Silhouette at Sea

After an excellent night’s sleep, I woke up this morning around seven o’clock, and for a few seconds I wondered where we were.  Then I remembered – we were on the Celebrity Silhouette.  On a cruise!!  😊

We got up around 8.00am and, as ever, went out onto the balcony, where the Silhouette was gliding along on a fairly calm sea, only little wavelets breaking here and there.  The sky was cloudy but the temperature was mild. We decided to go to the Oceanview Café on Deck 14 for our breakfast, where I enjoyed an American breakfast washed down with orange juice and coffee, then immediately regretted eating too much when I left the table.  I mean, I make do with a bowl of Weetabix when I’m at home!  😊

We had a wander around the ship and watched the early-morning joggers and power-walkers circuiting determinedly around the track – I do wish I could be that disciplined.  One or two people were in the swimming pool, but the most striking thing about the sun loungers was that they were empty, only the odd one here or there having an occupant.  One of the many signs of cruising after Covid; others included everybody – absolutely everybody – walking around wearing masks, no table sharing, lots of space in the theatre and restaurant and quiz teams of no more than four.  I’m not going to say constant hand-sanitising, because that has always been a thing on cruise ships, at least for the last 20+ years.

The sun came out and, when sitting on the lee side of the ship, it was very warm and pleasant.  We sat on a couple of sun loungers looking out to sea, and watched a group of walkers doing the “8 laps = 1 mile” circuit around the deck, one bloke exclaiming “I’m sure we’ve already done eight and this one is a lap of honour!”  😊

We returned to cabin 7227 and Trevor happened to glance up just in time to see some tell-tale spouts emerging from the sea – whales!  Grabbing our binoculars, we rushed outside and spotted more spouts as well as a tantalising glimpse of black dorsal fin.  There was a pod of at least five whales out there.  😊

Several more spouts and dorsal fins later, one of them came to the top of the water, and we saw the whole length of its sleek grey body before it disappeared beneath the waves again.  It is always such a privilege to see whales, these giants of the deep, and it’s something we never tire of.

By this time it was about 10.15am, and we’d missed the start of the trivia quiz in the Sky Lounge.  We spotted our new team-mate James there and we went over to join him, agreeing to meet up again for one of the other quizzes later on.

You can have a wonderful time on a cruise ship not doing much at all; just lazing around, relaxing, eating and drinking (goes without saying!) or attending one of the many talks, gameshows, musical events or just socialising with your fellow cruise-loving passengers.  There is something for everyone on a cruise!  😊

We therefore spent a very pleasant morning pottering around the ship and exploring from top to bottom.  At about 12.30pm we went to the Oceanview again for our lunch, and I went to the salad bar where you could “Build Your Own Caesar Salad” which I did.  Crisp Romaine lettuce, a delicious Caesar sauce, bacon bits, chicken and lots of anchovies (which I love) and no croutons (which I just don’t see the point of).  It was very tasty.

The Oceanview on deck 14

Afterwards we went along to the shops where I had to buy the compulsory t-shirt with “Celebrity Silhouette” on it, as well as a fridge magnet for my aunt.  The shop also had a special offer on where you got a free Pandora-style charm bracelet if you bought the charm pack; I am a sucker for any freebies so I bought the pack of little charms, all of which had a seaside theme:  there was an anchor, a ship’s wheel, a starfish, a turtle and a pair of sunglasses.  After all, we’ve each been given $100 on board credit so, in effect, all these goodies were free!  😊

Our “Celebrity Today” daily programme informed us that there was a matinee performance at 2.30pm in the theatre, a tribute to the singer Adele.  When we went along, however, the theatre was closed and a member of the entertainments team told us that, as a couple of people in the production company were showing tentative symptoms of the dreaded Covid, they were not taking any chances and had cancelled the performance whilst the affected members had gone into isolation.  Oh dear – that’s not what we wanted to hear.  ☹

Later on, we met up with James in the Sky Lounge for the music trivia quiz.  All the singers were “crooners” so we didn’t do very well at all, as it isn’t really our taste in music or our era. So we scored an appalling 8/15.

The afternoon passed by in its usual pleasant way and soon it was time to start getting ready for dinner.  Celebrity cruise ships don’t do “formal” evenings as such; they do what is called “evening chic” where you can dress in full formal if you wish, or at the very least a little more elegant/smart than usual.  Tonight was the “Officers’ Soirée” where the captain and his officers mingle with the passengers and have a chat and it’s all very civilised.

I hadn’t brought any formal dresses with me this time, just a couple of maxi-dresses that I could dress up with accessories and fabulous shoes.  Tonight, I chose to wear a full length boho style floral dress that could be worn on or off the shoulder (in any case it kept falling off my shoulders) but when I saw how some of the other ladies were dressed (some had indeed gone the full formal route) I suddenly felt a bit frumpy.  My shoes, however, were what made the outfit – a pair of silver sparkly Irregular Choice shoes with big bows on the front that light up when you walk on a hard floor!  So my shoes certainly got a lot of attention; one of the staff members on duty at the entrance to the Grand Cuvée Restaurant got on the phone to call her colleague to come and have a look as well!  😊

Dinner was as delicious as ever, eaten from our table for two, with excellent service from our ever-smiling table waiter, bus boy and sommelier, who kept coming round and topping up our wine glasses. Afterwards we made our way to the Grand Foyer, my shoes twinkling and flashing with every step, and loads of people commenting on them.  If ever you want a good icebreaker at a party or some other event where you don’t know many people – buy a pair of IC shoes; it works every time!  😊

We chatted with several of the officers and with other passengers and everyone was lovely and friendly.  We perched on a bar stool in the foyer and had a couple of drinks while waiting until nine o’clock, when the show was due to start.

Then we went along to the theatre to watch tonight’s performance by a quartet of blokes who called themselves “The Barricade Boys”.  However, there were only three of them tonight, as I think one of them was having to self-isolate as a precaution.  When, oh when is this dreadful Covid-19 virus going to go away?  It’s been over 18 months now that we’ve had to live our lives under restrictions and I’m sure we’re all heartily sick of it now – it interferes with every aspect of our lives.  ☹

Nonetheless, the three remaining singers were excellent; they did lots of harmonies which included stuff by The Four Seasons, the Everley Brothers and that type of singing.  Lots of people stood up at the end.

Then we nipped next door to Quasar where we joined James for the trivia quiz which we didn’t win.  There were only about three teams taking part so we would have come third at least!  😊

I couldn’t help feeling quite sad seeing the Quasar lounge so empty and the sterile stainless steel of the closed bar.  When we were on the Celebrity Eclipse in 2019 the Quasar was a very popular meeting place and had a lot of lively atmosphere with its music, game shows and karaoke.  A boisterous crowd used to meet in there every night and we had lots of fun.  On this cruise on the Silhouette it’s just a shadow of its former self.  ☹

We finished the evening off by going along to the Sky Lounge to see the comedienne Jo Little again, as she was doing an “adults only” show at 10.30pm.  However, when we got there all the socially-distanced seats were taken, and the only free seats were behind pillars or otherwise had an obstructed view, so I decided to give it a miss and returned to stateroom 7227, while Trevor stood at the bar to watch the show.  An early night certainly wasn’t going to do me any harm, and I read my Kindle for a while before Trevor returned half an hour later.  Then we just settled down for another very comfortable night’s sleep, as the Celebrity Silhouette sailed on calmly into the night.

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