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Silhouette Review - Baltic Region – 23 June 2018 to 7 July 2018


Silkroad
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First, a heartfelt thanks to all of you who have written reviews in recent years. I’ve benefited from your efforts, and it’s time for me to make my own contribution. Many reviewers have covered the ports extensively, including lovely photos. Still others have provided visual tours of Silhouette herself. I will attempt to describe our shipboard experience, with some observations on the ports thrown in on occasion. I'll write in segments, and I'll finish it as quickly as possible;)

 

I’ve sailed on five cruises (all Celebrity) and this was my second time on lovely Silhouette. This was my first experience in a Concierge stateroom, and I’ll admit that I only booked it because it was $40 less than a similarly located Veranda Stateroom.

 

We arrived in Southampton two days prior to embarkation. We’d taken a red eye to LHR, so we turned up at our hotel mid-morning, quite bedraggled and bleary eyed, I’m sure. The front desk staff at the Holiday Inn was simply lovely. They had a proper (locked) storage area for bags, which was a relief since we wanted to explore Southampton unencumbered by our carry-on bags. They offered us breakfast at the buffet prior to check in, which was a lovely surprise. They were able to offer us early check in a couple hours later. Our stay exceeded our expectations in every way (excepting the single, quite small lift). We can’t say we weren’t warned about the lift via countless TripAdvisor reviews lol. We had beautiful weather in Southampton, which made for a delightful exploration of the city.

 

On embarkation day, we simply rolled our bags out the front door of the hotel, around the corner, straight down to the cruise terminal. We turned our large bags over to the baggage personnel outside the terminal. The baggage handlers took our bags, and immediately turned to the next person without waiting for a tip. It was clear that nobody was tipping, and tips didn’t seem to be expected (quite different from Miami, at which they actively let one know they expect tips, or else…). Upon reaching the Concierge line, which may not have been any shorter than the other line, we were welcomed by the Concierge, Vannessa, who made sure we knew about the Concierge Luncheon. We made it through check in and security quickly, and we were on the ship with glasses of bubbly by 11:00.

 

At 11:30, we headed to the the Concierge Luncheon, held between 11:30 and 1:00 in the main dining room. The staff directed us to leave our carry-on bags in the corner, before seating us at a large table with several other couples. We were offered a menu similar to the MDR lunch menus. We liked our choices and enjoyed conversations with our table mates. Our stateroom was ready by the time we’d finished lunch, so we collected our carry-on bags and proceeded to deck 10.

 

We had a starboard C3 stateroom located midway between the midship elevators and the stern. As we approached the stateroom, we were pleased to see one of our large bags outside the door. We had to have our attendant remove food left by the previous passengers in the mini-fridge, and we requested that he also stow all the items for sale elsewhere, as we wanted to use the mini-fridge and counter top for our own items. We found fruit, and an electric kettle and tea tray, but neither chilled bubbly nor a filled ice bucket. The stateroom had a standard veranda, on which there were a table, two chairs, and two footstools. The drapes & upholstery were a bit bedraggled, one closet door didn’t slide readily, and there were a couple loose handles (one of which I was able to tighten myself). The stateroom could use a refurb, but the bed was comfortable, and the bathroom well maintained.

 

The Muster Drill was an interesting experience. We reported to the Ensemble Lounge where we were directed to seats by staff. For some time, we watched staff try to direct milling herds of people to their sections, after which we listened to a video that most people couldn’t see. A portion of the video, during which I experienced a profound wish that I had obtained a cocktail before proceeding to the muster drill, was dedicated to the importance of hand washing. We were not taken to our section’s life boat.

 

We found our remaining bag outside our stateroom after the muster drill. We rushed to finish unpacking our clothes that required hangers before heading to the upper decks for sailaway.

Edited by Silkroad
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I am sorry that you did not get that drink ahead of time, but sometimes those things just happen. So good to hear that Southampton was sunny and pleasant, along with your hotel stay. I am looking forward to more of your review and what your impressions about your Baltic cruise adventure...thanks for sharing!

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Having read that some previous Select diners were unhappy with the food and service in the main dining room, I’d made reservations for some nights. From the moment we initially approached the Hostess (Elena) the first night to the moment we waved goodbye to the staff the last night, we had a fabulous experience. We were so pleased with Mark, Jose and Maila that we asked to be seated in their section every night. Food & Beverage management was very much present in the MDR each night. The Maître d’hôtel, Sachin was amazing. He moved so rapidly that he literally seemed to be everywhere at once! Mazy, the charming Dining Operations Manager was also omnipresent. Those two, along with the other F&B managers made every effort to ensure that everything was running smoothly, and diners happy.

 

We immediately noticed that the “always available” section on the right side of the menu had changed to include Fish & Chips and Irish Stew. We assumed this was a nod to the predominantly British passengers on cruises departing from Southampton. As usual, we were most tempted by the beef mains, though we tried pork, lamb and fish mains on occasion. We thought the food very good to excellent, and the service stellar. Of interest to me was that the Executive Chef, Denton Earl Laing, came to Silhouette only four months ago, and one of the F&B managers credits him with making great improvements. Having had the opportunity to converse with Executive Chef Laing, I can well believe it. I thought he was a delightful person, and a true foodie.

 

The Ocean View Café had an excellent selection, and plenty of staff to clean tables and take Il Secondo Bacio orders. I noted a full English breakfast station and an attractive assortment of afternoon tea items. Otherwise, the usual things were on offer. I can’t resist the fresh fruit at breakfast, or the Indian food at lunch. We enjoyed almost everything we tried.

 

We ordered breakfast from the Room Service menu twice. Having had such poor room service meals last year (food cold & no butter or condiments), I annotated the menu with very clear requests for our desired condiments. The first meal was warm and had everything we requested, but the coffee was not hot as they hadn’t used a thermal carafe. The second meal was perfect. The food was very warm, condiments were present, and the coffee was in a thermal carafe.

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I’m glad you find it useful busby:) I’m trying to get a lot of it done this weekend, and I’ll add some photos as well.

 

The hair dryer was located in one of the drawers near the vanity. The outlets are located at the vanity. The hair dryer has a button on the handle that must be depressed in order for the dryer to work. Should you have long or thick hair, you may find it useful to bring a thick rubber band to hold the button down while styling your hair.

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I’m glad you find it useful busby:) I’m trying to get a lot of it done this weekend, and I’ll add some photos as well.

 

The hair dryer was located in one of the drawers near the vanity. The outlets are located at the vanity. The hair dryer has a button on the handle that must be depressed in order for the dryer to work. Should you have long or thick hair, you may find it useful to bring a thick rubber band to hold the button down while styling your hair.

Thankyou 😊

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Can't wait for the rest of the review! How were the bartenders? Did you have a bev package? We leave in 32 days!!

Thanks TinyG:) We did indeed have Premium Bev packages;p I’m working on the reminder of the food & beverage review now. I’ll post a couple of Southampton photos first. You’ll have a great time. It’s a wonderful itinerary!

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Following! Enjoying your review thus far and looking forward to re-living our Baltic cruise through your eyes.

Thanks afto:) I can only hope I’ll write a review that’s as good as those I’ve admired! Afto, I see you were on the exact itinerary I wished I could take, but work schedules prevented it. Now I remember your review, which was fabulous!

Edited by Silkroad
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Cafe al Bacio was almost always packed, making it difficult to find a table. However, management came up with the brilliant idea of opening the often empty Sushi on 5 to overflow Cafe al Bacio patrons.

 

Finding ourselves so pleased with our main dining room experience, we canceled our three-night specialty dining package. Murano is our favorite, but we dined there several times last year (on Reflection). The menu has not changed in several years, so we decided to take a break.

 

We did try a special Indian menu offered in Qsine one night.It was called Taj Mahal, and it was well worth the upcharge. Food and service were excellent. We also had lunch in Sushi on 5 on one occasion. The food was very good, and service was adequate.

 

We received the Classic beverage package as a perk, and upgraded to Premium prior to boarding. We barely break even with the Premium package, but DH hates signing all the little slips LOL. Without our specialty coffee addiction, we probably wouldn't have a chance of breaking even. I prefer the wines offered in the Premium package. DH prefers the beers in the Premium package, though at least now Guinness is in the Classic package. It's fun to try new cocktails, knowing one needn't finish them if they're not to one's taste after all. On Reflection last year, we tried various dessert wines and ports at wine tastings. We tried them on this cruise as well;p

 

We did not sample every bar and lounge on the ship. We did try to find a seat in the Sky Lounge and Sunset Bar on several occasions, but clearly one must occupy these spaces early in the day and maintain one's position lol.

 

Being people who enjoy live music, we most often found ourselves in either the Ensemble Lounge or the Passport Bar. I regret to say that we did not make note of the name of one of the best bartenders in the Passport Bar, but he was always moving so fast it was impossible to see his name tag! Happy is one of the bartenders at the Passport Bar, and besides actually being a happy person, he was one of the bartenders who mixed a very stiff drink. We found that several of the bartenders mixed eye-opening cocktails, which are not to my taste, but YMMV. In the Ensemble Lounge, look for Dev. He is, hands-down, one of the best bartenders on the ship.

 

We also enjoyed picking up a few nibbles from Ocean View Cafe, taking them to the tables on the deck outside OVC, and ordering beer and wine from the bar servers there.

 

The Concierge perks included a plate of crudites delivered in the afternoon. I must say that they were a disappointment. I knew that one could ask for cheese and crackers instead, and finally did make that request. We sometimes obtained beer and wine on the way back to our stateroom to enjoy on the balcony with the cheese plate.

 

We had a belated 27th wedding anniversary celebration on board. The Concierge, Vannessa, was kind enough to ensure that a bottle of Chardonnay was delivered to our stateroom in place of the sparkling wine that is one of the Concierge perks. She also had a lovely anniversary dessert delivered, and our stateroom attendant created towel swans surrounded by flower blossoms on the bed. Simple things, yes, but we found them charming.

 

I know that some of you are wondering why there are no photos of food. There are two reasons. The first is that, due to my own sensitivity to flashing lights in dark rooms (migraines) I'm reluctant to use flash in dining establishments lest I distress others having light sensitivity. The second is that one or both of us has a fork in the food very rapidly LOL. We are much more interested in savoring the food than photographing the food! That said, I very much enjoy the photos of food taken by others. I'm looking at you Norris:D

Edited by Silkroad
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I'm happy to report that after all the frustration we experienced when trying to sign up for the Cruise Critic meet and greet, Celebrity did get it sorted. We found an invitation waiting in our stateroom upon boarding. It was held in Cellar Masters on the morning of the first sea day. Sadly, not everyone who signed up actually attended. I had hoped to meet several people from the Roll Call, but it was not to be. We did have a fascinating conversation with an lovely Australian couple whom we later encountered several times throughout the cruise.

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Thank you for the review. We are on the silhouette on Saturday. Can you tell me which nights were the formal nights? Many thanks.

Here you go:) The Evening Chic nights were:

 

*the second night, after leaving Zeebrugge

*the third scheduled sea day, after leaving St. Petersburg

*the fourth scheduled sea day

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For those who wished to explore Bruges or Blankenberge on their own, Celebrity arranged for a local tour operator to provide shuttle service to both cities. Round trip tickets to Bruges were 20 euros per person. Round trip tickets to Blankenberge were 10 euros per person. Tickets were available at the pier. Cash only.

 

Those who wished to explore Copenhagen on their own could purchase a $20 per person day pass for a shuttle service at either the Guest Relations desk or the Shore Excursions desk.

 

Those who wished to walk into Copenhagen could take a very pleasant walk along the water, and through a lovely park to town. Should you look at the third photo, you will see Silhouette on the horizon. The promenade on the left would be part of your route to walk to and from the ship.

1796464628_Copenhagen-StAlbans.thumb.jpg.b2ec76679efeae5decdc1a2b33f99866.jpg

Copenhagen-Nyhavn.jpg.3ef09aad35aff9dba6a08f9fedac3a9f.jpg

CopenhagenHarbor.thumb.jpg.ded8bd4af290e55a999779b9cb7cfc3b.jpg

CopenhagenIsland.thumb.jpg.563fda988803e6979b983c34de1947cd.jpg

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You definitely have that special talent for writing, not to mention on photos too. When we were in Nyhavn, the clouds and rain did not show mercy on us for a good 45 minutes, but finally the sun came out for a nice day! Cannot wait to read more...

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