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Cruise Ship Information

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Celebrity Silhouette is the fourth ship in the Solstice class, her sister ships being Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Eclipse, Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Silhouette. Solstice, Equinox, and Eclipse entered service in 2008, 2009, and 2010, respectively. Silhouette was launched in 2011, and Silhouette, the final ship in the Celebrity Solstice series, launched in 2012.

Effective July 2014, Silhouette has developed problems with its propulsion system. The ship has thus been sailing at reduced speeds. Many itineraries have been affected. Silhouette is unable to reach San Juan on its Caribbean itinerary, for example. Celebrity has not been notifying customers in advance but rather notifying customers upon embarkation and offering a $100 per cabin on-board stateroom credit as a "Silhouette of goodwill". Celebrity's letter to embarking passengers is below:

"To begin, we apologize for your tremendous dissatisfaction with the itinerary change and the compensation offered. Due to the ship’s reduced speed, the Captain decided no further recourse was available other than to modify the itinerary. Nonetheless, we extend our sincere apologies that you will miss a much-awaited port on your cruise vacation. We certainly understand and sympathize with your discontent.

It is necessary to explain that Celebrity Cruises reserves the right to change an itinerary without notice, as stated in our brochures and Cruise Ticket Contract. However, be assured that we make all efforts to adhere to originally advertised itineraries. As this situation proved, problems may occur that prevent us from doing so.

Although, we do not offer compensation for any changes to an itinerary, we felt inclined to extend an onboard credit as a gesture of goodwill in hopes to ultimately minimize some of the disappointment our guests will experience. Please note that all the facets of this situation were taken into consideration prior to making our decision to provide an onboard credit. We believe this offer was a fair and reasonable compensation and sincerely hope that you will accept our decision in the spirit of goodwill in which it was intended.

Please also note that the cruise fare price is based upon our cost for food, entertainment, staffing, activities, etc.. Ports of call are not included in the cruise fare price as there is usually no cost to the cruise line to visit. Therefore, we do not offer refunds or discounts when a port of call is omitted from the itinerary as it did not have any bearing on the cruise ticket price.

We remain hopeful that this unfortunate grievance will not impact your enthusiasm for your upcoming cruise. We look forward to welcoming you onboard the Celebrity Silhouette.

Atmosphere on board 

You have another outstanding option for cruising Europe and the Caribbean with Celebrity Silhouette. She's impressive, with all the best-loved Solstice Class features—and some new ones. Chic changes to Celebrity's iconic Lawn Club provide more opportunities to relax, eat, drink and socialize in the fresh air. Take a painting class with a Master Artist from the ArtCenter/South Florida in The Art Studio. Celebrate the flavorful joys of outdoor grilling in the new, interactive Lawn Club Grill. Unwind in your own cabana-styled haven, The Alcoves. Inside, go on a culinary adventure in Qsine where you order food and wine from an iPad menu. And sweeping veranda views enhance 85% of her staterooms. We've created an extraordinary vacation experience. Again.

Family with Kids/Teens

While Celebrity isn't in the same league as Royal Caribbean, Carnival or Disney when it comes to kids' programming, the line generally does a decent job of catering to families, who cruise in much larger numbers during summer holidays.

Deck 15 forward is the epicenter for Silhouette's kids' programming. Two dedicated kids' areas, X-Club (ages 13 to 17) and Fun Factory (ages 3 to 12), are each outfitted with age-appropriate gear (toys for the youngest tots, video games as they get older). The teen space also features a soft drink "bar" with a popcorn machine. The ship's video arcade is located nearby.

The youth program includes organized activities for four age groups, as follows:

Shipmates (ages 3 to 5) and Cadets (ages 6 to 8) participate in activities like cartoon trivia, face-painting and scavenger hunts. Ensigns (9 to 12) may enjoy pool games, talent shows, Wii and basketball. Those in the 13 to 17 sector participate in activities like pool Olympics, karaoke, an evening "dinner party" or hours of uninterrupted videogaming. During summer season sailings or cruises that have a large number of youngsters, teens may be divided into 12 to 14's and 15 to 17's. For-fee baby-sitting is available on a group basis ($6 per hour, per child, for an "afternoon party" on port days or late-night "slumber party") or individual ($19 per hour for up to three kids).

Past Passenger Programs

The Program: Captain's Club, a three-tiered system

Perks: "Classic" members (those who have earned one to four credits for cruising with Celebrity) get perks including access to the loyalty desk and loyalty host, a premium onboard discount booklet, a one-category upgrade (when available), pre-sailing dining reservations at alternative eateries on applicable vessels, and little freebies like wine tasting and golf clinics. "Select" cruisers (five to nine credits) receive all of the above as well as a complimentary wine seminar, priority status to shore excursion waitlist, an invitation to the senior officers' cocktail party, 25 percent off any Internet package, complimentary pressing of two clothing items, and discounted laundry on cruises of 12 nights or more.

Added perks for "Elite" members (10 or more credits) include a private shipboard departure lounge with continental breakfast, priority tender service, priority waitlist for dining room seating, elegant tea service, complimentary use of Thalassotherapy pool use on Celebrity Mercury, complimentary access to the Persian Garden (port days only), access to the new Captain's Club Lounge at Michael's Club (certain hours of the day), 90 free Internet minutes, one free item of dry cleaning, a complimentary bag of laundry (wash, dry and fold), discounted laundry on cruises of 12 nights or more, and the ability to join Royal Caribbean's Crown and Anchor Society at the Diamond level.

All members get the traditional invite to the captain's cocktail party, newsletter and chance to cruise on reunion voyages.

Incentive to Belong: As Celebrity's ships get larger, preferential boarding and disembarkation is a nice benefit. Also, because the tier system is based on credits -- not just the number of cruises taken -- there are ways to move up the ranks faster. For example, you'll earn an extra credit for booking a Concierge-level stateroom or higher, or for sailing for 12 nights or more, for a possible total of three credits for one voyage.

Members-Only Deals: Captain's Club members are offered several special discounted sailings per year, some of which can be a good deal compared to retail rates, especially if it also includes an onboard credit or discount certificate. Compare prices to verify the savings.

For More Info: Visit the Captain's Club section on Celebrity's Web site or call

Fitness And Spa

Silhouette's spa, run by the famed destination retreat Canyon Ranch, offers a slew of treatments from all manner of massages to teeth whitening and acupuncture. The Persian Garden, a large suite of centrally located rooms for DIY spa enthusiasts, includes a coed sauna and steam room, tropical rain shower and heated oceanview relaxation chairs. The facility is available for free to AquaClass passengers and for $100 to all other passengers (based on a one-week cruise.)

The glass-and-steel-covered Solarium, a fixture on every Celebrity ship but Century, battles the Lawn Club for most eye-catching space aboard. The adults-only greenhouse features a pool, two hot tubs, loungers with extra-thick cushions and a small "cafe" serving up salad, chilled soups and pre-plated dishes of grilled chicken and fish.

Silhouette's main outdoor pool area, midship, has a shallow family pool, a "Sports Pool" and the "Wet Zone," a rectangular rubber deck space that offers randomly firing water jets. There are four hot tubs mixed in.

Silhouette's well-outfitted gym features the expected ellipticals, StairMasters, treadmills, bikes, weight machines and free weights. Fitness classes (mostly for a fee) include yoga, Pilates and cycling; these are also overseen by Canyon Ranch. The jogging track (eight laps to the mile) is one deck up from the gym. Silhouette's Lawn Club also hosts a few sporting activities, including bocce ball and golf putting. At the forward end of the ship, on Deck 15, is a basketball court.

At the top of the ship, Silhouette's rectangular Lawn Club is less a public space than previous iterations. There's simply much more that's private or for-fee there, including two up-charge restaurants not found on the first three Solstice-class ships and a set of eight private cabanas called "alcoves." The alcoves, which line the port and starboard sides of the Lawn Club, four to a side, certainly are photogenic: white wicker chairs and chaises with thick, striped cushions, potted shrubbery and a canvas roof that stretches sail-like over occupants, all set atop a soft carpet of grass. But while evocative imagery is one thing, will people actually pay $99 (port day) or $145 (sea day), a cost that includes bottled water, fruit and use of a loaded iPad 2? But location is our main concern. Alcoves occupy real estate open to book-and-towel-toting passengers on Solstice, Equinox and Eclipse, who can plop down (surcharge-free) on sunny days. Moreover, while the alcoves are "private," they're situated on Silhouette's open-access lawn and face inward. Will the riff-raff be jockeying for space at the foot of the Cabana-dwellers? It could be muddy.

There is still some space for non-Alcove passengers in between the cabanas and along two grassy strips that stretch sternward on either side of the rear funnel. Also, opposite of the Lawn Club Club are eight free-to-use hammocks and a novelty-sized Adirondack lounge that's a favorite of many a photographer.

Food & Dining

Silhouette's banquet hall is the Grand Cuvee Dining Room, a cavernous space that features flying buttresses, a room-filling chandelier resembling an iridescent jellyfish, and a shimmering metallic wine tower occupied by 1,800 bottles. (Cuvee means vat or tank in French wine-speak.) Credit designer Adam Tihany, the man behind New York City's Per Se and Vegas' Seablue, with creating one of the most striking main dining rooms afloat.

For dinner, passengers can opt for early (6 p.m.) or late (8:30 p.m.) set seating or go with "Celebrity Select Dining," which offers open dining between 6 and 9:30 p.m. Passengers choosing the flex-dining option can pre-reserve space (online up to four days before sail date or while onboard) or walk in at any time during the allotted hours.

Menus consist of appetizers, soups and salads, entrees, and desserts. Expect a combination of standard favorites like herb-crusted fish, pork chops and prime rib, and traditional cruise "luxury items" like beef tournedos, pate and Cornish game hen.

For vegetarians, there are always meat-free options like eggplant napoleon or veggie paella. Lower-calorie dishes, like baked fish and sugar-free cakes, are designated with a little heart. If nothing on the rotating menu suffices, "always available" choices, from soups to desserts, include escargot, lobster bisque, steak, chicken and creme brulee.

Passengers can bring their own wine onboard, but there's a $25-per-bottle corkage fee to drink it in the dining room -- one of the highest in cruise travel.

The dining room is open-seating for breakfast and lunch. Classic dishes like eggs Benedict and made-to-order omelets are served for breakfast. The lunch menu offers the typical soups (including a chilled soup), salads and hot entrees. Passengers can also order items like burgers and dogs from the grill.

Those looking for food without fanfare should head to Silhouette's top-ship 24-hour buffet, the Oceanview Cafe. The ovular space features various "action stations" positioned along the loop -- pizza, pasta and stir-fry bars; Asian (sushi) and British comfort food (fish 'n' chips, shepherd's pie); sandwiches; and a build-a-salad bar. Readers and editors agree: Celebrity's buffet, featuring an excellent range of International cuisine and standards, is one of the best in big-ship cruising.

For dinner with a view, head up and sternward to the top-ship Lawn Club Grill, a Silhouette/Silhouette exclusive where passengers wear the aprons and flip the filets. The 58-seat venue is a $40-per-person concept that marries a cooking lesson, all-you-can-eat churrascaria and pizzeria. (That type of marriage is illegal in several states.) Here's how it works: Under the tutelage of a Celebrity chef, one member per party transforms into the "grill master," an everyman superhero who selects the cuts, applies the rubs and sears the meats. Choose your grill master carefully -- our filet came out pleading for its life. (It was returned to the grill, still screaming, and then eaten.) Appetizers come in the form of made-to-order pizza -- kneaded and topped by a passenger pizza-maker -- and selections from the salad bar.

Nearby is the Porch, a casual, new-to-Silhouette venue serving paninis, fruits and salads for breakfast and lunch. The Porch, whose design is inspired by a rich guy's porch in the Hamptons, carries a $5-per-person cover.

Lawn Clubgoers can also order picnic baskets from the line. These start at $50 and might include sandwiches, sides and desserts. A bottle of wine also comes standard.

Back inside, the standard cluster of Solstice-class alternative restaurants is located on Deck 5 (Entertainment Deck). These include Murano, serving rich French-Continental cuisine ($45); Tuscan Grille, a northern Italian steakhouse with lovely wake views ($35, try the ribeye); Blu, the Mediterranean restaurant focusing on ever-so-slightly lighter fare (ahi tuna, grilled chicken); and Qsine, a quirky venue where passengers order off iPads, and no dish is served on a standard plate. (A Middle Eastern sampler comes in what looks like an Ikea shelving unit, while spring rolls are served in actual metal springs). It's $45 per person to dine at Qsine. Two caveats: First, Blu is designated for passengers staying in Silhouette's AquaSpa cabins (who eat free), but the venue is available nightly to everyone else on a first-come, first-served basis and for a $5 fee. Second, Celebrity offers alternative dining packages, bookable in advance, that offer savings of some 20 to 30 percent over retail.

If you're not full yet, there are more dining options in Silhouette's indoor public hub, encompassing Decks 4 and 5. The two-deck space is airy -- which means the scent of cooking waffles from the gelateria and crepes from its creperie are free to waft. It's almost as if Celebrity is pumping the drool-inducing smell through the ventilation system. It's the type of scent that seeps in the subconscious ... and makes you want to pay $7 for crepes at Bistro on 5 or a few dollars for chocolate gelato in a waffle cup. The venue also sells specialty coffee drinks.

Finally, the room service menu, which includes sandwiches, salads and snacks, is offered 24 hours a day.

Entertainment

Daytime entertainment, which falls under the auspices of the line's "sounds better than it is" CelebrityLife program, consists of the typical cooking demos, wine-tasting seminars, port shopping talks and bingo. There are a handful of twists, including self-taught language classes from Rosetta Stone (for a fee) and lectures sponsored by the Smithsonian (on select cruises).

Another new stroke for Silhouette: Two artists are stationed onboard to answer questions and teach classes (for a fee) in the ship's art studio at the portside entrance to the Lawn Club. The space replaced the Corning Museum of Glass' showcase room.

The Silhouette Theater is the place to see the ship's "cirque-lite" productions. A new offering, "Silhouette: The Show" stars an everyman type thrust into a bizarre and colorful world of flying acrobats, opera singers and hip-hop dancers. Other shows include "Broadway Nights," which features -- you guessed it -- popular song-and-dance numbers from New York's theater district, and "Velocity," another cirque-style show featuring lots of flashing lights, performers dangling from the ceiling and hit pop tunes (think U2).

Silhouette's casino is located on Deck 4 and features the standard smattering of losing propositions, including slots, craps, blackjack, roulette and three-card poker.

More than a dozen lounges, from the ice-topped Martini Bar to the steaming cocktail-producing Molecular Bar, are found throughout Silhouette. We have a special commendation for CellarMasters, one of cruising's only truly 24-hour bars. How do they pull it off? The wine on offer is dispensed via self-service "enomatic" machines. Passengers without two left feet should head to Quasar, the ship's mod-futuristic discotheque. Though we must warn you: The older the crowd (see longer, non-summer cruises), the less populated the club tends to be.

Michael's, Celebrity's staple piano bar, modeled after a world explorer's parlor room -- think globes, leather chairs and atlases -- has morphed into an uncluttered bastion for beer snobs. Celebrity is putting cache into the fledgling at-sea concept, which offers a rotating lineup of at least 50 bottled ales, stouts, ciders and lagers with names like Old Speckled Hen, Old Dead Guy Ale and Delirium Tremens (and also Bud and Guinness). Oddly, there are only two ho-hum options, Heineken and Amstel, on draught. Long the spot for sometimes bawdy piano sing-alongs, the venue now features acoustic guitar music. It's the end of an era -- but beer aficionados think the chance couldn't have come sooner.

Silhouette splits time between the Caribbean and Mediterranean, so shore excursions reflect the different deployments. In the Caribbean, options focus on snorkeling, beach days and island tours. Mediterranean cruises may concentrate on more cultural endeavors, with food, wine and city tours informing many of the offerings.

Staterooms

Celebrity Silhouette features a variety of cabin categories to suit any passenger's needs, from tiny insides to lavish 1,500-square-foot suites, and 60 percent of all accommodations feature verandahs.

Silhouette standard cabins -- insides, outsides and balconies (called "Deluxe Oceanview") -- average a paltry 170 square feet (38-square-foot balconies), about 15 to 20 feet below the industry average.

Decor features hotel-style white bedding with light brown accents, rust carpeting and striking red love seats thrown in for a shock of color, all of which replaced the flamboyant turquoise-and-yellow Caribbean decor of the old abodes. (For a before and after, check out part three of our refurb slideshow.)

Insides, outsides and balconies feature two twin beds that convert to queens, safes, small desks, stocked mini-fridges, flat-screen TV's and bathrobes. The mini-fridges are locked; have your room steward open yours and clear out the for-fee booze if you want to store your wine or water. Shower-only bathrooms have hair dryers, shampoo, moisturizer and bar soap. There is no shower gel.

Drawers might be some issue for because they were a little stressed for space -- especially with having to pack for a 12-night cruise. There are drawers hidden in a secondary closet in each room, which also houses the safe. There's another drawer above the flat-screen TV, which is also where extra bedding is stored.

For those looking for a little more space and a few more amenities, the ConciergeClass cabins are 191 square feet with 42-square-foot-balconies. Added touches for concierge passengers include welcome bubbly, a pillow menu, nightly canapes, a 32-inch TV and nicer balcony furniture. In 2012, Celebrity expanded the ConciergeClass services to include an exclusive pre-departure lounge with free coffee and juices. Sky Suites come in at 251 square feet with 57-square-foot balconies.

Continuing up in size, Family Oceanview cabins are 271 square feet with enormous 242-square-foot verandahs that feature pairs of loungers and tables with two chairs each. Inside, there's a partition separating the "master bedroom" from the lounge/extra bed area.

Eight 467-square-foot Celebrity Suites feature lovely floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows (but no balconies), a jetted tub and a pair of entertainment centers. The eight 538-square-foot Royal Suites (195-square-foot balconies) add more space and feature whirlpool tubs on the verandahs. On the top of the list are a pair of 1,432-square-foot Penthouse Suites with massive, 1,098-square-foot balconies. These suites also feature a baby grand piano, should you wish for a private concert or to tinkle the ivories on your own.

All suite passengers enjoy the service of a butler, who can help pack and unpack, set up in-cabin meals and help make onboard arrangements. Other suite extras include complimentary dinner at a specialty restaurant (one dinner for cruises of seven nights or less, two for cruises of eight nights or more); priority check-in; in-suite breakfast, lunch and dinner; complimentary espresso and evening hors d'oeuvres.

There are 26 wheelchair-accessible cabins, including insides, oceanviews, balconies, concierge class cabins and Sky Suites.

Tipping

Celebrity suggests a per-person per-day gratuity of $3.50 for the waiter, butler (Suites only) and stateroom attendant; $4.00 for Concierge Class stateroom attendant; $2.00 for the Assistant Waiter; and $.75 for the Assistant Maitre d' and the Assistant Chief Housekeeper.

All guests are given a form to sign if they wish to have these gratuities charged to their shipboard account. Children under 12 who are the third or fourth person in the stateroom pay only half these amounts. A 15 percent gratuity is automatically added to all beverage tabs. Gratuities for room service, spa, casino and other staff are at your discretion. Note: Passengers who choose "Celebrity Select Dining" before their cruises are required to prepay gratuities (prior to boarding).

Alternatives: If you wish to adjust the amount you pay, this can be done onboard at guest relations.

Extra Charges: An automatic 15 percent gratuity is added to all bar bills.

Fellow Passengers

Celebrity draws a wide range of upper-middle-class couples and groups, with the average age of passengers being in the mid-50's. Especially on European cruises from Rome and Venice (the ship is a Caribbean-European dual passporter), expect a large contingent of Brits and Continentals -- and a more international feel. The ratio of families with kids to couples may increase during the Caribbean season, bringing the average age down.

Our recommendation

The stylish ships of Celebrity Cruises feature high-end decor, modern technology, excellent enrichment programs, superior dining options and outstanding spas.

Celebrity Cruises is best for: Adult couples, cruise line also attract families with teen-agers, family reunions, multi-generational; Young adults looking for soft adventure and sports activities; Boomers looking for a cruise with lots of enrichment at sea; Spa lovers and Travelers who want a taste of luxury at a premium cruise price.