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


Silkroad
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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...

Thanks Suzy:) We did have wonderful weather in Copenhagen. In fact, we were fortunate to have lovely weather most port days. However, just to heap coals on our heads lol, Mother Nature not only prevented us from docking in St. Petersburg by sending high winds, but gave us sullen skies for the days we remained at anchor. Ah well, we’ve been quite philosophical about it, because there simply wasn’t anything that anyone could have done. We also had choppy seas one day, but nothing even close to our storm off Tenerife last spring:D - Michelle

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Yay! Happy is such a wonderful guy! We had him for our Alaska cruise on the Infinity! Never will forget the wonderful stories he told us! Hope he is still there in August. Do you remember any other names? Other bars or pool area?

 

We upgraded to the prem bev package already. As I like Tanqueray and now that is on the premium list :rolleyes:. We already had it on our second cruise of the B2B! So no worries for 23 days on what to drink...or the slips!

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Sorry, TinyG. We only dropped into the other bars for beer for DH and wine for me, so we never hung out long enough to learn the names of the bartenders. We didn’t become regulars in any particular bar or lounge, but we did visit the Passport Bar and Ensemble Lounge multiple times. That’s why Dev and Happy are the only names I can recall.

 

Happy was great! His was the first face we saw when we strolled into the Passport Bar after boarding. We decided to test our virgin seapass cards by ordering premium cocktails. Happy made me a beautiful drink, but it was definitely STRONG. I took tiny little sips until I could assess it’s impact;p

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Having heard so much about Cruise director Sue Denning, I was very pleased to finally sail with her. I realize some people love her CD persona, while others find it grating and annoying. Count me amongst the former. Sue projects so much energy that I often thought that we could power the ship with her if we could only find a way to make the connection LOL. She has great stage presence, and happily throws herself into whatever activity is on at the moment.

 

Being Captain's Club members, we were invited to several events. We attended the Captain's Club celebration in the Sky Lounge, the sole time we found an available table there lol. The event was held in the early afternoon, attended by Captain Peppas and other officers, as well as the Captain's Club host and CD Sue Denning. We thought it a pleasant opportunity to meet the captain and a few of the others who try to make our cruise holiday enjoyable.

 

We also attended the Captain's Club wine tasting seminar, which was another enjoyable event, not least because we met a delightful British couple with whom we shared lots of giggles.

 

We missed the other events, but took full advantage of the laundry discount. Having made Elite level with this Cruise, we're looking forward to complimentary bags of laundry on our next Cruise:D

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We were excited to be invited to the helipad for the sail into Stockholm. The invitation came from our lovely Concierge, Vannessa. I know many of you have been invited to countless helipad events, but I’m still thrilled by them. Why? Because I love being at the bow rail of any vessel at sea. Yes, I’m the one being pulled away from the rail by my frozen DH, hair in wind-tangled knots, an enormous grin on my face:D

 

Stockholm may not have been one of the crown jewels on this itinerary for some, but I loved every minute of it, from sail in through the stunningly peaceful and beautiful archipelago the first morning to the enchanting sail away the next afternoon. For me, sharing this experience with my beloved was priceless.

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Those who wanted to explore Stockholm on their own were provided two options by Celebrity:

 

a shuttle day pass for $15 round trip, or a HOHO bus ticket (sorry, I don’t know the price). The shuttle bus tickets had to be purchased at the Shore Excursions desk, but the HOHO bus tickets could be purchased either on the ship or on the bus.

Though we weren't ready to leave Stockholm, the sail away was spectacular.

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Loving your review, it’s good to get someone else’s perspective on the cruise.

It’s also heartening to read positive feedbacks regarding the food. You read so many reviews where all people can highlight is the negative aspect.

I hope you don’t mind me adding a few photos.

 

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.

 

Sky Lounge

 

We visited here most evenings for the Elite cocktails. We found it almost emptied at 6pm, when most passengers were leaving for their early dinner.

 

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Sunset Bar

 

We sat here on the first and last Sea days. The first was too windy to sit for very long and the 2nd time was just a short while before we left for other events.

We found that his bar was the only one where we count get Budweiser, most others told us that they didn’t carry it. At one time, we were told that there wasn’t any on the ship.

 

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Edited by upwarduk
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Hi Silkroad

Thank you for such a wonderful review. We are doing this cruise on Silhouette on August 04. I have been told that we will be docking at Langelinie, the closest to the city - where did you dock? (apologies if i have missed this in your report).

Waggie

 

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.

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Hi Silkroad

Thank you for such a wonderful review. We are doing this cruise on Silhouette on August 04. I have been told that we will be docking at Langelinie, the closest to the city - where did you dock? (apologies if i have missed this in your report).

Waggie

Thank you for your kind words Waggie:) Yes, we did dock at Langelinie. Just to give you a reference point, strolling from Langelinie to Nyhavn via Kastellet took us less than 30 minutes. This included many brief stops to admire the scenery and take photos. - Michelle

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Loving your review, it’s good to get someone else’s perspective on the cruise.

It’s also heartening to read positive feedbacks regarding the food. You read so many reviews where all people can highlight is the negative aspect.

I hope you don’t mind me adding a few photos.

 

Sky Lounge

 

We visited here most evenings for the Elite cocktails. We found it almost emptied at 6pm, when most passengers were leaving for their early dinner.

 

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Sunset Bar

 

We sat here on the first and last Sea days. The first was too windy to sit for very long and the 2nd time was just a short while before we left for other events.

We found that his bar was the only one where we count get Budweiser, most others told us that they didn’t carry it. At one time, we were told that there wasn’t any on the ship.

 

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Thank you Upwarduk:)

 

No, I don’t mind at all. I think it’s good to give people as many perspectives as possible. Since we four weren’t always participating in the same activities, we can cover more ground in our reviews. I can’t believe we didn’t meet at the meet & greet, but people seemed to quickly form little groups rather than mingling.

 

Cheers, Michelle

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SIlkroad,

I’ve found a quick way to add photos.

“I use the Cruise Critic app and I’m on an iPad. On the app when you post you’ll see a little cross in a circle at the left hand side of the reply box, when you’re writing. If you click it, it expands and you’ll see at the bottom of the box and a little camera then a mountain in a box. If you click on the mountain it takes you to your photos. You select the one you want & click ‘done’.

It will then ask you whether you want best, medium or small size. As CC will only take photos below 2000mps, I select small or medium.”

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Those who wished to explore Tallinn on their own had two options:

 

* walking to the old city wall (15 to 25 minutes depending upon pace)

 

* HOHO bus costing 8 euros per person round trip. (Cash or credit card)

 

Tallinn was a beautiful, charming city (albeit crowded near the main tourist sites). Whenever we felt like escaping the crowds, we easily found a public park or garden containing plenty of shaded benches.

 

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Early in the morning we were to dock in St. Petersburg, Captain Peppas made a ship wide announcement notifying us that due to high winds, the Port Authority would not allow us to dock. Instead, we had to remain at anchor to await a break in the winds. Naturally everyone was quite disappointed, but there was still hope that we could dock the next morning.

 

Early the next morning, Captain Peppas made another ship wide announcement notifying us that high winds would prevent us from docking once again. We were required to remain at anchor until the port authority gave us permission to leave. That permission was not given for several hours. The atmosphere on the ship became increasingly gloomy, but on the whole, people seemed calm.

 

Kudos to Captain Peppas for keeping us safe, keeping us well informed, and doing his utmost to salvage day two in St Petersburg. Kudos also to all officers, managers and crew for pulling together to provide meals, activities and entertainment for nearly 3,000 disappointed passengers during two unexpected days at sea. Many of the staff and crew had to give up time off and miss sleep, but they did a magnificent job.

 

Below is a photo showing our weather conditions while at anchor. We had the company of several freighters and other vessels out there. On the horizon, you can see as much Russian soil as we did.

 

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We very much enjoyed the live music on this sailing. We had Big Mike on piano, Prisma Duo - a classical string Duo, the Ray Brown Jr. Band - a jazz quartet, Rio Duo for some Latin flavor, and Accents - the house band.

 

They were all talented musicians, but for me, two groups stood above the rest, the string duo and the jazz quartet.

 

The string duo, Prisma Duo were magnificent on violin and cello. They were immensely talented, and played hauntingly lovely music.

 

The Ray Brown Jr. Band had that special synergy of talent, stage presence, experience, and the perfect song choices to complement their strengths. Great band!

 

I had difficulty tearing myself away from performances by either group.

 

Accents, the house band, had a singer who could really belt out a great jazz, soul or blues song, but IMO the group's song choices underused her ability. Once, I heard her sing an absolutely spine tingling Amy Winehouse song. I kept hoping she'd do some similar material, but it was not to be. Still, they're a very talented band, even though much of their material is a bit meh for me.

 

Rio Duo did an excellent job on some Santana music, along with a well chosen selection of Latin music. Great vibe.

 

 

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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.

 

Unfortunately it clashed with the destination presentations on Copenhagen, Stockholm and Tallinn in the Silhouette Theater. We'd already had a less than amiable encounter with some people from the roll call the previous day in Bruges, so decided our time might be better spent elsewhere.

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Unfortunately it clashed with the destination presentations on Copenhagen, Stockholm and Tallinn in the Silhouette Theater. We'd already had a less than amiable encounter with some people from the roll call the previous day in Bruges, so decided our time might be better spent elsewhere.

 

 

 

I understand. We had several such schedule conflicts. I definitely understand less than amiable encounters with persons from the roll call! We had that issue on a cruise last year.

 

 

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I understand. We had several such schedule conflicts. I definitely understand less than amiable encounters with persons from the roll call! We had that issue on a cruise last year.

 

 

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What happened then ?

 

 

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We thought Celebrity did a great job providing coverage of the World Cup matches. I believe all the matches were broadcast in the Casino Bar. Some were also broadcast in Quasar. All England matches were broadcast in the theatre, and for those matches Celebrity provided a lovely assortment of finger foods, and had the bar at the ready. All this made for a very festive atmosphere.

 

The ship herself was very well maintained, and crew were constantly cleaning, sanding and painting exterior areas. Celebrity continues to maintain a very high standard of cleanliness throughout, with crew cleaning rails, glass and floors daily. Public restrooms are cleaned throughout the day. I’m happy to say that the cloth hand towels were still present (except, oddly, in restrooms on the pool deck, where it was paper towels only).

 

Though the upholstered furniture, carpets and window treatments in the public areas seemed clean, there were stained & threadbare areas. Many chair and sofa seat cushions badly needed attention. It was quite disconcerting to approach a seat that appeared firm, only to seat oneself and unexpectedly sink into a massive depression! Overall, though, we found Silhouette as beautiful and appealing as she was in 2013, and we’d not hesitate to sail on her again.

 

Thanks to all of you who have been following. I’ll do my best to finish tomorrow.

 

 

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I thought the sunsets were amazing the first week, when we were sailing north.

For the first time, our bed was by the balcony, so I couldn’t resist a peak through the curtains when I got up at night.

We were obviously on the wrong side of the ship the second week, when we were sailing south.

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I thought the sunsets were amazing the first week, when we were sailing north.

 

For the first time, our bed was by the balcony, so I couldn’t resist a peak through the curtains when I got up at night.

 

We were obviously on the wrong side of the ship the second week, when we were sailing south.

 

 

 

I agree. They were amazing.

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Those who wished to explore Warnemunde on their own could take a pleasant stroll into town (10 to 15 minutes). From the train station in town, one could visit Rostock. There was also a ferry to Rostock. Celebrity did not arrange shuttle service at this port.

 

Attached are some photos taken in Warnemunde. The second one was taken from the ship. The last one was taken during sail away around midnight.

 

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Since these are topics that come up frequently on these boards, I’ll share my observations. Keep in mind that these are my observations and my opinions. Others may have observed and experienced something completely different.

 

Throughout the cruise, with two exceptions, smokers considerately smoked or vaped only in smoking areas. On one occasion, we surprised a woman smoking or vaping on the Solstice deck. By the time we strolled around the deck and passed her again, no smoke was in evidence. It seemed a waste of time to report something that was no longer occurring, so we continued on our way. On the second occasion, someone on a nearby Veranda was smoking a cigar or pipe. We couldn’t ascertain direction, and it never happened again.

 

There were children and teens on the ship. I don’t know how many, so I would say a noticeable but not overwhelming number. On the whole, they were well behaved in public.

 

We sometimes encountered small packs of teens displaying normal adolescent behavior, trying their wings, showing off for their new friends, acting self absorbed and sometimes moody, quite like my own teen self, in fact;-) Typical but not obnoxious. Sometimes one of them even smiled or said, “excuse me” lol.

 

We noticed two little ones, because we saw, and heard, them every day. One cute little girl, perhaps three, behaved so well throughout dinner in the MDR each night, but once they stood up to leave, she just had to release pent up energy. She raced around, emitting high-pitched screams, until a parent managed to catch her and lead her away. Not bad for a child that age, though I was pleased that the screams were of short duration;-) The other child, perhaps four, was at the aft end of our corridor on deck 10. This adorable little boy had his energy release late each night by giggling and laughing as he ran away from a family member. Each night we’d smile as we heard the giggling and thump thump thump when he raced by, along with the thud thud thud of the adult chasing him. It never bothered us because it was of short duration, and we were usually up late anyway.

 

I did see one teen who was obviously being a real PITA to his parents, but didn’t seem to be disturbing other passengers. Overall, some well behaved kids, and some very good parenting, on the ship.

 

Having to fly to embarkation (with checked bags limited to 50 pounds) I was concerned that we might be terribly underdressed should all the British passengers drive their poshest tuxedos and gowns to the port lol. (We still fondly remember our first cruise, in 2006, for which we flew to Venice with two (free) 70 pound checked bags between us. Celebrity still had formal nights, and we had room to pack our formal wear, including all the shoes I just had to have. Picture DH rolling eyes here.) My fears were unfounded. There were indeed tuxedos and lovely gowns, but they appeared to be in the minority. Most passengers seemed to ratchet up their style a notch or two on Evening Chic Nights, but there was a wide enough range that most people would have felt comfortable with their chosen attire.

 

 

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One morning, we sailed into Southampton, and Celebrity made us disembark:loudcry: Thus, another very long day was born. I'll spare you most of the details of our journey, except to say that our flight was delayed two hours due to a United system failure, which bumped untold numbers of passengers off the flight manifest. We were amongst the two groups that had already boarded, so we were to remain seated while they got things sorted. The groups that remained in the terminal had to go through all sorts of extra security and document verification. Many of those passengers later expressed the sentiment that at least they got to watch more of the England vs Sweden match;p Those of us already on the plane were getting live updates from the pilot at regular intervals.

We finally arrived home after midnight, and next morning we were back to making our own breakfast and doing the washing up afterward:eek: Where, oh where, were the nice gentlemen who set out trays of beautiful fresh melon and pineapple at breakfast? Ten days later, I’m still not caught up on all the things I put off until “after our holiday”, but I firmly believe I’m making progress;)

Was our cruise perfect? No, but it was very good overall. Are there things I wish Celebrity would fix or change? Absolutely. Will we cruise with them again. Yes. Next April, in fact.

One of the things that made this cruise so enjoyable was the people with whom we shared meals and random conversations. We met many interesting people (including ship officers, staff & crew) and had such great conversations with them. To each of them, and each of you, we raise our glasses with this toast:

We hope our paths cross again, and we wish you good health, great joy, and happy travels!

- Michelle & Alan

 

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