Noise complaint on Celebrity Silhouette

By Romayne Hertweck
This item appears on page 27 of the February 2014 issue.

With our Adriatic cruise on the Celebrity Silhouette, May 20-June 3, 2013, sailing from Venice to Rome, with port calls in other cities in Italy as well as in Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro and Malta, my wife, Alma, and I completed our 64th cruise. The itinerary was great. 

However, during the first evening on board, we walked down to the atrium and found a live band playing at maximum amplification. The sound was so loud, it was almost at the pain threshold. 

It was impossible to hold a conversation in or around the atrium, and, since the shops are located on different decks around the atrium, it was difficult to even speak to a clerk. In addition, lounge, bar, Internet café and library areas were open to the atrium, which made their use difficult.

On cruise ships of Princess Cruises and Holland America Line, passengers can escape loud music by walking out the venue door, but there was no escape from the noise on the Silhouette unless we went outside, to the dining room or to our cabin.

I immediately brought this to the attention of staff members. I always got the same reply: “You are not alone in the way you feel. We hear this from passengers all the time. However, the decision was made at the corporate offices in Miami and there is nothing we can do.”

The ear-splitting music was played in the atrium every evening of the cruise.

Upon returning home, I sent a letter to the president of Celebrity Cruises. I received a reply from Diana Dolphin, Senior Executive Representative. It was filled with what I would term “nice nothings.” I wrote back, pointing out that she did not address the problem I broached of how loud music could damage one’s hearing. 

A few days later I received a phone call from Ms. Dolphin. We talked about 10 minutes, during which I pointed out the danger of being subjected to extremely loud music. She said she would turn the information over to a committee.

I then wrote to the cruise line’s legal department, pointing out that the company could be setting itself up for a class action lawsuit. I received another phone call from Ms. Dolphin, who said that it was company policy for the legal department not to communicate with anyone but lawyers, so she was talking with me instead.

I again discussed the dangers of extremely loud music, but I got the impression that the cruise line would not change its decision to keep playing loud music in the ship’s atrium.


Oceanside, CA

ITN sent copies of Mr. Hertweck’s letters to Celebrity Cruises (1050 Caribbean Way, Miami, FL 33132) but received no reply.