Celebrity Silhouette Cruise Review by BettyCruiser
- Sail Date: January 2018
- Destination: Southern Caribbean
We flew to Fort Lauderdale the day before the cruise. For most cruises, especially in the winter, we arrive at the port of departure at least one day prior. This provides a cushion in case of delays during travel and provides a more relaxed and less stressful boarding day.
This time we stayed at the Riverside Hotel on Las Olas Blvd. I booked this hotel for a reasonable price via HotWire. This was the first time we have stayed at this hotel. We usually stay on 17th Street or by the beach, although we like to visit Las Olas. It was nice to stay in that location there are a lot of dining options and shops to browse and there was a CVS about three blocks from the hotel for any forgotten incidentals. The Riverside Hotel is an old hotel, but is well maintained. Being older there are some quirks such as small elevators, winding hallways and in room heating and cool units rather than central, but these proved to be a non-issue. The worst thing was the beds weren’t plush, but were fine for one night.
For dinner we sampled a couple happy hours. We have spinach artichoke dip at the Golden Lyon pub at the hotel. Then took a walk along Las Olas and stopped at American Social and had tacos and a burger. All very reasonably priced.
The morning of the cruise friends that live in the area picked us up at the hotel and then we went to breakfast at the Floridian Café, also on Las Olas. The Floridian had very tasty breakfast for reasonable prices. Then they dropped us at the ship. When we arrived they had already started boarding so the only line we had to wait in was to go through security screening.
The pier side person that checked us in did not do a very good job at all, upon boarding they had to take my picture again and a couple days into the cruise I received a letter from guest services asking me to put a credit card on file. Both of these were supposedly done at check in.
Before the cruise I had purchased a 6 night dining package, so the first thing we did upon boarding was head to the specialty dining area to book dining. Our preferred dining time is 7:00-7:30, in the past I’ve been able to book this time, but it seems now all choices are 6:00-6:30 or not until 8:30-9:00. Most of our dining ended up at 6:30, we scored one 8:00. When we were done with dining reservations they announced that staterooms were now available, so we went to the room to drop our carry ons.
Most of the time we book concierge class rooms. This time we had a concierge class room on deck 12, the same as the pool, on the angle which provides a larger than average balcony. This time we didn’t take advantage of the concierge class lunch in the main dining room on boarding day since we had just had breakfast before arriving at the port, but it is a nice perk of the room. We enjoy the expanded room service menu, I always request a body pillow from the pillow menu and instead of the afternoon savories I request a cheese plate. The quality of the cheese plate is not consistent across Celebrity ships, but it was very nice on the Silhouette.
Our muster station was in Muranos. They are trying to keep the muster drill interesting by showing a secret agent type film I guess. We’ve been to enough safety drills that we know what to do in case of emergency. We usually go to the Sunset Bar for sail away, but I didn’t feel like tackling the crowded elevators, so we ended up at the martini bar until after sail away.
We ate at Tuscan Grill the first night. Normally I wouldn’t eat at a specialty restaurant the first night, but part of the dining package deal is to eat at one of them the first night. The pork belly appetizer was very good, the rib eye wasn’t up to par. Although dessert was very good mine was a strawberry something and he had cheesecake. We put out our breakfast order before going to bed. Room service breakfast was hit or miss this cruise, sometimes over cooked sometimes under cooked and other days delicious.
The first morning we woke to cloudy windy weather. We usually like to sit by the pool in the sun but the weather wasn’t cooperating. We did find cushy loungers off to the side protected from the wind. We spent the day there reading and relaxing. The wind was creating good sized waves and the ship was rocking and rolling. After having knee surgery I noticed that walking on the ship in these conditions was very hard on your knees.
Tonight was our first Evening Chic night. We were dining with a group of friends at Qsine. We met at the martini bar then went to dinner. Qsine is a fun restaurant to go to with a group. As part of a group you can try more of the awesome choices available on the menu. After dinner we went back to the martini bar for the silent disco. This was our first time participating and it was very fun.
The second morning, again cloudy and windy. Again we found a cushy lounge to pass the time watching the waves, reading and visiting with friends. This morning during the captain’s morning address we learned at we would be missing our first scheduled port of call. The wind had slowed us down so that we would have a delayed arrival causing our time in port to be so restricted that the decision was made to skip the first port and reach our second port on time. We were disappointed since we had booked an excursion that we had done before and really enjoyed. On the up side we had a lot of refundable on board credit with the credit of the excursion to our onboard account.
Tonight we were back at Tuscan Grill with a group of ten for dinner. This dinner was much better than the first night. The calamari appetizer was very good. This time I opted for the filet and it was much better than the rib eye on the previous visit.
Our third sea day, since Antigua was canceled, was once again cloudy and windy, so back to our protected loungers for more reading and relaxing.
Tonight we ate in the dining room. We had Select Dining for this cruise. When we started cruising only traditional dining early or late was available. It took us a few years to make the conversion to Select Dining, but now we prefer it giving us the opportunity to eat when we’re ready to eat, which seems to get earlier as we age. And for this cruise especially since we would be eating in specialty restaurants 6 or 9 nights it made sense to not be absent from a traditional table for most of the cruise. On previous cruises the only time we had encountered a wait for dining in the main dining room for select dining had been on formal(evening chic) nights, keeping that in mind I always book a specialty restaurant for formal nights. This wasn’t a formal night but we were given a beeper when we went to the dining room. So we went back to the martini bar to wait for at least half an hour maybe longer. I’m guessing we approached the dining room about 7:00 or 7:30. When finally seated, I remember ordering fish but then not being very happy with it, it was too salty. After dinner we stopped at Café Al Bacio for an after dinner Aspen, a very yummy dessert coffee drink.
Our first port of call was Barbados. The weather had finally cleared up, it was a nice sunny day. Ahead of time I had booked the Beach Hop tour through the cruise line. One thing I find annoying about booking excursions through Celebrity is that their descriptions are very vague. Quite often I try to find the same excursion on a different site to try to find more detail. I didn’t find much detail anywhere for this tour exception for one random review that was favorable. I thought they would bring us to a few beaches and we would be able to purchase beverages/snacks at the beach bars there. The tour ticket stated beverages and snacks provided. The tour started out nicely. We were in an open air bus, the tour guide provided interesting commentary on sites as we passed them. We stopped at the horse race track for pictures before arriving at the first beach. When we arrived at the first beach we were told they would provide beverages for us; beer, rum punch and soft drinks. We could rent chairs if desired. Since we didn’t have to purchase drinks we got chairs at the first beach. I think the first beach was called Rockley Beach. The first beach was very nice with clean and functional restroom facilities and a beach bar selling snacks. We stayed here for an hour or so. After the first beach we went to two other beaches. We thought that each beach would have equivalent facilities. But the other beaches did not have chairs for rent, or functional restrooms or an opportunities to purchase snacks. I do not recommend this tour.
Tonight we ate at the Lawn Club Grill. Dinner here was excellent. Unfortunately we ate too much dinner and didn’t have room for dessert. There is no limit to what you can order off the menu, my eyes were way bigger than my stomach. I ordered the rib eye and salmon for main dishes and cream corn and baked beans for sides, after the two of us split a BBQ chicken flat bread and a little salad. I will make adjustments for our next visit so that I can have dessert.
Our next port of call was St. Lucia. We booked an excursion through Celebrity here too. We booked the Volcanic Mud Experience. I was also looking at a tour that just went to hot springs without the mud part, but that one didn’t include lunch and the drive to the volcano was long so the tour was also pretty long at 6-7 hours and we would be hungry if we didn’t get anything to eat, so I opted for the mud and then lunch. Between photo/shopping/restroom purposes we stopped probably 5-6 time during the drive between the ship and the volcano. So broken up nicely. The mud bath part was fun. We entered a hot spring to open our pores, then we climb out and there are buckets of volcanic mud to smear all over yourself and each other. Then back into the hot spring to rinse off. By the time we left it was pretty crowded, but the tour got us there before it got too crowded. We stopped for a Caribbean buffet lunch at a restaurant perched on the side of a hill overlooking the Pitons. The food was really good.
Tonight we ate in the main dining room again. This time we had no wait and the prime rib was very tasty.
Our last port of call was St. Kitt’s. Our original itinerary was St. Maarten, but it was changed after St. Maarten was hit hard during hurricane season. St. Kitt’s isn’t a favorite so we opted to stay on board today. The weather was sunny so we finally had some pool time. It is nice to stay onboard and enjoy the ship with most other passengers on shore.
Tonight was our second night at the Lawn Club Grill. This time we ordered less and had enough room for dessert. Pepperoni flat bread, no salad, kabobs, cream corn and one lamb chop. I had the carrot cake for dessert and the cookie and ice cream dessert is also very good.
Tonight they held an event at the martini bar call Mirage Martini. They blocked off two of the seating alcoves in the bar area, then with music and lights had the dancers back there dancing so you could see their silhouettes. It was different and fun.
We finally had a nice sunny sea day for our first sea day back toward Florida, so we got some more pool time. Tonight was our second Evening Chic night. This time just the two of us ate in Qsine. When there’s only two at Qsine it is easy to order too much food here too. Tonight we tried to order things we liked but hadn’t had the when we were here earlier in the cruise. I feel there was still some things we missed. I could easily eat at Qsine three times during the same cruise and have a totally different meal each time.
As you can tell we don’t usually go to the shows, but tonight they had a Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons tribute group, and we love Jersey Boys, so after dinner we went to the theater. We found seating in the back at the rail. The show was a lot of fun! After the show they were having the silent disco again, this time up in the Sky Observation Lounge, so we went to that again.
The last sea day was sunny again. But I didn’t spend as much time at the pool, instead I worked on packing. Tonight we ate in the main dining room. Dinner was disappointing on this final night. We each ordered a main dish and the pasta dish to share, all three came out cold. When the waiter noticed I wasn’t eating he stopped over, I told him my meal was cold, he offered to bring me a new one I said yes please. Then he brought me another cold veal cordon bleu, this time on a very hot plate. By this time I was frustrated and chose to give up. A maître’ d stopped over I described what happened, but couldn’t think of any way to remedy the situation since I had already given them a chance without a satisfactory result. Our last meal on the ship was disappointing.
I have not encountered similar issue in the main dining room on other Celebrity ships and hope it is remedied before I return.
We did book a future cruise on Silhouette while on board. The book on board deals are usually worth it but now you have to make sure to book a refundable fare in order to have the flexibility to make changes.
Disembarkation was easy for us. We were staying in Fort Lauderdale for a night before flying home so we traded in our luggage numbers for the last numbers. We stayed at the Embassy Suites on 17th Street that night. The location is nice close to the port and shopping and restaurants. Although the room was tired looking with dirty carpet and sofa and a drip from the ceiling vent over the bar area. The beds are very comfy. We got to the hotel about 10:30AM and had our room about 1PM. In the mean time we stored our luggage and went to Southport Oyster Bar for lunch. The fish tacos there are very good especially if you get them blackened. Later that evening we ordered pizza from a place across the street, also good.
Celebrity is currently our favorite cruise line. Nothing happened on this voyage to change that, although no vacation is ever perfect is it?
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
BeachThe tour ticket stated beverages and snacks provided. The tour started out nicely. We were in an open air bus, the tour guide provided interesting commentary on sites as we passed them. We stopped at the horse race track for pictures before arriving at the first beach. When we arrived at the first beach we were told they would provide beverages for us; beer, rum punch and soft drinks. We could rent chairs if desired. Since we didn’t have to purchase drinks we got chairs at the first beach. I think the first beach was called Rockley Beach. The first beach was very nice with clean and functional restroom facilities and a beach bar selling snacks. We stayed here for an hour or so. After the first beach we went to two other beaches. We thought that each beach would have equivalent facilities. But the other beaches did not have chairs for rent, or functional restrooms or an opportunities to purchase snacks. I do not recommend this tour.View All 128 Beach Reviews
Sulphur Springs Mud BathBetween photo/shopping/restroom purposes we stopped probably 5-6 time during the drive between the ship and the volcano. So broken up nicely. The mud bath part was fun. We entered a hot spring to open our pores, then we climb out and there are buckets of volcanic mud to smear all over yourself and each other. Then back into the hot spring to rinse off. By the time we left it was pretty crowded, but the tour got us there before it got too crowded. We stopped for a Caribbean buffet lunch at a restaurant perched on the side of a hill overlooking the Pitons. The food was really good.View All 43 Sulphur Springs Mud Bath Reviews