NO1 CRUISE REVIEW is the largest cruise review forum for 6.5m citizens of Ireland on what we experience and expect of cruise lines globally in this growing tourism sector. Our reviews of actual cruises as well as our updates on things happening in the cruise industry will be of major benefit to people who enjoy cruising and to first time cruisers who want information from people who know what they are talking about and are impartial in their views A VERY ‘SUITE’ EXPERIENCE Hi Magazine embarked on a 7 day Western Caribbean cruise with Celebrity Cruises on Celebrity Silhouette from Fort Lauderdale visiting Cozumel Mexico, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Labadee Haiti and Falmouth Jamaica staying in a Sky Suite, one of the new ‘Suite Class’ offerings from Celebrity. Whether you are a first time cruiser or a seasoned cruise traveller your onboard experience is of paramount importance. Of course no matter what accommodation you book Celebrity will look after your every need on board and will always bend over backwards to do anything to enhance your cruise experience. However there is a new experience in Celebrities offerings and this is ‘Suite Class’. Suites have always been an option on Celebrity and they have always given a larger stateroom, Butler service and a number of other perks that you would expect for the extra cost. However, the bar has been raised with the new ‘Suite Class’ offerings from Celebrity and Wow! Do they make a difference. In addition to the existing Suite benefits Celebrity now offer a dedicated upscale restaurant exclusively for Suite passengers called ‘Luminae’, a private and exclusive lounge called Michael’s Club and a dedicated Concierge to assist with any needs that you might have whilst on board and a dedicated European trained Butler to attend to your every need in your suite, including afternoon tea! Previously Hi Magazine had cruised with Celebrity in an Aquaclass stateroom, this offers access to the Spa as well as entry to the dedicated Blu restaurant for Aquaclass passengers only, having thoroughly enjoyed that cruise we were keen to see what difference ‘Suite Class’ would be. If you like a little extra in life then Celebrity ‘Suite Class’ is for you, from the moment you arrive at the port you know that it is going to be special, there is a dedicated check in for Suites only, so after the security check you go straight to check in with no wait and no queues. In the welcome pack that you receive with your on board key cards is information regarding the benefits that you will receive including a dedicated Concierge in Michael’s club who is there for Suite passengers and Celebrity Zenith members who are seasoned travellers with Celebrity and have earned that status through loyalty to Celebrity through numerous sailings. Our Concierge on Silhouette was Anca and she was delightful, so friendly and helpful and addressed us by name from the first meeting. Anca is based in Michael’s Club and you can call in at any time during the opening hours and enjoy a free drink or snack and ask Anca any questions you have about the cruise, it is a wonderful location with a great atmosphere and of course exclusive to Suite guests. Luminae is the new dedicated restaurant for Suite passengers, it is impeccably decorated in contemporary colours and furnishing with a very welcoming ‘vibe’ Celebrity describe Luminae in the following way: Luminae is a culinary experience of modern, eclectic cuisine and extraordinary service that will remind you (and your taste buds) that there’s no better way to vacation than as a Celebrity Cruises Suite Class guest. Luminae offers a deliciously exclusive dining experience like no other. From the moment you enter Luminae you know you are in for a treat, whether for breakfast, lunch (on sea days) or dinner, Luminae is your personal upscale fine dining location, on Silhouette the attentive staff looking after us were, Stephan, Jesus, Jeson, Paula, Roberto, Omm, Ivan, Blago, Magdayo and Gede, our Sommelier in Luminae was Ivan and his knowledge of wines was amazing and we drank a fine selection of red and white wines from around the world from his recommendations and were looked after by all the staff superbly. The Luminae staff are friendly and professional and really know how to look after their guests and you will feel really special during your time in Luminae. Luminae is open to Suite guests for lunch on the day of embarkation as well as breakfast every day, lunch on sea days and dinner every evening from 6pm. Once back in your suite, your every need is catered for by your European trained butler who is there to make sure that your suite is kept to an impeccable standard, the butler is on call 24/7 and you can contact him at all times through the stateroom telephone. Between the concierge in the Michael’s Club and your own dedicated butler any need you have can be addressed, whether booking spa treatments or speciality restaurants, they can do all of this as part of the Suite experience. The cruise itself was wonderful, Silhouette is a beautiful ship with plenty to offer for relaxation as well as entertainment, there are swimming pools, hot tubs and even a sauna in the changing area, numerous restaurants, bars and of course the Oceanview buffet restaurant with access to the outside open air area. Port calls were as expected and it was easy to get on and off the ship, of course there is preferential disembarkation and embarkation for Suite guests in all ports. We visited the private resort of Labadee in Haiti, this is an area owned by RCCL, Royal Caribbean, the parent company of Celebrity, it is a beautiful location with crystal blue seas and many exciting things to do, of course on Labadee is a private beach just for Suite Class passengers offering sun beds, a bar and a wonderful barbecue buffet lunch, we had not actually known about this perk until shortly before arriving in Haiti, but it was incredible and another real advantage of the Suite Class offering. Once back on the ship we were welcomed enthusiastically by all the crew and returned to our suite to prepare for another wonderful evening on Silhouette. The main purpose of this trip was to experience the new Suite Class and see whether it is worth paying the extra for the extra benefits, I can say that it is a wholehearted ‘yes’ Suite Class is a game changer in cruising and if you like the finer things in life that may cost a little more but are not over the top, then Suite Class on Celebrity is for you. I have already booked for June on Celebrity Constellation and yes, I have booked a suite!