Celebrity Constellation Cruise Review by Rastus366: Greek & Turkish Odyssey
Overall Member Rating
Greek & Turkish Odyssey
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
This was our first trip on Constellation since its Solstice upgrade. The improvements are very obvious and have made a very good traditional cruise ship much better.
Our trip to Istanbul was via Heathrow terminal 5 on British Airways. Excellent service before and during the flight was marred by the absolute chaos that is Ataturk airport. Previous visits to Turkey resulted in handing passport complete with new 10 note to immigration and hey presto you've arrived. This time everyone queued at immigration only to be told that visas were issued at another queue and then you had to return to the immigration queue. Once cleared, collect luggage, wait for the coach and then to the ship berthed alongside the quay in Istanbul.
Embarkation was fairly quick and once on board the usual key-cards with obligatory photograph was swiftly completed. Luggage was promptly delivered to the cabin within 30 minutes. Table reservations were checked and then off to view the changes to the More ship.
The old card room has been replaced with the Martini bar and the flower shop is now the Tuscan Grill. The hole in deck 5 that allowed people to view dancing on deck 4 has gone which has resulted in the Bistro on 5 and Cellar Masters to share the space and the whole of deck 4 to become a general bar, meeting place for after dinner light entertainment.
The itinerary was one sea day to start and finish and a different port on all other days. Generally the ship docked around 0700 and left around 1800hrs which left plenty of time for either organised shore excursions or individual visits.
Day visits in Turkey included Istanbul. Bodrum, Kusadasi and Marmaris while Rhodes, Santorini, Athens and Souda in Crete provided the Greek ports of call.
Our dinner placement was on a table of eight. The company was excellent with lively discussion on most nights about places of interest and sights seen. Being all Elite members of the Celebrity Captains club gave access to Michael's club most evenings where old acquaintances were renewed and new friends were made.
Food was very good both in the main dining room and the buffet on deck 10.
Ok it can be crowded at peak times but overall the standard of both the venues and the food served was exceptional.
Entertainment was varied and although most shows had been seen previously the changes in cast members added additional enjoyment.
Overall the staff were superb. The crew went to extreme lengths to accommodate requests and it appeared that nothing was too much trouble. The senior officers were approachable, hospitable and very attentive to all passengers needs.
Overall we consider this cruise to have probably been one of the best we have experienced and it is our intention to travel again on this superb ship in the very near future. Less
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Port and Shore Excursions
The visit to Athens was on a Sunday. Generally quite traffic but the piles of rubbish tending to make the place look very run down.
Went on an organised trip to the Acropolis. We arrived on the second coach on site but by the time we left there were probably 30 coaches of people from many different countries all trying to fight up a very narrow path that also serves as the descent path. Not to be recommended to those who don't like heights or have a fear of crowds. Overall interesting but probably over-rated when compared to Eygpt and Petra.
Nothing organised today; just left the ship late morning wandered around the town absorbing the local colour.
Back on board by early afternoon for a late lunch and afternoon relaxing in the sun.
Very interesting historic area. Our organised tour guide was exceptional; not only showing places of interest but also giving an insight into the reasoning behind events. The Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Spice Market were all visited during a 5 hour tour.
Up early to visit the ruins of Ephesus. Coach trip took about 40 minutes and then we walked from the top of the old town down through the ruins to the lower car park. Various parts of the ruins have been completely excavated but our guide indicated that it will take another 30 years to complete all excavations.
There are local actors giving a short outdoor show every 15 minutes to show the typical sights and sounds of the period. Very interesting and informative.
The trip back to Constellation took in the obligatory carpet shop which turned out to be very instructive and completely without any pressure to make a purchase.
Later we wandered the town to take in the local impressions. Very enjoyable visit.
Pretty island so decided to walk into town. Took about 30 minutes to reach a very pretty town of whitewashed houses, cafes and bars. Only been in town about 20 minutes and the heavens opened. Sheltered in a cafe but then braved the rain to return to the ship. Arrived at the ship like drowned rat but still enjoyed the experience.
Very pleasant morning walking the old town looking into shops and other places of interest. Left the old town for the new town, typical shops and department stores and crazy traffic. Did not appreciate the traffic problems so went back to spend further quality time in the old town.
Very good place to visit.
Picturesque on top of the cliffs. Tendered to shore and ascended using the cable car. Old town is quaint with selection of jewellery and craft shops.
Decided to walk down to quay by the steps used by the donkeys and mules.
The walk was good but one has to be aware that some animals are suicidal and others just plain antagonistic. We spent 25 minutes either jumping out of the way of the ascending mules or avoiding their droppings. Definitely one way of clearing the sinuses but only if you have a fairly strong stomach
Overall a very pretty place to visit.
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