so were not aware of how busy it was. We went to the shows and really enjoyed them especially the guest performer Lynsey Hamilton we could have listened to her all week. We had flights and transfers arranged through celebrity. Everything worked fine on the way there but we had a long wait for our flight home. We did not want to leave the ship and will certainly be booking celebrity again. We met some lovely people from all over Europe. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
So just got off the Celebrity Silhouette 12 Night HOLY LAND cruise. Boat is the same as Equinox with minor alterations and changes. Made it easy to get around as familiar with their layout. I will give you more or less as much description ... Read More
So just got off the Celebrity Silhouette 12 Night HOLY LAND cruise. Boat is the same as Equinox with minor alterations and changes. Made it easy to get around as familiar with their layout. I will give you more or less as much description and recommendations and ideas that we experienced. Embarkation Okay, when you get on a boat, which is a port of call in the United States, it is easy, simple and not complicated. When you get on a boat in Europe port of call like we did it in Rome, well priority is non-existent whether you do everything on-line before hand, you have a suite or a regular stateroom, it is simply disorganized and chaotic. It took us over 1 hour, which we felt having been on 3 Celebrity boats prior, was unacceptable, and hard to comprehend coming from such a big company who should already know how to deal with issues such as this, they do it in the United States. It is not horrible, but extremely long and tiresome. You do require upon entering the check-in area is your confirmation sheet (boarding card signed, which you can print on-line as pre-boarding pass cards) and passports. The sea pass cards have the same restrictions for children under age, and allowed parents to include what they wanted on their child(s) sea pass cards. All children must check-in with the youth desk and receive a color-coded identification bracelet. Emergency Drill Like other ships, people ignore this procedure, however, Silhouette runs this extremely effectively. You must go to your correct muster station where your sea pass card is scanned. All passengers' once accounted watch a short film and best part, no need to carry life jackets with you. Departure All passengers must have their luggage outside their stateroom before 11:00pm. The boat provides you with color tags to place on each bag. Unlike embarkation, it was simple and easy. Our luggage was waiting for us in our designated group area, porters were plentiful, and it was easy to leave. Stateroom We had a Royal Suite Stateroom (1116). It is located at mid ship, right of the middle elevators next to the library. Celebrity sails extremely smooth with very little to no vibration, we never once felt we were on a ship, the only time we had some rough waters which was "extremely" uncommon was both times in Greece (Santorini & Athens). This stateroom is spacious, generous with cupboard, drawer and shelving in the living area only. The master bedroom with a king size bed, 2 night tables and a "small" cupboard for hanging and only 5 drawers. The Equinox had a bigger closet space, but it is not such a problem. The bathroom is very large off the master bedroom, but has 2 sinks, toilet, bathtub (Jacuzzi) and a separate glass shower inside a few drawers to put all your belongings. The living area consisted of a pull out double bed sofa, small second sofa, coffee table and large and a huge new HD Samsung plasma TV same as Master bedroom. There is another small bathroom with a sink and toilet located at the entrance. This stateroom has a spacious balcony and my kids loved to bathe in the Jacuzzi located outside on it. The mini bar was also sparse but we never required it, with the amount of food and beverage options you have. Room Service was also very good and easy to do through the TV set. Butler Service (only with Royal Suites) Our butler Singh was great. He was extremely accommodating and helped us with whatever we needed. It is very convenient if you need help to book specialty restaurants, Aqua spa... Food & Beverage We sat at table 145 in The Grande Cuvee Dining Room, Deck 4, but for only three meals. We booked mostly specialty restaurants. The Oceanview Cafe has a huge assortment and variety of food; it did not seemed as packed and always difficult to find a table, especially breakfast and lunch hours, so I would definite say this was a PLUS! A good alternative solution, which is sometimes very crowded, is the BBQ place on Deck 14, which offers a hotdogs, hamburgers and BBQ items. Space very small, and hardly any tables, so a little difficult at times. There is a lot of assortment of juices, which are all complimentary for kids (Apple juice, fruit punch, ice tea) they get changed at times to, so it gives you variety. We did NOT purchase a water package, it is definitely NOT necessary!!!!! Specialty Dining - Need to book in advance, and highly recommend doing this on the internet once they allow you to book things on your cruise, if you do not cancel within 24hours of showing, you will be charged regardless, so keep this is mind when booking. If you do not book in advance, extremely difficult to get reservations. Specialty Restaurants (a) Qsine - This has got to be one of the best concepts and ideas, I have been too in a restaurant. You are given Ipads as menus to begin and your browse through the menu and place whatever you want in your favorites. Once everyone at the table has completed this, they combined all the menus and create a menu for the table. Everything is served family style, and there are a mixed variety of foods. I highly recommend anyone to book this; we ate there twice, and would have eaten more. AMAZING A++++++++++++++++++. The dessert menu is the coolest, but I will leave that as a surprise, but one hint, most are interactive and you can design and make yourselves. Kids are allowed here, smart casual dress, you definitely can wear jeans. (b) Tuscan Grille - It was good, same as the Equinox, it is nicer than going to the dining room and better food. Kids are allowed here, smart casual dress, you definitely can wear jeans. (c) Murano - The best "adult" ONLY restaurant, kids only over the age of 18. A beautiful, gorgeous restaurant. The food incredible, and service TOP NOTCH. I would highly recommend this, we ate here twice. The wine selection amazing too. A++++++++++++++++++++++++ (d) The Lawn Grill - located on Deck 15, outdoors, and its location is the same as the glass blowing on the Equinox. It is an interactive dining experience. You can make your own flat breads, with whatever toppings you want, as well as BBQ you meal if you are over the age of 12. My kids had the best time with the Grill Master making their flatbreads; the grill was too hot as my kids were too young. But a great family restaurant, fun, great atmosphere, great Mediterranean breeze. A definite recommendation, you can also buy the aprons, which are really nice. Places for kids Fun Factory - It is a small area, no swimming facilities and a small outdoor basketball area. My kids went a few times, as we did a lot of excursions at the ports of call. They made a few small art projects, most the same as previous Celebrity ships, colored t-shirts and bears, and some key chains. The staff was great and extremely friendly. The older kids ages 9+, are allowed to sign in and out on their own, so this gives them some freedom and independence. There are 3 age groups 3 to 5, 6 to 8, 9 to 12, and a teenager group. They also have a small arcade for teenagers as well as an alcohol free lounge/bar. Everything located on Deck 15, you must walk all the way to the front, and so we generally walked Deck 12 and took the 2 designated elevators that go to Deck 15. If you are really looking to keep your kids occupied, Celebrity is not designed for this. There are no other areas than the Fun Factory, any ping-pong tables, shuffleboards, and mini putt.... Places for Adults (a) Pools -There are 3 to choose from. 2 outdoors on Deck 12, which happily are NOT salt water, but FRESH water and kept extremely clean. However, they are NT heated at all, and could be somewhat chilly, but you get use to the water once submerged. They are not large, and tend to feel extremely crowded on Sea Days when it is very hot outdoors. I would have to say, they do need more pool areas, too small for the amount of people requiring it. There are 4 hot tubs, always packed to the rim, and very hot and full of chlorine. There is a pool in the Aqua Spa area, but for ADULTS ONLY and it is covered, there is no sun exposure, they also have 2 hot tubs in there as well. Chairs are abundant and but once again, I do not get why they cannot work out the reserve seats, they have 9 pool butlers and they simply do not organize themselves well. They can bring you more chairs, but reserving chairs should NEVER be allowed!!!!!!!!!! I will say which was my "truly" my only disappointment, the lack of security and pool lifeguards (monitoring) is definitely unacceptable. No one is watching our controlling what adults or kids are doing. When they write "at your own risk" on the pool rules and regulations, here they definitely mean it. Not impressed at all!!!! (b) Bars - We never used them. Places to hang out (a) Deck 4 & 5 - They have some shopping, but you would think by now, they would have some shops that would be interesting enough to want to browse, a lot of the same cut your own chains, celebrity stuff. They did add a Michael Kors shop, and Bulgari store on Deck 5. The jewelers have some nice items, especially Bulgari. However, I say this with EXTREME caution, price and make sure you know how much something costs, it is all a myth that they say you pay no taxes and duties and get an extra 10% off. Trust me the price is not different in the end then buying retail at a store. So if you are looking make sure to check on the Internet or know your prices, especially Bulgari. Shows - We saw the Broadway ones with the dancers and singers, the entertainers are great, and have super voices and dancers extremely talented. If you go 15 minutes before the show, you will get whatever seats you want, not difficult to get, if you order drinks, just make sure they fit in the cup holders, as most don't and then you end up holding them the entire time. Casino - My father and husband went once or twice, they said same as being at any casino. Ports - The ports are DEFINITELY what attracted on this cruise. (a) Santorini, Greece - This was our only tender, it accommodates I believe 40+ people. They take you to the island; maybe 3 minutes drive to shore. Once at shore, you can either take a cable car to the top of the hill, walk the thousands of steps, or a donkey ride. I believe the cable car is not that expensive, for our family of 5, it was 18 euro. It accommodates 4 people, and is fast and speedy. If you are scared of heights, sit with your back facing the ocean, this way you don't need to look down. Once on top, cool with all the small shops, full of souvenirs and tons of jewelry. It was short port of call so we did not get to experience the entire island. Two restaurants right when you get off cable car, the one on the right okay, but if looking for typical Greek souvlaki, don't bother. Ask someone as they have smaller places, which supposedly are much better. (b) Ephesus, Turkey - We booked our own tour through Auto Venture, and it was incredible. Our guide was truly amazing. She took us though Ephesus, and we toured the ruins, she took us to this amazing place for lunch " BULBUL MOUNTAIN LOOMS", they can be reached at; bmountainlooms@gmail.com, private and gorgeous, it was in a garden where it is a family business and they make silk and naturally carpets, the most beautiful. I would highly recommend this, very relaxing and not open to the general public. The owner (Ertugrul Karasu) guides you through his premises and he also harvests his own crops, so the meal and fruits and vegetables are YUMMY. We headed closer to the town and we did a little browsing through the market area, a beautiful store with respectable pricing and designs for Jewellery is Faberge. They have lots of leather shops, so if you cannot find at one, trust me 20 others will. Turkey is magnificent and would definitely like to go back and tour the other cities and places. (c) Ashdod, Jerusalem - We booked our own tour guide here for 2 days, as we stayed at The King David Hotel (gorgeous) for one night, as opposed to driving back to the boat and getting more time in Jerusalem. We took a guided tour with a well respected and amazing person, his name is Emanuel, and you can reach him at emanuelno@gmail.com, and his website is www.normantour.com. An experience you will never forget. We went to the Dead Sea to swim, we walked Ben Yehuda street, did the Western Wall Tunnels as well as putting notes in the wall (remember you need to cover your shoulders and knees - for women only), took us to a great lunch place called "FOCACHETTA", bought Kippas as a great place which has whatever you think you are looking for and more "KIPA STORE on Ben Yehuda. We planted trees at JNF, took a great city tour throughout Jerusalem, ate at a typical and amazing restaurant for dinner called Dolfin-Yam, not to far from the Mamila Mall, which we walked through too, closes at 11:00pm. Beautiful definitely an outdoor mall to walk through. The whole experience was memorable and Emanuel is incredible with kids, he brought along toys and gadgets for them to play while we ate and travelled from location to location such as PSP, DS, and puzzles, cards and this cool blow up balloons. Don't miss this opportunity!!!!!!!!!! (d) Haifa, Israel - Emanuel met us there, same tour guide as Ashdod. Droves us through the town, highlights all the important points and gives you a great history in a fun way. He took us to the Galilee to Kfar Kedem, a re-creation of a First Century village in the Galilee and participated in hands-on projects to learn about life in ancient times. Made our own pita bread and even ride a donkey around the village. The place is Hosha'aya, and the man who owns and the place is Menachem Goldberg, he can be reached at info@k-k.co.itl and Internet www.k-k.co.il. My kids as well as the adults had the best experience and time here. I don't want to tell you everything, but you dress and go back in time as what live was really like. I HIGHLY recommend this experience, something you will never forget!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We then took a tour through the Drews village and ate at an amazing place called Abu Anter Restaurant, aboantar6@gmail.com. Extremely generous and a typical and delicious Mediterranean lunch. We went to visit the ancient ruins of Caesarea, which is okay, but if you were limited in time, I would definitely take this time and go and visit more the Bahai Gardens from atop Mt Carmel. We did get to see them but only from a distance as they close at 5pm, so we could not walk through. They are spectacular. I complete experience was remarkable and all due to Emanuel. (e) Athens, Greece - We booked our own tour through Courmouzis Travel Services. We saw the original stadium of the 1896 Olympics, unfortunately Olympic rings no longer on the building. You see how well maintained it is and they did use it for the Marathon run and Archery for the 2004 Olympics and still for musical venues. The 2004 Olympic park is 14 miles to the North of Athens so too far to visit on a one-day tour. We drove the Temple of Zeus and saw the arches as well. The city is very commercialized with evident ruins. The acropolis and seen from everywhere and so cool. We took the long and hot trek up the steps and witness the acropolis, so cool, but very windy and just be careful when walking as all marble and slippery at times. We did not go the museum, as our kids were so tired, it is full of statues and ruins from the acropolis. Overall was not as impressed with Athens as we had anticipated, but a great experience and glad to see something from history that still remains. We had a typical and delicious Greek meal at Spiros Bairaktaris, Tabepna. A definite recommendation. We also had tea and ice cream at The Hotel Bretagne, which is spectacular. (f) Naples, Italy, We booked our own tour with Giuseppe Dipino he can be reached at Giuseppe.dipino@tin.it. He was amazing especially with the kids. Due to the ruins of Pompeii being on strike in the early morning we visited the small towns of Ravello, Amalfi and Positano. My husband and I had visited the region before so it was amazing to come back and see it in the summer. It is still fantasyland and simply paradise. Our guide was awesome, we finished in Positano but before he took us to a store for ceramics, so we would get the best pricing. He said not to buy in the small towns they rip you off. So I recommend Piccadilly, you can check out their website www.piccadilly.com. Beautiful and very well made products and items. We ate at Chez Black on the water, which we had eaten at 13 years prior and it was the same awesome food!!!!!! We were unable to go see the ruin, which was for our kids, but we had seen. If you have never seen it, it is amazing and incredible to see what they have recovered for the volcano. Overall a great, relaxing day. I have to stay our voyage was pleasant, nothing other than when we got on, would we say anything negative. A great ship and definitely recommend it and the itinerary. We did stay a few days in Rome at The Hotel Eden, which is in a great location, and if you plan to visit any of the sites, definitely get private tours the Hotel can set it up for you. This way you do NOT wait in the hour-long line at the Colosseo. Private tours get priority and do NOT wait in the Colosseo lines. Best to visit the Vatican after 2:30pm the lines are small and short. It is very hot and remember to bring a shawl or cover your shoulders and knees. One of the best restaurants is Alla Rampa, just below and behind the Spanish steps, a definite!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great job Celebrity on a nice ship, just make some security issue adjustments, and getting on the ship embarkation and some more upscale stores, and you continue on a great path of continued success. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Well, they finally sold it out... After cancelling the Egypt ports and months of price drops, the Silhouette finally set sail on Aug 10 and after a year of waiting, we were on it. We are a family of three, very experienced cruisers and ... Read More
Well, they finally sold it out... After cancelling the Egypt ports and months of price drops, the Silhouette finally set sail on Aug 10 and after a year of waiting, we were on it. We are a family of three, very experienced cruisers and very familiar with Celebrity. Because of the price drops we were able to taken an extra cabin and invited my mother to join us on this voyage. We are Elite Captain's Club members. We disembarked from the Star Princess in Rome on Aug 10 and took the shuttle bus to the other side of the port to join the Silhouette on the same day. We checked in early and found it disorganized and chaotic, and think it is high time Civitavecchia invested in a permanent terminal on Celebrity's side of the port, instead of the temporary tent style structure they have there. We boarded at lunch time and went for lunch as the cabins were not ready. We had adjoining balcony cabins on deck 6. The ship is as gorgeous as we expected it to be and the Oceanview Cafe is one of the best buffets on the seas. We found our cabins to be beautifully appointed, well insulated for noise and very comfortable. We usually have three in a cabin, so found plenty of space for our things for two of us, although there is a lack of places to put personal items and the counter under the TV was permanently cluttered for lack of a better place to put everything. The pillows were all foam and quite high, so not terribly comfortable. We asked for feather pillows after a couple of nights of less than perfect sleep, but weren't in Aqua Class so got more foam ones delivered instead. Our Captain's Club benefits did not arrive and neither did our invite for the CC M&G the following morning. We only found out about it by accident and had to go and hunt down the information we needed from Guest Relations. Several roll callers missed the meeting altogether as they never got their invites either, and we never got to meet them at all. Lifeboat Drill was interesting, as the brand new video system in Michaels Club failed to work and instead of the video we were supposed to watch, the safety drill was summed up in a few words by a crew member and we were advised to watch the video in our cabins instead. My husband was not at all pleased to find one of his bags in the "naughty room" and to have his single golf club confiscated because it was considered to be a potential weapon. He found that quite humiliating and upsetting. After appealing to officers at the roll call M&G, his club was returned to the cabin a few days later, which mollified him to a large degree. What next, plastic knives in the dining rooms?! We found the ship to be stunning in design, but when design takes over function, there are issues and this ship has the same problems as the other Solstice Class vessels. The pool area remains far too small and congested and was a total nightmare on this voyage due to the heavy usage. One of the two pools was reserved for over 16's, leaving one small pool on the ship for all the families, which was just ridiculous. My 10 year old water rat didn't bother going to the pool on this voyage, because it was literally standing room only in the water. Completely inadequate. The casual visitor didn't stand a chance up against the professional sun worshippers, of whom there were hundreds on board, judging by the deep leathery color of their skins. The cabanas eat into space at the Lawn Club but seemed to be used a lot and as long as people are willing to hand over $149 to use them on a sea day, Celebrity will continue to provide them and find new ways of charging fees for services. This is a creeping trend on the newer ships and I see no end in sight. As a shade seeker who doesn't do well in heat, I was happy to leave the masses to fight it out over the sunny spaces and was more comfortable inside or in the shade. The fountain area by the pool is gone (safety issue), the Lawn Club continues to plague the crew because of maintenance issues on the grass, and the Hot Glass Show has been replaced by yet another fee based restaurant. The fitness center is superb. The entire ship is gorgeous, it just doesn't seem to look as good or work as well when you pack it with almost 3000 people, all fighting for their share of it... We hoped the photographers would take advantage of the stunning atrium staircase for a photo location, but were told they had been stopped from doing it because of congestion in the area and lack of space for the tiny dance floor. As ours was only the third voyage of the ship, it didn't take long for that to happen. The photographers weren't thrilled either, but again, design trumps function. We had fabulous waiters and enjoyed the dinners, but the food was often dry and lacking in flavor, although it was beautifully presented. First Sitting was half empty, Second Sitting was completely packed. At least the theater was also lightly attended for the first show of the evening, which was a plus. We went to Qsine once and ate far too much, but the price increase to $40pp as of next month may well hold us back from doing it again next time. I think Celebrity is on the verge of overdoing it with the fees and price increases, for a large mass market cruise line. Our daughter loved the Fun Factory and seeing many of her favorite counselors again from other ships. I enjoyed the entertainment very much but felt there was heavy emphasis on singing and dancing and not a lot of variety offered, probably due to the passenger mix. One show, Velocity, introduced some of the acrobats and at one point two men were hoisted up on ropes to spin in unison above the audience. Unfortunately, one of them completely failed to do his bit and hung there looking like he had no idea how to even begin, let alone work in sync with his partner. It was mortifying to watch, knowing how badly messed up it was. New Celebrity cruisers may not have noticed. The CD was Nick Weir, and while he had great stage presence, he was barely visible outside of the theater. We felt his staff did a great job with all the Trivia sessions, sparsely attended as they were. Everyone was at the pool! The captain was young, handsome again (where does Celebrity find them?!) and very entertaining. We thoroughly enjoyed his daily briefings and his speech at the welcome party was fabulous. One of the biggest issues, based on our experience and the many people we talked with, was the cultural mix of passengers on board. There were 2990 people on the ship, including 400 children of varying ages. Half the passengers were non-English speaking and there were almost 500 Italians on board, and almost as many French. The Italians seems to arouse the most ire on a regular basis, with some of the most obnoxious and rude behavior we've ever seen. Rules were only suggestions. We heard of them arriving for First Sitting dinner 90 minutes late and expecting to be served, and staying till midnight on Second Seating. Second Seating was 8.45 and the late show started at 11PM to accommodate them. We saw the dress code being completely ignored and unenforced. We heard of people refusing to sit at their assigned table and sitting wherever they wanted. We heard of one waiter who was so distressed by how he was treated by his table that he talked of quitting his job. Our next door table mates (Slovenian) came to Formal Dinner in jeans and open necked shirts and brought their cell phones with them. The Oceanview Cafe was often the scene of large groups commandeering chairs from under people and acting as if they were the only people on the ship. We grew very tired of the rude behavior we witnessed on a regular basis and everyone we met had a horror story of their own. I think the crew had a very hard time on this voyage and didn't enjoy it that much either. Some people complained about the brazen European kids on the ship, but for me, the adults were the true villains. I heard that a Frenchman got into a fight with a woman up at the Lawn Club one evening and dragged her across the floor by her hair while everyone sat and watched and did nothing. The following night, he threw a fit and tossed his shoe into the pool, hitting a child on the head in front of security officers, who initially declined to do anything, until a friend of ours, who had seen both incidents, insisted they intervene. When they saw TV footage of how this man had behaved on the ship he was finally taken away. I began to understand why Security confiscated my husband's golf club at the start of the cruise... I was told the reason all the deck chairs were strapped down every night was not because of wind or pool closure, but to prevent passengers from throwing them overboard... I could hardly believe I was on Celebrity. It was like a bad experience on Carnival or Costa, from some of the behavioral issues going on. On my first and only visit to the pool deck on the second day, an American woman marched up to me and asked if I was using the lounger I was sitting on. She was obviously looking for a place to sit and didn't feel I was making full use of my lounger and should vacate it to her. When I confirmed I was using it, she hurled insults my way. Never had THAT happen before on a ship! My mother spent a lot of time at Smoker's Corner on Deck 5 and picked up all kinds of stories to share... I only wish I had the space to write about them all. I believed every one of them. I think the Silhouette will work out just fine, once the teething troubles are sorted out. They are off to a relatively good start, but the crew needs to gain their confidence and learn how to handle things a lot better, and to regain control of the ship from the unruly passengers, especially the southern European ones. The maitre'd needs to start enforcing the dress code, and the 30 minute window to enter for dinner. The pool butlers needs to be far more aggressive in dealing with the chair hogs, who got out there at 8AM to bag their loungers for the day and then disappeared for a leisurely breakfast. Security staff need to step in when there's an obvious problem, without being told to by passengers. It is an extremely civilized ship, but it was not a terribly civilized experience and it should have been different. The staff were too afraid of causing offence or confronting poor behavior, and I put much of this down to inexperience. This was our 8th cruise with Celebrity and we have now been on three of the Solstice Class vessels. We waited a year for this voyage, and we did have a lovely time for the most part, but there was also some relief at being able to disembark and get away from the madness and the masses. 3000 people is too much for these ships and the cultural mix on board simply didn't work. So overall, not a bad start for a brand new ship but definite room for improvement. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Great Ship, Incredible Vacation: Silhouette 10 August Holy Land My wife and I just returned from an incredible cruise on the Silhouette. Another reviewer couldn't have been on the same ship...although I know she was! As far as ... Read More
Great Ship, Incredible Vacation: Silhouette 10 August Holy Land My wife and I just returned from an incredible cruise on the Silhouette. Another reviewer couldn't have been on the same ship...although I know she was! As far as her complaint about the food in Rome, she must have chosen the wrong restaurants and the wrong areas. We also came to Rome a few days early after several days in Prague and never had a problem finding decent Italian food for very reasonable prices. There were many outside cafes near our hotel with price fixed menus for 13-20 Euros (US$20-US$30). We even went to Trastevere and found price fixed menus. CHECK-IN AND OUT; Check-in was a breeze, easier than any other we've experienced. It took us at most 15 minutes from the time we left our taxi until we were on the ship. Leaving the ship on the last morning was even easier. We simply walked off when we were ready! THE SHIP: Although we've been on other Celebrity, Azamara, Royal Caribbean and Holland America cruises, this was our first time on a Solstice class ship. We were impressed. The ship was sparkling new with no smell of smoke (except in the smoking sections, which we avoided) and the interior design was exceptional. The attention to minute details was exceptional. The staff was always smiling and saying "hello", "good morning", etc. The captain spoke at the opening night's show and was very humorous. One of the few complaints that we had was that we were not able to hear him when he made his daily noon announcements...the volume was too low. CABIN: The cabin was beautiful with plenty of storage. We were told that there were no shelves in the closets on Solstice ships, so we picked up hanging "shoe" bags at Walmart which gave us plenty of extra space for t-shirts, underwear, bathing suits, shorts, etc. The bathroom was larger than other ships and had lots of storage space. The shower was also large and had a great adjustable head (a Concierge Class extra). The steward and assistant steward (Dany and Omar) were always ready to please. We opted to get tea, fruit and cheese as our afternoon snack (Concierge Class) and they made the change and delivered on time daily. They even were able to switch the champagne for red wine, which we preferred. They both always wore a smile. FOOD: The breakfast and lunch buffets were adequate and we could always find something that we liked to eat (the eggplant dishes and the shrimp salad were wonderful!). We don't expect gourmet meals in the buffet, so we weren't disappointed. On the four sea days, we had excellent lunches in the Main Dining Room. The breakfast breads were not the best but their desserts made up for that. There was almost always ice cream available any time day or night. The meals in the Main Dining Room were excellent and the service was exceptional. We had anytime dining and had different wait staffs and they were all friendly and very willing to help in any way. I'm on a low-salt diet and the Maitre D came over nightly with the following night's menu to help me select something that they could prepare accordingly. The Maitre D, Prederick, was always willing to do anything to make our dining experience an excellent one. We ate in Tuscan Grill one night and had an exceptional 3 ½ hour dinner with friends we made on Cruise Critic. INTERNET: Anyone who has cruised before knows that the internet connection on a ship is "iffy", at best, certainly not like at home. On the first day, we purchased a $199 internet package (then discounted by $50) which made our cost $.36 per minute. We were not always able to get on-line (and off-line). The ilounge staff was very understanding and kept giving us more credits. We ended up with $67 left. I called Celebrity customer service today and explained that we were not able to use all of our minutes and they refunded the balance we had left. They were very kind to do that as the policy does say that unused minutes couldn't be refunded. ENTERTAINMENT: There was ALWAYS something going on. Some of the highlights were the A Cappella quartet (four guys from Michigan), the piano player and the String quartet (four women from Russia (?). Most of the shows were excellent but some were a repeat for cruisers that have been on other recent Solstice cruises. POOL: Yes, the pool was very crowded, but living in Southern California, we didn't go on vacation to sit in the hot sun, so that didn't matter. Since this was the end of summer break, there were many more children on board, than at other times of the year. From what we heard from a very reliable source (6 year old Austin), the Fun Zone was terrific. OTHER CRUISERS: Most of the other cruisers were not English speaking. The majority were from France and Italy. I think this was due to the airfares from the US being so high this year and Celebrity probably discounting the cruise for Europeans to fill the ship. Yes, there were cultural differences, but we travel a lot and are used to being with people from all over the world. We did hear a lot of complaints about the Europeans pushing to get on a shuttle bus and not letting people get off elevators before they could get on. That's all part of the travel experience. PORTS: We chose this cruise due to the ports. Each one was different and all were great. We had been to all of the countries we visited on prior trips abroad, but there were a few new ports for us. We try not to take ship excursions (overpriced and crowded) so we planned private tours with other Cruise Critic members who we had met on-line prior to the cruise. In Santorini, we had to use a tender and the seas were rough, causing many delays. Being "Select" Captain's Club members, we were able to get off the ship early. The delays were weather related and certainly not Celebrity's fault. We shared a driver with another couple and toured the beautiful island. In Ephesus, we had prearranged a private tour with Ephesus Shuttle which had been recommended to us by a friend who was there in June. Ask for Deniz and do tour #8. (www.ephesusshuttle.com). This tour included lunch in a small mountain village which was excellent. Israel: We've been to Israel twice before and didn't need to repeat Masada and the Dead Sea in the heat of summer. Instead, we went to Tel Aviv/Jaffa on Monday. The tour guide took us to a great restaurant in Jaffa. As it was a custom tour, we asked to see the border with Gaza which was about ½ hour south of the port. On Tuesday, we had an excellent guide (Shalom) who took us to Jerusalem. We first went to Yad Vashem. Even though we had been there twice before, it has been redone and was just terrific (although depressing). We then went to the Old City, visited Mount of Olives for the view and then The Western Wall. It was a long 12 hour day and Shalom was excellent. Each of these tours cost us $95 each for six people in the van. The following day, we were docked in Haifa. We shared a cab with another couple and went to Safed where we had also been before. Our driver had to leave as he had a family emergency so we became "stranded". We were offered a ride back from a private tour guide who was sympathetic, but the cruisers in that group (all Cruise Critic members from our ship) were upset with her offer to help us, got out of shape and told their guide not to take us. One of the shop owners was extremely helpful and found another taxi for us to get back to Haifa, but we were disappointed in the attitude of our fellow cruisers on the private tour. Athens: we've been to Athens before but there were many people on the roll call saying how terrible it would be and they'd rather stay on the ship than experience the "horrors" of Athens. We had booked entrance to the New Acropolis Museum on-line, in advance and had no problem with the taxi going from the port to the museum (15E) and returning from the Plaka (20E). We had lunch in the Plaka, (actually two lunches, the food was great!). Both taxi drivers were friendly and honest and there was very little traffic. We found the first taxi a few blocks from the port as the drivers in the port wanted a minimum of four hours. Naples: we had not been to Naples before. We booked a private driver (50E each, he was not a guide) with six other Cruise Critic members and had a long day seeing the Amalfi Coast and visiting Pompeii. It was probably the hottest day of the cruise, but still, we had an interesting and great adventure. At Pompeii, we picked up a local guide to show us the ruins. SUMMARY: We had a wonderful vacation. The ship was beautiful, the service excellent and the food met our needs. What could possibly be bad about that? Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Pleased in general with my first cruise on Celebrity. The Silhouette is magnificent and very modern including its artwork. My preference and that is personal is Cunard or Royal Caribbean which are equally deluxe but both are slightly more ... Read More
Pleased in general with my first cruise on Celebrity. The Silhouette is magnificent and very modern including its artwork. My preference and that is personal is Cunard or Royal Caribbean which are equally deluxe but both are slightly more luxurious and that includes some wonderful contemporary as well as traditional art. What is disappointing is the lack of interest in the shopping promenade..nothing to compare to the magnificent promenade on the Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas which has restaurants and bars along the promenade as well as shops giving it far more life. Also disappointing was the main dining room..nothing to compare to the RCL Liberty of the Seas and as well the lack of small eateries offering free food in a pub atmosphere. The room however was the largest I have had for a similar room on other ships and the bed extremely comfortable..the bathroom largest as well with plenty of cupboard space. All luggage easily fit under the bed. Quality of food in specialty restaurants was outstanding but why not given the extra cost. Quality otherwise in the free main restaurant and grill was simply mediocre unfortunately and service terrible in the main restaurant...perhaps to be fair because it was a new ship and new crew. Of the 9 ports visited, Barcelona gets first place but closely followed by Ibiza whose village streets are a paradise of shopping and Adjacio, Corsica Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We are a family of 4 and we have sailed with Royal Caribbean and with Norwegian in the past. This was our first Celebrity Cruise on the lovely Silhouette. We had originally booked it because it was scheduled to go to Egypt, we stuck with ... Read More
We are a family of 4 and we have sailed with Royal Caribbean and with Norwegian in the past. This was our first Celebrity Cruise on the lovely Silhouette. We had originally booked it because it was scheduled to go to Egypt, we stuck with it because our travel agent said we would love it! We checked in after a 5 day stay in Rome. Civitavecchia was a 45 minute train ride to the port. Very easy and cost effective. What was not so pleasant was the shuttle system from the pier entrance. It was poorly organized and there was no defined place to stand and wait for the shuttle to check-in. We basically had to read the sign on the shuttles arriving to make sure it was going to our ship and make a run for it. After 3 attempts we finally got our luggage stored under the bus and got some seats. A big free for all with a me first attitude. Not so fun with kids in towe. Once we arrived to the check-in tents, yes, tents....the luggage porters motioned for passengers to load their own luggage onto the carts which was a first time experience for us on a cruise. The benefits of a concierge class booking made no difference upon check in. Actually, people who took the train with us from Rome who had standard rooms made it through their line faster than us. Our daughter's luggage arrived to the stateroom damaged and an item was missing. After all this was done and forgotten we did begin to enjoy this beautiful ship. The ship is very elegant and stylish. I loved it but the kids found it boring compared to the Allure which we sailed on last March. We, my husband and I, thought it was a great size and had everything a couple could want. Adult activities were plentiful and we certainly enjoyed the wine tasting events. The sommeliers were informative and pleasant and it made for lovely and pleasant afternoons on sea days. Our 16 and 9 year old children enjoyed the Fun Factory and the X-club however the amenities for children on a ship like the Silhouette were for the most part non-existent compared to what they have experienced on RCCL and Norwegian. The biggest disappointment was the small pool on the pool deck and the fact that only half of it was made available to the 400 children on board during our sailing. There was no kids pool area. The service level we experienced was fabulous throughout the cruise. It was exceptional at Bistro on 5, Murano, Tuscan Grill and Qsine. The specialty restaurants were delectable! Where the service was mediocre was at the ilounge and at the buffet. There were a few people that worked in the ilounge but the guy who seemed to oversee the lounge was arrogant and easily flustered which led him to speak without a fliter in a very unprofessional manner. We tried to avoid the buffet the most part but on the days where we had to go there we found that it was a little less polished and the wait staff was generally more aloof. It might have had something to do with the "Me first attitude" of many of the guests on board and the general pushiness of the guests in crowded areas and on the elevators. This brings us to the culture of the guests on board. This European cruise was a first for us so I'm not sure if this is just the way it is or if this was unique to the dynamic of the guests on the cruise for this particular sailing. One thing Celebrity must resolve is the inability of the pool butlers to execute Celebrity's no reservation policy of chairs on the pool deck. The amount of reserved chairs not being used for several hours at a time was ridiculous and even more ridiculous was that people were saving 2 sets of chairs. One set in sunspots and the other in shaded areas. The ports were fabulous and I can't really comment on the shore excursions because we booked all our ours independently through local tour guides. If I had a magic want though, we would have had a full day in Santorini, the 6 hours were just too short once you factored in tender time to get on and off the ship. I would have easily traded the 3rd day in Israel for and extra day in Greece. Do not walk up or down those steps in Santorini. Big mistake unless you like navigating donkey poop on marble steps. Our Stateroom was very clean, new, elegant and would have been perfect for the 2 of us. It was a little crammed for 4 people and I found the storage area above the beds hard to reach. The bathroom was nice and spacious and the storage there was plentiful. We did not really order canapes so I am not sure I would book Concierge class again. The 4th bed was a trundle and I do not like the set up. It makes the balcony near impossible to get to after turn down service. We much prefer the pullman system. The shows were good and our cruise director was very entertaining but we only saw him on stage. As a family we agreed that we preferred the shows we saw on the Allure though. We found the ones on this sailing got repetitive after 3-4 nights. What we did love was the live entertainment on the pool deck, in the lounges and throughout the ship. There was a fabulous a Capella group from Michigan and a lovey Jazz band that accompanied our new favorite jazz singer Azure McCall. She was simply sensational! What a voice! The Captain was adorable! Being of Greek descent I guess he couldn't help it! His daily updates were witty and charming. Disembarkation was quite easy but again when it came to the shuttles, directions to the shuttles were non-existent and getting on was another free for all reminiscent of embarkation. Party was over!!! Loud and clear!!! In summary, my husband and I would love to cruise with Celebrity again once we are empty nesters. We know we will enjoy elegant and refined surroundings with delectable food and wine with excellent service. If and when we do, will will go out of our way to avoid boarding any ship in Chivitavecchia. Until then, we will likely stick with RCCL. Same company more suited to families. I will miss Murano until then that's for sure! Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
To celebrate our 40th Wedding Anniversary, I booked the Silhouette for the 8/10 Holy Land cruise. What I didn't tell my wife was that I had booked a Royal Suite. The jig was up when we embarked in Civitavecchia and were escorted on ... Read More
To celebrate our 40th Wedding Anniversary, I booked the Silhouette for the 8/10 Holy Land cruise. What I didn't tell my wife was that I had booked a Royal Suite. The jig was up when we embarked in Civitavecchia and were escorted on board by the Assistant Purser to meet our butler. Here's my report on the ship and the cruise. These are my opinions and reflect our experience on board from the perspective of long time cruisers. EMBARCATION - A little disconnected. We arrived at the embarkation tent around 10:45 AM and were handed a group number card. When our number was called at least 15 people with numbers after ours rushed the line and got to the head of the queue. Not a good start, X. Once we were at the counter, everything went smoothly . The Assistant Purser , Nicholas, escorted us to Michael's Club where our butler escorted us to our cabin. Based on comments on this forum we opted for Bistro On 5 for lunch and were not disappointed. A very nice, tasty lunch without the crowds in the buffet. Our suite was FANTASTIC! It was like a small apartment and I will have a hard time going back to a standard cabin after this. THE SHIP - A real beauty. Great open spaces. You never felt crowded (except at lunch in the OceanView Cafe where playing bumper cars seemed to be the rule) despite a sold out ship with 2800 passengers and 1300 crew. Beautiful dEcor and venues. DINING - A hit and miss affair. The first night we dined in the MDR and were sorely disappointed. My wife's fish was dry and overcooked and my medium steak was well done. The service was first rate and the desserts were awesome but the entrEe fell short. The last time we were on X was when Michel Roux ruled the kitchen and our expectation was that the cuisine would be at least as good. During the cruise we heard other passengers give varying opinions from not good to great. I am a restaurant owner and amateur chef so my opinion may be a little more nit picking than others. But I believe that you should get the dining experience you are paying for. Having said that, the following night we dined in Blu as we were in a suite and I must say the experience was night and day. Absolute perfection, outstanding service and great ambiance. On any future cruise on X, I will be booking in whatever category gets me into Blu. The OceanView Cafe (buffet) was outstanding for breakfast. A very good variety and the whole stern of the ship is open to outside dining. Lunch provided a good salad bar, pizza, Indian, stir fry, etc. The Mast Grill one deck up served great made to order burgers, fries, and hot dogs. Trust me you will not starve! SPECIALTY RESTAURANTS - Again, as a restaurant owner, I was eager to try the different venues. We dined at the Lawn Club Grill, Tuscan Grill, and twice at Qsine: Lawn Club - Wow, a great addition! You can grill your own or have the chefs do it for you. Our son, who is autistic, made the flatbread pizzas for us and had a great time. The seafood and steaks were perfect and the ambiance outstanding. This is NOT your at home BBQ. I would do it again in a heart beat. Tuscan Grill - Had a great meal here with excellent service. We stuck to the seafood but I heard others say the steaks were rather bland. Again, YMMV. Qsine - We ate there twice. 'Nuff said J ENTERTAINMENT - This was a very port intensive cruise and, for the first time, we did not attend any of the shows. Starting the first show at 8:30 PM was part of the problem since on previous cruises we have been used to shows starting around 8PM. None the less, we heard many positive reviews about the shows especially the Broadway review and the Cirque show. CASINO - Usually my favorite venue on board. Staff were very friendly but Fortuna was not with me this trip L A nice venue with a good variety of games. Just be aware of the rules before you play. SHOPS - Two venues, one standard with the usual collection of trinkets, t-shirts, etc . Booze was over priced compared to other X ships (different vendor). X would be well served to use the same vendor as on Eclipse, etc. The other venue was very high end but we did nothing more than casually pass through. STAFF - Invariably friendly and helpful. ITINERARY - A very nice mix of sea days and port days. Each port was great. See my port reviews for more detail. Bottom line was the interspersing of the sea days allowed good recuperation from the port days. Nice job, X. THE SUITE - OK, you all want to know J. The suite was out of this world. The butler service from Nilesh was unbelievable. Every day at 4:30 PM, my wife would wait for the daily delivery of little treats and snacks (I waited for the Champaign!). We needed to move some specialty reservations around, arrange for early disembarkation, etc. and Nilesh handled it flawlessly. 590 square feet with a 155 sq. ft. veranda with a hot tub. What's not to like? DISEMBARKATION - Absolutely flawless. We had a 10 AM flight out of Rome and needed to be off the ship by 7 AM. Our butler delivered breakfast to our suite at 6:15 AM as requested and we were off with our bags on time. Good job, X. BOTTOM LINE - Would we sail on Silhouette again? Let's put it this way. We booked the 8/22/12 sailing while on board. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
After setting our hearts on a Baltic cruise this summer but not finding any really good value deals, we were finally tempted by a 12 day Mediterranean and Holylands cruise on the new Celebrity Silhouette, which was being promoted in a ... Read More
After setting our hearts on a Baltic cruise this summer but not finding any really good value deals, we were finally tempted by a 12 day Mediterranean and Holylands cruise on the new Celebrity Silhouette, which was being promoted in a special 3 day sale in May. Even though we had visited 75% of the ports on previous cruises, we decided it would be nice to re-visit them and see Israel as well. Normally we would reserve an inside cabin as we don't see the point of paying a premium for an outside cabin that we would normally not spend any time in. During the 3 day sale however, an outside balcony cabin was being offered with a price difference of only £100.00 per person so we decided that the small difference could be justified in this case. After booking, we joined the CC Rollcall and started to get to know some of our future cruise companions. We signed up for the Celebrity Connections party and started looking forward to our cruise. Using the Rollcall, we managed to arrange a shared minibus transfer from Rome airport to the port and got valuable tips for booking excursions in Israel. We also picked up many tips, for example stopping at a supermarket on the way to the ship to buy bottled water and on our journey to the port, our driver didn't mind pulling over so that we could all jump out to buy a six pack and a bottle of wine to have on our balcony at sailaway. On the departure day, we arrived at the port around midday and went immediately to the check-in area where we were allowed to board. The check-in process only took a few minutes and we were on the ship in no time. I did hear complaints of extensive queues and boarding times in excess of 1 hour later in the day though. At the entrance to the ship we were greeted with waiters offering wine or juice and then shown to the lifts. We were told that the cabin was ready but when we got there it was still being prepared. Our cabin attendant did however let us leave the water and our hand luggage in the cabin so that we could go and have lunch and take a look around the ship. The Oceanview Cafe was quite chaotic as it seemed that everyone had headed straight there, but we found seats on the outside rear deck and enjoyed a lovely varied lunch. The Oceanview Cafe is made up of many different stations to avoid queues and in general it was very well organized. The different stations included pasta and pizza, salads, bakery, Carvery, Mexican food, Indian curries, hot station, desserts, Ice Creams and beverages. Around 1.30 it was announced that the staterooms were ready so we went to investigate. We had been allocated cabin 6305 on a guarantee basis and this was the very last cabin at the end of the corridor. The walk did become a bit tedious after a while but the extra exercise helped to walk off a few pounds over the duration of the cruise! The cabin was very light and spacious and the dEcor was cool and classy. As we unpacked we found plenty of storage space including a double wardrobe with plenty of hangers, three large deep drawers and a long shelf unit above the bed. It was also no problem to stow the empty cases under the bed which I have not usually been able to do. The bathroom was the biggest surprise as this was more spacious than on other ships and included a large walk in shower with double sliding doors, washbasin, toilet and a large wall unit with lots of storage as well as two small drawers. The shower was a fixed head with different settings and the water pressure and temperature were perfect. The only complaints would be the lack of shower gel (only blocks of soap were provided) and the bathroom sink tap was silly in my opinion as it was not close enough to the basin and spilt water everywhere. The in-cabin t.v (32" lcd) had many channels including BBC World and Sky News as well as various movie and entertainment channels. There was also a music section with all kinds of music choices as well as the usual channel showing re-runs of recent shows and activities on the ship. One thing to note is that there was only one European and one US power point so it may be an idea to take along a double adapter for charging appliances etc. The mini bar was initially locked but could be opened by the stateroom attendant if required. The safe was of adequate size to fit in our notebook computer and other valuables. The balcony of the cabin was accessed by a sliding patio door and was larger than expected. There were two adjustable chairs/loungers and a small round table. There was total privacy and lots of peace and quiet. We never encountered anyone smoking on their balcony (and in general the smoking policy on the ship seemed fair to us as non-smokers). The afternoon was spent familiarizing ourselves with this huge ship. Starting on deck 3 at guest services we worked our way upwards exploring all of the bars, lounges, and shopping arrears. The Hideaway seemed to be one of the more popular areas on the ship during the voyage and seemed to be well-liked. There were an assortment of unusual chairs and seating areas and coffee and tea dispensers were available. Above the Hideaway was the well-stocked library and again this seemed to be well used by people reading and using their laptop computers. The ilounge on deck 6 did have many Apple computers available to use for those who did not bring their own, although the internet rates did seem a bit on the steep side with the ship advertising clearly that connections speeds were not comparable to those on land. iPads were also available for hire by the day or for the entire cruise and judging by the number of people carrying them around, this service seemed to be popular. Once up on deck 12 we came across the large stylish pool area with one adult and one children's pool as well as four Jacuzzis. Initially we appeared that there would be plenty of space and sunbeds once we got underway (that later proved to be an inaccurate judgment!). The sunbeds had comfortable cushions on them and the towels were self-service without having to check them in and out with your seapass (as with RCI). Double beds and other relaxing chairs and loungers were available in a variety of styles which was a nice touch. We noticed that there were clear signs up next to the adult pool and two adjoining Jacuzzis advising that they were for the use of guests over 16 only and that there was to be no jumping, diving or horseplay and that infants and persons in diapers were not to use them under any circumstances. These signs proved to be useless as they were blatantly ignored throughout the cruise and these rules were never enforced by the poolside staff. This became very annoying throughout the cruise as it was impossible to swim in the pool without being hit by a ball or jumped on by children being oblivious to others around them and when complaining to guest services we were told that there was nothing they could do if people chose to ignore the signs. It is worth noting that this particular cruise was made up of 80% non-English speaking clients (French/Spanish/Italian/German) and that the signs were only printed in English! Moving further through deck 12 we came to the indoor solarium which was also reserved as an adult-only space. This was very elegant with lovely comfortable sunbeds, squishy mattresses and luxurious towels. The only problem was that it was always cold (because of the air con..) and the water in the pool too was cool to say the least. The dancing water feature was a lovely touch and there were another two hot-tubs for adult use. A couple of times we did see kids trying to swim in the indoor pool and they were asked to leave by the pool attendants. I'm therefore not sure why the same could not be done in the outdoor adults pool?? Through the solarium we came to the Aqua Spa with all kinds of different treatments being advertised and there was a free prize draw being advertised. Next were the changing rooms and men's and women's saunas and lastly the fully equipped fitness centre which was open from 6am to 11pm. The equipment was very hi-tech and on the first morning it took around 10 minutes on the elliptical trainer before I was up and running. We were booked for the late dinner seating at 8.45pm and our booking confirmation said that we would be seated on a table of 8. When we were shown to our table we had been given a table of 6 with the other 4 people being Russian people who only spoke very basic English. It transpired that they had another two friends who had been placed on a table for two opposite. We therefore out of courtesy offered to exchange tables so that the three couples could sit together. We really did not want to sit alone so at the end of the meal we asked the maitre'd if there was another table we could change to for the following evening where there would be some English or American people we could speak to. We were informed that as the cruise was so full of Europeans, there were no other suitable tables unless we wanted to switch to early sitting. We therefore decided to stay where we were. The following night was formal night and due to the total lack of atmosphere in the dining room, we decided that we would try the buffet restaurant the following evening so that we could try to meet other guests. On the first morning we decided to check out the Oceanview Cafe for breakfast and we found a great breakfast selection to suit all tastes. Once again the buffet was arranged with different stations and everything felt quite organized. Throughout the cruise, we loved taking our plates out to the open-air seating area and watching the wake of the ship. After breakfast we still had not received out invitations for the Connections welcome get -together and we were excited to meet all of the people we had been chatting online with over the last few months, we paid a visit to Guest Services to find out the time and location of the get-together. We were shocked to be told that the party had taken place at 10 o'clock that morning and that we had missed it and that we must have misplaced the invitation. I insisted that we had not received any invitation in our stateroom but we received no apology or any gesture to compensate for our disappointment. Unfortunately, even by the end of the cruise, we had not managed to meet any of our online 'friends'. This, along with our disappointment about the dining room, did not put us in great spirits for the start of the cruise. On day four, we met some lovely people in one of the bars and were invited to join their table in the dining room being as they had three spare seats. We took them up on their offer and had some great evenings in the Grand CuvEe. The food we found to be just OK really - nicely presented and relatively tasty just nothing to get really excited about. The menu consisted of two sides, the first being classic favourites which were on offer every evening and the other side being the specials of the evening. As well as the main dining room, we did try the open buffet a couple of times in the evening but found that very disappointing compared to the breakfasts and lunches. The choice in the evenings was not good at all, and in the end we stopped going apart from a midnight snack after the second seating shows. The only one of the specialty restaurants that we tried was the Lawn Club Grill which was really enjoyable. Two of us decided to get 'interactive' and it was a lot of fun. The steaks and seafood were really tasty and of course well-cooked! The entertainment on board was fairly standard; during the day there was the usual mix of different trivia quizzes, port talks and other general activities and in the evenings a fairly good mix of shows and musical events. We thoroughly enjoyed all of the musical acts and a special mention has to be given to Aquadio (4 piece acappella group) and Allegria Strings ( a 3 piece string group from Ukraine). The Broadway show was well performed and the comedian Neil Austin was as hilarious as he was on the Voyager of the Seas in 2009. Port1 - Santorini. As we had visited Santorini previously we decided not to do any tours and instead we waited for everyone to go ashore and then went across ourselves. We walked up the path to the top of the hill rather than taking the donkeys or cable car which we had done before. The walk took approximately 30 minutes and shouldn't be too much trouble for anyone who is relatively fit. The walk back down took approximately 10 minutes only. As we were there until 10pm, we had the opportunity to watch the sunset from the top of the cliff which was absolutely amazing. Port 2 - Kusadasi. As we had already done Ephesus on a previous land based holiday in Turkey we decided to just have a walk around the town. There's nothing much really worth noting about Kusadasi but if anyone has any questions I will try to answer them. Port 3 - Ashdod. Here we arranged two separate full-day tours through Guided Tours Israel prior to traveling and arranged to meet their rep at 8am next to the ship. The first day was to Masada & The Dead Sea which were both great and the next day to Jerusalem & Bethlehem. Port 4 - Haifa. Initially we planned to visit Tel Aviv on the train but after various bad reports we decided to stay in Haifa. First we visited the Baha'I Gardens to take some photos of the city and then descended back to the train station where we took the train two stops to the Haifa beach. I must honestly say this is one of the best beaches I've ever been to and this was one of the nicest afternoons of the entire holiday. Port 5 - Athens. Again we had visited Athens twice before so just decided to take the new hop on hop off bus from Piraeus port into Athens. This costs €20 per person. There were stops at all of the major sights so we got off at the Acropolis, The Greek Parliament and the Temple of Zeus and then made our way back on the 16:50 bus in time for departure. Port 6 - Naples. At first we tried to get a taxi to the train station but this was impossible as the drivers only wanted to do longer journeys or full day tours. We therefore decided to take the 15 minute walk to the station and then took the 1 hour train journey to Sorrento. After a walk around the lovely town, we took the short bus ride to Positano for €7.20 return and had a thoroughly lovely day. Both towns are well worth seeing! The things we particularly liked about this cruise were; the staterooms (very spacious compared to other lines and lots of thoughtful touches). The lawn (great for laying on during busy sea days at the pool). No announcements (very annoying on other cruiselines). Beverage stations (well placed and available 24 hours a day with a good selection). Oceanview Cafe (being able to sit outdoors at the stern to take meals). Leaving and re-boarding the ship (extremely organized and trouble-free). The Champagne Brunch - this was a far better idea than the midnight buffet and the food was scrumptious (best food of the cruise). The things we didn't like were; the pool deck (far too small for the number of guests and no control whatsoever of rule-breakers). The food in general was very disappointing. We'd heard so many people say how superior the food on Celebrity was and we were left very under-whelmed by the MDR and by the evening buffet. The chairs in the MDR were the worst I have ever come across. They were far too big and heavy and on a long table it was impossible to get in and out without causing a big spectacle every time. I honestly think that wooden benches would have been more suitable than these hideous things. The biggest and most disappointing aspect of the whole cruise (and one which may stop me ever booking another Celebrity cruise) was the staff's complete unwillingness to 'control' the rulebreaking and complete ignorance of other guests. The whole pool deck was one big chaos with tens of unused sunbeds being blocked by towels and bags, children completely over-taking the outdoor pools (including the adult-only one) and a lack of staff-presence in general around this area. As a final summary, although I enjoyed most things about this cruise, I found nothing at all which in my opinion made Celebrity stand out over any other cruise line I have sailed with. If in future I was considering booking a cruise and an identical cruise was being offered by Celebrity and Royal Caribbean, I would most likely choose RCI. I hope that the Silhouette manages to resolve the blatantly obvious failings as she is a beautiful ship and deserves better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
This was a first cruise for both myself and my husband and it was perfect. The ship is absolutely fantastic. We cannot imagine for us how it can be bettered. From start to finish everything was great. Embarkation for us was a very ... Read More
This was a first cruise for both myself and my husband and it was perfect. The ship is absolutely fantastic. We cannot imagine for us how it can be bettered. From start to finish everything was great. Embarkation for us was a very easy process. We were travelling concierge class. We only booked the cruise through our agent, Viva Voyage (highly recommend) and made our own separate arrangements to travel to Rome spending one day there before the cruise and two days after. We travelled Jet 2 then took the bus to Rome then the following day the train from Rome to civitavecchia. Easy and we met lots of cruise passengers along the way. We arrived at the ship at about midday and were on board for about 12.30. Our prepaid drinks package was not on but was sorted out in 1 minute at Guest relations. Still no queues at that point. Our first view of the interior of Silhouette did the wow factor for us! We liked the ocean view cafe with its huge outside deck and the grand cuvee is beautiful. The shops arcade and theatre, library and observations decks were great as is the grassy Lawn Club. We looked around the pool decks which are nice and the excellent fitness centre. We do not like hoards of people around so knew we would not be by the pool but would find a quiet spot to relax. So our thoughts as first time cruisers. The stateroom was better than than we anticipated it was spacious and very light. Our attendant was superb bright and cheerful and she is to be highly commended. The cabin could do with some more drawers rather than hanging space but it was not a problem. The shower was good and the on demand films etc excellent with all news channels. We were happy meeting people on the Lawn club and ocean view deck rather than on the pool deck and reading and sunbathing on our own veranda was heaven. The pool deck looked too much like sardine cramming. We cannot comment on the behaviour of people as we did not go there. The shows we went to 2 were ok but nothing special but to be honest we were happier watching films after our port days and dinners. The food we have not had better in any part of the world we have visited and we felt no need to go to the specialty restaurants. We always breakfasted on deck in the Oceanview cafe. It was never crowded, lots of people but more than enough food and places. For lunch if we could! there was salad in The Ocean view or a burger on the Mast head on Deck. We could never fault the food.Icecreams were available all day. I miss them! As to dinner we were on select dining. The waiters were fantastic, we certainly never came across any that needed training! Everyone without exception was good, attentive and we so enjoyed it. Our thanks particularly to Ivana, TW and assistant and our friend from Bulgaria and Indonesia who made our dinners so much fun. The quality of the food and choice was superb .We had amongst others the best tornedo rossini, duck, lamb and salmon dishes.The brunch on the final sea day was excellent so much so that a large number of guests were filming. Do not miss it! Our one gripe is that we were surprised that the dress code was not really observed in the dining room, it should be jeans and t shirt should be banned and the behaviour of some families with children Particularly Italian families should be checked. We have 3 children but would never have allowed them to behave in such a way. It is unfair to those dining around but unless a code is put into place and observed which should be done then the behaviour will carry on. It did not affect us too much but there were rumblings from people we spoke to. Children and pushchairs should not be allowed into restaurants in the evening.The buffet is available and should always be available. I am sure all reasonable parents would understand this!! Apart from this perfect. As to shore excursions, we did our own every time. Sorry organised tours are not for us. In Santorini We got the tender to Fira, the cablecar then the local bus to Oia and back. We did everything at our own pace. All details found on web for bus times etc Athens We were intending to take the metro to the Acropolis but as soon as we left the boat we saw the red hop on hop off Athens Bus. We hopped on (22 euros each) took the tour to the Acropolis then hopped back on for the remainder of the tour then back to the boat. Brilliant and avoided all the walking in the heat Israel. We had family here and were very disappointed about not going to Ashdod but understood. It did not spoil anything. For two days we had the services of Matyo who we can highly recommend. 0525762086. He was on the port in Haifa where together with 8 other passengers who we just met, he took us on two great days around Israel to Acre, Rosh Hanikra and Jerusalem. He also took our friends to the Dead Sea and Massada, a really good guy reliable and reasonable rates. In Haifa you are also next to the train station Naples We had intended to go to Capri but the hydrofoil queues were too bad so plan b we walked to the station and caught the train to Sorrento. Beautiful,you can always stop in Pompei too Rome Hotels booked via travelrepublic and Last minute. Great. Used open top red hop on hop off bus . Visit the Vatican on Saturday afternoon no queues! Also get your ticket for the forum/Colosseum at the forum. Less queues! Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
This was only the second cruise for this ship so when we boarded, we actually had a new ship smell. I was very excited after hearing so many great things about Celebrity on Cruise Critic and I expected this to surpass just about all of the ... Read More
This was only the second cruise for this ship so when we boarded, we actually had a new ship smell. I was very excited after hearing so many great things about Celebrity on Cruise Critic and I expected this to surpass just about all of the previous lines that I had cruised with including Cunard and Holland America, but this was not the case. First of all, the good points were that the ship is stunning and the most beautiful that I have seen, both in and out. Champagne at embarkation, nice touch. The two specialty restaurants that we dined in were Murano and the Tuscan Grill. They were both excellent and my favorite was the handsome Tuscan Grill with the view of the ship's wake with floor to ceiling windows. Food in both restaurants was superb (although at a steep $35 per person surcharge). Several menu items were prepared by the table such as the lobster in Murano. Overall my favorite thing about the cruise were these two dinners. The balcony stateroom was beautiful and the bathrooms and shower were very roomy. Nice design. Comfortable beds, and bathrobes were a nice touch to the rooms. Lots of storage space. Colors throughout the ship were tasteful and soothing. Ship gets 10 out of 10 for design. We did a cocktail party in the observation lounge which I wish would have been utilized more as it is an amazing space. Lobby and shopping area were very beautiful and the martini bar was a very fun place to meet and have drinks and was always crowded and happening. One nice area was The Hideaway which was one deck down from us which always had a hot coffee station. This was nice to not have to go all the way to the buffet restaurant to get coffee during the day for first thing in the morning. There was always someone in there either reading or working on their laptop. Now the not so good points. It became clear in about a day that there were starting to be issues that weren't just a matter of a crew on a new ship, but possibly management or policies by Celebrity. For one, the crew in the hallways and in the rest of the ship didn't always smile and greet you and the joke with all of the passengers toward the end of the cruise was "service with a scowl." Our cabin attendant although very friendly to us, didn't pay attention to all of our needs. I let her know that we like extra towels in the bathroom. She did it the first time, but then would not make up the bathroom with extra towels after that and we had to ask her every day for more towels. Soap and shampoo were also not replaced. This was also evident in our friends' cabins so it must be a policy. Not something that I expected from a so-called premium line. The outdoor pools were never drained and there was actually a condom wrapper in one of the pools that remained there for several days and became a joke among everyone. Otherwise the ship was kept spotless and there always seemed to be someone polishing glass or metal on the ship. Food in the Sea View cafe or as we started to call it, "The Windjammer" was repetitive at each station and also each day. There was not even an effort to rotate it every other day. By the third day everyone started to become tired of it. Perhaps this is a way for Celebrity to encourage passengers to pay extra for variety in the many for-fee venues on the ship (nickel and diming to be discussed later). This is something that I would have expected on an older Royal Caribbean ship, but not on Celebrity. One good thing was the choice of ice cream (although only at certain times of the day). The for-fee gelato at Cafe Al Bacio was just mediocre and not on the par to be called gelato in my own opinion. We tried it once, and then after that we got the free ice cream in the buffet since it was also better than the gelato that they were selling to passengers at an extra charge. There never seemed to be anyone in Cafe Al Bacio on this cruise, nor Cellar Masters or Bistro on Five. The food in the main dining room was just okay and I would compare it to the main dining rooms on Royal Caribbean. The food was presented in a nice setting, but the quality was lacking to what I had on Cunard or Holland America. Cuts of beef were fatty for example. Dining room service was pretty standard and most of the Eastern European staff didn't speak English very well. It seems to be that on this ship, if you want a premium cruise experience, then you need to pay extra for all of the for-fee venues and suite accommodations. Now the subject that seemed to tick just about everyone off on this cruise, the nickel and diming. As I said before with the dining, the included meals were just standard and something that could be compared to an older Royal Caribbean ship. The specialty restaurants, although excellent, carry a hefty $35 surcharge. There are for-fee places such as The Porch which takes up space in the lawn area. We never saw anyone eating there and in one case we saw crew hanging out and sitting at the tables talking one afternoon which I thought very unprofessional. The glass show has been replaced by a specialty restaurant which carries the same hefty $35 cover charge as the fine dining restaurants, but is a churrascaria with a demonstration. We had some friends eat there and they said that it was good and had a great atmosphere on the lawn. The lawn itself seemed to always be roped off for a "private function" yet we never saw anything happening there. The view of the sea from the middle of the lawn is now blocked with the for-fee cabanas which are large clumsy looking wooden boxes which take up a lot of space and are very unattractive and detract from the otherwise stunning and airy setting. We never saw anyone using these cabanas. Waste and a ruin of an otherwise beautiful space in my opinion. One area where Celebrity can pay more attention is to have better waiter service in the lawn area. We watched the sunset one night and found a table and chairs, but had to get up to go to the bar to get drinks as there was never a waiter around. It seems like they can take a lesson from their parent company and find a happy medium with the cheery Royal Caribbean waiters on deck that give you good service where you are sitting or sunning. It seems that we always had to get up and get in a long bar line either by the pool or up on the lawn. Not good cocktail service at all except for in the Martini Bar area. Everything about the spa was a la carte. I had a massage one of the days. As soon as it was over I got hit up with the sell to buy the snake oil. Even if you get a spa treatment, you are not allowed to use any of the spa facilities. There is a Turkish bath area, but this is sold separately. Again this felt very cheap and tacky for a so-called premium line. Even at the Canyon Ranch on QM2 I was allowed to use the spa for the days that I was getting a massage. We managed to do karaoke on the last night. One thing that I though was unprofessional is that crew members were doing some of the karaoke and taking up some of the spots, so that when my friends finally go their turn to sing, it was past 12am and this was the day before disembarkation. If the crew insists on participating in passenger activities, then the passengers should not have to wait for the crew members to sing especially on the last night of the cruise. Once again, VERY unprofessional, especially for a so-called premium line. It just seems like the service on this ship lacked the ability to anticipate the passengers' needs even when requested at the beginning of the cruise. There was never any effort to make the passengers feel special which I have felt on other cruise lines, even the lower priced ones such as NCL. I would think twice about paying more for a Celebrity cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We booked a family cruise, including retired parents, brother and sister and their teenage sons to the Eastern Mediterranean. Flew from Heathrow to Rome for embarkation at Civitavecchia, which was quite un-organised and with ittle ... Read More
We booked a family cruise, including retired parents, brother and sister and their teenage sons to the Eastern Mediterranean. Flew from Heathrow to Rome for embarkation at Civitavecchia, which was quite un-organised and with ittle assistance for elderly parents. Once aboard, we found the Silhouette spacious and comfortable, with plenty of room in the deck 7 balcony staterooms. The dining experience was very good, particularly the Grand Curvee double height dining room for formal dinner and the Lawn Club Grill for DIY BBQ's. Favourite activities were the dance & art classes, gym and lectures. The service was friendly and usually prompt, but lacked the attention to detail found on the Cunard line, e.g offering an alternative rather than just "no" if something is not available or possible. The entertainment was very good, from the individual musicians (zylo-synth, violin, A Cappela vocals to the orchestra, jazz band, circus perfromers, show dancers and singers. Our port excursions to Santorini, Athens, Haifa and Naples were efficient and well managed, the one to Jerusalem less so. By contracts to embarkation, the process of disembarkation was smooth and efficient. In summary a very good experience, excellent value for money. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Great ship with some faults, maybe we expected too much? It is without doubt that the Silhouette is a beautiful ship. In my review I try to make some observations for future passengers to take into account. We booked aft balcony ... Read More
Great ship with some faults, maybe we expected too much? It is without doubt that the Silhouette is a beautiful ship. In my review I try to make some observations for future passengers to take into account. We booked aft balcony cabins on the 22 August 2011 departure for the holy land cruise. We are a couple in the mid thirties from Finland. Arrival: We stayed at Best Western Santina pre/post cruise. Located next to Roma Termini, it provided a very good connection to Civitavecchia by taking a straight train between Termin and Civitavecchia. Upon arrival in Civitavecchia, it is about a 10-15 minutes easy walk to the shuttle buss station. It is not clearly marked but you can just follow fellow passengers walking in the same direction. The shuttle buss service was OK. Check in: Compared to Fort Lauderdale and Miami, this was a mess. It was very confusing where to delivery your suitcases. There were rows and crowds everywhere (later we found out that this behaviour was mainly due to fellow cruise ship passenger). After delivering your bags, you had to go into a tent and a large crowd was trying to push itself through one door. People really did their best to go in front of you. Once in the check in line, it went smoothly. But the unclear marking, pushing of other passenger in the Italian heat was not a pleasant experience. Room: We had an aft balcony room on the 8th floor. It was a very clean and nice room. We were a bit disappointed by the balcony as it was smaller than expected (e.g. RCI Jewel has great spacious aft balconies). The bathroom was really nice and clean. However, the shower was a "non moving" shower, so you could not take it off. That is a minus. The bed and pillows were just extraordinarily great. The tv is a flatscreen with free movies, ample tv channales, individual music selections, possibilities to order room service, etc. That reminds me of room services. We ordered breakfast room services 10 out of 12 nights and always delivered accordingly (time and food (food being quite standard, but it beats to have a coffee and porridge on the balcony instead of the buffet). Also once we ordered room service during the day and got delivered right on time (and was actually delicious). Ship: Without a doubt, the Silhouette is the nicest cruise ship we have ever been on. A beauty. Everything is so new, elegant and so many places you can discover. The bars, clubs, lounges, cafe's, everything was really beautiful and well designed. What a nice and luxuruous ship. Btw: muster drill takes place via screens in allocated public areas, very convenient. Entertainment: Compared to other cruises we have bee, the entertainment in the theatre was OK, but not outstanding.The bands in on the ship playing at different venues were really good and entertaining though (even when playing at the pool doing daytime, the sound was way too loud). The cruise director was mainly seen at the theatre events only. I do not mind if the cruise director does not pop up all the time at any event, but he didn't really appear in public throughout the cruise. Food: MDR: As our view on holidays is to relax, and wearing suits, etc. at work most of the time, we prefer to keep those clothes at home. Therefore we usually do not attend the MDR dinners, including this cruise. We were there once for brunch, which was really nice. Even beware, they sell "champagne" during brunch, but what you get is sparkling wine. 15USD for 2 sparkling wines isn't a good deal. Commenting did not help. Paid venues: We used the coffee bar once, which was really good. Oceanview Cafe Breakfast: We used the breakfast buffet twice. Standard fare and busy. In addition we used the Spa cafe a few times for breakfast. At the end, certain items were sold out (Vitalinea yoghurt drinks e.g.). Spa cafe has nice dishes, but the prepared fruitplates did not contain a lot of fruit, so you had to take several plates in order to have a decent breakfast. Oceanview Cafe Lunch: We used frequently. There was quite a selection of food. Including the all day/night long pizza and pasta buffet and the ice cream stand (which had really delicious icecream. Try to avoid the lines at certain times though). However, the variation of the food throughout the cruise was not very good. Very repetetive selection, always the same Indian, Mexican and slight variation at the Asian corner. Same with desserts. The food also didn't taste that great. Especially from Celebrity we would have expected different. Also the food was not hot/warm. Once you managed to find a table and sit and eat, most of the dishes were already cold. Royal Caribean definitely tops Celebrity on this item. The salad buffet is really nice, but also here were items sold out (the guy at the salad bar was "hiding" the cherry tomatoes and only put them on your plate upon request. I find this very bad logistics from Celebrity. Also note the Mast Grill at the pool serves really nice burgers. Recommended. Oceanview Cafe Dinner: We used the dinner buffet every evening. Same comments as above for the lunch, with the exception that the selection during dinner was limited to 1/3 - 1/2 of the lunch buffet, which meant even less variation throughout the cruise. A real pity and disappointment. Again, Royal Caribean offers a lot better quality. The good thing was the dinner was relatively quiet from people point of view and you could have a really nice dinner outside. Oceanview General comments: The most negative thing about the Oceanview cafe were the follow passenger and mainly the Europeans (read: Italians) (and not I am European myself). They were very loud, occupying a lot of space, pushing, getting in front of lines. It was extremely annoying. During lunch it was extremely busy. People did not adhere to the dress code (people walking only with swimming pants on!). Another issue was the people were filling up their water bottles at the drink station. They put the water bottles on the lid itself, which is extremely unhygienic. We went to guest relations 3 times, spoke with the manager of Oceanview cafe 2 times, but nothing was done (please note this behaviour can cause a virus outbreak). Guest Relations: As mentione above, we addresses a certain issue to Guest Relations 3 times, but nothing was done. The 3rd time we went there, the person at the desk was very disinterested. Pool: One negative aspect of Celebrity's wonderful lay out is that there is not enough space for the pool(s) and more important, sun lounging areas. A lot of space has been taken by restaurants/grassfield. This means, the pool/lounging areas were very crowded and simply not enough space. Add to this our wonderful fellow passengers reserving seats without using them, reserving seats for both shade and sun side, you have to be there quite early if you want to enjoy a full day of sun. We used our balcony and came to the sun lounging area around 4pm, then you were able to find some space. Shops: As usual on cruise ships. Smoking: There were certain allocated areas for smoking. I thought it was OK, but I can imagine people having a cabin on deck 6, right above the allocated smoking area on desk 5. What a smell and noice it would have been. Crew: Everyone was friendly and polite. The captain was funny and charming and appeared quite often "in public". Everyone was very nicely dressed. Fellow Passengers: This was one of the main negative issues on our cruise experience. I have read in the past some comments from people that they mentioned "beware, this cruise has a lot of Europeans". Whilst one cannot categorize a nation or a continent in one group, I can now understand the phrase "beware, this cruise has a lot of Europeans". During our cruise, we thought back often of our Caribean cruises, where the passenger were predominantly from North America and a lot more polite than on this cruise. We felt there were a lot of southern Europeans (read: Italians) and they have other manners then we are used to. Ignoring line ups during lunch/dinner, pushing, loud, occupying was too many seats for a too long time, going into the elevator without others letting out first, going out of the elevator but keep discussing with their family still in the elevator while all other guests had to wait for this. over occupying sun loungers. Please take into account this fact when travelling during European summer holidays on a European cruise. Excursions: We almost always arrange our excursions ourselves. Only for Israel had an exception. We booked our trip through cruise.com and got a message from cruise.com shortly before our departure we were signed up for a vacations vignettes program and received a free excursion to Nazareth. Whilst this came to us as a surprise, rather than organizing this trip ourselves, we attended the excursion and thought it was really well organized and a very goog guide Telling a lot about Israel. As our port of call Ashdod got cancelled due to security measures, we made the last moment decision to go to Jerusalem/Bethlehem by a Celebrity Organised tour. It was 189USD pp. But a quick calculation showed the a cabs to Haifa-Palestinian border-Bethlehem-Israeli border-Haifa alone would cost more than the whole excursion. From organisational point we thought it was a good choice to take the Celebrity excursion. Negative points were, no water or anything provided during the tour. We left at 8am and our lunch stop was at 2pm and no possibility for any food/drinks during that time. The group was large (40-50 persons) and Jerusalems streets are narrow, so it was a challenge to stay with the group, follow the guide and listen to the information provided. Also the lunch at a hotel in Jerusalem was not spectacular. The Bethlehem part was really interesting, especially the border crossing and the "wall". At least 1/3 of the time was spent in a souvenirshop. Luckily it was right next to the "wall", so you could explore this instead a bit. The was one tender port, Santorini. Please note that if you do not take any tickets to take an allocated tender departure, you have to wait 2-2.5 hours to get on the tender (and in addition stand in line for the cable car up to Fira, so not much time left in Santorini). Overall: The ship itself was very nice, the intinary was very interesting. The stateroom was clean and nice. The staff was very polite. The aft balcony was a bit disappointing. The buffet food was diappointing and you have to beware of the issue of having a lot of southern European fellow passengers. As mentioned above, in my review I try to make some observations for future passengers to take into account. They are critical, but wanted to assure everyone we had a great and wonderful cruise on a wonderful ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
What a pleasure to be on the brand new Celebrity Silhouette. The ship was beautiful and everything as befitting a new ship was in pristine condition. Celebrity did a wonderful job of designing the public spaces on the ship. Despite its ... Read More
What a pleasure to be on the brand new Celebrity Silhouette. The ship was beautiful and everything as befitting a new ship was in pristine condition. Celebrity did a wonderful job of designing the public spaces on the ship. Despite its size the ship never felt crowded unless you were at the pool. We booked the Holyland cruise as we really liked the fact that the itinerary gave us 4 days in Israel and an opportunity to see a number of important sites. Although we didn't get to see as much as we hoped as due to security concerns, the ship did not move from Haifa to Ashdod as originally planned. We never really knew why the decision was made as a Royal Caribbean and Princess ship did move to Ashdod at the same time. Maybe because the Silhouette was a brand new ship, Celebrity was reluctant to take any chances. I have to respect their judgment, but it did mean that we could not get to Masada and the Dead Sea. While our private tour company would have been willing to take us, our group decided that 3+ hours in a bus each way was not how we wanted to spend our time. Plus it would have meant we would have arrived in Masada when the lines for the cable car were the longest. We decided rather than be disappointed, we would use it as a reason to visit again. In the category of disappointment, it appears that Celebrity sold a large number of cabins to another cruise line. What that meant for us was that we had a large number of first time cruisers who had no idea as to proper behavior on board a ship. It got to the point where we avoided the buffet at peak hours as you would have thought these people were worried that Celebrity would run out of food. The whole ambiance of the ship was changed and I felt like I was on a Carnival cruise. I understand that there were also something like 300 children on board. While I endorse broadening a child's horizon with travel, clearly a large number of parents felt that they could abdicate any responsibility for their children. There were children who had nothing better to do than push every button in an elevator or run up and down the halls at all hours of the day. There were so many complaints about misbehaving children that Celebrity made sure that there was security in the Solarium because children were running all over that area and using the adults only facilities. On my comment card, I said that if I had not cruised with Celebrity before and had to judge them based on the current cruise, chances are I wouldn't be back. So what I have learned is never again cruise in the summer. I will be back on the Silhouette in April and am hopeful that the experience will be much more like the usual Celebrity experience. There were definitely some high points on the cruise and I will talk more about them in the port section of the review. We were very pleased with the meals in the main dining room - Grand Cru. The food overall was top notch and the noise level in the restaurant seemed better than on other Celebrity ships. The buffet was well designed and provided an ample choice for breakfast. lunch and dinner. The only specialty restaurant we used on this trip was The Tuscan Grille and the meal was exceptional. I like the location of the restaurant and the menu was great. We did have lunch at The Porch which for $5 provided a quiet area with a menu that focused on paninis and salads. We tried to dine at Bistro on Five, but ended up with a less than satisfactory experience. As we dined in the Bistro on other ships and enjoyed the experience, I will chalk this up to still working out the kinks. When we went to the Bistro, only 3 tables were filled. After ordering and waiting 35 minutes with no food we decided to leave. Other tables around us were receiving their orders, but we were ignored. We definitely didn't order anything special, just regular items from the menu. We'll give it another try in April with hopefully better results. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We left Montreal for Rome on Aug 6th . I wanted us to enjoy this city before our HOLYLAND cruise . Our flight was on AIR SARDINE CAN ,,,better known as AIR TRANSAT . Food on flight was horrid as were the narrow seats Very difficult to ... Read More
We left Montreal for Rome on Aug 6th . I wanted us to enjoy this city before our HOLYLAND cruise . Our flight was on AIR SARDINE CAN ,,,better known as AIR TRANSAT . Food on flight was horrid as were the narrow seats Very difficult to relax or sleep . WE arrived in Rome ,gathered our stuff and met our driver from ROME CABS...punctual,reliable very professional..... to take us to our Hotel in NORTH ROme The SUNRISE . Hotel was charming,clean . Staff was nice,bathroom was very big breakfast was more than adequate .Lovely hotel I found CHEAp on Hotwire .True far from everything in a residential area but the quiet was very appreciated , WEnt to 2 restaurants in the area which were fine. I enjoyed the flea market in the neighbourhood Bus # 60 brought us quickly into town WE walked for miles everywhere in Rome Saw the main sites . Got lost often ...walked some more ...Rome was nice and VERY HOT Food was so-so .. Pizza and Pasta all the time and NOT cheap to boot . You realize how GREAT we have it here when comparing prices A good meal was over 60 EUROS per person TRANSLATION 90$ ...OUCH Like I said NOT CHEAP!!!!With all due respect to Rome I found food very ordinary ...our Italian food HERE in Montreal is WAY better and not as expensive Rome cabs picked us up and 6 others for our transfer to CIVITAVECCHIA ...once again reliable,punctual very professional BRAVO STEFANO A bit of a madhouse in Civitavecchia for registration and baggage handling but doable Ship was sparkling clean.WE headed for our cabin dropped everything off ,locked valuables off to lunch at buffet . Big beautiful layout .lovely dishes Food stations I enjoyed the Indian/Asian station . Ate outdoors ...nIce First night out on balcony DREADFUL smoking odors . Called guest services sent someone to check Lo and behold we were midship SMACk on top of a smoking venue .Never told about our cabin choice having this ...... BOO CELEBRITY You told me I had a GREAT cabin NOT SO ! !!!At night below us people would gather to smoke and YAK YAK very loudly forgetting we were above them I wrote to Hotel Manager who poopooed my complaint ..did not offer anything to pacify us Cabin was too cold or too hot with AC blowing on us when sleeping ....poor design Caught cold FROZE all cruise .I had the wrong clothes next time I will bring sweaters ...lots of them ..not cute summer dresses Food in dining room was more MISS then Hit .Soups were either too salty or insepid ..meat was tough like old leather ...not too impressed with any meal Friends went to specialty restaurants and got VIolently ill Some said food was not any better plus very expensive over and above cruise rate I refused to go and pay extra for same stuff Service was fine .They tried to please but some events were beyond their control WE asked for chicken soup one night It was horrible I offered to make one for them . The chef must get a more hands on approach ...duh how about tasting it before you serve it to guests !!!Some of the food was downright horrid ...nothing like Millie Apparently new menu does not mean improved .Hello Celebrity WHA HAPPENED????Get Millies Chef FAST and improve food on Silly wet The itinerary was great WE had private tours everywhere . Santorini tendering was a MESS but we finally got there Beautiful place but hard on the legs and knees...all uphill or downhill but very lovely EPHESUS was very interesting Enjoyed that excursion a lot . Carpet demo interesting but way overpriced Israel was AWESOME .Our guide was a hoot I called her a GAZELLE she would zoom everywhere Loved Zefat and our lunch in Tiberius Jerusalem Massada and Dead Sea UNIQUE Athens we hung around PIRAEUS Naples we did AMALFI coast ...a feast for the eyes . EVERYWHERE it was HOT HOT HOT .WE had water bottles and very comfy vans Evenings we were to dead tired to do much after dinner .WE did see a few shows which were OK I enjoyed the acrobats Pool was too small .NO THALASSOTHERAPY pool here ..BOOHOO I could have used one after exhausting days touring All in all cruise was very intense in history but EXHAUSTING due to the heat and the miles we walked !!! So all in all Silhouette was ok but I expected better .Smoking issue bothered me a LOT .Food was a total disappointment Cavalier attitude of senior staff was VERY disappointing ...learn from MILLENIUM STAFF THEY were the BEST EVER !!!! Quality contriol must get on Silhouette and fix the problems I mentioned Not too sure If I would go CELEBRITY again ...too bad because I really liked Millie Michele Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
My husband and I are very experienced cruisers we have sailed on Seabourn Silversea, Crystal, Regent, and Princess to name a few so we were very curious how Celebrity Silhouette would hold up. The ship is beautiful, decorated in a elegant ... Read More
My husband and I are very experienced cruisers we have sailed on Seabourn Silversea, Crystal, Regent, and Princess to name a few so we were very curious how Celebrity Silhouette would hold up. The ship is beautiful, decorated in a elegant and understated style she never feels as large as she is so we were very pleased. We stayed in Aqua Class and found the room to be very comfortable especially the bed and other than small storage areas it worked out nicely. I loved the shower and T.V. system. The staff are friendly and very well trained. We ate in Blu most nights and found the service and food to be very good but my husband thought the menu was a little too minimalistic, I liked it. Our small experience with the main dinning room was to have lunch there a couple of times but we were not pleased with the service. We ate lunch most days in the buffet and they out did themselves with food choices but on sea days it can get a bit crowded but it is worth it. The outdoor grill needs a few more choices but the hamburger is delicious. Specialty restaurants: We ate at the Lawn Club first and it was on a port day so it was not windy the steak was perfectly cooked and the service was excellent. Next we ate at Murano this is a very special restaurant and if your looking for excellent food and amazing service this is the place, they go out of their way to please you. Next we ate at Tuscan it was beautiful but the service could have been a bit better maybe they were busy that night I don't know but the food was fab. I have no comment on shows we never go but we do go to the casino most nights and found the staff to be very friendly and there was lots to do if you like to gamble. We tour on our own so no comment on shore excursions. The pool was a mad house on sea days it was impossible to find a chair as most of the people got up at the crack of dawn to put their stuff on the chairs so we stayed away. We tried the Alcoves on one port day and were not very impressed. The Alcoves do not face the water or the views they face the lawn and after 5min looking at the lawn there is nothing else to look at, they should have thought this through. the Captain on the ship is the friendliest Captain I have ever sailed with and his mid day comments were something I began to look forward to. All in all we had a very pleasant time my only big suggestion to Celebrity is if your going to have a dress code and my preference would be smart casual as it is easier to pack for you should enforce it. On formal nights my husband and I took the time to dress appropriately but found people in all types of dress everywhere. No one seemed to care and my husband was not pleased he had to be uncomfortable. I will sail this ship again, the quality you get for the price cannot be beat. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
As a little background, we are a couple in our 40s with three children and we live in the mid-Atlantic. We also brought along grandma, who is 70 years young. We have been on all four Solstice class ships, and are seasoned cruisers. ... Read More
As a little background, we are a couple in our 40s with three children and we live in the mid-Atlantic. We also brought along grandma, who is 70 years young. We have been on all four Solstice class ships, and are seasoned cruisers. We ventured onto the Celebrity Silhouette after spending three and a half days in Rome; and had a lovely time visiting all the sites, with the highlight of our pre-cruise trip being Chef Fabio's Cooking Day in Rome. We stayed at the InterContinental Hotel de la Ville - a perfect location, adjacent to the Spanish steps. For our transfer, we used Rome Cabs from the airport to our hotel and had a private driver take us on a half day of sightseeing and then to the port of Civitavecchia. We arrived at the port a little after 1 pm and were on the ship 45 minutes later. We went straight to our cabins, freshened up and enjoyed a lunch at the Oceanview Cafe. The Silhouette felt like coming home for us. We had been on the Eclipse last summer during our Baltic cruise and the ships are nearly identical: from the magnificent design and layout to the same cruise director, many of the same featured entertainers on board, and some of the friendly staff that were on our previous sailings. The only changes we saw between the Silhouette and previous ships were the color scheme and the substitution of the Corning Glass Museum for the Lawn Club grill. Speaking of the grill, we ate there twice during the cruise. The kids loved the make-your-own flatbread and the staff was the best we have ever experienced on a ship. It was an outstanding meal. We also enjoyed Tuscan Grille and Qsine, which we had dined in previously on our last two trips on the Eclipse and Equinox. We do miss Silk Harvest and hope Celebrity considers putting it back in future ships. We chose select dining the rest of the trip and found the food good but not great. We rarely had to wait for our private table for six except the few nights when we arrived after eight. The brunch was by far the best part of the non-specialty meals. Additionally, the chicken soup ordered for room service was delicious. Since we have a six, 10 and 13 year old, our kids participated in three of the five kids club groups. They met some fabulous friends and rarely wanted to join us for dinner or evening performances as they preferred to hang out at the kids club. Most of the friends they met were from the United Kingdom or the United States. The staff was always engaging and knew all of our kids' names by the second day of our trip. In all, our kids felt this was one of the best kids club experiences they had ever had on any cruise. We chose the exact same cabins we had previously on Equinox, which again helped make the trip comfortable immediately. We had two connecting balconies, which connect both on the balcony and through a small hallway in the front of the room. We found the bathroom space a little tight, but we made do with what we had. We did not take part in any of the Celebrity excursions and instead we used cruisecritic and tripadvisor reviews as a great source for private tours. Also, since there were six of us, it was easy to book an entire van, and have a comfortable non-crowded tour of some of the most amazing places in the world. The following is a recap of our experience in Santorini, Ephesus, Jerusalem, Haifa, Athens and the Amalfi coast. Santorini My husband and I have been to Santorini before and we decided to book a private tour for our family with Ocean Wave Tours. Dimitris was originally suppose to meet us in Fira, but we were delayed by high winds and the tendering process for two hours, and instead his German wife, Patricia, waited patiently for us at the top of the cable car station. Celebrity's continued rudimentary approach to the tendering process created unnecessary delays - it remains a shame that a cruise line with such creativity cannot evolve a better solution to its old-school tender process. Patricia waited for us and showed us a nice time in Santorini. First, she drove us to Oia, and described the highlights of each village. In Oia, we stopped in a fast food shop for some surprisingly delicious gyros and then hit the black sand beach, and then back to the ship in plenty of time. I would recommend Ocean Wave Tours for larger groups. As for a smaller group, the area can easily be done on one's own, as my husband and I did previously. Ephesus We have also done Ephesus before, but grandma had never been, so she shared a tour with some folks on the cruise critic board. Although exhausted from the all day tour and the oppressive heat, she had a good time and met some nice fellow cruisers. Jerusalem As I mentioned, we are experienced cruisers, who have done nearly 60 excursions. Some have been over the top great, most good, and a few very poor. Guided Tours Israel would fall into the last category. Zamir, our guide seemed like a nice individual, but someone missing the basics of providing a professional tour. Yes, he could tell you the plants with the white stuff on top were cotton, and trees were almond, avocado or orange and some basic stories from ancient history, but he generally waited until we had questions to point anything out. Most of the time, he was listening to the Israeli news station on the radio or taking calls, which he always put on speakerphone as he and the party conversed in Hebrew. Ironically, although he was taking many calls, he refused to provide me with his cell phone number. For obvious logistical and for potentially unexpected situations, having the guide's cell number, even if never used, is something I consider basic protocol. Even if his phone blocked international calls, not giving your clients your cell phone number is an odd decision for someone whose clients only have international lines. As our travels continued, it was also clear that our guide had a touring agenda. We had expressed a preference for certain places and sites. No matter, we were seeing sites he wanted to take us to -- even when we affirmatively identified a disinterest in the place. When we got to our preferred attractions, it appears that such was no more than a coincidence with his agenda. For example, we expressed a desire to ride a camel and he said he knew of no place where we could find a camel. However, when we stopped at one of Zamir's designated sites, a gentleman was offering camel rides. We spoke to the gentleman and rode his camel - an individual that Zamir says has been offering such rides in that location for more than a dozen years. At times, we felt hostage to this driver and his own personal plan. Day 3 in Haifa was the worst. The day prior and at the start of day three, we expressed a desire to go to the beach, even if it was for a short time. He told us that the kids would better like Rosh Hanikra grottos, where a cable car takes visitors to see grottos formed by the sea. Therefore, he took us there, despite a continued press for time at the beach. The cable car ride experience: 1 hour drive there, 45 minutes in line outdoors in the heat with some shade produced a grand total of 75 seconds in the cable car, and the grottos themselves are interesting, but nothing worth spending a half day getting to for a short time of exploration. There was no plan B. We had scheduled these days way in advance. At that moment, we tried to look for the positive and conclude that the driver was having an off day. The final insult was the repeated denial of our request to go to a grocery store. The driver continued to identify that he did not know where one was, despite our passing some on main roads. At the very end of our tour, he took us to some trashed out bodega a few blocks from the ship -- and when the bodega did not have what we needed, our guide was out of solutions. Therefore, we asked to return to the ship, a few hours before our time was to expire, paying him for the unused time. Toward the end, the guide kept hounding us to send an email to his bosses letting them know what a great job he was doing. He wanted us to do it from his van on our smart phone - an interesting request from a guide who never gave us his cell phone number. In sum, this may be one of the worst excursions we have ever taken, and certainly the most expensive bad excursion we have ever taken. Athens Our tour guide in Athens, Paul Kalomiris, was a sharp contrast to our horrible experience in Israel. We booked a half-day Athens tour. Paul picked us up in his large air-conditioned van and was extremely friendly and accommodating to our requests. He dropped us off at the Parthenon, armed with refrigerated water from Paul's cooler, and we spent about an hour touring the monuments. He then drove us around the city pointing out various sites and dropped us just before noon at the changing of the guards. He picked us up 15 minutes later and we headed to a locals restaurant with delicious Greek specialties. After lunch, we stopped and walked around La Plaka, bought a few trinkets, then asked Paul if he knew of a good bakery. Paul took us to a recently opened bakery named Konstandinidis that was magnificent. It almost reminded me of the ship. There was a pianist playing music in this beautifully decorated bakery with shelves filled with baklava, almond cookies, cakes and an assortment of delicious treats. We bought a few items and then Paul took us back to the ship. My husband and I had been to Athens before, so we had a good understanding of what the larger group would be able to achieve, and Paul helped make this happen. Naples/Capri Unfortunately, this was another sub-par tour experience. We chose tourofitaly as our tour guide, a father/son tour group. We wound up with the father, Giovanni, instead of the son, Giancarlo, with whom I had been trading emails with when planning this trip - bait and switch. At first, we thought, Giovanni's cranky personality was humorous and playful, but as the trip wore on, we found out that his abrasive manner was not playful, but rather hostile and unrefined. For example, he kept inviting the women of our group to sit in front, and then promised not to touch them. The first time he said this, it seemed playful, the second, third, and fourth time, it was simply creepy. Giovanni's driving was as enjoyable as the man himself was. His driving was beyond even the acceptability of the local driving style -- all three complained of motion sickness during the ride, and al three kids threw up due to motion sickness at different times during his ride. As expected, Cranky Giovanni went nuts -- I will not provide detail into the carsick events, but the kids gave plenty of indication of the motion sickness they were experiencing. We ended this one early too. My husband and I had shared a tour (via cruisecritic) a few years prior and had a lovely time. Unfortunately, that company was not available. On a good note, the Amalfi Coast is still one of the most beautiful places on the planet. In all, we had a great time on the Celebrity Silhouette. We met interesting people, enjoyed many fine meals, and saw lovely sites. The large stage shows were impressive, the smaller shows felt like watching America's Got Talent. Even though the ship was crowded on sea days and it was difficult finding available pool lounges, we often found a good place in this gorgeous ship to lounge and take in the views. We will definitely be back on Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Celebrity Silhouette Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.5
Dining 5.0 4.2
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.6
Enrichment 4.5 3.7
Service 5.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.2

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