I'll apologise now if this is a long review but it has to be said. This was our 5th Celebrity cruise and the 2nd on The Silhouette. We love the Celebrity brand and have only ever cruised with them. I often read reviews and realise that SOME people exaggerate. I hope to give it a fair and balanced review.
First the good points ! Stateroom fine 1245 on Deck 10 Concierge. Near the lifts but not noisy in any way at all.Considered going Aqua for same price but was warned off by reviews which said that Aqua staterooms were under pool areas and were noisy early morning with chairs being dragged around. Our steward Jon was fabulous and deserves a mention. Everywhere was kept clean and he was very friendly. For reasons that will become apparent below we were really glad that we had our own balcony and we used it a lot.
We ate in the Main Dining Room at a table for 2 ( We had asked for a 2 when we booked but were initially put on a 6 and this was quickly rectified) Thank Goodness because we must have had the BEST waiting staff ever. Yanti, Santi,and Sommelier Aneesh really looked after us well and were so friendly and kind it made the cruise for us. Assistant Maitre D' Pero never stopped walking around making sure all guests were happy and always had a friendly word, lovely man !
On other cruises we have always eaten at 8.30pm and watched the late show at 10pm
This cruise was dining at 6pm or 8.30pm with the shows at 7pm and 9pm. In our opinion this didn't work.
The theatre entertainment was at best fabulous to very very bad. One comedian was horrendous and deeply out of his depth.One of his first comments was something about Americans then "That's why the Brits hate you !" You can imagine the feeling after the initial intake of breath? He needs to find another job because he wasn't funny.
The 3 guys singing Motown were superb as were the resident band and entertainment team. Sue Denning the Cruise Director did a great job with Pete as her assistant and never appeared to stop working.
Music acts around the ship was ok but with some the songs were repetitive as was the late night disco...same songs each night.
All the staff on board were brilliant,we couldn't fault them. They work long hours but always have a smile and a polite hello.
Now for the down sides.
There were 600 (Babies to 18yrs) children on a cruise that patently couldn't cater for them.They would have been better suited on Royal Caribbean where they have more things to do. First I'd like to say that the majority were well mannered and polite. However there were a huge minority who were not and were allowed to run feral around the ship with the accent on run !
They must have been bored because they were forever playing on the stairs. They ran through Oceanview buffet restaurant or walked at you in groups with no intention of moving around you. These tended to be 9-14 yr olds. I also personally saw a child on his own run through the main dining room to the toilet with waiters carrying trays loaded with food having to swerve out of his way.
At night they congregated in the Hideaway or the Library, swinging around in the chairs,throwing cushions around, leaving cans lying littering the floor. The older teenagers seemed to walk around in packs and although I never saw any bad behaviour they seemed blind to the fact that other people were around.
I've read a review earlier on from a parent criticising Celebrity for not putting enough things on for kids. I don't think they realise that this is not that sort of ship ! in our previous cruises there were about 20 children and you hardly ever saw them. That's why we were astounded to find 600 on board ! If we had known we would never have booked this cruise. Celebrity please either change how many children you welcome on board or let people know its going to be like Butlins !
The New moon party on deck was something we looked forward to. We didn't expect there to be both pools full of screaming children of all ages, the youngest we saw was 3/4 and this was at 10.30pm. Because they were in and out of the water the deck was awash and a poor pool attendant was desperately trying to keep everywhere dry to avoid accidents as it was very slippy. We didn't stay long as this was more like a Carnival or Disney cruise and not what we'd signed up for. We spoke to many parents who didn't know where their children were and some who obviously didn't care. I spoke to a couple who said their 14yr old son had come back the night before at 1.45am and they were in bed !
I could go on but I think you get the idea by now. DON'T book a cruise in the school holidays with Celebrity. I spoke to many people who said it was their first cruise and would never cruise again. Such a shame !
It has put us off cruising with Celebrity again after singing their praises previously. We may try it again out of school holidays or try an adults only ship with another company.
Besides the children we were disappointed with the shops on board. They had exactly the same things as they did last year. Everything very overpriced or cheap and nasty stuff in the sales they had. Excursions were ridiculously overpriced and the overwhelming feeling was that Celebrity are getting greedy, pushing trips, speciality dining and photographers circulating the Dining room while you are eating then charging silly prices for photos.
I'm sorry if I've gone on but I wanted to give a balanced view instead of moaning about one thing. Despite all this we managed to have a nice time.
Nice Cabin. Larger than normal balcony. Good size bathroom with plenty of storage space. Comfy bed which is next to the balcony doors. Steward Jon really great. Near to the lifts but never bothered by noise.
We made our own way by bus to Belem where we had the famous pastries. Great place tiny shop but huge inside will seat 400> pastries only 1Euro something each and they were delicious.
Having been to Rome to stay for 5 days we didn't want to go again in the sweltering August heat. Its also at least an hours bus ride away. We decided to have a walk around Civitavecchia. Nice place....promenade. Had lunch in a restaurant that looked like it would be nice but food was awful !
Having done Florence before we decided to do a trip from the ship to Pisa. It was an afternoon one. Nice Guide (forgotten name) We drove to outside Pisa into a huge park area. Joined a boat, which had seen better days and sailed into Pisa along a river whilst eating an ice cream given to us by the captain. Then we joined a street train that was old and very bumpy and uncomfortable and driven into Pisa. Our guide told us to meet her at a certain time at a lovely courtyard restaurant where we could have a drink and they had lots of toilets. She then took us into the Pisa tower area and spent ages talking to us. We then had 45 minutes to look around and we weren't able to go into the buildings. Meeting at the restaurant the staff would not let us go into the courtyard saying it was closed. we had a coach full of people and we were directed to one toilet. when the guide appeared i asked her where were the many toilets were. She told me to go through to the courtyard and there were loads. The courtyard was HUGE and beautiful with empty tables all set up for the night time, obviously why we weren't allowed in there. Street train took us back to the bus then we came back to the ship. Not good value for money in my opinion.
We were almost encouraged not to go into Marseilles by the cruise director Sue. She frightened a lot of people saying it wasn't very safe. The shuttle bus to take us into town was 20 dollars a 10/15min journey. We were told when we bought the tickets at the port authority that it was in dollars and we had to pay with our sea pass card. Celebrity set the price not them ! As we drove out of the port area we noticed a free shuttle bus that some people walked to which dropped them off very close to were we were dropped off. Shame on you Celebrity !!!!! Marseille lovely place don't be scared just be wary as you would anywhere. Find the lift to the walkway that gives you fabulous views. We had a fabulous salad at a restaurant opposite the marina.
Having been before we decided to visit Parc Guelle. We walked up Las Ramblas to the square were all the bus tops are. Plenty of tourist advice booths. got the 24 bus to the parc couple of Euros. climb up to the highest spot and get wonderful views.