Beautiful Ship, Beautiful Cruise, but disappointment in the detail.
Mark Slater | September 22, 2017 | Celebrity Cruises | Celebrity Silhouette
This was our first Celebrity Cruise having previously cruised with P&O and Princess. Our cruise started in Rome and took us to Malta, Greece, Turkey and back to Venice. An excellent itinerary. We chose to book our own flights as this gave us much better timings at lower cost than those offerred by Celebruty. There is no doubt that the Celebrity Silhouette is a stunningly beautiful ship. It has a wide range of facilities including two small outdoor pools and one large, but shallow, indoor pool. Beautiful bars, a small art gallery and a large, wll used, casino, card room, library and the usual variety of up market shops. The novel idea of having a lawn on one of the open decks looks good but seems a bit pointless, a larger outdoor pool would have been a much better use of space. A must visit space on the ship is the front facing Sky Lounge which affords 180 degree views towards the front of the ship while sitting on very comfortable sofas and loungers.
In common with our prior cruise experience all service staff were very hard working, friendly and accommodating. Our balcony stateroom was compact, well laid out with a comfortably furnished balcony. It was, however short on clothes storage space with one hanging cupboard and just 3 smal drawers for storing clothes.
We had booked a concierge cabin which promised some minor extras, principally a bottle of sparkling wine on arrival (very nice), fresh every day (disappointing), canapes every day (very disapointing) loan of bathrobes, umbrella and binoculars. Oveall poor value for money.
We had also booked the flexible dining option which worked very well. We never waited for a table regardless of what time we arrived at the dining room. Dining room staff were very attenive and service was very quick – sometimes a little bit too quick. The quality of the food served in the standard dining hall however, although good, did not match upto the quality or variety of food provided on previous cruises we had taken. Although I have to qualfy that by adding that we do not eat meat or shellfish only fish or vegetarian. There were very few meals from which we could say that we felt we had a real treat other than when we attended one of the speciality restaurants where for just an additional $25 each we ate a truly sumptuous meal in very comfortable surroundings. We felt this very good value.
On quite a different note the ship has a theatre which is comparable with any West End theatre and some of the performances did total justice to this setting. However on the sea days and some evenings that we had there seemed little to do other than read a book or watch television. There was far less casual entertainment (quizes and games) than we have previously experienced. We were disapointed that although the ship has a card room there were no organised card game (such as bridge) events.
The other disapointment was the lack of destination information. Some very limited information was sometimes available on request from Customer Services but you had to ask at each port to see if anything was available. The port information provided by the port lectures concentrated on summarising port excursions and available shopping opportunities provided (with special emphasis on the advantage of shopping at Celebrity Approved shops).
Our final disapointment came with end of cruise hotel stay. Our cruise finished in Venice and we decided to stay another couple of days. As we are aware that moving around Venice with heavy lugguage has its difficulties we decided to opt for a Ce;lebrity booked hotel accompanied with an arranged transfer from the ship. I assumed that the transfer would obviate our having to mandhandle our lugguage ourselves. This wa not the case. We were very disappointed that it required transferring passengers to wait until all other passengers were off the ship and then we had to collect our cases from a transit hanger and carry / pull their own lugguage the length of the cruise terminal quey and onto a jetty where the water taxis were waiting. On arriving at our hotel (Monaco and Grand Canal) we discovered that the classic oom booked for us was both very compact and afforded us a view over a small roof onto a blank wall of an adjacent building. On complaining we were told that we would have to pay an additional 150 euros a day for a better room. The alternative rooms offerred were substantially better and we felt that we had little option but to upgrade. Our new accommodation was very nice, spacious with a small bulcony, but at well over ?500 per day very expensive. In future I will book all off cruise accommodation myself!
All in all, we enjoyed our cruise, we visited some fascinating places, met many interesting people experienced excellent service from many hard working members of Celebrity staff and, had we not previously been spoilt by P&O and Princess cruises we would have been totally satisfied.
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