Celebrity Silhouette was the 4th Solstice Class ship to be launched by Celebrity Cruises, in 2011. She joined Solstice (2008), Equinox (2009) and Eclipse (2010) and was followed by Reflection (2012). She is actually slightly bigger than her predecessors – by 6 feet, 400 tonnes and an additional 17 cabins. She can carry 2,885 passengers (double occupancy) in staterooms/cabins of which 90% have ocean views and 85% have verandahs/balconies.
Most of the Solstice Class ships have been largely built to the same blue print, but Silhouette does have a few stand out differences. Nevertheless, Solstice Class signature facilities like the themed speciality restaurants, the grass covered deck space (Lawn Club) up top and even the smell of choc chip cookies baking as you enter The Grand Foyer, are still in evidence. Accommodations across the fleet are also broadly the same size, apart from some of the Suites.
For those of you who have enjoyed sailing on Celebrity Eclipse out of Southampton (or further afield) there will be the opportunity to try Celebrity Silhouette instead, from summer 2018.
Perhaps a little harshly, most of the differences between Eclipse and Silhouette revolve around (additional cost) features within the half acre of grass in The Lawn Club, located aft on the Lawn Deck. Silhouette was the first Solstice Class ship to replace the Corning Hot Glass Show with a Lawn Club Grill – a DIY churrascaria cum pizzeria, where you can BBQ your own steaks, grill seafood and cook pizza. There is seating for 58 people at $45 per head. There is an additional breakfast and lunch time dining area, in the form of The Porch, which occupies the public/free space found on the other ships. It serves paninis, fruits and salads for a small cover charge and is supposed to reflect decks in the Hamptons.
New to Silhouette and down each side of the Lawn Club are 4 Alcoves – private rental cabanas for up to 6 people. They comprise wicker chairs, a white clothed table, chaises and a sail like canvas roof, along with atmospheric lighting, chilled towels, bottled water, fruit, wifi and a loaded Ipad. They are open from 9am – 9pm at a cost of $299/day. The only complimentary areas of the Lawn Club now (apart from a bit of grass towards the funnel) are the 8 hammocks and two novelty over size Adironback (wooden) chairs in between the two lines of Alcoves. Celebrity Silhouette also has an Art Studio on board with 2 resident artists, near the Lawn Club. It is used for drawing, painting and other art associated activities as well as tastings and mixology classes.
On the other hand, most of the restaurants and bars on board Silhouette are also found across the fleet. However,’ Bistro on 5’ on Eclipse is replaced by ‘Sushi on 5’ on Silhouette, whilst Cellar Masters currently remains on Silhouette. The main dining rooms may have different names – it’s the Grand Cuvee Dining Room on Silhouette. Built over 2 decks the eye catching centre piece is the huge signature wine tower, holding 1,800 bottles of wine (4,000 including those within the inside fridge and an additional 46,000 in the wine cellar). Reputedly the cost rises up the triangular tower and the single bottle at the top is priced at $4,000. You can also bring your own wine on board, but would be charged a whopping $25 corkage fee to drink it in the dining room. The restaurant is open seating for breakfast and lunch with an early, late and ‘Celebrity Select’ (anytime) sitting in the evening. Within the main menu vegetarian and low calorie dishes are always available as well as staple dishes including snails, lobster bisque, steak, chicken and creme brulee.
The other main complementary eatery is The Oceanview Café aft on the Lido deck (14), a near 24 hour oval shaped buffet area featuring different ‘Action Stations’ preparing food to order like pizza, pasta, stir frys, fish and chips and sushi. There is also a wide selection of ready made dishes, sandwiches and a ‘Build a Salad’ bar.
The majority of the public areas on Silhouette are clustered around The Grand Foyer and on decks 4 and 5. The speciality restaurants are accessed through the Ensemble Lounge on deck 5 (Entertainment deck) where you can pick up a pre or post dinner drink and where there is often live music in the evening. Most only serve dinner and my favourite is the soothingly refined Murano, serving French continental style food with a strong leaning towards tableside cooking ($50pp). There is also the Tuscan Grille, a northern Italian steakhouse reminiscent of those found in New York ($45pp) and Qsine, the quirky restaurant where a selection of dishes are ordered from an Ipad, in a sort of tapas, sharing platter style. Imagination lets rip with regard to the plates the food is served on, from grass boxes for the strawberry lollipops to IKEA esque shelving containing Middle Eastern samplers. It costs $45pp to eat in Qsine and you get to experience and try more of the dishes, the larger your party.
Finally, in this area is Blu – the open seating restaurant complementary for guests in Aqua Class, but for $5pp anyone else can also experience dinner here on a first come, first served basis. There are lots of tables for 2 people and smart casual is the dress code every night. Whilst menus are similar to those in the other restaurants, there is an emphasis placed on healthier, less fussy eating, often with a contemporary or novelty twist, although it has been said that some of the desserts ‘lack substance!’. Blu by name and also by colour scheme with large windows and lots of natural light, the restaurant is also open for breakfast and serves fabulously invigorating fresh smoothies and home made muesli. Completing the area around the Ensemble Bar is Michael’s Club (formerly the smoking lounge on Celebrity ships and where you could find rare whiskies), now more of a brew pub with up to 50 beers. It is exclusively for the use of Suite guests and Zenith Captain’s Club members. If you're not full yet, there are a few more eateries on decks 4 and 5, around the Grand Foyer area including ‘Sushi on 5’ (locally sourced sushi and other Japanese specialities crafted by famed sushi chef Yoshi Okada). If the wasabi gelato doesn’t tickle your fancy, cross over to the starboard side of the ship for something more authentic from the Italian Gelateria at Café Al Bacio, also serving speciality coffees and teas and gateaux (some items carry a supplement).
Further forward is the upper level (Galleria Boutiques) of approximately 20 top end and well known brand shops including Michael Kors, Bulgari, Breitling, Omega, Nautica, Versace and Armani. Other boutiques are portside on deck 4 at Shops on the Boulevard, near the Fortunes Casino. Go down another deck to deck 3 and the start of the staircase leading out of the Grand Foyer. This elegant marble finished communal area in shades of brown, cream, gold and red is the point of entry to the ship and offers a strong statement of classy sophistication and restfulness. I would suggest that embarking the ship on deck 5 (as rumoured) may not provide the same ‘take the breath’ away moment. Guest Relations, Shore Excursions and the Passport Bar complete this area, along with plenty of seating for people watching!!
At the top of the ship and forward is The Sky Observation Lounge, offering near 270 degree views from its panoramic windows. It has a decent sized dance floor and clever use of drapes as well as different seating types and arrangements means that you can find a quiet spot to relax or talk in, even though the area can seat a lot of guests! Other popular haunts are The Martini Bar (mid ships on deck 4), it has an ice frosted top to keep any number of the 26 different martini cocktails, made from over 200 varieties of vodka, cold. If cocktails are your tipple head to the Wold Class Bar where phenomenally well trained ‘cocktaileers’ will magic up a cocktail of your choice in a flamboyant show of mixology and smoking dry ice. There are 22 sommeliers on board Silhouette across all the bars and restaurants including the outside bars – Pool Bar, Mast Bar and the Sunset Bar and Cellar Masters, the classic wine bar on deck 4. 24/7 wine at the touch of a button, served from enomatic dispensers. There are 32 choices of wine to work your way through (but excluded from any of the Drinks Packages available).
Like all Solstice Class ships, Silhouette has a living breathing tree suspended over the Grand Foyer and surrounded by the banks of glass lifts. From decks 6-10 midships overlooking the tree are the iLounge (deck 6, a combination internet café and Apple store), the library (deck 10), the card room (deck 9) and the Hideaway, exclusive to Silhouette on decks 7 and 8. It is a 2 deck space to relax in in quirky bird cage type suspended chairs complete with a self service coffee machine and replaces Team Earth, found on other Solstice Class ships.
Silhouette also boasts the Celebrity feature glass covered solarium on deck 12. It is for adults only, apart from when the ship is sailing cooler itineraries and if there are more than 350 children on board, when there may be some family sessions advised. It hosts a pool, two hot tubs, loungers with extra-thick cushions and the Aqua Spa Café serving up lite bites. Aft of the Solarium is the main open pool deck area with two pools, 4 hot tubs and a wet zone. Forward is the Canyon Ranch Spa offering the usual plethora of treatments and a large, well kitted out Fitness Centre. There is a jogging track on the Lido deck (13) where 8 laps is equivalent to a mile. Unique to Solstice Class ships on deck 12, within the Spa is The Persian Garden. Overlooking the front of the ship, it comprises a suite of unisex sauna and steam rooms, tropical rain showers and heated marble relaxation chairs. It is complementary for guests staying in the nearby Aqua Class accommodation and the top suites and chargeable at $18/session for guests in other suites.
There are a few other ‘suite only’ areas on the ship including Luminae, the dedicated Suite restaurant, adjacent to The Grand Cuvee and dedicated seating in the 1255 seat Silhouette Theatre. To gain access to these you need to be staying in one of the 4 categories of suites: Sky Suites (44), Celebrity Suites (12), Royal Suites (8) or Penthouse Suites (2). In addition to the extra space in the suites and other amenities, suite guests also have access to a butler, evening hors d’oeuvres, complimentary speciality coffees and other benefits like drinks packages and speciality dining, depending on their grade of suite. As stated, most of the accommodation on Silhouette is of the same size, configuration and décor as the other Solstice Class ships. Of the 1443 cabins and suites there are 30 wheelchair accessible accommodations, 133 interconnecting cabins and 499 cabins with space for 3 or 4 guests. Worth pointing out is the fact that deluxe verandah cabins are identical in size (194 sq ft + 54 sq ft verandah) to AquaClass, Concierge, and Sunset cabins, with the price differences purely down to location and/or amenities.
Having spent a few hours on Silhouette, I think it is true to say that she does continue and maintain the Solstice Class traditions and amenities that guests enjoy and have come to expect across the fleet. She has a contemporary, yet elegant look to her and whilst offering a more sophisticated ambience than some other ships and cruise lines, there are enough on board quirks and firsts to keep her entertaining and attractive to clients both new and past passengers to Celebrity.