Really enjoyed our cruise on Celebrity Reflection. We arrived in Rome 3 days before the cruise, which ended up being the perfect amount of time to explore the city. Day 1, explored the city on foot and saw many of the piazzas and fountains. Day 2, went to the colosseum and the forum, and took the Colosseum's underground tour. Important note: The meeting place for the underground tour is different than the regular tour, we eneded up missing our tour because the ticket people told us to go to the wrong place. You have to go all the way to the end of the hall, by the elevators. Day 3, took the green line hop on/hop off bus tour, which ended up being a good way to get around.
We took the train to the port, watch out for scammers. We had a lady latch on to us, take the tickets out of our hands to lead us to our seats, and rip our luggage out of our hands to put it away for us to try and get money. The train ride was easy, took about 50 minutes on the express train. If you buy More
first class seats there's room overhead for your luggage. But the best part of the trip for me, was how easy embarkation was. There was a free bus to take you from the front of the port to the ship, and from there we were basically able to walk through security, up to the check in desk, and onto the ship. Whole process was easily less than half an hour, absolutely no waiting (we were there at about 11). They did hold our passports though.
As far as the cruise itself. The buffet was ok, it's buffet food. Same stuff for breakfast everday and the eggs weren't great. Dinner and lunch also appeared to mostly be the same. There was an afternoon tea everyday with mini sandwiches and some scones. The sandwiches were weird combinations, roast beef with hard boiled egg, one day they had turkey with cheese but there was a piece of white bread in the middle too. We didn't do any of the specialty restaurants cause, for me personally, $35-$45 pp on top of the fact that the MDR is free is too much. The MDR was ok, the soups and salads were great, some of the entrees were good. Nothing we had was outright bad, just not the type of food I really enjoy eating. I'm happier with hamburgers and pasta than lamb and duck. We had select dining, which worked well for us because we like to eat early, so we were there most days at 10 till 6 and the matre'd noticed and always sat us first. But if you prefer eating at 7 or later, select may not be the way to go. They take reservations, but don't require them, so there are two lines that that matre'd has to balance. And she said she had people the whole trip that went in the reservation line without reservations. It's just not a great system, and resulted in everyone waiting for a table. We talked to a couple that tried to make reservations for 7 every night and had a 20 minute plus wait every night.
The entertainment was also just ok. There were actually quite a few younger people on this cruise (20's to 30's), and some of the entertainment was really old fashioned. There was one night when there was a solo female vocalist that sang very old songs and opera, and one night there was a male vocalist who sang classical music. And there was a string quartet that played classical music on electric violins, and then the farewell show just combined them all into one show. So there were 4 nights out of 10 where I didn't enjoy the shows. The others were good. There was a mentalist one night, a comedic juggler, and 3 production shows, the last one was amazing with acrobats and a contortionist. We went to one of the comedy shows. It was weird. The comedian was good, but they alternated the comedians with a burlesque dancer (read stripper, cause that's basically all she did), so that was awkward since I was traveling with my stepmother.
We took 3 ship tours on this trip and did the other 4 ports on our own.
In Sicily we took a ship tour that went to Mt. Etna and Taormina. Really enjoyed the tour, and with the distance we had to travle for Mt. Etna, I don't think we could have done it any cheaper on our own.
In Athens we took a full day ship tour that included a guided tour of the acropolis and free time near the plaka. (touristy restaurant and shopping area). We enjoyed this tour also, you may be able to make more use of your time here doing it on your own, but we weren't sure how else to get around.
In Ephesus, we took a full day ship tour that included a tour of ephesus and the terrace houses. Definately worth doing a tour here. The admission to get your into ephesus does not include the terrace houses, which are inside the site. That requires a special ticket which they sell a limited number of, and as far as we could tell, only tour groups were able to get them on the day we went. Terrace houses are definately cool and worth seeing.
In Rhodes we just walked around old Rhodes, but that took all day for us. It's a big area. Good stop for sourvenir shopping.
In Santorini we planned on taking the speed boat to Oia and the bus back to Fira, through NST. Did not work out well. The seas were rough on the day we were there. We got off the tender at about 8:30 and asked the NST people when the next boat would leave. They said 15 minutes, so we bought tickets. at 8:45, one of the big tender boats docked in front of us, they said that due to the rought seas, this was the only boat big enough to dock at Oia, so we would have to wait another 20 minutes so they could get more people on it. I think it was about 9:45, before we actually left. We went to Oia, and tried docking twice before they decided that the seas were too bad to dock at all there. Shouldn't have been too hard to tell, the waves were coming up and crashing down on the dock. So, they took us to a different port to dock at that was even further from Oia than the original tender dock. By the time they bussed us to Oia it was 11:30 and the last bus back to Fira was still at 2. So, big thumbs down for NST.
In Mykonos, we took the ferry to Delos on our own. This was a good experience, there were very few tourists on the island and we were basically able to tour it without seeing anyone else most of the day, really cool compared to all the other sites were you were tripping over tourists the whole day. We took the ferry over at 10, and the return ferry at 1, which was enough time for us.
In Naples, we took the ferry to Capri on our own. Island was so beautiful, this was definately worth doing. We caught an 8:30 ferry, and the ride is about 50 minutes. We took the cable car to capri because we couldn't find the bus stop (It's past where you buy the cable car tickets). We walked went to the Gardens and via krupp, it's very easy to find your way around, there are big maps posted everywhere. We walked back into the main square and took the bus to anacapri. The buses are small, but they come fairly often. We had lunch there and then took the chairlift to the top of the mountain. Great views. We had directions to walk down a certain road to find another panoramic viewpoint, but after 45 minutes of walking we never got there, so we just headed back and took the bus back to the dock.
Overall it was a good cruise and I would cruise with celebrity again. Less