Although, I was a little concerned about spending a few days in Istanbul prior to the cruise. I was pleasantly surprised I never felt concerns for safety in this very magical and warm city just the opposite I traveled around like I was home. I didn't chose a hotel suggested by the cruise line, because I felt I could stay at a Hilton type hotel anywhere. I did some research online and found a hotel in the Sultanmet district great idea you are able to walk to many things as well as stay in local surrounding the hotel was perfect.
The cruise line was very well organized for getting on the ship, we encountered no wait or missteps. Our first cruise with Celebrity, and I found myself comparing this with Holland our normal choice. The comparision is hard to do since there were pro's and con's for each one. I find them both to be similar in most areas. We were over-all very pleased with the Constellation. Our location on the ship was very convenient, we were at midship and were able to get everywhere we wanted to be easily. This cruise you must have at the very least a good size window in your cabin. Many times during the night I found myself looking out to see villages on hill sides and small lighthouses that along with the beautful stars well wonderful. The crew was very helpful as well as those I reserved our cruise with, since it was our first trip on Celebrity I had to call several times with questions.
I enjoyed all the shore excursions we booked with the cruise line. We did a Turkish bath with one excursion, since when else would you do a Turkish bath other than in Turkey. My husband and I are both in our early 70's, and really enjoyed the experience. We did excursions through the ship at every port except Santorini. At Santorini I wanted to do the hike between Fira and Oia after reading about online, and we did I would advise anyone that enjoys beautiful scenery and challenge to do it. I loved every minute of the hike there would be no way to describe how wonderful the scenery was, and the feeling of accomplishment at the end of the hike. We rode the bus back from Oia, and still had time to walk around the shops in Santorini before having to get to the tenders and back to the ship. This cruise covers so much from history to scenery and it is more challenging as far as physical activity than most of our prior cruises, and to me that is what makes this such a wonderful itenerary.