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CHICAGOPAUL LIVE BLOG!!!!!! December 13th, 2019 - SILHOUETTE SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN

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Thanks so much for your great blog and photos.  Have enjoyed reading it all ..... especially as we board on Sunday!  Can't wait.

Chris B.

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As we are nearing the end of the cruise I wanted to take a moment to mention a few things we’ve observed over the past week as well as mention a couple stories. Right now it is 4:30 and I’m sitting on our balcony as we are in Grand Cayman today.

 

Food Quality: I’ve spoken to people throughout the cruise and most have been impressed with the food quality this cruise, but I have heard from a couple that it hasn’t been their favorite. Most of the people we’ve talked to have happened to be in suites or aqua class or dining a lot in the specialty restaurants. Most have had very good things to say.


Both Edward and myself have been very impressed with the meat quality on this ship. The steaks we’ve had in Luminae and Lawn Club, along with the lamb we had the other night has been impressive. A couple we’ve met and eaten next to multiple times in Luminae have also said that they’ve found the steak quality on this ship to be the best they’ve ever seen on Celebrity. I don’t know if recently meat suppliers have changed, but I think they may have, and definitely for the better. This has nothing to do with the seasoning or flavors, we can put that aside but the overall quality of the meat we’ve had has been truly excellent this cruise.

 

Condition of the ship: I’ve been impressed with the condition of the ship especially given it will be going into dry dock in a couple weeks. I was a bit worried they may have let a few things go given the timing of the dry dock but I have not noticed this at all.

 

Live Music / DJ: I do wish there was more live music in grand foyer. They seem to do it early and then later and not between 6 and 8pm when the martini bar is usually full of people stopping before and after dinner. Even a DJ at the martini bar would be nice provided the music wasn’t played too loud. There was someone on a saxophone yesterday that we heard in the grand foyer and he was phenomenal. I wish they could just have him playing there all the time.

 

Bar Staff: We’ve been very happy with the bar staff throughout the ship from Bacio to Martini Bar, Sunset, Ensemble, Michaels, etc. They’ve been very professional and courteous to everyone. Martini Bar had a couple days when they were short staffed during the times we were there but it seems like that changed as the cruise went on. It was probably a scheduling issue due to the Elite happy hour.

 

Story Time

 

Yesterday Edward and I were in Luminae. We had a nice table by the window and our waiter Dev. There was a table seated a couple tables away. The couple appeared to be around 70. He had white hair and a white beard, very “santa” like and his wife was shorter with shorter cropped curly hair. The wife, as each dish arrived, would be so impressed with the presentation. Each dish tasted fantastic and she made it known to her husband. She wasn’t shy about it at all. When her waiter came over she would tell him how wonderful each dish was, how this was just such a perfect evening. As the night went on she was happier and happier. She told Andrea and Claire that this was the most perfect meal and she’d never forget it. Edward was smiling when he heard her and he said “that is so nice to hear someone that excited and appreciative.” He was right, it was great to hear. This woman was simply lost in her meal, lost in happiness with her husband and it was one of those moments when I though, damnit I want to be more like her. Now maybe she had a couple martinis before hand that helped with her enthusiasm or maybe she didn’t. But either way she had one amazing meal and made everyone around her have a better meal as well.

 

Lastly, I know some of you are reading this while on this cruise with me. Many people have come up and introduced themselves. Thank you to every single one of you who has stopped by to say hello. Our cruise experiences are a sum of all the wonderful people we meet each trip so thank you for making our cruise better with you smiles, happiness, and conversation.

 

OK, well we still have tonight and tomorrow to go! I’ll continue to keep everyone posted on each day and will update you on the day in Grand Cayman as well. I'll swing by Michaels club to ask Lara if the extended stay and luggage valet can be used together as well.

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Story Time:   

You observed and captured pure joy!

Thanks for sharing that....

 

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2 hours ago, chicagopaul said:

 I'll swing by Michaels club to ask Lara if the extended stay and luggage valet can be used together as well.

Celebrity does not do the extended stay in the US.

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15 minutes ago, TommyD3 said:

Celebrity does not do the extended stay in the US.

 

I believe they do now, with a few restrictions.  😊

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4 hours ago, TommyD3 said:

Celebrity does not do the extended stay in the US.

 

4 hours ago, Texed said:

 

I believe they do now, with a few restrictions.  😊

 

There is a thread on this recently and has been confirmed by Zenith Desk that they are offering it on select ports  (Port Everglades being one) and with a process similar to B2B.    I know for our March cruises on Equinox it is listed under excursions on both the website and the Celebrity App.  Earlier on Paul's blog I posted a copy of it and the procedure.

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0C892EDD-9AE0-4EA4-AE27-495A43685A70.thumb.jpeg.39fdaf8480866eb31c019950bf61c181.jpeg

 

Golden Margarita. Wasn’t sure if she liked salt or no salt so went with both. Or one for her or one for me. Cheers to VT 

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A little late in posting the daily because I started talking with people this morning. Here is the daily for today, our last day of the cruise. 😢

 

D46AE4AE-D0A6-4E8B-A64E-2A24C1502119.thumb.jpeg.5ae783888ee7828b336ce6fa242deb84.jpeg

 

7D1D21AB-07C0-435E-83DC-13221062943F.thumb.jpeg.f2c5f2f0c45abe7bd037bf904e8297a3.jpeg

 

80A3DF39-01CA-4D2B-BF82-F6A2E0BDAC67.thumb.jpeg.462fa72889b3c5ffb3f763b9fed6915d.jpeg

 

F837056E-86CE-439B-9818-CBB86F063E60.thumb.jpeg.c41f5e7d7882fb217f3ea176de8a75fd.jpeg

 

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Yesterday was Grand Cayman. The normal tender area was closed due to rough seas. The captain said we would try another spot, I believe it was called Spotts Bay, but there was no guarantee. When we arrived they started the tender process as quickly as possible. The negative was this area was a 20 minute drive away from downtown Georgetown. The good news was that Celebrity provided shuttles. The tenders looked like they were moving as quickly as they could. I think the first tender showed up around Noon or a bit after.  We knew a few people on tours. The snorkeling tours were cancelled but our new friends were going on a swim with the stingrays excursion and that was still going on. It was however delayed. Instead of leaving around 12:30 they weren’t on the tender until around 1:20. 
 

We decided to stay on board. The last tender back was at 5:30. With the added shuttle time of 20 minutes plus taking a cab or shuttle elsewhere after that, the timing just didn’t make sense for us. 
 

So after lunch we relaxed in the room. I spent some time on the balcony catching up on a few work emails and then we watched a movie. Yes, there are still free movies on demand! 
 

Before dinner we went to the martini bar and grabbed two seats. Our new friends from Canada arrived so we decided to grab a seat with them in one of the couch areas. We chatted for a bit and then watched a small show in the foyer with the dancers. It was then time for caroling with the officers. The officers were all lined up in the grand foyer, dressed up, singing Christmas carols. They actually weren’t half bad! 
 

For dinner we only ordered a glass of wine since we were convinced to have tequila shots with our new friends before. Once a cruise they order a shot of tequila so we obliged with their tradition. That coupled with my regular martini plus a vodka on the rocks had me feeling very goof at dinner time. 
 

Here was yesterday’s dinner. 
 

03557715-1B20-42B2-A2D2-3C185C78EF4B.thumb.jpeg.15ec88997f0ba9860aa1aeddc995aa74.jpeg

 

F1A36897-176E-4B45-8617-71BECC04019B.thumb.jpeg.e0774f9bcfa54d691fd631532ec9a9cf.jpeg

 

31D3579B-FE50-427B-BA4E-1F143FB4C9BE.thumb.jpeg.d79d7bdcb878463b96d3f2bbd3a95491.jpeg

 

E006F3D0-12DA-4D7E-BDD6-6144F7232109.thumb.jpeg.ef295758c554f891446b201d2ec11e60.jpeg

 

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We both started with the burrata. I then had the octopus and Edward had the duck consommé which doesn’t photograph well but he said it was very good. For entrees Edward had the peppered tuna and I had the short ribs which were excellent. There were a couple small peppers on top of my short ribs. Dev said the peppers were very hot. I love spice so I automatically ate one. Dev was not lying. My goodness they packed a punch! Dev saw my face from across the restaurant as I was eating it and he came over laughing. He wasn’t wrong. After I was done he brought over a little sorbet to help relax my mouth haha. 
 

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37 minutes ago, chicagopaul said:

 Here is the daily for today, our last day of the cruise. 😢

 

 

Paul, my cruises always seem to go by too quickly for me. Since I've started following your live reports, I've noticed yours do as well. For me, that is. 

 

Enjoy what's left of it! 

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5 hours ago, chicagopaul said:

0C892EDD-9AE0-4EA4-AE27-495A43685A70.thumb.jpeg.39fdaf8480866eb31c019950bf61c181.jpeg

 

Golden Margarita. Wasn’t sure if she liked salt or no salt so went with both. Or one for her or one for me. Cheers to VT 

 

Cheers to you!   Vtcruiser will be missed and not forgotten!

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Well as we get ready for one last evening on the Silhouette I wanted to share the below photo with you all. 
 

33A92D3C-CA59-4094-8C1B-3F0106B2739D.thumb.jpeg.2b295499b221127114330481a24095fe.jpeg

 

We have gotten into the habit of bringing our own stationary and writing letters to the staff when we do our usual end of the cruise tipping. I just mention this because I think it’s such an easy thing for all of us to do that can be personal. I once had one bartender even mention he still had it and showed me a picture of it in his cabin. 
 

So for anyone on upcoming cruises I recommend it! Especially when they’re away from their families for so long or maybe just had a very stressful cruise. I think it can go a long way. 

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3 hours ago, chicagopaul said:

Well as we get ready for one last evening on the Silhouette I wanted to share the below photo with you all. 
 

33A92D3C-CA59-4094-8C1B-3F0106B2739D.thumb.jpeg.2b295499b221127114330481a24095fe.jpeg

 

We have gotten into the habit of bringing our own stationary and writing letters to the staff when we do our usual end of the cruise tipping. I just mention this because I think it’s such an easy thing for all of us to do that can be personal. I once had one bartender even mention he still had it and showed me a picture of it in his cabin. 
 

So for anyone on upcoming cruises I recommend it! Especially when they’re away from their families for so long or maybe just had a very stressful cruise. I think it can go a long way. 

What a wonderful idea! Unfortunately we won't be able to get our own stationary before we board tomorrow however, we will before we do our B2B2B on the Silhouette this summer! Thank you for the wonderful review. Cheers!

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10 hours ago, chicagopaul said:

0C892EDD-9AE0-4EA4-AE27-495A43685A70.thumb.jpeg.39fdaf8480866eb31c019950bf61c181.jpeg

 

Golden Margarita. Wasn’t sure if she liked salt or no salt so went with both. Or one for her or one for me. Cheers to VT 

 

Thanks so much, Paul, as you just warmed many hearts.  I know that Marilyn(Vt) is looking down with a great, big smile...

Edited by Lastdance

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1 hour ago, Space Coast Cruisers said:

What a wonderful idea! Unfortunately we won't be able to get our own stationary before we board tomorrow however, we will before we do our B2B2B on the Silhouette this summer! Thank you for the wonderful review. Cheers!

 

If you don't have your own stationery, you can get some from guest relations.  I always write a note with my extra tips.  And I also like to fill out forms about exceptional performance mid cruise.  The crew gets that recognition right away.

 

Back in the day, you got personalized stationery in your cabin.  That's long gone!

Edited by Happy Cruiser 6143

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Good Evening Everyone! 
 

Well, tonight is our last night. I have plenty to review and some questions to answer. But as I’m back now in our cabin I’d just like to take this time to reflect on a few thoughts and tomorrow while I’m sitting at the airport or on the plane I’ll cover all the other details. 
 

VTcruising (Marylin): It really felt like an honor to order her golden margarita. Which by the way the bartender knew straight away so no issues there. Even though Edward wasn’t feeling well he still had a sip for her. Personally the taste wasn’t my thing but as I continued to drink it I liked it more. I was chatting with everyone around me and before I knew it the drink was gone. I shared her story with those around me and the bartender I Gede who looked confused when I changed from my normal greyhound drink this morning. So even though I never met her, I’d like to think that she was there enjoying the laughter and smiles while breathing in the fresh sea air. When Edward and I walked away from the bar to head to lunch I felt light hearted, satisfied and not the usual bought of depression I feel on the last day of the cruise. I’d like to think VT had something to do with that. Or maybe her drink of choice was just really that good. Haha. But it really was a pleasure to order that drink and I did so with a if smile. She went way too young and even though I’m in my 30s I realize that could be me any day. So I think from now on, this will be our new tradition on every cruise. One golden margarita in her honor. Why not?! 
 

Friends: Each cruise we find ourselves meeting wonderful people. And regardless of small things like the quality of the food or cabin attendant quality, it’s the people around us that we find to be the most important. Each cruise we go on we meet people we enjoy talking to. Each cruise we meet some that help our days pass by quickly. On some cruises we meet people that are great drinking companions and others we meet people that we feel could be both. Ok this cruise I must say we’ve met so many people my head is in a whirlwind. So many people from CC have come up and said hello (even though we didn’t attend any CC events) I felt like a celebrity....pun intended there. I’ve done my best to keep track of names but I feel like either I’ve met too many people or met too many martinis; probably a combination of the two. 
 

What I do know is that by the end of the cruise we would sit down at a bar or at dinner and it was so easy to find someone we knew passing by. Sitting down at lunch or dinner we found the same thing. It was lovely. We didn’t become best friends with many this cruise but we enjoyed the company of so many and as always learned a lot from all of you. MrandMrsBee we saw you this evening by the elevator but I was too busy thinking about what I packed or didn’t pack that it didn’t kick in it was you until the elevator doors closed! 
 

There were then some that we spent more time with. Evie and Jeff, thank you so much for your lovely conversations at lunch and dinner. We enjoyed it more than you know. Bradley and Nate it was a pleasure meeting you at world class bar and seeing you in the mornings as well. We look forward to keeping in touch. 
 

Our last couple evenings were spent with Keven and Cedrick, a couple our age from Canada. Even though we only met in the last couple days of the cruise it was such a fun time to hang out with them, drink with them and share life stories, even the embarrassing ones. Thank you for making our last night, one that is usually so sad or me, one that had me smiling all night long. 
 

Each cruise is filled with wonderful experiences and also some let downs. Tomorrow I’ll review everything as well as comments from other guests as this cruise I did my best to ask people around me about their thoughts so I could report back. But at the end of the day one thing is clear, there is no place I ever have felt more comfortable than on a ship. And it’s not because of the warm weather, or the drink package, or the cool destinations. Sure, all those help I won’t lie! But the people. My goodness, it’s an incredible how any cruise, with the proper perspective, can make you fall back in love with humanity. 
 

So as I get ready for bed I’d like to thank you all for following along on another journey. I think about how lucky I am to have enjoyed this trip with someone I love so much. The next day will bring the review of today as well as my full thoughts and others thoughts on the cruise plus the answers to some questions you’ve asked. 

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7 hours ago, chicagopaul said:

Good Evening Everyone! 
 

Well, tonight is our last night. I have plenty to review and some questions to answer. But as I’m back now in our cabin I’d just like to take this time to reflect on a few thoughts and tomorrow while I’m sitting at the airport or on the plane I’ll cover all the other details. 
 

VTcruising (Marylin): It really felt like an honor to order her golden margarita. Which by the way the bartender knew straight away so no issues there. Even though Edward wasn’t feeling well he still had a sip for her. Personally the taste wasn’t my thing but as I continued to drink it I liked it more. I was chatting with everyone around me and before I knew it the drink was gone. I shared her story with those around me and the bartender I Gede who looked confused when I changed from my normal greyhound drink this morning. So even though I never met her, I’d like to think that she was there enjoying the laughter and smiles while breathing in the fresh sea air. When Edward and I walked away from the bar to head to lunch I felt light hearted, satisfied and not the usual bought of depression I feel on the last day of the cruise. I’d like to think VT had something to do with that. Or maybe her drink of choice was just really that good. Haha. But it really was a pleasure to order that drink and I did so with a if smile. She went way too young and even though I’m in my 30s I realize that could be me any day. So I think from now on, this will be our new tradition on every cruise. One golden margarita in her honor. Why not?! 
 

Friends: Each cruise we find ourselves meeting wonderful people. And regardless of small things like the quality of the food or cabin attendant quality, it’s the people around us that we find to be the most important. Each cruise we go on we meet people we enjoy talking to. Each cruise we meet some that help our days pass by quickly. On some cruises we meet people that are great drinking companions and others we meet people that we feel could be both. Ok this cruise I must say we’ve met so many people my head is in a whirlwind. So many people from CC have come up and said hello (even though we didn’t attend any CC events) I felt like a celebrity....pun intended there. I’ve done my best to keep track of names but I feel like either I’ve met too many people or met too many martinis; probably a combination of the two. 
 

What I do know is that by the end of the cruise we would sit down at a bar or at dinner and it was so easy to find someone we knew passing by. Sitting down at lunch or dinner we found the same thing. It was lovely. We didn’t become best friends with many this cruise but we enjoyed the company of so many and as always learned a lot from all of you. MrandMrsBee we saw you this evening by the elevator but I was too busy thinking about what I packed or didn’t pack that it didn’t kick in it was you until the elevator doors closed! 
 

There were then some that we spent more time with. Evie and Jeff, thank you so much for your lovely conversations at lunch and dinner. We enjoyed it more than you know. Bradley and Nate it was a pleasure meeting you at world class bar and seeing you in the mornings as well. We look forward to keeping in touch. 
 

Our last couple evenings were spent with Keven and Cedrick, a couple our age from Canada. Even though we only met in the last couple days of the cruise it was such a fun time to hang out with them, drink with them and share life stories, even the embarrassing ones. Thank you for making our last night, one that is usually so sad or me, one that had me smiling all night long. 
 

Each cruise is filled with wonderful experiences and also some let downs. Tomorrow I’ll review everything as well as comments from other guests as this cruise I did my best to ask people around me about their thoughts so I could report back. But at the end of the day one thing is clear, there is no place I ever have felt more comfortable than on a ship. And it’s not because of the warm weather, or the drink package, or the cool destinations. Sure, all those help I won’t lie! But the people. My goodness, it’s an incredible how any cruise, with the proper perspective, can make you fall back in love with humanity. 
 

So as I get ready for bed I’d like to thank you all for following along on another journey. I think about how lucky I am to have enjoyed this trip with someone I love so much. The next day will bring the review of today as well as my full thoughts and others thoughts on the cruise plus the answers to some questions you’ve asked. 


Paul you made me have feelings, I don’t know if I can forgive you for that 😜🤣

 

Your humanity, wonder and warmth as you connect with people shines through in your blogs, and makes it feel like we really are sharing the journey with you and Edward. So thank you for that.

 

Ok, that’s enough feelings for one day! Safe journey home guys.

John

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On 12/20/2019 at 3:30 PM, Purplsmurf said:

Barefoot is our favorite restaurant on Aruba! We go there at least twice every trip. I’ve never noticed any fish smell whether inside or definitely a table on the beach. While I always eat fish there there are other items on the menu that aren’t seafood. I have some family members that had a chicken dish that is served in a half or a pineapple and they loved it! Enjoy! We will also be there in January 

Thanks for this Purplesmurf . We will definately go for dinner then.

Paul - January  on the reflection will be our very first cruise for my 50th birthday ,but I've been following these boards including your adventures since we booked early last year. Thankyou for sharing as your posts and pics really bring the cruises to life and add to my excitement and anticipation 😊

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37 minutes ago, anniedave said:

Thanks for this Purplesmurf . We will definately go for dinner then.

Paul - January  on the reflection will be our very first cruise for my 50th birthday ,but I've been following these boards including your adventures since we booked early last year. Thankyou for sharing as your posts and pics really bring the cruises to life and add to my excitement and anticipation 😊

Purplesmurf and I both vacation in Aruba every year. We've talked through cruisecritic many times, especially on the Aruba boards. Barefoot is also my favorite restaurant. We were on Equinox a few years ago for my birthday,  and overnighted in Aruba.  Barefoot is where we went for my birthday dinner. We have gone there every year, sometimes twice, since they opened. If you sit by the shore in the sand, I doubt that you'll be bothered by the fish odors.

 

Paul, thanks for another great review.  I always look forward to your adventures.  I love you positive view of life.

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Just a quick debate still update while we are on the way to the airport. We waited in Michaels Club until about 9:30 and had Lara escort us off the ship. It’s 10am now and we are in a cab. Not too bad of a process but earlier, around 8:50 or so they did stop debarkation due to over crowding. We gathered our luggage and a port agent saw we had the suite/zenith tags and escorted us to a priority line for immigration which was nice. The line moved fine. The wait for a taxi was only about 5 minutes or so. Some traffic leaving the port area today. Let’s see how busy the airport is today! 

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33 minutes ago, chicagopaul said:

Just a quick debate still update while we are on the way to the airport. We waited in Michaels Club until about 9:30 and had Lara escort us off the ship. It’s 10am now and we are in a cab. Not too bad of a process but earlier, around 8:50 or so they did stop debarkation due to over crowding. We gathered our luggage and a port agent saw we had the suite/zenith tags and escorted us to a priority line for immigration which was nice. The line moved fine. The wait for a taxi was only about 5 minutes or so. Some traffic leaving the port area today. Let’s see how busy the airport is today! 

 

Airport is crazy according to the driver that dropped us off at the Silhouette. 

 

Safe travels 

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5 minutes ago, isdoo said:

 

Airport is crazy according to the driver that dropped us off at the Silhouette. 

 

Safe travels 


It definitely is! It’s a zoo but pre check was a breeze. No one in line. 

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Thanks Paul, for another smashing review. I will look forward to meeting you in April. Come on over to the board for our cruise. 

 

Cheers, heather

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