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Silhouette ABC Island Live Review 11/22-12/1... A Royal Suite Experience


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A little background…

We are empty nesters ages 52 (me) and 54 (BHE…Best Husband Ever) embarking on our 15th wedding anniversary cruise on Friday.  As avid cruisers, we are blessed to do so several times a year with our last Celebrity cruise on Equinox in 2017. Between that cruise and now we’ve had 4 cruises in the Haven on NCL.  We were enticed by this 9-night itinerary to the ABC islands and the fact that we haven’t been on Celebrity in a while.  Looking forward to getting back to our sailing roots and also making a comparison between the two suite products (NCL Haven and the Celebrity’s Suite Life.)

So here’s the cost breakdown…

Accommodations:

Pre-Cruise:  Renaissance Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale  (approx.. 2 miles from terminal 25)

$160 plus tax for 1 night

We originally booked the Embassy Suites but after reading reviews decided to change to the Renaissance which was a little cheaper.  The reviews for Embassy suites weren’t terrible but after reading that the A/C thermostat didn’t drop lower than 70 degrees, I moved on.  Even as I write this, I know it how it sounds….but we all like what we like and in this case, I like to sleep in a cold room.  Poor BHE…

 

Royal Suite:  $5200 pp with a $1250 refundable OBC from our TA.  This breaks down to approximately $500 pp/per day…a splurge in honor of our special occasion.

Transportation: 

 

Due to a port scheduling snag, we are departing from Ft. Lauderdale (embarkation) and return to Miami (debarkation).  This change was announced before we made flight reservations so I was able to adjust plans without any trouble.

ATL to FLL on Delta was $149 pp First Class  (I scarfed that right up before they changed their minds!)

Mia to ATl on Delta was $310 pp Coach  (we’re returning on a peak holiday travel day…Sunday after Thanksgiving).  BHE gets the middle seat, I take the window.

 

Just checked into the Renaissance (1:30 PM).  Check in time was specified at 4 pm with no exceptions on the eve of cruise ship embarkation but they graciously allowed us to check in early.  A/C thermostat was set at 65 degrees!  About to walk the grounds and report back...so far, everything looks great!

 

More to follow...

Edited by Georgia_Peaches
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Spent the afternoon at the Hard Rock casino. Came out ahead and quit while I was up. Nice place with good machine variety. I will say this, though... it was exceptionally cold in the casino. A/c was full blast, probably to counter the cigarette smoke. I like a cold room but it was over the top. I recommend a warm jacket for those who decide to go. 

 

Hotel has a nice pool and small gym. Lobby has a full bar and coffee stand. Furnishings are modern and tasteful. My only complaint is the lighting in the room/bathroom is quite dim. Staff have been very friendly and attentive. Overall, seems to be a good hotel experience. 

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I am definitely going to book an upper level suite in the Caribbean If I find a price like yours for a nine day cruise!.  Right now, I am paying a fortune for Galapagos on Flora, SS1’s for Eclipse and Apex.  Eclipse is far from a bargain for the TP(Sydney to Honolulu.) I was only able to get an S2!

 

I enjoy your direct writing style, so am eagerly following...if not for family issues, my DH and I would be in the Caribbean too, even though we prefer European itineraries...Enjoy!

Edited by Lastdance
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Looking forward to reading your review. We have just booked the PH on Silhouette for next October, she is the only S class ship we haven’t sailed on.

 

We really enjoyed the extra dining choices on Reflection (especially the Porch at lunch) looking forward to some foody reviews on Silhouette!

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Embarkation

We took an Uber to pier 25 and were dropped off at 10:45. Once we handed our luggage to the porter we were guided to the priority check in area via private elevator. We went through security and boarded in less than 15 minutes. A personal escort walked us to Michaels club where we enjoyed a glass of sparkling wine. 

 

We walked around the ship a bit and then headed to Luminae for lunch. BHE had chicken and waffles while I had a shrimp skewer and rice. It was ok but I wouldn’t order it again. 

 

Ship appears to be in good shape. Very clean. We stopped in Cellar Masters for a quick look around. Was advised of a wine and 6 course dinner pairing event for $150 pp. Six wines and 6 courses. We haven’t decided on that yet. Was a little sad to learn that Cellar Masters will become a sports bar with the upcoming refurb. 

 

Dinner tonight is Lawn Club Grill. 

 

More ore to follow....

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My wife & I are looking forward to your upcoming posts with great interest as we'll be on the Silhouette departing 12/13/19.  Have a fantastic voyage!  We'll be watching you leave Fort Lauderdale live on their port webcam in about 70 minutes.

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Embarkation Day Continued....

 

Woke up this morning to a beautiful day in the Caribbean.  We are currently somewhere off the coast of Cuba with mostly clear skies and calm seas.  There's a cool breeze in the air as I type this from our balcony and I am pleasantly surprised with the  great wifi signal. Both BHE and I are using our devices at the same time thanks to the "complimentary" package associated with our stateroom.

 

As is customary for us on embarkation day, we visited the spa to purchase Persian Garden passes ($150 pp plus gratuity...or was it tax?  Can't remember.  Grand total for 9 days was $356 for 2 people).  So our OBC from Celebrity didn't quite cover it but the cost for 2 is cheaper than NCL's thermal suite.

 

After some discussion, we decided to sign up for the wine and food pairing dinner being offered several times throughout the trip.  We headed over to Cellar Masters to make the reservation and were given complimentary passes to the World Wine Tasting Tour as a bonus.  This was "valued" at $29 pp.  We were pleased with this and I look forward to reporting on this later in the week.

 

Staterooms were ready at 1:20 or so and our luggage arrived without issue shortly there after.  We also met our butler, a female, and we took a little time to get acquainted with each other before she took her leave.  

 

Our muster station was located in the upper level of the MDR.  It was nice to see that fellow passengers honored the muster time and arrived promptly.  I've experienced many a muster drill where people show up at their leisure causing others to wait on them before getting started.  The drill itself was fine but the silly spy video on safety really needs to be replaced with something more, I don't know...audience appropriate?  Whatever that may be... 

 

We toasted sail away at 4:30 with a glass of champagne from the comfort of our balcony.  I've included a few pics.

 

Yesterday evening was very low key for us and it seems, the rest of the ship as well.  We went to the welcome aboard show in the theater which consisted of our Cruise Director, Sue introducing herself followed by a stand up comedy routine...Rodney, I think.  He was quite funny and will perform again later in the week.  Afterward, we had dinner in the Lawn Club Grill.  It was our first time dining there and I have to say that it didn't disappoint.  I had the filet and BHE had the rib-eye.  Our server added a surf component which consisted of shrimp and scallops on a skewer.  He tried to entice us with a flatbread as well but we just didn't have the room as I wanted to try the warm chocolate chip cookie.  The meal was very good but the cookie stole the show!  So warm and gooey and fresh out of the oven!  The ice cream melted over the top creating Heaven in my mouth.  

 

After dinner we spent a little time in the casino before calling it a night.  In all, a perfect start to our vacation!

 

More to follow...

 

 

 

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Edited by Georgia_Peaches
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Do you know, or can you find out, if the Spa Cafe was open for lunch embarkation day, please? Silly was our first Celebrity cruise 2 years ago and we have sailed 5 more X cruises since, as we were so impressed by that experience. We board when you disembark in Miami!

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4 minutes ago, 39august said:

Do you know, or can you find out, if the Spa Cafe was open for lunch embarkation day, please? Silly was our first Celebrity cruise 2 years ago and we have sailed 5 more X cruises since, as we were so impressed by that experience. We board when you disembark in Miami!

Yes, the Spa Cafe was open on embarkation day.  Small bites of salads and wraps.  Looked very nice!

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First Sea Day...

 

We enjoyed a leisurely day filled with lots of highs and a single low (of BHE's own making), which I will explain in a bit.

 

Yesterday was our 15th wedding anniversary and it was also Chic night.  We used the opportunity to get really dressed up to celebrate our milestone.  There is another thread asking what Celebrity will do for a special occasion with a mix of responses and experiences.  We didn't tell anyone what we were celebrating beyond indicating it in our planner when we booked our cruise.  I did, however, mention it to Aurora, our shore side concierge when I asked her to make us dinner reservations at Murano.  So imagine my surprise when we returned to our state room in the afternoon and found a lovely decorated coffee table with rose petals, a cake, and a bottle of champagne with a card wishing us a happy anniversary.  This was orchestrated by our butler, Natalia.  Later, we were presented with a chocolate moose cake in Murano.  Needless to say, I was on a sugar high by the time we went to bed.  It was a very nice gesture on Celebrity's part and while very much appreciated, completely unexpected.  

 

With regard to our anniversary, let me explain the low of the day, which has nothing to do with Celebrity other than it happened on one of their ships.  BHE lost his wedding ring somewhere on this ship.  The irony is he lost it exactly 15 years to the day of receiving it. We've put our room steward and butler on high alert hoping for a recovery of the ring but so far, no luck.  I feel certain it will be turned in if found by a fellow passenger but kind of a bummer.

 

Yesterday's dining...

We had lunch at Sushi on 5 and it was a bit of a disappointment.  We've dined here plenty of times in the past but this experience was a little off.  Service was especially slow although the venue was mostly empty.  It took upwards of 20 minutes to get our cocktails because the wait staff have to go to a "far away bar" to retrieve them.  Our server was extremely apologetic and seemed to be running himself ragged trying to make everyone happy.  While we didn't complain, we did receive a personal call from the bar manager later in the afternoon who apologized for our wait.  I mention this because I think it's important to remember how hard everyone works to keep the guests happy...this has been the theme since we stepped foot on the ship.  We will give them another try later in the week.

 

Murano was excellent from start to finish.  We were escorted to a quiet table for two and doted on by various staff throughout the entire meal.  We ordered Chateaubriand for two with a table side preparation of the lobster tail.  The meal was outstanding.  I have no pictures however, as my phone didn't fit in my handbag.  We will likely pay another visit to Murano in the coming days to try some other menu delights.

 

Evening Entertainment

Chic night produced a mixed bag of entertainment opportunities as well as attire.  First, the attire....some were really dressed up.  I saw several men, who, like BHE were dressed in tuxedos and escorting ladies in beautiful dresses.  And then I saw many, many people who opted for the more casual look of pants and a polo.  Some even wore shorts.  It's been two years since we've been on Celebrity.  This was the first chic night where I noticed such a wide range of dress code interpretations.  Not that it really mattered to me one way or the other...just an observation.

 

Last night's theater show was called Life and we thought it was fantastic.  The vocals and dancing were on point and the acrobatics were nothing short of amazing.  I really enjoy most shows where singing and dancing take place because both are talents that I lack.  I can really appreciate the talent of such performances, especially when they are paired great music.  I have two observations in particular that I think are worth mentioning:

1.  The cast reflected wonderful diversity like none we've seen lately.  It was refreshing.

2.  The female performers represented several different body types...again, more reflective of the average woman...again, refreshing.

 

We finished the night with a few spins in the casino.  After making our donation, we retired to our room where we star gazed from the balcony.  In all, a fabulous first day at sea!

 

 

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Enjoying your posts and happy anniversary! 
 

Have your husband check all his pockets, especially pants and shorts for his ring. I lost the diamond from my engagement ring on a cruise and we searched everywhere that we’d been that day, really feeling like something so tiny would never be found. Lo and behold, later that afternoon I’m reaching in my shorts pocket for something else and I feel a small hard chunk, out comes my little diamond! Kept it in the safe for the rest of the holiday and had it reset in a more sturdy clasp once home. Good luck and enjoy the rest of your cruise. Your home insurance policy should cover the replacement cost if it doesn’t show up!

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