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          The Great British Isles with Celebrity Cruises

          Posted in Cruise by Phillip Munro on 21st Jul 2021

          I was delighted to join Celebrity Cruises first ever British Isles sailing on Celebrity’s newly redesigned favourite; Celebrity Silhouette. This was Celebrity Silhouette’s maiden voyage since the covid pandemic first hit, and our six-night voyage set sail from Southampton, taking in Dover, Belfast and Liverpool before our return to Southampton.

          Before we boarded it was reassuring to know that all crew and guests onboard are fully vaccinated (aged 18 and over). Vaccinated guests also require proof of a negative PCR test taken 24 - 72 hours before the time of sailing.  All arrivals and departures are staggered by appointment and guests have the opportunity to select their preferred check-in times. These measures will provide guests with a speedier boarding process in a rigorously sanitised and socially distanced environment.

          Once onboard, our suite was a Sky Suite, part of the exclusive Retreat category, which has been refurbished and looked so classy, spacious and stylish - the bed was like sleeping on cloud nine! Our Retreat Host (think butler) Sini was very friendly and always on hand if we needed him for anything. I put him to the test by calling him for services like coffee in the morning, in-room dining at lunch and wine in the evening whilst watching the sunset on the balcony. He was extremely efficient and catered to our needs when asked. On arrival day he explained his role and told us about the Specialty Restaurants and mentioned to call him anytime if we needed help booking options which was a really nice touch. 

          The Retreat Lounge itself is impressive and modern, the colours and quality both warm and inviting making it the perfect place to hang out to meet fellow guests. The breakfast and day services were also a really nice touch. It was the private Retreat Deck that really surpassed my expectations with a chill-out bar, similar to those in the Middle East, that had oversized loungers and cabanas. The Deck has been utilised perfectly, giving plenty of seating areas to either have a drink at sunset, grab a bite to eat at lunch or relax all day with a dip in the Jacuzzi. The staff in both the Retreat Lounge and the Retreat Deck were attentive, welcoming and friendly.

          Food and Beverage is a real highlight with Celebrity and all staff across the department were amazing, engaging and so happy to be back to work sharing their stories and it was heartwarming to hear how happy they were to be back onboard. As Suite Guests, we were able to experience Luminae, a luxury dining experience with amazing menus and an opulent feel. Once you experience Suite level it would be hard not to book this again as you would want this level of service each sailing. My favourite restaurant onboard is Tuscan – always has been, I’m in love with the menu and it becomes a restaurant I use more than once each sailing.

          The Lawn Club Grill was a new experience for me, and I loved it. Due to the restrictions of Covid, unfortunately, I was unable to participate in cooking my own food but this is a lovely touch that I am sure guests will really enjoy. The food was amazing, especially the kebabs, and the ambience was one of my favourites, out on deck feeling the sea breeze and watching the sunset.

          I was really looking forward to Qisine, the concept is incredible, and we experienced the four chefs in a competition, which I could not stop filming. Whilst perhaps not the same standard as the other speciality restaurants, the experience and the staff make this a fantastic choice and an extremely enjoyable evening.

          There are so many bars around the ship, a great variety, my favourite being the Sunset Bar where the seating area is so comfortable it becomes a location that guests gravitate to each day. The World Class Bar – I will give a big shout out to Alex and her Husband Daniel who work here. Alex is the reason we ended up there each night for a cocktail as she creates an inviting area and goes out of her own way to create cocktails that don’t appear on the menu. Highly recommended!  What can I say about the Martini Bar – a fantastic place that everyone gravitates to in the evenings, there is something special about this area on all Celebrity ships – everything about it is just great. We made the best memories here, a great place to socialize and meet new friends and listen to catchy upbeat music. Craft Social – the concept is a great idea to taste beers from around the world, and the bar was booming on the football night so I see this being a fantastic venue for sporting events.

          I never expected to be taking a cruise around the British Isles, usually preferring more far-flung destinations, but in these exceptional times I would highly recommend this with Celebrity – even if you chose to stay onboard all day, every day, simply enjoying the amazing facilities – you would not be disappointed!