Celebration - Greece and Turkey, fabulous ports of call
The issues: our parents cabin on deck 9 got flooded out on the 2nd night due to a thunderstorm, so we crammed 5 of us into our cabin for the night ( never thought I’d have to share with my future parents in law whilst on holiday) and although it was a problem at the time, Thomsons dealt with it admirably. They restored the cabin including laying a brand new carpet but as they wanted to ensure the roof was sound, they moved them to a crew cabin – exactly the same as a deluxe room. ( we had to laugh when Dad was saluted by a member of staff as he came out of his cabin!) The generators had a problem one day and an engine failed in Athens and we could not get to Izmir in time to give people lots of time to look around but we were the first cruise ship to ever dock at Cesme in Turkey and it was beautiful and the locals were thrilled to welcome us all. They even bussed the coaches from Izmir to ensure everyone’s trips continued.
The food was good, Elsa, Leo and Gilbert in the restaurant were excellent as was Nanette on the lido deck, knowing what we wanted before we chose it and decorated the table for our son’s birthday which was a fantastic surprise for him. Keith is the best cruise director we have ever had in 11 cruises – he was organised, funny, often cheesy but looked like he loved every moment of his job and he knew how to organise what was on. The only problem is the teens on board had nothing organised for them. There weren’t many on board but they were a little lost in what to do – well it was outside school holidays the first week. That said the older teens probably woudn’t take part in what was organised anyway.
Some of the ports were great, Santorini beautiful, Rhodes town a good place to walk round, Istanbul was interesting and the Blue Mosque good. The lake at Ag Nik was pretty and we had a couple of lovely lunches in some of these places for very reasonable prices. It was the first time we had gone all inclusive and found we didn’t drink anymore than we would have if we had been paying for each drink separately but it was lovely to see the smallest cruise bill we had ever had. Please do get off the ship and spend a few pound son the local food and drink, the locals need the custom and it’s great to try different cuisine and it does not need to be expensive. One of the best food we had was a kebab in the hand in Canakkale and it was all of £2.50. The meal in Cesme was fantastic.
The entertainments team in the show lounge did some really good shows with a 7 min can can and a great Cameron macintosh show with Les Mis and an evening of Rocky Horror and Little shop of horrors but some of them were a little painful. It was obvious someone had a bad throat but made her continue to sing – ouch. It was really weird to have such a mixture like this. All in all we did have a fantastic time, although it took us until day 4 before we felt like we were actually on holiday – then to top it our son caught his toe getting out of the pool so we got to see the ships hospital for the first time. Lucky us! Yes she has a vibration but deck 2 is next to the engine and she is 27 years old. Hence we book a high deck and pay the extra. What this ship has is atmosphere – the larger ships we have been on can never seem to match this.
We actually visited 12 ports in 14 nights (system won't let you put more than 6) The second week had no day at sea - this was a new one on us and it was great.We also embarked in Marmaris Turkey but again not on the list of choices. We had 3 cabins as we took 2 sets of parent - so also had cabin 009 and 111. Come on Cruise Critic update your site to handle the details.