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For this cruise the Silhouette was chartered by the Australian company that has many times organised similar cruises “down under” and it was the first time, I believe, that they had ventured into British and European waters. This cruise featured Katherine Jenkins, Alfie Boe and Wynne Evans (of “Go Compare” fame) as well as the Celtic Tenors and many of Australia’s talents, onboard. We saw the cruise advertised over a year ago and decided to treat ourselves, particularly as we were also going on the Baltic cruise on the Silhouette which was to leave Southampton on 26th May. This was a wonderful holiday and a great experience. We booked early as we were sure that it would sell out quickly, as I think it must do in Australia. However this was not the case with this cruise and prices plummeted drastically, before the majority of the cabins could be sold. I understand that the company made a loss, which was rumoured at two and a half million pounds. Whatever the company lost I am sure that lessons have been learnt by it. For us, it was not to book so early next time, and for Bravo I feel that possibly the itinerary had much to do with it, with Cherbourg, Vigo and Bilbao collectively perhaps not the ideal destinations for a week’s cruise at the prices originally quoted, and maybe they overestimated the likely interest in this type of music. In our case, we decided not to grieve over the fact that we could have got the cruise cheaper and we really had a fabulous time.. We arrived at the port on the 19th at just after 10.30 and we were on the ship by 11, sitting in the smaller of the two theatres on the Silhouette, with a glass of sparkling wine, watching the lead-up to the Royal Wedding. We had sailed on the Eclipse before, so we felt quite at home as the Silhouette is almost identical and a beautiful ship. Rooms were ready by 1pm, and our bags arrived soon afterwards. We were very happy to be onboard and looking forward to the week. There was rather a lot of of confusion about dinner seatings but I believe that these were ironed out quite quickly. Guests were given either gold, blue or grey sea pass cards and these indicated at what time they should dine and at which time their performances of the headlining acts would be. All the headlining acts for the theatre did three performances so everyone had an equal chance of seeing them according to their card colour. We had gold cards so we saw Alfie Boe on the first night in the theatre, and guests with other coloured cards could enjoy other acts performing around the ship and see Alfie the next night. We enjoyed seeing Alfie Boe, but I don’t think he was at his best that evening, he did mention onstage that he was feeling seasick. Another concern and one expressed by users of the Roll Call forum was about the Guggenheim Museum excursion, which was included at the time we booked but by the time later bookings were made, it was an extra. We were confident that we had it included but there were no tickets for it waiting for us in the cabin, so we queued up at the Bravo helpdesk to enquire, and happily we were on the list. Ours was in the morning and included a tour by coach around Bilbao escorted by a very interesting, informative and endearingly eccentric guide, and then a look around the museum. Most of the exhibits we found not to our taste, but the building was worth a visit; I managed to get a top-up for my glass of Cava at the reception and then staggered back to the coach having enjoyed the trip overall. We were very impressed by the Australian talent onboard, including Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Henry Choo, Mark Vincent, who was a winner of Australia’s got talent some years ago, and Mirusia, a soprano who used to perform with Andre Rieu, and very accomplished. Mirusia surely should have been given more prominence, but for some reason she was not on the list that was placed in our cabin on the first day detailing the headliners and times and days they would appear in the theatre. Some other cruisers I spoke to even thought she had gone home so clearly the information going around was not adequate. It would have been helpful, for planning purposes, if we had been provided with a schedule of everything that was going on around the ship for the whole week, instead of being informed day by day. Some of the acts were performed in areas with very limited seating and standing room only and it was often not practical to go from one act to the next as one often needed to be early to get a place. Therefore a week’s overview would have helped here in order to try and see everything if that is what you wanted to do. Katherine appeared towards the end of the week, and was brilliant. We were at her first performance following the birth of her baby. She received rapturous applause and ovation and I was quite touched by the humble way she received this, almost in tears as if she genuinely was not expecting it. There were other performers and musicians too numerous to mention here and an onboard choir led by Jonathan Welch, who has formed choirs in Australia for people who have been disadvantaged in their lives. We both attended the first rehearsal, and Norman carried on with it, and enjoyed it although it seemed somehow not very well organised (the accompanist did not turn up on time for the first practice and did not seem to know what he was doing) and the rehearsals seemed to be a bit rushed because of other things going on. One of our favourite acts were the Stomping Ivories, consisting of two hat wearing piano players and a drummer. They played all different kinds of music, appealed to all ages, and some of the time seemed to be making up the act as they went along, in a very spontaneous style, entertaining and all part of their charm. We also very much enjoyed hearing Jiaxin Lloyd Webber perform on the cello with her accompanist, Pamela Chauhan who used to accompany Julian Lloyd Webber in the past. It is unusual I believe to see a really accomplished female pianist on stage, and we had the treat of hearing Julian performing with them for a short piece even though he does not perform much nowadays due to a neck injury. Unfortunately we missed out on a talk that he gave. I and my husband had a wonderful time on this cruise and have some lovely and enduring memories of it. It had a lovely international clientele which is part of the enjoyment of a Celebrity cruise.

Lovely cruise of the Performing Arts aboard the Silhouette

Celebrity Silhouette Cruise Review by MrsNorman

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2018
  • Destination: Europe
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Veranda
For this cruise the Silhouette was chartered by the Australian company that has many times organised similar cruises “down under” and it was the first time, I believe, that they had ventured into British and European waters. This cruise featured Katherine Jenkins, Alfie Boe and Wynne Evans (of “Go Compare” fame) as well as the Celtic Tenors and many of Australia’s talents, onboard. We saw the cruise advertised over a year ago and decided to treat ourselves, particularly as we were also going on the Baltic cruise on the Silhouette which was to leave Southampton on 26th May.

This was a wonderful holiday and a great experience. We booked early as we were sure that it would sell out quickly, as I think it must do in Australia. However this was not the case with this cruise and prices plummeted drastically, before the majority of the cabins could be sold. I understand that the company made a loss, which was rumoured at two and a half million pounds. Whatever the company lost I am sure that lessons have been learnt by it. For us, it was not to book so early next time, and for Bravo I feel that possibly the itinerary had much to do with it, with Cherbourg, Vigo and Bilbao collectively perhaps not the ideal destinations for a week’s cruise at the prices originally quoted, and maybe they overestimated the likely interest in this type of music. In our case, we decided not to grieve over the fact that we could have got the cruise cheaper and we really had a fabulous time..

We arrived at the port on the 19th at just after 10.30 and we were on the ship by 11, sitting in the smaller of the two theatres on the Silhouette, with a glass of sparkling wine, watching the lead-up to the Royal Wedding. We had sailed on the Eclipse before, so we felt quite at home as the Silhouette is almost identical and a beautiful ship. Rooms were ready by 1pm, and our bags arrived soon afterwards. We were very happy to be onboard and looking forward to the week.

There was rather a lot of of confusion about dinner seatings but I believe that these were ironed out quite quickly. Guests were given either gold, blue or grey sea pass cards and these indicated at what time they should dine and at which time their performances of the headlining acts would be. All the headlining acts for the theatre did three performances so everyone had an equal chance of seeing them according to their card colour. We had gold cards so we saw Alfie Boe on the first night in the theatre, and guests with other coloured cards could enjoy other acts performing around the ship and see Alfie the next night. We enjoyed seeing Alfie Boe, but I don’t think he was at his best that evening, he did mention onstage that he was feeling seasick.

Another concern and one expressed by users of the Roll Call forum was about the Guggenheim Museum excursion, which was included at the time we booked but by the time later bookings were made, it was an extra. We were confident that we had it included but there were no tickets for it waiting for us in the cabin, so we queued up at the Bravo helpdesk to enquire, and happily we were on the list. Ours was in the morning and included a tour by coach around Bilbao escorted by a very interesting, informative and endearingly eccentric guide, and then a look around the museum. Most of the exhibits we found not to our taste, but the building was worth a visit; I managed to get a top-up for my glass of Cava at the reception and then staggered back to the coach having enjoyed the trip overall.

We were very impressed by the Australian talent onboard, including Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Henry Choo, Mark Vincent, who was a winner of Australia’s got talent some years ago, and Mirusia, a soprano who used to perform with Andre Rieu, and very accomplished. Mirusia surely should have been given more prominence, but for some reason she was not on the list that was placed in our cabin on the first day detailing the headliners and times and days they would appear in the theatre. Some other cruisers I spoke to even thought she had gone home so clearly the information going around was not adequate.

It would have been helpful, for planning purposes, if we had been provided with a schedule of everything that was going on around the ship for the whole week, instead of being informed day by day. Some of the acts were performed in areas with very limited seating and standing room only and it was often not practical to go from one act to the next as one often needed to be early to get a place. Therefore a week’s overview would have helped here in order to try and see everything if that is what you wanted to do.

Katherine appeared towards the end of the week, and was brilliant. We were at her first performance following the birth of her baby. She received rapturous applause and ovation and I was quite touched by the humble way she received this, almost in tears as if she genuinely was not expecting it. There were other performers and musicians too numerous to mention here and an onboard choir led by Jonathan Welch, who has formed choirs in Australia for people who have been disadvantaged in their lives. We both attended the first rehearsal, and Norman carried on with it, and enjoyed it although it seemed somehow not very well organised (the accompanist did not turn up on time for the first practice and did not seem to know what he was doing) and the rehearsals seemed to be a bit rushed because of other things going on.

One of our favourite acts were the Stomping Ivories, consisting of two hat wearing piano players and a drummer. They played all different kinds of music, appealed to all ages, and some of the time seemed to be making up the act as they went along, in a very spontaneous style, entertaining and all part of their charm.

We also very much enjoyed hearing Jiaxin Lloyd Webber perform on the cello with her accompanist, Pamela Chauhan who used to accompany Julian Lloyd Webber in the past. It is unusual I believe to see a really accomplished female pianist on stage, and we had the treat of hearing Julian performing with them for a short piece even though he does not perform much nowadays due to a neck injury. Unfortunately we missed out on a talk that he gave.

I and my husband had a wonderful time on this cruise and have some lovely and enduring memories of it. It had a lovely international clientele which is part of the enjoyment of a Celebrity cruise.
MrsNorman’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Veranda
Cabin 2B 7221
This cabin was on deck 7 close to the Hideaway and the elevators and we found it to be convenient and quiet. We were very well looked after by Mauris and were able to keep the cabin for the next cruise.
Sunrise Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • The Guggenheim Museum
    This was part of the deal when booking the Bravo Cruise and included a coach tour towards and around the sights of Bilbao with a guide, a look around the museum and a champagne reception.
    View All 18 The Guggenheim Museum Reviews