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Riviera vs Silhouette

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We recently did Caribbean cruises on the Riviera and Silhouette. This was our fifth cruise on Oceania, and we are Elite Plus on Celebrity. Both cruises were excellent, but there are some interesting differences when you compare the experiences.

 

THE SHIPS

They are about the same age. Riviera entered service in 2012, and Silhouette in 2011. Silhouette is twice the size of Riviera (122,400 tons/2886 passengers vs 66,084 tons/1250 passengers). Yet they feel a full generation apart. Silhouette seems far more modern, and conceptually more advanced, then Riviera. Riviera is comfortable and homey. Silhouette is simply stunning. The biggest miss in the design of Riviera is the absence of a lively central hub. The Lobby on Silhouette rises several decks, and is surrounded by bars, lounges and restaurants. It is lively. Other modern ships, eg Viking, have a living central hub. Riviera does not. There is no promenade deck on Riviera.

 

ACCOMODATION

 

As we had a suite on Riviera, and verandah cabin on Silhouette, it is not fair to compare. As others have noted, storage space is somewhat limited in the S-Class cabins.The suite on Riviera was very well designed. Bedding, towels etc were far superior.

 

FOOD

 

Oceania claims "The Finest Cuisine At Sea". Celebrity also takes pride in its cuisine. This was my experience:

 

Breakfast - Oceanview Cafe (Silhouette) was far, far superior to Terrace Cafe.(Riviera). Far more choice on Silhouette. For example, Silhouette had a large choice of Eggs Benedict each day (Salmon, Ham, Veg etc), Riviera only ham. Silhouette also innovated each day, eg a donut bar on one day.

 

Lunch- Very poor on Oceania. Very limited choices. Silhouette had a very big choice. Also, island layout on Silhouette was far better. Also innovated at lunch, eg a gravlax bar one day. Food quality was equal on Silhouette and Riviera.

 

Dinner - MDR choice and quality was equal. Both menus are somewhat limited.

 

Speciality Restaurants - Far superior on Riviera. Jacques, Polo Grill and Toscana all outstanding food and service. On Silhouette, we had a very good steak at Lawn Club Grill, but Tuscan Grill was no better then MDR, and Murano was not as good as it used to be.

 

Service hours - something always open and available on Silhouette, for example if you got back to the ship mid afternoon. This was a problem on Riviera. Mid afternoon, only option was a hamburger or room service. Tea at 4pm was not as good as it used to be.

 

 

Coffee - Lattes at Baristas on Riviera were far better than the ones at Cafe Al Bacio on Silhouette.

 

ENTERTAINMENT

 

Some years ago, we had a terrible cruise on Reflection, where the music from the Miami DJs was so loud that you could not sit at the pool or walk through the lobby. We actually stayed away from Celebrity for a few years after that experience. Well, I am very pleased to say that the music on Silhouette at the pool, in the lobby, at the shows was lively but at a reasonable volume. The shows on Riviera tended to be more old-fashioned Broadway , whereas shows on Silhouette were more modern and innovative.

 

SERVICE

Excellent on both ships

 

PAX

 

On Silhouette, majority were born in the 1950's and 1940's. Perhaps just slightly older on Riviera.

 

CHAIR HOGS

 

Alive and well on Silhouette. On sea days, by 7am, ALL the loungers in the shade on the non-smoking side of the pool were covered in towels!! There was never a problem getting a shady lounger on Riviera.

 

NET

 

Both were excellent vacations. Each has some pros and cons. I would happily sail on either ship again.

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Thank you for the comprehensive comparison.

It’s been a while since we’ve cruise on Celebrity but if the breakfast and lunch on Celebrity are better than Oceania then that would be a change from our experience. That said, I have no argument with the fact that you preferred the breakfast & lunch options on Celebrity - it’s a personal choice.

A “lively central hub” does very little for me - in fact it would be a negative. It might have held some attraction for me 20 years ago but not so much any more.

I like “comfortable and homey” 🙂

It’s nice to have options in cruising as everyone’s preferences are their own and they are seldom the same.

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Thanks  for sharing

re enforces  my thoughts on never sailing  with more than 1500 pax 

Sorry born in late 40's  but prefer a quieter lifestyle

Just my personal preference

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Thanks for your review. I am Elite on Celebrity and just disembarked Riviera today. The variety and quality of fresh berries and quality of baked goods on Oceania is unparellelled in the cruise industry. I like Celebrity, but disagree that buffet quality is equal between the two lines. Also, Riviera's Waves grill has a significantly greater variety of food than just hamburgers available until late afternoon...large variety of sandwiches and salad.

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When you have as many passengers as Celebrity ships carry, of course they’re going to have a lot more choices in the buffets.  In more than 40 cruises on Celebrity, I’ve felt their buffet quality was sub par.  Quantity doesn’t necessarily equal quality.  

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Posted (edited)

I agree with Edgee.

 

I also just got off the Riviera (first Oceania cruise) and am Elite + on Celebrity, and have been on 2 Seaborne.

 

The quality of food on the Riviera buffet was outstanding.  A dozen different salads every day, plus a salad bar.

 

At least 5 hot entrees, plus the made-to order grill for steaks, lobster, fish, etc., plus the pasta bar.

 

Also cheese, crackers, seafood, meats.

 

The fruit, baked goods, and ice cream were the best I have had on any cruise.

 

Celebrity does have more options, but the quality is not as high.  The one thing I miss from Celebrity is the Indian options at the buffet (offered daily)

 

I do agree with Seapoint in regards to the rest of their review.

 

The only 2 negative things on the Riviera were the band (awful) and Dottie the cruise director made too many announcements (she made 2-3 per day), reading the daily program.  

Edited by Nachosdelux

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Posted (edited)

To Seapoint and anyone else who has cruised Celebrity (since we have not and are ignorant of their product).  Are there any fees for any restaurants and/or menu items on Celebrity ships?  Also, any charges for beverages, i.e. soft drinks, specialty coffees, etc.?

 

Katie

Edited by KatieBelle
addition

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, KatieBelle said:

To Seapoint and anyone else who has cruised Celebrity (since we have not and are ignorant of their product).  Are there any fees for any restaurants and/or menu items on Celebrity ships?  Also, any charges for beverages, i.e. soft drinks, specialty coffees, etc.?

 

 

KatieBelle,

 

Celebrity specialty restaurants are an extra charge (approx $45 per person) but there are discounts and packages available.  Also if you are in one of the top suites, they are included.

 

Soft drinks, specialty coffees, and alcohol are extra.   If you have a beverage package, they are included.

Edited by Nachosdelux

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I recently sailed the Reflection which is the same class ship as Silhouette and it turned me off from cruising for awhile.  

The service was excellent, the food was good but it was so crowded.   3000 pax and now Celebrity is offering kids sail free. Whoa!   

It’s a totally different experience from Oceania.   Celebrity is more geared to entertainment and has some very fun venues but for me, I want to relax on my cruise not have to work my way through the crowds.  I don’t want to work that hard on my vacation.  I think Celebrity is perfect for a younger crowd.

 That class ship is so large that  unless you have a cabin by the elevators you’ll be doing some long hall walking.   

I do like they’re loyalty program which is much better than Oceania but now for me not worth feeling so crowded in.  

 

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8 hours ago, Nachosdelux said:

I agree with Edgee.

 

I also just got off the Riviera (first Oceania cruise) and am Elite + on Celebrity, and have been on 2 Seaborne.

 

The quality of food on the Riviera buffet was outstanding.  A dozen different salads every day, plus a salad bar.

 

At least 5 hot entrees, plus the made-to order grill for steaks, lobster, fish, etc., plus the pasta bar.

 

Also cheese, crackers, seafood, meats.

 

The fruit, baked goods, and ice cream were the best I have had on any cruise.

 

Celebrity does have more options, but the quality is not as high.  The one thing I miss from Celebrity is the Indian options at the buffet (offered daily)

 

I do agree with Seapoint in regards to the rest of their review.

 

The only 2 negative things on the Riviera were the band (awful) and Dottie the cruise director made too many announcements (she made 2-3 per day), reading the daily program.  

Strongly agree about number and length of announcements. I complained the first day of the cruise and received a v. mail response from Dottie, as I was out of my cabin when she called. She said that Corporate requires three announcements going over the program on sea days and two on port days. She said that she tries to keep them brief. If she is trying to keep them brief I would hate to be on a ship when she tries to keep them long! I believe it is disturbing to passengers and takes away from the luxury experience to listen to her (and, to lesser extent other Oceania cruise directors) drone on and on repeating information that we can read in Currents.

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On ‎3‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 2:55 PM, Seapoint said:

The biggest miss in the design of Riviera is the absence of a lively central hub. The Lobby on Silhouette rises several decks, and is surrounded by bars, lounges and restaurants. It is lively. Other modern ships, eg Viking, have a living central hub.

I HATE those huge lobbies. The worst was on a large NCL ship where the smoke from the casino and the sound were off the scale bad. What you consider "lively" to me is annoying or worse.  I love the design and layout of the Riviera and Marina. As stated, there are options for everyone but I am not really looking back after being on Oceania. Julia

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On 3/17/2019 at 8:39 AM, lais said:

I recently sailed the Reflection which is the same class ship as Silhouette and it turned me off from cruising for awhile.  

The service was excellent, the food was good but it was so crowded.   3000 pax and now Celebrity is offering kids sail free. Whoa!   

It’s a totally different experience from Oceania.   Celebrity is more geared to entertainment and has some very fun venues but for me, I want to relax on my cruise not have to work my way through the crowds.  I don’t want to work that hard on my vacation.  I think Celebrity is perfect for a younger crowd.

 That class ship is so large that  unless you have a cabin by the elevators you’ll be doing some long hall walking.   

I do like they’re loyalty program which is much better than Oceania but now for me not worth feeling so crowded in.  

 

Odd, I'm Elite on Celebrity and Platinum on Oceania and feel the Oceania Loyalty program is vastly superior to Celebrity. Free cruise at 20 on Oceania, 100 on Celebrity. 

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On 3/17/2019 at 5:11 PM, edgee said:

Strongly agree about number and length of announcements. I complained the first day of the cruise and received a v. mail response from Dottie, as I was out of my cabin when she called. She said that Corporate requires three announcements going over the program on sea days and two on port days. She said that she tries to keep them brief. If she is trying to keep them brief I would hate to be on a ship when she tries to keep them long! I believe it is disturbing to passengers and takes away from the luxury experience to listen to her (and, to lesser extent other Oceania cruise directors) drone on and on repeating information that we can read in Currents.

I was about to comment that perhaps it wasn't Dottie but corporate requirements because when we sailed with Dottie on Regatta way back in 2012 and we never noticed those frequent announcements.

 

I guess the question is why corporate thinks so many announcements (especially when they are repeating information readily available in Currents) are of value.

 

Mura

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We've discussed this before and it's been my experience that announcements have increased by all CD's on all cruises I've been on in the last couple of years. 

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2 minutes ago, Mura said:

I was about to comment that perhaps it wasn't Dottie but corporate requirements because when we sailed with Dottie on Regatta way back in 2012 and we never noticed those frequent announcements.

 

I guess the question is why corporate thinks so many announcements (especially when they are repeating information readily available in Currents) are of value.

 

Mura

I have cruised with Oceania cruise directors other than Dottie who make the required announcements as evidently required by corporate, but in a much more brief manner. Constant reminders of sales in the shops, availability of the ship shopping consultant, bottled water availability as you exit to go ashore, happy hour times...much more repetitive information than just the activity schedule by Dottie..10 days of this gets to be quite annoying.

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Perhaps she thinks she's keeping it brief when she isn't.  I agree that reminders of sales, availability of water and the like can get very old very quickly.

 

Dotties is one of our favorite CDs, and we generally don't give a hoot as to who the CD is on a cruise since we rarely use their services.

 

Mura

 

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this  has been a constant complaint  with Dottie  & not just  recently

we have never sailed with her  so cannot comment

some CD's  do seem to have  the morning announcement. noon, then bingo or other afternoon events  & one later  for the evening show

way too many IMO

Morning  & noon or any  important info  EG: why we have not left port well past sailing time  is more than enough yapping

If people cannot read the CURRENTS & know  when trivia  or bingo is held  then they deserve to miss it

JMO

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28 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

this  has been a constant complaint  with Dottie  & not just  recently

we have never sailed with her  so cannot comment

some CD's  do seem to have  the morning announcement. noon, then bingo or other afternoon events  & one later  for the evening show

way too many IMO

Morning  & noon or any  important info  EG: why we have not left port well past sailing time  is more than enough yapping

If people cannot read the CURRENTS & know  when trivia  or bingo is held  then they deserve to miss it

JMO

Best Oceania cruise director I have experienced was Julie James.  Marina in 2015.  I thanked her for minimizing announcements. She commented that "people are not stupid...they can read Currents." Apparently there has since been more clarification from Corporate if, as Dottie says, announcements repeating Currents info is now mandatory.

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2 minutes ago, edgee said:

Best Oceania cruise director I have experienced was Julie James.  Marina in 2015.  I thanked her for minimizing announcements. She commented that "people are not stupid...they can read Currents." Apparently there has since been more clarification from Corporate if, as Dottie says, announcements repeating Currents info is now mandatory.

yes  I like Julie  also

I sometimes tune out the announcements  ..will have to pay more attention to the frequency 😉

 

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3 hours ago, ORV said:

Odd, I'm Elite on Celebrity and Platinum on Oceania and feel the Oceania Loyalty program is vastly superior to Celebrity. Free cruise at 20 on Oceania, 100 on Celebrity. 

If that’s the case, you’d have 4 or 5 free cruises on Oceania before you’d get the first on Celebrity 🙂

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Julie is one of our favorite CD’s as well.

 

We were recently on Nautica and had a CD, John Ekin, who was new to us. His announcements were minimal and his favorite phrase was “read the Daily Current.”

He was good at running trivia, no nonsense and a lot of fun.

He also did a magic/comedy show one night which was quite good.

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On 3/17/2019 at 9:11 PM, edgee said:

Strongly agree about number and length of announcements. I complained the first day of the cruise and received a v. mail response from Dottie, as I was out of my cabin when she called. She said that Corporate requires three announcements going over the program on sea days and two on port days. She said that she tries to keep them brief. If she is trying to keep them brief I would hate to be on a ship when she tries to keep them long! I believe it is disturbing to passengers and takes away from the luxury experience to listen to her (and, to lesser extent other Oceania cruise directors) drone on and on repeating information that we can read in Currents.

I believe in getting rid of ALL cruise directors, then we can all enjoy some peace and quiet. 😎🧐😜

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On Silhouette I felt the meals and dining experience outside of the specialty restaurants to be mediocre. The central hub was noisy and congested. But the biggest negative factor was the massive numbers of humanity on board- made us feel claustrophobic and like cattle. Oceania ships are just right, quiet, elegant and comfortable. And the best eats on the sea.

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We also just got off of Riviera on Saturday, and I agree 100% on the comments about CD Dottie.  I don't remember anything she announced that wasn't in Currents, with the exception of the day we missed a port.  When we commented about excessive announcements on the mid-cruise comment sheet, we got a 5 minute voice mail from her basically defending them (she never said they were required by corporate) and then giving us the schedule of every venue on the ship. Huh? We also didn't care for they way she ran Trivia...

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