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Celebrity Silhouette - Review - February 23, 2020 - March 6, 2020


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Celebrity Silhouette - Caribbean Cruise - February/March 2020

 

Who are we?

 

Noreen - 51 years old; Senior Vice President at an Investment Banking Firm in New York City.  I will be the author of the report.

 

Scott - 50 years old; my husband; Independent Contractor and Co-Owner of BounceU in NY.

 

General Comments:

I am writing much of this from memory.  I sent myself text messages throughout the trip as reminders to help me.  Between the texts and pictures hopefully I can capture most of it.

 

I write these reports like a journal for myself to look back on.  The report will have a lot of details; maybe too many details in some cases.  Those are the types of reports I like reading best when I am looking for information.

 

CoronaVirus - COVID19:  I wasn’t sure if I should write this given the current concerns/pandemic we are all dealing with.  I decided to go ahead as it keeps me looking forward to when this pandemic ends and our lives go back to normal.  It will also give anyone interested something a bit more light hearted to read.  I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy.

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Here is a picture of Scott and I on Anthem of the Seas in 2018 so you see what we look like before I start adding more pictures and information. 

 

 

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Edited by Noreen411
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You know a Canadian man who was on our cruise got sick March 1st but didn’t report to sick bay. He has since been diagnosed with COVID 19 back home in Waterloo. All of us on the cruise should self quarantine through this Friday.

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4 minutes ago, lizinindy said:

You know a Canadian man who was on our cruise got sick March 1st but didn’t report to sick bay. He has since been diagnosed with COVID 19 back home in Waterloo. All of us on the cruise should self quarantine through this Friday.

I just read about it.  I’ve been working remotely the last week as part of my companies plan to have people working remote more with the concerns.  Rather than going to the office this coming week, I will continue working remotely (at home).  My husband has been outside the house but his interactions haven’t been with people; more with concrete and tools; but with this information he’ll focus on the stuff he can do from home as well.

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You’ve done better than we have! Before we found out, we’d been to the grocery, the hair salon, and out to dinner with neighbors! Of course, we were pretty sanitized the entire time with hand wipes and soap! We feel fine but we’re staying in through Friday...especially since I now have an excuse not to go to my dental appt scheduled for Monday! Yahoo! (I know, I’m just delaying the inevitable. Sigh.)

We had such a great time on our cruise! It will be fun to relive it through your photos and posts!

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Planning / History

 

To provide some background...

We took our first Celebrity Cruise in April 2018 on Celebrity Reflection to celebrate my 50th birthday.  We had a great time and were looking forward to another cruise on Celebrity.  I wrote a review for that sailing as well which I’ve linked in my signature.

 

Other than that all of our other cruises have been with Royal Caribbean.  We are Diamond Plus in their program; the reciprocal benefits make us Elite with Celebrity.

 

For the past few years, we have cruised early February on Anthem of the Seas, a 12 night Caribbean cruise out of Bayonne NJ.  The ease of cruising from Bayonne can’t be beat since we live in Northern NJ and can drive to Bayonne in about an hour.

 

I started looking at February 2020 cruises in late May 2018 and was disappointed to see that Anthem was doing 8 night cruises rather than the 12 night cruises we wanted.

 

I turned to the Celebrity website and looked at February 2020.  I saw an 11 night cruise on Reflection which looked interesting including a stop in Colon Panama, among some Western/Southern Caribbean ports.  Then I saw the 12 night cruise on Silhouette which visits more traditional Caribbean ports but included three that I have never been to (St. Croix, Grenada, and St Vincent).  Both Reflection and Silhouette leave out of Fort Lauderdale Florida.  We decided on the 12 night cruise on Silhouette.

 

I was surprised that the first February sailing in 2020 didn’t have the cabin category I wanted available.  In a way that worked out better as that sailing was later cancelled by Celebrity when the ship wasn’t finished with it’s revolution (or whatever they are calling the updates).

 

I looked at the February 23, 2020 sailing and not only did they have the category available but the same cabin number we had on Reflection was available (Royal Suite 1241).  I felt it was meant to be.

 

I called Brenda (my friend and travel agent) and she quickly got us booked.  The perks with the booking, possibly perks of the Royal Suite category, include premium beverage package, internet, $300 onboard credit, all specialty restaurants, in room bar set up, etc.  

 

The Cruise

The Silhouette’s itinerary is as follows:

Sunday 2/23 - Leave from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Monday 2/24 - At Sea

Tuesday 2/25 - At Sea

Wednesday 2/26 - St Croix (8-6)

Thursday 2/27 - Antigua (8-5)

Friday 2/28 - St Lucia (9-6)

Saturday 2/29 - Grenada (8-6)

Sunday 3/1 - Barbados (8-6)

Monday 3/2 - St Vincent (7-4)

Tuesday 3/3 - St Kitts (7-4)

Wednesday 3/4 - At Sea

Thursday 3/5 - At Sea

Friday 3/6 - Fort Lauderdale Florida

 

Originally I think Grenada and Barbados were swapped for which day we were where but I can’t find that information anymore.

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I'm confused... isn't there a special section of this website devoted to Reviews?  

 

Although I am curious if Celebrity has reached out with a formal notification about the Corona+ passenger who was symptomatic while on your sailing?  Or did you only learn about the case from this thread?   TIA

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22 minutes ago, SunNFunCruzer said:

I'm confused... isn't there a special section of this website devoted to Reviews?  

 

Although I am curious if Celebrity has reached out with a formal notification about the Corona+ passenger who was symptomatic while on your sailing?  Or did you only learn about the case from this thread?   TIA

There is a section for reviews, but it’s text only (no pictures).  Since it’s also just posting a review people can’t ask questions and I enjoy the interaction with people reading/commenting/questioning as I go along.

 

I haven’t heard anything formal about CoronaVirus from Celebrity but saw a separate thread here on cruise critic about it.

Edited by Noreen411
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22 minutes ago, SunNFunCruzer said:

Although I am curious if Celebrity has reached out with a formal notification about the Corona+ passenger who was symptomatic while on your sailing?  Or did you only learn about the case from this thread?   TIA

 

Celebrity hasn't reached out to me and I was on this cruise.  I only learned about Corona+ passenger from another thread on CC

 

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36 minutes ago, lizinindy said:

You’ve done better than we have! Before we found out, we’d been to the grocery, the hair salon, and out to dinner with neighbors! Of course, we were pretty sanitized the entire time with hand wipes and soap! We feel fine but we’re staying in through Friday...especially since I now have an excuse not to go to my dental appt scheduled for Monday! Yahoo! (I know, I’m just delaying the inevitable. Sigh.)

We had such a great time on our cruise! It will be fun to relive it through your photos and posts!

We aren’t perfect since we just read about it.  We went to the grocery store when we got home.  We have been pretty diligent also with the wipes and washing our hands.  We both feel fine.

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42 minutes ago, registrar said:

Thank you Noreen, I would love to read and see your pictures. Our cruise has been cancelled.

Once this ends hopefully you can book another cruise and make it even better.

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2 minutes ago, Noreen411 said:

There is a section for reviews, but it’s text only (no pictures).  Since it’s also just posting a review people can’t ask questions and I enjoy the interaction with people reading/commenting/questioning as I go along.

 

I haven’t heard anything formal about CoronaVirus from Celebrity but saw a separate thread here on cruise critic about it.

 

 

Thank you.  The way these threads work is really confusing to me.  I hope you get some official information soon.  We were scheduled to sail 2 cruises after you, and both we, and then X cancelled that cruise.  

 

 

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Planning continued:

 

Dining

We are signed up for early dining at 6:15.  Since we are in a suite our restaurant is Luminae.  However, we will probably eat most dinners in the various specialty restaurants.  

 

Pre Cruise Hotel

We stayed at the Embassy Suites Fort Lauderdale in April 2018.  Scott mentioned wanting to try a different hotel this time so I looked at the Hyatt.  It was June 2018 when I started looking but they weren’t booking that far out yet.  In March 2019 I booked the Hyatt Place 17th Street for our pre-cruise night.

 

Transportation

Scott is not a fan of flying and prefers to drive if possible.  When we cruised on Reflection we rented a car and drove down to Florida but flew home.  The road trip down was pretty fun and the flight home was a hassle so we’re thinking of driving both ways this time.  We have done a few road trips to Disney World driving both ways with a rental car.

 

The last few drives to Florida we drove straight through.  It’s tiring but we’ve done it.  We’re planning to break the trip up for this drive and do it over 2 days rather than straight through.

 

We debated doing two one-way car rentals.  We both lease our vehicles.  I’m under on my mileage and my lease is up the end of this year so we decided to take my car instead.

 

Our plan is to leave Friday 2/21 morning, stop somewhere midway (we’ll book a hotel from the road since we don’t know how far we’ll get), then continue to Fort Lauderdale arriving Saturday afternoon/evening.  We’ll do similar on the way home after the cruise.

 

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Planning - continued:

 

Excursions:

We are not fans of organized tours/excursions preferring to do things at our own pace.  We also don’t like crowds.  Three of the stops are new to us (St Croix, Grenada, and St Vincent).  We usually pick a beach on an island to snorkel/swim/hang out for a bit, then wander around some.   Scott mentioned possibly wanting to see some sights so I will throw out some suggestions to him.  

 

St Croix - We may try Sandcastle Beach or Rainbow Beach (if Sandcastle is full).  Sandcastle has a day pass but you can’t reserve it in advance.

 

Antigua - We have been to Valley Church Beach and Beach Limerz over the last few yeas.  I know there are a lot of beaches on Antigua so I’m looking for another one.  Maybe Turner’s Beach or Rum Bum Beach.

 

St Lucia - Many of the island attractions are long rides away.  I know many like the mud baths but that doesn’t appeal to either of us.  We walked to Vigie Beach the last time we were in St Lucia.  It was a nice walk and we enjoyed walking down the beach.  We didn’t have our bathing suits with us since we weren’t sure where we would go, but that’s an option

 

Barbados - We have gone to three of the beach clubs that are on the same strip of beach over the last few years (The Boatyard, Pirates Cove, and Harbour Lights).  If we decide on a beach we will probably go back to Pirates Cove.  If Scott wants to see parts of the island maybe we’ll go to Harrison Caves.

 

Grenada - I was reading various reviews and JNJ tours kept coming up highly recommended.  Since we aren’t fans of group tours and being on someone else’s schedule, I booked a private tour with JNJ just for the two of us.

 

St Vincent - I’m having a hard time finding anything to do on St Vincent.  We left this one up in the air.

 

St Kitts - We have gone to Carambola Beach Club the last few times we’ve been to St Kitts.  We definitely recommend it.  But it’s been getting more and more crowded each time we go.  We thought about a day pass at the Marriott to do something different, but you can’t reserve in advance and have to check the day before (I was told).  If Scott wants to see the island maybe we’ll do a tour to see Brimstone Fortress.  We decided that since we always enjoy St Kitts (it’s Scott’s favorite island) we’ll go to Carambola and I made a reservation with them.

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Day by Day

 

Two Months before the Cruise - Celebrity Move Up

We received an email to participate in the Celebrity Move Up program on 12/10/19.

Our option was to bid on a Penthouse Suite with a minimum bid of $750 per person.

 

I put in a weak bid of $850 per person.  I’m not expecting to get it and am very happy with the Royal Suite.  We love to gamble and compared to the cost of booking the Penthouse outright, this would be a huge bargain.  My fear if we did receive the upgrade...would we be so spoiled and want to keep booking a Penthouse in the future?

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The month before the trip

 

On January 3, 2020 we received the email from the shoreside concierge about our preferences

 

 

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We called a few days later to provide the information to the concierge and make our specialty dining reservations.  I keep a color coded spreadsheet that I use to keep track of our activities, dining, etc.

 

Scott decided to shave his head completely bald.  Before that he had a sort of military haircut like what he had when he was in the Marines with a little hair on top and bald on the sides.  The little hair on the top wasn’t that much anymore so I didn’t think it was that different when he had it all shaved off, but he thinks it’s a huge difference.  His bald head looks very cute.  And now he can shave it himself while we’re away too.  Before he was going every week for a haircut.  He tried to get it cut on a cruise once and they said they didn’t have whatever they needed to cut it the way he had it before.

Edited by Noreen411
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Looking forward to your review.  When I saw your posted pic from a couple of years ago, I remembered reading your reviews.  It was helpful putting the name to the face, so to speak.  Glad you are home and healthy.  The Silhouette is my favorite S class ship.

Edited by ecslady
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The week before the trip

We did our fashion show trying on clothes to make sure we like what we had and what we want to bring.  Of course, I ordered a few more things for the trip as well.

 

We did the bulk of the packing the weekend before the trip.  We are packing a separate bag that we will use for the hotels going down and back so we don’t have to bring that one on the ship.  And we’ll leave the other big suitcases in the car at the hotels just taking this bag and our rolling carry-on bags into the different hotels.

 

I went to the spa to get my manicure and pedicure.  I’m a creature of habit and got my normal cruise colors.  A sparkly peach gel/shellac manicure that will last the whole trip and a regular pedicure in a pretty turquoise that reminds me of the water in Barbados.

 

 

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Edited by Noreen411
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The day before the trip - Thursday 2/20/20

It was a regular workday for both of us.

 

There was fraud on my American Express card so I called them and they will cancel and send me a new card; they could have it to me tomorrow.  With us leaving tomorrow morning and not knowing where we’ll be tomorrow night, they will send the new card to the Hyatt in Fort Lauderdale where we will be by Saturday evening.

 

I left work around 5:30pm from downtown NYC (Tribeca) after arriving at the office around 6:15 in the morning.  Surprisingly, there wasn’t that much traffic and I was home a little after 7.   

 

We finished any last minute packing and are looking forward to the trip.

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