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

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19 hours ago, maggieq said:



thanks for continuing this terrific review.

I know you like to cruise out of NJ vs FL but wondering if you prefer Celebrity or RCCL and why?


hope you are both keeping safe and healthy!



We are doing our best to stay healthy.  Hope you are as well.


I can’t say we really have a preference.  They both are great cruise lines and each do certain things better than the other, but you won’t go wrong with either one.  We have also only sailed twice with Celebrity vs many times on Royal Caribbean.


Entertainments/Shows/Activities - Royal Caribbean is stronger here.  Their ships are bigger with more activities such as bumper cars, ice skating, rock climbing walls, zip lines, flow rider, simulated sky diving, etc.  But it definitely attracts more crowds and children.


Food - Celebrity is stronger here.  When I think about the specialty restaurants, it’s good on Royal Caribbean; but it’s even better on Celebrity.  Some of the types of venues are comparable - Luminae and Coastal Kitchen seem pretty interchangeable.  We didn’t eat much in Luminae but on our Reflection cruise the first night Luminae menu was exactly the same as the first night Coastal Kitchen menu on Anthem.  We even ordered the same things - they were presented differently and both were good.


Ship Overall - Both are clean and well maintained.  There are more bells and whistles on Royal, but more areas to relax on Celebrity.  The decor is classier on Celebrity.  There are a lot more ships in Royals fleet so probably something for everyone (from small, medium, large, or giant ships).


Casino Perks - maybe not important to everyone, but in the past we have gotten some very good deals with Casino Royale (Royal Caribbean’s program) that we haven’t gotten with Celebrity.


Suite Experience - Celebrity treats their entry level (Sky) suites like a suite and includes those suites in Luminae, The retreat lounge, the retreat sundeck, special seating on formal nights, a butler, etc.  Royal Caribbean doesn’t start real suite perks unless you are in a Grand Suite or higher.  Royal’s Junior Suite is basically a larger room with limited perks.  On both lines when you go to higher suite classes you get some extra perks (such as free specialty dining, internet, beverage packages, etc).  We have sailed in different types of cabins on Royal Caribbean but have only sailed in Royal Suites on Celebrity.


Service - We have had great service on both lines.  Celebrity is more refined and it takes a little while for some of the employees to loosen up (I don’t mean this as something bad); whereas Royal strikes a good balance of a more playful attitude while providing great service.  Part of this could also be that we’ve been on Anthem many times and have gotten to know many of the employees so it’s very comfortable.


We will continue to sail both lines.  We sail with Royal more frequently and a big reason is having them sail right out of Bayonne. I know Celebrity has the Summit in Bayonne but I prefer newer and bigger ships.   Royal was sending some different options to Bayonne in 2020 and 2021 so in addition to Anthem we have sailings booked on Oasis, Freedom, and Empress.  With everything going on now I’m expecting some of those sailings to be cancelled due to COVID19.  



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Wednesday 3/4/20 - At Sea


We went to the gym about 5:30 this morning.  We like that the gym is open 24 hours.


We also walked/ran the outside track.


Back in our cabin we used the jacuzzi, then showered and changed.


We skipped breakfast today since we wanted to go to the Lawn Club Grill for burgers.


We received an invite to a bridge tour today so headed up to the meeting area.  


You are scanned with a wand before they let you see the bridge.  




I was amused by this window in the floor that you can see straight down.



There was a nice explanation of how things work on the bridge.  




When we finished the bridge tour we headed down to the casino.  The slot pull organized by Jeff & Tracy was taking place.  We told them yesterday we have the bridge tour and we weren’t sure what time we would get to the casino. They said we could be the last two.  By the time we got there they already finished the slot pull and said it was a lot of fun.


We stayed in the casino a little while playing some slots.  


We looked at the pictures on the kiosk and were happy to see a few cute ones that we have to choose from.

Edited by Noreen411
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Wednesday 3/4/20 - Continued


We went to the Lawn Club Grill for lunch




I had the Signature burger and Scott had the WT**** burger.




Below are pictures of the insides of our burgers.  We ordered them medium.  Mine is way too raw for me so I asked if they can cook it a little longer.




They made me a whole new burger.  



This one was cooked better.



The burgers were OK but not as good as the ones we had here earlier in the trip.


For dessert we both had apple pie ala mode.  Although we love the cookie we’ve had that several times and wanted to try something different.  The pie was good.  The cookie is still our favorite.


Edited by Noreen411
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Wednesday 3/4/20 - Continued


Making the video of the cabin was harder than we expected it to be.  I know some people are super fancy and add music and all sorts of stuff.  I found it hard enough just to walk through and describe things.  While the final video was only a few minutes it took us over an hour to do it.  We made a few more versions before we were finally sort of happy with what we did.


We did some packing in the afternoon.


Alex delivered our last batch of laundry and dry cleaning.


We also received a delivery of scones.  These are so good.  





We hung out on the balcony for a while.


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Wednesday 3/4/20 - Continued


We showered and changed for the evening.


We headed down to the Retreat Lounge.  We met up with Charlotte, Joe, Tracy, and Jeff.




We were all having dinner together in Murano tonight.  They seated us in a private room (maybe a wine cellar type room since there was a lot of wine in there).



We have our favorite waiter, Marco, taking care of us tonight.  I got him to pose in the picture too.



Since every night I make Scott pose with the menu I asked everyone at the table to do it.  I even was in the picture as Marco said he’ll take the picture for us.



Scott posed with the sommelier who has been helping him make different wine choices nightly.



For our amuse bouche it was a cold fruity soup.  I wasn’t a fan of this one.



Scott and I both had the pork belly appetizer.  I took pictures of our food but didn’t bother everyone else to take pictures of their food.  This was so good.  My favorite appetizer here.



We were having a lot of fun at dinner with the group.  I managed to get this goofy picture of the guys being silly.  We had a lot of laughs this night.  One of the ladies convinced me to try a wine she liked.  I gave it a try, it was OK, but I’m happier with my Sprite.



Scott had surf and turf; Venison with broiled lobster tails.  He really liked this.



I had broiled lobster tails.  I enjoyed this a lot.  I don’t know what they did to them but the mashed potatoes and vegetables were really good too.



For dessert I tried the mini sampler.  This is so cute and you get to try a whole bunch of different sweet little desserts.  I didn’t like the liquid one but the others were all pretty good.



Scott had the soufflé and said it was very good tonight



We missed the show (December 63) since we were at dinner until about 10.


We were all having such a nice time we went to the Retreat Lounge to hang out a little longer.  We were there until a little after 11.  Everyone else headed to their cabins but Scott and I went to the casino.


In the casino my card stopped working.  I’m not sure why it broke, but one of the employees said he would look into it and ended up getting me a new one.  Scott told me he had the same problem with his card but he went to Guest Services himself to get a new card.


We were in the casino until about 2 then headed up to our cabin.  Scott was in the mood for a late night snack so ordered room service which he said was good.


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Just a note to say thank you for posting this.  Staying at home during this crisis means we are living vicariously through your posts.  


We are booked to sail on Celebrity again in early December and are keeping fingers crossed that a major breakthrough happens so life can return to normal.


In the meantime - everyone stay safe!


Best wished to all.

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On 4/20/2020 at 6:10 PM, ctbeacher said:

Just a note to say thank you for posting this.  Staying at home during this crisis means we are living vicariously through your posts.  


We are booked to sail on Celebrity again in early December and are keeping fingers crossed that a major breakthrough happens so life can return to normal.


In the meantime - everyone stay safe!


Best wished to all.

Thank you for the kind words.  


I’ll keep my fingers crossed for your December sailing as well.


Stay safe

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Thursday 3/5/20 - At Sea


I went to the gym around 6am.  Scott wanted to sleep a little longer and said he would probably do some more packing.


When I got back we both worked on getting the bulk of the packing done.


We skipped breakfast today since we wanted to go to the Lawn Club Grill for burgers for lunch.  


We used the jacuzzi on the balcony then showered and changed.


We walked around the deck for a while;  the seas were so calm.




We stopped at the Retreat Sundeck and hung out up there for a little while.


We stopped at the photo area to order some pictures.  One of the employees was so helpful.  We were narrowing down our choices and he asked if we were Elite (we are due to the reciprocal benefits with Royal Caribbean) and explained that the 6 pack of photos with the Elite discount would be less than buying 4 pictures.  Since we already bought the boarding photo he said he can include that in the 6 and we picked 5 more.  When we come pick them up we need to bring the boarding photo and he’ll refund it then charge us the elite 6 picture price.  The pictures would be ready later this evening.  There was one picture that we liked but there was a guy texting in the picture that I didn’t really like.  He said he could move the picture slightly so he would be cut off a little so that works.  In case you wanted to go back and check my pictures to see which one it was...it’s Antigua.  You still see the guy texting but not as much as it showed originally.


We went to the theater to watch the Secrets of Navigation with the Captain.  It started at 11:15 and we were a few minutes late.



We went to lunch at the Lawn Club Grill.



I had the WT*** burger and Scott had the DeepEnd burger.  I don’t know why it was different but the burgers were better today than they were yesterday.  We both really enjoyed our lunch.






We shared the chocolate chip cookie with ice cream for dessert.


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Thursday 3/5/20 - Continued


After lunch we were walking around the ship and wandered past the Future Cruise area.  Surprisingly, it wasn’t crowded at all.  We were looking at some of the flyers they had.  We already have several trips booked for 2020 and 2021 but saw that they had sailings for early 2022 available.  We sat down with one of the employees and liked that he gave us information, answered our questions, but wasn’t pushy at all.  We booked a Royal Suite on the Constellation for February 2022 leaving out of Tampa Florida for 11 nights to the ABC islands.   He will send the information for the sailing to Brenda (our friend and travel agent).  Scott has always wanted to try a smaller ship where I’m partial to the bigger ships.  One of our 2020 cruises is actually on a small ship but I’m expecting that sailing to be cancelled soon due to COVID19.


We walked around outside the ship since it was so nice out.  We usually sail out of Bayonne NJ in the winter and the first day out and last day back are usually very cold and windy so it’s a nice change to be able to be outside on the way back to Fort Lauderdale.


We spent some time in the casino this afternoon as well.  We normally do more gambling at night when we’re on a cruise but sometimes we play a little during the day.


We went back to the cabin and finished just about all the packing.


We used our jacuzzi on the balcony for the last time this trip.  Then we showered and changed for the evening.


We went to the Retreat Lounge.  We both had the peach bourbon drink we’ve been enjoying; mine was the wimpy version.


We went to dinner at Murano and were at our regular table.




Today’s amuse bouche was our favorite one of the trip.  It was a lobster taco with avocado cream and salsa.



For our appetizers we both had the pork belly.  This is so good.



We were telling Marco (the waiter) how much we enjoyed the amuse bouche earlier and he came out with a few more of them for us.



For our entree I had the chateaubriand (for 1) with broiled lobster tail.  This was cooked perfectly.



Scott had the venison with broiled lobster tails.  His also was cooked perfectly.



For dessert Scott stuck with the soufflé while I tried something different and had the sorbet and gelato.  Both desserts were very good.




Marco wrapped up our little chocolates into a little foil purse for us to take with us.  He said he gave us a few extra for the ride home.



It was hard saying goodbye to the employees in Murano.  They really helped make our trip special getting to know us and treating us so well.  


We went back to the cabin to put out our luggage; all the bags were stuffed.   We kept the KYSS bag (the big beach bag) in the cabin in case we had extra stuff to put in it as well as our rolling carry on bags.



We went to the theater for the 9pm show Euphoria.  We were a few minutes late but had no trouble finding seats.  




After the show we went back to the casino.


I played in the 10pm Farewell Slot Tournament.  I finished 7th.  It was fun to play.




We were in the casino until almost 1am then headed up to the cabin, watched some TV and went to sleep.

Edited by Noreen411
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Friday 3/6/20 - Disembark Silhouette Fort Lauderdale FL and start the drive home


When we got up we went out on the balcony and watched us getting closer to and docking in Fort Lauderdale.  We showered and got dressed.  We finished packing up our carry on bags.






We thought about going to Luminae for breakfast but since we were docked we decided against it and figured we could get a little snack in the Retreat Lounge and get off the ship sooner and start the ride home.


We went down to the Retreat Lounge about 7:25 and there was a huge line of people waiting to walk off outside the lounge.  In the lounge they were taking people off through a separate exit if you were walking off with all your luggage.  We had to wait a little bit since we don’t pack light enough for that.


They had a nice spread for a continental breakfast.  I had a yogurt and granola parfait.  Scott had a chocolate croissant.  We had a can of coke to drink.




It was much nicer waiting in the lounge than the crowds outside the lounge.  


Diego and Joao were checking in with everyone as they came in to see what their plans were regarding departure.  They told us they’ll come get us as soon as the luggage is taken off the ship and ready to be picked up.  We would be the first group of passengers off (other than those walking off with their own luggage).


We said our goodbyes to Alex, Joao, and Diego.  They all really helped make our trip special.


A little after 8 they came to get us and said they could take us off now.  We were taken out a back door in the retreat lounge and were right off the ship.


They were using facial recognition machines instead of having to show our passports and this was very quick.


We saw a porter who asked if we needed assistance which we did.  He helped us get all our luggage and walked us all the way to the car.   This worked out well as it took a little time to get everything loaded into the car.


We were pulling out of the garage about 8:35.  I put our home address into the Navigation system and it showed that we have 1,291 miles until we are home.


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Friday 3/6/20 - Continued


We pretty quickly got onto I95 headed north.




Florida is a very long state.


When we were near Daytona I received a call from my boss who wanted to talk about all the changes happening at work due to COVID19 and how it’s gotten much worse since I left for vacation.  She said they were starting alternating weeks for people in the NYC office of people working from home to have less people in the office.  I normally work from home 2 days a week but I would be in the first week of working from home all week when we got back.  She figured I wouldn’t mind being in the first group working home which I didn’t mind at all.  I think they probably were worried since I just got off a cruise ship that I should self quarantine anyway.  The original plan separated the teams into two groups.  One group group would work home the first week, then the second group the second week, rotating back and forth.  It didn’t end up working out that way.  By the end of the first week that my group worked home, the firm decided nobody would work in the NYC office and we would all just work remotely.


We got to Georgia about 4:25.  



We got to South Carolina about 5:25.



While we originally thought maybe we would go to Charleston on the way home we decided not to and to just stay along I95.  I started googling to see where we should stop for the night.  Florence SC seemed about halfway and I started looking at hotels there.  I would check trip advisor as well as the hotels websites.  I know this is silly but since we like the regular self contained bathrooms I looked at the room pictures to find a hotel that had that type of setup.  I found the Townplace Suites by Marriott in Florence SC had good reviews and the pictures looked nice too.  I made the reservation online when we were about 40 miles away.

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Friday 3/6/20 - Continued


We were hungry and kept seeing signs for Cracker Barrel.  Scott said he was in the mood for Fried Chicken, let’s give Cracker Barrel a try.  There was one in the same town as the hotel so we headed there for dinner.


We were seated quickly.  




Scott had chicken fried chicken (what exactly is that?), dumplings, and corn.  I had fried chicken breast, corn, and mashed potatoes.  We were also brought biscuits.  The biscuits were the best part of the meal.  The rest of the food was edible but I don’t think we’ll be rushing back to Cracker Barrel soon.  The waiter brought our check with our food.



We ordered the buttermilk pie to share for dessert.  This was very good.  The waiter had to redo the bill and bring it back.  This was a very cheap dinner.





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Friday 3/6/20 - Continued


We went to the Townplace Suites by Marriott in Florence SC.   There were a lot of hotels in the same area.

We left most of our luggage in the car just bringing in our carry on bags, the hotel bag, and the cooler.


We were pleasantly surprised by the hotel.




The room was very nice.


There was a kitchenette



A decent sized closet



The bedroom area/living area with a desk, cabinets, TV, a couch, a bed, etc.




And we were happy to see a normal fully contained bathroom.



We watched some TV, poked around on the internet, and talked about our trip.  Breaking up the drive is working for us.  


We went to bed relatively early (probably by 11).

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Saturday 3/7/20 - Continue Driving, Arrive Home in NJ


When we got up we showered, got dressed and headed out.  


There was a small gym that we saw but didn’t use since we headed right out today.  I forgot to take a picture but did peek in and it had all the normal equipment.  


We also saw a small laundry room, a pool, and a breakfast area (that had those same waffle machines that we used in the beginning of our trip).  Since it was early when we were leaving the breakfast wasn’t set up yet.





We were in the car by about 6:30am.  We figured we should hit the road early to get home.


We would definitely stay at this hotel if we were in the area again.


We got to North Carolina just before 7am.  We stopped for coffee for Scott.  I got an iced mocha.  Scott also got us Lucky Charms cereal bars to snack on.


We were in Virginia by about 9:45


We were by Maryland around 1:45 and it was nice to see the sign on I95 that said New York.  We knew we were getting closer to home.




We passed the Grandeur of the Seas docked in Baltimore around 2:45


We were hungry so stopped at the Maryland Welcome Center around 3:30.  We got in line for Wendy’s and it took a really long time.  We had a burger, fries, and a Coke.  


We made it to Delaware by 4.  


We got to New Jersey at 4:15.  We live near the top of New Jersey so knew we still had a little while to go before we would be home.




We made it home by 6:30.  


The cats, after giving us an initial cold shoulder, were happy to see us.  We played with them for a while.


We did some unpacking and got some laundry started.


We originally planned to go out for dinner and while we were driving home were trying to decide what restaurant we were in the mood for.  By the time we got home we weren’t really in the mood to go out.  We ended up ordering pizza later.  


We had a great trip.


I’ll come back with some final/random thoughts.

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I was thinking about you and Scott as I woke up this morning. I was wondering how you both were doing amidst the lock downs and hoping both of you were safe and healthy. Came across your latest post so I assume you are doing well.

Glad I found this review!!!!!!

Edited by Arzeena
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