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Sail Date: December 2010
I did the Transatlantic cruise on Celebrity Silhouette. A transatlantic cruise has been on my bucket list since I was 10, and overall I was not disappointed. I had read many reviews on Cruise Critic, so I was forewarned that Celebrity has ... Read More
I did the Transatlantic cruise on Celebrity Silhouette. A transatlantic cruise has been on my bucket list since I was 10, and overall I was not disappointed. I had read many reviews on Cruise Critic, so I was forewarned that Celebrity has made some very noticeable cuts and I had adjusted my expectations accordingly. Starting with the best: embarkation was easy and fast - it took less than 15 minutes, from arrival at the pier to stepping onto the ship. My cabin (9374) was comfortable, with a slightly larger verandah; there was enough storage, and the steward (Andrew - who is wonderful) warned against putting anything heavy into the cupboards above the bed. The itinerary was very good, and one of the reasons I chose this particular cruise, but I wish Celebrity would offer an itinerary with ports both in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. The weather was incredible; we kept being told in different ports that the weather a day or week before had been awful, but for us it was perfect. We had rain on a few nights, but sunny days in every port and no storms as we crossed the Atlantic. The worst weather was on disembarkation day in Ft. Lauderdale, where it was very windy and heavy clouds, but it still hadn't rained by the time my flight home left at midday, so no complaints. Food in the Oceanview Cafe and the MDR was consistently good. Our waiter's suggestions were always good ones - ignoring them lead to some disappointment. This said, Celebrity made its reputation on fine dining, and even as recently as 5 years ago formal nights meant an exquisite experience from amuse bouche to appetizer to soup and salad to a palate cleanser to entree to dessert, which was followed by bonbons. Now, formal night is the same dinner as any other; the diners are just more dressed up. The menus are also changed: you no longer have "appetizer," "soup & salad" and "entree" headings; now it's wines on the left side and "appetizer" and "entree" on the right. And the service was less than it used to be: in the past, the waiters were training the assistant waiters to meet very high standards - you had the feeling that they would be able to work in any Michellin-starred restaurant anywhere; now, they're good, but not any better than the waiters at a nice restaurant on land, and on the last formal night, both my entree and dessert came out of the kitchen broken (Beef Wellington & Baked Alaska). In the past, the waiter would never have brought plates from the kitchen with a torn and dangling pastry or separated ice cream and meringue. The food was good, but not great; so was the service. I did have a dining package, so I got to eat in Muranos (wonderful, and the only place on board to offer "fine dining"); the Tuscan Grille (very nice); the Lawn Club Grille (outside cookout and "picnic" in the middle of the Atlantic, so no ants, bees, mosquitoes, or other bugs, which was a treat); and Qsine twice (a concept more in love with the concept than great food). All at least nice, but if I do this again, I'll get the 4-dinner package, because I really don't need to eat at Qsine more than once on a cruise. The al Bacio coffee house and gelateria was great - I had several very nice afternoons with a book, a pot of tea and a sweet. I especially enjoyed the mousse sweets there - just a shot glass of mousse, which is wonderful; it's enough without being more than. Shore excursions were a bit mixed: I did the Taste of Florence which was very good. I got to eat things I've never eaten before and see places I've never seen before. The only downside was that we were there on the last Sunday of the month, so all of the state museums were open and free. The lines to get into the Accademia or the Uffizi were hours long, so we saw the outsides of both museums, but never went inside. So, a good reason to go back to Florence... I also did the tapas tour of Barcelona, which gave a pretty good overview of the city. It was good, but a bit rushed at times; perhaps 3 tapas stops were too many, and it should have only been 2. We only had 10 minutes in the Baqueria market, and could easily have stayed there for 30. I also did the tour of Rome with transfer to the ship. This was a good tour, but nearly didn't happen. The brochure from Celebrity had instructed that anyone who did not arrive in Rome on embarkation day, would have to meet at the meeting point outside La Feltrinelli bookstore in terminal 3 of the airport. I confirmed this with an email to the shore excursions department, got my flight into Rome arriving the day before embarkation, and scouted out the La Feltrinelli bookstore so I would find it easily the next morning. I arrived early, and waited. And waited. And waited, nearly an hour. There was no one from Celebrity there. I wandered around the terminal, looking for them, and didn't find them. I was about 5 minutes from giving up and just taking a taxi to the pier, when someone with a Celebrity ID appeared. Apparently, the bookstore relocated, but the brochure wasn't updated. So, I finally found them, or they found me, and it all worked out, but there was someone else who was on the excursion, and never showed up. Once I met the tour and boarded the bus, it was wonderful. The spa is now affiliated with Canyon Ranch and so much nicer than it was before. I spent more than I should have there, but enjoyed every minute of it. The captain was very entertaining, and his daily briefings were hugely enjoyed and highly anticipated. People went out of their way to be sure to be in a public area at 10am just to hear him. The ship is kept spotless - someone was always cleaning or polishing. There was a bit of norovirus and another group with colds, but the crew did everything possible to contain and eliminate the illness. You could not go into or out of a public area without hand sanitizer spritzings. Disembarkation went well, right up until we got off the ship, and then it was the usual pain in the patoot. I blame the port for this, not Celebrity, however. As usual, the longshoremen lined up the bags in a huge cavernous building with very little attempt to put them in the correct groups (i.e. tags for 65 mixed in with tags for 70 and for 59 all in the same lines) and the lines didn't allow room for people to get a bag, and then get back out of the line, so it was the usual chaotic pushing, crowded mess of people looking for bags, and then trying to figure out where to go next and how to get there. It was obvious that someone had tried for organized, but the attempt did not succeed. Overall, I had a wonderful vacation - the food was good, the bed was very comfortable, the shower was very good, the ship was beautiful, the itinerary was good, and the service was good. But, the cuts are obvious. Royal Caribbean might want to consider that Celebrity is a different demographic than Royal Caribbean, and having the 2 brands gives them an appeal to a larger group of passengers. I'll take Celebrity again, but probably just for the Caribbean, not for a special trip like Alaska or another transoceanic cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
This was the first time I traveled on Celebrity cruise line. I have been on NCL and Princess before. Here are some opinions about this ship majorly based on food. Actually, except food, I am pretty happy with this ship. But for me, ... Read More
This was the first time I traveled on Celebrity cruise line. I have been on NCL and Princess before. Here are some opinions about this ship majorly based on food. Actually, except food, I am pretty happy with this ship. But for me, going on a cruise, food is one of the most important things. This is a beautiful big new ship, nice clean stateroom, public area, a very nice in door swimming pool, friendly staffs etc. I like the bathroom a lot, so nice big and clean. Service was very good and thoughtful, especially every port, there were staffs stood at the entrance gave you ice water, punch and cold towels. I saw another ship Royal Caribbean didn't have this service for their customers. But you ask me if I would go on this ship again? The answer will be NO. Why? Because of the food. This ship has one main dinning room, and lots of special restaurants that you have to pay $40 cover charge per person. My husband and I ate at main dinning for supper every night, and couple times for lunch ( main dinning room didn't open for port days which my other cruises' main dinning rooms were all opened for port days). Service was good if you find the right waiters. We used the selected dinning. So one night, we had waited 20 minutes for somebody brought us the bread, then about 40 minutes somebody came over to take our order after we complained about it. Next day we switched to another side of the dinning room, had great service with different waiters then. Appetizers: Many of them didn't taste that good, very plain. I normally just got one, cause nothing good on the menu. On other cruises before, I wanted to try all the appetizers on the menu cause they were so different. This ship uses the cheap food material to feed main dinning room customers. I especially remember one night, there was one appetizer called cured meat platter. If you know cured meat, you know these are the meat preserved or cured with salt such as prosciutto. But the platter l got, there was only one piece of prosciutto that you can call it cured meat, other five pieces are those really cheap processed lunchmeat, such as bologna, ham, the ones you can find in Subways' $2 cold cut combo. Before on other ships, the cured meat platters I got were all those expensive Italian and Spanish cured meat that I usually buy from grocery stores. This ship really tried to be cheap on food in the main dinning room. Several appetizers that I got had too much rice for the base, if you eat whole thing, you will be filled up by the rice before you get your entrees. Soup and salad: Soup were pretty bad except French onion soup you can order every time. I tried several daily different soups, none of them tasted that good, some of them actually I didn't want to finish. So finally I had to have French Onion soups many times. Salads were not bad, but the Caesar salad on the everyday menu was really good flavor except the croutons were always tasted staled. So I always just ate everything in there except the croutons. Entrees: The bread on this ship was very good, loved them, we always ate too much bread before our entrees came. Entrees were very boring, not that many things looked different and special that made you want to try. Couple nights I even didn't know what to choose, cause I felt like I just had the same thing yesterday. Like different beef everyday, you feel they were pretty much in the same brown gravy. Not too much seafood on the dinner menu except some fish. One night, there was one seafood finally was not just fish. I ordered it, there were just 3 shrimps, one scallop and couple mussels on top of bunch of rice. You call this seafood entree? The ship had lobster night the day before the last day. Plain broiled frozen lobster tails, not bad, not that good as fresh ones. Good thing was that you could ask them to put three lobster tails on your dish. Entrees were pretty normal taste, only one veal entree I would say delicious and wrote home about it. Deserts: deserts were not good on this ship at all. Several nights I had to skip it cause nothing on the menu was good. They only served souffle one time that I had on other ships a lot. Many deserts I ordered I only had one bite cause the taste. Tiramisu they had one night was a joke, it was made from sponge cake, no lady fingers in there, and tasted pretty bad. I talked to their pastry chef, he told me they serve the real version tiramisu in their special restaurant. So don't' call those coffee flavored sponge cakes tiramisu then! Horrible ice cream on this ship, even the factory ice cream tastes much better than theirs. The best ice cream I had was on one of the Princess ships, best ice cream I had, so smooth and creamy, tasted just like those Italian ice cream, they made it everyday on the ship. Lunch at the main dinning room was worse, I had to eat at buffet upstairs most of the time. So main dinning room, if you like plain food, you probably will like it. But if you like trying different tasty food, and you love deserts, you will feel the same way I feel. Now let's talk about buffet: Ocianveiw Cafe was pretty good for breakfast. Lots of breakfast items, much more choice than the breakfast served at main dinning room. Wonderful pastries, croissants were great! So we ate most of breakfast in the buffet. But buffet's orange juice was pretty bad, it tasted like half orange juice half water most of the time. Coffee was horrible! The worst coffee I had than everywhere I've had recent years. It tasted so bitter, burned and had really bad old coffee taste. I couldn't even drink it, it tasted like it were filtered through the sewer pipe. You could smell the staled coffee smell when it was brewing. The self serve coffee you could get on the ship were all tasted like this. But I actually got good taste coffee in the main dinning room at dinner time. Lunch at the buffet was normal but fresh everyday. I like it has Indian and Thai food stations. But the food were pretty much the same everyday except the hot entrees were changed a little bit, but not that much. Hot entrees were repeated a lot. Desserts at the buffet most of them were pretty bad, tasted and looked like those cheap buffet restaurant deserts, and they were repeated a lot, many items were there for at least 5 times. Supper at the buffet was amazingly not that much different than lunch buffet, some items actually were leftovers from lunch. Only one different was there was sushi at night. But the sushi sucked, you can get much better sushi than those even from you local cheap Chinese buffet. Maybe it's good that supper at buffet was not good, so people could all go eat at main dinning room and get their money worth. One cruise I was on, their dinner buffet were so good. There were different themes every night, Italian night, Caribbean night , Mideast night etc. Tons of food to choose from, totally different from lunch, lots of special food belonged to the themes to eat that you can't even get from main dinning room. Bad things were the buffet were so busy for dinner, many people gave up their main dinning for the buffet which I thought main dinning room was still the better choice. So I would get something I liked from the buffet before I ate at the main dinning room. But this ship, supper time, only a little bit people ate at the buffet. Well, that's it! For the food, I am not going on this ship again. My husband has been on Celebrity ship before, and he said it was way much better. And they even don't have the snail dish( don't know how to spell it), such a disappointment! The food I had on this ship was the worst. The cheap NCL cruise I took, their food was even better than this one. I don't know if all other Celebrity ships are the same way now, but I will definitely try another cruise line next time. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
What a voyage! My 6th cruise in the last 30 months and the best and not for the obvious reason that it is a brand new ship. Aqua class was a treat and Blu is the place you will/should be spending most of your dining time. So many ... Read More
What a voyage! My 6th cruise in the last 30 months and the best and not for the obvious reason that it is a brand new ship. Aqua class was a treat and Blu is the place you will/should be spending most of your dining time. So many places on this ship to call your own and to hide out, if you had 2 weeks you could find a new nook every day to call your own. Crew was really great as you would expect on the maiden voyage. Rooms are narrower and longer than in the Millennium I sailed on in December. Entry way is different, doors open out instead of in. Closet has been moved to the side of the bathroom instead of across from it. Greatly reduces storage space though there are some over the bed compartments to partially make up for it. Great multi-head shower and good bathroom storage. Full time night light really nice, no more blinding yourself on those late night trips to the head. Large flat screen TV with lots of entertainment choices. Bed alternate room o room with half being close to the balcony and half having the couch closest. The walls are not perfectly straight and bend around the beds for room to get by. I can go on and on about what worked but let's talk about what didn't. Shower leaked out onto the bathroom floor. Sink stopper broke the second night and still wasn't fixed by the time I disembarked. A constant "bongo drum" sound coming from the water waste line. Adult only indoor pool, rules not enforced e.g., kids.... Water too cold in both pools and spas. Aqua cafe on deck 12 always crowded, hard to get a seat. Bistro on 5 food not very good (especially given it is an extra charge) and service there was by far the worst on the ship. Security at our one port call very slow, over 30 minutes to get back on board at an "off time". Was only after people started complaining that they opened a second line which was even more maddening because they had the staff and ability to do it all along. Entrainment was uniformly great but too much over lap and no live entertainment in Michael's or the Wine Cellar. Speaking of the Wine Cellar, at least one or two selections at every machine (6 in all) out of service or empty. Also way too pricey for what you get. Some "tastes" (about 2 sips) cost in excess of $10. However, as a place to go hang out or relax before or after dinner, very very nice. Sky lounge very nice as well. Good mix of seating. Only eat at the buffet twice, once for breakfast which they do not even open up until 7. Lunch was packed, packed, packed, despite only being at 70% capacity. And for a new ship, they didn't put much effort into cleaning up the dining area. Even first thing in the morning, dirty tables everywhere, debris on the floor and windowsills. Room service menu only available via the TV. Both days I ordered breakfast it arrived hot, exactly what I asked for at the time I asked for it. Eat at Quisine which at $35 in my opinion wasn't worth it. Sure it is different, but for all that showmanship you get very little substance in the food. Tuscany Grill has the best view of any eating location on the ship. But again for the extra $30, very little "wow" factor in the food or service and if your going to advertise yourself as a "steakhouse" you better get it right. My medium rare steak was medium well at least. Blu was the star of the show both in service and food quality. All of the service was at a very high level throughout the ship though the wheels sort of fell off our last day at sea. Blu very slow and they botched my order. Bistro on 5 service was non-existent ( I had to go complain to the person in charge) and I promptly got "Helga", the no personality, 250 pound waitress. The menu is also misleading, so make sure to ask. For instance my "brownie" was actually 4 small bites of brownie buried under whip cream and some fruit sauce. The $13 charge for the bus shuttle into Barcelona was a complete rip off. Should have been provided for free. Getting on board could best be described as "chaotic" though once you did get to a window you were on board in 10 minutes though it was the steepest climb I had ever experienced. However, getting off could not have been smoother. Didn't partake in any of the SPA offerings but the relaxation area forward nice but noisy. Persian Spa was also nice, but again noisy, especially in the sauna where something in the room was squeaking with each passing wave. Overall a highly recommended experience. I hope I get to sail on her again in the near future. Past Celebrity passengers won't be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
This is our third cruise with Celebrity Cruises having previously travelled on Eclipse last year. We were soo impressed with Celebrity that on our return from a Caribbean cruise on Eclipse in January we couldn't hesitate but to book ... Read More
This is our third cruise with Celebrity Cruises having previously travelled on Eclipse last year. We were soo impressed with Celebrity that on our return from a Caribbean cruise on Eclipse in January we couldn't hesitate but to book the next cruise with Celebrity. Anticipating the launch of Celebrity Silhouette we decided to try our first maiden voyage on a brand new ship where we just returned from on Saturday.To sum up the overall experience on Silhouette and Celebrity Cruises in three words?Stunning; Fabulous; Incredible!Celebrity like previously cruises were simply amazing from start to finish and what a week to remember!Special thanks to the booking agent Carl who gave us some great on board spending credit which certainly came in handy with lots of cocktails!!Silhouette is by far the most impressive ship in the Solstice class and the newest features onboard simply adds to an already impressive experience. The hideaway is my favourite location and just located on Deck 7. The new lawn club gets a makeover although my major gripe was the sheer extortion on the cost involved in hiring the new Alcoves at $100 a go! The Porch was also a nice addition but was surprised to see a service charge of $5! given the limited food options available. OK thats where my nit picking stops!! Overall Silhouette is one amazing new vessel and is worthy of its 5 star awards. The food onboard was simply delicious and to an exceptional high level - from the fine dining in the main restaurant to the Ocean View restaurant where the food was consistently fantastic over the 7 nights onboard. The ship interior is plush, sophisticated and elegant. Unlike P&O ships the quality on Celebrity's vessels are amazing and you can tell that Celebrity has invested heavily into its ships where the whole sailing experience is simply out of this world! I have posted some photos I took of the new Silhouette on Flickr and for those who would like to see the ship in all its glory check out this link:http://www.flickr.com/photos/65844463@N03/My biggest love of Celebrity is also down to its professional staff who are simply amazing. Everyone is treated like Royalty and staff are incredibly friendly from the ships officers to the cabin stewards and waiters. Staff onboard take a genuine personal interest in its passengers and they are committed to providing a professional and high quality service and nothing is too much trouble or hassle. All they want is for you to enjoy yourself and for you to have the best cruise experience. A special thanks to our cabin stewards, our restaurant staff & waiters; Charles, Recaldo and Marian (table 404) for providing the BEST service we have ever received on all of our cruises. These guys deserve a glowing recommendation and nomination for employees of the year!!. Entertainment was fantastic from the first night with a rich variety of theatre shows of which we have come to admire from Celebrity Cruises. Very good all round day activities on board throughout of the maiden voyage.Our cabin on Silhouette (like Eclipse) was elegant, smart and everything you wanted to make you feel at home - including a variety of on-demand TV channels and movies. The bathroom was amazing and felt more like a 5 star hotel (proper vanity units, full size double width walk in glass shower) rather than a giant piece of plastic as we have found on other cruise ships such as P&O. Like Eclipse the cabin and service provided by the cabin steward was simply ranked as first class!We cant wait but to venture again with Celebrity Cruises and we are already looking to book our next cruise on the brand new yet to be launched Celebrity Reflection. If you haven't yet cruised with Celebrity Cruises my only advice (as former disgruntled P&O passenger) is to give Celebrity a go! You wont be disappointed and you wonder why you hadn't made the decision earlier! They are in my opinion as an experienced cruiser, THE best cruise company I have come to known. Thanks Celebrity yet again for an amazing holiday!! See you on Reflection!! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
Wow is really the one word which sums up this ship. From the moment you walk onto the Silhoutte and are met with a glass of fizz from a white gloved waiter you know you are going to be truly pampered.We were lucky enough to be staying in ... Read More
Wow is really the one word which sums up this ship. From the moment you walk onto the Silhoutte and are met with a glass of fizz from a white gloved waiter you know you are going to be truly pampered.We were lucky enough to be staying in a balcony cabin on deck 6. The cabin itself was beautifully decorated in soft tones with striking artwork and accents of red. The cabin consisted of a large sofa, wardrobe with plenty of hanging space and lots of hangers, dressing table with powerful hairdryer under it in a draw, large flat screen TV, mini bar, safe, coffee table, over bed storage, lots of lighting and a full length mirror.The bathroom has a large corner glass enclosed shower cubical with a great hot powerful shower and lots of storage.After checking in we went around the ship to look at all the amazing facilities this floating resort has to offer and below is an overview of the different areas on the Ship.The AtriumThis truly is the heart of the ship with an amazing soring 11 deck high Atrium the full size living tree suspended 33 decks above the lobby. There are a bank of glass elevators zooming up and down the atrium. The area is like the rest of the ship truly awe inspiring, understated elegance.Crush and the Martini BarThis was the place to head after dinner to watch the world go by. The area was again beautifully decorated in what I would call an Ice Palace theme with whites, blues and silvers being the main colours used. The Martini bar itself is ice topped and located next to the walk way. Behind the bar are some alcoves which had comfy sofas and lounge chairs and the Crush section was a high tabled are with an ice ridge down the centre for you to put in a bottle of your favourite tipple. This area was my favourite bar on the ship.Cellar MastersThis is something I have never seen before. The wine bar reminded me of a country house Library with comfortable sofas, subtle lighting and attentive staff. The wine selection here is amazing and I'm sure if your a wine drinker many a happy hour would be spent in this lounge.Michaels LoungeThis area reminded me of a gentleman's club with high back chairs around fireplaces decorated in dark woods. This was a lovely bar for an after dinner drink.Fortunes CasinoThis was a nice size casino big enough to have all the facilities you would expect from a modern cruise ship casino. The area was unobtrusive on the rest of the ship.QuasarThis was a great spot to end your night. The night club was one of the hottest at sea with a spectacular DJ box. The feel was very modern and so was the decor with lots of private areas, amazing lighting and a large dance floor that spilled out into the small Atrium next to it.Sky LoungeWith its floor to ceiling windows on three sides this place was light and airy during the day and packed and happening on a night. This was the 2nd nightclub venue on the ship with everything from live music to Karaoke. The seats were all set up in small groups perfect for going with friends or for making them. The decor in here was ultra modern with white furnishings.The Lawn ClubThis area was a real surprise to me. When I read the brochure I thought it would just be a waste of space gimmick but I was pleasantly surprised this was my favourite outdoor space on the ship. Curling up with a good book in this area would be spectacular in one of the over-sized chairs or on a picnic blanket. This area also housed the Lawn Club Club (an area to get involved and you can even grill your own meal) and the Porch an area for light breakfast and during the day they had a great selection of paninis etc. Just behind the lawn club is the sunset bar which is also outdoors but with great aft views.Adult only Indoor poolThis area was a great retreat whilst there were very few kids on our sailing I bet when the ship is busy with kids this would be a welcome retreat. The area was large and airy with a large pool and two whirpools/ hot tubs. The main focus of this area is a large waterfall effect water feature on the main wall. The Aqua Spa cafe was also in this area and seemed very popular.Main Pool AreaThis was very large with comfortable padded loungers and very attentive staff we were offered Ice cold towels and sorbet several times around the pool to freshen up and bar service was attentive but un-obtrusive. My only criticism of the entire ship is that the sun loungers were to close together for me but it certainly wouldn't put me off sailing on her again.Speciality DinningCelebrity really has outdone itself on the speciality (extra charge) dinning. Unfortunately apart from attending a tasting at the different venues we didn't get the opportunity to try the full experience but from the tasting I know I would definitely dine at these on my next cruise. The speciality dinning consisted of -Qsine - modern venue where you use I-pads to order and create you foodTuscan Grill - Italian steak house with great aft views very cosyBistro on 5 - Light bites and crepes in a lovely venueCafe al Bacio - Home made ice cream and cakes yumMurano - High class European dinning experience menu looked amazingBlu - This is healthy bites for Aqua class passengers only. I loved the feel of this restaurant and wished I was in an Aqua Class cabin.BuffetThe ocean view cafe is the main buffet on this ship we ate lunch here every day and were really surprised with the quality and variety of food on offer. There was a huge array of stations, Pasta, Pizza, Grilled Chicken and Meats, Salads, Stir-frys, Indian foods, Breads, Cheeses, Desserts, home made ice cream plus so much more to mention.The buffet was also open late at night for those midnight munchiesMain Dinning RoomWe had dinner here every night the food and service was very good and the decor was modern but welcoming and that amazing wine tower was truly a talking point on our table.In SummaryThere are so many facilities on this ship that I can not mention everything I have seen but as I am sure you can tell I was incredible impressed. I have cruised ten times this being my first Celebrity experience and I can honestly say that this has been my best cruise ship experience.This ship is truly spectacular and really lived up to all the hype I had heard and read about the ship and its planned facilities. It was so good we are looking to book our next Celebrity Cruise already.This ship is very large but has been built and furnished in such a style that it never feels crowded and there are lots of little corners and bars to escape into. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
This, our first cruise, had been booked and eagerly anticipated since September 2010. What a magnificent ship,unbelievably huge, clean and white. We arrived at Hamburg dock to be shuffled with masses of people, through what seemed like a ... Read More
This, our first cruise, had been booked and eagerly anticipated since September 2010. What a magnificent ship,unbelievably huge, clean and white. We arrived at Hamburg dock to be shuffled with masses of people, through what seemed like a temporary storage shed-the only clue that this was a special Inaugural Cruise being a few pathetic blue balloons, an 'Oom-pah' band, and a foretaste of the money grabbing photographers, who in the midst of this melee, tried taking pictures of everyone against a false backdrop--not designed to keep you calm! Eventually we managed to clamber aboard, only to be told to wait in a lower floor bar area, while the staff finished getting the rooms ready!!!! Eventually, an hour and a half later, we were directed to the lifts and found our room. Our room was somewhat narrow, bur long and opened out onto a good sized balcony at the back of the ship. The stateroom facilities were faultless, the bed extremely comfortable, and, when you worked out where it all was, plenty of storage room for all our belongings. Our stateroom attendant and her staff introduced themselves and were excellent throughout our cruise. We were quite overwhelmed by the size and magnificence of the ship, and by what was on offer. We then went up on deck and watched for the next two hours as 'Silhouette' steamed up the Elbe and out to the North Sea, preceded by a fire-boat spraying fountains of water, and many people in Hamburg who lined the banks for many miles to see such a magnificent and somewhat awe inspiring sight. But that was IT--oh, apart from a row of bunting that was strung along the ship from stem to stern!! Where were the bands on the quayside, maybe the odd firework, but there was nothing. The Silhouette left Hamburg with a whimper and not the magnificent 'bang' that I had expected! The Dining Room, the Grand Cuvee, served excellent food, and depending on where you sat, the service too was excellent, so much so that we cancelled a 'Speciality Dining' reservation that we had made. The theatre was quite magnificent, the envy of many a town hall, as were the shows, especially the final night. We attended many talks and lectures in the smaller theatre, and I especially enjoyed the History of Art lectures given by Armando. I also attended the art classes, and was delighted with the progress I made during the week. I had a manicure at the spa, a lovely experience, and the fitness room, adjacent to that, was very well equipped, although the 7.30 yoga classes were too early for me ( I was on holiday!). The pools and hot tubs looked very inviting and were well used in the calmer waters of the Med. There were other delights that we didn't really have time to explore, the Hideaway, the Library. the Casino, and the 'high-end shopping. For the price of a Bvlgari watch, I could take another cruise! We spent much time in 'El Bacio' for coffee and light snacks, and some of the top deck bars for cocktails. And of course, we loved our Captain Demetrius's daily position updates and quips--of course to us he is 'Captain...Out'!! So what was wrong about this cruise. I tried booking packages and excursions and spa treatments online. It was very, very difficult although I ultimately succeeded in ordering a beverage package, a spa treatment and two tours online. Never succeeded with the dining packages! Eventually, after much badgering and expensive phone calls on my part,I managed to get online acknowledgement that I had paid for these, (despite the money having been taken from my account, several days earlier!). On the first rough night at sea, I woke to a bad smell that seemed to emanate from the AC. It did not dissipate, but did not get worse, so I reported it next day. Something must have been done, because it did not happen again. I was asked if there was anything they could do for me--actually I would have preferred it if a compensatory offer had been forthcoming--I am not used to demanding this kind of thing, but I know that 'speciality dinners' were offered to another couple who had a 'gripe'! But our main problem was with Customer Relations and Shore Excursions. Due to a misunderstanding we were charged $4.50 for a bottle of water standing by the TV in our room. Having replaced it,(We had a Premium Beverage Package that include bottled water!) we wanted the money refunded, and it took them 4 days and repeated visits and phone calls, to get them to take it off our bill. Finally by about 10.00 pm on our last night, that item had been removed. As for Shore Excursion-my advice is don't book through Celebrity-do some personal research and do-it-yourself. They cancelled, very belatedly, the tour that I had arranged and paid for, to Barcelona.Despite being refunded the money, we were hugely disappointed, but having paid 13 Euros each, just to catch a shuttle bus from one side of the port to the other, we bought Hop-on Hop-off bus tickets and had two tours around Barcelona in an open topped bus. I also organised that we would take an organised trip and transfer to Rome, as we were staying there for a couple of days. The guide was a very nice, but disorganised lady, who, by the time we arrived outside St Peters Basilica, first of all had us all trudging into St Peters Square for a 'loo-break' and then trudging back to where the coach had dropped us, to pick up audio sets and a male guide whose english was difficult to comprehend, and then back again into the square-, where, because we did NOT have 'Skip the Line' tickets, we had to stand for half an hour in temperatures of 30+ degrees, queueing to get into the Basilica. Then straight onto the Colosseum, where there was still much hanging about, and very steep stairs to climb that I could not manage due to an operation on a knee. The lady guide took me to the exit where I waited for the rest to finish the tour. We had paid nearly £100.00 each for this tour, and the least I expected was no waiting in lines to get in--that is WHY you are willing to pay premium prices--so I do wonder who has pocketed our money--Celebrity or the Tour company in Rome. The following day we had already arranged a limited group tour of the Colosseum and the Forum through Viatours for £34.00 each. We had an excellent guide, no waiting in any lines, group of 10, were privileged to see the underground area, and the third floor, for those who could climb!! And her descriptions of the history in the Forum brought the whole thing to life. Now that was value for money! So all in all would we cruise again--yes, I think so. We are looking at another Celebrity Cruise, and we, much like the company, have learnt lessons that we would apply to future cruises. It would pay the company to learn how to say 'Sorry' occasionally--it takes the sting out of difficult situations. Our stateroom attendant was mortified that I had not woken her at 3.00am when I smelt a bad smell-she was sorry -on behalf of the ship!!But maybe that is an american 'thing'-possibly for them, saying sorry admits liability and someone will sue!! I wouldn't suggest that anyone builds up the idea of going on an inaugural cruise--in our experience you'll be mightily disappointed. But you will love the ship, and you will miss her when you leave her. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2011
My husband and I joined the New ship in Hamburg, the weather was not good. We had flights included with the package which included the transfers which we heard from others were expensive if booked individually. It was $91 return ... Read More
My husband and I joined the New ship in Hamburg, the weather was not good. We had flights included with the package which included the transfers which we heard from others were expensive if booked individually. It was $91 return from the port in Rome to Rome Airport. Embarkation was fast but we are Elite so not sure if that made the process quicker. No coaches to wait for, you walk straight onto the ship up a walkway. Welcomed with Champagne as we crossed the ships rail, very nice touch! We were in a balcony cabin, on the side of the bump which had a huge balcony and you could see the bridge to the front and all along the bump cabins to the aft. Would defiantly recommend upgrading to 1A. The bed is by the sliding doors in this cabin, with plenty of space underneath for suitcases. As this was our first celebrity cruise we cannot compare storage space in the cabin, but for two people we had plenty of space for storage and the bathroom cabinet had lots of space for toiletries. The bathroom also has a nightlight which stays on permanently, which is great for those who get up in the night! (especially with Seasickness!) The shower is big enough for two! The safe is large enough to get an ipad in easily. Flat screen TV which is all interactive for music, photos, the bill, TV etc. The room steward does a turn down service every night and leaves chocolates on your pillow. MDR food was acceptable, nothing to complain about but nothing special either. The waiting staff were polite and helpful at all times. One annoying thing about the MDR, even if people don't want to eat there they still get allocated to a table, this sometimes leaves couples sitting on tables set for eight on their own - something that should be addressed by Celebrity. We ate in the speciality restaurant Tuscan grill one night, the views are wonderful if you can book a window seat. The food was very good, meats, fish, pasta etc and the service excellent. Our waitress and waiter were very attentive and friendly. we thought it was worth the extra $30 per person. We also ate lunch at the Lawn Grill. This was a special (not normally open for lunch) as it was booked out for evenings all week and people were complaining. We suggest if you want to eat here, book on line or as soon as you get on board. $30 per person. It was fantastic, you can either cook your own food with the chef or they will cook it for you, but the fun is defiantly in doing it yourself! Again the waiting staff were excellent, and you never have an empty glass. I should point out that we were on the classic drinks package, which we would absolutely recommend. It includes non alcoholic speciality coffees and morning bucks fizz as well as beers up to $5 and other drinks up to $8 and sodas. The only extra drink we had to pay for was in the Micro bar near the art gallery where they serve speciality Martini's with a twist that are $12 each plus Tip. Defiantly worth trying at least one, some even have liquid nitrogen on them!! They have three shows on board of which two were presented on the first cruise. One is a circus show, which is fantastic considering it is at sea however in our opinion it was too long. The second show was a musical review of the Westend shows and again was fantastic. The singers and dancers really put their heart and souls into the performances. Other entertainment that we saw was a fantastic jazz singer and band who sung everywhere, a guitarist guy, another band and a barber shop quartet, again all great. The cruise director was Nick Weir who we found to be very friendly and sociable. The captain was also very sociable, a very funny and witty guy, he even attended a Cruise Critics Cabin Party that was held by one of our group. We didn't visit the casino so cant review, however we can say that the bottled beer from the casino bar was the coldest on board. Great for us. The sky lounge has great views as you would expect from the top of the ship, however, celebrity have decided to allow smoking inside the sky Lounge on one side and unfortunately this does drift across the whole area. That said it is a very smart area with comfy chairs and sofas to chill out with a book if you don't mind smoke. The hideaway is great with comfy round chairs and free coffee but was always busy so get there early on sea days :) The Library is great and full of books and the card room had lots of board games to occupy the sea days, although there are also lots of bars to keep you busy on sea days too. The best bar in our opinion is the sunset bar on the lawn area at the back of the ship. It has cane chairs and sofas, and is a great place to relax in. The bar service was slow however this was more that there was not enough staff on duty rather than the staff not doing there job. A brunch was served on the last but one day which was out of this world, so well presented and you were spoilt for choice. Definitely worth a visit. Plenty of towels available on the pool deck, blankets are available on chilly days. There are double beds available for romantic couples and one half of the ship is a smoking area. Plenty of shaded areas for the non sun-worshippers. The mast Grill does great burger for those not wanting formal lunch. The solarium is a nice area with wooden beds and thick mattresses, the salad bar in the solarium is superb with nice tea/coffee and soft drinks available all served on china crockery. Disembarkation in Rome was very well organised, we were requested to be in the Curvee dinner room at 8am and were called to disembark at 8.15. The luggage was waiting for us and we were shown straight to our transportation. Rome port is 1 hour and 10 minutes from the Airport (FCO) All in all we had a fantastic cruise and really couldn't see much to complain about. We have definitely been converted to Celebrity from Royal :)and will be sailing on Silhouette again next year. Lets hope she is still as beautiful.... Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
Background Information Hotel Info (if any) I stayed at the Intercontinental hotel in Hamburg and was pleasantly surprised to find it very close to the American Embassy there. The hotel was really nice, and had free wi-fi (which was ... Read More
Background Information Hotel Info (if any) I stayed at the Intercontinental hotel in Hamburg and was pleasantly surprised to find it very close to the American Embassy there. The hotel was really nice, and had free wi-fi (which was very slow though) in the lobby. Ship Info I went on the Inaugural sailing of the Celebrity Silhouette out of Hamburg, Germany to Rome, Italy. It was very similar to the Celebrity Millennium (the only other Celebrity ship I've been on). The ship was brand new and they were putting some finishing touches in the main centrum area of the ship when we were boarding. Activities I used the Casino and played Bingo. The Bingo didn't go over very well, mainly because the majority of those on board were German, and I guess they don't play too much Bingo. The Casino was typical, although I think the payout could have been higher. Service The service was excellent, with one exception. I don't drink alcohol, so had the Soda package. Sometimes it felt like staff didn't want to get you a soda, since they tend to make $$/tips on the alcoholic beverages. Otherwise, everyone on board was very friendly and helpful. There were quite a few Filopino on board, they enjoyed helping me learn a few Tagalog phrases (I learned how to say "Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening, Thank You and Good bye). Not to be outdone, my Maitre D' taught me how to say "Thank You" in Turkish. *smiles* Port & Shore Excursions The only port we stopped at was Barcelona. You have to take a bus (which you have to pay for) into town. I guess I feel like if you have to take a bus into whatever port city you get to, it should be included in the cost of the cruise). We chose to do the Hop-on, Hop-off bus because we only had about 12 hours in town. We were off the ship about 10 hours. Barcelona was nice (and we were very safety conscious to not be targets for pickpocketers). The cruise ended in Rome, the port is about an hour from the City by train. There *is* a bus that takes you to the local town and then you can walk about 3-4 blocks to the train station from there. Summary Overall, the ship was beautiful and the staff were great! Travel To Port of Embarkation Since I currently live in Germany, I just took the train to Hamburg and then took a taxi to the port. The port was a little chaotic, but we got through the boarding process in less than 30 minutes. Stateroom I had a concierge level balcony cabin. I didn't eat all the evening canapes, I didn't care too much for the room service for breakfast I did a couple days (the food was a little cold, and don't order the smoothies... they're separated by the time you get them). I liked having a footstool on the veranda, this is the first time I've had a balcony cabin. There was one day that someone above us must have been smoking on their veranda, we had ashes on our veranda, and we don't smoke and we could smell the smoke that day. Yuk! The bathroom was a nice surprise... no shower curtain and a larger glass-enclosed cabin. Dining I did the "my-time" dining, but ended up eating about 6:30 each evening. The food was great. I loved having Escargot almost every night and Creme Brule' almost every night. The food was good, I didn't hear any complaints from my table-mates. I did eat in the Murano one night, it was okay. I can't eat too much at one time, so I feel that eating in the fancy restaurants is a waste of money for me. I thought the service in the Olympic dining room on the Millennium was more precise. I felt the Murano was a little more crowded, but that also made it feel a little more intimate? The wait staff were great in the main dining room. Children's Clubs - not used Entertainment The entertainment was okay, I tend to enjoy the music throughout the ship more than in the theater. I did enjoy the acrobatic show one night. I'm not into the "Broadway" type shows. Disembarkation It went smoothly, no problems. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
I was lucky enough to be invited on the 2 day cruise which launched the ship. I have sailed on Eclipse and Equinox so am familiar with this class of ship. Some new areas were great, others not so! The Porch looked wonderful, ... Read More
I was lucky enough to be invited on the 2 day cruise which launched the ship. I have sailed on Eclipse and Equinox so am familiar with this class of ship. Some new areas were great, others not so! The Porch looked wonderful, like a little bit of New England, it is in the place where the Lawn Club shop used to be so has fabulous views, I think it will be very popular; as will the Lawn Club Grille - unfortunately we did not get a chance to eat there. I wasn't too keen on the Cabanas, there is little privacy as they face on to the lawn, I think they should be the other way round so you can watch the sea. There are new hammocks and super-sized chairs on the lawn as well and I think the 2 new eateries and the new seating areas will draw a lot more people up there now and the comments that the 'grass is a waste of space' should now stop. The Sunset bar is as fabulous as ever. There appeared to be more seating. The dining room is red and cream so appears much 'warmer' than the earlier designs. The Hideaway area looked a great place to curl up with a good book - again the chairs in the 'treehouses' face the wrong way they should look out over the lifts so you can people watch IMO! In the bedrooms they have done away with the ghastly leatherette sofa and it is now red material - still uncomfortable and still no more drawer space. They have also removed the magazine rack on the corner of the unit for some reason. No kettles in the rooms unlike Eclipse. Still no hanging facility in the bathroom for your wet swimmies. They have got rid of the silly taps too - it doesn't stick out over the sink any more in the bathroom so you don't bash your teeth or your chin now. Michaels Club looked very different - 3 big fridges of beers. It didn't seem right to call it MC any more - think they should have changed the name! It seemed cold and soulless. Bring back the piano player and cosy atmosphere please. They have removed the curved banquette seating in TG too - it appears much larger now. They have also taken away the water feature by the pool to provide more seating areas. They have also taken away the bar at the back of the buffet area, so again more seating. Several staff from Eclipse were on board that we recognised including Bernard the singing greeter in the Ocean View; and the fabulous Roul. It seems they take their best staff and put them on the new ships. I could do without Nick Wier though. I didn't go to the shows. Food and service was excellent during this short cruise. We noticed all smokers kept to the designated areas; but I do wish they would stop smoking in the Sky lounge too though. There were a lot of Italians on board ergo there was a lot of smoking! We ate in Tuscan Grille - possibly the best piece of fillet I have had in my life, and we also ate in Blu (remember this was not a normal cruise) - after reading all the comments on Blu I was very interested to see what it was like. I had a delicious risotto. I would certainly be tempted to book AQ on a future cruise All in all I think that X have raised the bar with this new ship. She is beautiful and most of the new changes are a definite improvement. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2011
We were on a charter of the ship for Atlantis Events August 1-10, 2011. We were so looking forward to this cruise and had VERY high expectations for the "fancy new ship" of the Celebrity fleet. While the ship is lovely. ... Read More
We were on a charter of the ship for Atlantis Events August 1-10, 2011. We were so looking forward to this cruise and had VERY high expectations for the "fancy new ship" of the Celebrity fleet. While the ship is lovely. Had all that "new ship smell". Great art collection and all that stuff you expect from a Celebrity ship, overall my expectations were not exceeded.....in fact overall I would say, disappointed. For the price point we paid for this cruise and Celebrity's reputation, I would expect better, much better. (mind you we still had a great vacation) This was only the second "real" cruise for the ship (and a charter to boot), we were expecting there may be some glitches. Even with that taken into consideration there were many things that detracted from the experience. First and foremost, was the almost total lack of engagement from the management/officers. They didn't really seem to be interested in actively checking in with guests, (plate not eaten,no one asked, "why?".... "how is your cruise going?" not asked. Crew struggling to get something going, not assisting. Buffet completely out of plates, just sit there and watch. Captain's cocktail hosted party, no. 2nd voyage comps or "we know there are glitches so we are giving you extra" of any kind, no. All in all, just nothing "extra" in the way of customer service. Very passive. If you engaged them with an issue or concern, they either seemed to make excuses, blame someone else, tell you you were wrong, refer you to someone else or not know the answer. Second, be prepared, the idea of "all inclusive" on ships in general is going the way of the airlines. This ship accelerates this concept. The food in the inclusive dining facilities seems to be being held back to get you to pay extra for the "good food". There are many many many "opportunities" they "offer" you for something that costs extra. On this ship rather than buying an cruise that covers most of your vacation, you are really buying a hotel room with a "relatively basic" food package included. That said, those extras on this ship do not come cheaply. (I am not a cheap person, but did get fatigued from all the hands in my pocket all of the time) The theatre entertainment was a train wreck (really they need a new costume designer (he/she seems to hate the human form), lighting designer (that can aim lights and make it pretty rather than distracting), creative team that can put some type of cohesive team together for a show). I know the shows were new, but even the "old from RCL" "Broadway show" sad sad sad, and not ready for the cruise. I am certain there will be people that disagree with me, I would hope they will get better with time, In my opinion they were just unprofessional. The dancers/singers sure worked hard, but the final outcome was to the point of unintentionally comical. The service in the up-charge restaurants was uneven at best. We actually got in a "fight" with the Maitre d' at the Tuscan Grill over our seating, in the dining room, in front of other guests (he did NOT want to seat our party of 11 together, WAS not interested in finding a solution, yelling at us when we tried to suggest a solution ourselves) After 10 min of this we were finally able to move tables together and sit together, but the meal (last night on the cruise) never really got a good vibe going after that. He NEVER came back to apologize, made no attempt to do any guest recovery at all. While we were there we saw 2 other tables have arguments with him as well. For this they collected close to $1000 between up-charge and wine/cocktails for the table. Several others from our group had similar stories from the week of Maitre D's rudeness, lack of service, being impolite, uppity, inflexibility. The meals I personally had in up-charge restaurants was no better than the dining room (and most of the food appeared to be prepared in the same kitchen). The buffet was dismal, nearly the same food EVERY day. Weird service times (Ice Cream only available 730 am to 930 pm... WHAT??) Lousy service, boring food, bad pizza, dull. The Martini bar was exciting, crowded, fun with GREAT service. The wine bar uses mostly machines to dispense wine, and had a very stuffy atmosphere. Michael's (the beer bar) was deserted, dull, boring. It appeared like they were trying to make it like the wine bar, rather than my expected "pub" atmosphere. While we were on an adults only charter, I would think kids would be bored. They have a kids space and teen club, however, there is no "fun" places on the ship (water-slides, kids pool, etc). The lawn club is cool (I guess) but not really sure of the point of having grass on a ship. The up-charge cabanas point towards the lawn and completely obscure the view of the sea. Internet as usual on a ship is balky, expensive and hard to use. Overall the look of the ship is held back by the lighting. It is obvious that they spent a lot of money on it, but they need to have a lighting designer come have a look at it. Everything is "grey", nothing stands out, there are many "too dark" and "too light" areas. Even the LED colored lighting in dining rooms and on the exterior were always just set to dull purple. The lighting in the cabins is terrible, there are no reading lights by the beds. All fluorescent, to bright or too dim. To and From the Port, staying in Rome: We stayed before and after the cruise at the Ludovisi Palace, great location, "OK" rooms, Great front desk staff. They arranged car service to and from the port (170 euros for a private van for 7 of us) and to and from the Airport (55 euros for 2 in a limo). Much cheaper than the ship. We were delivered right to luggage drop off and picked up with a driver standing there with out name on a card as we walked out with our bags. Tours: I booked all of the Italy stops with private tours (9-13 of us) through Roman Candle tours. GREAT guides, just our group, cost comparable to the ship excursions, but customizable and much more enjoyable. I also booked the Necropolis Tour under St. Peters. It was Awesome. The only way to book it is to write the excavations office at the Vatican in ADVANCE. They only let like 200 people in a day. you enter via the exclusive and private Holy See gate (walk up, walk in). When the tour is complete it ends in the crypts under the basilica, you can walk right into St. Peters with no line. Hope this is helpful. See you on the high seas... bill Read Less
Celebrity Silhouette Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.5 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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