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22 Rome (Civitavecchia) to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Celebrity Silhouette Cruise Reviews

The ship was beautiful, all the crew were as nice as they could be. Everyone was very pleasant and tried to attend to our every need. Also, the ship was meticulously clean. They were constantly cleaning and the hand sanitizers were ... Read More
The ship was beautiful, all the crew were as nice as they could be. Everyone was very pleasant and tried to attend to our every need. Also, the ship was meticulously clean. They were constantly cleaning and the hand sanitizers were everywhere. The entertainment was great. We chose to upgrade to aqua blue class because one of our party had chosen that before and loved the special blu restaurant and said the food was incredible. I must say, the waiters were absolutely as nice as they could be but------------------- What a disappointment------the food selection was very limited and in my opinion, not that good. We elected to eat in the specialty restaurants 4 times and the buffet 3 nights(they were excellent). For the extra cost of the blu class---we could have eaten in the specialty restaurants every night and still saved. My suggestion-----skip blue, if you wish book some specialty restaurants---if not---save the extra money--- Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
The guest performers were all British and did not rise to the level of American performers. The production shows were good but not exceptional.The food was good but nothing exceptional.The Lawn Grill restaurant did in fact provide for an ... Read More
The guest performers were all British and did not rise to the level of American performers. The production shows were good but not exceptional.The food was good but nothing exceptional.The Lawn Grill restaurant did in fact provide for an outstanding experiece. All the employees were friendly and smiled at the guests which is what one would expect. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. This ship is suppose to be an upgrade in the Royal Caribbean family, but seems to lack the premium tag. Our veranda stateroom was adequate although it seemed a little tight. The Sky Suites were very spacious.The inside cabins were also spacious. It seemed that the children on board were well taken care of by the staff devoted to them. The activities staff were excellent even though there were only 2 hosts on board. They, with the activities manager, worked extremely long hours and provided many and varied activities for those so inclined to participate. This was the 3rd voyage on this ship and I would do it again if the itinerary was compelling. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose this cruise because I wanted to visit Israel and because we like the Solstice ships. We had a normal standard balcony room, perfectly fine, great view towards the rear of the ship and we were lucky to be on the side of the port ... Read More
We chose this cruise because I wanted to visit Israel and because we like the Solstice ships. We had a normal standard balcony room, perfectly fine, great view towards the rear of the ship and we were lucky to be on the side of the port most days when we docked so that was interesting. Our room attendant Gede was just the best, nothing was too much trouble, he was quiet, discrete and the room was impeccably cleaned every day. Entertainment Over the years we have seen a decline in the entertainment on the celebrity ships. This was no exception. Sue seemed to have a great following and to be honest she was loud and cheery and clear so most people could understand her, what more would you need. We loved the 4 Opera singers and the 2 female and one male singing entertainers but did not like the 2 cast shows, very poor indeed, what the Pearl thing was all about I have no idea, the first time we have ever left a show after 20 minutes in 8 cruises, it was diabolical. It wasn't the worst though, by far the worst was the magician. i don't know if it was because we were sitting more side on but this guy had me knowing how each trick was done well in advance of the end, i have never been so bored, i couldn't believe it was so bad. Conversely the 4 soul Dudes were the best I have ever seen on board and we liked them so much we went to the show twice, a first for us. In the main foyer next to the passport bar there is usually a good contemporary singer around 6-7 when we are there, the one they had on this cruise we didn't like at all. Sometimes we had to listen very hard to what she was singing as she had a dreadful habit of slurring her words, it was almost as if she was trying to sing jazz in a late night club at 2am after a bottle of scotch? But the worst entertainers by far were the 2 DJs Skyla and someone? They could empty a room, completely oblivious to the needs of an audience, twice on the sunset bar on a lovely lazy afternoon chatting with friends they would come up and ramp up some hideous tunes, drown out everyones conversation and just laugh and joke among themselves, as I looked round...no-one was listening to the music but now people had resorted to shouting above the noise. They weren't even good DJs in that they couldn't move seamlessly from one song to the next, they either cut off a song half way through or there was an embarrassing pause between songs, they also did this twice in the foyer but worse was to come when Skyla decided to sing along to some of the tunes, this was beyond bad, like a cat being tortured, and her playing of the flute whilst probably good had no place in this contemporary music. We loved the silent disco but sadly this was only on 2 nights of 12, with a meet and greet for under 21s most nights of which there were about 5, i hope this catches on and becomes more popular I loved most nights in the sky lounge late dancing, the DJ here was very good but on halloween night the show dancers came up to the lounge off duty, completely took over the dance floor flinging themselves around and basically forcing guests off the dance floor, one of them hit me very hard whilst showing off a leg kick, within 10 minutes my friends and I had left, night enjoyed but abruptly ended. We organised private tours and did not use any from the ship but all the ports we visited we enjoyed very much Food We were blown away by the breakfasts and lunches in the main Seaview Cafe, best we have had on any ship, the choices are amazing and the quality so good. loved loved loved the curries. Were it not for the fact I love dressing up and using the dining room I would eat here all the time. Dining room We ate all bar one night in the dining room but something has to change here. Im not a big fan of the add on sales to boost peoples average spend in the fancy restaurants, you are paying for quality food and service already, however we did have a special anniversary so we went to the Murano and it was the best meal we have had in years. But the dining room was half empty most nights and the atmosphere was just flat! One of our real joys of cruising has been meeting people on our tables and we are to this day still meeting with people all over the world we have enjoyed the cruise with. The fact that 2 sitting are worked around the theatre shows has always worked, we eat late so go to the early theatre, time for a quick drink and then dinner, we like routine, we like to dine with the same people and like our waiters to know our preferences. Select dining has ruined this. We were on a table for 10, 2 didn't show up any night at all, 4 disappeared after 2 nights to select dining and that left 4 of us each night on a huge oval table huddled up one end that just didn't work, wait staff have no idea if they have gone to select dining or where they are so can't make the tables any smaller. Select dining in my opinion is killing the classy side of cruising, you may as well all go and eat in the cafe. This also has a knock on effect in the theatre with people coming and going at all times off for dinner, distracting performers and guests alike, it just doesn't work. Some people we made friends with on the cruise went to select dining every night at 6.30, so why not just go to the first sitting, it made no sense to me at all. A half empty dining room results in less animated guests and disinterested wait staff, they are not stimulated. Embarkation took 10 mins and disembarkation took 10 minutes, the fasted we have ever had, well done team! Overall we love the Solstice style ships and will continue to use celebrity but i hope they sort out their dining options Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Very beautiful Cruise Except thé shows We din't see a lot singers and dancers.. MAny many other singers We were disappointed about that Good at cafétéria wasquehal perfect Thé restaurant bleu was vero good ... Read More
Very beautiful Cruise Except thé shows We din't see a lot singers and dancers.. MAny many other singers We were disappointed about that Good at cafétéria wasquehal perfect Thé restaurant bleu was vero good Thérè aren't a lot OF children , it was very well to rest Anyway CELEBRITY is not a company for children it is very quiet, ROYAL CARIBBEAN is better for family and CELEBRITY better for couples We loved thé solarium only for adults , thé swimming pool is large and jaccuzis are perfect Thérèse was some problems with thé température OF thé pools sometimes cold cool or good , I don't understand why thé température wasn't always thé same Thé itinerary is Nice except KATAKOLON greece which isn't interested when we have ever visited OLYMPIE CHANIA is a very beautiful area, but we didn't stay enough time In AQUACLASS we don't havé water bottles any more , I didn't think it costed so much but CELEBRITY seems to jeep mord and mère money Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Context: fourth Celebrity cruise; third in the Med. Self and wife travelling. Pros: Best service in buffet we've had. Very efficient and friendly. Food up to standard. Good service in MDR, but some meal sizes have got very ... Read More
Context: fourth Celebrity cruise; third in the Med. Self and wife travelling. Pros: Best service in buffet we've had. Very efficient and friendly. Food up to standard. Good service in MDR, but some meal sizes have got very small - like the lamb main course which had three pieces of leg of land each around 3" x 1". Excellent experiences with Lawn Club Grill, Murano and Tuscan; all with superb food and service. Great itinerary lived up to expectations. Good embarkation and disembarkation. Some great guest entertainers. Cons: Temporary blockage of Ashdod port very badly handled; people queued for almost an hour on deck 3, while booked taxis and buses waited outside. Should have been 2 queues, one for people who KNEW that their taxi/bus had arrived. Also, this wasn't a one-off surprise event; it had been happening through the summer, so no excuse. As many have said, "in house" production shows are poor in comparison with previous ones which used well-known material. Some songs with lamentably weak lyrics Also, female singers very screechy, and not a patch on the men. Also poor in comparison with an impromptu show put on by CD Sue Denning when a guest performer had to back out - an amazing voice! This cruse made me happy to book Celebrity again, as long as price rises come to a halt. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this similar itinerary on two previous occasions, 2012 and 2014. Our intent was to return with friends in 2014, but due to some family tragedy, they had to cancel. Their 2012 experience with food poisoning on an Egypt excursion in ... Read More
We chose this similar itinerary on two previous occasions, 2012 and 2014. Our intent was to return with friends in 2014, but due to some family tragedy, they had to cancel. Their 2012 experience with food poisoning on an Egypt excursion in 2012 prevented them from seeing Israel. We finally made the connection on this cruise in 2016! A marvelous experience. The ship is maintained very well and they have managed to effect a few changes in eating and drinking venues but maintain the tried and true favorites, like Al Bacio cafe on Level 5 mid-ship where the coffees and teas are fantastic. The staterooms are of good size, though my wife stated they seemed smaller than on our trip in 2012. I explained they were the same size as always, and perhaps the upgrade to an aft corner suite on the 2014 cruise may have skewed her perceptions! Celebrity has tried to enhance the perks for concierge guests since the room sizes for all veranda cabins are essentially the same. They now offer the dining room for embarkation day lunch for concierge class to take the pressure off the Oceanview buffet, which was sorely needed for crowd control. They also assigned one of the specialty restaurants as a disembarkation lounge on this cruise, which was a nice comfortable hassle-free touch. Both boarding events went very smoothly. We did have some dining assignment problems. We had "linked" our friends with dining options having requested a table for four with them. Our first night dining in the Grand Cuvee, however, found our friends at a table for eight and my wife and I at a coveted table for two. It took two days to get it worked out, but this inconvenience was irritating, and never fully explained how this could happen since we each had confirmations from our travel agents. We ended up with excellent wait staff in Lester, Saude, and sommelier, Richard. The food was above average and the presentation so-so, but the staff made it special remembering our preferences to each guest. Our excursion to the Corinth Canal Cruise and Ancient Corinth was pretty good, but the private tour with local guide Shmuel Levy was the best I've ever encountered in Jerusalem. We had six guests and he maneuvered us from site to site very efficiently. Our visit to the Garden Tomb outside the Old City walls was spectacular and was a spiritual experience, being the first people to peer into the empty tomb that day. Three days of excellence and every question answered by this 25 years of experience, guide. I have heard rumors that this itinerary has been reduced for next year to 12 days, which, if it fits our budget, Celebrity may yet see us again for a fourth time. It is a wonderful ship and a wonderful itinerary that I would recommend to anyone wanting to see the Holyland. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We have taken some cruises with different lines. The positives of cruising on Celebrity Silhouette are many and well described by other reviewers. We would like to point out some possible Improvements. Entertainment In the evening ... Read More
We have taken some cruises with different lines. The positives of cruising on Celebrity Silhouette are many and well described by other reviewers. We would like to point out some possible Improvements. Entertainment In the evening everywhere was playing music. It would have been nice to find quiet areas to drink something and discuss together. Music is a matter of taste. We were missing a bit of classic pieces. The ship has a lot of beautyful rooms, but what is a library without a librarian? Not English native speakers can’t find books. It was a Mediterranean cruise but the focus of the news was pointed to the USA We missed Television programs in German, French or Italian. It’s laudable that between all the entertainment and Activities Celebrity offers creative watercolor painting. Marcie Jan Bronstein creates itinerary-based projects for passengers. I always remember what it means: «Bring the owls to Athens». Culinary Delights We enjoyed the food in the BLU. Marie from Mauritius was very welcoming; it was nice to speak French with her. She knew our preferences by the end of the first night. Gede, the waiter from Bali with his crew made an excellent job. We bought a package for the specialty dining. The evening in the Lawn Club Grill was wonderful and the price is worth it. Best coffee we got in the Café al Bacio, the service is very good. How to make it possible We enjoyed the daily addresses from the bridge gave by Captain Kafetzi. He had a good sense of humor, we learned a lot, even as not native English speakers we couldn’t understand all it was funny. The crew and the staff from the officers down to the lowest levels, are very kind and helpful, and take time to ask how you are. But some employees at guest relation desk should practice her kindness more, so that guests have the feeling of being welcome. One example: In the board are no more Sudoku. Hospitality could be, to print on request one more out. High Service prices Some cruise lines provide in Ashdod a free shuttle service. As you are not allowed to walk in the port, it is disappointing to charge 20$ per day and person for shuttle service. The charge for internet use is very high. The answer given at the guest relation desk, if Celebrity offers an access for 10 Minutes to make the check in for the flight: «There is only the 24 hour package, price 49 $», was not really helpful. We spent the last day at sea, so we had no possibility to go to a Wi-Fi coffee. Valetta We booked only one land tour with Celebrity, on the island panoramic drive in Malta we saw nice places, but there was not enough time to visit it, 20 minutes here and there. It was not really a good value, The Tour guide seemed not to be amused about their job. Mykonos October 28 was Oxi Day, a national holiday and celebration with parades, and flags on the houses. The Greek commemorate with the «NO-Day» that they refused the ultimatum of the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. And so started 1940 the Greek – Italian war. Haifa In October was inaugurated a new ferry connection from Haifa to Acre. The ride takes 45 Minutes and the return price is 55 Shekel. It was a nice experience and we were the only guests from the Silhouette. Leaving back in the afternoon some of the younger Arabic people began to dance in face of the rough sea. Ashdod Our private organized tour to Jerusalem was impressing. What a crowd and traffic. On that Monday they were celebrating Bar Mitzvah, an important path from childhood into manhood. I suppose «Peace» is the most written word in the small papers with a prayer or request wedged into the cracks in the Western Wall. Let’s hope! Katakolon We took the possibility to visit Olympia. Young people invited the crusaders to a trip for only 10 Euro return, the price in the ship is much higher. Vangelis was not only a good driver even a guide and he explained a lot about daily live in Greece. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Have cruised quite a few times on the Silhouette, but this time there were quite a few differences, some good, some bad. The bad: 1. Holes in the "black out" curtain lining. I had to put small black patches over the holes ... Read More
Have cruised quite a few times on the Silhouette, but this time there were quite a few differences, some good, some bad. The bad: 1. Holes in the "black out" curtain lining. I had to put small black patches over the holes to stop the light from the promenade deck below shining into my eyes during the night. 2. Shower caps, cotton swabs and ear buds no longer supplied as amenities. They have to be requested. 3. Big productions shows are now done in house. Except for one or two dances, the dancers have a lot to learn about timing - they just don't seem to get it right. 4. Some of the special entertainers are passed their sell by date and have been on the circuit for years. 5. Speciality restaurants and spa marketing - wherever you go, even when trying to eat in the buffet, they bear down upon you (do say though, not as aggressive as on the Reflection where you are made to feel bad if you do not take a package, even resorting to telemarketing). 6. As a vegetarian I am dismayed at the continuous cross contamination of meat/fish with the salads and vegetables. We eat our meals in the buffet. Each and every meal I would see passengers using the same tongs for the meats/fish as for the salads or vegetables alongside at the grill or carvery. What is so difficult in putting the protein to one side, or having the meats on one counter and the vegetables on the next one? 7. Deserts always look fabulous but most of them are hardly worth the calories. 8. Smokers should not be allowed to use the elevators - their stink lingers after they have got out of the elevator. Elevators in any case are not ventilated properly. And as for the cigar smokers, well, really, the time has come to ban them completely. 9. I suggest cabin doors have stickers to tell passengers to CLOSE the door and not let it bang. Most disruptive if you have people coming back to the cabin at all hours of the night. I have learnt that a good cabin is one where you have quiet neighbours - this cruise we were lucky enough to have considerate neighbours on both sides. 10. A disgrace to charge US$20 pp per day for shuttle service from the ship into Ashdod. You are not allowed to walk in the port and the taxis won't take you such a short distance. This was an overnight port, which meant US$80 for two people who want to get off the ship both days. What a rip off. At least in Haifa the port supplied the shuttles free of charge. 11. And of course, the outrageous charge for internet use...... The good: 1. Check in and check out most efficient and quick. 2. Stateroom was kept spotlessly clean. 3. Decent selection of cheeses in the Oceanview at all meals. Indian food always superb. 4. Crew and staff, from the captain down to the lowest level, very friendly and always have time to ask how you are. 5. No smoking in the casino - a pleasure to spend time there. 6. No announcements in the cabin - what a pleasure! 7. Most important of all - smooth seas! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Great ship, exceptional service and as a first cruise, overall very enjoyable. Highlights: Very well appointed stateroom with balcony. Very clean and well presented with comfortable bed. Great housekeeper (Idacio?). Plenty of ... Read More
Great ship, exceptional service and as a first cruise, overall very enjoyable. Highlights: Very well appointed stateroom with balcony. Very clean and well presented with comfortable bed. Great housekeeper (Idacio?). Plenty of storage. Food - all restaurants operated to a very high standard both in regard of food and service. Least favorite was the main dining room, the Grand Cuvee. They tried hard to sprinkle a bit of magic dust to create a more sophisticated ambience but it was loud, crowded, slightly rushed and food was just ok. The specialty dining restaurants we really liked as these felt like a typical high street restaurant; a bit more intimate and more varied food selections. Yes you pay around £20-£30 per head premium to dine but it offers a nice amount of variety to each night on the ship. We also had a couple of 'down' nights where we used the buffet restaurant; the food up there is so varied and great quality that what it lacked in atmosphere it made up for in having total freedom to choose what you wanted. Entertainment - the ships Entertainment Director worked tirelessly across all manner of functions. He hosted and drove some great party nights (pool party and the masked theme party where exceptional). The theatre shows where fine - a little bit cheesy in places but the gymnast/cirque de soleil elements where the highlight. Didn't like 'Pearl' as it was aimed more at kiddie/family cruise than an adults cruise (although the special effects at the beginning where clever). The Beatles tribute band where excellent and it was the only night every theatre seat was taken. Didn't like the musical theatre soloist - music was to downbeat and boring (although I do like musical theater in general!). Tenors of Rock where also pretty good. Public areas - very high standard of presentation and fixtures/fittings where good quality. The areas with sun beds where 'congested' with sunbeds literally packed in to the extent you couldn't event put your book or drink down next to your bed. Oveall though, clean and good quality. Staff - rarely even a hint of forced politeness with most staff encountered from maintenance people to officers being routinely polite and smiling. Overall, a great trip without any hint of stuffiness. The general crowd was aged mainly 40-60 with most guests up for a good time (most bars and functions in the evening where well attended and rocking). Even though most people where on drinks packages it was quite refreshing to see that most people weren't hammering it from the moment the bar opened and I didn't spot anyone who had obviously overdone it drink wise during the whole trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We have cruised before and had high expectations for Celebrity. The food was generally excellent and there was a wide choice available, with something for everyone. The entertainment was variable from ghastly/non-existent to quite good. ... Read More
We have cruised before and had high expectations for Celebrity. The food was generally excellent and there was a wide choice available, with something for everyone. The entertainment was variable from ghastly/non-existent to quite good. The staff were friendly and helpful, if not always particularly well trained. Our cabin, according to the brochure would have fresh flowers, access to advanced booking for shore excursions and hors d'oeuvres in the afternoon. No flowers and the hors d'oeuvres took a few days to get to something acceptable... The ship/cabin guide booklet was crumpled with the pages stuck together (should have been replaced without us having to ask). The cabin had towels, soaps etc for two people (although we had three in the cabin); again remedied when we asked but one shouldn't need to ask!!! The shore excursions were universally disappointing and in the case of the Venice glass factory down-right worthless.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was our 1st time sailing Celebrity. We have cruised with Disney and Royal in the past. We are a couple in our late 30's. We sailed aqua class room 1627. Went spent a few nights in Rome ahead of the cruise and stayed at the hotel ... Read More
This was our 1st time sailing Celebrity. We have cruised with Disney and Royal in the past. We are a couple in our late 30's. We sailed aqua class room 1627. Went spent a few nights in Rome ahead of the cruise and stayed at the hotel cosmopolita I would stay here again. We used Rome in Limo to get to the port. Rome in Limo was a great company - clean vehicles, friendly drivers, prompt service. First impressions - Ship was nice. Loved our room spacious, lots of storage space. We had 3 suitcases and had room for everything comfortably. Our stateroom attendant was great, we requested red wine instead of the champagne and that wish was granted. Ship Activities - I agree with previous posts about lack of entertainment on the ship. I wasn't overly impressed with the theatre shows. We did enjoy the Sin City Comedy Club but would enjoy more comedy acts on the ship. Found the live entertainment sets were short 30 min then a break. There was no music around the pool only for a short period on sailaway. Not many activities around the pool area - olympics 2 days is the only event we witnessed. This is an area that both Royal and Disney do better. Food - Another big disappointment unless eating at a specialty restaurant. Blu was the biggest disappointment - the setting was beautiful but the food was so obscure. We actually went to the main dining room a few times and I didn't enjoy it there at all. First problem with main dining room was the tables were so close together. The food had a lot to be desired. We ordered room service for breakfast 3 days which was great other than the day the woke us an hour before our scheduled wake up time. Specialty Restaurants were amazing. We asked for a coupon at every specialty restaurant and were granted 25% off. Plus on the first night we were already booked at quisine and prepaid - noted to them that they were now offering 50% coupons for 1st night at the speciality restaurants and they gave us the 50% discount. Quisine - unique dinning option, food different and delicious. The chocolate cake log was to die for. Muranos - loved the setting romantic. Food was wonderful - didn't have room for dessert but it looked so good. The Lawn Club - Loved Igor the waiter. Enjoyed the hands on experience of learning about grilling and having an amazing meal. The Tuscan Grill - Beautiful setting, food was so good. I would have ate at the speciality restaurant every night - wish there was an unlimited speciality restaurant deal you could buy in advance. Food was that good to pay extra. We enjoyed our excursions - we did the Sorrento, Positano and Pompeii tour in Naples. It was breathtaking and we loved it. Wish I had more time to shop in Sorrento. In Venice - we took water taxi and explored on our own. Did the Gondola ride which was wonderful. Venice was everything I had hoped it would be. Turkey - We booked the 4 hour Turkey - it was raining. This was my least favourite port. IN Athens we booked the taste of athens tour - enjoyed having time exploring the shops. Santorini we traveled to a winery which had a great white wine, then headed to oia - which was beautiful ate lunch there. Then headed to Fira - which is a great shopping area. We then walked down the 600 steps to the ship - this was not enjoyable - with the donkeys. Do wish we had more time to explore in Oia - we did choose the 11:15 departure time though so I may recomend the earlier time so you had more time to explore the towns. Valletta - Cute, clean town. We got off the bus and bought the hop on/off bus tour. We unfortunately got on the wrong bus and ended up wasting our day in valletta. Mykonos - We got off the ship on our own and wondered around. Crete - Took a Cab to Old port area - it was pretty. Hindsight we should have gone to a beach so I could swim in the ocean. Overall, we had a fabulous time. We had the premium drink package which was wonderful. Can't wait to come back to Europe and cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Have cruised many times but never on celebrity before. Really thought it was going to be outstanding, but disappointingly it wasn't. Ship, cabin, food all nice, but no wow factor. Entertainment was poor, why do we always have to ... Read More
Have cruised many times but never on celebrity before. Really thought it was going to be outstanding, but disappointingly it wasn't. Ship, cabin, food all nice, but no wow factor. Entertainment was poor, why do we always have to endure west end musical songs on ships?? Some very mediocre singers like Jonathon Wilkes, and a very boring Mind Games chap. And the cruise director Ian is so cheesy. It was a lovely theatre, very comfortable, so really disappointed in the shows. The best bit about it was the great live musicians. Some areas of the ship were lovely great decks for sunbathing on, coffee shop cafe, hideaway lounge, library etc. most of the crew/staff were fine. Some were a bit grumpy, which makes me wonder why people like that aren't in the kitchen or laundry rather than front of house if they are not people-persons. Not great service in the resteraunt for drinks, unless you were on a large table the wine lady ignored you, she just looked after the larger groups. Couples forget it. But on the whole a nice cruise, but just because celebrity have a five star rating, I still rare the likes of Costa better. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
The cruise was very good with the cleanliness and general appearance of the ship. The waiters and waitresses were very attentive to your needs as were the cabin attendants. However the staff who manned the reception desk showed a lack of ... Read More
The cruise was very good with the cleanliness and general appearance of the ship. The waiters and waitresses were very attentive to your needs as were the cabin attendants. However the staff who manned the reception desk showed a lack of interest in your questions and gave different answers to the same question depending on who was asked. An example of this was when I requested information, on three different occasions, on what the procedure was for debarkation from the ship early morning on the Sunday when you were not due to be collected by the coach till 14:00. I asked if we could stay on the ship till a later time than 10am (the time we were instructed to disembark the ship). The following answers were given by different customer relation staff ;- “ I don’t know what you can do”, “ I think everyone has to leave the ship, no one has asked this before I will have to find out and contact you”, “there is an excursion to Padua which will drop you at the airport. It is $95 each” “you can take the waterbus into Venice” At no time prior to the Sunday morning were we told that there was an option to stay on the ship even though there was, as we found out on the morning of disembarkation. We were then told that “ there is a list of names of people who are staying on the ship until nearer their pick up time. Unfortunately you have not given sufficient notice so you cannot stay”. This meant we had to make our own arrangements for the Sunday morning and also pay to have our cases held in a secure place, this was a small cost which I was happy to pay, but not informed of by the reception desk when I asked them what you do with your luggage, as their answer was it can be left in the customs shed till required. It felt that once the disembarkation day had arrived we were no longer of any concern to the company. The ship seemed to have difficulty keeping to the schedule of times that were in our information pack, stating the time we came into ports and left ports. Venice was very disappointing as we were under the impression according to the schedule of times we would dock at 9am. The actual docking time was 13:00, this was a disappointment as we expected a full day in Venice and was one of the reasons we booked this cruise rather than one of the many others which cruise the eastern med. We were told by the Captain over the tannoy system and the daily information sheet that access to the ship would not be possible on the Saturday evening we were in Venice between 19:00 and 20:00 as the ship had to change berths. We got back to the ship at 17:50 as we assumed that we would be able to get on the ship as it was well before the planned move. We were unable to get on the ship. We were not informed of what was happening . It took till 19:20 to gain access to the ship. Within that hour and a half we were told nothing and a queue built up of about 1000 people (you can verify the exact number with your boarding procedure). The customs hall was hot and dry with no access to liquids. Plus there was not a single member of the crew present to inform the passengers what was happening, only disinterested customs staff. On reporting this to your reception on the ship they showed a distinct lack of understanding to the problems we had faced. Up to the ship entering Venice, I thought the whole cruise experience was good even though a little late at some of the destinations we went to, plus having a reception that gave conflicting information to passengers. However sadly the Venice experience spoilt the whole cruise experience rather than being the icing on the cake as we thought it would be. We have been on many cruises with a number of companies and the Venice experience has unfortunately made it very unlikely that we will choose Celebrity Cruises in future.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Overall my 15-day cruise to the Holy Land was good with one exception, we never made it to the Holy Land (Israel). Hamas and the Israelis decided to have a rocket contest just long enough to prevent us from visiting Israel. Celebrity ... Read More
Overall my 15-day cruise to the Holy Land was good with one exception, we never made it to the Holy Land (Israel). Hamas and the Israelis decided to have a rocket contest just long enough to prevent us from visiting Israel. Celebrity decided to skip Israel (3 port days) and go to Istanbul instead. This was acceptable, but I think Celebrity did a poor job communicating the change in plans. Yes, they told us that they were discussing with the Celebrity headquarters and told us the night before our scheduled arrival in Ashdod, Israel that the Israel ports would be cancelled. But, they never explained why we sailed past Santorini, Rhodes, Crete and Cyprus and traveled way out of the way to get to Istanbul. We basically lost one port of call and added another sea day making it six out of a 15-day cruise. In addition, the Ship Officers disappeared from sight once the itinerary change was announced. The passengers came to the same conclusion, Celebrity selected the option that would make them the most money. It is really a shame since the ship, food and crewmembers, excluding the Officers that hide, were really good. OK, now on to the review. The ship was really nice, only about 1.5 years old. There were 3000 passengers, but the ship never seemed crowded. The common areas were open and spacious. The pool and deck furniture were padded and comfortable. Never had a problems finding a deck chair. There was a common area with a real lawn. They had evening wine & jazz nights with blankets and pillows available to sit on the lawn. During the day they had lawn games like crocket. The lounges, bars and specialty restaurants were nicely decorated and comfortable. The entertainment was hit and miss. Their production shows were good, but they didn't have as many "fun" type of activities as Caribbean cruises. The food was good but not great. The exception was the specialty restaurants. I went to two, Qsine and Murano. They have a steep surcharge fee, $40 per restaurant, but those two were probably worth the money. Qsine is a wild and quirky tapas restaurant. The menu is an iPad and a rubic's cube. The food presentation is amazing; nothing is served on a dish. Murano was a French restaurant where your meal is cooked tableside. The buffet was better than other ships, but the main dining was similar to other ships with average food. This cruise offered both set time seating and open seating options. I like the open seating option; I met more people and can go eat when I'm hungry. We only had to wait once, during a formal night. The cabin was nice. I had a guaranteed balcony cabin and they gave me a great location on deck 8 mid-ship with an extra large balcony. It had a nice size flat screen TV. The bathroom was decent size but the storage area was limited. The "Celebrity Life" was good. Celebrity had two guest speakers that had interesting presentations on the ancient history for the port of calls we visited. Many of the activities had surcharges. Embarkation/Disembarkation in Rome (Civitavecchia). The port is a long distance from downtown Rome and the international airport, but there are a number of options that a reasonably convenient. The most convenient is the cruise line transfer, which can be expensive. If you have a lot of luggage and want convenience, this is probably the best option. The lowest cost option is the train. There is an express train from the airport to the main station in Rome. I would highly recommend a stay in Rome, one the most amazing historical capitals in the world. Although I have been to Rome several times, I stayed both before and after my cruise. I stayed at a hotel near the station for convenience, since I used the train from/to the airport and the port. There are trains running to the port every hour, some local and some express. Try to get the high speed train that makes the journey in 35 minutes. The local train may by over an hour. The train station at the port, Civitavecchia, is very small. There are three options to get to the ship from the train station, which may be anywhere from 1/2 mile to 3 miles away depending on where it docks. The lowest cost but longest time is to walk about 1/2 mile to the entrance of the port. There is usually a free port shuttle bus that will take you to your ship running roughly every 30 minutes during peak boarding time. Option 2 is take a share taxi van with a flat rate of $40, so the more people in the van the lower the cost per person. Option 3, is taking a taxi and the fare will depend on how far your ship is docked from the train station. The cruise line transfer was $129/person one way from the airport to the ship with a travel time of roughly 2 hours depending on traffic. The train and option 2 for me was $30/person and takes about the same time. Port of calls 1) Alexandria, Egypt. A trip to the pyramids and Memphis, Cairo or the Egyptian museum is a must. It is a very long day and expensive. It is best to take a Celebrity shore excursion or a third party excursion arranged a head of time. Alexandria can be done on your own with a taxi. The library is worth a visit. Not much by the port except a few shops 2) Istanbul, Turkey. This replaced the Israel ports. A wonderful city to visit. The major sights are close to each other and the Grand Bazaar is a short walk away. Shore excursions are convenient, but you can take a trolley from the port to the sights and bazaar for 50 cents each way. The ship will also have a shuttle to the Grand Bazaar for $15. This was an overnight stay and the nightlife was fun in Istanbul. There are several cafes, restaurants and bars a few minutes walk from the port. 3) Kusadasi, Turkey. A trip to Ephesus is a must. Best preserved ancient town along with Pompeii. The terrace homes are especially nice. There are other ancient ruins in the area along with some Christian religious sites. This port was popular for shopping. The shops are very close to the pier. There are also a lot of seafood cafes and restaurants. 4) Athens, Greece, A trip to the Acropolis is a must. The Arcopolis museum is also excellent. The Plaka area at the base of the Acropolis hill is good for shopping and lunch. There is a subway from the port to downtown Athens. 5) Catania, Italy. The town is nice but most head to Tamarino, a beautiful town perched on a hillside above the Mediterranean. We also went to the mid-station of Mt Etna. It was 70 degrees in Catania and Tamarino, but freezing and snowing at 6200 feet. If you do this tour, be prepared for cold temperatures on Mt Etna. 6) Naples, Italy. So much to do. Pompeii, Capri, Amalfi, Sorrento, Mt Vesuvius and the Naples Archeological museum. It was windy and stormy the day we docked, so the ferries to Sorrento and Capri were cancelled. A railway strike made it difficult to visit Sorrento and Pompeii. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
We booked the cruise with the perception that this cruise line was more 5 star than 4, and this would be reflected in the experience we would have.It was not. The ship was set out nicely and was fresh and new. The food was in most cases ... Read More
We booked the cruise with the perception that this cruise line was more 5 star than 4, and this would be reflected in the experience we would have.It was not. The ship was set out nicely and was fresh and new. The food was in most cases excellent and definitely 5 star.Our accommodation at the back of the ship on deck 10 was excellent, with a balcony that was equally as good. Entertainment was generally poor, however certain individual entertainers were obviously talented and stood out. I cant help thinking that if Nick, the entertainment director had thought a little more about why he was there, and less time on his own self interests, then we would have got a lot more than was delivered. It seemed to me that all staff took the time to greet and talk especially cabin staff and dining room staff. Deck waiting was not fantastic but deck dining was good. The excursions were very expensive and thus disappointing because of this.We also felt, as many other passengers did, that we were squeezed for as much money as possible, from tipping to costly restaurant and drink charges. Disembarkation was a nightmare, we were dumped back at Rome airport at 10:30 am by coach and were not told that our flight was leaving until 9:30 that evening, it put a real downer on the end of the holiday,a disgrace. Was it value for money..........yes. Was it 5 star...................no. Would I do it again with this cruise line...........in a heartbeat! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
So just got off the Celebrity Silhouette 12 Night HOLY LAND cruise. Boat is the same as Equinox with minor alterations and changes. Made it easy to get around as familiar with their layout. I will give you more or less as much description ... Read More
So just got off the Celebrity Silhouette 12 Night HOLY LAND cruise. Boat is the same as Equinox with minor alterations and changes. Made it easy to get around as familiar with their layout. I will give you more or less as much description and recommendations and ideas that we experienced. Embarkation Okay, when you get on a boat, which is a port of call in the United States, it is easy, simple and not complicated. When you get on a boat in Europe port of call like we did it in Rome, well priority is non-existent whether you do everything on-line before hand, you have a suite or a regular stateroom, it is simply disorganized and chaotic. It took us over 1 hour, which we felt having been on 3 Celebrity boats prior, was unacceptable, and hard to comprehend coming from such a big company who should already know how to deal with issues such as this, they do it in the United States. It is not horrible, but extremely long and tiresome. You do require upon entering the check-in area is your confirmation sheet (boarding card signed, which you can print on-line as pre-boarding pass cards) and passports. The sea pass cards have the same restrictions for children under age, and allowed parents to include what they wanted on their child(s) sea pass cards. All children must check-in with the youth desk and receive a color-coded identification bracelet. Emergency Drill Like other ships, people ignore this procedure, however, Silhouette runs this extremely effectively. You must go to your correct muster station where your sea pass card is scanned. All passengers' once accounted watch a short film and best part, no need to carry life jackets with you. Departure All passengers must have their luggage outside their stateroom before 11:00pm. The boat provides you with color tags to place on each bag. Unlike embarkation, it was simple and easy. Our luggage was waiting for us in our designated group area, porters were plentiful, and it was easy to leave. Stateroom We had a Royal Suite Stateroom (1116). It is located at mid ship, right of the middle elevators next to the library. Celebrity sails extremely smooth with very little to no vibration, we never once felt we were on a ship, the only time we had some rough waters which was "extremely" uncommon was both times in Greece (Santorini & Athens). This stateroom is spacious, generous with cupboard, drawer and shelving in the living area only. The master bedroom with a king size bed, 2 night tables and a "small" cupboard for hanging and only 5 drawers. The Equinox had a bigger closet space, but it is not such a problem. The bathroom is very large off the master bedroom, but has 2 sinks, toilet, bathtub (Jacuzzi) and a separate glass shower inside a few drawers to put all your belongings. The living area consisted of a pull out double bed sofa, small second sofa, coffee table and large and a huge new HD Samsung plasma TV same as Master bedroom. There is another small bathroom with a sink and toilet located at the entrance. This stateroom has a spacious balcony and my kids loved to bathe in the Jacuzzi located outside on it. The mini bar was also sparse but we never required it, with the amount of food and beverage options you have. Room Service was also very good and easy to do through the TV set. Butler Service (only with Royal Suites) Our butler Singh was great. He was extremely accommodating and helped us with whatever we needed. It is very convenient if you need help to book specialty restaurants, Aqua spa... Food & Beverage We sat at table 145 in The Grande Cuvee Dining Room, Deck 4, but for only three meals. We booked mostly specialty restaurants. The Oceanview Cafe has a huge assortment and variety of food; it did not seemed as packed and always difficult to find a table, especially breakfast and lunch hours, so I would definite say this was a PLUS! A good alternative solution, which is sometimes very crowded, is the BBQ place on Deck 14, which offers a hotdogs, hamburgers and BBQ items. Space very small, and hardly any tables, so a little difficult at times. There is a lot of assortment of juices, which are all complimentary for kids (Apple juice, fruit punch, ice tea) they get changed at times to, so it gives you variety. We did NOT purchase a water package, it is definitely NOT necessary!!!!! Specialty Dining - Need to book in advance, and highly recommend doing this on the internet once they allow you to book things on your cruise, if you do not cancel within 24hours of showing, you will be charged regardless, so keep this is mind when booking. If you do not book in advance, extremely difficult to get reservations. Specialty Restaurants (a) Qsine - This has got to be one of the best concepts and ideas, I have been too in a restaurant. You are given Ipads as menus to begin and your browse through the menu and place whatever you want in your favorites. Once everyone at the table has completed this, they combined all the menus and create a menu for the table. Everything is served family style, and there are a mixed variety of foods. I highly recommend anyone to book this; we ate there twice, and would have eaten more. AMAZING A++++++++++++++++++. The dessert menu is the coolest, but I will leave that as a surprise, but one hint, most are interactive and you can design and make yourselves. Kids are allowed here, smart casual dress, you definitely can wear jeans. (b) Tuscan Grille - It was good, same as the Equinox, it is nicer than going to the dining room and better food. Kids are allowed here, smart casual dress, you definitely can wear jeans. (c) Murano - The best "adult" ONLY restaurant, kids only over the age of 18. A beautiful, gorgeous restaurant. The food incredible, and service TOP NOTCH. I would highly recommend this, we ate here twice. The wine selection amazing too. A++++++++++++++++++++++++ (d) The Lawn Grill - located on Deck 15, outdoors, and its location is the same as the glass blowing on the Equinox. It is an interactive dining experience. You can make your own flat breads, with whatever toppings you want, as well as BBQ you meal if you are over the age of 12. My kids had the best time with the Grill Master making their flatbreads; the grill was too hot as my kids were too young. But a great family restaurant, fun, great atmosphere, great Mediterranean breeze. A definite recommendation, you can also buy the aprons, which are really nice. Places for kids Fun Factory - It is a small area, no swimming facilities and a small outdoor basketball area. My kids went a few times, as we did a lot of excursions at the ports of call. They made a few small art projects, most the same as previous Celebrity ships, colored t-shirts and bears, and some key chains. The staff was great and extremely friendly. The older kids ages 9+, are allowed to sign in and out on their own, so this gives them some freedom and independence. There are 3 age groups 3 to 5, 6 to 8, 9 to 12, and a teenager group. They also have a small arcade for teenagers as well as an alcohol free lounge/bar. Everything located on Deck 15, you must walk all the way to the front, and so we generally walked Deck 12 and took the 2 designated elevators that go to Deck 15. If you are really looking to keep your kids occupied, Celebrity is not designed for this. There are no other areas than the Fun Factory, any ping-pong tables, shuffleboards, and mini putt.... Places for Adults (a) Pools -There are 3 to choose from. 2 outdoors on Deck 12, which happily are NOT salt water, but FRESH water and kept extremely clean. However, they are NT heated at all, and could be somewhat chilly, but you get use to the water once submerged. They are not large, and tend to feel extremely crowded on Sea Days when it is very hot outdoors. I would have to say, they do need more pool areas, too small for the amount of people requiring it. There are 4 hot tubs, always packed to the rim, and very hot and full of chlorine. There is a pool in the Aqua Spa area, but for ADULTS ONLY and it is covered, there is no sun exposure, they also have 2 hot tubs in there as well. Chairs are abundant and but once again, I do not get why they cannot work out the reserve seats, they have 9 pool butlers and they simply do not organize themselves well. They can bring you more chairs, but reserving chairs should NEVER be allowed!!!!!!!!!! I will say which was my "truly" my only disappointment, the lack of security and pool lifeguards (monitoring) is definitely unacceptable. No one is watching our controlling what adults or kids are doing. When they write "at your own risk" on the pool rules and regulations, here they definitely mean it. Not impressed at all!!!! (b) Bars - We never used them. Places to hang out (a) Deck 4 & 5 - They have some shopping, but you would think by now, they would have some shops that would be interesting enough to want to browse, a lot of the same cut your own chains, celebrity stuff. They did add a Michael Kors shop, and Bulgari store on Deck 5. The jewelers have some nice items, especially Bulgari. However, I say this with EXTREME caution, price and make sure you know how much something costs, it is all a myth that they say you pay no taxes and duties and get an extra 10% off. Trust me the price is not different in the end then buying retail at a store. So if you are looking make sure to check on the Internet or know your prices, especially Bulgari. Shows - We saw the Broadway ones with the dancers and singers, the entertainers are great, and have super voices and dancers extremely talented. If you go 15 minutes before the show, you will get whatever seats you want, not difficult to get, if you order drinks, just make sure they fit in the cup holders, as most don't and then you end up holding them the entire time. Casino - My father and husband went once or twice, they said same as being at any casino. Ports - The ports are DEFINITELY what attracted on this cruise. (a) Santorini, Greece - This was our only tender, it accommodates I believe 40+ people. They take you to the island; maybe 3 minutes drive to shore. Once at shore, you can either take a cable car to the top of the hill, walk the thousands of steps, or a donkey ride. I believe the cable car is not that expensive, for our family of 5, it was 18 euro. It accommodates 4 people, and is fast and speedy. If you are scared of heights, sit with your back facing the ocean, this way you don't need to look down. Once on top, cool with all the small shops, full of souvenirs and tons of jewelry. It was short port of call so we did not get to experience the entire island. Two restaurants right when you get off cable car, the one on the right okay, but if looking for typical Greek souvlaki, don't bother. Ask someone as they have smaller places, which supposedly are much better. (b) Ephesus, Turkey - We booked our own tour through Auto Venture, and it was incredible. Our guide was truly amazing. She took us though Ephesus, and we toured the ruins, she took us to this amazing place for lunch " BULBUL MOUNTAIN LOOMS", they can be reached at; bmountainlooms@gmail.com, private and gorgeous, it was in a garden where it is a family business and they make silk and naturally carpets, the most beautiful. I would highly recommend this, very relaxing and not open to the general public. The owner (Ertugrul Karasu) guides you through his premises and he also harvests his own crops, so the meal and fruits and vegetables are YUMMY. We headed closer to the town and we did a little browsing through the market area, a beautiful store with respectable pricing and designs for Jewellery is Faberge. They have lots of leather shops, so if you cannot find at one, trust me 20 others will. Turkey is magnificent and would definitely like to go back and tour the other cities and places. (c) Ashdod, Jerusalem - We booked our own tour guide here for 2 days, as we stayed at The King David Hotel (gorgeous) for one night, as opposed to driving back to the boat and getting more time in Jerusalem. We took a guided tour with a well respected and amazing person, his name is Emanuel, and you can reach him at emanuelno@gmail.com, and his website is www.normantour.com. An experience you will never forget. We went to the Dead Sea to swim, we walked Ben Yehuda street, did the Western Wall Tunnels as well as putting notes in the wall (remember you need to cover your shoulders and knees - for women only), took us to a great lunch place called "FOCACHETTA", bought Kippas as a great place which has whatever you think you are looking for and more "KIPA STORE on Ben Yehuda. We planted trees at JNF, took a great city tour throughout Jerusalem, ate at a typical and amazing restaurant for dinner called Dolfin-Yam, not to far from the Mamila Mall, which we walked through too, closes at 11:00pm. Beautiful definitely an outdoor mall to walk through. The whole experience was memorable and Emanuel is incredible with kids, he brought along toys and gadgets for them to play while we ate and travelled from location to location such as PSP, DS, and puzzles, cards and this cool blow up balloons. Don't miss this opportunity!!!!!!!!!! (d) Haifa, Israel - Emanuel met us there, same tour guide as Ashdod. Droves us through the town, highlights all the important points and gives you a great history in a fun way. He took us to the Galilee to Kfar Kedem, a re-creation of a First Century village in the Galilee and participated in hands-on projects to learn about life in ancient times. Made our own pita bread and even ride a donkey around the village. The place is Hosha'aya, and the man who owns and the place is Menachem Goldberg, he can be reached at info@k-k.co.itl and Internet www.k-k.co.il. My kids as well as the adults had the best experience and time here. I don't want to tell you everything, but you dress and go back in time as what live was really like. I HIGHLY recommend this experience, something you will never forget!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We then took a tour through the Drews village and ate at an amazing place called Abu Anter Restaurant, aboantar6@gmail.com. Extremely generous and a typical and delicious Mediterranean lunch. We went to visit the ancient ruins of Caesarea, which is okay, but if you were limited in time, I would definitely take this time and go and visit more the Bahai Gardens from atop Mt Carmel. We did get to see them but only from a distance as they close at 5pm, so we could not walk through. They are spectacular. I complete experience was remarkable and all due to Emanuel. (e) Athens, Greece - We booked our own tour through Courmouzis Travel Services. We saw the original stadium of the 1896 Olympics, unfortunately Olympic rings no longer on the building. You see how well maintained it is and they did use it for the Marathon run and Archery for the 2004 Olympics and still for musical venues. The 2004 Olympic park is 14 miles to the North of Athens so too far to visit on a one-day tour. We drove the Temple of Zeus and saw the arches as well. The city is very commercialized with evident ruins. The acropolis and seen from everywhere and so cool. We took the long and hot trek up the steps and witness the acropolis, so cool, but very windy and just be careful when walking as all marble and slippery at times. We did not go the museum, as our kids were so tired, it is full of statues and ruins from the acropolis. Overall was not as impressed with Athens as we had anticipated, but a great experience and glad to see something from history that still remains. We had a typical and delicious Greek meal at Spiros Bairaktaris, Tabepna. A definite recommendation. We also had tea and ice cream at The Hotel Bretagne, which is spectacular. (f) Naples, Italy, We booked our own tour with Giuseppe Dipino he can be reached at Giuseppe.dipino@tin.it. He was amazing especially with the kids. Due to the ruins of Pompeii being on strike in the early morning we visited the small towns of Ravello, Amalfi and Positano. My husband and I had visited the region before so it was amazing to come back and see it in the summer. It is still fantasyland and simply paradise. Our guide was awesome, we finished in Positano but before he took us to a store for ceramics, so we would get the best pricing. He said not to buy in the small towns they rip you off. So I recommend Piccadilly, you can check out their website www.piccadilly.com. Beautiful and very well made products and items. We ate at Chez Black on the water, which we had eaten at 13 years prior and it was the same awesome food!!!!!! We were unable to go see the ruin, which was for our kids, but we had seen. If you have never seen it, it is amazing and incredible to see what they have recovered for the volcano. Overall a great, relaxing day. I have to stay our voyage was pleasant, nothing other than when we got on, would we say anything negative. A great ship and definitely recommend it and the itinerary. We did stay a few days in Rome at The Hotel Eden, which is in a great location, and if you plan to visit any of the sites, definitely get private tours the Hotel can set it up for you. This way you do NOT wait in the hour-long line at the Colosseo. Private tours get priority and do NOT wait in the Colosseo lines. Best to visit the Vatican after 2:30pm the lines are small and short. It is very hot and remember to bring a shawl or cover your shoulders and knees. One of the best restaurants is Alla Rampa, just below and behind the Spanish steps, a definite!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great job Celebrity on a nice ship, just make some security issue adjustments, and getting on the ship embarkation and some more upscale stores, and you continue on a great path of continued success. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Well, they finally sold it out... After cancelling the Egypt ports and months of price drops, the Silhouette finally set sail on Aug 10 and after a year of waiting, we were on it. We are a family of three, very experienced cruisers and ... Read More
Well, they finally sold it out... After cancelling the Egypt ports and months of price drops, the Silhouette finally set sail on Aug 10 and after a year of waiting, we were on it. We are a family of three, very experienced cruisers and very familiar with Celebrity. Because of the price drops we were able to taken an extra cabin and invited my mother to join us on this voyage. We are Elite Captain's Club members. We disembarked from the Star Princess in Rome on Aug 10 and took the shuttle bus to the other side of the port to join the Silhouette on the same day. We checked in early and found it disorganized and chaotic, and think it is high time Civitavecchia invested in a permanent terminal on Celebrity's side of the port, instead of the temporary tent style structure they have there. We boarded at lunch time and went for lunch as the cabins were not ready. We had adjoining balcony cabins on deck 6. The ship is as gorgeous as we expected it to be and the Oceanview Cafe is one of the best buffets on the seas. We found our cabins to be beautifully appointed, well insulated for noise and very comfortable. We usually have three in a cabin, so found plenty of space for our things for two of us, although there is a lack of places to put personal items and the counter under the TV was permanently cluttered for lack of a better place to put everything. The pillows were all foam and quite high, so not terribly comfortable. We asked for feather pillows after a couple of nights of less than perfect sleep, but weren't in Aqua Class so got more foam ones delivered instead. Our Captain's Club benefits did not arrive and neither did our invite for the CC M&G the following morning. We only found out about it by accident and had to go and hunt down the information we needed from Guest Relations. Several roll callers missed the meeting altogether as they never got their invites either, and we never got to meet them at all. Lifeboat Drill was interesting, as the brand new video system in Michaels Club failed to work and instead of the video we were supposed to watch, the safety drill was summed up in a few words by a crew member and we were advised to watch the video in our cabins instead. My husband was not at all pleased to find one of his bags in the "naughty room" and to have his single golf club confiscated because it was considered to be a potential weapon. He found that quite humiliating and upsetting. After appealing to officers at the roll call M&G, his club was returned to the cabin a few days later, which mollified him to a large degree. What next, plastic knives in the dining rooms?! We found the ship to be stunning in design, but when design takes over function, there are issues and this ship has the same problems as the other Solstice Class vessels. The pool area remains far too small and congested and was a total nightmare on this voyage due to the heavy usage. One of the two pools was reserved for over 16's, leaving one small pool on the ship for all the families, which was just ridiculous. My 10 year old water rat didn't bother going to the pool on this voyage, because it was literally standing room only in the water. Completely inadequate. The casual visitor didn't stand a chance up against the professional sun worshippers, of whom there were hundreds on board, judging by the deep leathery color of their skins. The cabanas eat into space at the Lawn Club but seemed to be used a lot and as long as people are willing to hand over $149 to use them on a sea day, Celebrity will continue to provide them and find new ways of charging fees for services. This is a creeping trend on the newer ships and I see no end in sight. As a shade seeker who doesn't do well in heat, I was happy to leave the masses to fight it out over the sunny spaces and was more comfortable inside or in the shade. The fountain area by the pool is gone (safety issue), the Lawn Club continues to plague the crew because of maintenance issues on the grass, and the Hot Glass Show has been replaced by yet another fee based restaurant. The fitness center is superb. The entire ship is gorgeous, it just doesn't seem to look as good or work as well when you pack it with almost 3000 people, all fighting for their share of it... We hoped the photographers would take advantage of the stunning atrium staircase for a photo location, but were told they had been stopped from doing it because of congestion in the area and lack of space for the tiny dance floor. As ours was only the third voyage of the ship, it didn't take long for that to happen. The photographers weren't thrilled either, but again, design trumps function. We had fabulous waiters and enjoyed the dinners, but the food was often dry and lacking in flavor, although it was beautifully presented. First Sitting was half empty, Second Sitting was completely packed. At least the theater was also lightly attended for the first show of the evening, which was a plus. We went to Qsine once and ate far too much, but the price increase to $40pp as of next month may well hold us back from doing it again next time. I think Celebrity is on the verge of overdoing it with the fees and price increases, for a large mass market cruise line. Our daughter loved the Fun Factory and seeing many of her favorite counselors again from other ships. I enjoyed the entertainment very much but felt there was heavy emphasis on singing and dancing and not a lot of variety offered, probably due to the passenger mix. One show, Velocity, introduced some of the acrobats and at one point two men were hoisted up on ropes to spin in unison above the audience. Unfortunately, one of them completely failed to do his bit and hung there looking like he had no idea how to even begin, let alone work in sync with his partner. It was mortifying to watch, knowing how badly messed up it was. New Celebrity cruisers may not have noticed. The CD was Nick Weir, and while he had great stage presence, he was barely visible outside of the theater. We felt his staff did a great job with all the Trivia sessions, sparsely attended as they were. Everyone was at the pool! The captain was young, handsome again (where does Celebrity find them?!) and very entertaining. We thoroughly enjoyed his daily briefings and his speech at the welcome party was fabulous. One of the biggest issues, based on our experience and the many people we talked with, was the cultural mix of passengers on board. There were 2990 people on the ship, including 400 children of varying ages. Half the passengers were non-English speaking and there were almost 500 Italians on board, and almost as many French. The Italians seems to arouse the most ire on a regular basis, with some of the most obnoxious and rude behavior we've ever seen. Rules were only suggestions. We heard of them arriving for First Sitting dinner 90 minutes late and expecting to be served, and staying till midnight on Second Seating. Second Seating was 8.45 and the late show started at 11PM to accommodate them. We saw the dress code being completely ignored and unenforced. We heard of people refusing to sit at their assigned table and sitting wherever they wanted. We heard of one waiter who was so distressed by how he was treated by his table that he talked of quitting his job. Our next door table mates (Slovenian) came to Formal Dinner in jeans and open necked shirts and brought their cell phones with them. The Oceanview Cafe was often the scene of large groups commandeering chairs from under people and acting as if they were the only people on the ship. We grew very tired of the rude behavior we witnessed on a regular basis and everyone we met had a horror story of their own. I think the crew had a very hard time on this voyage and didn't enjoy it that much either. Some people complained about the brazen European kids on the ship, but for me, the adults were the true villains. I heard that a Frenchman got into a fight with a woman up at the Lawn Club one evening and dragged her across the floor by her hair while everyone sat and watched and did nothing. The following night, he threw a fit and tossed his shoe into the pool, hitting a child on the head in front of security officers, who initially declined to do anything, until a friend of ours, who had seen both incidents, insisted they intervene. When they saw TV footage of how this man had behaved on the ship he was finally taken away. I began to understand why Security confiscated my husband's golf club at the start of the cruise... I was told the reason all the deck chairs were strapped down every night was not because of wind or pool closure, but to prevent passengers from throwing them overboard... I could hardly believe I was on Celebrity. It was like a bad experience on Carnival or Costa, from some of the behavioral issues going on. On my first and only visit to the pool deck on the second day, an American woman marched up to me and asked if I was using the lounger I was sitting on. She was obviously looking for a place to sit and didn't feel I was making full use of my lounger and should vacate it to her. When I confirmed I was using it, she hurled insults my way. Never had THAT happen before on a ship! My mother spent a lot of time at Smoker's Corner on Deck 5 and picked up all kinds of stories to share... I only wish I had the space to write about them all. I believed every one of them. I think the Silhouette will work out just fine, once the teething troubles are sorted out. They are off to a relatively good start, but the crew needs to gain their confidence and learn how to handle things a lot better, and to regain control of the ship from the unruly passengers, especially the southern European ones. The maitre'd needs to start enforcing the dress code, and the 30 minute window to enter for dinner. The pool butlers needs to be far more aggressive in dealing with the chair hogs, who got out there at 8AM to bag their loungers for the day and then disappeared for a leisurely breakfast. Security staff need to step in when there's an obvious problem, without being told to by passengers. It is an extremely civilized ship, but it was not a terribly civilized experience and it should have been different. The staff were too afraid of causing offence or confronting poor behavior, and I put much of this down to inexperience. This was our 8th cruise with Celebrity and we have now been on three of the Solstice Class vessels. We waited a year for this voyage, and we did have a lovely time for the most part, but there was also some relief at being able to disembark and get away from the madness and the masses. 3000 people is too much for these ships and the cultural mix on board simply didn't work. So overall, not a bad start for a brand new ship but definite room for improvement. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We are a family of 4 and we have sailed with Royal Caribbean and with Norwegian in the past. This was our first Celebrity Cruise on the lovely Silhouette. We had originally booked it because it was scheduled to go to Egypt, we stuck with ... Read More
We are a family of 4 and we have sailed with Royal Caribbean and with Norwegian in the past. This was our first Celebrity Cruise on the lovely Silhouette. We had originally booked it because it was scheduled to go to Egypt, we stuck with it because our travel agent said we would love it! We checked in after a 5 day stay in Rome. Civitavecchia was a 45 minute train ride to the port. Very easy and cost effective. What was not so pleasant was the shuttle system from the pier entrance. It was poorly organized and there was no defined place to stand and wait for the shuttle to check-in. We basically had to read the sign on the shuttles arriving to make sure it was going to our ship and make a run for it. After 3 attempts we finally got our luggage stored under the bus and got some seats. A big free for all with a me first attitude. Not so fun with kids in towe. Once we arrived to the check-in tents, yes, tents....the luggage porters motioned for passengers to load their own luggage onto the carts which was a first time experience for us on a cruise. The benefits of a concierge class booking made no difference upon check in. Actually, people who took the train with us from Rome who had standard rooms made it through their line faster than us. Our daughter's luggage arrived to the stateroom damaged and an item was missing. After all this was done and forgotten we did begin to enjoy this beautiful ship. The ship is very elegant and stylish. I loved it but the kids found it boring compared to the Allure which we sailed on last March. We, my husband and I, thought it was a great size and had everything a couple could want. Adult activities were plentiful and we certainly enjoyed the wine tasting events. The sommeliers were informative and pleasant and it made for lovely and pleasant afternoons on sea days. Our 16 and 9 year old children enjoyed the Fun Factory and the X-club however the amenities for children on a ship like the Silhouette were for the most part non-existent compared to what they have experienced on RCCL and Norwegian. The biggest disappointment was the small pool on the pool deck and the fact that only half of it was made available to the 400 children on board during our sailing. There was no kids pool area. The service level we experienced was fabulous throughout the cruise. It was exceptional at Bistro on 5, Murano, Tuscan Grill and Qsine. The specialty restaurants were delectable! Where the service was mediocre was at the ilounge and at the buffet. There were a few people that worked in the ilounge but the guy who seemed to oversee the lounge was arrogant and easily flustered which led him to speak without a fliter in a very unprofessional manner. We tried to avoid the buffet the most part but on the days where we had to go there we found that it was a little less polished and the wait staff was generally more aloof. It might have had something to do with the "Me first attitude" of many of the guests on board and the general pushiness of the guests in crowded areas and on the elevators. This brings us to the culture of the guests on board. This European cruise was a first for us so I'm not sure if this is just the way it is or if this was unique to the dynamic of the guests on the cruise for this particular sailing. One thing Celebrity must resolve is the inability of the pool butlers to execute Celebrity's no reservation policy of chairs on the pool deck. The amount of reserved chairs not being used for several hours at a time was ridiculous and even more ridiculous was that people were saving 2 sets of chairs. One set in sunspots and the other in shaded areas. The ports were fabulous and I can't really comment on the shore excursions because we booked all our ours independently through local tour guides. If I had a magic want though, we would have had a full day in Santorini, the 6 hours were just too short once you factored in tender time to get on and off the ship. I would have easily traded the 3rd day in Israel for and extra day in Greece. Do not walk up or down those steps in Santorini. Big mistake unless you like navigating donkey poop on marble steps. Our Stateroom was very clean, new, elegant and would have been perfect for the 2 of us. It was a little crammed for 4 people and I found the storage area above the beds hard to reach. The bathroom was nice and spacious and the storage there was plentiful. We did not really order canapes so I am not sure I would book Concierge class again. The 4th bed was a trundle and I do not like the set up. It makes the balcony near impossible to get to after turn down service. We much prefer the pullman system. The shows were good and our cruise director was very entertaining but we only saw him on stage. As a family we agreed that we preferred the shows we saw on the Allure though. We found the ones on this sailing got repetitive after 3-4 nights. What we did love was the live entertainment on the pool deck, in the lounges and throughout the ship. There was a fabulous a Capella group from Michigan and a lovey Jazz band that accompanied our new favorite jazz singer Azure McCall. She was simply sensational! What a voice! The Captain was adorable! Being of Greek descent I guess he couldn't help it! His daily updates were witty and charming. Disembarkation was quite easy but again when it came to the shuttles, directions to the shuttles were non-existent and getting on was another free for all reminiscent of embarkation. Party was over!!! Loud and clear!!! In summary, my husband and I would love to cruise with Celebrity again once we are empty nesters. We know we will enjoy elegant and refined surroundings with delectable food and wine with excellent service. If and when we do, will will go out of our way to avoid boarding any ship in Chivitavecchia. Until then, we will likely stick with RCCL. Same company more suited to families. I will miss Murano until then that's for sure! Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
After setting our hearts on a Baltic cruise this summer but not finding any really good value deals, we were finally tempted by a 12 day Mediterranean and Holylands cruise on the new Celebrity Silhouette, which was being promoted in a ... Read More
After setting our hearts on a Baltic cruise this summer but not finding any really good value deals, we were finally tempted by a 12 day Mediterranean and Holylands cruise on the new Celebrity Silhouette, which was being promoted in a special 3 day sale in May. Even though we had visited 75% of the ports on previous cruises, we decided it would be nice to re-visit them and see Israel as well. Normally we would reserve an inside cabin as we don't see the point of paying a premium for an outside cabin that we would normally not spend any time in. During the 3 day sale however, an outside balcony cabin was being offered with a price difference of only £100.00 per person so we decided that the small difference could be justified in this case. After booking, we joined the CC Rollcall and started to get to know some of our future cruise companions. We signed up for the Celebrity Connections party and started looking forward to our cruise. Using the Rollcall, we managed to arrange a shared minibus transfer from Rome airport to the port and got valuable tips for booking excursions in Israel. We also picked up many tips, for example stopping at a supermarket on the way to the ship to buy bottled water and on our journey to the port, our driver didn't mind pulling over so that we could all jump out to buy a six pack and a bottle of wine to have on our balcony at sailaway. On the departure day, we arrived at the port around midday and went immediately to the check-in area where we were allowed to board. The check-in process only took a few minutes and we were on the ship in no time. I did hear complaints of extensive queues and boarding times in excess of 1 hour later in the day though. At the entrance to the ship we were greeted with waiters offering wine or juice and then shown to the lifts. We were told that the cabin was ready but when we got there it was still being prepared. Our cabin attendant did however let us leave the water and our hand luggage in the cabin so that we could go and have lunch and take a look around the ship. The Oceanview Cafe was quite chaotic as it seemed that everyone had headed straight there, but we found seats on the outside rear deck and enjoyed a lovely varied lunch. The Oceanview Cafe is made up of many different stations to avoid queues and in general it was very well organized. The different stations included pasta and pizza, salads, bakery, Carvery, Mexican food, Indian curries, hot station, desserts, Ice Creams and beverages. Around 1.30 it was announced that the staterooms were ready so we went to investigate. We had been allocated cabin 6305 on a guarantee basis and this was the very last cabin at the end of the corridor. The walk did become a bit tedious after a while but the extra exercise helped to walk off a few pounds over the duration of the cruise! The cabin was very light and spacious and the dEcor was cool and classy. As we unpacked we found plenty of storage space including a double wardrobe with plenty of hangers, three large deep drawers and a long shelf unit above the bed. It was also no problem to stow the empty cases under the bed which I have not usually been able to do. The bathroom was the biggest surprise as this was more spacious than on other ships and included a large walk in shower with double sliding doors, washbasin, toilet and a large wall unit with lots of storage as well as two small drawers. The shower was a fixed head with different settings and the water pressure and temperature were perfect. The only complaints would be the lack of shower gel (only blocks of soap were provided) and the bathroom sink tap was silly in my opinion as it was not close enough to the basin and spilt water everywhere. The in-cabin t.v (32" lcd) had many channels including BBC World and Sky News as well as various movie and entertainment channels. There was also a music section with all kinds of music choices as well as the usual channel showing re-runs of recent shows and activities on the ship. One thing to note is that there was only one European and one US power point so it may be an idea to take along a double adapter for charging appliances etc. The mini bar was initially locked but could be opened by the stateroom attendant if required. The safe was of adequate size to fit in our notebook computer and other valuables. The balcony of the cabin was accessed by a sliding patio door and was larger than expected. There were two adjustable chairs/loungers and a small round table. There was total privacy and lots of peace and quiet. We never encountered anyone smoking on their balcony (and in general the smoking policy on the ship seemed fair to us as non-smokers). The afternoon was spent familiarizing ourselves with this huge ship. Starting on deck 3 at guest services we worked our way upwards exploring all of the bars, lounges, and shopping arrears. The Hideaway seemed to be one of the more popular areas on the ship during the voyage and seemed to be well-liked. There were an assortment of unusual chairs and seating areas and coffee and tea dispensers were available. Above the Hideaway was the well-stocked library and again this seemed to be well used by people reading and using their laptop computers. The ilounge on deck 6 did have many Apple computers available to use for those who did not bring their own, although the internet rates did seem a bit on the steep side with the ship advertising clearly that connections speeds were not comparable to those on land. iPads were also available for hire by the day or for the entire cruise and judging by the number of people carrying them around, this service seemed to be popular. Once up on deck 12 we came across the large stylish pool area with one adult and one children's pool as well as four Jacuzzis. Initially we appeared that there would be plenty of space and sunbeds once we got underway (that later proved to be an inaccurate judgment!). The sunbeds had comfortable cushions on them and the towels were self-service without having to check them in and out with your seapass (as with RCI). Double beds and other relaxing chairs and loungers were available in a variety of styles which was a nice touch. We noticed that there were clear signs up next to the adult pool and two adjoining Jacuzzis advising that they were for the use of guests over 16 only and that there was to be no jumping, diving or horseplay and that infants and persons in diapers were not to use them under any circumstances. These signs proved to be useless as they were blatantly ignored throughout the cruise and these rules were never enforced by the poolside staff. This became very annoying throughout the cruise as it was impossible to swim in the pool without being hit by a ball or jumped on by children being oblivious to others around them and when complaining to guest services we were told that there was nothing they could do if people chose to ignore the signs. It is worth noting that this particular cruise was made up of 80% non-English speaking clients (French/Spanish/Italian/German) and that the signs were only printed in English! Moving further through deck 12 we came to the indoor solarium which was also reserved as an adult-only space. This was very elegant with lovely comfortable sunbeds, squishy mattresses and luxurious towels. The only problem was that it was always cold (because of the air con..) and the water in the pool too was cool to say the least. The dancing water feature was a lovely touch and there were another two hot-tubs for adult use. A couple of times we did see kids trying to swim in the indoor pool and they were asked to leave by the pool attendants. I'm therefore not sure why the same could not be done in the outdoor adults pool?? Through the solarium we came to the Aqua Spa with all kinds of different treatments being advertised and there was a free prize draw being advertised. Next were the changing rooms and men's and women's saunas and lastly the fully equipped fitness centre which was open from 6am to 11pm. The equipment was very hi-tech and on the first morning it took around 10 minutes on the elliptical trainer before I was up and running. We were booked for the late dinner seating at 8.45pm and our booking confirmation said that we would be seated on a table of 8. When we were shown to our table we had been given a table of 6 with the other 4 people being Russian people who only spoke very basic English. It transpired that they had another two friends who had been placed on a table for two opposite. We therefore out of courtesy offered to exchange tables so that the three couples could sit together. We really did not want to sit alone so at the end of the meal we asked the maitre'd if there was another table we could change to for the following evening where there would be some English or American people we could speak to. We were informed that as the cruise was so full of Europeans, there were no other suitable tables unless we wanted to switch to early sitting. We therefore decided to stay where we were. The following night was formal night and due to the total lack of atmosphere in the dining room, we decided that we would try the buffet restaurant the following evening so that we could try to meet other guests. On the first morning we decided to check out the Oceanview Cafe for breakfast and we found a great breakfast selection to suit all tastes. Once again the buffet was arranged with different stations and everything felt quite organized. Throughout the cruise, we loved taking our plates out to the open-air seating area and watching the wake of the ship. After breakfast we still had not received out invitations for the Connections welcome get -together and we were excited to meet all of the people we had been chatting online with over the last few months, we paid a visit to Guest Services to find out the time and location of the get-together. We were shocked to be told that the party had taken place at 10 o'clock that morning and that we had missed it and that we must have misplaced the invitation. I insisted that we had not received any invitation in our stateroom but we received no apology or any gesture to compensate for our disappointment. Unfortunately, even by the end of the cruise, we had not managed to meet any of our online 'friends'. This, along with our disappointment about the dining room, did not put us in great spirits for the start of the cruise. On day four, we met some lovely people in one of the bars and were invited to join their table in the dining room being as they had three spare seats. We took them up on their offer and had some great evenings in the Grand CuvEe. The food we found to be just OK really - nicely presented and relatively tasty just nothing to get really excited about. The menu consisted of two sides, the first being classic favourites which were on offer every evening and the other side being the specials of the evening. As well as the main dining room, we did try the open buffet a couple of times in the evening but found that very disappointing compared to the breakfasts and lunches. The choice in the evenings was not good at all, and in the end we stopped going apart from a midnight snack after the second seating shows. The only one of the specialty restaurants that we tried was the Lawn Club Grill which was really enjoyable. Two of us decided to get 'interactive' and it was a lot of fun. The steaks and seafood were really tasty and of course well-cooked! The entertainment on board was fairly standard; during the day there was the usual mix of different trivia quizzes, port talks and other general activities and in the evenings a fairly good mix of shows and musical events. We thoroughly enjoyed all of the musical acts and a special mention has to be given to Aquadio (4 piece acappella group) and Allegria Strings ( a 3 piece string group from Ukraine). The Broadway show was well performed and the comedian Neil Austin was as hilarious as he was on the Voyager of the Seas in 2009. Port1 - Santorini. As we had visited Santorini previously we decided not to do any tours and instead we waited for everyone to go ashore and then went across ourselves. We walked up the path to the top of the hill rather than taking the donkeys or cable car which we had done before. The walk took approximately 30 minutes and shouldn't be too much trouble for anyone who is relatively fit. The walk back down took approximately 10 minutes only. As we were there until 10pm, we had the opportunity to watch the sunset from the top of the cliff which was absolutely amazing. Port 2 - Kusadasi. As we had already done Ephesus on a previous land based holiday in Turkey we decided to just have a walk around the town. There's nothing much really worth noting about Kusadasi but if anyone has any questions I will try to answer them. Port 3 - Ashdod. Here we arranged two separate full-day tours through Guided Tours Israel prior to traveling and arranged to meet their rep at 8am next to the ship. The first day was to Masada & The Dead Sea which were both great and the next day to Jerusalem & Bethlehem. Port 4 - Haifa. Initially we planned to visit Tel Aviv on the train but after various bad reports we decided to stay in Haifa. First we visited the Baha'I Gardens to take some photos of the city and then descended back to the train station where we took the train two stops to the Haifa beach. I must honestly say this is one of the best beaches I've ever been to and this was one of the nicest afternoons of the entire holiday. Port 5 - Athens. Again we had visited Athens twice before so just decided to take the new hop on hop off bus from Piraeus port into Athens. This costs €20 per person. There were stops at all of the major sights so we got off at the Acropolis, The Greek Parliament and the Temple of Zeus and then made our way back on the 16:50 bus in time for departure. Port 6 - Naples. At first we tried to get a taxi to the train station but this was impossible as the drivers only wanted to do longer journeys or full day tours. We therefore decided to take the 15 minute walk to the station and then took the 1 hour train journey to Sorrento. After a walk around the lovely town, we took the short bus ride to Positano for €7.20 return and had a thoroughly lovely day. Both towns are well worth seeing! The things we particularly liked about this cruise were; the staterooms (very spacious compared to other lines and lots of thoughtful touches). The lawn (great for laying on during busy sea days at the pool). No announcements (very annoying on other cruiselines). Beverage stations (well placed and available 24 hours a day with a good selection). Oceanview Cafe (being able to sit outdoors at the stern to take meals). Leaving and re-boarding the ship (extremely organized and trouble-free). The Champagne Brunch - this was a far better idea than the midnight buffet and the food was scrumptious (best food of the cruise). The things we didn't like were; the pool deck (far too small for the number of guests and no control whatsoever of rule-breakers). The food in general was very disappointing. We'd heard so many people say how superior the food on Celebrity was and we were left very under-whelmed by the MDR and by the evening buffet. The chairs in the MDR were the worst I have ever come across. They were far too big and heavy and on a long table it was impossible to get in and out without causing a big spectacle every time. I honestly think that wooden benches would have been more suitable than these hideous things. The biggest and most disappointing aspect of the whole cruise (and one which may stop me ever booking another Celebrity cruise) was the staff's complete unwillingness to 'control' the rulebreaking and complete ignorance of other guests. The whole pool deck was one big chaos with tens of unused sunbeds being blocked by towels and bags, children completely over-taking the outdoor pools (including the adult-only one) and a lack of staff-presence in general around this area. As a final summary, although I enjoyed most things about this cruise, I found nothing at all which in my opinion made Celebrity stand out over any other cruise line I have sailed with. If in future I was considering booking a cruise and an identical cruise was being offered by Celebrity and Royal Caribbean, I would most likely choose RCI. I hope that the Silhouette manages to resolve the blatantly obvious failings as she is a beautiful ship and deserves better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Great ship with some faults, maybe we expected too much? It is without doubt that the Silhouette is a beautiful ship. In my review I try to make some observations for future passengers to take into account. We booked aft balcony ... Read More
Great ship with some faults, maybe we expected too much? It is without doubt that the Silhouette is a beautiful ship. In my review I try to make some observations for future passengers to take into account. We booked aft balcony cabins on the 22 August 2011 departure for the holy land cruise. We are a couple in the mid thirties from Finland. Arrival: We stayed at Best Western Santina pre/post cruise. Located next to Roma Termini, it provided a very good connection to Civitavecchia by taking a straight train between Termin and Civitavecchia. Upon arrival in Civitavecchia, it is about a 10-15 minutes easy walk to the shuttle buss station. It is not clearly marked but you can just follow fellow passengers walking in the same direction. The shuttle buss service was OK. Check in: Compared to Fort Lauderdale and Miami, this was a mess. It was very confusing where to delivery your suitcases. There were rows and crowds everywhere (later we found out that this behaviour was mainly due to fellow cruise ship passenger). After delivering your bags, you had to go into a tent and a large crowd was trying to push itself through one door. People really did their best to go in front of you. Once in the check in line, it went smoothly. But the unclear marking, pushing of other passenger in the Italian heat was not a pleasant experience. Room: We had an aft balcony room on the 8th floor. It was a very clean and nice room. We were a bit disappointed by the balcony as it was smaller than expected (e.g. RCI Jewel has great spacious aft balconies). The bathroom was really nice and clean. However, the shower was a "non moving" shower, so you could not take it off. That is a minus. The bed and pillows were just extraordinarily great. The tv is a flatscreen with free movies, ample tv channales, individual music selections, possibilities to order room service, etc. That reminds me of room services. We ordered breakfast room services 10 out of 12 nights and always delivered accordingly (time and food (food being quite standard, but it beats to have a coffee and porridge on the balcony instead of the buffet). Also once we ordered room service during the day and got delivered right on time (and was actually delicious). Ship: Without a doubt, the Silhouette is the nicest cruise ship we have ever been on. A beauty. Everything is so new, elegant and so many places you can discover. The bars, clubs, lounges, cafe's, everything was really beautiful and well designed. What a nice and luxuruous ship. Btw: muster drill takes place via screens in allocated public areas, very convenient. Entertainment: Compared to other cruises we have bee, the entertainment in the theatre was OK, but not outstanding.The bands in on the ship playing at different venues were really good and entertaining though (even when playing at the pool doing daytime, the sound was way too loud). The cruise director was mainly seen at the theatre events only. I do not mind if the cruise director does not pop up all the time at any event, but he didn't really appear in public throughout the cruise. Food: MDR: As our view on holidays is to relax, and wearing suits, etc. at work most of the time, we prefer to keep those clothes at home. Therefore we usually do not attend the MDR dinners, including this cruise. We were there once for brunch, which was really nice. Even beware, they sell "champagne" during brunch, but what you get is sparkling wine. 15USD for 2 sparkling wines isn't a good deal. Commenting did not help. Paid venues: We used the coffee bar once, which was really good. Oceanview Cafe Breakfast: We used the breakfast buffet twice. Standard fare and busy. In addition we used the Spa cafe a few times for breakfast. At the end, certain items were sold out (Vitalinea yoghurt drinks e.g.). Spa cafe has nice dishes, but the prepared fruitplates did not contain a lot of fruit, so you had to take several plates in order to have a decent breakfast. Oceanview Cafe Lunch: We used frequently. There was quite a selection of food. Including the all day/night long pizza and pasta buffet and the ice cream stand (which had really delicious icecream. Try to avoid the lines at certain times though). However, the variation of the food throughout the cruise was not very good. Very repetetive selection, always the same Indian, Mexican and slight variation at the Asian corner. Same with desserts. The food also didn't taste that great. Especially from Celebrity we would have expected different. Also the food was not hot/warm. Once you managed to find a table and sit and eat, most of the dishes were already cold. Royal Caribean definitely tops Celebrity on this item. The salad buffet is really nice, but also here were items sold out (the guy at the salad bar was "hiding" the cherry tomatoes and only put them on your plate upon request. I find this very bad logistics from Celebrity. Also note the Mast Grill at the pool serves really nice burgers. Recommended. Oceanview Cafe Dinner: We used the dinner buffet every evening. Same comments as above for the lunch, with the exception that the selection during dinner was limited to 1/3 - 1/2 of the lunch buffet, which meant even less variation throughout the cruise. A real pity and disappointment. Again, Royal Caribean offers a lot better quality. The good thing was the dinner was relatively quiet from people point of view and you could have a really nice dinner outside. Oceanview General comments: The most negative thing about the Oceanview cafe were the follow passenger and mainly the Europeans (read: Italians) (and not I am European myself). They were very loud, occupying a lot of space, pushing, getting in front of lines. It was extremely annoying. During lunch it was extremely busy. People did not adhere to the dress code (people walking only with swimming pants on!). Another issue was the people were filling up their water bottles at the drink station. They put the water bottles on the lid itself, which is extremely unhygienic. We went to guest relations 3 times, spoke with the manager of Oceanview cafe 2 times, but nothing was done (please note this behaviour can cause a virus outbreak). Guest Relations: As mentione above, we addresses a certain issue to Guest Relations 3 times, but nothing was done. The 3rd time we went there, the person at the desk was very disinterested. Pool: One negative aspect of Celebrity's wonderful lay out is that there is not enough space for the pool(s) and more important, sun lounging areas. A lot of space has been taken by restaurants/grassfield. This means, the pool/lounging areas were very crowded and simply not enough space. Add to this our wonderful fellow passengers reserving seats without using them, reserving seats for both shade and sun side, you have to be there quite early if you want to enjoy a full day of sun. We used our balcony and came to the sun lounging area around 4pm, then you were able to find some space. Shops: As usual on cruise ships. Smoking: There were certain allocated areas for smoking. I thought it was OK, but I can imagine people having a cabin on deck 6, right above the allocated smoking area on desk 5. What a smell and noice it would have been. Crew: Everyone was friendly and polite. The captain was funny and charming and appeared quite often "in public". Everyone was very nicely dressed. Fellow Passengers: This was one of the main negative issues on our cruise experience. I have read in the past some comments from people that they mentioned "beware, this cruise has a lot of Europeans". Whilst one cannot categorize a nation or a continent in one group, I can now understand the phrase "beware, this cruise has a lot of Europeans". During our cruise, we thought back often of our Caribean cruises, where the passenger were predominantly from North America and a lot more polite than on this cruise. We felt there were a lot of southern Europeans (read: Italians) and they have other manners then we are used to. Ignoring line ups during lunch/dinner, pushing, loud, occupying was too many seats for a too long time, going into the elevator without others letting out first, going out of the elevator but keep discussing with their family still in the elevator while all other guests had to wait for this. over occupying sun loungers. Please take into account this fact when travelling during European summer holidays on a European cruise. Excursions: We almost always arrange our excursions ourselves. Only for Israel had an exception. We booked our trip through cruise.com and got a message from cruise.com shortly before our departure we were signed up for a vacations vignettes program and received a free excursion to Nazareth. Whilst this came to us as a surprise, rather than organizing this trip ourselves, we attended the excursion and thought it was really well organized and a very goog guide Telling a lot about Israel. As our port of call Ashdod got cancelled due to security measures, we made the last moment decision to go to Jerusalem/Bethlehem by a Celebrity Organised tour. It was 189USD pp. But a quick calculation showed the a cabs to Haifa-Palestinian border-Bethlehem-Israeli border-Haifa alone would cost more than the whole excursion. From organisational point we thought it was a good choice to take the Celebrity excursion. Negative points were, no water or anything provided during the tour. We left at 8am and our lunch stop was at 2pm and no possibility for any food/drinks during that time. The group was large (40-50 persons) and Jerusalems streets are narrow, so it was a challenge to stay with the group, follow the guide and listen to the information provided. Also the lunch at a hotel in Jerusalem was not spectacular. The Bethlehem part was really interesting, especially the border crossing and the "wall". At least 1/3 of the time was spent in a souvenirshop. Luckily it was right next to the "wall", so you could explore this instead a bit. The was one tender port, Santorini. Please note that if you do not take any tickets to take an allocated tender departure, you have to wait 2-2.5 hours to get on the tender (and in addition stand in line for the cable car up to Fira, so not much time left in Santorini). Overall: The ship itself was very nice, the intinary was very interesting. The stateroom was clean and nice. The staff was very polite. The aft balcony was a bit disappointing. The buffet food was diappointing and you have to beware of the issue of having a lot of southern European fellow passengers. As mentioned above, in my review I try to make some observations for future passengers to take into account. They are critical, but wanted to assure everyone we had a great and wonderful cruise on a wonderful ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We arrived one day before cruise,stayed in hotel Traiano in Civitaveccia,decent size room,clean,good breakfast,highly recommend. We had great time overall,with few exceptions. What we did not like: Shows - outdated and ... Read More
We arrived one day before cruise,stayed in hotel Traiano in Civitaveccia,decent size room,clean,good breakfast,highly recommend. We had great time overall,with few exceptions. What we did not like: Shows - outdated and boring.On the other side,some costumes were interesting and unique. Smoking policy - Smoking is allowed in some public areas,but not on stateroom's balcony.I 'd rather people smoke on their balconies instead of any public areas. Customer Relations desk is next to dance floor area where music is played,and music is played there even when there is no dance.I could barely hear customer relations person over all the music,and we had to yell.Not the best location for such place. No wrap-around deck,no place to walk outside,only small area on deck 5.Jogging track is in between loungers above pool deck,so it gets crowded and slows you down even when you are walking by,let alone jogging. Do I need to hear all announcements repeated 5 times in a row,in 5 different languages??? One TV channel should be allocated for that. In fairness,fortunately there were not too many announcements. On 2 occasions,in main restaurant,they forgot to bring us salads. Buffet food selections are pretty limited,and olive oil is available only when salad station is open during lunch.Any other time,you have to ask for it,which does not make any sense,since any other condiment is readily available. Connie tour guide in Capri,her main purpose was to get us spend some money,buy showing us ways around via shops,even though we asked for shortest way,making us wait for ferry tickets back to the ship,and even directing us going back via shops,when clearly was not the best way back.To get money,you have to provide service,not push you to buy stuff,we have same at home for cheaper price. Liked:ship's layout,food in main dining room,service in general,room service,adult-only pool area,our cabin - concierge class veranda,our itinerary. We definitely recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We booked this cruise last April 2010 and had been looking forward to what we hoped would be an amazing cruise experience having only cruised before on Louis Cruise line, Ocean Village 2 and P&O's Oceana last year. We expected ... Read More
We booked this cruise last April 2010 and had been looking forward to what we hoped would be an amazing cruise experience having only cruised before on Louis Cruise line, Ocean Village 2 and P&O's Oceana last year. We expected Celebrity and her new ship to be a superior cruise line and have come away with mixed feelings. On the whole we had a great holiday on Silhouette and have come home feeling very sad that we have had to leave her behind! She is a beautiful ship and never having sailed on a Solstice ship before we were blown away by the stylish, modern interior, amazing choice re bars and dining venues and sheer size. The Hideaway (which we believe is new) is a great new area. The cabin was fabulous and we were more than happy with our SV view and layout of the cabin (with the bed near the balcony). The cabin became our 'sanctuary' on sea days when the pool areas were really noisy and most sunbeds 'taken'. The benefit of a SV meant that we had the sun nearly all day, every day and most days there was also an area of shade (which suited hubby and I as he prefers the shade, while I am more of a greenhouse flower!)We found the cabin to be extremely quiet and never heard a thing from those around us! We also found that the balcony was very private and we could only be seen from above if we were right by the rails. Despite what we had read on previous reviews we were pleased to find that we had got more than enough cupboard & storage space. We chose to keep the mini bar and this was really useful. We didn't use it alot but we found that it very convenient and we had enough space to store our own wine bottles inside. We did not find the walk to the lifts too bad, and failed to see why other passengers have complained. Similarly, we did not experience an issue with soot on the balcony as some passengers had and found that the cabin staff hosed it down each day to remove any tiny particles of soot that may be there. Our cabin steward was delightful. The only criticism of the cabin was that we were unable to lower the temperature below 21 degrees and we found that it was really hot at night. All in all though we would give the cabin 10 / 10 We chose Select Dining and found that we had different experiences depending where we were placed. If you get a choice ask for table 409 - a nice table for 2 beside the balcony area where the service from the 'team' in that area is first class. Our wine steward, waiter and assistant waiter were fabulous and we could not fault them at all. Unfortunately, across the other side of the dining room things tended to be less efficient and not as friendly - some of the staff were ok, but the majority needed a course re people management! We found that the food in the main dining area was generally not of a standard we had expected from Celebrity, it definitely was not as good as the food we had received on Oceana last year and were generally disappointed. It wasn't inedible, but sometimes rather bland. The best part of the meals was definitely the deserts, so well done to whoever is responsible for them! We ate at Qsine and Muranos as well and found that the quality of the food at Muranos was the best we had experienced on the ship - but at £100 extra it should be! Service in both of these restaurants was generally good, though at Qsine we did feel that the staff tried too hard and sometimes we just wanted to be left alone to eat and enjoy our meals without someone asking us if everything was ok about every 3 minutes. We would give food in the main dining room a 7 / 10 and the other 2 restaurants a 9 / 10. Service in the dining room has to vary from 10 / 10 to the team near table 409 and 3 / 10 for some of the others on the other side of the dining room. The food at lunchtime in the Oceanview Restaurant was excellent, with a huge variety of choice. After a few days we found that the most peaceful spot for breakfast was right at the back outside. Very relaxing. We had room service a number of times for breakfast and it became a bit of a joke that they never (out of 5 times) got it right ! Not sure if we were doing something wrong with the cards or there was a problem at their end! We laughed it off, but can imagine that it could have annoyed other guests. We ate in the buffet restaurant on one occasion and did not find the choice that good and service from the staff particularly friendly. Strange, as it was so good during the day. We did not watch any of the shows etc so can not comment on them. We were, however, very impressed with the band Sipra who performed most days / evenings. There was generally a good range of entertainment around the ship during the day and around the pool and it was of a generally high standard. We'd give 9 / 10 for that. The Solarium was a fantastic escape from the heat and also the noise around the pool area. The pool was very cool though, but a great place to chill out and enjoy a child free swim. Unfortunately, we can not say the same about the pool area which seemed pretty chaotic most of the time and on sea days we chose to stay on our balcony and have room service. By 10 am it was impossible to find a decent sunbed (or any empty sunbed) and it was really frustrating to find most sunbeds empty but covered by blue towels. I got the feeling that someone had been up early and reserved their whole family a sunbed at the expense of any other passenger. The pool rules were generally ignored by a huge chunk of the passengers and it was almost impossible to use the adults only outdoor pool without children and teenagers diving in, messing about etc etc. The Celebrity staff did nothing at all to ensure that the rules were enforced which was disappointing and caused a lot of antagonism between guests. For the outdoor pool areas we'd give about 3 / 10 as it just was not for us and was far too 'chaotic'. Not a fault of the design of the ship but because no one bothered to enforce the rules. We loved trying out the different bars each evening - our favourites became the Passport Bar and the Martini Bar. The staff here were very professional and friendly and we can't fault them at all. 10 / 10 there and thank you! I know that on some reviews people have had an issue with smoking areas. I am pleased to say that we did not have this problem or see anyone breaking the rules. Formal nights were a little disappointing. Though we are not 'dressy' people we found that the formal nights lacked atmosphere, not just because many people totally disregarded the dress codes, but because they seemed to lack the 'buzz' / atmosphere we had experienced last year on P&O. It was annoying to see a lot of people ignoring the dress code and get away with it --- why? One thing that we thought was lacking was that the Captain and senior staff were almost invisible! We knew that there would be no announcements on Celebrity but we came home having missed just the odd announcement from the Captain at sail-aways or when passing a sister cruise ship. One announcement at noon lacked 'oomph' and just did not create the atmosphere and excitement we had expected. The excursions we took with Celebrity were excellent and could not be faulted. The trip to Massada and the Dead Sea was an incredible experience and would go on the cruise again just to repeat this day. We were more than happy that the ship had not gone to Egypt and enjoyed our visits to Ephesus and Galilee. We have come away with some amazing memories of the places we have visited and found that Celebrity organised the daily 'mass evacuation' of the ship to our tour buses really well. 10 / 10 for the ports of call and excursions. We had cancelled out premium drinks package and were glad that we did as we only spent £600 on drinks rather than the £880 it would have cost us. Thanks to anyone on Cruise Critic for the advise given re drinking water - we stocked up with bottles at each port and saved a lot of money not having to use Celebrity's rather expensive bottled water ! We had expected drinks on the ship to be very expensive, but were pleasantly surprised that they were generally of a typical 4 star price (UK) and the measures more than large enough! On one occasion we happened to mention that we could not taste one of the cocktails and the waiter appeared with another large shot 'on the house'!Going that extra mile to make passengers happy is what we had expected. Reading this back it seems a little negative. We did have a great holiday and if Celebrity put right the things that we felt were not up to our expectations we would be booking Silhouette for August 2012 rather than looking through a P&O brochure. We are really fond of The Silhouette as we have watched it develop from a lump of metal in March 2010 into a simply stunning ship. Though we had a good holiday we feel that she now deserves better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Celebrity Silhouette Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.5
Dining 5.0 4.2
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.6
Enrichment 4.5 3.7
Service 5.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.2

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