I’ve just disembarked the Celebrity Silhouette! This wasn’t my first cruise on the ship but this cruise was completely different from the first time I cruised on her. Completely different. It’s hard to believe honestly that it was the same ship and same cruise line.
To celebrate the first sailing of the Celebrity Silhouette since the shutdown, Celebrity invited me on board with a whole bunch of journalists, press, important people, and even some celebrities.
I was invited on board by Celebrity but Celebrity has no control over my content and all opinions are my own.
What that meant for me is that Celebrity let me do LOTS of things that I wouldn’t even consider doing on cruises normally and I got to go into places that I’ve never been to before. I got to go through those ‘do not enter’ doors and had the weirdest dinner I’ve ever had on a cruise, ever.
In this post, we will look at the food, entertainment, ship, and more.
Celebrity Spent $75 on The Ship
Celebrity have spent $75 MILLION on the ship since I was last on board so I was interested to see if I would notice the differences and if they would really make that much difference.
I was interested in the covid safety measures onboard too, of course! Oh and to eat lots of Celebrity cruises food again!
I was bringing my mum on board and was really interested to see how she would like Celebrity. She’s heard me talk about them for years but it’s very different to being onboard.
I First Cruised With Celebrity in 2018 – It Was a Party Weekend
I first cruised with Celebrity in 2018, I’d heard for YEARS that Celebrity had amazing food and to be honest I really just booked that first cruise to try the food. I booked a 3-night Celebrity cruise as that was all I could afford and I looked forward to experiencing the ‘Celebrity difference’ that so many Celebrity fans talk about.
I did have a great time on the cruise but the cruise wasn’t a true reflection of a Celebrity cruise at all. I knew that there was more to Celebrity than what I experienced.
It was a 3-night cruise over a weekend which went to Amsterdam and back. As you can imagine the ship was full of people celebrating their birthdays or other occasions, every bar onboard was completely full and it was really tricky to get a seat anywhere.
The food was as good as I’d heard though, and that was the main thing. I had a great time and I knew that was what the cruise would be like when I booked it.
After the cruise though I was still really curious about what a ‘proper’ Celebrity cruise would be like. It was more different than I could have imagined.
Taking a PCR Test Pre Cruise
When taking a Celebrity cruise at the moment all guests have to have a PCR test in addition to being double vaccinated so my cruise journey started a few days before the cruise.
Celebrity has partnered with a company called Eurofins which means that guests can do their tests for free at a Eurofins location.
If there aren’t any Eurofins locations close to you you can do it at another center and have the money refunded (up to £100) but for us, it was easier to book at a Eurofins center.
What I liked about booking with Eurofins was that because it was booked through Celebrity I knew that they’d be able to chase the result if it was late and see it on their end. If you do a private test, there’s no way for Celebrity to know what’s going on.
Eurofins are the same company that tests the crew onboard, crew onboard have weekly tests.
After having the test, I packed, I used the app to do my online check-in and I waited. It was really weird knowing that although I was all ready to go, there was one thing that could still cancel everything!
Embarking the Celebrity Silhouette in Southampton, UK
Having done the check-in on my phone before the cruise made it so so easy when we got to the cruise port.
I’d cruised with MSC a month before and because we had to do covid tests at the port which slowed things down the check-in took about an hour and a half, with Celebrity we didn’t have to do another test at the port so it took 22 minutes from me leaving my car, to stepping on the ship. Not bad!
At check-in they just checked we had checked in on the app, double-checked our passports, covid tests, and vaccination records and we were good to go.
We Headed Straight to Our Cabins – I Had a Balcony!
The good thing about taking the first cruise was that we were able to go straight to our cabins. We had a balcony cabin located in the middle of the ship which was the first thing that was different for me about this cruise.
When I cruise I’m usually in an inside cabin and usually in the worst location on the ship. Having a cabin in the middle was great! It isn’t something that I’d pay extra for but I definitely enjoyed it while I was on board.
To learn more about which Celebrity Silhouette cabin is right for you, check out the post below:
Our Balcony Cabin Was Very Comfortable
Our balcony cabin was spacious and very comfortable, the bathroom was HUGE and we had lots of storage. Room service is free on Celebrity cruises so we enjoyed our breakfast here in the cabin every morning before our excursions or other things on the schedule. More about the excursions later, another thing I don’t usually do!
We had a kettle in the cabin too which was great. Most cruise lines doing British Isles itineraries this summer are adding kettles, they know how much we love our tea.
We Completed Celebrity Cruises Virtual Muster Drill
The first thing we needed to do was to do the muster drill.
The muster drill is a safety drill that has to be completed on the first day of your cruise, at the muster drill they tell you about things like what to do in an emergency, how to put on your lifejacket, etc.
On the ship we just had to watch the safety information on our stateroom TV or phone, then go to our muster station to get a little sticker to say we’d been. It was SO much easier. The last time I was on the Celebrity Silhouette we had to do the muster drill in the theatre, it was okay but this was much easier.
I suspect this covid change will be in place long term and I hope so.
To learn more about the updates to the muster drill, check out this post:
Instantly Recognisable Celebrity Features
There are a few things on the Celebrity Silhouette which are instantly recognisable as being from one of these Celebrity ships. The first is the real tree that grows in the middle of the atrium. No idea how they get to that to water it and look after it, but I’m sure they have it all worked out. Rather them than me.
The second is the real grass that is on the top deck.
I remember thinking that the grass was cool the last time I was on board but I never really thought about it before, I just thought it was grass.
I didn’t really realise until this cruise how much effort Celebrity had to go to find a type of grass that would be okay with the salty water and sea air. They have 2 people on board who look after the grass.
Football was Shown Onboard
When I was onboard the Euro football games were being played and they were shown on the big screen up here. I the big screen is one of the additions that they made in the renovation.
I will be bringing you a full ship tour that compares the tour I did before with the tour I filmed onboard, so make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss that. It’s usually easier to see changes side by side.
The football was also shown in the theatre, in the multiple bars across the ship. I’m not into football so I usually decided to eat dinner at football time. I could still hear the boo’s or cheers across the ship though so knew what was happening but I didn’t have to watch it.
The Sunset Bar on The Celebrity Silhouette Has Had a Dramatic Rennovation
One of the areas that’s had the biggest change since the renovation is the areas by the sunset bar. Before these sides used to be just grass, which was nice but now they’ve added lots and lots more seating and this became one of my favourite places on the ship.
One of the problems I had with the first cruise I took on this ship was that because it was such a party cruise, getting a seat in a bar or anywhere really was really difficult.
I was happy to see that Celebrity have added lots more seating areas during their big refurb.
On the first cruise, we found a few quiet places to hang out like the hideaway area here, or the library but even those places weren’t free from the people on stag or hen do’s.
The Ship’s Capacity Was Limited
During this cruise, there were just under 1000 passengers on board and almost as many crew members.
The Celebrity Silhouette should hold just under 3000 passengers so it’ll be interesting to see how things progress as the numbers increase. Celebrity are planning on increasing the numbers slowly and with covid measures in place, guests really do need extra space.
Social Distancing Measures in Place Onboard
In the public areas like the buffet, every other table would be closed off to maintain social distancing, and sometimes there would be more crew members than passengers in a certain area.
Guests would wear their masks when walking around and take them off when sat down to eat or drink.
The Celebrity Cruises Food Was AMAZING
The food was one of the main things that I was looking forward to about cruising with Celebrity again. Even though I was only onboard for 3 days the first time, I have very fond memories of the cookies and Yorkshire puddings in the buffet. It was the best cruise ship buffet I’d ever been to and I’m happy to report I think it still is.
The buffet was very similar to how it was before covid, the only real difference is that the food is served to you by the crew instead of you serving yourself.
Guests and crew were wearing masks too but these could be taken off when you sat down to eat. I personally much prefer this, I don’t really like the idea of sharing tongs with other guests and we’ve all seen somebody in a buffet pick up something, decide they don’t want it, and put it back, ew.
Celebrity Cruises ‘All Inclusive’ Fare
On all Celebrity cruises at the moment drinks, WiFi and gratuities are automatically included in the price. I have to admit this has kind of priced me out of taking a Celebrity cruise, but for the Celebrity cruises market, it makes perfect sense.
It was much easier to not have to worry about gratuities or WiFi.
Celebrity Cruises All Inclusive Drinks
I did find the drinks package a little confusing and it took me a while to work out what was and wasn’t included. I mentioned this to a couple of people who worked for Celebrity and they said that they understood why it wasn’t clear and they would be working on it.
I was really impressed that Celebrity actually listened to my opinion, it wasn’t a big problem but it’s one that could be easily fixed so I thought it was worth mentioning.
I took a cruise a couple of weeks ago with MSC where the included drinks were all drinks £10 and under and this was clearly communicated. I found out as the cruise went on that included drinks meant that we had the ‘classic’ package was included, but it wasn’t clear what was in that package and the menus in the bars were a bit confusing too.
In some places, I’d get a list of ‘classic cocktails, classic beers’ etc but then in other bars, I wouldn’t. Not the end of the world, you can just ask the waiter what’s included but I thought it could be clearer.
I screenshot the menus on my phone so that I knew what to order in different bars. I have put together a guide and drinks list of what is included here:
I personally wouldn’t ever need to upgrade as there was plenty included, but there are options if you do want to upgrade to a higher package.
Our First Port Stop Was Close to Home (But Great)
Our first port stop was in Dover and we took an excursion on the Kent and Sussex railway. At the moment guests on Celebrity cruises from the UK have to take organised excursions but I don’t think that’ll be the case for much longer as lockdown eases here in the UK.
It was a terribly foggy and rainy day when we set off on our excursion, thankfully I had already had the free room service so I was ready for whatever the weather and day would bring.
I’m from the south coast of England so it was strange to take an excursion so close to home, we did enjoy it though. The cost of the excursion should have been around $100 per person, if you know me you’ll know I rarely pay for ship excursions so it was nice to experience some on this cruise.
In true British style as soon as we got back onboard the sun came out. Typical! We went to the theatre to see the show then went to one of the most memorable parts of the cruise for me.
Celebrity Cruises Theatre Entertainment is all Backed by a Live Band
The singers and dancers were absolutely brilliant in all of the shows, you’re actually able to film and take photos during the shows which is something you can’t normally do.
In the theatre all guests were meant to wear their masks, the majority of people did. Social distancing measures were in place too with two seats between each cruise group. I love the two levels of the theatre, we often sat at the top and had a great view down of the stage.
Sometimes different bits would come out of the stage like poles and podiums, I enjoyed it a lot. The shows had a live band too! None of the recorded music that I’m used to.
Le Petit Chef – A One of a Kind Dining Experience!
We went to dinner in a place called Le Petit Chef, it is described as a one-of-a-kind dining experience and it definitely lived up to that.
I’ve never seen anything like it before, or since and it was almost impossible to describe to my mum before we went.
At Le Petit Chef a little chef is projected onto your screen and he creates your dinner for you, he would be scooping things out of the sea, cutting up vegetables, you name it. This would happen before each course and then your food would arrive.
The default menu was lobster and the ‘alternative’ menu was some other type of meat. I’m vegetarian so I had to ask for a vegetarian alternative, they had no problem with that and all of the food I had was great, it didn’t match the animations though of course.
American Cruise Lines Tend to Have Limited Vegetarian Options
I did find the vegetarian options onboard to be a bit limited, it was fine in the buffet but in the main dining room often only 1 of the 9 main courses would be vegetarian.
This isn’t just something I’ve noticed with Celebrity but with most American cruise lines. Around 20% of the Uk don’t eat meat and I’ve always found that British, or Italian cruise lines like MSC are just better at vegetarian and vegan food.
I never went hungry, never ever, not for a second but I do think American cruise lines could do more. It’s the same with Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, you name it.
We had a great evening, it was definitely an experience I will remember from this cruise.
The Craft Social Bar onboard Celebrity Silhouette
One space that has been totally renovated onboard is the craft social bar which features a bit of technology that can only be described as magic. Instead of the traditional way to pull/pour a pint, pints fill from the bottom up!
This bar used to be a wine bar and they’ve transformed it.
We had beer tasting in here and I’ve got to be honest, I don’t drink much beer so each beer just tasted like beer but it was fun anyway. You can imagine how popular this area was during football.
Celebrity Cruises Cookie Review
I can’t believe I’ve not mentioned the cookies yet.
If you know me you’ll know that one of my favourite foods is a chocolate chip cookie and I make it my mission to find and have a cookie on every cruise I take.
Onboard the Celebrity Silhouette there were not only cookies in the buffet, sometimes but also in the cafe where we would sit and have a cup of tea. The cookies were available almost all of the time and they were FABULOUS.
I think Princess still has the number 1 spot for cookie quality but Celebrity are fast catching up.
The Titanic Museum in Belfast Surprised me, With a Ride!
Our second port stop was in Belfast, we visited the Titanic museum which was awesome. I’m a big fan of ship history have lots of cruise history content on my website. An example of which would be the following post:
It was a little weird to have to do the tour as a ‘bubble’ but our tour guide was brilliant and she did a great job. It was really nice to hear how much Belfast had missed the cruise ships and how happy she, and everybody else, was to see tourists again.
I was amazed by the Titanic Museum, it had a ride in the middle! A ride?! In a museum. A proper ride! We sat on it were taken around a part of the museum that talked about building the Titanic.
The Titanic museum did a great job of talking about Belfast pre titanic and then all the way through to exploring the wreck, there’s of course potential with a Titanic museum for it all to be incredibly depressing but it really wasn’t. I learned a lot.
We also spent some time after the tour touring Belfast which was amazing. I’m a big fan of Game of Thrones so would love to come back to do some of the Game of Thrones tours. The rain held off which was the main thing!
Rocking Away in The Sky Lounge
Back on the ship, we spent quite a lot of time in an area called the sky lounge.
The sky lounge is a HUGE lounge with big glass windows on all sides, they’ve renovated this area since I was first on board and added lots of very comfortable rocking chairs. Lots of people fell asleep in these chairs and rightly so.
You can really see the differences in this area when it’s compared to the original ship tour I did, I did struggle to film anything in this lounge on the first cruise because of how busy it was, no problem this time though!
We Learnt About The Beatles in Liverpool (Of Course)
Our next excursion was Liverpool and we did the thing that you have to do when you visit Liverpool, the Beatles excursion! We did a walking tour of the city which was nice and then went into the Beatles experience museum.
I’d never been to Liverpool before and I really liked it, I don’t know what I expected but it was much grander than I had expected. I’d like to come back one day.
I think that’s one of the best things about cruising, you get to have a little taster of a place and you can decide where you’d like to go back to at a later date. I’d never considered going to Liverpool, or Belfast before as I’d usually go abroad but we do have so many amazing places to visit close to home.
The Celebrity Silhouette Has HUGE Pools
One of my favourite things about the Celebrity Silhouette is the amount (and size) of the swimming pools onboard. There are two HUGE pools on the main pool deck and this incredible inside pool area. I was so busy on this cruise that I didn’t find time to have a swim, sadly!
But I did get to do lots of things that I wouldn’t usually do. I was even able to go in a suite as a friend of mine had a suite. It was INCREDIBLE.
I asked my mum to describe this cruise because it was her first Celebrity cruise and she described the cruise as fantastic and the food as delicious. So there we go, that’s my final answer.
Watch the full video here: