Our very first cruise, some 4 years ago, was on the newly commissioned Celebrity Silhouette. Having taken to cruising in a very big way….[some 14 cruises now] it seemed a good idea to revisit the Silhouette. We are four year older…..and so is she.
First of all, boarding. Not as smooth this time. We stood in line for a couple of hours before actually getting to check in. However, the complimentary cookies and coffee, well remembered, helped pass the time.
We had an inside cabin, well appointed, with excellent cabin service etc. The self service restaurant’s food was excellent, the main dining room not so good since our last visit. Help was on hand for those who needed it and there were special provisions for wheelchair users.
After 4 years of cruising, using many different companies, we can now see the differences between them. The Enrichment Programme on this ship was not as interesting as on other ships on which we have travelled. This may have been due to the shore time offered, which gave us good long days in the different ports. In several of those ports there was a welcoming back on board musical offering – ranging from the Tallin choir to an Oompah band – all enjoyable.
The highlight of this cruise, however, has to be the destinations and, especially, the overnight stop in St Petersburg. Despite the gloomy predictions that getting off the ship and through immigration would take ‘forever’ we found the whole procedure to be very smooth. The Russian authorities were not only helpful but contrary to the information given by our port lecturer, they actually smiled!
We didn’t try any of the ship’s excursions, finding them somewhat overpriced, choosing to either book tour guides privately or go under our own steam. Of special interest was our day in Fredericia, which coincided with Constitution day. Many of the shops had opened especially for the Silhouette and there was a marching band to welcome us as we docked.
In Warnemunde, having ‘done our homework’ we travelled independently on a local bus to the Molli Steam Railway, then by train to Rostock and completed the circuit back to the ship by river cruiser. A very enjoyable day at a fraction of the cost of any organised tour.
We left the ship in Copenhagen before the end of the cruise and flew to Tel Aviv for a family wedding in Jerusalem but that’s another story.