Celebrity Silhouette Cruise Review by KBinTNcruiser
- Sail Date: December 2017
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
First, I'll address the hiccups. Because of terminal work, Celebrity had everyone go to the Convention Center for check-in, then buses took passengers to the ship. Accidents and nightmare traffic from 8 ships in port made getting to the convention center a lengthy trip. (Left hotel at 10 a.m. didn't arrive to Convention Center until nearly 11:30 for two mile trip.) Shuttle dropped me off a block from entrance being used for Celebrity. A hotel shuttle service miscue not Celebrity's. As usual when so many people board at the same time, the wait time checking in, then getting on the ship bus was lengthy. Either Celebrity or the Convention Center provided snacks, water/soft drinks (most appreciated) and live music while we waited. It could have been much worse, so I give the powers organizing this a huge thumbs up even with the delay. Disembarkation went much smoother but that has been the case on other cruises too.
On to the ship. Though a little older, this ship was very nice, well-kept and the layout was easy to navigate with plenty of public spaces to sit and relax. I had a verandah room and traveling alone, it was more than spacious. As a personal preference, the bathroom had the circular showers which kind of weird me out a bit. Feel as if I'm in a scene from the Jetsons and expect to be sucked up an air tunnel at any second. Aside from that, everything was great. My room steward was personable and introduced himself immediately checking on my room preferences. (I'm not a cruise expert or veteran -- this was my fourth cruise -- but I've never had bad room stewards.) All the seating areas on the ship were spotless and comfortable although I'm short and round so my legs often didn't reach the floor due to the deep, wide chairs and loungers. The grand foyer area was worthy of its name and decorated appropriately for the holiday. Outside public viewing areas were easy to access and there was ample seating available to gain good views when I wasn't on my verandah.
The dining was good to excellent. I dined each night in the Grand Cuvee dining area on Select seating and wait times were never too long even though I mostly ate at the early seating, which is more popular. I also ate in the Grand Cuvee for one breakfast. Service was excellent and food was good to excellent. The menu had some items that were there every day (dinner) and two to three new ones. The servers worked hard to remember my preferences and were very attentive. I did not try any of the specialty restaurants but ate most breakfast, lunch and snacks at the Oceanview Cafe, Pool & Mast Bar (very good hamburgers and fries), Cafe al Bacio & Gelataria (great frozen coffee drinks, hot chocolate and never go wrong gelato!) Service was always friendly, and quick except in the Oceanview Cafe where it sometimes lagged. Even then, the staff was friendly and helpful if sometimes overwhelmed by the sheer numbers.
The entertainment was varied and of high quality. Some of the main theater shows were not quite my style, but well done and the performers showed great engagement and variety. The entertainers the ship brought on board were also excellent and varied. The Silhouette band was good. The smaller groups were also good. My only complaint about the small groups was that you had to search for them -- meaning they weren't in the same venues each night. Though this was a low-key, less active trip for me, the activities available each sea day were very good and excellently blended.
I did two excursions -- a night tour of San Juan (hurricane damage still very evident) and the train around St. Kitts booked once I was onboard. As an aside, both tours were booked very last minute -- one the morning of -- and I had no problem getting on them. The St. Kitts train was not what I expected. There was a long bus ride to the train and I understood the train would stop places for picture taking, which it did not. I did get an overall view of the island, but it was not what I anticipated. For San Juan, I was warned that things were not as normal for the tour. However, I don't think the tour price was reduced due to that fact so if considering this tour in the next few months be aware the price does not reflect the reduced impact due to the lack of electricity in Puerto Rico.
As a solo traveller, I didn't pay attention to activities geared for families and children.
One other service thing worth mentioning. On our first sea night on the return to Port Everglades, I spotted an interesting island from my verandah. It was very dark but the lights were very interesting. My steward who happened to come in to ready my room for the night, didn't know of the island and it wasn't on the televised navigation map. I took some pictures and then headed downstairs for the festivities in the Grand Foyer. One of the customer service reps, who were available in many spots every day, asked if I need help finding anything. On a whim, I asked about the island. She called bridge and got a name. I don't know if it's the actual name but I was impressed they made the attempt to answer my question.
I would go on both the Silhouette and Celebrity again.
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