We had bought our air through the cruise line before they started only doing choice air. They chose the airline and we were notified about 45 days out of our flights. It could not have been better. They chose the flights I would have chosen, non-stop from Atlanta to Rome leaving at 4:45pm and arriving in Rome at 8:30am the following day. All transfers were also included in the cost of air. We were met outside customs by a young lady and she guided us to pick up our luggage. She then called our driver and we were taken in a Mercedes to our hotel.
We had booked two nights though Celebrity at the Empire Palace. Very nice hotel with good size rooms and friendly staff. Celebrity had a desk in the hotel and told us what time to meet for our transfers to the ship. We were able to get in our room around 11:30am before heading out to explore Rome. Spent the day walking through Rome past the major sights and shopping to Piazza Navona. Had a nice dinner and gelato and took a cab back to our hotel. Needless to say we slept great. Day two we went to the Gallery Borghese. We had bought tickets online and had no problem picking them up. Amazing sculptures and frescoes on the walls and ceilings. Spent the rest of the day on the hop-on hop-off bus seeing more of the sights. Had dinner at a wonderful place just around the corner from our hotel.
We were taken to our bus around noon. We had to walk about two block because the bus could not get down the narrow streets to our hotel. Our luggage had already been picked up earlier and met us at the ship. After a quick nap we arrived at the port. Within 30 minutes we were on board. Went straight to the Bistro on Five and had a nice lunch without the crowds. Explored the ship. She was beautiful and clean as new.
We were in Aqua class and loved it. The food was great and the service fantastic. The filet mignon the first night was cooked perfect. Lobster an the second formal night was the best I've had an a cruise. Removed from the shell by our server and perfectly cooked. We ate in the Lawn Club Grill. Fantastic steal and kabobs with flatbread appetizers. Murano's was superb. Lobster cooked tableside. Qsine was great, but way too much food! Breakfast in Blu was as good as I had heard on Cruise Critic.
We just got off and walked around for a while. Nice place. Many places were closed because it was Sunday.
We took a private tour with some other CCers here. We went to Valdermossa, a beautiful town in the mountains, and took a scenic train ride. Also toured the port town of Palma. It was very affluent and clean. The Cathedral was huge and the main attraction there. Many beautiful homes in town.
Cruising through the Straights of Gilbralter:
Cruised past the rock and took many pictures. An unforgettable experience.
We had a rainy windy day here but still enjoyed our private tour around town and to the town of Sintra.
The first night we had rough seas and high winds. The ship was rocking pretty good but the rest of the trip was a lot smoother. It was windy and cool most of the way across but there was plenty to do. The casino treated us pretty good and I won the Transatlantic Poker Tournament. The entertainment was great, and there was so much to do we were never bored. The Martini bar was great, and the Wine Cellar card allowed us to try many new wines.
We were five hours late getting to Cape Liberty, so that caused dome problems getting off the boat. A little dis-organized, but it all worked out fine. Our flight was not until 2:15pm so we had no problems getting to the airport in plenty of time.