Booked our trip in June 2011 for Nov 18th sailing. We paid 899 per person for a balcony, with insurance and taxes and pre paid the gratuity total cost for cruise was $2329. (received 100 ocb) We booked our own airfare with British Airways for 999 per person - with tax and insurance and pre selection of seating total came to $2335. We flew into Rome two days in advance. booked two nights with Best Western Springhouse at 108 euros per night, but paid 10 euros more once we got there - for a better room. Hotel is located near the entrance of the Vatican Museum. We booked our own transportation from FCO (rome airport) to hotel fixed cost of 45 euros - used same company to take us from hotel to ship and from ship to airport. (www.clickairporttransfer.com) paid 110 euros to go to port and 120 euros from port to FCO. We had a Mercedes sedan. Driver Pietro was on time at all three pickups. Very good driver and would use his services again. (euros at time was 1.33 to dollar)
did not purchase the drink packages - decided to wait until we were on board to see how things went. We ended up spending a grand total of $110.00 for 3 cokes ( out of the refrig in room) and one glass of wine each at dinner . The drink packages are not something we would ever purchase. the coffee and juices in the buffet were good - don't know why anyone complains about them.
We did go to the speciality restaurant Silk Harvest and Tuscan Grille - will not pre pay again will wait to purchase those until on the ship - I purchased them in advance and once on board they were discounting the price by 30%. Our cabin was 6302 - the last cabin on starboard side before you hit the back cabins. We had a nice balcony, good view, room was very well done, with lots of storage under the bed, nice closet and drawer space. I did not find the hair dryer until the last night - my fault I should have asked. We did the prepaid gratuity, but gave out additional tips on the last night. The only ship personnel that we had a problem with was the "customer relations" desk. They gave wrong information out about formal night and had attitudes that made you feel like we were imposing on their time.
Food in the Silhouette Restaurant was excellent. The Oceanview Cafe for breakfast was good, but the dinner items were iffy and not enough variety. The Mast Grill for hot dogs and hamburgers was very good.
We were very impressed with the checking in procedures and getting on and off the ship was easy. We brought on two bottles of wine to start the cruise. We booked two excursions with the ship. The day in Sicily - to Mt Etna and the day in Naples - Pompeii. We booked a tour with Ephesus Shuttle for $56.00 each it was us, a driver and a wonderful guide Gizem Aka. We were very pleased with this tour (www.ephesusshuttle.com) The other stops, we got off the ship and walked to everything. Less
Celebrity Equinox Cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean
Cabin 6302- no noise, no problems. We had a large balcony. No complaints with the room at all. Amazing how they can give you everything in such a small space - tv swivels, great hot water with the shower, very comfortable bed.
Reading info on the internet was misleading on this stop. We thought we could catch a taxi to Acropolis - but as we found out from others - not so easy. We got off the ship and asked a taxi guy what it would cost to take us to Acropolis - he was not interested and quoted us $140 euros to give us a four hour tour. We said no and decided to try to take the bus. Another taxi guy approached us and asked us where we wanted to go and we told him what the other guy had said and this guy said he would do four hours for $80 euros. We said okay and off we went. We got the Acropolis and spent one hour walking up and around. Our driver then took us to a souvenir place with "very good prices" and we bought stuff. We then went to the Hadrian's Arch, a drive through the old town and then to the Parliament Building where we watched the changing of the guard. (they knocked over a guy that was in their way - he never saw it coming). He then dropped us near the port so that we could go shopping. Except for the Acropolis we were not impressed.
this was a very confusing stop. We got off the ship and started walking - unaware that we were in Souda Bay not Chania - so we are looking at a map of Chania and not finding the streets - after two hours we returned to the ship - went to the city bus booth (which was not open when we left originally) and bought a ticket for Chania - 3 euros round trip each. The bus ride was 20 minutes and probably about 6- 8 miles. We never would have walked that. We walked around and decided to have an authentic Greek lunch - so we ate at a restaurant near the Kloutsouk Hassan Mosque - and watched all the tourists. We were not impressed with this stop
We had booked our own tour for just under the price of the ship excursions, but it was just the two of us, with a driver, and guide - Gizem Aka. She was waiting for us outside the port entrance with a sign and we headed out for Ephesus. We stopped at the final home of the Virgin Mary and then to Ephesus. This is worth seeing. This was a wonderful tour. We enjoyed this stop so much, that we want to go back to Turkey and see more. We paid $112 total (tipped $28) this is usa money - they don't take euros
We did not book the ship tour or any other. We got off the ship and walked to town (hiked up the mountain) - it is very steep. Once we got to the town, we looked for the different sites that the ship had on the places of interest. We went to the National Museum of Archaeology (very small) saw the St Johns Co-Cathedral and went to the Palace of Grand Masters - did some souvenir shopping. Spent about 3 hours walking around. Very clean and nice town
We chose to do the ship excursion and it was a good thing - it was nine hours. We got on the bus - drove to Sorrento, got on a small boat that cruised the Amalfi Coast - we spend one hour in Amalfi and then cruised back to Sorrento. We got back on the bus, drove to Pompeii. We had lunch (included in the tour) and then went into the ruins of Pompeii. We had a very good guide and it was a lot of walking on uneven stones. We left and got back to the ship in time to shower and make it to dinner - our finally night.
This was another stop that we did not book a tour. We got off the ship and walked around. We were not impressed with this place. We walked around "old town" bought some souvenirs and returned to the ship.
Ship docked in Messina - took a ship excursions - paid $89.75 each. Bus took us to Mt Etna spent too much free time there - they could have cut the time in half - then drove to Taormina and again had too much free time. The guide was very informative - did it once - will not do that again, but glad we did it. It was a very long day