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


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Friday 2/21/20 - The day we start the drive to Florida

 

We were up by 4:30am (like a regular workday) and used the gym, then showered and got dressed.

 

We overpack and are not ashamed of it.  I would rather have something and not need it than want it and not have it.

 

We have a cooler bag (the red one) with water, soda, snacks.  Then we have what I call the car bag (the blue one) with maps, a throw blanket, slipper socks, anti bacterial gel, hand wipes,  Clinique face and body wipes, etc.  These bags can stay in the car when we’re on the cruise.

 

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Next we have our suitcases.  3 big suitcases, a garment bag, 2 rolling carry on bags.

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Last we have the hotel bag that we’ll use for the hotels pre and post cruise and can stay in the trunk when we’re on the cruise.

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Scott packed up the car.  We are taking my car this trip.  The luggage barely fit.  Every inch of space was used from the trunk to the back seat.  Our last road trip to Disney we took Scott’s truck and had plenty of room.

 

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We left by 8:15 and stopped to get Starbucks (Iced Peach Green tea for me and Cappuccino for Scott) and bagels.  We each ate half of our respective bagels while driving this morning.

 

We got to Delaware about 10:45.

 

Very quickly, we were at Maryland by 10:55

 

We reached Virginia by 12:30

 

 

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There was some snow on the grass and trees in Virginia.

 

As we stopped at various rest stops Scott would buy a power ball or mega millions lotto quick pick in each state.

 

We ate the other half of our bagels during this stretch of the drive.  It was nice to have normal food to eat rather than fast food.

 

 

Edited by Noreen411
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Friday 2/21/20 - Continued

 

We reached North Carolina by 3:30.  There was snow in North Carolina.

 

 

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I received an email that my Move Up offer was unsuccessful.  

 

We got to South Carolina a little after 6.

 

We stopped at South of the Border.  This is the first time we’ve driven past when they were open.  We walked through the fireworks store since that isn’t something we have near us.

 

 

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We talked about our plans for where we should stop driving tonight.  While we originally were thinking of going to Charleston, we changed our plans since we wouldn’t get there until after 9.  Since we want to leave in the morning, we wouldn’t get to see much and it would take us out of the way.  Maybe we’ll plan it for the way back.

 

We decided to book a room in Santee, South Carolina.  The Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott.  I booked it online.  It was about 1.5 hours south of where we were.

 

We got to the hotel around 8:30 or so and quickly checked in.  The room is pretty nice.  There is a refrigerator and microwave.  There weren’t any king bed rooms available so we have two queens.  There are lots of hidden storage places kind of like a cruise ship cabin.  We brought our red hotel bag, the cooler bag, and our rolling carry on bags into the hotel.  We left the rest of the luggage in the car.  Some in the trunk and some in the backseat.  I was a little worried at first about having luggage in the backseat but the parking area was well lit and Scott noticed they had cameras there.  We didn’t leave anything valuable in the car overnight, just clothes, toiletries, shoes, snorkel stuff, etc.

 

 

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Friday 2/21/20 - Continued

 

We asked at the hotel for dinner recommendations and they suggested Captain’s Quarters across the road.  Scott was in the mood for seafood so it sounded good.

 

We arrived at Captain’s Quarters at 8:45 and they told us the kitchen closes at 9, but they would seat us and we should order quickly.

 

 

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I had a Sprite and Scott had a Martini.

 

We shared the fried calamari appetizer.  This was good.  It tasted fresh and was not rubbery at all.

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Our salads were brought out quickly.  It wasn’t fancy but was a nice little salad.

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I had grilled shrimp with a baked potato.  

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Scott had grilled scallops with French fries.

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So far we’ve enjoyed our food.  

 

We shared the pineapple mandarin orange cake for dessert.  The cake wasn’t that good; it was the weakest point of the meal.

 

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We were done by 9:30 and felt a bit rushed.  Maybe we should have just gone elsewhere when they mentioned the kitchen closing and that we should order quickly.  We were the last people sitting in the restaurant when we left.  Everyone working was pretty friendly but we got the sense that we were keeping them from closing.  

 

Back at the hotel we watched some TV and went to bed.  

 

So far breaking up the drive seems to be working well.  When you get in the car thinking you’ll be driving for 20 hours or so it’s kind of overwhelming and you don’t want to waste too much time at rest stops since you have so long to go.  Knowing we were only driving halfway made it much easier, we could walk around a bit at the rest stops and not rush as much.  And it was kind of fun to decide where we would stop for the night; basically googling the half way point and trying to go a bit further, then googling hotels and checking trip advisor.  It made it more of a road trip adventure than just a long boring drive.

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Thank you to all posting kind words and encouragement.

 

It takes me a while to get through writing the report and posting pictures and I appreciate your comments; it’s great to know people are reading/interested.

 

Noreen

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 Noreen,

 

So happy to see your review.  Thankful that both of you are doing ok and not sick.  We returned from the allure on 3/1 and I guess pretty lucky to get that cruise in considering what is going on now.  
 

Are you booked on the oasis for the summer/fall out of Bayonne?  We are on the 5/31 cruise and will certainly reschedule should things not get better soon.  Driving to the port will help without having to worry about flights and hotel. 
 

looking forward to the rest of your review. 

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Love reading this, Noreen! We love to make an adventure out of driving too! From Indiana, We stopped at Pop’s Pepper Patch Pickle Factory along the way and other crazy places. We like to find cool local places for lunch or dinner. We were on the Edge right before we crossed the street to get on the Silhouette. Sometime, you HAVE to experience the SUITE life on the Edge. It’s sublime. Different from the Silhouette because they had the chance to build it for suites instead of trying to fit the retreat decks and the retreat lounge into already built spaces.

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24 minutes ago, maggieq said:

 Noreen,

 

So happy to see your review.  Thankful that both of you are doing ok and not sick.  We returned from the allure on 3/1 and I guess pretty lucky to get that cruise in considering what is going on now.  
 

Are you booked on the oasis for the summer/fall out of Bayonne?  We are on the 5/31 cruise and will certainly reschedule should things not get better soon.  Driving to the port will help without having to worry about flights and hotel. 
 

looking forward to the rest of your review. 

Hi.  

 

I agree we were probably among the last group of cruisers to have a normal cruise experience.

 

Yes - we are booked for both summer and fall on the Oasis; but given what’s happening now, who knows if those cruises will go as planned.  We’re also trying Empress this summer but same idea - who knows what will happen.  Going out of Bayonne is so much easier

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10 minutes ago, lizinindy said:

Love reading this, Noreen! We love to make an adventure out of driving too! From Indiana, We stopped at Pop’s Pepper Patch Pickle Factory along the way and other crazy places. We like to find cool local places for lunch or dinner. We were on the Edge right before we crossed the street to get on the Silhouette. Sometime, you HAVE to experience the SUITE life on the Edge. It’s sublime. Different from the Silhouette because they had the chance to build it for suites instead of trying to fit the retreat decks and the retreat lounge into already built spaces.

Hi.  Making the road trip into an adventure is definitely the way to go.  We kept saying we should try to find somewhere interesting to stop, maybe a restaurant that was on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives; but we didn’t do that.  Maybe next time we’ll plan it out better.

 

We may have to give a suite on Edge a try.  People either love or hate Edge; I haven’t heard many people in the middle.  Since they added in the retreat sundeck on Silhouette they did a very nice job of it.

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52 minutes ago, Noreen411 said:

Hi.  Making the road trip into an adventure is definitely the way to go.  We kept saying we should try to find somewhere interesting to stop, maybe a restaurant that was on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives; but we didn’t do that.  Maybe next time we’ll plan it out better.

 

We may have to give a suite on Edge a try.  People either love or hate Edge; I haven’t heard many people in the middle.  Since they added in the retreat sundeck on Silhouette they did a very nice job of it.

Oh..if you think the Silhouette retreat deck was nice, wait until you see the Edge (or Apex) retreat deck...and the Retreat lounge is wonderful and huge...the width of the ship - with floor to ceiling windows and a shaded outdoor area.

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52 minutes ago, Noreen411 said:

Hi.  Making the road trip into an adventure is definitely the way to go.  We kept saying we should try to find somewhere interesting to stop, maybe a restaurant that was on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives; but we didn’t do that.  Maybe next time we’ll plan it out better.

 

Hi Noreen, I'm settling in for a nice long fun read.

I really love your idea of the road trip versus flying so thanks for all the pics and details. I've only done one really long drive in the USA-Chicago to Marco Island and it was great to see what's on the ground and drive through some beautiful towns, pull up to a hotel for the night and eat local. Kudos for the road trip travelogue!

Cheers!

Norris

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19 hours ago, Bimmer09 said:

 

Hi Noreen, I'm settling in for a nice long fun read.

I really love your idea of the road trip versus flying so thanks for all the pics and details. I've only done one really long drive in the USA-Chicago to Marco Island and it was great to see what's on the ground and drive through some beautiful towns, pull up to a hotel for the night and eat local. Kudos for the road trip travelogue!

Cheers!

Norris

Thank you for the kind words.  I’m a little shy/star stuck now knowing that you are reading.  I hope my little review isn’t a disappointment after I’ve read your great reviews.

 

Noreen

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Saturday 2/22/20 - The day before the cruise - Arrive Florida

 

We went to the gym at the hotel at 5:30am.  It is small but had most of what we needed/wanted.  There were a few treadmills, two ellipticals, weights, etc.  There was no bike.

 

 

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We showered and got dressed.

 

Breakfast is included at the hotel.  They had a decent selection.   There was a cute self-serve waffle maker which I used to make waffles. 

 

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After eating breakfast we got our stuff from the room and checked out.

 

There was frost on the car; it was 33 degrees this morning in South Carolina.

 

 I took a picture of the outside of the hotel as we were leaving.   We left about 8:15am.  

 

We liked the hotel and would choose it again if we were in the area.

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Saturday 2/22/20 - Continued

 

We got to Georgia about 9:25 and stopped at the Welcome Center.

 

 

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We stopped at Peach World and bought some nuts.  It’s not peach season.  

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When I wasn’t looking Scott bought me a peach lip balm.  I’m addicted to lip balm; I keep them all over in almost every room of the house.  I don’t leave home without at least one.

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We arrived in Florida about 11:15.  We stopped at the Welcome to Florida rest stop.

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I think we got scammed.  Some guy from Ohio approached us and told us his wife left her purse in Cracker Barrel and they needed cash to get gas to get to the hotel where the credit card is being sent.  We gave him $20.  It probably was a scam but if it wasn’t at least we helped him get some gas.  

 

Even though we were now in Florida, we knew we still had a while left to drive before getting to Fort Lauderdale; Florida is a long state.  We saw a nice rainbow as we were driving.

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Saturday 2/22/20 - Continued

 

We got to Fort Lauderdale and the Hyatt around 5:30.

 

We checked in and they had to find a manager to open the safe to get me my new American Express card that was sent there.  

 

 

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The room is nice with a desk area as well as a mini fridge/extra sink area.  The downside is the odd set up of the bathroom sink outside the bathroom with the toilet and shower in a small room right next to the sink.

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The toilet/shower room is to the left of this sink.

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There is a decent amount of storage space in the room if needed.  There is a closet behind the cubbies above.  We left our big suitcases in the car just bringing in our red hotel bag and our rolling carry on bags.

 

We took showers and went to the hotel bar for a drink.  We spent some time with a nice couple from Georgia who are also leaving on a cruise tomorrow; I think they are going on Allure of the Seas.

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Saturday 2/22/20 - Continued

 

We left to have dinner.  There were several restaurants in walking distance to the hotel.  We originally were going to Outback but it was very crowded.  We walked over to Mezzaluna where they were able to seat us right away.  The hostess seemed a bit put out at first that we didn’t have reservations but ended up seating us pretty quickly.

 

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The menu was great.  When you opened it up it lit up.

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I had a Mojito and Scott had a Cucumber Martini.  I also had my normal Sprite.  I’m a wimpy drinker so will nurse my drink sipping it for a while.  But if I’m thirsty I can just drink my Sprite.

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For appetizers we had the meatballs with ricotta and seared tuna.  We shared the appetizers.  I liked the meatballs better and Scott like the tuna better so we each ate most of the one we liked better.

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For our entrees I had the Bistro Pasta and Scott had the Seared Scallops with Risotto.  Scott’s scallop dish was really good. I’m not usually a fan of scallops but liked them.  He said they were probably the best scallops he’s had.  Unfortunately, my bistro pasta wasn’t very good.  The seafood was kind of rubbery, maybe overcooked.  Scott shared his scallop dish with me.

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The chocolate soufflé we shared for dessert was great.  We both really enjoyed it.

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The waiter was very good; professional, there when we needed him but not overbearing.  If we were in Fort Lauderdale near here we would eat at this restaurant again.  The dishes that were good were really good.

 

We walked back to the Hyatt a little after 9.  We watched some TV and went to sleep.  We were both excited that we’ll be getting on the Silhouette tomorrow.

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Following and enjoying your review so far.  We were on the same cruise as you and saw you at the Retreat sundeck but weren’t introduced.  We were on the back to back with the Feb. 14th sailing and had a wonderful 21 days on the Silhouette.  What a different world we came home to.  My husband and I are both fine and have been staying home since we returned.  
 

I'm looking forward to reading your cruise review installments.  Stay well!

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2 hours ago, Noreen411 said:

Thank you for the kind words.  I’m a little shy/star stuck now knowing that you are reading.  I hope my little review isn’t a disappointment after I’ve read your great reviews.

 

Noreen

Noreen, thank you for your kind words!

No disappointment this end. I'm still loving the road trip and all the meals and hotels along the way.

 

My road trip from Chicago downtown to Marco Island back in 1998 wasn't in a BMW 5 series alas but in a UHaul box truck with a 70mph limiter. There was a cargo of about 150 orchids from my friend's home in Lake Forest, Ill and he was moving them to his new home on Marco. It took 27 hours with one overnight hotel stop in Georgia and only 2 sit down meals. It was late June so Georgia and Atlanta in particular were boiling hot. We shared the driving. I enjoyed the scenery in Kentucky and Tennessee (Chattanooga!) most of all.

 

Unloading 150 plants one at a time in the Florida heat was thirsty work and our reward was a nice dinner and lots of cold beers on the water  at a restaurant called Little Bar. I can officially eat my own weight in peel 'n eat shrimp! 

 

We always fly in a day before a cruise from FLL or Miami as time is a constraint but when we are retired (soon) I hope we can drive and follow in your footsteps and remind myself of the beautiful states between Chicago and Florida. 20 hours of driving. 

 

Keep it coming!

Norris

 

 

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Great review so far.  I was one of your fellow passengers on this voyage.  For us it was an amazing trip, excellent service and great memories.   Based on the world now, we want to go back and disappear from the world.    Looking forward to reading more.  

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On 3/17/2020 at 5:48 PM, Georgia_Peaches said:

Grateful for your review.  We cruised the same time frame as you (different ship) and agree that our was probably the last "normal" cruise before...well, everything.  Glad you are both feeling well.  Following...

Hi.  

Amazing how a few weeks changes everything.  When we left we had no idea how bad things would get when we got back.

Hope you are feeling well too

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