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Hesitantly I agreed to go on an eastern bound Transatlantic crossing last year. What would I do with six days in a row at sea? I determined that as a constantly moving person I would be horribly bored. Wrong! I stayed constantly busy often trying to decide between one event or another. New friends were made and met daily for a cocktail, dinner, the show, morning ship walking, the casino, etc. It was an absolute blast. Never a dull moment. I was hooked. So when this western bound TA was booked I was tremendously excited to go. Now that it's over and we're back home I can say that it was...... Nice. Definitely better than average but it just seemed to lack a little something. As with all seven Celebrty cruises we've been on over the past three years it was very good, the staff was excellent for the most part, the ship lovely, the enrichment presenters quite good, and the shows decent. On the flip side we found the MDR food of only mediocre quality and the nightlife rather non existent after about 10:30p. We were told on several occasions at 11:00p that they would be closing the casino in 20 minutes to look around and find we were the only persons in it! An evening in the Sky Lounge would end about the same... it would be empty shortly after the main evening event ended. Again, it was still a great cruise.... I was just a bit bored. Understandably different directions and different times of the year play a large role in cruise ship guests. We've now learned by experience and talking to the staff that the western bound cruises are normally a bit "older" and less active than the eastern bound. The staff was happy to get off work earlier each day but were also a bit bored and looking forward to the activeness of the Caribbean cruises to follow. After finding ourselves in the middle of the age range (59) on the east bound TA we found ourselves at the younger end of the range (60) on this trip. We believe age to be a mindset but maybe that really did play a part. Again, it was a very good cruise. We made new friends, had an enjoyable four advance days back in Rome and excursions in each port. Without hesitation I can say that we enjoyed the cruise.... there was just that little something, we can't completely put our finger on, missing. A little something but not nearly enough to have us cancel our next 14 night - and trying to book its preceding cruise with the Black Friday sale now - western bound cruise in October 2017! Maybe we'll see you there. P.S. Maybe a part of what was missing was the Cruise Critic Connection party where you put faces, names and personalities together We never did receive our invitation in the beginning and thought that meant the party would be held on the first full sea day. Imagine our disappointment when we queried the Concierge to be told - "that's a Cruise Critic thing we have nothing to do with" and then called to find that the party had actually been held on the first day out. Our bad...but maybe that was what was missing. Maybe.

Better than Average but Lacked a Little Something

Celebrity Silhouette Cruise Review by Pfeilm

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2016
  • Destination: Transatlantic
  • Cabin Type: Concierge Class
Hesitantly I agreed to go on an eastern bound Transatlantic crossing last year. What would I do with six days in a row at sea? I determined that as a constantly moving person I would be horribly bored. Wrong! I stayed constantly busy often trying to decide between one event or another. New friends were made and met daily for a cocktail, dinner, the show, morning ship walking, the casino, etc. It was an absolute blast. Never a dull moment. I was hooked. So when this western bound TA was booked I was tremendously excited to go. Now that it's over and we're back home I can say that it was...... Nice. Definitely better than average but it just seemed to lack a little something.

As with all seven Celebrty cruises we've been on over the past three years it was very good, the staff was excellent for the most part, the ship lovely, the enrichment presenters quite good, and the shows decent. On the flip side we found the MDR food of only mediocre quality and the nightlife rather non existent after about 10:30p. We were told on several occasions at 11:00p that they would be closing the casino in 20 minutes to look around and find we were the only persons in it! An evening in the Sky Lounge would end about the same... it would be empty shortly after the main evening event ended. Again, it was still a great cruise.... I was just a bit bored.

Understandably different directions and different times of the year play a large role in cruise ship guests. We've now learned by experience and talking to the staff that the western bound cruises are normally a bit "older" and less active than the eastern bound. The staff was happy to get off work earlier each day but were also a bit bored and looking forward to the activeness of the Caribbean cruises to follow. After finding ourselves in the middle of the age range (59) on the east bound TA we found ourselves at the younger end of the range (60) on this trip. We believe age to be a mindset but maybe that really did play a part.

Again, it was a very good cruise. We made new friends, had an enjoyable four advance days back in Rome and excursions in each port. Without hesitation I can say that we enjoyed the cruise.... there was just that little something, we can't completely put our finger on, missing. A little something but not nearly enough to have us cancel our next 14 night - and trying to book its preceding cruise with the Black Friday sale now - western bound cruise in October 2017! Maybe we'll see you there.

P.S. Maybe a part of what was missing was the Cruise Critic Connection party where you put faces, names and personalities together We never did receive our invitation in the beginning and thought that meant the party would be held on the first full sea day. Imagine our disappointment when we queried the Concierge to be told - "that's a Cruise Critic thing we have nothing to do with" and then called to find that the party had actually been held on the first day out. Our bad...but maybe that was what was missing. Maybe.
Pfeilm’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Concierge Class
Cabin C2 1652
Location: located aft on the starboard side. It was the normal cabin with bed located by balcony with an average size veranda. Veranda Included two loungers with footstools and a small table. The veranda itself seemed a bit more crowded but was made to look and feel larger due to having the panel opened between our cabin and the friend in 1654. Views were unobstructed fore, aft and below.

Maintenance: Cabin itself had minor issues - main storage cabinet in need of maintenance: cabinet door, in front of the safe, top hinge pulled from side mount allowing door to fall out each time opened. Maintenance in to repair but did not hold. Drawers pulling apart (peg board type connectors). Bathroom door jam loose. We were able to use a knife and tighten screws enough to allow the door to be shut without catching.

Noise: located directly across from a large crew area (crew elevator and stairs) we were surprised at how little we actually did hear the crew door. Yes, it could be heard but not so that it disturbed anything. What we could never figure out was the overhead tapping and mild engine roaring sounds now and then. Our best bet was something from the crew area but no idea as to what. Pipes? Again not horrid or constant but the tapping was perplexing.

Conceirge class: had to request bottle of bubbly included with booking (changed to wine) and wine glasses. Besides the bubbly, our only other requests of cabin steward, Brian, was to remove all from fridge, and provide ice and canapés daily. All accomplished quickly and provided daily. Note: We tend to tip daily (candy bar with money rubber banded to it) on top of pre paid gratuities. The Conceirge, Rita, was young and bubbly leaving longish daily reminders on your phone about evening and next day events to come.

Summary: cabin (love aft) overall was good. Some minor nitnoys but nothing major. We would take this cabin again but would first look for another just because of the crew door. Again, minimal noise but a bit busy at times.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Barcelona
    Having been to Barcelona and used the HOHo before we had no hesitation to do so again to give our first time to Barcelona friend an overview of the city. We took half of the green line route, had a ramble along Las Ramblas and a run through the market, back on for the full red route tour. Thiugh a bit chilly up top it worked nicely. Cost: 24E.. A bit price for one day that you don't truly get but a great way to get an overview of the city.
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  • La Sagrada Familia
    Skip the line Bassilica entry and reserved time Tower on the Passion Facade; General admission 29E, Senior 20E. Made appointment for 15 minutes after our reserved entry time. Entry was fast and on time. Upon arriving at the Towe on the Passion facade we were met with a disorganized crowd of people pushing into a single entry point. It wasn't until almost at the check I that we nipoticed people locking bags, purses , backpacks in bins -- no bags allowed. After scrounging 1E from some French tourists (we did offer them $1 in return) we moved into the line to await the 10 person elevator to the top. This is when we noticed that the bag rule was not enforced. Large purses and bags joined the line too.

    Views from the top were nice but surprisingly limited to include from the narrow walkway. Taking the even narrower spiral staircase (not the one seen from inside the Basilica) down gave views of parts of the roof and sides from small dirty windows. We were also surprised at the amount of graffiti on the walls.

    The church itself is outstanding. A true Gaudi work. It is unbelievable inside and out. A not to be missed site for sure.

    Recommend: the tower tour - maybe. We don't need to do it again. Inside the church... Absolutely. Early with ad prance entry tickets. Gets crowded quickly.
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  • Florence (Livorno)
    We were originally scheduled for an independently booked tour through Viator in Livorono (Florence/Pisa) but due to weather the ship ported in La Spezia. We had attempted to reach Viator notifying them of the change in ports and question what would happen with the change before leaving Citivicchia. With no response we requested a refund of monies paid based on the port change being out of our control. Without ship internet we were limited to checking email and phones immediately upon arrival in Le Spezia for any further communication. With nothing received by arrival time we spent an additional hour attempting to reach them to no avail. We considered it all a loss and spent the drab day wandering about the town climbing to all the highest points. Upon returning to the terminal and checking email once mor we were surprised to find an email sent at 4:00p that day that the tour was a go and we would be picked up at 7:45a. Too late! We were heart broken. Having never seen either location it was to be our highlight of the trip. Not this time.

    Recommend: we don't know. Communication was lacking on both parts - ours and theirs. It will make us reconsider how we do things in the future without Internet. We would have appreciated a faster response from Viator but can't say for absolute where the communication failed. It's neither theirs or our fault the ship changed ports.
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  • Palma de Mallorca
    After our tour which included the train was canceled due to work on the train we opted for the Valldemosa, Soller with tram ride tour. Not quite our cup of tea. Drove to the pretty village of Valldemosa for a quick short tour and released to .... Shop. Ugh. From there it was to the second village along the coastline for more shopping and lunch. Throw in a short touristy tram ride, where the man riding out back refused to share any portion of one side of the railing for the picturesque pictures, we boarded the buses for the third village for more .... Shopping! We opted to walk up the hillside streets for a view from the top before reboarding the van once again. A quick drive through Palma, missing the Cathedral and Palma itself, had us back at the ship. Since town was not particularly close and there was limited time remaining before having to be back on board we chose to board and enjoy a cocktail while prepping for sail away.

    Recommend: no, unless you like to shop. Best part was the scenic drive out and along the coast.
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  • Colosseum
    Ancient Rome and Collosium with Underground, Arena and Upper Tier. Met at 8:15-, walked across the street promptly atb8:30a and then stood for 30 minutes listening to 'icela while awaiting our tour group entry time of approximately 9:00 to go through security and then turned over to the Collesium archeologist (historian) tour guide. The process irritated all. Watched many go straight through to include those without the skip the line tickets.

    Underground: begins on arena floor with your group only. Definitely neat being the only ones on the area a floor with all others looking on from the side lines, Excellent view of the uncovered underground. Continued to actual underground to view aqua system, boat pull outs and "elevator" for animal raising. Quite interesting.

    Upper tier: gives excellent views of arena floor and surrounding tiers along with the Forum and Pallatine Hill.

    Once inside of Colosseum is complete we were turned back over to Micela for the remaining Forum and Pallantine Hill tour. Micela was very good and could have given the inside portion as well if not better than the Colosseum required historian. She was informative and had the personality lacking from the Colosseum required historian.

    Recommend: would recommend the above, below and arena tour but would suggest going directly through the Colosseum vice a tied party for a discounted price since you're made to use them anyway. I would then recommend hiring someone for any additional touring you may wish if not comfortable with do it yourself, audio or Rick Steve tours. As for Micela, we would hire her for another tour outside the Colosseum.
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  • Rome on Your Own
    No booking.. we did Rome on our own with a bit of Geocaching thrown in.
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  • Sistine Chapel
    Skip the Line Vatican Museum with St Peter's, Sistine Chapel and Small Group Upgrade. Tour guide Nina was phenomenal. Tour started as soon as all arrived and moved along well. We were inside by 9:00a and security was a breeze. Nina was informative and entertaining. For a small petite woman she could graciously part the crowd and keep things moving. Four hours flew by.

    Note: Sistine Chapel is magnificent but would recommend trying to get an after hour tour if you can afford it. Way too many people, no place to sit and enjoy unless lucky, and noisy.

    Recommend: yes, both the tour and Nina... Particularly Nina.
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  • St. Peter's Basilica
    Same as Sistine Chapel - Skip the Line Vatican Museum with St Peter's, Sistine Chapel and Small Group Upgrade. Tour guide Nina was phenomenal. Tour started as soon as all arrived and moved along well. We were inside by 9:00a and security was a breeze. Nina was informative and entertaining. For a small petite woman she could graciously part the crowd and keep things moving. Four hours flew by.

    Recommend: yes, both the tour and Nina... Particularly Nina.
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  • Vatican Museums
    Same as Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica - Skip the Line Vatican Museum with St Peter's, Sistine Chapel and Small Group Upgrade. Tour guide Nina was phenomenal. Tour started as soon as all arrived and moved along well. We were inside by 9:00a and security was a breeze. Nina was informative and entertaining. For a small petite woman she could graciously part the crowd and keep things moving. Four hours flew by.

    Note: There is so much to see we lucked out with Nina, an obvious art subject matter expert. She centered the tour around more specific pieces vice the audio tour stops due to limited amount of time. Would recommend booking a particular art tour if truly interested in the wonderful art.

    Recommend: yes, both the tour and Nina... Particularly Nina.
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  • Tenerife
    This excursion was set up by another Cruise Critic member and we thank her for that. She was kind enough to pay the deposit in advance for all wherein we paid the full amount to her upon meeting the morning of the tour. We spent a bit too much time awaiting two individuals that never showed but luckily the company allowed us to keep our original cost though the price was based on the inclusion of all,

    Originally it was felt there was too much driving on windy roads to the volcano top since the views were limited due to cloud cover. Once at the top all was clear and fantastic. The lava reminded us of being home in Hawaii which made sense since the volcano is a sister to Moana Loa and Moana Kea on the Big Island. It would have been fun to take the ski lift tour to the top but that requires a separate reservation and minimum of about three hours. Next time. Our tour ended with a short walk through town showing the way the lava has been used in construction.

    Sadly I do not recall our tour guide's name but his knowledge and enthusiasm for his island was contagious. I would hire home again. As a matter of fact we definitely want to return to Tenerife for some true land based time. We will be contacting the originator of the tour for the specifics, if we can't find the paper work, we loved the island and know it has much more to offer than just a day from a port.

    Recommend: yes for the lava and Forrest portion but needed more time at the top and various sights along the way.
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  • Toulon
    Provence Wine Tours. Full day tour around Bandol and Cassis (9a - 4p), 95E. Our travel mate put this together for us as a surprise, as she doesn't drink we were really surprised! Pick up was a bit confusing since we didn't know where to meet our guide but all worked out. We were picked up and dropped off right outside the ship gates. Our tour guide Gaetane was excellent both in her knowledge of the area and the wine industry. The wineries toured were also lovely and tasty enough for us to come away with two bottles from each. This was a private visit and tasting to two wineries and a lunch tour of the picturesque small port town of Cassis. It also included a stop atop Cape Canaille - high cliffs offering a wonderful panoramic view over the Med Sea. Excellent!

    Recommend: yes, both the company and the Gaetane. Turns out she's the owner of the company.... No wonder she was so good! (Note: the companynwasnalsonpicking up several other small group tours for different places. She is not a one woman show.)
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