I have recently come back from a two night taster cruise on board Celebrity Silhouette with my husband and 2 children aged 13 and 11 and have to say I will definitely be booking a longer cruise next time.
In this blog I will cover the children’s facilities and in my next one the rest of the ship.
As we live in the North of England we had travelled to Southampton the night before and had stayed at the Premier Inn close to the dock area.
Due to the fact we had upgraded our cabin to a Concierge Class – Cabin 2159 – we decided to leave for the port at 10.15am. Unbelievable we were checked in and on board by 10.45am! As Concierge Class you are given priority embarkation and where whisked through check in very quickly.
It was whilst at check in that a young lady introduced herself to us as Vanessa and that she would be our personal assistant if we needed anything. My two boys thought this was great. We were also advised that as Concierge we could dine in the main dining room at 11.30am onwards whilst all other guests went to the Ocean View Cafe.
As we boarded the ship we were greeted by waiters with trays of champagne which was a lovely touch. Staterooms are not ready till 1.30pm so we began exploring the ship by visiting the kids clubs first. Children are taken from age 3 and have to be potty trained. Due to the fact that my boys are 13 and 11 they were advised that they would be in separate clubs with Logan (aged 13) in the Teen Club and Frazer (aged 11) in the 9-12 year olds. However Logan was able to downgrade to be in the same group as his brother which is quite unusual as other lines are very strict about their age groups.
Apparently there were 90 children on this cruise and when asked if they ever close the ship to specific age groups I was told no and that they just send more staff to look after the kids. This is a far cry from P & O who have a strict policy when berthing the different age groups and for next summer many cruises in the summer holidays can no longer accommodate children.
I had already signed mandates online to allow both of my children to sign themselves in and out of the club but this is entirely down to you as a parent and knowing how responsible your child is. My husband and I also had to set up a password in case we wanted to come and take them out before they wanted to! Yes this does happen sometimes when you want to go to bed but the kids are still partying.
The main activity apart from the kids club that both my boys love is swimming and on deck 12 there are two family pools – one that’s under 3.5ft and one that is over 6ft. They are separated by a bridge.amazingly both these pools were heated which was lovely as the weather was so cold. They are also allowed in the jacuzzis but with an adult if they are under 16.Something that I was really impressed with was a selection of kids life jackets for you to secure your little one in whilst playing in the pool as there are no lifeguards however as a parent I never take my eyes of my two while they are in the pool. I have never seen this on any other ship and I have been cruising for over 20 years now.
There is also a covered pool, The Solarium, and in bad weather and with the Captains permission children are allowed to use this area.
People often ask me about drinks packages for children and you can do a basic drinks package which will cost about £7 per day that covers sodas etc or a non alcoholic drinks package that my two went for at around £19 per day. Having cruised before my children are partial to Strawberry Daiquiris however on this cruise they also discovered Peach and Banana Daiquiris.
We had chosen Celebrity Select dining for dinner and I had pre-booked a dining time of 6.45pm which went off without a hitch. The children were offered either the adults menu or a children’s menu and the staff were brilliant with them and addressed them by name at every occasion.
After dinner they both went up to the kids club till 10pm and Bruce and I told them where we would be so they could meet us afterwards.
One of the best things we did as a family was the silent disco in Qasar! This is where you are given headphones through which music is played and there are three different channels as designated by the different lights on the side of the head set. I am not sure what my husband was dancing to but it definitely was not the same music as us.
Next time …….. Dining, drink, entertainment and cabins.