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Long Review: 01/26/14 - Silhouette 7 day Western Caribbean


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Really looking forward to this review. We're on Silhouette doing the same itinerary in a few weeks and actually in the next door cabin to you. Disappointing to hear about the soot. We often sail in an aft cabin and have only had soot problems on 2 occasions.

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First of all I have a correction to make here: The musical group above that I thought was named ROX is actually called The Smart Casuals. :)

 

Day 4 (cruise day 3) – Cozumel: We love Cozumel. We’ve been here 7 times and could come here many more times. If it wasn’t for the hurricanes I could almost see living here. We arrive at 8:00 am (7:00 am local time) and it’s a gorgeous day. This is also one of two times that we order room service for breakfast because, in this case, we need to get off the ship at a reasonable time to make our massage appointment at 9:00 am local time. Room service breakfast is not bad at all. If you request it at 7, you get it at 7. Period. That’s definitely a good thing. And as you can see I keep typing out “local time”. This is the only time when the ship time and the port time is different. The ship remains consistently on Eastern time, while Cozumel is Central time.

 

Getting off the ship is smooth as silk and it’s just a $8 cab ride to downtown Cozumel. If you’ve never been to Cozumel, always ask the driver to take you to some place specific and not just “downtown”. They’ll drop you off at the edge of downtown, which is basically where the Mega Grocery store is, rather than downtown proper. Have them take you to the Main Plaza which is across the street from the ferry to Playa del Carmen.

 

As we get to downtown the shops are all still in the process of opening so we didn’t do much shopping. Not really a big deal, but that hour difference is big at that point. We did a little walking around before heading over to Sally’s for our scheduled massages.

 

We’ve known Sally since 2003 when she was co-owner of the now defunct Cozumel Mini-Golf. Every time we’ve come here we met with her in some way, either to play mini-golf or to get a massage from her. We had back to back massages booked with her as well as a “lunch date”. She does both Ashiatsu and Swedish massages. The woman is outstanding at what she does. If you do not know what to do in Cozumel, contact her for a massage. Her website is http://www.barefootincozumel.com/. She’s a short walk from the waterfront.

 

After the massages we head out for lunch at a place called La Choza. Usually we’d go to a place called Sonora Grill, but they’ve unfortunately closed down. And, of course, the place she’s taken us to is fantastic. I definitely recommend it. And their salsa is unlike anything I’ve had before. While I could have bought jars of it, I do not know if they would have survived the long trip home. I regret not trying!

 

After lunch we go our separate ways. My wife and I do a very small bit of shopping before heading back to the ship.

 

That evening after dinner we spend a bit of time at the Martini Bar. It’s a great location to hang around, plus the drink are great! I also head over to the casino to say good bye to some money. (This was not a good week for me to gamble it seems…) My only complaint about the casino is the lack of reasonably priced blackjack tables. On Summit there were 2 or 3 tables with $5 minimums. Here the minimum was $10 at only 1 table. I ended up playing Texas Hold ‘Em and I wish I had just saved my time and money.

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Sunrise as we head in Cozumel:

 

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Walking down the pier to go catch a cab, this is the view as I turn around:

 

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The nearly deserted waterfront street of Cozumel, which you never see when ships are in port:

 

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Leaving Cozumel:

 

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Day 5 (cruise day 4) – Grand Cayman: It rained this morning early, around 5:00 am. This, unfortunately, caused us problems later on in the morning….

 

Since we decided not to tender over to Grand Cayman (we’ve been there once and that was more than enough), we booked the Alcoves for the day instead. We also decided to sleep in just a bit later in an effort to miss some of the “traffic” in the buffet. It definitely paid off too. :) While there were still lots of people, it was considerably less than the first sea day.

 

After breakfast, we had to the Alcoves at about 10:00 am, excited to have a day where it’s quiet and, from what I had been told, the service is top notch. Now remember I said it rained. That rain caused a few problems for the seats. The water collected and pooled on all the chair pads. ALL the pads. Now you would think that by this time, 5 hours after the rain, someone would have made sure all the cabanas would be cleaned up and ready for use. That was not the case.

 

When we got there were wandered around looking to see where our reserved spot was, but none of the signs had our name on them. Ok, so we try to find someone who works there or to find someone who can give us some sort of directions as to what to do. There’s no one around. After about 10 minutes of wandering and searching, I finally found someone. They go off to call someone to come up and help us.

 

5-10 more minutes of waiting.

 

Finally, someone comes up and we show them the problem with the chair pads. They do the same things us, they check the other cabanas… They come back to us and suggest that we could “sit on some towels”. By this point I’m beginning to get a bit aggravated and I say, “no.” I just wanted a dry chair pad. That’s it.

 

They suggest bringing some pillows for us to sit on and I was ok with that until the bench pad got dried out for us to use. They take the pads and bring the pillows. The pillows, though, are extremely uncomfortable and "force" you to slouch when you sit on them, which is not a good thing for someone who has had neck surgery. They then try to open the canvas shade and are struggling mightily with it:

 

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Finally the gentleman in the blue shirt goes off to get the pool butlers up to help. Right after he leaves two other people show up and encounter the same problem with soaked chair pads. Also, one of the waiters from The Porch brings us over some iced coffee in an effort to appease us.

 

Wait a bit more and pool butlers come up, but they bypass us and head over to the two who had just arrived. Raise their shade and go off to get something to resolve their wet chair pad problem. They bring back our bench pad, which is now dry, and give it to those two.

 

I am not the “shy quiet type”. I immediately let them know what happened. They apologize and say they’ll “resolve” it. What they do, however, is bring over a wet pad that is literally dripping on the concrete in front of me. Something I point out. They, too, suggest we just “sit on some towels”. I said , “no, go get my dry pad that you gave those other guys and bring it over here.” They said they couldn’t do that.

 

I said a few 4 letter words as we left to go to Guest Relations to complain and to get my money back. It’s now 11:00 am.

 

The person that GR calls is the same gentleman in the blue shirt. He’s apparently one of the managers of the specialty restaurants. Anyway, he tried everything to make it right, but in all honesty the one thing I wanted they would not do. I also admit by this time I was being VERY unreasonable and just wanted my money. Period. He was trying to offer me free stuff which I refused. What was being offered is not what I wanted.

 

For the first time ever in two Celebrity cruises I felt like I was being treated like a second class citizen and that I wasn’t worthy to even be on their ship.

 

Later that evening I had the opportunity to talk with Koray Savas, who is the Food and Beverage Manager of Silhouette, about the situation. Koray is an extremely nice person who we met the first sea day. Anyway, in the end, he apologized and tried to get us the Alcoves “on him” on the final sea day, but none were available. Be that as it may, the way the situation was originally handled was poorly, by me as well. BUT you would think that by 10 in the morning the area would have been ready for use, when it clearly was not.

 

So after the Alcoves situation, we spent the day by the pool. Not quite the romantic picnic basket day I had planned for us. Qsine that evening made up for it though. We both love Qsine and it did not fail to impress us yet again. And, of course, we did over eat, but it was worth it! Yum. :p

 

One other thing about that day: We were delayed in leaving port because the anchor got caught in a reef. When they tried to bring it up the chain kinked up and the winch blew. We were scheduled to leave port at 6:00, but we didn’t leave until 9:30. That caused us to arrive about 20 minutes late to Jamaica. And because that, Celebrity gave everyone a refund on their port fees and taxes. About $33 per person.

 

More pictures and then more review tomorrow….

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Day 6 (cruise day 5) -- Falmouth Jamaica: As I said previously, we arrived about 20 minutes late to port because of the problems with the anchor in Grand Cayman. It really did not affect things overall, because, as far as I know, no one’s excursions were dramatically affected, including ours.

 

This was the only port where we had an excursion planned during the cruise. We did the bamboo rafting on the Martha Brae tour. It was awesome. Absolutely gorgeous scenery and very relaxing. The only VERY minor complaint I have is that they have people along the shores trying to sell you things (drinks, souvenirs, etc.). It does ruin the experience a bit. Plus the person guiding the raft is going to try to sell you something that they’ve “carved”. My wife loved it, so we did buy it…

 

One word of warning though: If you need to be at a certain place at a certain time for an excursion you booked on your own (not through the ship), give yourself at least an additional 20 minutes from the time you leave the ship. It’s a long walk to get outside of the part area. However, they do have a lot of interesting shops to visit as well. I was able to get my Blue Mountain coffee there at least! :) Thankfully it’s not the “winding road through the shops to get to a cab” like in Cozumel!

 

After our rafting is done, they take us for a quick small lunch, and then back to the ship with a little bit of sightseeing along the way. Walking back to the ship was an adventure though because of the high winds! Hold on to your hats, people!

 

Back on the ship I go to head off to the bridge tour I had booked earlier in the cruise. This is not a tour that they advertise, but it’s available and it’s free. :) They only ask that you’re definitely able to do the tour. It’s only available during certain port days and usually around noon or so, it’s at the Captain’s discretion as to when or IF it’s done. So if you’ve got excursions planned that keep you off ship past noon, you may want to pass. They won’t do the tour if there are only 3 people or less. The tour is definitely cool and was one of the highlights of this cruise.

 

The rest of our day was spent relaxing by the pool.

 

After dinner we had planned going to see Ryan Joyce, who is a magician/comedian, but my wife wasn’t feeling well and she headed back to the cabin. I, on the other hand, decided to go to the casino and say good bye to some more money. In all honesty, I have never seen dealers with the amount of pure luck that Celebrity dealers have. I finally played some blackjack, but I, and everyone else, walked away after the dealer got a 7 card 21. Not the best end to the day. :o

 

Day 7 (cruise day 6) – Labadee, Haiti: Like in Grand Cayman, we stayed on board. Labadee is a beach area and neither of us like the sand. And while I did hear that you could just take the pathway and avoid the beach, you still get in your shoes. No thank you! I thoroughly enjoyed a very quiet day on board. The only complaints I did hear about, though, was if you ventured over to the vendors area. They were apparently extremely aggressive in trying to get you to buy their stuff.

 

This was day as also the second formal night. Now based on the fact that the tux I had rented didn’t fit, we opted to book a reservation at Tuscan Grill. I decided to not get all dressed up that night and I was definitely “smart casual”. We were very pleased with Tuscan Grill, too. Outstanding service, excellent food, and a great ambiance. It was well worth the extra money . I have no complaints about Tuscan Grill and Qsine and I would wholeheartedly recommend both to anyone.

 

Now some pictures…

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Day 8 (cruise day 7) -- Sea day: Another day spent by the pool. :) Yes, that is the kind of vacation I thoroughly love, with a few excursions thrown in on occasion.

 

We had absolutely NO problems in finding a deck chair. Even though the pool area was packed, you can easily find a chair. The pool butlers were vigilant in clearing chairs of their towels when people leave them behind, too. I never heard a complaint from anyone about “their chair” being taken from them on this day, and only once during the entire cruise. And with the ship moving, later on we were finally able to use our balcony for the latter half of the afternoon. Overall, it was a glorious day.

 

By the way, this was also the day that they served the grand brunch in the MDR.

 

Day 9 (heading home) -- Fort Lauderdale and then Chicagoland: Disembarkation was a breeze. And since our flight was late in the day (5:20 pm), we booked a post-cruise excursion. Fort Lauderdale, Land & Sea. The land part was interesting, the sea part was interesting up to a point. After awhile you can see only so many multi-millionaires’ mega-yachts. But it killed time. ;)

 

The flight home was non-eventful and I successfully avoided finding out anything about the Super Bowl score! (I was recording it.) Avoiding it was a challenge, too. Southwest now offers free TV on WiFi. Everyone around me was watching the game! I had to bury my nose in my book to not watch! :p

 

Final thoughts: Overall we had a great time. There were a few problems, of which could have easily been resolved if people were willing do the right thing. I’ve come to the realization that Celebrity, as much as I enjoy their product, is completely unwilling to do the right thing if it means it affects another passenger. Meaning, if you’re the wrong party, you’re S.O.L. This is not going to prevent from booking with them again, but it’s something I’ll remember.

 

Silhouette is a gorgeous ship. Its crew were always friendly and helpful. I certainly did not lack for service. I probably had the best room steward I’ve ever had and I tipped him appropriately in the end as well. He more than deserved it.

 

The waitstaff in the MDR was ok. Service was good, but there were noticeable problems here and there. I have certainly had better and worse! The specialty restaurants were outstanding. Qsine is our favorite, but Tuscan Grill was equally as enjoyable. I have absolutely no complaints there. The Porch was also quite good. And we both loved Café al Bacio.

 

The bar service, while good, was interesting. I noticed that people, like myself, who had the gold concierge cards got served first. Even if it meant bypassing someone else who had been there first with a non-concierge card. I don’t know about anyone else, but I always made it a point to make sure that they weren’t skipped over to serve me first. One of my pet peeves are those who cut in line, and I wasn’t going to allow it to happen for my benefit. That’s just wrong. Everyone on board should be treated equally, regardless of your “status”. This routinely happened at the pool bars.

 

The buffet was always crowded and busy, but it flowed well. Only on one day was there a problem with clean cups getting out quickly. I thought the food was very good overall, though I wish their scrambled eggs were a bit more done. They were definitely “wet”. I usually went past them and got an omelet.

 

We never saw any shows, as there was really nothing that interested us except for the magician. We had wanted to go to the Sin City show, but we invariably feel asleep early. :o (A lot of food, a lot of heat, and a lot to drink equals early nights! :p )

 

Anyway, despite the problems, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and will definitely cruise on Celebrity again. The next cruise we’re planning will hopefully be a Panama Canal cruise in 2016 for our 20th anniversary. It’s a long wait, but we want to do it right. :)

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The buffet was always crowded and busy, but it flowed well. Only on one day was there a problem with clean cups getting out quickly. I thought the food was very good overall, though I wish their scrambled eggs were a bit more done. They were definitely “wet”. I usually went past them and got an omelet.

 

I was hoping this would be better on the Silhouette than it was on the Summit last year. It's weird because the room service scrambled eggs are fine. It's just the ones in the buffet. Oh well, I'll just have to have other kinds of eggs or skip them altogether.

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I was hoping this would be better on the Silhouette than it was on the Summit last year. It's weird because the room service scrambled eggs are fine. It's just the ones in the buffet. Oh well, I'll just have to have other kinds of eggs or skip them altogether.

 

You can always have the omelet station make some scrambled eggs for you the way you like it. One of the pleasant surprises was the lack of long lines to get an omelet! :) Usually there was only about 2 or 3 people ahead of me waiting.

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  • 1 month later...

 

Back on the ship I go to head off to the bridge tour I had booked earlier in the cruise. This is not a tour that they advertise, but it’s available and it’s free. :) They only ask that you’re definitely able to do the tour. It’s only available during certain port days and usually around noon or so, it’s at the Captain’s discretion as to when or IF it’s done. So if you’ve got excursions planned that keep you off ship past noon, you may want to pass. They won’t do the tour if there are only 3 people or less. The tour is definitely cool and was one of the highlights of this cruise.

 

The rest of our day was spent relaxing by the pool.

 

After dinner we had planned going to see Ryan Joyce, who is a magician/comedian, but my wife wasn’t feeling well and she headed back to the cabin. I, on the other hand, decided to go to the casino and say good bye to some more money. In all honesty, I have never seen dealers with the amount of pure luck that Celebrity dealers have. I finally played some blackjack, but I, and everyone else, walked away after the dealer got a 7 card 21. Not the best end to the day. :o

 

Day 7 (cruise day 6) – Labadee, Haiti: Like in Grand Cayman, we stayed on board. Labadee is a beach area and neither of us like the sand. And while I did hear that you could just take the pathway and avoid the beach, you still get in your shoes. No thank you! I thoroughly enjoyed a very quiet day on board. The only complaints I did hear about, though, was if you ventured over to the vendors area. They were apparently extremely aggressive in trying to get you to buy their stuff.

 

This was day as also the second formal night. Now based on the fact that the tux I had rented didn’t fit, we opted to book a reservation at Tuscan Grill. I decided to not get all dressed up that night and I was definitely “smart casual”. We were very pleased with Tuscan Grill, too. Outstanding service, excellent food, and a great ambiance. It was well worth the extra money . I have no complaints about Tuscan Grill and Qsine and I would wholeheartedly recommend both to anyone.

 

Now some pictures…

 

Great review--thanks for posting!:)

 

Question:

 

The bridge sounds like something my DH would be interested in but being that it's not advertised, when, where, and how do you book it?

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what is the name of the bar located on the lower level where the band plays in the middle of the ship

 

also is a martini on the drink package without the upgrade

 

thanks

 

Hi Kevin! I'm going to answer this question b/c I was on the same cruise...I only saw you and your wife at the sail away and the CC party, but it was nice to meet you. Thanks for your review...it was a wonderful cruise and I've enjoyed reliving it through your thoughts and photos.

 

The bar on deck 3 is the Passport Bar. Martinis are available in the Classics package, but they are served in a smaller glass than if you have the premium package. Most martinis will be served in the classics package, but there are a few that are considered premium...also, I think the brand of liquor is a limiting factor. Either way, you can definitely have a martini with the classic package.

Edited by suzzek
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  • 4 weeks later...
Great review--thanks for posting!:)

 

Question:

 

The bridge sounds like something my DH would be interested in but being that it's not advertised, when, where, and how do you book it?

 

Not sure if you're still looking for an answer or not, but on the first day (the day you board) you go to Guest Relations and ask if it's being offered. If it is, they'll say which days it might be on and give you a few choices of times to go.

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