In advance I would like to apologize for some grammatical errors and exclusion of words in my Celebrity Silhouette, I tend to do that from time to time. English is my second language and sometimes I struggle with it. I will however proof read everything prior posting and try my best to do a good job so its easy to read and understand.
Hello everyone, I go by Gambee around these boards, I am a 29 year old guy. On this cruise I was traveling with mom, for those of you who know me from the RCCL board and are wondering why my partner did not come with us? He was busy with school and had lots of work ahead of him for April, so it was better for him to stay home and study. Mom and I recently discovered cruising and quickly became addicted to it, everything about traveling on a cruise is just amazing. The freedom, entertainment, food, drinks, destinations, the magnitude of the ocean that surrounds you at all times… Ahhhhh life is good ^_^
This will be my second attempt at delivering a fully detailed review with lots of pictures, tips and information. My first review was of the Norwegian Sky it was a short non-detailed review, it was my way of getting my feet wet into the review world. My first real attempt at a detailed review was the Allure of the Seas Review, it did very well for itself, and CC awarded it with 5 stars =). None the less there were mistakes done and missed information, I am hoping that in this review I will be able to correct most of those issues. If you’re are curious about my writing style feel free to take a look at the Allure of the Seas Review. I like to have fun with my reviews and at the same time deliver a great deal of information that will be useful for future cruisers with their planning and overall cruising experience.
I will try my best not to do comparisons from line to line as I know that there are a lot of loyal people to some lines, and I don’t want step on any ones toes. However, since I know I am bringing some RCCL readers to this thread, I will ask politely to refrain from discussing and comparing cruise lines. I will try to keep this review X specific, up until the end when I will compare both lines. In the conclusion I will dedicate a good amount of time comparing both lines, this section should be useful for those who wish to expand into X or not to.
If there is a specific question, ask away and I will answer. My thread is open to all questions and comments, I try my best to answer to everyone individually. These reviews require an incredible amount of work and part of the motivation for them, are all the questions and comments posted by fellow CC addicts .
Celebrity Silhouette Pre-Cruise Information
After we got back from the Allure we decided to book a cruise on Celebrity Reflection, but that was later changed to Norwegian Breakaway, because I saw the opportunity to sail a new class of ships. I am a fool for new technology, so I took this opportunity and decided that we could sail Celebrity in the future. We are very open minded with cruise lines and we would like to try them all as long as they are in our price range. Some of you might be asking why did we decided to book a cruise in March out of the blue, if we had the May cruise already. We are by no means wealthy and at this point in our lives cruising is a luxury that we do not take for granted, we were very fortunate that we managed to make this cruise possible.
This is how the story goes. One day I was planning our next cruise, since it was going to be around October we had few choices since most lines had already pulled out of Florida for the summer. We were mainly looking at Carnival Breeze and Disney Dream, in the end we settled for Disney, but the price kept bothering me, it was simply too much to justify for a 4 day cruise to the Bahamas.
On one occasion I was interchanging emails with my good friend David (dmwnc1959) fellow CC member and he suggested that instead I looked at celebrity. He did indeed triggered my curiosity (we really wanted to try out those S-class ships), but since they pullout of Florida for the summer I had dropped them from our list. That meant that I would have to move our travel dates to a sooner time. After looking at our schedules I found out that mom had a week off from work during spring break and that if played my cards right at work I could also get those same days off from work as well.
After a few days of thinking I decided that it would be a great idea, and we would get the chance to try out Celebrity, something that both of us were looking forward to. I ended up booking the cruise with our preferred TA who gave us free gratuities and $200 OBC, it seemed like a good deal, and we were both happy with it.
Ironic as it was that I promise myself not to go back Jamaica ever again, here we were heading to Jamaica one more time . Never say Never, eh?… We really wanted to do the eastern route and during that week Reflection was doing it. Unfortunately,it was priced much higher than western on Silhouette, that is why we decided to repeat the same itinerary. We booked our Celebrity cruise 45 days ahead of time, so that gave me plenty of time to plan excursions and research the ship. Since we were doing a very similar route to the one of the Allure I wanted to do different activities at the ports to so it would seem like a brand new adventure for us and give me something new to write about here.
It was settled, we were going on another Cruise Adventure =)
After sailing on a balcony stateroom it is hard to go back to interior stateroom (although not impossible), I did lots of research to pinpoint a good balcony room for us. I wanted to make sure that if we were going to spend the extra $$$ for a balcony that we would have a great one to enjoy. I noticed that I have an obsessive behavior when picking balconies, there is a good amount of criteria that I like the balcony to follow.
The S class ships have a few dips and humps, I knew for a fact that I wanted to be on hump for a better view, as we did not wanted an obstruct view downward. After a few days I decided to settle on a FWD starboard balcony room on deck 8 category 1C, cabin 8142. It seemed to be a good choice, it had a clear view of the bridge and only very little obstacles on the way down for a view of the water. This was our first time sailing in a FWD cabin and I was intrigued about it, in our other two voyages both ships had minimal movement, we wanted to experience some (although at the same time petrified about getting sea sick) the ironies of life, lol. (And boy did Gambee get some odd weather on this trip…)
It also had the benefit of being near the elevators and most of the areas of the ship that appealed to us were FWD or Mid ship such as Quasar, Celebrity Central, Silhouette Theater, Solarium, Molecular and the Sky observation lounge. The only caveat with this location was that most of the dining areas were in the aft of the ship, but considering we only eat 2-3 times a day I would much rather be located near the activities. This was the total opposite from our Allure trip were we had to walk a lot get anywhere in the ship and it was a welcomed change.
Celebrity Silhouette Planning
Planning this trip was short and sweet, this cruise above all was going to be one to relax and enjoyed a very beautiful ship. I was lucky enough to find a Celebrity Today and got most of the information from there. Since this ship did not require reservations for shows, that made it easier and one less step worry about.
Celebrity Silhouette Specialty Restaurants
There are 4 main specialty restaurants on the Silhouette, Murano $45 (French), Qsine $45 (Modern), Lawn Club Grill $40 (Interactive grill) and Tuscan Grille $35 (Italian), you can also purchase all 4 for $125 and save a few bucks. Aside from the main 4 there are also two more options Bistro on Five $5 (Crepes) and the Porch $5 (Paninis), there is also Blu but the restaurant is reserved for Aqua class passengers this venue has no additional cost.
I was on the fence with wether we should just go to Murano & Qsine or to get the 4 venues dinning package. I was not thrilled about the Lawn Club Grill concept as I had zero intentions of making my own food during my vacation. And as for the Italian restaurant, well I consider myself a decent cook and Italian food is one of my specialties. But I was also intrigued by the different atmospheres and what each venue had to offer, it was a complicated decision.
In the very end I decided to buy the package, this would not only allow us to experience more of the ship, but also give my readers more inside into the different dinning options.
Celebrity Silhouette Wine & liquor
Celebrity offers a all inclusive package for those who are thirsty drinkers ($308 for the classic and $378 for the premium on a 7 day sailing), but unfortunately this was not an option for us, it was simply too expensive. Instead we opted for a in stateroom bar setup (bottles start at $80), I decided to purchase a couple of bottles and go from the there. In addition to that we would bring our allowed 2 bottles of wine to consume in our cabin.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION! I am also attaching the drink package spread sheet to calculate costs and compare if the drink package fits your needs, or if you’re better off on the pay as go method. The spreadsheet also contains lots drink prices.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION! I used a fellow members reviews for drink lists and menus, here is the link for those sources. Menus and Drink lists and for the most complete list of MDR drink prices go to this site MDR drink prices.
Celebrity Silhouette Wifi Internet
Internet is our only way of communication when we are on cruises. On this trip we bought the $100 internet package, although the connection was questionable at best. More on that later.
Celebrity Silhouette Gratuities
We managed to score free gratuities from our TA, this is second time that we take advantage of their “free gratuities” deal. We always give more here and there, but to know that the main chunk was already taken care off was good relief for us. I will probably talk more about gratuities during the review as we do tend to take care of those who take care of us.
Celebrity Silhouette Trip Insurance
As suggested by many fellow CC members, I went to Insure My Trip and shopped around for a travel insurance. My mom wanted some kind of insurance just in case we needed to be lifted out the ship in case of an emergency. We ended settling for HCC Medical Insurance Services with the Atlas International plan, total plan was $34.16 for both of us. Much better than the $110pp I paid for my past trip, but of course it had much less coverage.
Well, I guess we all have to learn lessons one way or another. This time I got very, very lucky. Always call your TA rather than using the internet to make the reservation, lesson learned .
So this is how the story goes,
About a week after I booked my reservation someone on our roll call announced a price drop, “crap” I thought… Well I decided to call my TA and see what they could do for me, the only thing they could do was to upgrade me to concierge class. The problem with that was that I did not like the location of any of the cabins in that category and we were really happy with the location of ours, in the end I decided to decline the upgrade and accept the loss. I had no intentions on changing our cabin just for a few extras, to each their own (I know many will saw “WHAT?!?!”).
Anyway, right before I was going to thank her and tell her good bye, she says to me “Sir, you still have not decided if you want to keep your OBC or you want the unlimited classic beverage package? You have one more day to decide”. At that point I almost had a heart attack , it was to my understanding that the unlimited package was only for european sailings. Plus I had already got free gratuities. I replied to her “you mean the unlimited alcohol is available for this sailing? are you sure?”, she then explained to me the 123 promotion and I learned that they had phrased wrong the statement in their TA website, that is why I got it wrong.
It took me about a millisecond to tell her to change us to the drink package, I was beyond excited, not ever I could imagine being able to afford this package. After it was all done, I went online to tell my roll call that I scored the free package, someone replied telling me that they got it as well and then they upgraded to the premium one. The premium package was of great interest to me, since I am almost exclusively a martini kind of guy and most martinis fall in that category.
I called back my TA and asked her about that, she called X and was told that it was $161 for both of us, that was a good thing since it was exactly how much I had planned to spend on the two bottles of vodka. The only problem was that since we changed to the classic package, we had lost the OBC and that was the money that I was going to use for the specialty restaurants. I decided to do it anyway, it was simply put an excellent deal to let slip away, we would have to compromise in other areas. This was our chance to sail with such a great package. I was so excited that I hardly slept that night, this was just something unimaginable for us. We were looking forward to trying as many drinks as possible in one week , not usually my style but when in Rome, well you know .