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-   -   Aboard Celebrity Silhouette Inaugural (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/celebrity/383838-aboard-celebrity-silhouette-inaugural.html)

Paul Motter July 21st, 2011 07:31 AM

Aboard Celebrity Silhouette Inaugural
 
Hi Friends...

I was the first passebger to board the Celebrity Silhouette today in Hamburg. The media all arived last night and they put us up in a lovely hotel called "east". It was ultra-modern, to the point of having bathrooms like Norwegian Epic ;)

This morning we got to board the ship as early as 11:00, so I already have pictures for you of all the new features such as the Alcoves, The Lawn Club, the Hideaway, etc.

Here are some pictures ...

The Alcoves:

http://www.cruisemates.com/gallery/g...5390/88482.jpg

Here are sime pictures from the Hideaway....

http://www.cruisemates.com/gallery/g...5390/88488.jpg

http://www.cruisemates.com/gallery/g...5390/88493.jpg

http://www.cruisemates.com/gallery/g...5390/88491.jpg

Hwere is a silly picture of me they took as I sat in a deck chair on trhew lawn - it's so nice up there, I feel like a kid again...

http://www.cruisemates.com/gallery/g...5390/88483.jpg

(actully, they hace those oversized chaits up there, but I do not know why).

Here is a pic of the Lawn Club - which used to be the Corning Museum of Glass glass blowing demonstration area. Now its a restaurant...

http://www.cruisemates.com/gallery/g...5390/88476.jpg

This does make sense - how many glass blowing demonstrations can you have in a cruise line?

Another restaurant on the lawn, but around the corner, is called the The Porch. It has tasty sandwichs, salads and treates ready-made...(or made on the spot)....

http://www.cruisemates.com/gallery/g...5390/88477.jpg

Surrounding the lawn are 8 "Alcoves" - these semi-private spots rent for $99 (port) to $149 day (sea days). They come with an iPad to watch movies or listen to music. Or you can get picnic baskets and drinks sent up to you for an extra cxharge. The baskets from the specialty restaurants. A nice way to spend the days (and some money)....

http://www.cruisemates.com/gallery/g...5390/88482.jpg


There are 8 of these - if you want wi-fi access in there that costs extra.

Still, this is a beautiful ship, and I get to try Qsine tonight! I have been looking forward to this. I have not been on this class of ship since Solstice and they did not have Qsine, the Nook, Alcoves or the iLounge.

Other nice aspects of this ship are the Cafe Bacio and the gelato on deck 5. They have these on all Solstice ships:

See the gallery of all of mhy current pictures here: Cruise Ship Pictures - CruiseMates Cruise Photos Gallery

I will be updating this live blog as we roll along the next two days.

Trip July 21st, 2011 07:41 AM

WOW! Love this class

jacdenv24 July 21st, 2011 09:00 AM

We're booked on the Silhouette in Jan. These pictures have driven my anticipation level over the top! The ship looks amazing-this will be our 8th. Celebrity cruise but our first on a Solstice class ship. Bring it on:D!!

jacdenv24 July 21st, 2011 12:28 PM

Just watched the live streaming video of the naming ceremony. Quite interesting. Impressed with Michelle Morgan, the godmother. I looked for you, Paul, in the audience-know you were there somewhere!

Paul Motter July 21st, 2011 12:43 PM

I was definitely there. Glad you got to see it...

Here is how it went, as one colleague described it, it was a very emotional affair. We all assembled in the main theater of Celebrity Solstice – and on the big screen we could see the magnum of champagne suspended high up against the forward smokestack.

Godmother Michelle Morgan had the honor of giving the ship its naming and blessing, “I dub this ship Celebrity Silhouette, God bless it and all who sail upon it.”

But before she did so she was accompanied onstage by the three previous Godmothers who had named the three previous ships of the Solstice class. Ms Morgan was handed the same pair of scissors that had been used in each of the previous naming ceremonies, and the ribbon holding the bottle of champagne suspended in the air was brought to her by an acrobat suspended from a trapeze from the ceiling of the theater.

As the ribbon was cut we were able to see it slipping away through the corridors of the ship via strategically placed video cameras. Finally, the magnum of champagne, which had been specially blown by the Corning Museum of Glass just for the occasion (the Museum runs the glass blowing exhibit on the previous three Solstice-class ships) could be seen smashing into the smokestack – visible on the big screen in the theater.

It was a lovely ceremony – very similar to the ones that have been done for the previous three Solstice ships. During parts of the ceremony we heard speeches by Richard Fain and Dan Hanrahan. One highlight was the Greek national anthem being sung by a group of German officers – led by the captain himself. There were twelve singers in all. The German national anthem was also presented.

The good news is that the champagne did break – meaning good luck for the ship. As Richard fain pointed out, ship blessings have come a long way – they were originally done by priests pouring blood on the ship, but that has transformed over the years to ladies in gowns pouring champagne.

Paul Motter July 21st, 2011 01:01 PM

I wanted to give you some more pictures of the ship. Here is a close up of the alcoves:

http://www.cruisemates.com/gallery/g...5391/88505.jpg

And here is how they look on the inside - note water, telephone, etc. When you rent one you get the iPad and more.

http://www.cruisemates.com/gallery/g...5391/88506.jpg

Please go here to see many more colorful pictures of other parts of the ship: Cruise Ship Pictures - CruiseMates Cruise Photos Gallery including the back dexk, the inside of thr lido restaurant, the beautiful atrium, with a living tree, the library, the "Hideaway," and more...

larsonM July 21st, 2011 01:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul Motter (Post 1382561)
Hi Friends...

I was the first passebger to board the Celebrity Silhouette today in Hamburg. The media all arived last night and they put us up in a lovely hotel called "east". It was ultra-modern, to the point of having bathrooms like Norwegian Epic ;)

This morning we got to board the ship as early as 11:00, so I already have pictures for you of all the new features such as the Alcoves, The Lawn Club, the Hideaway, etc.

Here are some pictures ...

The Alcoves:

http://www.cruisemates.com/gallery/g...5390/88482.jpg

Here are sime pictures from the Hideaway....

http://www.cruisemates.com/gallery/g...5390/88488.jpg

http://www.cruisemates.com/gallery/g...5390/88493.jpg

http://www.cruisemates.com/gallery/g...5390/88491.jpg

Hwere is a silly picture of me they took as I sat in a deck chair on trhew lawn - it's so nice up there, I feel like a kid again...

http://www.cruisemates.com/gallery/g...5390/88483.jpg

(actully, they hace those oversized chaits up there, but I do not know why).

Here is a pic of the Lawn Club - which used to be the Corning Museum of Glass glass blowing demonstration area. Now its a restaurant...

http://www.cruisemates.com/gallery/g...5390/88476.jpg

This does make sense - how many glass blowing demonstrations can you have in a cruise line?

Another restaurant on the lawn, but around the corner, is called the The Porch. It has tasty sandwichs, salads and treates ready-made...(or made on the spot)....

http://www.cruisemates.com/gallery/g...5390/88477.jpg

Surrounding the lawn are 8 "Alcoves" - these semi-private spots rent for $99 (port) to $149 day (sea days). They come with an iPad to watch movies or listen to music. Or you can get picnic baskets and drinks sent up to you for an extra cxharge. The baskets from the specialty restaurants. A nice way to spend the days (and some money)....

http://www.cruisemates.com/gallery/g...5390/88482.jpg


There are 8 of these - if you want wi-fi access in there that costs extra.

Still, this is a beautiful ship, and I get to try Qsine tonight! I have been looking forward to this. I have not been on this class of ship since Solstice and they did not have Qsine, the Nook, Alcoves or the iLounge.

Other nice aspects of this ship are the Cafe Bacio and the gelato on deck 5. They have these on all Solstice ships:

See the gallery of all of mhy current pictures here: Cruise Ship Pictures - CruiseMates Cruise Photos Gallery

I will be updating this live blog as we roll along the next two days.

Hi, Paul!

My husband and I are going on this new ship next April. We're in 6207 and are concerned that we might have a big lifeboat obstructing our view and that the bed is next to the closet (as we had on the Solstice and it was difficult to open the closet doors). We would be so grateful if you'd be so kind to check it out for us if you find a minute.

Thank you so much for the pictures. This will be our 3rd cruise with Celebrity and we just love it.

Have a safe and enjoyable cruise.

Aloha,
Mel

Kuki July 21st, 2011 01:31 PM

Paul,

She does look quite nice. The BIG chair pic is cute. I could see spending a few sea days in those alcoves (though the price is hefty).

jacdenv24 July 21st, 2011 02:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by larsonM (Post 1382621)
Hi, Paul!

My husband and I are going on this new ship next April. We're in 6207 and are concerned that we might have a big lifeboat obstructing our view and that the bed is next to the closet (as we had on the Solstice and it was difficult to open the closet doors). We would be so grateful if you'd be so kind to check it out for us if you find a minute.

Thank you so much for the pictures. This will be our 3rd cruise with Celebrity and we just love it.

Have a safe and enjoyable cruise.

Aloha,
Mel

larsonM-if you go to Celebrity's web site, you can pull up the deck plans and all the categories. I believe your cabin is a Cat. 2D and they are listed as having obstructed views. Cat. 2C have partially obstructed views. There are some 2Bs left on the deck above you with unobstructed views, although they are not midship. Not too late to change-and only $20 more p.p.:D

robh July 21st, 2011 03:38 PM

Thank you Paul for the pictures and hiow did you get into the chair and out might be a question. Back to crawling.
The price is steep especially for two of you but am quit esure it will get used as long as people know about it.
Using the Ipad for email and such would be expensive unless you already have a benefit package.

Enjoy your stay

larsonM July 21st, 2011 06:13 PM

Mahalo nui! I will check on that.

Mel

cruise47 July 21st, 2011 06:19 PM

Thanks Paul for sharing those awesome pictures. We can not wait to sail her until next year.

Manuel July 21st, 2011 10:21 PM

Thanks for the pictures Paul.

Another beautiful Celebrity ship. Definetely something to look forward to. :) :cool: :D 8)

TM

Paul Motter July 21st, 2011 10:23 PM

I will do my best to check out 6205 today. This is the say when we get to see inside the staterooms. These are very comfortable staterooms, however - big bathrooms, long couches, deep balconies and well-planned designs.

I am in an aqua-spa cabin which has very easy access to the spq facilties and that is a real plus.

We ate in QSine last night - that was a treat - a very different approach.

It is late at night now and I have had little opportunity to post updates about our sailaway,etc yet. I have some nice video I will be able to edit when I get home. Thalk to you later.

Mike M July 22nd, 2011 02:12 AM

Paul,

Excellent pictures and the ship looks beautiful. What are the major differences between this and the other Solstice class ships?

I love the big chair picture. You remind me of the old Lily Tomlin character "Edith Anne".

Have a great time "And that's the truth" brbbbbbbbbbbbb :)

Take care,
Mike

Paul Motter July 22nd, 2011 02:59 AM

The MAJOR difference is whatthey have done with the lawn. On the original Solstice it was just a lawn - but they had no idea wht to do with it - it was just there.

I remember on the first cruise they announced "Bocce ball on the lawn" and we all showed up, and someone had rto show us the rules, etc. and so four people volunteered too play and they did for about 10 minutes. Then it was like... "so,,, that's Bocce ball."

Then it was "now what do you want to do" - so they had the lawn but really no purpose for it. Now they have the lawn, which is lovely, but they have ringed it things to do - so it isnt just a lawn anymore, it is a "space" with activities all around it.

It is hard to say how it will work in the tropics - or in bad weather (like we are in today in the North Sea) - in the tropics the spaces are nice but it seems like you need water to cool off - and there isn't any. The Alcoves are inviting, but also costly and it kind of seems like you might get a little tired of them unless the weather is perfect.

The restaurants up there do look good - we are dining at the Lawn Grill tonight. But once again the weather has to be ideal because it is outside. All in all - I hate to sound critical but sometimes you see an idea where you think "hmm, they certainly make it sound attractive but would I personally feel compelled to do it?" and at that point I wonder.

If I had three kids to entertain, I might rent an alcove for the day ($149 sea day plus expenses in you want food/drinks delivered, etc) but otherwise why wouldn't I just sit by the pool?

Still these are stunningly beautiful ships, and always will be. I just think the "lawn" needed water to be something truly special.

Paul Motter July 22nd, 2011 06:28 AM

By the way – it is now 11:00 – in two hours we have an interview with company management. If you have any questions for me please let me know now. After that the cabins are open for viewing.

We just got a demonstration of the Lawn Club Grill which replaces the spot that had the Corning Glass Blowing demos. The idea of the grill is a place where guests can actually barbecue their meat. This is not a joke – they have a very elaborate and expensive grill made for grilling streaks, lambchops, bratwurst, etc. It is run at 565-degrees farenheit – very hot. But it is electric as open flames are not allowed on cruise ships.

The Grill can hold 48 people – all ages allowed. The cost is $30 per person, but each group gets to grill as much of their own food as they can eat. In addition to meat, there is pizza making, flatbreads and a large salad bar.

There are five professional chefs on duty to assist the diners there to grill their own food. Essentially each party can use the grills one or two at a time (it has still never actually been done with real guests, tonight we media may be the guinea pigs). They wash their hands (required) and then select the raw meat from a large cooler. The beef is from the U.S, Midwest while the lamb comes from Colorado.

Then the grilling begins – or the pizza making or whatever you want to do. The food is then served at the table on a large platter and clasping meat claws are provided for people to serve themselves.

johnthed0g July 22nd, 2011 09:22 AM

I too like the Solstice lawn but I also don't really know what it's for. We didn't like to actually walk on it, expecting the park keeper to shout at us!
The ''grill your own'' doesn't appeal much, been to places where they do this & wasn't interested, certainly not for even more money. The alcoves look nice but $149??? not for me. Hope you like Qsine, I sorta did my wife just found it confusing.

dkjretired July 22nd, 2011 01:33 PM

The "grill your own" is an option, they will cook it for you if you choose. This is just another Specialty Restaurant.

Paul Motter July 22nd, 2011 11:07 PM

Yes, we did the "grill your food" at the lawn grill last night. NOw, I really like grilled food, so the concept does appeal to me. Furthermore, the cuts of meat and the side dishes they offer are exceptionally nice. Overall, the experience seems to be a good one.

The do need to put up more glass to make sure they can maintain the temperature in theor, as in The Samba Grill on Allure of the Seas (Solarium).

When we dined in there last night they had originally decided to cancel the dinner because we were in the North Sea and it was cold, however conditions cleared up and our dinner was rescheduled.

We assembled out there and we selected two people from our group to be (1) Grill Master and (2) Flat Bread Maker. Number 2 went first and came back with a delicious vegetarian and a barbecue chicken pizza. Those were cooked pretty much to perfection.

The idea, of course, is that even though you are cooking your own food you have the guidance of a professional cook who will make sure your meat comes out as ordered. On the menu is filet mignon.

Unfortunately - all the steaks came back bloody red, rare (not even medium rare). They have the facilities to cook excellent medium meat with the perfect pinkness. Their grill reaches over 500-degrees (it is electric, of course since open flames are not allowed on ships). Obviously, our guide had not given our grill master sufficient guidance. My steak was ordered as medium (not red, but pink inside) - but it came back barely grilled onthe outside and blood red in the middle. All the steaks were that way att our table anyway.

Even when I asked him to regrill it he was gone for five minutes and he brought back to me in the same condition. I had one of the best steaks I have ever had on Azamara (sister line to Celebrity), and at $30 per person I expect more from a restuarant.

But this was their first night ever of using it in real people - so I should not judge too soon. Still, let;s be honest, the "cooking it yourself" part of the experience is meant to be a fun gimmick for lack of a better word, not the real deal, In the end the food is supposed to be cooked correctly. Mine wasn;t, even after I sentr it backm and that shows up a weakness in the execution of the concept.

To summarize, I found the grill masters to be a little bit too "Carnival." They were very funny, joking around, making it all fun. But Celebrity also needs them to be serious cooks firstand foremost. Not everyone in the America can grill a perfect steak despite our reputation for barbecuing.

kvanriper July 23rd, 2011 02:06 AM

Paul

Question re the porch. All Celebrity promotion material says breakfast/lunch included now hearing that it have a $5 charge which is irritating that they say included up to now then switch. Any update on this and can you give more detail of menu

Paul Motter July 23rd, 2011 05:26 AM

Yes - I have heard the same thing - that there is a $5 charge for breakfast and lunch. The food did look rather delicious, however. But I do agree it is nickel & diming. It reminds of the Park Central on thhe Oasis ships - which does not charge.

jacdenv24 July 23rd, 2011 11:50 AM

Well, it all looks and sounds wonderful and I'm so looking forward to our cruise in Jan. That said, I think "X" has made a couple of marketing faux pas. First off,in the following link, it clearly says that food in the Porch is complimentary..
2011 Cruise Ship Celebrity Silhouette by Celebrity Cruises — Luxury Yacht Charter & Superyacht News

I realize $5 p.p. is a mere pittance but why change the rules after the ship is launched and mostly booked? This is classic nickle and diming IMHO. But it certainly won't stop us from eating there.

Secondly, the Alcove pricing is ridiculous! I thought it was $149 for a sea day PER CABIN. On further investigation I find that is PER PERSON. This is way beyond nickle and diming-it's out and out gouging. And for what? A few comfortable chairs, some shade and wireless. And as Paul pointed out, no water to cool off in. If I want privacy, I've got my balcony. This is going to cause "X" some problems-I can see 2 (or more) couples traveling together, but in separate cabins, pooling their money and getting an Alcove for the day. If I rent one, who's to say I can't invite my friends to join me? DH thinks that they will remain mostly empty but I doubt it. It will be interesting to read the cruise reviews when they start coming in.

cruise47 July 24th, 2011 07:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dkjretired (Post 1382816)
The "grill your own" is an option, they will cook it for you if you choose. This is just another Specialty Restaurant.

Are the chef's looking for a tip?

dkjretired July 24th, 2011 09:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cruise47 (Post 1383068)
Are the chef's looking for a tip?

No, the fee you pay for the meal is the tip...

Paul Motter July 24th, 2011 01:35 PM

dkj...

I am not disputing you, I am just pointing out how difficult my job has become. Where did you see it said the price is $149 per person for the Alcoves? I was just on the ship attending several press conferences and I never heard that said.

If that is correct - you are right that is just outrageous, however market prices will prevail. I seriously doubt if they will get many takers at that price - you still have to pay extra for food and beverages (you get some water and hand-held fans).

If they don't get any takers the price will certainly drop.

jacdenv24 July 24th, 2011 01:51 PM

I went into my celebrity where you can purchase excursions, drink pkgs. etc. and they now have Alcoves listed. Clearly says $149 P.P. I'm wondering if it's a mistake?

Paul Motter July 24th, 2011 02:05 PM

Yeah...

DKJ. I just did my research and found an official CXC press release that says...

"The Alcoves can be booked online for full-day rentals, from 9 am to 9 pm, or even for the entire voyage. Rates are $99 per Alcove per day on days in port, and $149 per day on days at sea. To make a booking, visit www.celebritycruises.com. Special values are available for guests who book one of The Alcoves for several days or for the entire cruise."

So - it is not per guest.

Paul Motter July 24th, 2011 03:39 PM

DKJ...

I seems to me the booking engine might just say "$149 per person" because they don't have another way to list it. I can't see the booking engine because I don't have a reservation.

If you go to book it, does it ask you how many people you plan to include in the reservation? That would mean they really plan to charge per person, but I tend to doubt that.

You could go ahead and try to book one - I am pretty sure you can cancel a reservation you make online if you change your mind.

dkjretired July 24th, 2011 04:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul Motter (Post 1383130)
DKJ...

I seems to me the booking engine might just say "$149 per person" because they don't have another way to list it. I can't see the booking engine because I don't have a reservation.

If you go to book it, does it ask you how many people you plan to include in the reservation? That would mean they really plan to charge per person, but I tend to doubt that.

You could go ahead and try to book one - I am pretty sure you can cancel a reservation you make online if you change your mind.

Paul:

I didn't bring it up but as long as you asked, it is per person. I know of people on the other boards who have booked and they are paying per person and complaining...If you read the press release and I had posted it on this board, it really doesn't say either way..


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