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Celebrity Silhouette Cruise Review
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,939 Reviews

Gilding the Lily

Celebrity Silhouette Cruise Review by clumsylad

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jul 2018
  • Destination: the Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Inside Stateroom 9

You know the funny thing about holidays is when they are over it is almost like they never happened and all we have is a dream of all the new places and people. We had a wonderful 2 weeks on the cruise. It was my first cruise but we had perfect weather and seas for the whole 14 days sailing. Some of the crew thought this cruise was the best they had ever known for good weather and calm seas. I mean 33 degrees in Stockholm...what!!

I wasn't sure about the imagined claustrophobia of a cruise but the ship is so huge and has so many levels it wasn't a problem at all. The service, food and cabin were fantastic. A few do behave as though they are in the upper class on the 'White Star Line' but mostly people were very classless and friendly.

I finally got to wear a bowtie and evening dress for the first time in my life on one of the 3 formal nights but I wouldn't want to do that every day. In any case the vegetarian selection in the main 'Grand Cuvee' dining room was very limited and portions so small that we ate mainly in the less reserved Ocean View restaurant after the formal night. I could not fault the food in this restaurant at all...superb!

I had wondered if a day excursion to a city was enough to satisfy the need to explore it, but you know, it is. There is something quite amazing about having small stops in lots of different place. It is like having half a dozen holidays in one. I loved that aspect of it and I can't even begin to describe how amazing Russia was. St Petersburg is the most amazing city ever. To be able to walk in the same places as the people from history was just incredible. As an unknown bonus had 'Navy day' on the Sunday we were there and President Putin was in the city. Crowds thronged every street and the river embankment was solidly packed with very well-behaved citizens. On the Neva river were Soviet warships with lines of sailors in smart white uniforms standing to attention in the heat. I think I had imagined somehow Russia would look greyer than it did and that the people would be some downtrodden mass of misery. How wrong was I!... I have never seen so many happy people, in one place before.

We loved St Petersburg from start to finish and our Arctur tour guide Svetlana spoke good English and was very informative. St Petersburg is a very European city and I am sure that the further inland you go the more Russian it gets, but this city is amazing and so worth visiting. I hope I get back one day.

A quick synopsis

Bruges - Compact and historical and clean....loved it and the chocolate and beer

Copenhagen - Loved the Tivoli Gardens and the friendliness of the city

Stockholm - Loved old town of Gamlinstan and the sail into the harbour past all the small islands. Didn't love missing the coach back to the ship and having to get a taxi.

Tallinn - After St Petersburg my next favourite place. Clean and medieaval with great food and shopping.

St Petersburg - simply beautiful...when can I go back. A walk in history and days long gone of such an opulence and decadence. So wonderfully preserved and lovingly restored after the Nazi ravages of WW11

Rostock (Germany) - Surprisingly peaceful and clean. We enjoyed our day here especially walking along the harbour debating Brexit with a local boat owner.

In between the cities are the days at sea. Sea Days on the ship are mainly for relaxing and while I enjoyed sunbathing I would always prefer a cruise with the fewest sea days as possible. We didn't drink onboard very much but quite a lot of the passengers were on unlimited drinks packages and made the best use of them. I have to say though I did not see one sniff of high spirits. To their credit everyone onboard behaves calmly and for the most part people are friendly. If I have one criticism, it is that bottled water was $6.50 for a 1 litre (2 pint ) bottle. We filled our water bottles from the public water dispenser but can you imagine if that wasn't there. Wow...water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink was never so true, as on a cruise ship.

If I have to pick a highlight it would be the Peter and Paul Fortress where the Romanov memorial is located.

If I had 5 suggestions for cruise improvements they would be

1 - Buy shore excursions and shuttle tickets via TV

2 - Ship / shore excursion operators should have a log of contact phone numbers so if they do leave people behind they can at least check they are ok

3 - Discard flexi-dining as it is not working well

4 - Provide complimentary water (say 2x1l bottle s per day) or make it substantially cheaper

5 - Update Wi-Fi rental to 2 devices

6 - Lease some proper simulcast West End shows / concerts like those that they show in the cinemas or do a show featuring the band with just regular songs not the incomprehensible stuff they are doing with singing, dancing and acrobatics all at the same time.


clumsylad's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Inside Stateroom 9
Cabin 09 8159

Cabin was spotless and very comfortable (thanks Rajendra) but i did miss having natural light to know day from night. That said we weren't in the cabin that much to make it a big issue and the money saved paid for the shore trips. Loved being able to make tea in the room even if the water was $6.50 a litre. We soon got wise to the public water dispensers and filled our bottles there.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Brugge (Bruges)

Bruges - Compact and historical and clean....loved it

Copenhagen

Copenhagen - Loved the Tivoli Gardens and the friendliness of the city

Stockholm

Stockholm - Loved old town of Gamlinstan and the sail into the harbour past all the small islands. Didn't like being left by the tour operator and having to make our own way back

Tallinn - After St Petersburg my next favourite place.

View All undefined undefined Reviews
St. Petersburg

St Petersburg 3 day tour - Beautiful...when can I go back. Ticked every box.

Berlin

Rostock (Germany) - Surprisingly peaceful and clean. We enjoyed our day here especially the shops and harbour.


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clumsylad
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