We spent the last two weeks cruising through Northern Europe aboard the luxury cruise ship Celebrity Silhouette, and let me tell you – it was a luxury experience through and through. We’re used to staying in luxury hotels with perks and amenities you don’t see everyday, but Silhouette was a step above anything we imagined we’d find aboard a cruise ship.
As you might know, this was my first cruise, so I don’t have anything to compare this ship to, but I certainly can’t imagine they all look like this. Celebrity prides themselves on being a luxury cruise line. They were voted Best Premium Cruise Line six years in a row by Travel Weekly’s Readers’ Choice Awards.
Silhouette is one of five ships in Celebrity’s Solstice class. The occupancy is just under 3,000, which made me worried that the ship would be crowded, but there were only a few times when every seat in the cafe or the martini bar were taken and the hot tubs were packed full. Other times, we felt like we had the ship all to ourselves.
Luxury Cruising on Celebrity Cruises
In case you’re considering a cruise on Celebrity or just wanting to see what a large luxury cruise ship looks like on the inside, I would like to take you on a photo journey through the ship to see what luxury cruising on Celebrity is really like. This isn’t a review, so much as a photo excursion intermingled with my commentary. You already know how I feel about the boat – AMAZING!
In order to give a good overview of the ship, I’m going to break it down into my 10 favorite sections, in no particular order. First a few pictures of the exterior of this behemoth of a ship.
Aqua Class Staterooms
We booked into the Aqua Class because of some of the additional perks it offered, like access to a special dining room called Blu, special spa amenities like upgraded bath products, a special spa shower and access to the Persian Garden at the spa. I don’t think there are many differences between the actual stateroom in Aqua Class versus Concierge or Veranda rooms, just that they are located in more sought after locations on the ship and some amenities are different.
Celebrity Silhouette has a good mix of bars and lounges to hang out in. There was no lack of places to grab a drink, which was a good thing because we were making sure we properly abused our Premium Beverage Package.
There was the classy and sometimes rowdy Martini Bar that also has an attached Vodka Bar. The Martini bars was covered in ice that you could etch things into with your fingernails. The bartenders here were supposed to be known for their flair bartending – tossing bottles and shakers in the air and around their backs, but all we ever saw was the bartender-in-training dropping things. The Vodka Bar was alluring with its ice covered bottles of Vodka in the middle of the table. The menu offers dozens of types of Vodka and other liquors, along with pre-selected Vodka flights.
The dark and alluring Ensemble Lounge is located on the way to the Specialty Dining restaurants. The shades were always drawn and the chairs are set in intimate circles. We also really liked the musicians that played double sets in the lounge each night.
We particularly enjoyed the stately and comfortable Cellar Masters, because it was always empty and quiet. They have an elaborate wine dispensing system that we never tried because it wasn’t included in the Premium Beverage Package. One night we went to Cellar Masters and created our own Port wine tasting, which was super fun.
The seemingly forgotten Molecular Bar was hidden around the corner by the shopping stuff and was never frequented by many people. We only went there once and quickly learned that the cocktails weren’t really “molecular” in any way, but they did have liquid nitrogen poured on top to make them smoke.
It seemed that every evening something was going on in the Sky Observation Lounge, so we didn’t get so spend a lot of time up there. But it was a really beautiful place to be when it was open. The lounge fills the entire upper deck area at the front of the ship and has panoramic views of the sea as you’re sailing. It’s a perfect place to watch a sunset or hang out as the ship sails out of port.
One of our treats to ourselves was to visit all the specialty restaurants at least once. Some (like Tuscan Grill) we returned to more than once.
It’s not a specialty restaurant, but I’ll lump it into this category anyway. Blu was our Aqua Class dining room, meaning we didn’t have to go to the main dining room at all. Blu serves lighter fare and the main menu items change every night. We liked having our own place to go away from the masses, and we loved the Sommelier at Blu, Miroslav. He always kept our glasses filled (sometimes too filled).
Tuscan Grill was our favorite. We went back three times. The lasagna was so delicious. And we all got table-side Caesar salads each time. The food was delicious, and the servers were all so friendly and fun. The view form the Tuscan Grill was also one of the best on the ship.
The most upscale restaurant on the ship is Murano. It’s a steakhouse with lobster, table-side show cooking and a fun little cheese cart. We went once and had a really great dinner – super filling and enjoyable.
I really want to like Qsine because I think the concept is great, but the execution was not consistent and the food was hit & miss. We actually went back twice because our first experience was really good. But sadly, the second time was incredibly bad, leaving a not so good overall impression.
We all loved the Lawn Club Grill and I wish we’d gone back there twice instead of Qsine. Located up on the lawn deck with the open air around you, it feels summer and fun. You’re allowed to cook your own food on the grill, if you want, which we did. They also make really good flatbreads that are actually pizzas. They encouraged us to order with our eyes and we ended up with WAY too much food. But everything was delicious and the experience was worth the extra fee.
For lunch, there were two other premium options, The Porch and Bistro on Five. We didn’t got to The Porch, but we did eat at Bistro on Five. They have both sweet and savory crepes, along with a few soup and salad options. We had some really delicious crepes. It was akin to going to a nice Bistro for lunch and I almost forgot we were on the ship.
There were two areas with pools and hot tubs. The outdoor pool didn’t get used much during our journey because it was a little too cold outside and the wind was often blowing strongly. We used the hot tub outside because we liked it cool.
There was also a solarium inside that had a small pool and two hot tubs. We didn’t spend much time in there. On the sea days, all the chairs were filled with people lounging, reading and sleeping.
Lawn Club & The Alcoves
The Silhouette has a Lawn Club on the upper deck where you can hang out on the grass, play some lawn games and enjoy the fresh air. This area wasn’t used much on our cruise because of the high winds, but it was a really nice area and I can see it being highly used during the Caribbean sailings.
They also have these great cabanas that they call The Alcoves. It’s a private area with chairs and a couch and plenty of room to hang out on a sea day. The only problem with these is that they are premium areas, so you have to pay around $100 a day in order to use them. Again, on our sailing, none of them were ever in use.
Hang Out Areas
The library and the game room were always full on sea days. Everyone loved the open area where you could borrow a book or cuddle up on a couch and read. We didn’t spend much time in these areas, but we did stop by one of the space-age tree houses that were hanging between decks. Only problem is they were only made for one person.
We didn’t spend much time in the Casino, either. It always smelled a little of smoke, even though there was no smoking allowed on board. There were always people in there though and it did resemble a regular casino. Nick tried to join in the Officers vs Guests Poker tournament, but didn’t get in. The regular poker games required a $200 buy-in, which shouldn’t be too much seeing how we were spending an atrocious amount to be on the ship in the first place, but was just a little too steep for gambling.
We had a really fantastic time luxury cruising on Celebrity Silhouette and look forward to the next time we’re able to take a Celebrity cruise. Have you been the Silhouette or one of the other Celebrity ships? Tell us about your experience in the comments. Did you love it?
Laura Lynch, creator and writer of Savored Journeys, is an avid world traveler, certified wine expert, and international food specialist. She has written about travel and food for over 20 years and has visited 70+ countries.