Two great stars on the high seas…
There is nothing in this world that makes me happier then traveling… Needless to say, I have experienced many years of traveling and many different ways to do just that…
However, I feel without a doubt, the easiest, most relaxing, tranquil, stress-free way of traveling is cruising.
Yes, I admit, you don’t get the luxury of staying very long in each city. But, this traveling hotel enables you to know exactly where you would like to return to again one day and stay longer. Cruises give you a taste of the world. Furthermore, NO ships leave you with a better taste, then The Celebrity Line.
Two such ships that are remarkable are the Celebrity Silhouette and the Celebrity Reflection.
The Fabulous Silhouette ship set sail from Venice Italy for an 11 night cruise. We sailed to Dubrovnik Croatia, Rome, Naples, Catania Sicily,
Valetta Malta, Kotor Montenegro, Split Croatia and back to Venice for an overnight stay. This is an unforgettable and dazzling itinerary…
On the magnificent Reflection, we cruised from Rome (Civitavecchia) to Santorini Greece, Istanbul Turkey, Kusadasi Turkey, Mykonos Greece,
Athens Greece, Naples, and back to Civitavecchia. This too was a simply splendid itinerary.
On both of these superior ships, from the captain to the room stewards and everyone in between, the whole crew was stellar. I found the entire staff on both of these extraordinary vessels to be so very friendly, helpful and generous; fun to be around, down to earth, thoughtful, kind, and most eager to please. This immense attention and pampering was truly quite awe-inspiring. I, as did every guest I observed, wanted for nothing. I was asked at least 50 times a day how my day was going or to have a nice day!
From the front desk to the excursion staff, dining staff, my remarkable stateroom attendant Angel on the Reflection (see photo below), to the spa and the lovely shops, everyone was wonderful.
Sailing on the Silhouette and the Reflection, I played trivia, danced, ate, saw outstanding shows, ate, wined and dined, exercised in the state of the art gym, shopped, went to some remarkable lectures, went to the art auctions (what a blast and took home some art), swam and sunbathed, ate, indulged at the spa pampering myself with a massage and a acupuncture treatment, ate, watched movies, socialized, drank and partied and I met the mostly amazing guests on the ship. Between the out-of-this-world ports and the many things to do, I was busy every single second from morning till bedtime. However, the beauty of a cruise is that you do NOT have to be busy all day long. You can simply relax and luxuriate your many days away if you so wish to.
I had the opportunity to speak with the Silhouettes Hotel Director Bernhard Stacher. What an outstanding and charming man he is indeed. He started in Austria working in hotel and resorts. He later went on to work as a waiter on the Cunard line in 2003. At last, Bernhard found his real home on the Celebrity line.
He explained to me that he loves the Silhouette for multiple reasons. He told me that this ship is everything the other lines are not. He feels it is contemporary, modern, hip, trendy and stylish, with the highest level of service. I couldn’t agree with him more. He went on to explain that it is quality not quantity. Mr. Stacher is quite proud of the ships itinerary, the ship itself, the team excellence, as well as the high performing ships fleet. This ship is family, he stated!
I also, had the good fortune to interview the Silhouettes Cruise Director Lisa Richard. She began working as Toshiba’s Vice President for 20 years. She later went on to a singing career working on broadways production of Mama Mia. Ms. Richards proudly stated that she is Celebrity’s first woman entertainment director. She boasted how this ship is a team from the captain on down. We are all family and we, ‘GET’, each other. She is quite a remarkable and lovely lady. The Celebrity is lucky to have these 2 highly talented people representing them.
I also, had the honor to speak with the Reflections Hotel Director Julian Brackenbury from Nottingham England. What an amazing man this is and how fortunate Celebrity is to have him on board. He came to The Celebrity reflection in 2009 as the Hotel Director. He stated that he loves working on this ship because it is the most positive work place in the world. There are 16 nationalities, 950 staff, and 3001 guests from 35 countries. It is like the United Nations here. There is never a dull day or a dull moment. For me it is all about the people. I have always been a team leader, and I can lead a group. I manage people, but I want my people to know that I will lay down in traffic for them. I want a work place for the crew that is inspiring. I want them to want to do more and to be more. I always say, a happy crew means happy guests. I worked on the Eclipse first then the Reflection. This ship is special; it is the pinnacle of ships. For myself as a professional, I have the honor of running the newest ship in the world. The line trusts me to look after their ship and that is an honor. I am the gate keeper and I am thankful for it every day. My father always told me to never forget where you come from and where you were. I have always lived by those words.
Speaking with Julian was quite inspiring and such an honor. He is so very motivating and you can tell this just by looking, speaking or watching the entire crew. They are all aiming to please and all are happy. Bravo to Mr. Brackenbury! You bring new meaning to the phrase, “ship- shape”!
In addition, I was able to speak with the Reflections Cruise Director Damian De Lokenzis from Canada. He spoke to me of how the Reflection is the latest and greatest modern luxury ship. He stated that cruising is for everyone. He was so very proud of the ships production shows, the ambient music all around the ship and the amazing atmosphere on board. There is great balance on the ship and so many fantastic public places. He feels the itinerary such as Istanbul is among some of the world’s hot spots. People GET our ship and it’s WORKING. I started with Celebrity 11 years ago. I have watched the Reflection being built. My favorite part is to see it realized. What we were trying to do in cruising is working! The Reflection is the COOLEST ship I’ve ever seen!
I found Damian to be proud and enthusiastic!
Lastly, I would like to remark that Renata Sliacka the event coordinator simply pulls it all together making all the events flow effortlessly with grace and style. You go girl!
The staff on THESE 2 CELEBRITY SHIPS without a doubt left me with the impression and feeling that my cruise experience should be the greatest vacation and cruising journey of my life. All of the guests that I had the privilege to speak with felt the exact same way. BRAVO TO ALL INVOLVED.
About the ships: The Silhouette was launched in 2011, and Reflection, is the final ship in the Celebrity Solstice series, launched in 2012. Both of these grand ships are filled with amazing rooms to hide away if you care to or party till the wee hours of the night to your heart’s content.
Among some of my favorite spots on these ships are The Lawn Club, The Porch at the Lawn, The Alcoves, verandas at the Lawn Club, The iLounge; (a combination internet cafe and Apple Store) and of course The Hideaway.
You will NEVER be bored or lonely on board. There are so many things to do and programs to attend. I found the the Spa and Fitness areas, the Casinos and the shops to be wonderful. The variety of entertainment and productions shows astounded me. The life activities were all terrific. Excellent as well, are the youth programs that kept all the cruising kids happy and very busy allowing private time and relaxation for their parents.
The Shore and Land Excursions: are phenomenal and I strongly suggest that you take advantage of them, especially if you do not have much knowledge of the ports you are in.
The cabins are wonderful and luxurious on both of these stellar vessels:
There are many elegant suites
Concierge class Staterooms
Veranda Class Staterooms
Sunset Veranda Staterooms
Ocean View Stateroom Class
And the Inside Stateroom Class
You will find your home away from home here indeed. The Staterooms have ample living space (keeping in mind how small they usually are), including a sitting area and a flat screen TV.
Oh the food…..
On both of these opulent ships the food with its many selections, varieties and different cuisines were extraordinary. I must profess that I am a bit of a food snob, but I found the main dining room, the 5 specialty restaurants, the casual dining and the room service, to be all truly pronominal. Warning… no matter how much you try not to over indulge, do expect to gain 5 pounds… Trust me it is worth it!
The 2 ships had the finest entertainment that you will see anywhere. The wide range of shows is astounding. From Broadway to acrobatic shows, from comedy to mentalist shows, I know that you will be kept memorized and enthralled as much as I was.
Blu: is the AquaClass dining experience.
Murano: Is a contemporary take on the classic French cuisine. This restaurant is simply divine and sinfully delicious. Do try it for yourself!
Here, you will indulge in European inspired café with a wide variety of homemade gelato, specialty coffees and teas.
Here is where I found a variety of complimentary casual restaurants that I thoroughly enjoyed throughout the day or evening. It was especially convenient after a day in port and not wanting to get dressed.
The ships have a large variety of bar choices:
You will no doubt find the perfect spot to celebrate your mood and occasion. Each bar has its own team of specialists, and they all seem to take great pride in the unique features of their venue. Among them are:
Martini Bar & Crush, Ensemble Lounge, Passport Bar, Cellar Masters, Molecular Bar, Sunset Bar, Sky Observation Lounge, Motown – The Sky Lounge, Michael’s Club (photo above of the awesome Michael’s Club staff… Marinescu Florian, Talpac Mimaela, Nikolic Jelena and Petrosanec Rosana), Rendezvous Lounge, Quasar and the Pool & Mast Bar…
I cannot recommend a finer cruise line on the high seas. I experienced a getaway that dreams are made of. I am sure that you will have the best vacation of your life on these two spectacular vessels as well as the entire Celebrity fleet!
I wish you all a magnificent Bon Voyage as you sail off into the sunset!
I would like to thank Stephanie Holder for all her help and assistance in making this article possible.