Hollie-Rae Merrick risks her waistline by going gourmet on Celebrity Silhouette
I’d heard a lot about the quality of the cuisine on Celebrity Cruises, so when the opportunity to sample it on board Celebrity Silhouette presented itself, I threw concern for my own silhouette out of the window and prepared to taste every morsel on offer.
I was in for a treat. Food is king for Celebrity, and everything from the main Grand Cuvee dining room to the array of speciality dining options got my tastebuds tingling.
My favourite was healthy dining restaurant Blu, which is free to passengers staying in an AquaClass cabin or $5 for others. You’ll never feel guilty about eating your favourite dishes here – even desserts – because it’s all served with your health in mind. Blu is open for breakfast and dinner, with piles of steamed vegetables accompanying anything from blackened tuna and chicken breast to steak and salmon fillets.
For first-time Celebrity passengers, recommend Qsine ($45 supplement), especially for those sailing with children. Everything is ordered on an iPad in this quirky restaurant and nothing is served as you’d expect. Think sushi lollipops, popcorn fish and chips, and disco shrimp, which lights up brighter than a disco ball! I spent four hours in the restaurant, determined to try as many of the tapas-style sharing dishes as possible.
Other popular speciality restaurants include the Lawn Club Grill ($45 supplement), an alfresco dining area where passengers flip the meat and cook their steaks; Murano ($50), which serves French cuisine; and the Tuscan Grille ($45), an Italian steakhouse at the back of the ship.
Silhouette, which launched in 2011 as the fourth of Celebrity’s Solstice-class ships, has an intimate feel throughout. Despite there being almost 3,000 people on board when full, it’s easy to find a little nook or cranny so peaceful you feel a million miles from the rest of the world.
As a redhead whose skin burns at the thought of a bit of heat, one of my favourite areas on board was the Hideaway, a quirky nest like area with lots of little alcoves and funky pod-style chairs.
When it comes to sea days there’s no better place than the lawn on the top deck. It’s a unique wonder at sea and is a great place to pass any day. It’s also fun and even romantic to share a picnic on the grass with your cruise partner.
The lawn is surrounded by The Alcoves, eight private cabanas that come with a picnic basket, Wi-Fi and drinks, but at a cost – $99 on port days and $149 on sea days.
The entertainment on Silhouette spans everything from a guitarist and a singer playing together to a performance by a comedian and a Broadway-style show in the Silhouette Theatre. The latest show – which also features on Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Summit – is late-night adult-only comedy show Sin City, combining comedy with burlesque for something a little more risqué.
The Molecular Bar also has the wow factor, with mixologists combining flavours you never thought would work together.
My home for the week was one of the ship’s 126 AquaClass cabins. The staterooms are the same size as other balcony cabins, but passengers also have access to the AquaSpa relaxation room, the Persian Garden – a relaxing area filled with saunas and steam rooms – and healthy-dining restaurant Blu. Other perks include iced tea and water each day – an essential for a girl who loves a cocktail or a few white wines.
As well as the standard balcony, inside and ocean view cabins, Silhouette also has 277 ConciergeClass cabins. These are also identical to balcony cabins but are higher up the ship and come with priority check-in and embarkation, champagne and a pillow menu.
While I cruised with my partner and enjoyed the ship’s quieter, more romantic areas, Celebrity’s UK boss Jo Rzymowska recently spoke of the line’s eagerness to attract more-affluent families. The ship is well-equipped for that market too, with 133 interconnecting cabins and four family suites that have two bedrooms and a shared bathroom.
There are two dedicated children’s areas, the X-Club and the Fun Factory. The line’s partnership with Microsoft means all ships are kitted out with Xbox consoles and there are countless activities throughout the week to keep children occupied including pool games, slumber parties and sports, with a basketball court at the front of the ship.
Wi-Fi is a bone of contention for many passengers – especially those with kids. It’s expensive and it often doesn’t work as well as it should, considering the price, but the connectivity on Silhouette was impressive. Also very impressive was the ship’s iLounge computer area, crammed full of more than a dozen iMacs and MacBooks as part of the line’s tie-up with Apple.
Book it: A nine-night Eastern Caribbean fly-cruise on Celebrity Silhouette, departing on December 6, costs £1,445. The price is for a balcony cabin and includes flights from Heathrow, one night pre-cruise stay in a hotel and transfers.
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