My venue for Spring Break this past month was the honorable Celebrity Silhouette — a cruise ship that sailed from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Key West, Mexico, and Grand Cayman. It was a joyous experience, filled with much sun, many old retirees, and — of course — much food.
This was not my first cruise (or second… or third…), and it was my second cruise specifically on the Celebrity line (the first being on the Celebrity Summit). As far as cruise lines go, Celebrity always seems to have the best overall food from my experience. The only rival would be Norwegian cruise lines, and that is because of their “free-style dining” options which allow people to attend various different restaurants on the ship as part of their inclusive experience. Nonetheless, the Main Dining Room on a cruise is always a huge hit-or-miss, and Celebrity’s always seems to be more of a hit.
Generally speaking, some of their dishes were beautiful and phenomenal, and others were presented terribly and were not impressive by any measure. That was also truly a hit-or-miss. Some dishes are so plainly and coldly presented that it literally makes you wonder what you’re doing there, but than a dish comes along that is genuinely wonderful, and so you let it slide until the cycle repeats. All in all, nonetheless, the food averages out to be quite solid and tasteful.
Their fish, which I only took on a couple of occasions, was quite decent. The very first day, I was genuinely impressed by their salmon. It actually seemed to be better quality than the salmon I’ve gotten at many real restaurants.
The pictures below feature a few of their appetizers throughout the week. The crab cake at the bottom, for example, was tasty, but its presentation was rather underwhelming. This also seemed to be the case with all of their soups.
Their main dishes for the most part was better in quality. I was truly surprised the first night when I ordered a Jerk Chicken dish, and they literally gave me half a chicken on my plate. Although many would appreciate such a large portion size, I was not expecting such a huge plate. However, the rest of the week was filled with the usual portion sizes that cruises offer — a portion size that is ‘just enough.’ I found myself gravitating towards their beef dishes, which were impressively tender and well made. In particular, I remember one dish called the Beef Tournedo that they featured, and it was definitely an excellent and memorable dish.
The quality of their menu appears to be improve throughout the week. Perhaps, it is the cruise’s way to retain families to continue attending the Main Dining Room for families begin to opt for the specialty dining options aboard the ship. It appears very important for the waiters, assistant waiters, and sommeliers to build a relationship with each table such that they can rely heavily on tips at the end of cruise. If the food becomes whack at the Main Dining Room, perhaps all these families will go to the specialty restaurants, and the waitstaff will collect less-than-satisfactory tips. Whether this is truly the nature of the beast is unknown to me, but it does appear to explain a lot of the dynamic aboard.
The desserts were very average. I don’t believe there was any one dessert that truly stood out to me. Perhaps it is because no desserts will ever surpass the greatness of the dessert quality at Moon Palace in Mexico, or perhaps it was because I was simply full after each of these meals. Presentation of dessert was also generally unimpressive, with some expcetions (such as the Baked Alaska, first picture below). Some dessert presentations were truly comical and cringeworthy (see below for brownie ft. ice cream, something I could’ve crafted for you in my Freshman college dorm).
Interestingly enough, one dish that actually did stick out to me throughout the week was their Norwegian Salmon Benedict. This was a wonderful start to my morning, and they made the dish very well. It always looked very appetizing, and I looked forward to it constantly. Perhaps I am naturally biased to like this dish since I truly love breakfast, especially eggs (and salmon), so I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my day.
All in all, I was quite pleased with the quality of food on the Celebrity Silhouette. I still probably prefer the dining options aboard the Norwegian cruises, since their freestyle dining allows for tremendous exploration throughout the ship. The food on Celebrity ships seems nonetheless better than other lines such as Royal Caribbean or Holland America, from my experience.