On the whole we enjoyed this cruise very much. The ports of call were amazing despite that fact that Alexandria had to be removed from the itinerary due to unrest in Egypt. This was unfortunate as we had planned to meet up with friends there.
Fortunately the weather was kind to us with only one heavy shower - being November we were expecting rough seas, cold and rain.
The Constellation itself could really do with a refit soon. The public areas had worn carpet and were beginning to look a little tatty. However the cabin was immaculate and always kept that way. It was unfortunate that a number of passengers went down with the Norovirus which meant that we were not able to have a buffet for breakfast or lunch and that some activities (such as the backstage tours) had to be cancelled and even the Library was closed for the whole trip. But the staff were scrupulous in keeping everything clean and sanitised. They were attempting to keep us healthy.
The major More
niggle was that room service tended to be lukewarm - even inedible one time - and that the service in the Marco Polo restaurant was incredibly slow. The waiting staff need better training.
One of the best parts of the cruise was the entertainment, especially the shows. Less
Celebrity Constellation Cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean
In Athens we took our first tour - to ancient Corinth and the canal. We chose to do this as we had been to Athens at least twice before each time getting a taxi to the station and a train into the city. It is small enough to wander around.
Both in Ashdod and Haifa we took the ships tours as we were not sure of the security situation in Israel. We had a tour to Jerusalem and Bethlehem one day and to Nazareth and Galilee the next. They were both brilliant and the highlight of our trip. In Ashdod we also took the ships shuttle into the town but were very disappointed as there was not much there.
We had been to Kusadasi and Ephesus on a previous cruise and so spent our time wandering around the old town and the small island located near the ship. For a first visit I would definitely recommend a trip to both Ephesus and the Virgin Mary's house.
Again we really enjoyed Malta and will go again. We did our own thing and spent most of the time in Valetta which is a short walk up from the pier. Do not get a taxi as they want 10 euros for the half mile journey. Once a the main city gate you can easily get a local bus to almost any destination in Malta often for less than one euro. Gozo is hard to get to in the time available but most other places are relatively near to Valetta.
The city of Valetta is very easy to navigate and so interesting. There is history on every corner and the EU is putting in a great deal of money to restore many of the buildings. It was also the cheapest port of call for drinks and snacks.
Rhodes is easily walked around on your own as it is within 'shouting' distance of the ship. In fact there are so many ancient sites that one visit is not sufficient. They have even discovered the remains of the old port which are currently being excavated. You can see these from the ships deck. You will need good walking shoes.
Again we did our own thing and spent all the time in Rhodes town - although if you have long enough you can get a local bus to Lindos. This would be a great deal cheaper than taking the ships tour.