We sailed on the 19th Jan 2012. After a quick transfer from the airport we were greeted by staff in a hut to check in and have photo's taken for ship id. There was a short walk to the actual ship (10mins max). We were greeted on board and proceeded to our cabin which was given to us on arrival at check in at the UK airport. We were shown to our cabin which was number 201 on the 6th deck right at the front of the boat. The cabin was large, 2 single beds 2 day seats and a full bathroom with bath. It had 2 full length wardrobes with plenty of hangers and 2 bath robes. A tv which showed sky news and sports, cruise dvd which is available to buy, itinerary show on a loop, a 2 movie channels and radio channels. (the movies changed daily) The cabin was very clean and the bathroom was also clean, slight wonky tiles and very small mouldy bit which had tried to be removed with cleaning but still showed. Toiletries provided and plenty of towels. The Celebration is 100% better than the Island Escape. The ship itself was lovely. The staff very friendly and the shows excellent. Food: Lido restaurant was buffet service with plenty to choose from. Breakfasts was great everything you want and more, lunch great and dinners and late night snacks were fine too. On the lido deck, breakfast was also available as well as pizza and the best burgers I have had in a long time were available throughout the afternoon. Plenty of tea and coffee stations too. Plenty of choice of drinks apart from lager which is currently Heineken (sp) and 1 bitter john smiths, but the spirit selection is like a normal pub. Bottled water is not included on the AI basis but if bought after 10am you get it at Â£1.40.
The ports of call on this cruise are pretty poor. You have to use there excursions for piece of mind. We did go alone to Aqaba into the town and felt ok there. Nothing to do but shop though!
We did the Petra trip which was fine, didn't meet expectations though...didn't know what to expect, but didn't have enough free time to explore when the tour in Petra finished. Be wary if your not active walker as can be very hard going. The walk back to the town after Petra can be difficult and long. But we were glad we did it.
Port Sokhna for Cairo: We did the mohammed ali mosque, lunch on the nile and the pyramids. Again a long coach journey (2.5 hours) Mosque was rather uninteresting, nile lunch food fine and belly dancer and local music played. trip on Nile only an hour or so which included your eating time. View from Nile is not pretty. Pyramids I hated because of the constant hassle. We did venture in a pyramid for extra 22euros......don't bother all walls are stone, nothing else. Be warned the entrance down to the tomb was very hard I am 35 and struggled. (my legs still ache now because of the position you have to take to get down) so I personally wouldn't bother. coach continues to Petra which was better. Then onto 2 shops which was just tat in my opinion. was glad to get back to the ship. Also the roads in Cairo are scary and dangerous, close your curtains on the coach!
We cancelled our last trip to the valley of the kings as it was a 15 day trip, we were sick of the coach journeys. So did a submarine trip in Hurghada instead....again time wasted been driven to the town and tatty shops.
If the trips were not so long, it may have made the day trips more bearable and fun. However, I must say the guides and the armed personnel are great.
Now back to the ship, the celebration is a great family friendly boat, we met some great people on board and have surely made friends for life. The entertainment was excellent, singing great and the comedian Bernie Flint was very funny and he didn't swear once! (he was on opportunity knocks for 15 weeks!) The cruise director was a great guy very chatty and fun to drink with!
A great time to be had on the Celebration, I would recommend this ship....but not this cruise stops.