Review We have only been able to write about 6 of our 8 ports, so I will include the last two below.
Just as the comments here on CC, the ship lived up to the hype. I can’t imagine planning a trip without CC.
Embarkation - Came in a day early from the states, and enjoyed our time before leaving in Rome. We spent most of the day visiting Rome then took Rome Cabs transfer to the port. We arrived very late almost 4:00 p.m. Smooth embarkation, we were checked in and in our rooms within 30 minutes of arriving at the port. Luggage was up in our rooms within 30 minutes of our arrival. One bag was delayed for some reason never reported. It has obviously been opened, but no mention of why was included when it was finally delivered. Nothing was missing however.
Room – We had a balcony. Room design was very good. Good storage. I still don’t see how 4 people could stay in one of these rooms however. We brought a power strip as suggested here on CC and it was a life saver. They give you a hairdryer in the drawer but we brought our own. Bathroom included large shower with great water pressure, typical drawers and amenities. Best design of any cruise bathroom we have seen.
TV command center. Great. You could watch movies on demand, TV shows, and order room service on the TV, see pictures that were taken when you got on and off the ship. I believe you could also use it as a computer as there was a keyboard, we chose to use the internet lounge, however. Balcony furniture was a step above what we have seen in the past. The chairs reclined as needed and the deck felt personal and private. I was not aware if someone could see into our balcony. We could see the balcony of the bump out rooms though.
Noise – In room 8205 (my son’s room) he had some trouble with techno music each night which affected his sleep. The cruise personnel were very responsive and even offered him a chance to sleep in another room for a few nights. We believe the sound came from the Quazar on Floor 5. Our room 8209 had the same noise, but we were able to fall asleep. There was more of a noise problem with the doors slamming (most likely because of the balcony).
Food – Originally wanted to cruise on Celebrity because I had heard the food was really good. I have to say I didn’t think it was special at all. We did not eat at any of the specialty restaurants, however. We had late seating 8:45 p.m. which suited us well. The only service issue we had the whole time was they had our 6 top table right next to the kitchen entrance which made for an ugly view, bumping of the staff into our chairs. The wait staff at that table was not very good either, they seemed new. Food was given to the wrong people and the timing of the courses was off. We complained and asked for a new location and the next day we had one. We really liked our new waiter, however, he and his assistant seemed to have too many tables. They were very attentive for the most part, but we did have to ask for the coffee service during dessert not after most nights. We enjoyed eating in the buffet every day for breakfast and were able to get in and out fairly quickly even on port days. I’m sure the food in the buffet was every bit as good as what we ate in the main dining room each evening.
Sky Bar We enjoyed this location every night for pre-dinner drinks. We loved the waiter, Bruce. The views up there are fabulous. Make sure to get up there if you can during the sunset. I think is a best kept secret and we usually had the run of the bar until dinner. Make sure to go up at least once. Entertainment – the Glass Show was impressive and very interesting each time we saw it (twice). Unfortunately, the entertainment during the cruise was mediocre. The dancers and singers were good just the shows were poorly written. They did a Circ de Sol type show that was very good however, and there was a comedian/magic show that was pretty good. Not as good as I expected. We never hit up any of the night clubs except one after a show one evening. It was very slow with hardly anyone there. We did enjoy the casino and it was so nice being able to sit and gamble without someone blowing smoke in your face. How refreshing. I wish all ships would go this route.
Ship – Beautifully designed and good floor plan, not too big or too small. We even were able to get chairs on sea days (though we did have to hunt). Elevators worked pretty well too. The internet connection, though expensive ($29 for 30 minutes), worked at a faster pace than we have ever seen before. One nice touch was when you returned from your port tours, the staff was outside with cold wash cloths and juice or cold water to drink. We always got a warm “welcome back” as well. Loved it.
Staff – our room steward and assistant were competent. Nothing special, no towel animals but we did have turn down each night as expected. We were pleased with response times. The few times we did room service it was punctual. Almost all of the staff was friendly and seemed happy.
Smoke Free - The ship was beautiful, clean, and best of all mostly smoke free (all ships should be). We had a Veranda (as did all of our group) and the views were magnificent. We were on the port side but I think in the Med either side is great. We could smell smoke in the evenings because I believe on the port side smokers are allowed to gather in the area around the pool deck.
Disembarkation – Again very easy. We chose to “walk off” with our luggage, but those that didn’t seemed to have an easy time finding their luggage. We were met by our Rome Cabs driver for a trip back to the airport. But that is another story.
I highly recommend Celebrity to anyone; this was a great itinerary, good company and a fabulous ship. What a combination!
Santorini Rated 5+ Best port ever. We got up early made it on one of the first tenders, took the funicular up to Fiera, then took the bus to Oia right away. Saw the Donkey Train going down. I wonder how anyone can go down the moutain on one of those.
We eventually found the bus station and had a bit of a wait for the bus but entertained ourselves. Fiera was OK, nothing to write home about, but Oia! OMG! The most beautiful place in the world. When you see pictures of Greece this is probably what you see. We got there so early we had the town to ourselves for a few hours. It is worth getting up early to get there ahead of the crowds and tours. We stopped for a morning coffee at a place with a wonderful view on the side of the cliff. (I guess they are all on a side of a cliff right?) Good service and enjoyed the view, then continued our walk up to the end of the town. On our way back down, we stopped in some shops, and then stopped for lunch at another beautiful place for lunch. The food was good, but I'm sure there were other places that would be more highly recommended.
We had to wait for the bus for a while when we were ready to leave around 1 p.m. The crowds and the tour groups were in Oia in force, we were glad to be leaving. I wonder if we would have loved this town as much if the crowds had been there when we were? Regardless, make sure to go if you ever get a chance, one of the best ports I have ever been in. The views from the ship, up the mountainside are so beautiful that you have to see it yourself in person.
Well we decided to cancel a private tour that would have taken us to Pompeii (were were tired of ruins), and to Postiano, Sorrento, then to Capri. We were told there was no way we could have done all this. However, in the end I believe we could have done it all if we had not done Pompeii.
The cost on the hydrofoil was 16 euros each way so not cheap. We did buy our return ticket at the time we brought the outgoing tickets. There was a bit of a line and it took about 20 minutes to get our hydrofoil tickets. When we arrived in Capri we wanted to see the Blue Grotto. We considered the boat trip to it (12 euros per person), but one of my daughters gets sea sick and we negotiated with a convertible cab driver 30 euros each way to drive us for the day. The cab was cute and held all six of us. He drove us up and over to the Blue Grotto. We waited on the side of the mountain and the boat guys eventually came over to get us. I don’t remember the cost however, it was worth it and quite a spectacle. Our driver told us that it would have been twice as busy if we were there later in the day. Enjoyed it though. Our driver took us to Anacapri where we shopped a bit and ate a nice lunch. He then drove us up to Capri Town which was pretty but the high end shops were so expensive we just got a drink and watched the people and enjoyed the views. Then we hydrofoiled back to the ship. In retrospect, I don’t know if I would do Capri again. Santorini was much more beautiful and had more to offer. I think we would have enjoyed the Amalfi Coast trip just as well. Maybe next time.