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Negative Silhouette Reviews In The Med

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Just read a number of reviews of the Silly in July/August in the Med.

 

Not flattering, nor aligned with the product/image marketed by Celebrity. 

 

Not an on board experience that I would tolerate. 

 

Brings up the issue of a company's obligation to deliver the product/experience/service that they market....

 

Many first time guests in particular book based on Celebrity marketing (modern luxury) and reviews because they have limited other information and no previous experience with Celebrity.

 

It would seem to me that the Silly experience could be questioned regarding its alignment with Celebrity marketing.

 

Of course defenders of businesses can always trot out the old saying "buyer beware".

 

Like many vacations, there is can be a seasonal/geographic etc variation.

 

It is an interesting question.

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Doubt It said:

Just read a number of reviews of the Silly in July/August in the Med.

 

Not flattering, nor aligned with the product/image marketed by Celebrity. 

 

Not an on board experience that I would tolerate. 

 

Brings up the issue of a company's obligation to deliver the product/experience/service that they market....

 

Many first time guests in particular book based on Celebrity marketing (modern luxury) and reviews because they have limited other information and no previous experience with Celebrity.

 

It would seem to me that the Silly experience could be questioned regarding its alignment with Celebrity marketing.

 

Of course defenders of businesses can always trot out the old saying "buyer beware".

 

Like many vacations, there is can be a seasonal/geographic etc variation.

 

It is an interesting question.

 

 

 

Without knowing which reviews and why precisely people have a gripe its difficult to know whether or not I agree with them or not.

 

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We had our first Celebrity cruise on Silly last year, visiting the Med. On the basis of that, Celebrity is not our favourite line. However, we had a lovely time and there was certainly nothing to complain about. 

 

As the previous poster said, it is hard to make specific replies when we don't know the exact nature of the complaints.

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Posted (edited)

The way I view this whole topic is:

 

Some passengers will like the brand, some will not.

Some passengers will like the ship (class), some will not.

Some passengers will like the itinerary (ies) some will not.

 

Some of the comments valid, some targeted due to personal preferences/desires.

 

The news flash?

 

Please provide your summary of issues.

 

bon voyage

Edited by Bo1953

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Glad I wasn't on the Silhouette in July.  It sounds like there were a lot of kids on board and that was a source of many of the issues.  On the plus side, most people seemed to enjoy the food in the MDR.

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Seems at least 1 sailing in July had 600 children on board.  That number of children and the restrictions Imposed by X to keep families with children and the guests who were not interested in having children taking over both outdoor pools, the hideaway, etc. left some unhappy.  

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Ok, so we were on the 28th of July Med cruise that the negative reviews are about. It would be easy to jump on the band wagon and write a critical review,  but having sailed with several different cruise lines, Celebrity still come out on top for us. 

 

We think the main problem was that the cruise was only one of two that Celebrity are doing to the Mediterranean from Southampton this summer and it was right in the middle of UK school holidays. We would have preferred to book the September one but our preferred class of cabin wasn’t available. We have never thought of Celebrity as being particularly family friendly, by that I mean no ice rinks, water slides etc so naively thought that there wouldn’t be many families onboard. What a mistake that was!As one reviewer said, there were 600 children onboard. 

 

We we were lucky enough to be in a RS so dined mainly in Luminae and the speciality restaurants, but even in Luminae the staff were struggling to cope. It wasn’t that there were many children there but there were a lot of large family groups of 4/6/8 which made life much harder for the wait staff as obviously a large table takes longer to serve than a few tables of 2. We complained once about not being served after being seated for 20 minutes and to be fair, things improved after that. We used the buffet at lunch a couple of times but always took the meal back to the cabin as it looked very crowded.

 

The difficulty we found was finding somewhere to sit in the bars in the evening. Maybe because the demographic was younger, people were staying up later, maybe drinking more etc plus parents thought everyone else would enjoy watching their young children take over the dance floor and play on the steps whenever there was live music in the foyer.

 

When the weather was good, the pool and open deck areas looked horrendous - someone described the lawn club grass as like a seal colony............ When the weather was bad, the decks were closed and pools drained on one day and the upper decks closed on another, the over crowding was very evident. We were glad we had a nice space to escape to.

 

We never saw any children misbehaving, but we were generally back in the cabin by 12, but did notice large groups of teenagers wandering around together, as teenagers do, and also noticed that they had taken over the Hideaway.

 

We were also informed that there were a lot of new crew members onboard, now we don’t know if that meant that they were new to Celebrity or new to Silhouette. In the ‘After cruise questionnaire’ from Celebrity we still gave all the staff that we came in contact with 10/10 because they really were working hard to try and provide great service. 

 

Perhaps our our view of the cruise was helped by having the RS to escape to, but even with that, we wouldn’t book another cruise during a school holiday period.

 

I have tried to give a balanced view but please remember that this is only our opinion, and other people’s views, either extremely positive or extremely negative, are all equally valid as everyone’s experience is different.

 

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We avoid cruising over the summer and during school vacations.   We are past the need to vacation at those times.  Families  and teachers often  have no choice so we book other periods.

 

 

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We also try to avoid cruising during school vacation periods.  However it also does not sound like a good itinerary to me unless you live in the UK.  Several years ago I took a 14 day cruise from Southampton to the Med and it was 2 long, rough days each way.  For anyone outside of the UK I would think it would be better to find trips that leave from Rome or Barcelona.  These trips on the Silhouette don't sound like fun for the guests or the crew. 

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I stopped booking Celebrity when they offered “Kids sail Free”.   They have encouraged everyone to take their children on those cruises.   If I want a cruise heavy with children, I would prefer Disney where they know how to keep them entertained.   They also have adult areas and folks are usually compliment.   Celebrity needs to learn to better deal with children.

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1 hour ago, amcwaterfalls said:

someone described the lawn club grass as like a seal colony............ Wh

 

 

Thank your lucky stars that you weren’t on Reflection with the extra deck of cabins. I posted a couple of years ago about there not being an inch between bodies sprawled across the lawn on Reflection in the Med during the summer. We also witnessed behaviour that was not typical of our usual X sailings and attribute this to the ‘free’ amounts of alcohol being consumed. Tbh, it was the turning point for us to start looking elsewhere during that period.

 

Thanks for your honest review. As you stated, you probably were able to escape from the majority of it all being in an RS and having the suite to retreat to.

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Luckily we can cruise when we want so we can avoid summer and other holiday seasons. Wouldn’t other cruise lines have a similar situation in the summer with many more children than off peak times? This can’t be just a Celebrity issue. 

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Oh wow I would have hated dealing with all those kids especially when the parents think they are oh-so-CUTE dancing around the evening entertainment and taking over the pools. 

 

We recently booked a sky suite for a double holiday sailing in 2020 out of Tampa. Hope I’m not going to regret choosing that date!

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Been to the Med on the Celebrity Silhouette in 2013, and again in 2014. Took the same ship to Scandinavia in 2015. Did the Med again on the Reflection in 2017. Each time we had the best cruise vacation. Absolutely beautiful ship. Excellent staff. Awesome food. And an amazing crowd that was great fun. The only thing I complain about Celebrity Cruises are the prices (recently). 

 

Other than that, I'd jump on board any of their amazing S class ships anytime. 

 

Nick

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21 hours ago, Doubt It said:

Just read a number of reviews of the Silly in July/August in the Med.

 

Not flattering, nor aligned with the product/image marketed by Celebrity. 

 

Not an on board experience that I would tolerate. 

 

Brings up the issue of a company's obligation to deliver the product/experience/service that they market....

 

Many first time guests in particular book based on Celebrity marketing (modern luxury) and reviews because they have limited other information and no previous experience with Celebrity.

 

It would seem to me that the Silly experience could be questioned regarding its alignment with Celebrity marketing.

 

Of course defenders of businesses can always trot out the old saying "buyer beware".

 

Like many vacations, there is can be a seasonal/geographic etc variation.

 

It is an interesting question.

 

 

 

But what is your actual question or what are you objecting to ? 

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1 minute ago, TeeRick said:

But what is your actual question or what are you objecting to ? 

 

I've wondered the same thing.

 

If it's many hundreds of kids, I doubt many ships would handle that very well (especially if poor parenting were involved).  Maybe an RCI Behemoth of The Seas.   Which you would not find me on in the middle of the summer.  (If ever.)

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Posted (edited)

We were on this cruise too. I would agree that the ship could barely cope with the additional passengers. We also gave up trying to get a sun bed or using the pool on a sea day. You could barely see the grass at the Lawn Club for sunbathers - ruled out boules or golf putting! I thought the crew worked really hard to manage the situation and the team in the Kid’s Club were (IMO) amazing. 

 

We are usually in bed by 10pm as our children are young so we did not witness any of the issues late at night. Our main problem was other passengers smoking on their balconies... We have to cruise in school holidays but would probably avoid a Mediterranean itinerary out of Southampton in the summer again.

Edited by Julie Jean
Typo

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12 minutes ago, Julie Jean said:

We were on this cruise too. I would agree that the ship could barely cope with the additional passengers. We also gave up trying to get a sun bed or using the pool on a sea day. You could barely see the grass at the Lawn Club for sunbathers - ruled out boules or golf putting! I thought the crew worked really hard to manage the situation and the team in the Kid’s Club were (IMO) amazing. 

 

We are usually in bed by 10pm as our children are young so we did not witness any of the issues late at night. Our main problem was other passengers smoking on their balconies... We have to cruise in school holidays but would probably avoid a Mediterranean itinerary out of Southampton in the summer again.

 

The smoking on the balconies sounds like a different problem.  Do you know if smoking is more prevalent in the UK than in the US or do you attribute this to more first time cruisers that do not understand that smoking isn't allowed on the balconies?  In any case, I would have taken a picture of anyone smoking on the balcony and called security.

 

I am also curious about the sunbathers on the grass, I've never seen more than a couple at a time.

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2 minutes ago, ipeeinthepool said:

 

The smoking on the balconies sounds like a different problem.  Do you know if smoking is more prevalent in the UK than in the US or do you attribute this to more first time cruisers that do not understand that smoking isn't allowed on the balconies?  In any case, I would have taken a picture of anyone smoking on the balcony and called security.

 

I am also curious about the sunbathers on the grass, I've never seen more than a couple at a time.

Prefer kids to adults who drink too much or break rules by smoking in non smoking areas. I always report smokers, but that's another thread.

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First time we’ve experienced smoking on balconies in 20+ cruises. We did report on several occasions... Not sure it’s linked to nationalities/experience - just people who think they can break the rules 

 

As for sunbathing on the grass - I think there was just nowhere else for people to go

 

Julie Jean

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We also experienced balcony smoking. Luckily  the suite butler was there the second time it happened. He said he could see who was doing it and would ensure it was stopped. It seemed to work for a while but as the cruise went on we noticed the smell more frequently. We didn’t think it was the same person as the smoke had a different smell. We couldn’t tell where it was coming from so didn’t report it as it seemed like the person smoking kept having a couple of puffs then putting it out.

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Loved our November 2019 Silhouette sailing in November 2018 (Caribbean) when kids were hard to count.  Don't imagine I would enjoy the experience when 600 kids were aboard. I totally get that it is hard to keep that many kids entertained on a ship like the Silhouette.  We do keep an eye on the dates we sail, and try to avoid opportunities where lots of kids may be on board.

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This is interesting as we did the Constellation Greek Isles cruise July / August and although the ship was ‘over’ capacity, it was very, very quiet of an evening. We only had 2 sea days and the pool area was busy then but at no time did the ship feel over run with youngsters. 

I agree that it may be more of a thing with Southampton departures. We avoid those during the kids school holidays, though a Norwegian fjords cruise a few years back was fine. 

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I think a lot of it is down to itinerary, this being the only Mediterranean cruise that Celebrity did from Southampton during the school holidays - the other is in September when the schools are open again. There is more to interest families with older children on a hot sunny cruise like this than there is on the current one which is Iceland and Ireland. I believe there are around 400 children on this as opposed to 600 on the Med one. 

 

The outdoor areas suffered from overcrowding on sunny sea days on the July cruise but even with less children onboard, I imagine the indoor areas of the ship are packed on the current one.

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We were also on this cruise because we had to go during the university holidays. We expected there to be kids/teens but having been on many Celebrity Cruises did not expect so many, particularly so many that were left to run loose around the ship. The Silhouette, it's staff and fellow guests were nanny to lots (not all because there were also some very responsible parents who I commend) of kids/teens when their parents went on holiday.

I'm sure the kids club was doing a good job with the youngsters they had attend but it was apparent that not all did attend, maybe there was a limit on numbers as 600 is a lot. The Silhouette is certainly not set up to deal with so many, this was a problem when boredom set in. Right from the start it was an issue with the 2 sea days after Vigo was cancelled due to weather.

Elevators were a source of entertainment as some younger children occupied them to go up and down for amusement,  mostly the pools were their saviour but obviously to the detriment of the adults wanting to swim. On 2 occasions the shallow pool was closed because of leaked diapers so all the kids crammed into the deep pool.

Sunbeds are always an issue but when you have kids making dens on the large fixed double beds, and adults taking 4 beds for 2 people so they have 1 each and 1 each for their bags etc it's ridiculous. Even port days sunbeds were reserved with towels,  one evening we joked as we walked from the sky lounge and saw sunbeds with books and glasses on at 11pm obviously reserved for the next day.

Teens were camped out from early morning to late night in the hideaway, i sometimes got a coffee from there but would not have stayed it felt like their place, I can understand that because where else do they go.

What happens is we adapt our behaviour to the circumstances, we didn't use the pool or jacuzzi because we didn't want to just stand in the pool, swimming was impossible or share a jacuzzi with lots of kids/teens.

We stayed on our balcony where we had a guaranteed seat, used stairs when after 5 minutes could not get an elevator and removed ourselves when the teens took over areas. We shouldn't need to do that.

Not everyone can always avoid school holidays but does that mean they should have to expect a 2nd rate Celebrity experience?

We have also sailed on the S class out of the school holidays too and it is a totally different experience.

 

I feel Celebrity are responsible to a degree for these issues because:

1. They do not have facilities to cope with so many children, there are others within RCCL that do and could steer guests with children towards those. Our agent has previously done that to us when considering Azamara.

2. Limit the number of children they accept based on facilities they can offer like kids/teen clubs.

3. Enforce their own rules like sunbeds unoccupied for 30 mins, no children under 12 in the deep pool, I could go on but there are many as per the guest contract especially for families when the parents let the kids loose so they have a child free time.

4.If they must have 600 children onboard, acknowledge that and adapt the entertainment to accomodate them. Is it impossible for Celebrity to put child friendly films on in the theatre, have child friendly guest entertainers in the theatre during the day. Surely it is about understanding your clients and if school holidays means lots of kids/teens then cater for that.

 

Ultimately the responsibility for the kids/teens comes down to the parents and Celebrity should have enforced that, they all agreed to the cruise contract.

 

 

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