WHO WE ARE
Senior Vice President, Hotel
Celebrity Cruises, introduces
Celebrity Silhouette and describes
the Solsticizing of Celebrity Infinity
Richard H. Wagner
Focusing on Silhouette
Celebrity Silhouette was built in Germany and her official
naming ceremony took place in Hamburg in July 2011. Following
the ceremonies, the ship sailed to the Mediterranean where it did
a season of cruises. "The thing that we have found that is so
wonderful for our brand is how international our brand really is,
how much our international guests love what we do. It is a
terrific brand and product for the European market."
Still, Silhouette's arrival in the United States was cause for
holding another round of celebrations. "The fact that we are able
to show it off here in the States is terrific for us because the
United States is still [the home of] the majority of our guests.
About 65 percent come from the United States so we love to
show off our ships here."
"The experience when you walk the ship is you feel that you are
in a lovely fine European hotel. When you go through the ship
you will see the beautiful design and the elegance of it. Also, it is
very comforting, very welcoming. It is very inviting."
Silhouette is similar in design to her three sisters. However,
each of the four ships is somewhat different in décor. Moreover,
as it did with each of the three previous ships, Celebrity has
introduced a number of changes with Silhouette.
An example is the Lawn Club area. Each Solstice class ship has
a half acre area of real grass on its top deck. This area is used
for games such as bocce and croquet and gives the ships a country
club atmosphere. On the first three ships, the Lawn Club is an
open expanse save for a small outdoor theater where glass
blowing demonstrations are given. On Silhouette, the glass
blowing is gone but new features have been added.
"We added the Alcoves, which are not on the other ships. Those
are private spaces which you can rent for the day or the cruise.
We added the hammocks and the [giant] Adirondack chairs. We
added the Porch, which is a breakfast and lunch venue. We
added the Lawn Club Grill where you can grill your own steak,
make your own flat breads for dinner. It is attractive. The chefs
help you prepare your dinner."
Another change is the Michael's Club bar. A signature bar on
Celebrity ships, Michael's Club has been an upscale piano bar
with an elegant décor. While the décor remains much the same,
the bar has been expanded and now specializes in premium
varieties of beer.
The specialty dining area on Deck 5 contains the same line-up of
alternative restaurants as on Celebrity Eclipse, Silhouette's
immediate predecessor. "Murano is our signature restaurant on
Celebrity - - contemporary French cuisine. The Tuscan Grill - -
our Italian steak house, which has the most beautiful views that I
have ever seen in a specialty restaurant. Then we have Qsine,
which is the brain child of Jacques Van Staden, our Vice
President of Culinary Operations (see interview). It is very
whimsical in design. We were the first restaurant I believe, I
know at sea, that had its full menu and wine list on an Ipad. We
originally planned to put them on Ipods but the Ipad was coming
out at just about the same time as the restaurant and so we got
Also in this area is the Aqua class ding room, Blu. "Our guests
always tell us that the best thing about the Aqua class staterooms
is that they get to dine in Blu. That is their own private main
dining room for the cruise. The service is amazing the food is
even more amazing."
"In some things you read, Blu is linked to the spa but when you
go in it is really a first class restaurant. I'm going to tell you a
personal story about a friend of mine. My husband and I have
known him for well over 20 years. [He wanted to cruise] on
Solstice to Europe and he said what should I book? I said Aqua
class. He came back and he said that for four nights he wouldn't
go to Blu because he did not want to eat 'that kind of food'.
[Finally, after he tried Blu,] he says that he is not booking
anything other than Aqua class again."
"That restaurant is amazing. You can be as decadent as you
want in Blu, as healthy as you want in Blu. It is a fine, fine
restaurant. We need to be careful how we message it so that
people do not assume that because it is part of the Aqua class
experience that it is [typical spa cuisine]. The food is amazing. It
is as decadent as you want it to be."
The main dining room is the Grand Cuvee, which like the main
ding rooms on Silhouette's sisters, features a spectacular
two-deck-high wine tower. "We have the traditional two seatings
but we also have Celebrity Select. Anybody who doesn't want to
eat at 6:15 or 8:45 in the evening can sign up for Celebrity Select
dining and can come at any time. Sometimes the time that you
want you might have to alter by 15 minutes just to keep the guest
flow going appropriately. We don't like our guests to wait. We
want the experience to be wonderful."
For more informal dining, there is the Oceanview buffet
restaurant, the Aquaspa Café (light healthy fare), the Porch
(sandwiches and light fare), Café al Bachio (coffees and
pastries); the Gelateria (ice cream), and the Bistro on Five
(creperie) - - "our Chairman's favorite restaurant."
A cruise experience, of course, is not just about the various
physical spaces on the ship but also about what happens in those
spaces. Silhouette's theater is the largest entertainment venue on
the ship and it is used for production shows and circus-style
shows with aerialists and acrobats.
"Over the last six years, we have moved away from traditional
production companies that had historically done our
entertainment. We now work with a company out of the UK
called Kudos. We also work with a company out of Fort
Lauderdale called Poet. Poet does all of the shows for the
Solstice class. So they'll do the circus show and the aerial shows
and all the wonderful things that we have in those type of shows.
We do our own version of Broadway, which isn't quite
Broadway. We have charged it up quite a bit. Then we do a very
high energy show as well."
"As far as our other entertainment, it is very diverse. Each
venue has its own style of entertainment. We move our
entertainment around a lot. We do our own interactive theme
"There are brands like NCL [Norwegian Cruise Line] with the
Blue Man Group and all the different things that they are doing
and our sister brand Royal Caribbean with the Broadway shows,
we haven't gone that route. We really create our own type of
Along the same lines, "we have chartered our own course in the
way of activities and we haven't gone the way that our
competitors do. Our activities program is Celebrity Life (see
interview). We have really enhanced the things that we offer our
To illustrate, "a lot of cruise lines have their internet cafes, we
have iLab. We work with Apple. We have all of their products,
we have training. Our guests can learn about making movies,
photo books. That has been incredible for us."
"We have Oceans Ahead, where we teach our guests about how
we re-cycle onboard, how we navigate through the oceans, how
we re-create water. We also have a bridge simulation. I was
talking to the captain today [and he said] he showed up to do the
bridge simulation in the main theater and it was standing room
only. That is 1,400 people so our guests love it."
"We also have an art class in which guests can make things on
recycled material. So with soda cans, cereal boxes, beer cans,
they create works of art."
"We have real comparative wine tastings. We have the
Smithsonian bring in their lecturers."
Silhouette will spend the winter season cruising from Bayonne,
New Jersey (metropolitan New York) to the Caribbean before
returning to Europe in April.
Cruise ship interview - - Celebrity Cruises - - Lisa Lutoff-Perlo - - True To Who We Are - page 2
Above: The Lawn Club Grill is a new dining venue of debuting
Below: Celebrity has given Michael's Club a new focus.
Above; Giant Adirondeck chairs and hamocks have been added
to the Lawn Club.
Below: The Alcoves are private spaces on Silhouette's Lawn.
|Its all about ships
Above: The Aua class dining room, Blu.
Below: Grand Cuvee, the ship's main dining room.
Celebrity Silhouette (photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises)