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14 Night Western Mediterranean Cruise from Southampton

14 Night Western Mediterranean Cruise from Southampton

Celebrity Silhouette (Photo: Celebrity Cruise Line)
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Celebrity Silhouette

Celebrity Silhouette - Celebrity Cruises


Outstanding service, top-notch cuisine and well-thought out design


Specialty dining charges can run high

Bottom Line

Sets standards for an upscale big ship experience for service, ambience, dining and decors

Cruise Reviews

2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2019
Embarkation at Southampton was quick and easy - our cases were collected from our car and next reappeared in our stateroom. 15 minutes after getting out of the car we were on the ship. Silhouette is due a revamp early next year but don’t ... Read More
Embarkation at Southampton was quick and easy - our cases were collected from our car and next reappeared in our stateroom. 15 minutes after getting out of the car we were on the ship. Silhouette is due a revamp early next year but don’t this confuse you, she is very far from tired and tatty and still exceeds the standards of the best hotels. Our cabin was well equipped, large and spotlessly clean. Entertainment and activities are constant, varied, numerous and entirely optional - we tend to entertain ourselves. Similarly we don’t partake in shore excursions as we like to explore independently but tend to do whatever excursionists do for half the price or less. For us the ship is about eating and drinking. Not to excess, but simply indulging in the ridiculously high standards achieved whilst bobbing around in the sea. We travel Aqua Class just to have access to Blu and always will (turned down a suite upgrade this time as we would lose our Blu guarantee). The food is fresh, light, imaginative and cooked to perfection every time. We had a night in Murano which is simply the finest restaurant we have visited on land or sea, and we visit a LOT of restaurants. The service here is ramped up to levels only dimly remembered, and the flambeed lobster is to die for. Our favourite bar, the World Class Bar, staffed by the world class Daniel and Alexandra, serves only a small range of cocktails made with the finest ingredients. We were also pleasantly surprised on this cruise by the quality of the live music, which is constant in half a dozen different venues on board. From classical, through jazz and blues, to rock and pop, ever musician was insanely talented. What sets Celebrity aside, however, is the service. 1,500 staff work around the clock to make every cruise perfect and memorable. They will be respectful and attentive at all times, but are also willing to laugh and joke and have fun with those guests who want it. Never forced, never inappropriate, this is a very difficult line to tread. Celebrity achieves it with ease. The cruise itself covered the ports of Bergen, Alesund, Flam and Stavanger. Each provided and different but fantastic experience. Standing on the lawn by the sunset bar as we cruised down the magnificent is one of many memories which will stay with me for life. We pay a decent amount of money to Celebrity for our aqua class cruises, but the fact that we’re planning the next two gives the clearest indication that we don’t begrudge a penny. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2019
This was our first ever cruise. We chose Celebrity as our son and wife have cruised with them many times on the Celebrity Eclipse and they recommended Celebrity as opposed to P & O which they didn't like. We had a concierge cabin ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise. We chose Celebrity as our son and wife have cruised with them many times on the Celebrity Eclipse and they recommended Celebrity as opposed to P & O which they didn't like. We had a concierge cabin on deck 10 and therefore received an invitation on embarkation to a lunch for concierge guests in the main dining room prior to sailing. We went along as we thought we might receive valuable information about the ship and what is available on board. We were shown to a table for two near the kitchen entance and were then ignored for over half an hour. Not one member of staff noted our departure and other ignored guests were preparing to leave too. We found the main dining room overcrowded and claustrophobic and at that stage we didn't realise that we wouldn't actually be eating at level 3 of the main dining room in the evenings (we had anytime dining which meant we would eat at the less claustrophobic level 4 of the dining room). On leaving the restaurant without eating I did complain to the person at the desk. We were eventually contacted by the Maitre D a day or so later who wanted feedback. No gesture was forthcoming to help us forget this awful first experience. We seriously considered leaving the ship before it sailed as we could not have faced eating at level 3 of the dining room each day. Our cabin was finally ready. We were rather disappointed by the ugly and dreary maroon and brown decor and the cabins certainly need refitting. However the bed was very comfortable and the bathroom good. The final moan is that we had informed Celebrity of the need for gluten free food for my husband. The canapes delivered to our room were not gluten free initially until we spoke to our wonderful cabin stewardess who sorted it out. However as the canapes were mostly seafood we were concerned that they were not cold but room temperature and sometimes sat in the room for 2 hours before we returned to our cabin. We asked them not to serve any more. The rest of the cruise was enjoyable in that most of the entertainment was good (although not always to our taste), the waiting staff were excellent, as was our cabin stewardness, the food in the dining room was of reasonable standard, the silent disco, archery and quizzes were fun. Best of all were the new friends we made on board and chatting to all sorts of interesting people. We were not amazed by the fjords, the scenery in Canada is more stunning. The trip to Hardanger fjord was very poor but the Flam railway was good. Unsure at this point as to whether we would cruise with Celebrity again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2019
Background We have cruised 15+ times on various lines and usually go for the itinerary. We’ve always wanted to do Norway and this cruise popped up on Vacations To Go and away we were. We did book it rather late, probably a couple ... Read More
Background We have cruised 15+ times on various lines and usually go for the itinerary. We’ve always wanted to do Norway and this cruise popped up on Vacations To Go and away we were. We did book it rather late, probably a couple months prior. We had gone on Celebrity once before so we knew we had a good cruise line with a great itinerary. Little did we know just how great both would be. Traveling to the Port We flew two days earlier from the States so we would arrive a day early to get a night’s rest before embarkation. We used Celebrity for booking the flights, primarily American Airlines since we collect their miles, but the major flight over, from Philadelphia to Heathrow, was British Airways which was quite good. Upon our arrival at Heathrow, Passport Control was quite simple and we collected our luggage, albeit waiting a while for it, and met our driver just outside of baggage collection. We had arranged for a car from Smith’s for Airports and he was great. Hotel Since I’ve been collecting points at Best Western, we had decided to see if our points would pay off and booked the Best Western at Chillworth Manor. We thought that, in worst case, we’d have a bed and a shower and off we would go to embarkation. Were we pleasantly surprised! The hotel is, indeed, a former Manor. Not Downton Abbey, but quite nice and interesting. The grounds were lovely to walk about and we had a wonderful stay. The staff was excellent. We had dinner in the restaurant (highly recommend) and the breakfast, in the restaurant, was probably the best “free” breakfast we had ever had. Room was nice and comfy and we were very happy we selected the Manor. Embarkation We left the hotel via a hotel-arranged taxi at 10:00 AM and arrived less than thirty minutes later. We went through check-in quite quickly and easily and had a seat in the waiting lounge for no more than 5-6 minutes before our “number” was called to board. All-in-all, a great embarkation experience all around!! Stateroom Our stateroom was a balcony, 9109, quite far forward (about 5 rooms back from the front, but we found it to be great and quiet. There was a bit of a walk to the elevators, but that’s okay with us! Our cabin steward kept the room exceptionally neat and we had not a complaint. My wife has a CPAP machine and, having arranged it ahead of time, we had a gallon of distilled water and, much to our surprise, an extension cord awaiting us in the room. The room also had a water heater and we had tea out on our deck most days. As far as standard ship balcony rooms go, this was a good one. The Ship We had been on the Equinox and knew the general layout of the Silhouette. I have to admit that, when we found out after booking that she would be in drydock soon after our trip, I was a bit concerned that we were going on an “old” ship. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, many of us on board commented to each other that we didn’t really know why it was even being refurbished! It was a beautiful ship from stem to stern. Getting around the ship was easy. There were three decks of inside “evening” areas, including dining, shops, lounges, etc. Deck 5 had an outdoor walking area but did not entirely circumvent the ship, which is disappointing but appears to be the way with these ships nowadays. I long for the “Promenade deck” of old! The pool area got some use though this was a cooler itinerary. The indoor solarium pool was more the place to be if swimming is what you looked for. Given the itinerary, we didn’t even pack bathing suits! Dining We usually opt for freestyle dining as Norwegian calls it but, having booked so late, we were forced to have 6:00PM dining. It was okay but we would prefer not to eat that early again. Our wait staff was excellent and we had two other couples, one from the UK and one from Israel, at our table and we became fast friends. Food selection was very good as was the food itself. Specialty Dining We availed ourselves to one of the 3-night specialty packages and, though we probably wouldn’t do the package again, we were not disappointed with the experience. I think we’d stay in the MDR and just take one arbitrary night to do a specialty restaurant, if at all. Our first experience was the Lawn Club Grille, an “outside” venue – though it was fairly enclosed with the plastic walls. This is the place for steaks as they cook them right there on the grille and they were fantastic! Second experience was the Tuscan Grille. Here’s a tip – if you ever do the Norwegian Fjords itinerary, and you plan on eating here at all during the cruise, do so on the day you sail away from Flam. The restaurant is the aft-most one can be with large viewing windows and sailing away down the fjord is just magnificent. This is an Italian steakhouse and, once again, the food and staff were excellent. Our last experience, our last dinner on this cruise, was at Qsine. The “Les Petits Chefs’ experience is a once-in-a-lifetime thing that must be experienced. The table top animation is just tremendous, but that doesn’t take away from the great food and excellent service they provide. If you only do one specialty restaurant, make this one your choice. Activities There are activities every day and we admittedly did not participate much. The few we did – Question of the Day, Riddle of the Day, Movie/TV music themes – were fun and well-done and we probably did ourselves a disservice not participating more but there are only so many hours in a day. Suffice it to say that if Activities are your thing, there are plenty and seem to be well done. Entertainment We went to every one of the 7 theater shows and we were very impressed with all. The production team did three shows, all of them spectacular. The aerialists and acrobats were outstanding, as were the singers and dancers. One show was a local UK singer/pianist who did a very good job, especially on the piano. Another night was a comedian who was quite good and funny. The Flyboys were on board and they are a quartet of singers who transform “modern” songs into swing era style. The Overtures, the best 60’s band in the world according to Elton John, performed one night to rousing ovations and applause and did a quick set the last night in the Foyer area. The live music throughout the ship was top-notch. Two bands, once of which played a lot of 60s – 80s rock and roll, a solo guitarist/vocalist, a string duo (violin and cello) doing modern tunes with strings, were all great. We went to one of the “game shows”, Liars Club or some such thing, which was hilarious and I’m certain other shows were equally well done. On the final day, Captain George gave a talk about the ship and navigation and had a lengthy Q&A which was all very interesting. Ports The itinerary consisted of four fabulous ports. We used Celebrity for all tour excursions. We arrived in Bergen, Norway, at noon. Our tour was a little later and was simply a panorama tour of Bergen and the surrounding hills. Our guide was excellent and the tour was good. Also at Bergen is the ability to take a funicular up the hillside for views of the city. We did not do so but others on board did and report that it was great. Our second stop was at Alesund, Norway. Two things of note: If you go do Alesund and don’t do the Path of the Trolls tour, you have not been to Norway! And, though I know lots of cruise critics eschew ship tours, I heartily recommend you do the ship tour for this one or be prepared to fly yourself out to the next port. This is a LONG tour and is subject to so many possibilities of delays. Anyhow, the tour is excellent. You get to go well into the interior of Norway with its tremendous views. The third stop is the reason for taking a cruise to Norway, this cruise into and out of Flam. This town of only 400 is nestled at the end of an arm of Norway’s longest fjord. The cruise in and out is spectacular, with waterfalls almost within reach of the ship. We took the Flam railway up to the end, climbing up through the mountains with outstanding views of the Flam River valley and the various waterfalls. Flam is also a great town to walk about and get some souvenirs. The final stop was Stavanger which is a pretty good sized city at the southern end of Norway. From the ship, we took the cruise of the Lysefjord fjord. This was a great trip, despite the only real serious rain of the whole cruise. We had views of the great waterfalls and the famous Pulpit Rock. An interesting stop for waffles and coffee was also made and much appreciated. Disembarkation We elected to have our luggage taken off the ship and meeting it on shore, though a leisurely walk-off is also available. Getting off the ship was a breeze. We found our luggage quickly as that is well-organized. Customs was nothing since we had nothing to declare. We, again, had a ride organized with Smith’s for Airports and he collected us on time and had us to Heathrow with time to spare. Summary All in all, this was one of the best cruises we have ever taken. Admittedly, much of that credit goes to the itinerary, but the ship, staff, service, food and everything about the Silhouette was top-notch. Well done, Celebrity! Read Less
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