We chose this cruise for the itinerary (specifically, we had never been to Grenada or St. Vincent and the Grenadines) and for the ship, which we have sailed on previously. We are partial to Celebrity’s Solstice class ships, and the Silhouette is gleaming with its recent refurbishments, including new carpeting in the common areas and new bedding, carpeting, and curtains in the staterooms. In the common areas, it really looks like a new ship. The beautiful 15-level glass-topped atrium is just stunning. The ship was and remained spotless throughout the cruise, including the ship’s handsome bathrooms, and all of the crew members were friendly and professional. We found the new mattress and the feather/down pillows in our Concierge Class stateroom to be very comfortable. Otherwise, the stateroom furniture and bathroom are unchanged and a little tired décor-wise but serviceable. I know this will never happen, but I so wish they would move the television directly across from the bed. With the TV in front of the (uncomfortable) sofa, it's difficult to watch TV in bed even with the TV pulled out and over as far as possible with the adjustable wall mount. The chairs and footrests on the veranda were quite comfortable. Out stateroom attendant, Sunny, was awesome. He quickly learned our schedule (up and out early, early dinner) and our room was always freshly cleaned when we returned from lunch/dinner. The food in the main dining room and the buffet (Oceanview Cafe) was hit or miss. I always lower my expectations for the quality of food on a cruise compared to land-based restaurants, but I was more often disappointed than impressed with the food on this cruise. I will say the Lavazza coffee in the buffet and main dining room was excellent, as were the specialty coffees in Café al Bacio, which remains our favorite spot on the ship. The Indian food in the buffet, which is always available at lunch and dinner, is usually decent, and we appreciated the scones and tea-time snacks in the buffet at 4 pm every day. But a lot of the food was uninspired, and Celebrity is really weak on its salad and sandwich game in the buffet. The new Holland-America Pinnacle-class ships have better food in their buffets for the most part, and they serve you rather than requiring guests to share communal utensils, which is like shaking hands with every person on the ship. HAL tosses salads to order with many more ingredients available, and their sandwiches are delicious and much more creative than the cold cuts and tuna/chicken/egg salad available on Celebrity. Celebrity also has a weak fruit selection at breakfast and lunch. No berries at all, and the daily slices of cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and watermelon still have the rinds on them. Even if the rinds have been washed, they are inedible and it's just kind of gross for the rinds to be laid on top of the flesh of the slices below. They did serve a very decent fish and chips twice in the buffet, and some of their stews were good, but too often there was gristle in the stew meat. It was also hard to find a good assortment of vegetables in the buffet. Sometimes they only had green beans and carrots. A couple of times I found broccoli; I saw cauliflower and brussels sprouts once. They did serve a nice dish of sautéed vegetables (zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, and peppers) at breakfast but I didn’t see this often at lunch or dinner. We had two good dinners in the main dining room, several okay dinners, and one awful dinner (which led us to eat dinner in the buffet the next two nights until we decided to try the main dining room again). The awful dinner included a crab-crusted flounder that was so overcooked the flounder had essentially melted into the sauce beneath it. And despite having a 6:30 reservation every night for anytime dining (which we booked online before the cruise), we usually had to wait to be seated. The wait ranged from nearly half an hour on the second night of the cruise to five to 10 minutes most other nights. A hard-working and very pleasant assistant maitre’d, Milan, was the only person seating guests. They needed another person to help him. We went to the specialty restaurant Murano the first night with a discount and wished we hadn't. Same menu it has had for years. Am I the only one tired of "continental cuisine" that was fashionable 50 years ago? I will not go back to Murano until they discover creative contemporary cuisine. It doesn't cost any more to serve more modern, interesting food. We also went to the Lawn Club Grill, which has a lovely atmosphere but it was a horrible experience. The flat bread starter (known elsewhere and less pretentiously as "pizza") was actually good, but the wan, boring salad bar has the same tired salad ingredients available in the buffet, and our tenderloin and shrimp/scallop shish kabobs were unseasoned and the tenderloin was overcooked. The most disappointing dish was the lobster mac and cheese side. Worst mac and cheese I've ever had. The dish had been overheated to the point that whatever cheese had once existed had melted into a puddle of watery oil at the bottom of the dish. The lobster was mealy and flavorless, and the pasta was fatally overcooked. There was no salt or other seasoning in the dish either (per the tenderloin). I've never had anything so disappointing on a Celebrity ship and that includes Tuscan Grill, which we went to twice years ago and were thoroughly unimpressed. We went to the Lawn Club Grill on my spouse's birthday, no less. He did like the cheesecake dessert and I enjoyed the warm chocolate chip cookie dessert. (By the way, Celebrity asked us if we were celebrating a special occasion when we booked our trip, but the only recognition of my spouse's birthday was a flyer put in the room one night offering him 20 percent off on a skin care product in the spa. On Holland-America, they always give you a special dessert on your birthday and sometimes the staff sings.) We had lunch one day at the Porch for $20 each. We started with a nice salad and then had lobster rolls, which were quite good but there wasn’t much lobster. We skipped dessert, which didn’t appeal, and went to the buffet for that course. The Porch was never busy (only two other parties while we were there, and it was usually empty when we strolled by). EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION. We had very little wait to board the ship and getting off was uncomplicated for most, I imagine. We had the misfortune to be flagged for a “random” customs inspection. After being held back for about five minutes, we and another couple we didn’t know were escorted in the disembarkation line by a Celebrity staff member, who was very nice and apologetic (wish I remembered her name). She had the customs declaration papers with her and I begin filling one out for my spouse and me. Inside the terminal, we were left with another Celebrity person who looked up out stateroom on a sheet of paper, had a brief conversation with someone on the phone, and said “you are free to go.” He said we didn’t have to submit our declaration and we were allowed to simply exit the building along with everyone else. Overall, and despite my complaints about the food, we still really enjoy the Solstice-class ships and will be back next year, on the Reflection.
We found the new mattress and the feather/down pillows in our Concierge Class stateroom to be very comfortable. Otherwise, the stateroom furniture and bathroom are unchanged and a little tired décor-wise but serviceable. I know this will never happen, but I so wish they would move the television directly across from the bed. With the TV in front of the (uncomfortable) sofa, it's difficult to watch TV in bed even with the TV pulled out and over as far as possible with the adjustable wall mount. The chairs and footrests on the veranda were quite comfortable. Out stateroom attendant, Sunny, was awesome. He quickly learned our schedule (up and out early, early dinner) and our room was always freshly cleaned when we returned from lunch/dinner.
We rented a car at the cruise port since we had been to St. Croix years ago but remembered our way around. Went to the botanical gardens, which were nice, and then to Point Udall, which has great views. There's not much to do on the island, but snokeling at Buck Island (which we did not do this time) is a must. We had a nice casual lunch (fish and chips) at Rum Runners at the marina in Christiansted.
Our first and best stop was a private home, called Stony Hill Estate, on the top of a hill with beautifully landscaped gardens. We toured the gardens, which are terraced over steep terrain, and had snacks on the large veranda. Most pleasant. Then we were driven to Pigeon point beach, which is part of the Pigeon Island National Historic Park. We had to pay an extra $20 to enter the park and walk up the hill to the fort for the views. Not worth it. It was extremely hot on the beach but there are a couple of cafes where you can order a drink and sit in the shade.View All undefined undefined Reviews
The botanical gardens were fantastic, but at the top of a mountain and the trip was harrowing. The seat belts in the bus had been tied in knots so they couldn't be used, and the driver was also the tour guide so he was talking to all of us while driving on the narrow roads which had little to no guard rails. We never felt safe while we were in motion.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Boy was this a misnamed tour. It started with an old creaky bus that had no seat belts and very little leg room. We first visited the botanical gardens, which are downtown and would have been a quick cab ride from the ship. Not the best gardens we've been to in the Caribbean but they have been there for a long time and the old growth trees are worth seeing. The next two stops were simply lookout stops, one at a fort, and each required long harrowing rides up steep twisty roads and we were terrified because the bus did not seem to have been maintained very well. The last stop was at a third-rate resort on the water for about half an hour, where you could get a drink from the bar and look at the water. It was very hot and crowded and not fun.View All undefined undefined Reviews
We planned to stay on the ship but we did stroll around the many shops at the cruise terminal and bought some T-shirts. It's a nice island with lots to do but we've been there many times.