Find out what’s it like to take a back-to-back Celebrity Silhouette cruise in the UK. This review took place over two sailings with the first departing on July 31 from the Port of Southampton on a seven-day voyage that included coastal cruising in the UK and port stops at Inverness and Liverpool. The second voyage departed the same homeport on August 6 and was a nine-day itinerary that had coastal cruising along with calls at Liverpool, Greenock, Kirkwall, and Inverness.
Following my recent review of our cruise on the beautiful Viking Venus, I thought it might be interesting, particularly in these Covid times, to compare this cruise on the Celebrity Silhouette.
Whilst we were Viking virgins, we are at the higher end of Elite Plus in Celebrity´s Loyalty Programme – the Captain´s Club, although this was our first time on the Celebrity Silhouette. I should say, whilst we know there are cruise ships considerably larger than the Silhouette, we consider this to be a large ship, bearing in mind our favourite Celebrity ship was the century – I mention this just to give some context.
In This Article…
As Celebrity never got back to us as promised regarding embarkation time, we decided to turn up early for embarkation as we always have, and we were fortunate enough to be processed and on the ship within twenty minutes, obviously, we had all the correct documentation proof of Covid test etc… we were very impressed.
Well, we didn´t receive, and we were not made aware while going on board, that the usual glass of sparkling wine was waiting for us at the bar, apparently because of Covid they were not handing them out in the usual way.
Our stateroom at the back on Deck 8 was spacious and very clean. There was a large tv, although most of the channels were news-related. We had no maintenance problems, we could have done with a little more storage, being on a back to back, but that´s our fault, we always pack far too much.
Our stateroom attendant was friendly, efficient, and provided a brilliant service. We were really grateful and impressed that he always seemed to know the best time to clean our room.
Overall Ship Appearance
The Silhouette was spotlessly clean with no signs of a need for maintenance. It was our first time on a Celebrity cruise ship that had been refurbished, and if you enjoy a hive of activity with plenty going on, this is the ship for you.
Personally, we would have appreciated some quieter places on the ship, but with so much going on in the Grand Foyer (Atrium) the noise seemed to reach everywhere. We realize it probably wouldn´t bother most people, but we could have done without so much ambient noise.
Call us cheapskates, but as a matter of principle, we won´t use the specialty restaurants, however, how you spend your money is your business. We thought the service in the Grand Cuveé (main restaurant) was hit and miss.
To be honest, most of the staff were relatively fast, friendly and efficient, although we did have a few issues in the second half of our back to back.
Ocean View Café
Unfortunately, we were decidedly unimpressed with both the service and the layout in here, although we are big fans of food islands. Given the fact that the ship was only at a third of its capacity because of Covid restrictions, the Ocean View Café at lunchtime, which was when we used it most, always seemed to be very crowded, although it was far less so in the evenings. I can imagine how busy the café would be if the ship had a full passenger quota.
Café al Bacio
We visited this café every evening and again the service was speedy, friendly and efficient.
The gym was the largest we have ever seen. It was spacious with plenty of the latest equipment, we never had to wait to use anything. There was also plenty of room to stretch and work on mats.
We thought there was some great entertainment on this cruise right across the spectrum; main shows, lounge entertainers, and production cast. If you decide to take a cruise on the Celebrity Silhouette be sure to check out Danny Smart and check him out on DannySmartMusic. The Barricade Boys put on a great show too.
As always, they are a bit over-priced, but we enjoyed most of the ones we did, particularly the ones to loch Lomond and Loch Ness, and a word of advice if you want the Loch Ness excursion book it as soon as possible.
We were on a back to back and we were lucky to get tickets for this. We should also say that the Shore Excursion staff were friendly and very helpful and the boss Fran was brilliant.
Now, this is without a doubt the biggest cause of frustration for us, particularly on Celebrity ships. We had hoped that it would have improved on the refurbished ships but it doesn’t appear to be any better.
It´s not as though it isn’t expensive, I really don’t know how Celebrity Cruises has the nerve to describe it as high-speed internet, because the majority of the time it certainly isn’t.
I accept there will be people on board who only really need to touch base with loved ones etc whilst they are on their holiday, but some of us still have to work whilst we cruise.
It´s interesting that only last month we were on the Viking Venus where they don´t charge extra for their internet, yet the service was superb. In this day and age, I really don’t understand why Celebrity can´t provide more reliable internet service.
To be honest, when we embarked upon the Celebrity Silhouette, we were expecting it to be our last Celebrity cruise, because like many others at the high end of Elite Plus, we feel our loyalty has been taken for granted, but that´s another story.
As I said at the start, we prefer smaller ships, however, we enjoyed our two weeks on the Silhouette and thanks to Ingrid, a very new Captain´s Club host, who despite her inexperience, is one of the best we have ever had, thanks to Ingrid, we have booked to come back to the Silhouette next month.
Whilst we remain unconvinced of the value the Celebrity Cruises Head Office places on our loyalty, Ingrid demonstrates how much the ship-based management does.
Celebrity Cruises do not compare well with Viking Cruises when it comes to their Covid prevention measures in so much as Viking tested us every day and took our temperatures daily, as well as insisting that every passenger entering dining areas had to wash their hands – even this simple intervention wasn´t enforced on the Silhouette.
There wasn´t so much evidence of social distancing either, and it´s important I mention this, but as an observation, not a complaint. I believe opinions are split over Covid prevention measures, personally, I´m not a Covid zealot, but I realize and respect some people still remain nervous.
Clearly, we enjoyed our experience on the Celebrity Silhouette as we are going again next month. You couldn’t be bored on this ship as there is always something going on. The entertainment was of a pretty high standard, and it´s worth repeating, if you are going on this ship be sure to listen to Danny Smart, one of the most talented singer/songwriter/guitarists we have ever seen.
Generally, we would say that the food was pretty much standard and what you would expect on a mid-range cruise ship.
We were disappointed with the technology on board and the lack of officer engagement, but to finish on a positive note the shore excursion staff, particularly Fran and Geovanna, the bar staff Raluca, Brandon, Markus, and others, and the customer service staff were wonderful, and there were some great characters amongst the staff.
We would also like to acknowledge our stateroom attendant Suryadi one of the best we have ever had. I still don’t know how he always knew the best time to clean our room but he did !