July 2015 - Celebrity Silhouette to Europe - Western Europe
Not sure we will take another Celebrity cruise after our experiences on Silhouette. From beginning to end, there was one issue after another which started with the embarkation process at the cruise terminal. The embarkation process was extremely long. After completing the initial check-in, guests stood in line for about 2 hours before boarding. There was another 30 minute queue to reach the British Immigration processing tables. Once our passports were turned into the ship’s employees (which were held until reaching Cork), we had an opportunity to see our cabin, meet our attendants and grab a quick bite to eat. Both the accommodations and attendants were great. The food, throughout the cruise, was average at best and food service was dicey. Wine service with Sidney was great; however, Francesco poured two glasses from a new bottle and brought the bottle back with just an inch of wine in the bottom! Not sure what happen, he said another sommelier probably poured single glasses from our bottle for other guests! It was evident there was no backup plan for the emergency weather conditions and poor communication from the caption/crew during these situations. Rearranging excursions was problematic. Since our British Open excursion on July 18 had to be cancelled due to dangerous tendering conditions, we were rescheduled for July 19. However, when we returned to our cabin that evening, about 9:00 PM, we discovered another pair of British Open tickets ($300 each) for the next day (Monday) which we had not booked, as well as a pair of tickets for an Edinburg excursion, also for Monday. We had tried to book the Edinburg trip, but were told it could not be arranged by the Excursion Desk the night before; therefore, made other plans. The 2nd set of Open tickets were never requested or booked. The Excursion Desk could not be reached by phone so we ran down stairs in hopes to resolve the problem. Thankfully, we were able to cancel both and get credit. Sadly, there was no explanation for the mix-up and no apology.
Our last “day at sea” was shortened when the captain announced stormy weather was forecast for Amsterdam, so the ship had to be maneuvered through the locks before it hit. Shopping, the casino, food service, etc. were shut down about 12:30 P.M. The next morning before disembarking, breakfast in the Cuvee Café was less than desired. It was obvious the crew had started preparations for the next group of passengers and did have time to give attentive service to the guests disembarking. In the Cuvee Cafe, there were only 3 choices for diners. When the meals arrived, one was wrong and the other looked like leftovers from the day before, i.e., undercooked toast, bacon bits (not slices), overcooked hash browns. You had to wave or call out to get any service and the restaurant only had a few customers. It was like they were not happy that we did not go to the buffet. Not a great ending!!! Disembarkation was easy, but luggage was a little hard to find. We were staying in Amsterdam so we just caught a cab to our hotel.
The British Open and our visits to Scotland, Ireland and England were bucket list items. Consequently, we were not disappointed we booked a cruise to travel to see the golf event at St. Andrews and these beautiful countries. It is sad that all the issues we encountered dampened the experience.