For a larger ship, it was beautiful and would love to sail on her longer
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.
The new Gold Standard for Cruising and truly spoiled onboard
We have cruised a lot...and by a lot, I mean more than 200 times and mostly on the Big 7 cruise lines in a variety of cabins from balcony to suites. We are in our mid-40’s and look forward each year to a special trip that we splurge on. Prior to this cruise our favorite overall experiences were Oceania and Windstar. We have now set the Gold Standard to which all future cruises will be compared to. We LOVED our experience on Crystal and from the moment we stepped into the terminal at NYC all the way through to getting to our cabin, there were smiling faces welcoming us and escorting us to each step.
This was our Anniversary cruise so we selected the Penthouse category on Deck 10 complete with a butler. Our butler, Damien, greeted us within minutes of arriving to our cabin to show us the features of the cabin, pour us drinks and find out our preferences and expectations for the cruise. He was warm, welcoming and we looked forward each day to his afternoon canapés and cocktails. He along with cabin stewardesses, were absolutely fantastic.
Our cabin was well appointed and VERY comfortable! We had a nice size couch and chair where you could look out to the oversized balcony...with actual real patio furniture that was comfortable to lounge in and soak up the views. The room has two twin bed or they push together to make a large queen size and was one of the most comfortable beds and pillows I've ever experienced on cruise or land. Nice comfy bathrobes and changing robes were included in the large walk-in closet. The bathroom was complete with his/her sinks, full size shower and separate jacuzzi tub. A really cool feature was the speaker in the bathroom pipped in whatever TV show/movie sound from the TV right into the bathroom.
The food and service across the ship and at every venue was top notch! Always warm smiles and attentive service. The food selection was various and each dish was fantastic. Prego the Italian restaurant and Silk Road Sushi (by Nobu) are the two most sought after specialty restaurants and require advance reservations. The main dining room exceeded our expectations with our waiters, Nikola and Alen being the highlight. There were 4-6 options for every course from appetizer, soup, salad, entrée and dessert. The breakfast and lunch buffets in the Lido were as extensive as they were varied. All the food venues across the ship were truly exceptional, of the highest quality and tremendous options…not to mention outstanding taste! We were truly impressed by the food and service on this cruise and life after the cruise has become very disappointing. Our first dinner home we looked at each other and lamented as to how much we missed Nikola and Alen…and the amazing meals.
There was a variety of shows, lectures and events throughout the day on the ship. Most impressive was the computer lab with an extensive offering of classes during the cruise. The library was well stocked with books and movies, which could be taken to your cabin for viewing. Also, there is a movie theatre onboard that shows a variety of movies and also used for lectures and other events.
If there is one constructive feedback to offer, it’s that the wifi is very slow! There is an hour per day complimentary per person but unless you have a lot of patience or time to spend connecting and for pages to load, you will likely not use all of the time allotted and give up in frustration. Being working professionals (not retired) we needed to check email during our trip, which was quite cumbersome but given the long port days, it was pretty easy to use wifi in the port. My suggestion would be to give up on being connected and go spend time eating, drinking and enjoying all the ship has to offer!
Crystal is an all-inclusive experience from food to drinks and everything in between. You would not need to spend another dollar while on onboard except for the obvious/expected things such as shore excursions, casino, spa and onboard shopping. Tipping is included in the cruise fare but we felt the service was so exceptional that we opted to give our waiters and room butler a little extra at the end of the cruise.
We can’t wait to book our next Crystal cruise as we were truly spoiled! Acclimating back to real life after this cruise is very hard and this will be a trip that we will talk about for months and years to come!