Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
chicagopaul

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

Recommended Posts

So I am sitting by Bacio having some tea and I figured I'd take this time to go over a couple things.

 

1) Our plan for today is Aruba. We are currently in Aruba but we're not going to the beach. Instead we are going to dinner a place called Screaming Eagle which was recommended by our sommelier in Luminae. The menu looks very nice and the reviews online are excellent. It's about a 50 minute walk from the port so it should be a quick taxi ride there and back. The ship leaves at midnight and we made 7:30 reservations. We will probably show up a bit early. We made reservations for the terrace and it should be a nice night to eat outside.

 

2) How we book our cruises.

 

First, we almost always book on board and always non-refundable when we book on board. We do this for the lower deposit but also the extra on board credit. We then have this booking transferred to our travel agent. We usually use our on board bookings as simple place holders and end up moving that cruise around.

 

We monitor the pricing daily. It is something that Edward checks on literally every single day when he gets to the office to see if pricing has declined. By doing this he starts to understand the trend in pricing and what is really a good deal versus what is not. We tend to initially book a cabin / room category we are satisfied with. Usually that  means concierge class (since we want the extra points) and we upgrade from there. Many times we are upgrading after final payment as that is when we see pricing drop most often.

 

With this cruise, specifically, Edward saw a suite guarantee one morning and immediately put a hold on it. As soon as he held it he saw pricing jump up meaning there was likely only 1 or 2 suites they were putting on guarantee for that price. He put it on hold with Celebrity and then immediately reached out to our TA to have that hold transferred over.

 

When we look at pricing we like to look at the price per day. That is how we easily equate value across different cruises we've taken in the past or we are planning to take in the future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, chicagopaul said:

2) How we book our cruises.

 

First, we almost always book on board and always non-refundable when we book on board. We do this for the lower deposit but also the extra on board credit. We then have this booking transferred to our travel agent. We usually use our on board bookings as simple place holders and end up moving that cruise around.

Hi Paul.  Glad to see you doing another review.  Enjoy.  I'd like to know how you're able to move a booking around with the NRD?  Don't you lose the $200 which results in the booking being cancelled?    Or, do you just lose the deposit, and keep the existing reservation # with the attached OBC and pay a full deposit on the cruise you're moving it to? 

 

We always book onboard too.  We usually book a couple onboard.  One we intend to keep and others are booked very far out in case we see a good price on something we like, and then we can just rebook that cruise onboard again.   Since they implemented the NRD, we always choose Refundable now for the very case we end up moving it around.  

19 minutes ago, chicagopaul said:

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Want2Cruise 701 said:

Hi Paul.  Glad to see you doing another review.  Enjoy.  I'd like to know how you're able to move a booking around with the NRD?  Don't you lose the $200 which results in the booking being cancelled?    Or, do you just lose the deposit, and keep the existing reservation # with the attached OBC and pay a full deposit on the cruise you're moving it to? 

 

We always book onboard too.  We usually book a couple onboard.  One we intend to keep and others are booked very far out in case we see a good price on something we like, and then we can just rebook that cruise onboard again.   Since they implemented the NRD, we always choose Refundable now for the very case we end up moving it around.  

 

 

Sorry, thanks for catching my error...REFUNDABLE deposits we always book. We never book non-refundable unless in the rare case its a great deal and very close to final payment. Thanks for catching that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, chicagopaul said:

 

Sorry, thanks for catching my error...REFUNDABLE deposits we always book. We never book non-refundable unless in the rare case its a great deal and very close to final payment. Thanks for catching that!

Np.  Thanks for clarifying. I was hoping there was a way to do it, but I guess if you end up moving it around, the lower price really doesn't matter since you're not keeping the cruise anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Screaming Eagle seems to have some wine offer on today

 

 

44% DISCOUNT ON WINE MONDAY🚨
Valid 16 Dec, 00:00 - 23:59

 

Today is WINE MONDAY* at SCREAMING EAGLE where you can enjoy a 44% DISCOUNT on any orders of WINE and/or CHAMPAGNE by the bottle! 🍾 *Each Monday you can enjoy any wine or champagne by the bottle on our list at FLORIN PRICING instead of the usual US$! This offer comes with no obligation to combine with dinner. We simply want to create the opportunity for you to enjoy your favorites at incredibly attractive pricing...but should you work up an appetite while you’re at it, we won’t refuse your orders. - - - - - - - - - - CLICK HERE 👉 http://*****/VisitScreamingEagle to • view our menus 🍸 🍽️ 🍷 • reserve your table or lounge bed now‼ • arrange a gift certificate 💌 - - - - - - - - - - 📷 Kenneth Theysen #Aruba #ArubaYouShouldBeHere #Wine #DiningOut

 

I hope this helps

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Gordoncruickshank said:

Screaming Eagle seems to have some wine offer on today

 

 

44% DISCOUNT ON WINE MONDAY🚨
 
Valid 16 Dec, 00:00 - 23:59

 

Today is WINE MONDAY* at SCREAMING EAGLE where you can enjoy a 44% DISCOUNT on any orders of WINE and/or CHAMPAGNE by the bottle! 🍾 *Each Monday you can enjoy any wine or champagne by the bottle on our list at FLORIN PRICING instead of the usual US$! This offer comes with no obligation to combine with dinner. We simply want to create the opportunity for you to enjoy your favorites at incredibly attractive pricing...but should you work up an appetite while you’re at it, we won’t refuse your orders. - - - - - - - - - - CLICK HERE 👉 http://*****/VisitScreamingEagle to • view our menus 🍸 🍽️ 🍷 • reserve your table or lounge bed now‼ • arrange a gift certificate 💌 - - - - - - - - - - 📷 Kenneth Theysen #Aruba #ArubaYouShouldBeHere #Wine #DiningOut

 

I hope this helps


Thank you! Yes we saw that while googling the place. It was a nice surprise! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad I stumbled upon you blog and have now caught up.  Following along will hopefully keep me going until we board the Summit on 2/8/20.  I'm here for the long haul.  Have a great cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Paul, I am enjoying your posts! We will be on the Silhouette in March, my first time on this ship. I love the pictures. We will be  flying to Chicago (Rogers Park) this weekend for Christmas with my daughter and her husband, Navy pier is on our visit list.

So many fun things to do in Chicago.

 

Thanks for taking the time to post! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...a bit off topic...

The price differences between NRD and RFD can be very significant.  I booked an RFD for 2022, then added insurance for the $900 to hold the cruise.  The difference in price was $1,600.  The $900 deposit cost me $55, and I can add to it right before final payment.  You do have a year to rebook another cruise with the $700, but I decided to do it this way and cover my bases...only time will tell!  The cruise is for our 50th...

 

Paul, I applaud your way of cruising to the nth degree!  Call me crazy!  All my other cruises are RFD...

Edited by Lastdance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wish I would’ve realized that today was Aruba. I would’ve recommended a fabulous restaurant. We go to Aruba every year for our land vacay. There are MANY incredible restaurants. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We monitor the pricing daily. It is something that Edward checks on literally every single day when he gets to the office to see if pricing has declined. By doing this he starts to understand the trend in pricing and what is really a good deal versus what is not. We tend to initially book a cabin / room category we are satisfied with. Usually that  means concierge class (since we want the extra points) and we upgrade from there. Many times we are upgrading after final payment as that is when we see pricing drop most often.

 

With this cruise, specifically, Edward saw a suite guarantee one morning and immediately put a hold on it. As soon as he held it he saw pricing jump up meaning there was likely only 1 or 2 suites they were putting on guarantee for that price. He put it on hold with Celebrity and then immediately reached out to our TA to have that hold transferred over.

 

Paul-What website does Edward check every day? The Celebrity site or another? 

 

I love your blog! I am love all of the food reviews! Can't wait to hear how your dinner was in Aruba.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, chicagopaul said:

 

2) How we book our cruises.

 

First, we almost always book on board and always non-refundable when we book on board. We do this for the lower deposit but also the extra on board credit. We then have this booking transferred to our travel agent. We usually use our on board bookings as simple place holders and end up moving that cruise around.

 

We monitor the pricing daily. It is something that Edward checks on literally every single day when he gets to the office to see if pricing has declined. By doing this he starts to understand the trend in pricing and what is really a good deal versus what is not. We tend to initially book a cabin / room category we are satisfied with. Usually that  means concierge class (since we want the extra points) and we upgrade from there. Many times we are upgrading after final payment as that is when we see pricing drop most often.

 

With this cruise, specifically, Edward saw a suite guarantee one morning and immediately put a hold on it. As soon as he held it he saw pricing jump up meaning there was likely only 1 or 2 suites they were putting on guarantee for that price. He put it on hold with Celebrity and then immediately reached out to our TA to have that hold transferred over.

 

When we look at pricing we like to look at the price per day. That is how we easily equate value across different cruises we've taken in the past or we are planning to take in the future.

 

Paul-What website does Edward check every day? The Celebrity site or another? 

 

I love your blog! I am love all of the food reviews! Can't wait to hear how your dinner was in Aruba.

 

(Sorry for the double post above.)

Edited by BlueSkiesTX

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, BlueSkiesTX said:

 

Paul-What website does Edward check every day? The Celebrity site or another? 

 

I love your blog! I am love all of the food reviews! Can't wait to hear how your dinner was in Aruba.

 

(Sorry for the double post above.)


He checks the celebrity website each morning. Occasionally he also cross checks our TAs website too. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good Morning from Curaçao! Before we talk about yesterday in Aruba let’s look at the daily for today. 
 

9A342C9E-592D-48C5-A947-C93A75C1994A.thumb.jpeg.b3a43b0fc16e5a055305b61c652366f8.jpeg

 

ECB94044-EC94-40EC-946B-ABAA44038819.thumb.jpeg.e95e4f6687a92b889f6e5991e38557aa.jpeg

 

4D249432-F564-4B3F-8489-74464D3930D2.thumb.jpeg.34b2e658c65b0fd0a55ce96c60b4f749.jpeg

 

6D074484-D230-4250-A30C-72C86868C524.thumb.jpeg.df5d89f06c70b84b39917d09f430f81b.jpeg

 

Port special today for the spa 

 

ACFF2FEE-B0D5-48CF-B9E1-C1220103167E.thumb.jpeg.b7f960827512dc81301feb0ffb9099db.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yesterday was Aruba. We spent the day on the ship and decided to go out at night for dinner. 
 

We got ready for the evening earlier than usual because our dinner reservation was at 7:30. We started to get ready around 5. I was hanging out on the balcony while Edward was getting ready and met our cabin neighbors. They would spend a couple weeks in Aruba each year and know it well. So we chatted about Aruba, cruising, and our hate for the cold while Edward was finishing getting ready. Around 5:40 or so we made our way down to the martini bar for a drink before leaving the shop. The bar was crowded but we snagged one seat at the end and I Gede found us another seat. We had our martini and met MrandMrsBee from cruise critic! They used to live in Chicago so we were chatting about restaurants, the Chicago mob, stories of them drinking too much after work. It was really nice and we almost lost track of time! We left around 7 and hailed a cab on the main road

 

The cab was $15 to Screaming Eagle which was roughly a 7 minute ride. The cab driver was very nice and told us as we were getting the check at dinner to have them call a cab for us and someone would be there to take us back. 
 

Screaming Eagle is just off the water and was lit up beautifully at night. Upon walking into the restaurant the hostess opened the door for us and welcomed us. When making reservations I had asked for a table on the terrace and they had the perfect table set up on the terrace. Nice and private, with a view of the entire terrace. 
 

6214E534-7F6D-4421-9F4B-B267AC75BFB9.thumb.jpeg.85e8fbe841e262a77f290f9fd43be394.jpeg


Service was prompt and very friendly. Everyone had a smile on their face. Our waitress was a real delight. She was incredibly energetic and was very sweet. We followed her recommendations on the food. But first we ordered wine! Their wine list here is quite nice with a total of 300 wines by the bottle wine some very good stuff too. 
 

50077692-9725-4475-8126-C60190CCAF21.thumb.jpeg.202b1fa2bf7baf9b9fef6a672e0e63c3.jpeg

 

As you can see they hold up to their name with a nice selection of Screaming Eagle. 
 

4B4F7F6F-A707-4F58-B84B-A2876B710558.thumb.jpeg.ebaee4da247d41d2772d318088e56ff1.jpeg

 

Unfortunately we’re not independently wealthy so the Screaming Eagle wasn’t in the budget. But we did opt for a nice bottle of Chateau Montelena Chardonnay. It was $160 for the bottle but 44% off that price because of the Monday sale. I particularly liked the way our waitress opened the bottle and had the cork placed with the foil of the wine. 
 

For appetizers we started with the Mexican fish tacos and the pork belly. On special for the night was barracuda! Having never had it and listening to our waitress’s recommendation we decided to try it. I thought it was great. It was pan seared. It definitely was a meaty fish in texture but had a light flavor. There was a fantastic tomato sauce on the side and under the fish was a creamy onion sauce that had a very comfort home cooking feeling to it. Overall I loved the dish the more I ate it. 
 

9D2BEC8B-7749-4778-927F-C8683AD25859.thumb.jpeg.404f41b21d9e4d88bb25e48415f66c1c.jpeg

 

78B70927-0976-4FA7-9AC9-EB9E086E22C2.thumb.jpeg.6c94dc13274569ae25077d256d7c5cba.jpeg

 

DE6DD137-9296-4382-8EC9-B39536AF6E59.thumb.jpeg.6e17570902156a1913ad2d5805fc8cde.jpeg

 

For dessert we had a caramelized banana with ice cream. Very nice and light. Perfect to go with the little bit of Chardonnay we had left. 
 

3EDC8F01-EAEB-44FF-A56B-C838C74CE926.thumb.jpeg.4568a0105bb3156abdc296551338951a.jpeg

Upon getting the check out waitress asked if we needed a taxi. She had them call one for us and after walking out of the restaurant the taxi pulled up within 30 seconds. 
 

The total bill before tip, including the discount on the wine was $215. The food price wasn’t bad. Our special was $36 for example. Dessert was $10. 
 

9617B5DB-EF33-4F30-93E9-1354E5AB84EA.thumb.jpeg.25c6668903527989771696ac62bd3923.jpeg

 

Our waitress was Arminda. If you end up here ask for her. She was really fantastic. I definitely do recommend this place. Service was great. Food was very good. The taco appetizer especially was phenomenal. 
 

The cab ride back to the ship was quick and the same cost of $15.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paul, loving your blog/review so far!  I've been on Silhouette before, but on a different itinerary.  It's nice to see another's opinion of the ship, plus you're making me want to really visit Aruba now if only to go to Screaming Eagle!  Sounds like it was an incredible experience!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, music said:

Hi Paul, I am enjoying your posts! We will be on the Silhouette in March, my first time on this ship. I love the pictures. We will be  flying to Chicago (Rogers Park) this weekend for Christmas with my daughter and her husband, Navy pier is on our visit list.

So many fun things to do in Chicago.

 

Thanks for taking the time to post! 

 

NOT to hijack Paul's thread here, but if you're looking for fun things to while here, I'm also in the Chicago area and can always give you some recommendation!  Especially around Navy Pier.

 

Back to Paul's blog now.  :classic_smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This morning we got up at regular time. We are in Curaçao but Edward didn’t want to get off the ship today. We are docked a little farther down that usual but not that much farther of a walk than normal. 
 

Today we made our way up to the Sunset Bar. Had a couple drinks and made a new set of friends who we chatted with. Lunch today was in ocean view and I was surprised at how crowded it was on a port day! 
 

The selection today was similar to yesterday. I grabbed some pulled pork and chicken from the Mexican section. I of course had some of my Indian food I love and today went with a fish curry and beef masala. Then also some pasta salads and a chicken curry salad. We got nice table for two outside right on the railing. 

 

Ocean view selection has looked nice. Plenty of clean tables available both yesterday and today. Lots of people were lined up for the ice cream today I noticed. 
 

0558EB55-E80C-4AC4-9FAB-9129C103E4EB.thumb.jpeg.240c1ed83b7f2c0c57939e63d4ecf552.jpeg

 

My Ketel One and grapefruit juice 

 

E2EC842C-905D-4FEF-BE3D-FE3C8187F81D.thumb.jpeg.eb3550cfcb804d5f3de075962cae78ef.jpeg

 

Lunch today in Oceanview 

 

After lunch we’ve made our way to Cafe al Bacio for tea. My favorite African Solstice! It’s not too crowded here but there a small steady stream of people coming in and out. 
 

048DB5E7-5F1B-468A-88B7-CCCA84EDCED4.thumb.jpeg.60ca237af78b78fb11971dce0f7817bb.jpeg

 

No one in sight. Nice and relaxing. 

Today in Ocean View we ran into our Luminae waiters, Dev and Dominic. I told Dominic about how so many of you remember him and posted photos. I promised the next night we are in Luminae to have everything pull up on my phone ready to show him. 
 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, chicagopaul said:

promised the next night we are in Luminae to have everything pull up on my phone ready to show him. 
 

Mr Wills with his breadsticks delivered by the amazing Dominic.

65067EC1-802E-4603-9109-994FFDF8B5BD.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, cruzzzinma said:

Mr Wills with his breadsticks delivered by the amazing Dominic.

65067EC1-802E-4603-9109-994FFDF8B5BD.jpeg


Love it! I’ll be sure to show him tomorrow. If anyone else has any photos You’d like me to pass along to Dominic or even Dev let me know and I’ll be more than happy to show them. We all know they work hard and I’m sure they have some rough days. As much as they take care of us, the passengers, I think we have an obligation to make them as happy as possible too so I’m loving these responses! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I came back to our room this afternoon I saw this sign taped to our table on the balcony. 
 

5A5C77DA-4BD7-4A16-B4A2-6251835EA328.thumb.jpeg.6b6865dacf68b31c4857ea96c38a4015.jpeg

 

I know some have questioned whether or not they are letting the ship go because of the upcoming dry dock but it’s nice to see them still making updates as usual. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

If you ever have dinner in Murano in the private dining room , they have a bottle of Screaming Eagle there too.  I think at the time it was $9,000.00.  Of course we did not order it.

 

African Solstice is my go to tea also.  We read about it a couple of years ago on cruise critic and have been having it ever since.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, K.T.B. said:

 

NOT to hijack Paul's thread here, but if you're looking for fun things to while here, I'm also in the Chicago area and can always give you some recommendation!  Especially around Navy Pier.

 

Back to Paul's blog now.  :classic_smile:

lol, My daughter has been there for years now, but I do appreciate anything new, and thanks for the thought.

 

Now, here's Paul!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, chicagopaul said:


Today in Ocean View we ran into our Luminae waiters, Dev and Dominic. I told Dominic about how so many of you remember him and posted photos. I promised the next night we are in Luminae to have everything pull up on my phone ready to show him. 
 

 

 

My first experience of Domnic was on a May 2010 cruise on the Millie to Alaska.  We were a group of 8 women and were seated way in the back of the dining room.  Domnic did tricks for us after dinner and we were often the last to leave the dining room we were having such a good time with him.  He showed us a picture of his wife.  His assistant was Carlos who told us he wanted to be promoted to waiter.  We all wrote good comment cards on Carlos and, sure enough, the next time we saw him on board, he had been promoted.  Next time we saw Domnic he was in Blu and had a baby.  Wonderful interactions with people like Domnic is what keeps me sailing on Celebrity.  Glad you're going to pass all these comments on to him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, chicagopaul said:

When I came back to our room this afternoon I saw this sign taped to our table on the balcony. 
 

5A5C77DA-4BD7-4A16-B4A2-6251835EA328.thumb.jpeg.6b6865dacf68b31c4857ea96c38a4015.jpeg

 

I know some have questioned whether or not they are letting the ship go because of the upcoming dry dock but it’s nice to see them still making updates as usual. 

 

I'm glad to see that they are refinishing the existing balcony furniture instead of replacing it with the Edge-inspired minature furniture

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...