This was our eighth cruise overall and third with X. We chose this mainly for the itinerary.
Embarkation, disembarkation and ship transfers were very smooth and well executed.
We were on Silhouette a couple of years ago and loved The Hideaway so this time we booked on the forward slant, starboard deck 7. It was roomy for just the two of us with a very comfortable mattress and plenty of storage. We love the overhead storage and brought six bins to use with it. On mornings when we didn't go to the MDR for breakfast I trotted down to Cafe al Bacio for danish then coffee only ten steps from the cabin. Our cabin had an oversized balcony with a chaise, two chairs and a table. Of course, we used it more on the southern leg but still found it relaxing up north.
The cabin bathrooms are always a topic of discussion on these reviews. Overall, ours was fine - good water pressure and temperature and a bit larger than most we've had. There were two glaring downsides, however. First, describing the towels as rough is an understatement - more like sandpaper. Second, the shampoo was more like water and you needed an entire bottle to get any kind of lather. Next cruise we'll take our own.
Our cabin steward, Nichola, was friendly, efficient and responsive to our needs which we expect on X.
We took most of our meals in the MDR. No specialties this trip. Our head waiter Stanley, assistant Devon and sommelier Singh were all efficient and professional. Recommendations were usually spot on. Appetizers still tend to be "tiny food" so we always ordered shrimp cocktail or french onion soup as a backup. Some entrees were dry or lacked seasoning. Breakfasts were plentiful but of inconsistent quality. Basically, the MDR was no better than average. Room service, however, was pretty good. We had one each breakfast, lunch and dinner. Portions were good. Bacon was crisp. DW's filet mignon was the best dinner of the cruise. We ate one lunch at the Mast Grill. I thought they grilled your burger when you ordered it. This time they had a pile in a tin and were little better than McDonald's.
We booked our excursions through the ship except for Bilbao day 1, Gibraltar and Cartagena when we walked off and wandered. Bilbao day 1 ended in a washout as we got drenched only a few hundred yards from the ship. We enjoyed all the ports and excursions though some were rough walking. As we get older we might want something more sedate.
X should be commended for the change they've made to the excursion process. Instead of having people get their tickets at the top of the theater steps, one person from each group went to the stage for them. Of course, calls from the CD to keep certain areas clear for traffic went unheeded until he actually started shaming people.
Spacious enough for two with an oversized balcony containing a chaise, two chairs and a table. We loved the overhead storage and recommend taking cubes for it. The only downside was the steward's closet just outside. It made it a little hard to sleep in but they have to do their jobs.
Just went straight from the airport to the ship. Transfer done very well but baggage claim couldn't have been any farther from the gate.
Opted for Ghent as we had done Bruges two years prior. Wonderful architecture, great guide. Possibly the most impressive cathedral we've seen. Oh yeah, there was the chocolate making demo. Brought some home, of course. Now it's just a memoryView All 32 City Tour Reviews
Took the Honfleur/Deauville excursion. Enjoyed Honfleur though it was Sunday so not much open. We did find a great caramel shop open near St Catherine's. The Deauville leg was a waste of time. Not the line's fault, but there was a film festival (I thought Woody Allen was dead) that required the bus to park far from the town center. Our guide said it was a four minute walk - she lied. After 20 minutes we reached the foot of the hill to the town center. Since we only had an hour most of us opted to just hike back to the bus. Stopped along the way to watch a riding lesson but otherwise a bust.View All 53 Honfleur Reviews
This walking tour saved the excursion.View All 7 Bilbao Old Quarter Reviews
Urdabai was a fishing village but we like Honfleur better.
After we left the Maritime Museum we walked and walked and walked until we got to the end of the entrance line. There then ensued a long discussion on whether to bother since it was very unlikely we'd get in before the excursion ended. A very few people complained that they had paid for it and insisted on staying. The guide called her company and they told her she had to do it. The rest of us walked back to the museum and relaxed.View All 13 Jeronimos Monastery Reviews
Very impressive. I hadn't realized Portugal had such a modern naval history including aviation.View All 5 Maritime Museum Reviews
Just walked off to Casement's Square, did some shopping and had lunch. We'll take the shuttle next time.
The initial driving tour through Cadiz was almost useless in a bus - the streets are just too narrow to see anything. The drive to Jerez was through some very picturesque and ever-changing countryside. The town/fortress was most impressive though the excursion level of difficulty was understated. Several of our group opted to stay on the second level, do a little shopping and sample the local brew. Next we made a short stop at Trafalgar, the site of Nelson's victory over the combined French and Spanish fleets. Pretty commercialized, nothing really to see. The final stop before returning to the ship was a beautiful seaside white village with a very nice beach whose name we can't remember. But with only an hour or so there was, again, little to do.View All 14 Jerez de la Frontera Reviews
Walked off the ship, checked out the Roman ruins and did a little shopping. Had our bearings a little wrong and will do better next time.