January 2017 - Celebrity Silhouette to Caribbean - Bahamas
Over all, the Silhouette is a beautiful ship and we would love to sail on her for a 7nt or longer cruise in the future. We were in a balcony stateroom (cabin 9233), which was spacious and nice, but not nearly enough drawer or storage space, although the closet was larger than expected. The cabin location was fantastic as it was mid-ship with a nice sized balcony and very close to the elevators. Our cabin was also adjoining with 9235 (my parents cabin) but the adjoining portion was a the front doors with larger doors outside in the alcove that could be closed to create an easy pass through and the balcony separator was opened so we have one large space to hang out at sail away or just for cocktails before dinner. The bathroom was large (for a cruise ship) and the shower was walk-in size and nicely oversized by cruise ship standards. Also, there was no icky shower curtain but rather sliding doors to enclose the shower. The bed, however, was one of the worst I've ever slept on and the pillows were meager in size and just plain as uncomfortable. Our room steward was very nice but unfortunately there wasn't much he could do about the bed. Some of the concierge and higher staterooms offer pillow menus and now I know why that is so important.
The sailing we were on was only 3nt, so the clientele was NOT our peer group. Putting that aside, the cruise was very nice and we learned where and where not to go for quiet space. The food overall was good and the selection in the Ocean side Cafe was pretty extensive but it was over crowded and hard to get a table the couple of times we tried and there were lots of kids running around like crazed animals. There is a great selection of alternative dining venues all of which looked amazing, but need to be pre-booked as early as possible. We tried every day to get into several of them and they were all booked prior to even boarding the ship. I think it was because of being such a short cruise that made it even harder. We did get into the Lawn Grill for lunch one day and the burgers were fantastic as was the service and it was also a nice quiet area of the ship and worth every penny of the $15 cover charge.
The drink packages and the drinks themselves are incredibly over priced. 4 drinks at the bar were over $50! Outrageous!! I've been on more than 125 cruises and consider Celebrity's pricing vs. quantity of the drink to be on par with what I would expect at a Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton, NOT on a Celebrity cruise. Wine is allowed to be carried on, one bottle per person, so if you have more in your group sailing, you can bring one for each person in the cabin. Handy we had my parents with us so we were able to bring on 4 bottles. You can also bring wine back to your cabin from the ports of call, however spirits and beer are taken at security and delivered to your cabin the last night of the cruise.
We found the Elite benefits from Celebrity to be very nice, even for a short cruise. If you sail regularly on Royal Caribbean, you’re past passenger status transfers over to Celebrity as well. There is a nice cocktail reception from 5-7 pm in a private area of a lounge. Canapés were served and you could order any drinks you wanted off the menu including wine, beer and spirits. If you are looking for a nice atmosphere and a couple of complimentary drinks, don’t miss this event. Also for Elite guests, we had 90 mins of FREE wi-fi onboard which we didn’t use all of the minutes as the service was VERY slow but then again were bobbing around in the middle of the Ocean, so I didn’t expect lightning fast speeds.
Overall we would sail on this ship again but for a longer sailing. The shorter sailings (like with other cruise lines) bring out a less mature and sophisticated crowd on board - looked more like a Carnival crowd than a Celebrity crowd. The ship is beautiful, easy to get around and very comfortable with lots of great spaces to listen to music and relax or have a drink and talk. I would say this cruise would be best suited for those 35 - 70 (and a young at heart 70) who like a more sophisticated atmosphere but not the price tag of the luxury lines. Of all the mass market cruise lines, Celebrity is hands down the best all around cruise line.