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We picked this cruise because of it going to Israel and even though Shimon Peres's state funeral took place during our time there it was a very interesting and satisfying visit with minor rescheduling by our tour operator. We had booked Guided Tours of Israel thanks to recommendations on Cruise Critic and found them excellent. Aqua Class is our preference and we did not find any drop in standards since our last Celebrity voyage last year -also on the Silhouette. The menu has become a little familiar but standards remain high and service first class. We did not try any paid-for restaurants as we felt there was no need. Our booking had given us unlimited Internet and Premium Drinks. Both have spoiled us for good- the internet speed now is really fast but not quite good enough for video. The wine waiters in Blu were exceptionally good with the drinks package and wine experimentation was rife! Buffet was as good as ever - our last cruise had been on P&O Britannia - they need to check out Celebrity to see what a good and imaginative buffet looks like. Our cabin was as expected and our hard working attendant was all we wished for. The lack of an assistant did not show to us - but we are sure she simply had to work harder. We went to only one show and one guest artist. It was hard to feel inspired by them - somehow the sparkle has gone - we used to go to every one. One downside which seemed more invidious than ever was the dreaded Park West art mob occupying so many public spaces for their questionable activities. It was great to read on return that Azamara is now kicking them off their ships again - maybe Celebrity will follow suit. The Captains daily announcements were not to be missed - his great sense of humour to the fore. He also gave a lecture on navigation which was a laugh a minute made more enjoyable by having his brother - captain of the Solstice - on stage with him. He was on leave from his ship! We saw one example of excellent professionalism when an unfortunate ill passenger had to be airlifted off the ship to Cyprus. The captain briefed us fully and we were able to watch the Cyprus Search & Rescue helicopter pick up the casualty. Their professionalism too was worth seeing. We understand the passenger was responding well in hospital. Ports: Naples - we took the fast ferry to Capri - sadly it was a Sunday and very overcrowded. Ashdod - our base for Tel Aviv and Jerusalem tours - very industrial. Haifa - much more picturesque - base for Nazareth and Galilee tours. Santorini - took the ships tour to climb the volcano - what a tough climb!! Kusadasi - did not take any tours - just some local shopping - with their lack of cruise ships sales tactics border on desperate. Piraeus - we took a fast ferry to Aegina - a delightful day trip. Malta - our first visit and we used a ships tour to get our first impressions of the island with a Grand Harbour tour - much enjoyed. Back to Civitavecchia - easy disembarkation - had a van booked through our pre- departure hotel - the San Giorgio - no problems. In summary a memorably good cruise!

First timers to the Holy Land - well done Celebrity!

Celebrity Silhouette Cruise Review by ian67

Trip Details
We picked this cruise because of it going to Israel and even though Shimon Peres's state funeral took place during our time there it was a very interesting and satisfying visit with minor rescheduling by our tour operator. We had booked Guided Tours of Israel thanks to recommendations on Cruise Critic and found them excellent.

Aqua Class is our preference and we did not find any drop in standards since our last Celebrity voyage last year -also on the Silhouette. The menu has become a little familiar but standards remain high and service first class. We did not try any paid-for restaurants as we felt there was no need.

Our booking had given us unlimited Internet and Premium Drinks. Both have spoiled us for good- the internet speed now is really fast but not quite good enough for video. The wine waiters in Blu were exceptionally good with the drinks package and wine experimentation was rife! Buffet was as good as ever - our last cruise had been on P&O Britannia - they need to check out Celebrity to see what a good and imaginative buffet looks like.

Our cabin was as expected and our hard working attendant was all we wished for. The lack of an assistant did not show to us - but we are sure she simply had to work harder.

We went to only one show and one guest artist. It was hard to feel inspired by them - somehow the sparkle has gone - we used to go to every one.

One downside which seemed more invidious than ever was the dreaded Park West art mob occupying so many public spaces for their questionable activities. It was great to read on return that Azamara is now kicking them off their ships again - maybe Celebrity will follow suit.

The Captains daily announcements were not to be missed - his great sense of humour to the fore. He also gave a lecture on navigation which was a laugh a minute made more enjoyable by having his brother - captain of the Solstice - on stage with him. He was on leave from his ship!

We saw one example of excellent professionalism when an unfortunate ill passenger had to be airlifted off the ship to Cyprus. The captain briefed us fully and we were able to watch the Cyprus Search & Rescue helicopter pick up the casualty. Their professionalism too was worth seeing. We understand the passenger was responding well in hospital.

Ports:

Naples - we took the fast ferry to Capri - sadly it was a Sunday and very overcrowded.

Ashdod - our base for Tel Aviv and Jerusalem tours - very industrial.

Haifa - much more picturesque - base for Nazareth and Galilee tours.

Santorini - took the ships tour to climb the volcano - what a tough climb!!

Kusadasi - did not take any tours - just some local shopping - with their lack of cruise ships sales tactics border on desperate.

Piraeus - we took a fast ferry to Aegina - a delightful day trip.

Malta - our first visit and we used a ships tour to get our first impressions of the island with a Grand Harbour tour - much enjoyed.

Back to Civitavecchia - easy disembarkation - had a van booked through our pre- departure hotel - the San Giorgio - no problems.

In summary a memorably good cruise!
ian67’s Full Rating Summary
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