We made the switch from Royal Caribbean to Celebrity a few years ago, and have not looked back. Our cruise experiences with Celebrity have all been outstanding, and we will continue to cruise with them. We will be doing two cruises on the Silhouette right after she comes out of refurb in 2020, and we also have two cruises booked on the Reflection in 2021. While your mileage may vary, we feel that you get outstanding bang for your buck on a cruise vacation. It is also a great way to get out of the miserable midwestern winters for a couple of weeks each year!
5 out of 5
The embarkation process was simply a breeze. We arrived at the cruise port at about 11:30am, and found the queue virtually empty. The whole process took less than 10 minutes.
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
We found the menus in the main dining room to be mostly uninspiring. The word was that a new head chef had just started on the Silhouette with our cruise, and perhaps he was just getting a feel for things. We would check the menu in advance of dinner each day, and if the menu did not look appealing, we made other plans. We dined twice at the Lawn Club Grille, which was outstanding; and once at Murano which was also extremely good. On many of the other nights, we ate in the buffet, which always offered a good selection of choices and had enough going on to keep everyone happy.
5 out of 5
We did the usual on sea days...spent some time by the pool, played trivia, and sought out those quiet places where we could just relax and read a book for an hour or so. We never felt crowded, and were always able to do just what we wanted to do in the moment.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
It was our experience that virtually every staff member we encountered on the ship was genuinely eager to help, and provide superb service. The wait staff in the main dining room and the buffet were terrific. Of particular note were two people...Amar at the Sunset Bar on Deck 15, and Ivo at the Lawn Club Grille. By the second day of the cruise, Amar knew us (we were a group of 8) by name, and knew what we liked. He simply pampered us. Ivo was our waiter for the two trips to the Lawn Club Grille, and he personally made our evenings very special events.
On the other hand, our cabin attendant was somewhat lackluster. While our room was kept neat and clean, she offered nothing special or extra. In fact, during a 12-day cruise, I only saw her three times. Also, she typically would not have our room made up in the mornings until well after 11:00, which is much later than we are used to.
5 out of 5
We really enjoy this class of ship on Celebrity, and have previously cruised on the Equinox and the Eclipse. For our taste, the size and design is just right. The Silhouette is due to go into refurbishment in late 2019, but you wouldn't know it was in need of anything major. All venues were kept clean and sparkling, and we never had any reason to complain about anything.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
We had a hump cabin on Deck 10, which has the oversize balcony. We almost always book a cabin of this sort, because we love having a larger balcony area. Yes...we actually like to spend time on our balcony during the evenings, or during the day on sea days. I do wish they would add shelving to the closet in the cabin, as that would be welcome extra storage. But, the storage is adequate, and our cabin was very enjoyable. We have booked a cruise in the same cabin on this ship for 2021.
Check out the Sunset Bar on Deck 15. We were a group of 8 people, 4 couples, that all cruise together once a year. The Sunset Bar was our daily meeting venue, since we were not always doing the same port activities. It is a wonderful place to sit and relax, enjoy a cool drink, have a great view, and just enjoy life.
As you might expect, there are a lot of things to do in Ft. Lauderdale. We typically come in a couple days in advance of the cruise, and take in the opportunities that abound in south Florida. Buying a ticket for the water taxi is always fun. You can ride the thing all over, get off wherever you want, and get back on. It's a great way to spend the late morning/early afternoon hours with a lunch break in the middle.
We did a full day catamaran tour with Big Beard's out of Christiansted. We cruised out to Buck Island for some snorkeling, and then went to a secluded beach where the crew grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for lunch. It was a fun day.
St. Maarten is very diverse, and there are tons of things to do there. They are climbing their way back from the devastating hurricane in September 2017, and the locals are very glad to have the cruise ship passengers come ashore. We did a day sailing adventure with Random Wind, and had an absolute blast. The boat's crew was phenomenal, and made sure everyone had a great time. Hook up with them...you'll be glad you did.
We love St. Lucia, have been there numerous times, and try to do different things while we are in port. This time, we booked a Segway tour. It was great fun, as the Segways we were riding were the off-road variants. Rather than riding around on paved roads, we went off into the outback, including a stop at Reduit Beach. Good times.
We usually have a good time in Grenada, but this year, not so much. Really nothing bad about the island, but rather with a tour operator we had booked on our own. We are scuba divers, and booked a 2-tank dive with an operator we had not used before...Scuba Tech. An operator we had previously used in Grenada could not accommodate us this year. Without going into all the sordid details, Scuba Tech provided the worst diving experience we have ever had in the Caribbean. Needless to say, I do not recommend them, nor will I use them again.
This year, we spent the day at Harbour Lights Beach in Barbados. We were looking for something a little less crowded than the Boat Yard. We didn't find it. Even though we had reservations, by the time we arrived at 10:30am, we were stuck back five rows. It's all good, though, The beach is great, the water is wonderful, and that sand. The beaches in Barbados have terrific sand!
Dominica really took it on the chin in the September 2017 hurricane, and the locals have worked extremely hard to come back from the devastating effects. While the island is certainly not 100% recovered, they are coming back, and the locals are super happy to see cruise ships coming to port again. We have always loved this island and its people, and were very happy to be back. We did a 2-tank scuba diving trip with Dive Dominica, and had a terrific time. They have a really nice dive boat, and a great crew. We will dive with them again. My heart goes out to the people of Dominica, who are coming back from a terrible natural disaster, but they are coming back nonetheless.
St. Kitts is always fun, and we can always find a great way to spend a day there. This year, we did a Zip Line adventure. It was great fun, although my personal opinion is it does not live up to the billing as the "best zip line in the Caribbean." I think that nod goes to the zip line in St. Lucia, which is 12 towers as opposed to the 5 towers in St. Kitts. Still...it was a ton of fun, and I would do it again.
5 out of 5
Disembarkation (can we just say "getting off the ship") could not have been easier. We like to do the luggage valet service, which simply makes it a piece of cake. Pay $25 per person, put your bags outside your cabin on the last night of the cruise, and you don't mess with them again until they are on the carousel at your home airport. Give luggage valet a try...you'll never go back to humping luggage again!
*Cruiseline.com is not a booking agent or travel agency,
and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners
(travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our
users' convenience. Cruiseline.com does not guarantee any specific rates or
prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site
for the exact amount. Cruiseline.com is not responsible for content on
external web sites.
Need help from a personal vacation planner?
Find the perfect cruise with weekly tips and cruise deals for as little as $30/night!
Sign up for weekly cruise deals
Join other subscribers and get the best
cruise deals of the week in your inbox every Thursday.