Overall - we loved our cruise. We had a great time on the ship and in port. I got slightly bored on the at sea days because it was chilly sometimes and everyone was wrapped up in blankets at the pool. My husband and I are in our 30s and we don't have kids so we were looking for a cruise not crowded with kids that also had a lower average age.
Average age onboard - excellent. Hardly any kids and I would say the median was ~upper 50s which is pretty good for a cruise.
Embarkation - AWESOME. We were one of the first on board. No LINE! We arrived from the airport at the port at 11:15AM around the time they started checkin.
Concierge Class - we didn't think Concierge Class was worth it at all. We were almost first in line to checkin and get on the ship. We got on before everyone else so priority boarding wouldn't have helped. For disembarkation - I would have been happy to wait on the ship til everyone else got off. We did like the afternoon snacks (canapes) in our room but that was the ONLY perk of Concierge (besides the stateroom which we loved) that we liked.
Stateroom - Our state room was perfect - loved the balcony. Plenty of space for us and storage. Toiletries provided were not great and I wish I had brought my own.
Service - amazing service in restaurants, at the pool, at the bar and our cleaning staff. Guest relations and shore excursions staff left something to be desired.
Food & Bars - outstanding. Buffet did get crowded at times and we were rushed once or twice in Main dining room (celebrity select). We did a bar crawl every night. Specialty restaurants were all outstanding!
Beverage package - upgraded from classic to premium during check-in and it was worth it to us! we frequently got several cocktails drinks per day that were at least $13 and we only paid the difference. So an $18 glass of wine was only $5. (yes i had several of them)
Dining package - we purchased the 4-pack while on board and it was worth it. We basically got to eat at one specialty restaurant for free because of the package. Good thing is that if you go to dinner and then purchase the package later, they can include the previous dinner in the package.
Spa - way way way overpriced. I will not go again. I got a Gel manicure which usually costs $30 and it was $110. Massages were over $135 each not including tip. Could have saved us $500 total by skipping the spa.
Gym - adequate. We used it frequently. Wanted to do yoga but Classes were not free and you had to sign up in advanced. First day at sea I had a to wait a few minutes for a treadmill but otherwise it wasn't too crowded.
Casino, Activities & Shows - not of interest to us. Casino had high table minimums. Celebrity life activities were boring or not interesting. We did quite a bit of karaoke in the sky lounge but it only lasted about 1 hour per night which was sad. Wish there were more after dark activities or places where couples in there 30s and 40s could hangout after dark like a dance club which I have seen on other ships.
Port visits - Excellent. Ample time in port which I think is a key pro for Celebrity. Tendering was not an issue. Getting off the ship in time for our early AM excursions was never an issue. We never stood in line to get off. Destination guides handed out on ship were not detailed enough. No full area map or helpful tips on what to avoid. For example - would be nice to know that during peak times you can stand in line for > 30 minutes to take the cable car back down in Santorini and there really is no other way unless you want to walk in donkey poop.
Messina (Sicily) - We took the celebrity transfer to Taormina where they drop you off for 3 hours and you tour it on your own. It was overpriced but we liked walking around the pedestrian area of Taormina and had lunch.
Kusadasi (Ephesus) - private tour with Ephesus Shuttle from trip advisor.
Our guide was waiting for us on time when we disembarked at the port. Nil was extremely knowledgeable about all the history and the excavation of the sites and had majored in Tourism at a university in Turkey. She spoke pretty good English. We first visited the House of Mary and then Ephesus and the Terrace Houses. Then we went to the Basilica of St John and she walked with us to a nearby Mosque. Afterwards we had a wonderful lunch and then Nil accompanied us to the Bazaar because I really wanted to shop a bit.
The best thing about the tour is that we went at our own pace and Nil tailored the tour to what we were interested in.
Athens - Semi private tour with Yannis Taxi from trip advisor.
Our group of 14 mini-bused to the Acropolis from Piraeus port after being met promptly by our driver and our fluent english speaking guide, Eleni (Helen). One thing I loved about this is that my husband and I didn't know any of the other people on the tour. Yannis set up the whole thing which made it a lot cheaper than private.
Eleni guided us through the Acropolis and the Museum of the Acropolis with exemplary knowledge and detail. We had time on our own for shopping and lunch in the beautiful pedestrian area of Plaka. After lunch, we visited the Holocaust Memorial and Constitution square for the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier.
Eleni was EXTREMELY knowledgeable and I wonder if she is not actually a History major. She had extensive detail on everything!
Rhodes - on our own. Enjoyed walking around old town and taking pictures. Had wonderful lunch and then took a taxi to Faliarki beach. The beach was so-so.
Santorini - on our own. Took the Oia speed boat transfer (booked on Facebook SantoriniPlanet) to Oia to avoid cable-car and donkeys on the way up the mountain. Oia is beautiful and must see! Walked around Oia, took pictures, shopped and had lunch. Transfer includes bus ride back. Boarding buses was chaotic, crowded and people were cutting. We made it on the bus and then got stuck in a traffic jam for 45 minutes because the roadway back to Santorini is not big enough for 2 tour buses to pass each other at the same time. Back in Santorini walked around the beautiful small town, shopped and then stood in line for 30 minutes waiting on the cable car back to the dock around 2pm. When we got back down to the dock, storm was starting to blow in and we jumped on the first tender we saw and we are lucky we did. The shut down tendering after ours for 2.5 hours after due to gusting 70 mph winds. Cable car was also shutdown. Folks were required to be back on board by 5PM and that was extended because people were stuck at the pier. Tons of people had to walk down the long path way that is shared with the donkeys and many elderly or disabled people were injured on the way down. The ship waited for all crew and guests to make their way back onboard after the storm died down around 5PM.
Mykonos - planned a kayaking trip but it was cancelled due to the storm from the day before. We didn’t find out about the cancellation until after we were already wandering around our meeting point looking for everyone. Instead we took a ferry to Ancient Delos and got stuck there for 3 hours due to the schedule difference between the first trip out and the first trip back. 3 hours is way too long to spend on Delos and its as only semi interesting after spending days looking at ancient ruins in Rome, Athens, and Kusadasi. After we made it back to Mykonos we walked around the BEAUTIFUL small town and had lunch before tendering back to the ship.
Naples - Private tour with a group of folks I met on Cruise Critic. The driver/guide from Naples Tour Service, Salvatore, met us at 7:30AM and first drove us through the mountains on the way to Amalfi so we could see a different view. We go there early before it was too crowded. He stopped a few times along the way at scenic areas for us to take pictures. Once in Amalfi we had 1 hour of free time to walk around town center. Amalfi is small and has shops, cafes and the beach. After leaving Amalfi we drove to Positano along the picturesque coast and the road is not quite big enough for 2 busses to pass which can be stressful but our driver was great! Again we stopped along the way for pictures.
Positano is beautiful and posh. We had 1 hour of free time in Positano and walked to the beach and back. By that time, ~11AM, it was starting to get crowded.
Next we drove to lunch at La Tagliata which was wonderful! Family style dining. They brought out lots of veggies and antipasti, then we had a pasta course and then dessert. House wine flowed and they gave us Lemoncello with dessert. Amazing view and great value. Everything was 25 euro per person.
After lunch we drove to Pompeii and we had 1.75 hours free time. We were pretty tired by that point so we zipped through pompeii and made it back to the ship around 5pm in time for last aboard which was at 6:15PM. Sal was a wonderful guide. He gave us tons of information along the way and plenty of free time.
Next time I wish we had gone to the museum for pompeii in naples.