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We flew into Fort Lauderdale and took Uber to Port Everglades Terminal 25. Embarkation was very smooth. Since we were new to Celebrity, we had to pass several check-in lines reserved for travelers of various elite levels, but there was nobody waiting in any of the lines. It took right at an hour from the time our flight touched down in Fort Lauderdale until we were aboard and having lunch in the buffet. During this first lunch, we were essentially harassed by bar servers trying to sell us beverage packages. I would recommend being absolutely firm. If you have questions about the offerings, find a friendly bar (Passport - lobby - Bar is great) rather than engaging the roaming salesmen in the buffet. We were worried that this might portend bad service all week, but were glad to be wrong! The service on this ship ended up being quite good. We chose this cruise primarily because it was one of the only sailings visiting St. Maarten during Winter break. Since one of us is a teacher, our cruise week is predetermined by the school calendar. The other one of us had a #1 sightseeing priority: Maho Beach in St. Maarten, at the end of the airport runway. We were enthusiastic to try Celebrity, having heard it was a nicer version of Royal Caribbean. This was true: the ship is beautiful and has some luxurious touches, such as cloth hand towels in all public restrooms. The decor is much like a modern hotel, and compares favorably to the Norwegian Getaway (which I called a 'floating Westin' in my review). Very unlike the Getaway, the Silhouette is a quiet ship. It has a number of interesting public areas, including the Hideaway. The Hideaway has several types of soft seating, including '70s style "egg chairs." There's also a self-service coffee station in the Hideaway. (The default onboard coffee is Lavazza and is quite good by cruise ship standards.) The library is a nice space, too, and is two stories. The library, card room, and Hideaway are in a vertical stack and are all open to an elevator atrium. Needless to say, if your priority for your cruise is to get a lot of reading done, you will find a wide variety of quiet and comfortable places to while away the hours. The modern and beautiful decor, the public quiet areas, and the food onboard were the best things about this ship. The food was (by far) the best we have had across Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, or Carnival. Nearly everything we ate was delicious. The onboard coffee shop maintained a well-stocked pastry case throughout the day, at no charge. We did not purchase any extra dining options because the food in the main dining room was already excellent. Even the buffet was quite good, and the on-demand pasta bar was available until 1 AM daily. 1 AM is late, but it's not 24 hours, and the lack of a 24-hour dining venue, water slides, or towel animals are all indicators that the Silhouette caters to a subdued crowd. While we had a great time getting to know a number of senior citizens throughout our trip, it's important to understand that the average age on this cruise was well into the 60s. I guess Celebrity assumes that 60 and 70 year olds don't want a very jam-packed day, because the onboard activities were just not very frequent or fun. As trivia enthusiasts, we appreciated twice-daily general knowledge trivia opportunities. There was also usually a music quiz, but it was inevitably tailored to songs popular while we were in elementary school. (We learned a lot from these quizzes!) The 10:15 trivia usually overlapped the only other interesting thing on the daily schedule: conversation with the captain, cooking competition, etc. The trivia events were held in a spacious bar (Ensemble) that is also a thoroughfare to the specialty restaurants. While large, the seating was not ideal. These competitions were very well attended and it was often difficult to find a seat. Passengers passing through would shout out answers. Given the high attendance, another venue would have been better. Between the morning and afternoon trivia competitions, the schedule was filled out with numerous activities that were really advertisements, including spa lectures and port shopping presentations. The Faberge Egg presentation was genuinely interesting, though designed to spark interest in the onboard Faberge collection for sale. The lifeboat deck was closed for much of our cruise. The first couple of days, we sailed through 13-foot waves, and the ship was in motion almost constantly. But even after the seas smoothed out, there were limited chances to walk around the lifeboat deck. Interestingly, there was no shuffleboard! This was surprising as it can be fun for all ages. Onboard entertainment was a mixed bag. There were three comedians. The first and third bombed terribly, to the point that it was painful to watch. The second comedian, Rich Aronovitch, was great. His act was polished, his jokes connected to each other, and they were accessible for the crowd. The third comedian, Patrick Maliha, announced that he holds the world record for most impressions in one minute. However, he shared few impressions and focused on his recent divorce. He appeared to be working out new material and made several pop culture references that were not understood by the older crowd. Rich and Patrick both returned for a late night set on the last night of the cruise. Again, Rich was great, but Patrick simply repeated his failed jokes from earlier in the night. I left. Song-and-dance wise, the "Life" show was great, but the "Pearl" show needs work. Our cruise was the premiere for Pearl. There were some cool technical effects but the story was weak. The lifts and throws were not yet ironed out, so it appeared that performers were trying very hard not to drop each other (or be dropped) rather than telling a story. Overall, I found the onboard entertainment to be better on Royal Caribbean. Comedy is better on Carnival and Norwegian, which feature dedicated comedy venues, rather than trying to offer something for everyone from the main stage. Like every ship, there were numerous bars on board, but we found the best service at the lobby Passport Bar. The staff there was attentive and fun, and it was rarely crowded. The bars are not very themed or visually distinct, but all echo the design language of the ship: modern, clean, and a bit unremarkable. This ship wastes a lot of top deck space by including a lawn. It's interesting to see grass growing on a ship, but the lawn itself (and the surrounding cabanas, which must be rented) was not used much. There is also a children's area that appears to occupy nearly half of one of the topmost decks. Given that there were very few children on this cruise, it seems that a lot of prime real estate has been devoted to serving a demographic that Celebrity just does not attract. Ports and Excursions: San Juan We were an hour late due to the rough seas. The Captain let us stay an extra hour, but this port call was already scheduled for the afternoon, and just for five hours. An extra hour in San Juan at night isn't that useful, but we had dinner at El Jibarito and pina coladas at Barrachina. San Juan is a lot of fun, and I would recommend originating a cruise there (and tacking on a full day in Old San Juan either before or after the actual cruise). St. Kitts We took the Fan Ta Sea 6-hour catamaran excursion. Because we were combined with another Celebrity ship that had to leave earlier than we did, this became a five hour excursion. We shared this with the shore excursion desk and they refunded us 20%, which was a fair resolution. The snorkeling was OK (about 40 minutes in the water). Most of the 5 hour trip was spent getting to the snorkeling area, getting on over to Nevis, and on the Nevis beach. It was fun, but we would have preferred an excursion with more time actually snorkeling. St. Maarten Our priority was to see some cool landings at the airport from Maho Beach. We checked the flight schedule and it looked like the largest concentration of large planes would land around 1:30 PM. We forgot to account for the fact that St. Maarten was actually an hour ahead of ship's time, so when we arrived, it was already 2:30 PM local time (our fault!). This was still a lot of fun. We rented two beach chairs and an umbrella at the Sunset Bar for $20. Note that the Sunset Bar didn't have WiFi. The bar at the other end of the beach might have (we didn't check). We did see a couple of 737/A320 type planes land, and numerous smaller commuter prop-style planes. The taxi ride to and from the beach was in a shared van and took about 30 minutes in bumper-to-bumper traffic on St. Maarten's main road. We chose walk-off disembarkation and carried our own bags. This was a smooth process. There was a lengthy walk from the ship down an outdoor walkway to a separate building to go through customs (not the same building from which we boarded the ship). Customs was a breeze. We had another lengthy walk to get from the Customs building to the "private car pickup" area to meet our Uber driver. In Summary This is a beautiful ship with delicious food. You will need to make your own fun. Consider whether you would enjoy spending a week in a very nice hotel. With the lack of quality onboard activities, that is essentially what this cruise became. It was relaxing, because the day's primary activities became reading and napping. We would not cruise on the Celebrity Silhouette again.

Beautiful ship with limited onboard activities; older crowd.

Celebrity Silhouette Cruise Review by mack36

10 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2016
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Veranda (obstructed view)
We flew into Fort Lauderdale and took Uber to Port Everglades Terminal 25. Embarkation was very smooth. Since we were new to Celebrity, we had to pass several check-in lines reserved for travelers of various elite levels, but there was nobody waiting in any of the lines. It took right at an hour from the time our flight touched down in Fort Lauderdale until we were aboard and having lunch in the buffet.

During this first lunch, we were essentially harassed by bar servers trying to sell us beverage packages. I would recommend being absolutely firm. If you have questions about the offerings, find a friendly bar (Passport - lobby - Bar is great) rather than engaging the roaming salesmen in the buffet. We were worried that this might portend bad service all week, but were glad to be wrong! The service on this ship ended up being quite good.

We chose this cruise primarily because it was one of the only sailings visiting St. Maarten during Winter break. Since one of us is a teacher, our cruise week is predetermined by the school calendar. The other one of us had a #1 sightseeing priority: Maho Beach in St. Maarten, at the end of the airport runway. We were enthusiastic to try Celebrity, having heard it was a nicer version of Royal Caribbean.

This was true: the ship is beautiful and has some luxurious touches, such as cloth hand towels in all public restrooms. The decor is much like a modern hotel, and compares favorably to the Norwegian Getaway (which I called a 'floating Westin' in my review).

Very unlike the Getaway, the Silhouette is a quiet ship. It has a number of interesting public areas, including the Hideaway. The Hideaway has several types of soft seating, including '70s style "egg chairs." There's also a self-service coffee station in the Hideaway. (The default onboard coffee is Lavazza and is quite good by cruise ship standards.) The library is a nice space, too, and is two stories. The library, card room, and Hideaway are in a vertical stack and are all open to an elevator atrium.

Needless to say, if your priority for your cruise is to get a lot of reading done, you will find a wide variety of quiet and comfortable places to while away the hours.

The modern and beautiful decor, the public quiet areas, and the food onboard were the best things about this ship. The food was (by far) the best we have had across Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, or Carnival. Nearly everything we ate was delicious. The onboard coffee shop maintained a well-stocked pastry case throughout the day, at no charge. We did not purchase any extra dining options because the food in the main dining room was already excellent. Even the buffet was quite good, and the on-demand pasta bar was available until 1 AM daily.

1 AM is late, but it's not 24 hours, and the lack of a 24-hour dining venue, water slides, or towel animals are all indicators that the Silhouette caters to a subdued crowd. While we had a great time getting to know a number of senior citizens throughout our trip, it's important to understand that the average age on this cruise was well into the 60s. I guess Celebrity assumes that 60 and 70 year olds don't want a very jam-packed day, because the onboard activities were just not very frequent or fun.

As trivia enthusiasts, we appreciated twice-daily general knowledge trivia opportunities. There was also usually a music quiz, but it was inevitably tailored to songs popular while we were in elementary school. (We learned a lot from these quizzes!) The 10:15 trivia usually overlapped the only other interesting thing on the daily schedule: conversation with the captain, cooking competition, etc. The trivia events were held in a spacious bar (Ensemble) that is also a thoroughfare to the specialty restaurants. While large, the seating was not ideal. These competitions were very well attended and it was often difficult to find a seat. Passengers passing through would shout out answers. Given the high attendance, another venue would have been better.

Between the morning and afternoon trivia competitions, the schedule was filled out with numerous activities that were really advertisements, including spa lectures and port shopping presentations. The Faberge Egg presentation was genuinely interesting, though designed to spark interest in the onboard Faberge collection for sale.

The lifeboat deck was closed for much of our cruise. The first couple of days, we sailed through 13-foot waves, and the ship was in motion almost constantly. But even after the seas smoothed out, there were limited chances to walk around the lifeboat deck. Interestingly, there was no shuffleboard! This was surprising as it can be fun for all ages.

Onboard entertainment was a mixed bag. There were three comedians. The first and third bombed terribly, to the point that it was painful to watch. The second comedian, Rich Aronovitch, was great. His act was polished, his jokes connected to each other, and they were accessible for the crowd. The third comedian, Patrick Maliha, announced that he holds the world record for most impressions in one minute. However, he shared few impressions and focused on his recent divorce. He appeared to be working out new material and made several pop culture references that were not understood by the older crowd. Rich and Patrick both returned for a late night set on the last night of the cruise. Again, Rich was great, but Patrick simply repeated his failed jokes from earlier in the night. I left.

Song-and-dance wise, the "Life" show was great, but the "Pearl" show needs work. Our cruise was the premiere for Pearl. There were some cool technical effects but the story was weak. The lifts and throws were not yet ironed out, so it appeared that performers were trying very hard not to drop each other (or be dropped) rather than telling a story.

Overall, I found the onboard entertainment to be better on Royal Caribbean. Comedy is better on Carnival and Norwegian, which feature dedicated comedy venues, rather than trying to offer something for everyone from the main stage.

Like every ship, there were numerous bars on board, but we found the best service at the lobby Passport Bar. The staff there was attentive and fun, and it was rarely crowded. The bars are not very themed or visually distinct, but all echo the design language of the ship: modern, clean, and a bit unremarkable.

This ship wastes a lot of top deck space by including a lawn. It's interesting to see grass growing on a ship, but the lawn itself (and the surrounding cabanas, which must be rented) was not used much. There is also a children's area that appears to occupy nearly half of one of the topmost decks. Given that there were very few children on this cruise, it seems that a lot of prime real estate has been devoted to serving a demographic that Celebrity just does not attract.

Ports and Excursions:

San Juan

We were an hour late due to the rough seas. The Captain let us stay an extra hour, but this port call was already scheduled for the afternoon, and just for five hours. An extra hour in San Juan at night isn't that useful, but we had dinner at El Jibarito and pina coladas at Barrachina. San Juan is a lot of fun, and I would recommend originating a cruise there (and tacking on a full day in Old San Juan either before or after the actual cruise).

St. Kitts

We took the Fan Ta Sea 6-hour catamaran excursion. Because we were combined with another Celebrity ship that had to leave earlier than we did, this became a five hour excursion. We shared this with the shore excursion desk and they refunded us 20%, which was a fair resolution. The snorkeling was OK (about 40 minutes in the water). Most of the 5 hour trip was spent getting to the snorkeling area, getting on over to Nevis, and on the Nevis beach. It was fun, but we would have preferred an excursion with more time actually snorkeling.

St. Maarten

Our priority was to see some cool landings at the airport from Maho Beach. We checked the flight schedule and it looked like the largest concentration of large planes would land around 1:30 PM. We forgot to account for the fact that St. Maarten was actually an hour ahead of ship's time, so when we arrived, it was already 2:30 PM local time (our fault!). This was still a lot of fun. We rented two beach chairs and an umbrella at the Sunset Bar for $20. Note that the Sunset Bar didn't have WiFi. The bar at the other end of the beach might have (we didn't check). We did see a couple of 737/A320 type planes land, and numerous smaller commuter prop-style planes. The taxi ride to and from the beach was in a shared van and took about 30 minutes in bumper-to-bumper traffic on St. Maarten's main road.

We chose walk-off disembarkation and carried our own bags. This was a smooth process. There was a lengthy walk from the ship down an outdoor walkway to a separate building to go through customs (not the same building from which we boarded the ship). Customs was a breeze. We had another lengthy walk to get from the Customs building to the "private car pickup" area to meet our Uber driver.

In Summary

This is a beautiful ship with delicious food. You will need to make your own fun. Consider whether you would enjoy spending a week in a very nice hotel. With the lack of quality onboard activities, that is essentially what this cruise became. It was relaxing, because the day's primary activities became reading and napping.

We would not cruise on the Celebrity Silhouette again.
mack36’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Veranda (obstructed view)
Cabin 2D 6154
The "obstructed view" is caused by the rigging for the lifeboats. This only comes up about waist high (about as high as the railing on the balcony). The view out to sea is great. Balconies further back on the ship (aft) are further in from the water, so while they may not count as obstructed view, our view was actually better. The cabin was right by an elevator and a quick flight of stairs from the theater. The cabin had a lot of storage and the bathroom was quite large. If I were to sail on the Silhouette again, I would specifically request this cabin --- its classification as obstructed means it's a great deal, but the view is still fantastic.
Continental Deck Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • San Juan
    We were an hour late due to the rough seas. The Captain let us stay an extra hour, but this port call was already scheduled for the afternoon, and just for five hours. An extra hour in San Juan at night isn't that useful, but we had dinner at El Jibarito and pina coladas at Barrachina. San Juan is a lot of fun, and I would recommend originating a cruise there (and tacking on a full day in Old San Juan either before or after the actual cruise).
    View All 3,805 San Juan Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's San Juan Cruise Port Review
  • St. Kitts (Port Zante)
    We took the Fan Ta Sea 6-hour catamaran excursion. Because we were combined with another Celebrity ship that had to leave earlier than we did, this became a five hour excursion. We shared this with the shore excursion desk and they refunded us 20%, which was a fair resolution. The snorkeling was OK (about 40 minutes in the water). Most of the 5 hour trip was spent getting to the snorkeling area, getting on over to Nevis, and on the Nevis beach. It was fun, but we would have preferred an excursion with more time actually snorkeling.
    View All 1,706 St. Kitts (Port Zante) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's St. Kitts (Port Zante) Cruise Port Review
  • St. Maarten
    Our priority was to see some cool landings at the airport from Maho Beach. We checked the flight schedule and it looked like the largest concentration of large planes would land around 1:30 PM. We forgot to account for the fact that St. Maarten was actually an hour ahead of ship's time, so when we arrived, it was already 2:30 PM local time (our fault!). This was still a lot of fun. We rented two beach chairs and an umbrella at the Sunset Bar for $20. Note that the Sunset Bar didn't have WiFi. The bar at the other end of the beach might have (we didn't check). We did see a couple of 737/A320 type planes land, and numerous smaller commuter prop-style planes. The taxi ride to and from the beach was in a shared van and took about 30 minutes in bumper-to-bumper traffic on St. Maarten's main road.
    View All 4,755 St. Maarten Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's St. Maarten Cruise Port Review