Dining Room - We had the early seating. We were seated at a table of 12 and were very pleased with our dining companions. They were great people and our conversations were interesting and lively. We considered ourselves very fortunate. Our sommelier, Birol, was friendly and very knowledgeable....and once he learned our preferences, was always able to recommend a perfect wine to accompany our meals. Our waiter and assistant waiter, Sunil and Mariana, were also excellent and friendly. Within a couple of days, they knew what types of things we preferred (eg. what type of tea) and brought it without having to ask our preference.
Accommodations - We had a lovely, quiet sky suite. It was perfect for sitting on the balcony and quietly reading. Our butler, Caetano, and the cabin crew were always smiling and welcoming and always made you feel at home after a long day of sight-seeing. The cabin was always in perfect order.
Speciality Dining - We tried Murano one night. The service was simply outstanding. I can't imagine how it could have been better.
Internet - As expected, Internet access is slow and often unavailable. We experienced this on our last cruise also. It can be very frustrating...however, the Internet (I.T.) staff were very helpful and tried to fix the problems we encountered to the extent they could. Don't expect rapid Internet access/speeds.
Shore Excursions - With such a huge ship, every time Equinox comes into port, it's going to be very busy with loads of people and loads of buses. If there are other ships in port as well, of course the crowds get even bigger. The places we went were very populated and attracts many tourists and pilgrims, so crowds should be expected. If you wind up in one of the last groups leaving, this can be a real problem as you will wait in line at the popular sites (eg. House of the Virgin Mary) for a very long time. However, it was all worth it. We had a great time. It was definitely the experience of a lifetime. It would be nice if Celebrity could work with other cruise lines and its local travel agents/vendors to try and co-ordinate things better so everyone isn't going to the same place at once....
All in all - a fantastic experience, a fantastic trip....kudos to Celebrity. Well done.
The Plaka was disappointing. It was a great place to have lunch. However, it mostly consists of touristy shops selling jewellery and kitsch. Should have allowed for more time to tour other sites.
The pyramids are awesome and majestic. We saw the light and sound show and it was very interesting to see the pyramids and sphinx all lite up at night. The next day we went to Saqqara and visited the Step pyramid and one of the mastabas. Then onto the Mosque of Mohamed Ali. Memphis was a bit disappointing because there are so few ruins. However, the fallen statute of Ramses (housed) is well worth seeing. Then onto Giza and the great pyramids and sphinx. Our tour guide was exceptional and explaining everything. The vendors were out in full force, but we followed our guide's advice to ignore them and not take anything they offered to us (just let it fall) and we were left alone. It worked. If you have the opportunity, this is definitely a trip worth taking.
First stop was the House of the Virgin Mary. Our tour was one of the last to leave the ship (we had to wait for a couple of people)so we had to wait in a huge line-up to get in.
Second stop was Ephesus. Walked along the ancient roads down to the Library of Celsius and then onto the theatre and the Harbour Road. Very impressive.
Third was the Museum which contained amazing artifacts many of which were removed from the ruins of Ephesus and stored in the museum.
Then onto the ruins of the Church of St John the Evangelist.
Totally wonderful experience. We want to visit Turkey again and see more sights.