If you climbed aboard the Celebrity Silhouette and didn’t disembark at any of the ship’s ports of call, it’d be no different to staying in a swanky resort. Choose your route carefully and the sun will shine every day, you can lounge by the pool drinking cocktails, and come evening time you can dress up for dinner, catch a show, or dance away into the early hours.
But the truly brilliant thing is that although Celebrity Silhouette has all the trappings of a luxury hotel resort, this 122,400 tonne behemoth is actually on the move. Processing sedately across the seas at a cruising speed of 24 knots, you’ll wake up every morning to a brand new view. Your “hotel” travels with you as you visit one bucket list destination after the next, and you don’t even have to unpack!
Cruising is usually associated with older travellers, but Celebrity is working hard to bring a younger crowd aboard, and in particular those with families. In many ways it’s an ideal adventure for those with young children; the kids club and the swimming pool will only ever be a matter of minutes away from your stateroom, and you have complete flexibility over your activity schedule, entertainment, and meals.
Bear in mind that the ship holds almost 3,000 passengers.
Your stateroom or suite
Cabins are for yachts and ferries; onboard the Celebrity Silhouette you’ll be staying in a stateroom or suite. The principal difference is the size: whilst the word “cabin” is reminiscent of a small, cramped space, in a stateroom you can comfortably stretch out. Think of it as a deluxe hotel room which happens to be afloat.
More than 85 per cent of the guest accommodation onboard Celebrity Silhouette has a balcony or ocean views, and you’ll definitely be sleeping above the waterline so there’s no risk of feeling claustrophobic. Our Balcony Stateroom came with two twin beds – which could be converted into a queen for a couple – 100 per cent cotton sheets, and plush pillows and duvet.
The private balcony is a real boon. Not only does it make the room feel much larger -effectively there’s no end wall so you can sit in bed and see through the sliding doors as far as the horizon – but you always have somewhere quiet to sit. We never got bored of waking up to the sight of the waves, of sitting outside reading in the afternoon, or of popping open a bottle of bubbles for a cheeky aperitif before dinner.
Eating and drinking
You don’t want to think about how much weight you’re going to gain on a cruise. Unless you’re incredibly self disciplined, the volume and variety of food and drink is going to get the better of you. Accept it and enjoy it.
For laidback dining at any hour of the day, Celebrity Silhouette’s Oceanview Cafe is open around the clock. The international dishes change every few hours, and as they are served buffet style, you can have whatever combination or quantity you choose. The Mast Grill by the swimming pool is your standby for fast food, and if you’re in need of something lighter after all the indulgence, Aquaspa Cafe has the healthiest choices.
Part of the appeal of cruising is the opportunity to dress up each night for dinner. It’s not compulsory, of course, but now and then donning an evening dress or black tie is great fun.
The Celebrity Silhouette’s Main Dining Room glitters with glass panes and chandeliers, and the impressive visual centrepiece is a multi-storey wine tower where 1,800 bottles are on display. Attentive waiting staff seem to float between the tables, engaging in lively conversation with the guests. If you’re part of a group, you can dine together each night, but we chose instead to sit wherever there was space, meeting new people each time. The food alone is a conversation starter: the menu changes every night, and we were treated to everything from shrimps and escargot to lobster, tender lamb chops, and steak.
Great food and company demands a drinks list to match, and the Celebrity Silhouette sails with more 50,000 bottles of wine onboard. We defy you to try even 1% of them! Add to this a diverse range of cocktails, spirits, and beers, and you can have a very jolly time indeed. We tended to make good use of the Pool Bar for mojitos, and then later in the day pop into Martini Bar & Crush to watch the bartenders put on a show. The Sky Observation Lounge was the best place for a nightcap: the wrap around windows are superb for watching the stars sparkling over the ocean as you sit cosily inside.
Entertainment onboard Celebrity Silhouette
If your (failed) resolution for this year was to get to the theatre more often, all you need to do is book yourself onto a cruise. Celebrity Silhouette has a full size auditorium and a different production every night. Expect a Broadway show one night and cabaret the next, with classic rock and Cirque du Soleil style acrobatics thrown in for good measure. The quality of the performers, music, and costumes competes confidently with that in London theatres, and you won’t be paying £100 a ticket: the shows are absolutely free.
Elsewhere on the ship, film showing and talks take place in Celebrity Central, a smaller lecture theatre. There’s a games room and a well stocked library, a casino, and a parade of shops.
When your cruise itinerary has a lot of ports of call, you’ll keep active by going ashore to explore. On sea days, however, we swam in the ship’s indoor and outdoor pools, played boules on the lawn, and went to Zumba and yoga classes. Our faces didn’t darken the door of the gym, but there is always that opportunity for a work out.
Sailing routes for 2019
The Celebrity Silhouette follows the best weather around the world. In the winter months you’ll find the ship circling between Florida and the Caribbean; and then in April she sails back across the Atlantic to Europe. We boarded in Southampton for the 14 night Scandinavia and Russia Cruise, but there are also routes through the Norwegian Fjords, to Iceland, and down to the Western Mediterranean.