1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Mediterranean Cruises
  4. Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

445 Athens (Piraeus) to Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

One must accept the premise that this is a smaller ship. Everything is scaled down. But it has some incredible offerings that other lines don't have. First, what might disappoint some: The buffet is small. It is not sumtuous. ... Read More
One must accept the premise that this is a smaller ship. Everything is scaled down. But it has some incredible offerings that other lines don't have. First, what might disappoint some: The buffet is small. It is not sumtuous. It is just adequate. There are supplements on the deck with omlette stations, BBQ etc. But this cruise line is not all about the food. The restaurants have a menu selection like other cruise lines. The restaurant food is above-average for what you might find in a standard port-side restaurant. But what is Great: Destinations, including shore excursions: We were off the ship every day. One day included two islands. Don't cruise with this line if your idea of cruising is at-sea days. The onboard offerings are scant during port time. The included excursions have great guides. Tours were available in various languages. (An unexpected highlight of the cruise was an excursion to the hanging monasteries near Volos. It was a last-minute decision that was worth the expense.) Entertainment: The ship has a Cuban-based cirque-style troupe that is outstanding. The nightly shows are not to be missed. They have energy, voices, acrobatics, and just wonderful performances. I compare this to my last Carnival cruse which generally consisted of dancers lip-syncing tunes. The Crystal's performers are so much better. Its a small ship, it was off-season, there were reportedly about 700 passengers, so getting on and off was a breeze, including at every port. The cruise director: Danni speaks 8 languages, and he used all of them in his daily introductions and thank yous. Finally, the ship may be older, but it is well-cared-for. It is not threadbare. I'd recommend this ship for active people who want to get off the ship and see as much as possible! I will also say that "gratuities are included." But consider that in Greece, tipping is not really a thing. The servers are not overpaid. We did tip (in Euros) and I believe it was apprciated. Please consider tipping the staff that serves you well. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I chose this cruise because it covered 2 of my bucket list goals--the coasts of Italy and Greece and visiting the Holy Land.We stayed 2 nights in Athens prior to the cruise. The Viking people at the hotel were very helpful in helping us ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it covered 2 of my bucket list goals--the coasts of Italy and Greece and visiting the Holy Land.We stayed 2 nights in Athens prior to the cruise. The Viking people at the hotel were very helpful in helping us with some concerns. The Hilton hotel was beautiful. I do wish we had taken the post cruise extension in Rome! I can't say enough wonderful things about the cruise!!! The ship was absolutely beautiful. The food was delicious. The workers were very helpful and cheerful. The entertainment was great. Loved the thermal spa and the snow grotto. The room (419) was very comfortable. Everything was very clean throughout the ship. The excursions were great. I felt safe everywhere we went. I especially loved the concept of "Adults Only." And yes, embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. Loved the whole time and would return tomorrow if I could!!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our first Viking ocean cruise and it was a wonderful experience. The ship is beautiful, staff is great, food and wine were very very good. Shore excursions were very informative and we had great guides for almost every one of ... Read More
This was our first Viking ocean cruise and it was a wonderful experience. The ship is beautiful, staff is great, food and wine were very very good. Shore excursions were very informative and we had great guides for almost every one of their trips. The ship was very comfortable and having a king size bed and a full-size shower with a heated bathroom floor really made it special. Walking around the ship it is very quiet and uncontested. Thoroughly enjoyed the spa with the snow room. Went there three times during our trip. This was a wonderful experience and we will book future Viking ocean cruises. The staff to passenger ratio was excellent. Our room stewards kept the room very tidy and whenever we had a question about anything a staff person responded promptly. Very nice touch was having one of the senior staff see us off on our shore excursions and sometimes being there to meet us as we return. The heated towels upon your return from a short excursion was such a nice touch as well. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise based on the itinerary, the size of the ship, and the recommendations of friends. We were not disappointed and found that every element exceeded our expectations and left other cruise lines in the dust. The service was ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on the itinerary, the size of the ship, and the recommendations of friends. We were not disappointed and found that every element exceeded our expectations and left other cruise lines in the dust. The service was superior, the food in all venues was excellent, and the design and décor of the ship itself were exceptional. Our stateroom was immaculate, well-appointed, and spacious, with more than ample storage room for our belongings and luggage. Even the process of embarking and disembarking was handled with a great sense of organization that made those activities as stress-free as possible. Every single staff member was committed to the highest level of cordiality and service, from the cleaning staff to the servers in the restaurants to the officers. They made you feel like their only mission was to provide satisfaction for every passenger. It was like heaven on earth. I know we will book more cruises on Viking as a result. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
First, we chose this cruise because we wanted to visit ports in the Mediterranean and felt we would do better on a tour than alone. Let me add that our MO was to arrange our own travels through other EU countries but Greece and Israel was ... Read More
First, we chose this cruise because we wanted to visit ports in the Mediterranean and felt we would do better on a tour than alone. Let me add that our MO was to arrange our own travels through other EU countries but Greece and Israel was a little different because of language and cultural differences. We heard a lot of firsthand complimentary reviews about Viking from friends so choosing Viking and the Antiquities cruise really didn't take a lot of consideration. When our friends (who were Viking alumni) presented us with the opportunity, we were quick in our response to join them. Lets start with the ship: the Viking Star was lovely. We loved our cabin and all of the amenities that came with Deluxe Veranda status. Loved the free all-ship internet, heated bathroom floors, down comforter, over-sized bath towels and comfy robes. The room service was beyond reproach; starting with the on-time morning delivery of our breakfast to the evening turn-down while we were at dinner. We couldn't have asked for nicer accommodations or better service! As far as the dining experience, I wouldn't give it an "A" but I would give it a solid "B" as far as quality, taste and selection. For the most part, we ate breakfast in our room; lunch in the World Cafe and dinner in The Restaurant (or Manfredi's or Chef's Table). Breakfast was OK (bacon was always crispy as ordered). Lunch choices were fresh (though the salad bar was somewhat lacking in "diversity" and locale). The dinner menu was nothing special and somewhat predictable. Loved Manfredi's but not Chef's Table. What I can tell you is that the service at all food venues was fabulous! Servers were very attentive and friendly and quick with drink service. Bottom line, food could improve. (BTW, The Restaurant hostess, Ann, was fabulous! She began to expect us every evening at 8:15 and had a lovely window table waiting for us.) Nightly, we did enjoy cocktails before and after dinner. Pricing was fair/reasonable, drinks were generous and, again, service was always excellent. As far as the ports and shore excursions, I have a few mixed feelings. First of all, all of the guides/docents were amazing (except for one in Mykonos; can't remember her name but she was awful!); they were smart (in some cases, brilliant), approachable and excellent storytellers. My biggest complaint about the tours is that we didn't know what to expect re the time on the bus; we would have appreciated a heads up re the time it took to get from one place to another. Also, the 12-hour tour days, demanded more than just a bottle of water and lunch. If possible, I would suggest a glass of wine and some nuts/fruit for trips that go beyond 5pm. I would also suggest a little less aggressive agenda for the time in Israel; the preference would have been two days in Jerusalem and two days in Haifa. Finally, with regard to the extension tour in Athens, WOW! Our tour guide, Barbara, was fabulous! We spent three days in her company and her guiding was excellent! We also have nothing but good things to say about our hotel (in Athens). The room, food and location was five-star! We did have some "issues" with our air travel. We chose to upgrade to First Class and the people who we were routed to for reservation assistance were not always the most helpful. In closing, would we go again? YES! We are giving serious consideration to the Americas/Caribbean cruise next Dec. There was also mention of a Mississippi River cruise that interested us. Finally, if you could make Cuba happen for US residents, we would sign up in a heartbeat. Thank you for the memories! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
In the past 3 years we have sailed with Silversea 4 times, with Regent 3, with Oceania 1 and with Seabourn 2 times. We had heard excellent comments about Crystal when their Mediterranean cruise caught our attention. We booked a penthouse ... Read More
In the past 3 years we have sailed with Silversea 4 times, with Regent 3, with Oceania 1 and with Seabourn 2 times. We had heard excellent comments about Crystal when their Mediterranean cruise caught our attention. We booked a penthouse suite and it was an overwhelming experience. After the other cruise lines we had become familiar with our expectations of Crystal were high, but the Crystal exceeded our expectations by far. For us no other cruise line comes even close. They are simply the best! If you really want to spoil yourself to a cruise of a lifetime, book a penthouse suite on Crystal. Before we left on this cruise we had already booked a cruise with Seabourn in January, but now that we have experienced Crystals Serenity, we are no longer excited to cruise with any other cruise line. Crystal is a whole new experience. Embarking with the penthouse suite ticket is like flying first class, within minutes your are on board, you are accompanied to your suite. All is ready and our luggage was delivered before we had a chance to admire the tastefully designed suite in delightful light colors, wow! We choose to have our lunch not in the main restaurant Waterside but in the Marketplace where a sumptuous buffet awaited us. This was the way to travel. Announcements over the public address system were practically non existent. We always were annoyed by the frequent PA announcements on other lines, too often in a phoney British accent. Soliciting for future cruises was prohibited, if you are interested in future cruises you were of course welcome to so on beard. This all added to a totally relaxed and comfortable and unique cruise experience. The food was divine, there were options for everybody, even for health food nuts like us. Personally we are vegetarians but do eat fish. There was always something new and delicious on the menu. Starting with the amazing breakfast buffet at the Marketplace. The fresh fruit selections, especially mangoes, papaya, pine apple and strawberries were of the highest quality and always perfectly ripe. What a better way to start a day. The lunch buffet at the Marketplace was always a special treat, unfortunately we were mostly on an excursion at lunch time and too often missed the feast. We always had the choice of freshly steamed rice and vegetables. If you prefer the buttered kind, of course that was offered too. After our first nights dinner in the Waterside restaurant, where we were spoilt by the best waiters Raj and Ewa we knew that was going to be our dinner table for the entire cruise. There was absolutely no reason to try a different table we were so much at home. Soon we started talking that this was the only ship so far, where we could imagine to sail into the perpetual sunset. Seriously, instead of moving into an old folks home, why not spending the last years aboard Serenity. We are still talking about it, maybe one of these days. This was the only ship we have ever felt we could sail on forever. Our Med. Cruise had so many interesting landfalls that we couldn't really appreciate all the amenities. One of the great pluses on the Serenity are the possibilities to move and walk a around freely. On deck 7 there is a wide teak deck all around the ship offering the best walking in addition to the possibility to walk on the top deck. There was an internet lounge with iMacs and a differnt lectures could be followed about working with apple computers. Of course internet was free and of a good quality considering the fact that we were on a moving vessel with a satellite link. The entertainment on board was first rate, we missed most of the shows as we were very busy during the days and went to bed early. But our fellow cruisers were enthusiastic about the shows. Often I had watched other people soon falling asleep during lectures, not on board Serenity. The lecturers captured their audience and even you could watch the lectures on live TV in the privacy of your suite, most guests went to the lectures including ourselves to enjoy the lecturers. Ken Walsh, a long time White House correspondent and Dr. Jim Rowe talking about our destinations more than enriched our cruise experience. Booking a Med. Cruise at the end of October is always picking a wild card, the weather can change suddenly and summer just a memory. Still the touristic hot spots during our cruise like Santorini, Sorrento, Rome, Florence, Monaco, Marseille and Barcelona were still extremely crowded by fellow tourists. Still it is more pleasant to experience the world famous sights without the heat of summer but, rainy and cool days are not rare late in the fall. Much too soon our 13 day cruise came to an end, we hated to leave. The disembarking process was so perfectly organised, not one P.A. announcement, no pushing or shoving, just a relaxed walking off the boat and the luggage so cleverly arranged that finding our luggage was so easy. Thank You Crystal. We can't wait to come back. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our fourth Silversea cruise in an Owner’s Suite. All four were on different ships: Silver Shadow, Silver Muse, Silver Spirit, Silver Whisper. This cruise was the Mediterranean at the end of October. This was Silver ... Read More
This was our fourth Silversea cruise in an Owner’s Suite. All four were on different ships: Silver Shadow, Silver Muse, Silver Spirit, Silver Whisper. This cruise was the Mediterranean at the end of October. This was Silver Shadow's last cruise before its refurbishment. So, it still had the u-shaped bar which I prefer (see pictures if you are unfamiliar). I hope they don't pull it out during the drydock. Even though it was the final cruise, we did not note any major deficits. We were generally very happy with this cruise. We had the best butler we have ever had. At this point we know how we want our room stocked (we make a list of our needs before the butler introduces himself). One need I have is San Pellegrino. We asked once and were thereafter never without three bottles. He even brought a new bottle of Bourbon we he noticed that my first bottle was getting low. Coincidentally, it turned out that a guy I had worked with years ago was on the same cruise. We became reacquainted, and my wife and I thought it would be nice to host a little cocktail party. Our butler did a magnificent job of organizing it: Caviar, other canopies, champaign. We turned planning our dinners over to the butler. Every day, I simply asked him where and when we were eating, and he told us. I don't know if that fell into his job description, but it worked well for us. That solved my frustration with the Silversea reservation process (which basically is, set your alarm for midnight on the day online reservations open--months before your cruise--or you will miss the window of opportunity). I am in the process of adjusting my expectations of cruise ship luxury dining experiences, from what I expect at a land-based restaurant. Here is an example of what I mean. We frequent a fine dining Italian restaurant near our home. (For level setting purposes, fine dining means we expect to spend about $250 on dinner.) Last time we visited our local restaurant, I told the waiter that I wanted one of the veal dishes, but that I was craving some fettuccini Alfredo. The waiter's response, "I will make that happen." I got veal with a side of fettuccini Alfredo. Rather than bore you with a transcript of the same exchange on Silversea, suffice it that I have finally accepted that such personalized service cannot be expected on a cruise ship. But there were some minor lapses that fell below Silversea standards. One night at dinner the waiter didn't bother clearing our table before thrusting the dessert menu into our hands. Thirty seconds later he was standing there asking for my dessert order. I hadn't even glanced at the menu. Silversea offers its own sparkling water, which is fine for me, except that on this cruise, it was consistently flat. So, I started asking for San Pellegrino. I had to remind every waiter, every time I needed a refill what I was drinking. One amenity that Silversea offers in its Owner’s Suites is free laundry service. (The other three, Seabourn, Crystal, and Regent don't seem to include that.) We only bring carry-ons (yes that is correct, an 11-night cruise, and 5 extra nights with only two carry-ons--if you want to know how that is done, message me). Free laundry service makes that easier. Nonetheless, we have decided we should not become married to Silversea without at least having a baseline. So, we have booked a Seabourn cruise for next March. Seabourn does not include laundry service with their Wintergarden Suites. We have guesstimated that paying for laundry will add $300 to the cost of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This cruise was chosen for a combination of itinerary and lifestyle. We wanted to sail Silversea again, and this itinerary ticked all the boxes. Here is a small review of that cruise, 3930 Piraeus round trip. Several factors are ... Read More
This cruise was chosen for a combination of itinerary and lifestyle. We wanted to sail Silversea again, and this itinerary ticked all the boxes. Here is a small review of that cruise, 3930 Piraeus round trip. Several factors are worthy of mention .... some good and some bad. BOARDING PROCEDURES Nothing but complements. Less than 15 minutes from exiting the taxi to relaxing in the lounge. ACCOMMODATIONS: The suite was clean, tidy and well presented. It could be argued that the style was ‘dated’ but that is a matter of opinion. I am surprised that there were no USB plugs in the suite. Perhaps this could be considered for the future? CATERING: This would be my main area of concern. La Terrazza: At breakfast and lunch, once it started getting mildly busy the staff were unable to cope. The buffet area is far too small and long queues frequently formed. I understand that enlarging this area is NOT on the agenda. Having been seated, service was again, at busy times, particularly slow, sometimes non existent! On one occasion we gave up and left. The small serving area did not allow for any Ice Cream so that was a special request ... with the appropriate wait. The main concern in this restaurant was hygiene. For the first few days the area was infested with flies. The main restaurant area had several but more concerning were number flying around in the food service area and on the food itself. This problem however was overshadowed when my wife found to her disgust and dismay a live caterpillar on the lettuce in the buffet area. This matter was raised at the time and apologies were made. This level of hygiene totally and utterly unacceptable. On an evening the restaurant was exceptional. Service was prompt and the food was excellent. MAIN DINING ROOM: Generally speaking the service, at breakfast and lunch, was far superior to La Terrazza, but again, on an evening, once it started to get mildly busy the service went into meltdown. It was not unusual to be ignored for twenty minutes. On the positive side we did ask for two ‘special’ dishes which were excellent. A Chateaubriand (for two) and a Beef Wellington ( for one). One ‘corked’ wine Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because of its destinations but all a bit rushed and often late arrival. We had a drinks package that I can only describe as penny pinching as many drinks not available and waters and mixers were from large bottles ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its destinations but all a bit rushed and often late arrival. We had a drinks package that I can only describe as penny pinching as many drinks not available and waters and mixers were from large bottles and often were very flat and had to be returned often, you could purchase mixers and water if you wanted better quality which we did, Coffee on board was abysmal very weak and dreadful quality unless you paid for coffee pods, A number of passengers complained about the quality of cocktails. Food in restaurants was frequently well and truly overcooked although some of the ingredients were good, Seating arrangements were so poor and disorganised that almost every night you had to queue for considerable time which caused the crew to get unwarranted abuse from a number of passengers. The complimentary wine was a choice of 3 low quality wines unless again you purchased wines and drinks from their premium (I question this use of the word) list Pool - only 10 people allowed in at a time with possibly 1200 passengers. Public rooms looked sad and in need of a bit of tlc Staff either very good or very poor but overall very pleasant It took 21/2 hours to embark for us, other clients said 3 hours and disembarkation was a farce as we were asked to vacate our cabins at 8am and then we sat for 2 hours 20 minutes with no further information before they started disembarkation and of course everyone was then in a rush to get off so it became chaotic as passengers did not follow their laid down procedures. Excursions that we went on were of poor quality and very crowded, In Santorini we set anchor slightly late and had then got approximately 5 hours to go on tender, coach for excursion, get cable car down to tenders, last tender 12.30pm, The destinations were a real exiting part of the cruise. We did complain a few times about parts of the above but found it futile as things did not improve and we then decided why spoil our holiday so just accepted the situation, We could say more but it then makes it seem as though you are just moaning The penny pinching by this company ensures that we will not be sailing with them again Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Carbin - We had a 4 bed carbin, it was designed in a strange L shape. Although we booked a double bed, we ended up had 4 single bed. We had to sleep in a head to toe position. With the 2 ladders that goes up to the top bed, I had to ... Read More
Carbin - We had a 4 bed carbin, it was designed in a strange L shape. Although we booked a double bed, we ended up had 4 single bed. We had to sleep in a head to toe position. With the 2 ladders that goes up to the top bed, I had to squeeze and climb out of my bed everyday. Keep in mind, I am a petite 5.3' girl. The room was very tight, bathroom is even smaller. the corner shower with a shower curtain was a nightmare, the water temperature was either too cold or too hot. Food - Food was average, nothing fancy but ok until one day I found stainless steel scrub pieces in the pasta inside the buffet tray. After pointing it out to the serving staff, they simply picked the metal pieces from the tray and gave the tray a shake then said ' it's ok now madam.' I totally can NOT believe what just happened, this is certainly not ok. Some of the fruits don't taste fresh, after speaking to some of their staff who used to serve on other international brand, we were told this ship didn't really have a 'go off' date for the fruits, as long as they seem ok, they are OK. Unlike other cruise we have been on, there are no free flow snacks during the day, you have to follow a strict meal time. Outside of the meal time, you will have to pay for snacks such as pizza, salad. Swimming pool - it's about 10 meters long, more like a dipping pool, definitely not for swimming. Embarkation - For such a small- medium size ship, we waited in line for almost 2 hours to get on board, they were very inefficient. Disembarkation - This was the worst part. We were told to vacant the room by 8am . 7.55am while I was in the toilet getting changed, my children were changing in the carbin at the same time. The male cabin service staff broken into the room and shouted at us to leave while I was in my pajamas! When I heard him knocking on the door, I clearly told him we are almost ready! This was the very same person who had been smiling at us from day 1 till day 5. Day 5 was the day when we completed their customer service survey and that's the same day all the friendly smiles started disappearing from their face. On the last day, all the staff just didn't seem to be interested anymore, no smiles, nothing, they can't wait for us to go. Ports and Shore excursions - We picked up this cruise mainly because it's Ports of calls. Last day Santorini was supposed to be the highlight of the trip. We were told to get ready and wait for the shore excursion at 7.15am, we didn't leave the ship until 8ish .When we arrive Santorini that's 9 am and we had to Tour guide cancelled our 20 mins stop at Fira town took us directly to Oia where we were given 2 hours to look around. 11.20 we rushed back to the bus that took us to the cable car station where we waited for another 25 mins. The ship sailed another 6 hours in the afternoon, we arrived mykonos at 7pm. Everywhere is closed except souvenir shop, most of the people I spoke to all agreed 1 day 2 destination was a very poor planning and it doesn't make any sense at all. There is a reason they don't have a loyalty program, maybe they never expected for any returning customers ? Entertainment team - They were they only people still managed to smile at us even on the last day. I won't recommend this cruise for young families as there were very very limited children families and activities on board. Lots of smokers on board, I have seen people smoking on different decks. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My husband and I did a 7 day cruise aboard the Celestyal Crystal on October 21 - Eclectic Aegean. Neither of us are travel agents. It was their first cruise to include Istanbul and that was the main draw for us. I was a bit apprehensive ... Read More
My husband and I did a 7 day cruise aboard the Celestyal Crystal on October 21 - Eclectic Aegean. Neither of us are travel agents. It was their first cruise to include Istanbul and that was the main draw for us. I was a bit apprehensive after reading all the negative reviews, so boarded with low expectations. We have cruised three times before - Royal Caribbean (Symphony of the Seas to Mexico), Princess - Diamond ( to Alaska) and Norwegian Jewel (Baltic). It is true that the cabins are smaller than average, so we booked a junior suite and it was very comfortable for the both of us. In fact we found the cabin to be very conveniently configured and it was clean, well maintained and looked new. Our cabin steward, Shafique told us that the junior suites had been remodeled just a year ago. The food was good - it could have used a little more variety but we never went hungry. The chef went out of his way to prepare some special Indian meals for us and a few other passengers, which we appreciated very much. The shows were good and there were plenty of onboard activities to keep us all entertained. There were excellent singers, musicians and the on-board lecturer - Caroline was outstanding and we enjoyed her lectures very much. The included shore excursions were also quite good and we could not really complain. There is a very small room for children's activities but I don't really think there was anything worthwhile for the kids to do. We had no children with us and there were very few on board. I don't think this is cruise for you if you want a really good children's program. This is NOT a cruise for you if you are looking for midnight buffets etc. In fact, for passengers wanting ice cream, pizza or anything outside of the what is served during mealtimes (breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner) costs extra. Which was a first for us. But we were not hungry in-between meal times so this did not upset us in the least. This is also not a cruise ship if you want to use the pool. The pool is very small. The gym is also quite small, I used it once but the rest of the time we were docked and out sightseeing. Our itinerary was port intensive. The embarkation process at Pireus was a nightmare but the disembarkation was a breeze! The staff were wonderful and did their very best to accommodate everyone and take care of their passengers. I would not hesitate to sail on the Celestyal Crystal again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The first point to note, and this will become relevant as this review progresses, is Celestyal’s core market seems to be organised tour groups. Beginning with embarkation. This was our 11th cruise and was by far the worse embarkation ... Read More
The first point to note, and this will become relevant as this review progresses, is Celestyal’s core market seems to be organised tour groups. Beginning with embarkation. This was our 11th cruise and was by far the worse embarkation process I have ever encountered. Check-in took us two hours, which we thought was bad but fellow passengers we spoke to endured a two and a half and in one case a three hour embarkation debacle. This is the first cruise we have been on where luggage labels for your checked baggage are not provided in advance. This means a long queue to drop off your bags, in our case over half an hour and we arrived half an hour before the official arrival time. Passengers behind us had to wait up to an hour to drop their bags off. Annoyingly, passengers travelling in organised tours had been issued with baggage labels and were able to drop their bags off as soon as they arrived and effectively jump the queue. Once the bags are dropped off you have to then join a queue to pick up your cruise card, this took 45 minutes and was not the end of the process as having gained your cruise card to actually check in – other cruise lines do the card issuing and check-in at the same time, why can’t Celestyal. The final delay, and I accept this is not Celestyal’s fault, was passing through immigration control, which was probably the biggest contributor to the delay. With near on 1,000 passengers there were just two immigration officers and with most passengers being American it was a slow process. I said there were two immigration officers, at one point, despite there being massive queues, one of them disappeared for 20 minutes, leaving the other guy on his own. Once past immigration Celestyal staff then take your passport off you and you don’t see it again until the last night of the cruise – something I don’t particularly like myself. By the end of check-in my mood was, shall I say, somewhat tense. On board we went straight to our cabin, described as a Junior Balcony Suite which was, in reality, just like any standard balcony cabin on other cruise lines At least, with the delay our bags were outside our room when we reached our cabin. Time to explore the ship and, frankly it didn’t take long, I’ve been on larger cross-channel ferries, indeed this ship began life as a car ferry. For us the size wasn’t an issue, small is good and this ship makes a pleasant change from the impersonal mega ships. We did have concerns the ship may have been too small for the number of passengers but those fears were unfounded. The safety briefing was a farce. First of all you had to arrive at your muster station wearing our lifejacket. The briefing, well what it was, was conducted in several languages – however passengers not speaking the language currently being broadcast carried on speaking when their language wasn’t being used, so you couldn’t hear the announcement. We were then given a demonstration of how to put on a lifejacket – excuse me, we were all wearing our jackets already because we had been told to. The ship has most of the facilities you expect on a cruise but on a smaller scale. The swimming pool is small but then again this was a destination cruise with stops every day so it wasn’t the type of cruise for lounging by the pool. The “theatre” is more of a lounge with a stage but it was adequate for the numbers. Danny the cruise manager was very good, a great sense of humour without going over the top. There was the usual issue with a broad cross section of nationalities on board that the announcements being made in multiple languages but it gave you the chance to swot up on your basic French and Spanish. There are two main restaurants and two buffets. The main dining rooms operate on an open dining system, for us it worked well as we like to eat early. Those wanting to dine later did sometimes have to wait for a table to become free. The restaurants / buffets only open for breakfast / lunch / dinner so midnight buffet on board, which is no bad thing – it takes the temptation away. Breakfast is buffet style whether in the restaurant or buffet – the advantage of using the restaurant for breakfast is you have a table before you get your food. The breakfast buffet was the same every day but with a large selection you could still vary what you had. Dinner in the restaurants was three courses, which was enough. You could order specials like steaks or lobster at an extra charge, and the charge was reasonable – I ad a decent fillet steak one evening and it was only €13.50 extra. There is a small speciality dining room with about six tables which charged around €37.50 for a meal but I don’t think it was worth the money as the menu was basically the same as the extra menu in the main restaurant, which would have worked out cheaper. There are a few tables for two in the main restaurant, which are like gold dust – we managed to get one twice Otherwise it’s shared tables of eight. You are supposed to be put on a table with people speaking the same language – good in theory but not in practice. One night we were on a table with Chinese speakers another with German speakers. There is an all inclusive drinks package on board. OK there is a limited wine choice but unless you’re a wine snob the choice is adequate. The all inclusive drinks menu is quite extensive, running to 12 pages. There is a premium drinks menu as well and unlike other cruise lines the cost of the premium drinks and cocktails is very reasonable. For example €3.50 to upgrade to a premium gin, or €4.50 for a premium cocktail. The cruise includes three excursions in the price of the cruise. A generous offer in theory but an unmitigated disaster in practice, I’ll cover that in the excursions section of this review. Paid for excursions are grossly overpriced. The crew were friendly, although the only time the Captain was seen or heard was at the Captains Cocktail Party and he looked as though he really didn’t want to be there Ships photographers are impossible to escape, either onboard or ashore. Their photo prices, whilst still expensive, are cheaper than most other cruise lines. Disembarkation was slow but that actually suited us as we wanted to get off as late as possible, for those with earlier flights it was an issue. Cabins had to be vacated by 08:00 but the first passengers were not allowed off until 10:15. This was a good cruise but not perfect. Their interpretation of time is, shall we say, fluid. The included excursions were a good idea but badly executed …. we were in Istanbul two days, so why send everyone on the included cruise as soon as we arrived, why not split it. A final word of warning and this is nothing to do with Celestyal, but if disembarking at Pireaus be careful if taking a taxi into Athens. Our driver claimed his meter wasn’t working and tried to charge us double what the fare should have been. It was only when I took his photo and threatened to call the police that he charged the correct fare. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
First of all like to say the cruise living is fantastic and as usual was very well looked after by wonderful staff. Cons- Beautiful new ship with plenty of room to wonder around without feeling crowded. Alway found seat in Buffet area ... Read More
First of all like to say the cruise living is fantastic and as usual was very well looked after by wonderful staff. Cons- Beautiful new ship with plenty of room to wonder around without feeling crowded. Alway found seat in Buffet area with new layout, plenty of couples seat and tables for larger groups. Food in fine dining restaurants was always good although usually lukewarm Entertainment was probably best I have experienced on princess cruises. Cruise Director was always upbeat and keep everyone well informed with upcoming events. Pro's - Seem very Low key for Inaugural cruise and would have expected a bit more fanfare with such a event- Lifts were the worst i have experienced although I manly walked the stairs. The worst complaint for me was the lux attitude to washing hands in dining areas with wash basins on side, most people avoided washing hands which I think will course problem in the future. Wine prices in fine dining was way over the top-14/15 $us for a glass with a very small serve. Overall enjoyed cruise and ports and will continue to support Princess. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We boarded the inaugural cruise at Athens (Piraeus). The bag drop and check In was a tented affair on the dock car park. The overall process was quite informal, and not quite the song and dance that we assumed would accompany such a ... Read More
We boarded the inaugural cruise at Athens (Piraeus). The bag drop and check In was a tented affair on the dock car park. The overall process was quite informal, and not quite the song and dance that we assumed would accompany such a memorable occasion. We were asked to leave our bags at the entrance to the tent, but oddly no receipts were issued. We were welcomed by a member of staff whom guided us to one of the make-shift desks where we handed over our passports and were issued with our ‘Medallion’ ID lanyards. These were the new facility on these ‘Medallion’ Class ships where you are identified and have proximity detectors all around the ship so that staff can identify you and charge everything to your account. You need to have the App, which seemed to have quite a few teething problems throughout our trip – more on that later. Boarding was also very uneventful, and we literally strolled onboard and were left to our own devices. No champagne or cocktail welcome, nothing at all, (not even a hello from senior crew), quite an anti-climax to be honest. We had an aft balcony room on Riviera deck (14), 107 which was quite a walk towards the back of the ship. As there were 4 of us (2 adults and 2 kids), we opted for a twin with sofa bed and drop down bunk. Overall, the room was understandably brand new with no apparent wear or tear, and had quite a nice ambience. Maybe not as big as we had expected, (around 197sq ft), but more than adequate. We had a fridge, direct dial phone, in room TV, small desk and chair, hairdryer, shower, bathroom – with good size sink, drying line, bedside desks, safe, limited drawers, but good sized open wardrobe. The ‘medallion’ opened your door as you approached and welcomed you by name on the small screen outside of your door. For those whom might like to travel incognito, there doesn’t appear to be an option to avoid your room occupant details being displayed on the door panel for all to see, along with your tier status. One of our new bags was also damaged by the porters, which oddly they asked to take away for repair. We got it back 2 days later with a very poor ‘fix’, customer services said that this was ‘standard’, which meant the case would have to be discarded at home. Facility wise, the ship was well equipped. There we a number of small to medium pools on deck 16, with plenty of hot tubs spread around this and deck 17. Loungers were plentiful and we didn’t have any issue at an stage in getting one. Towels and waiting staff were all around, along with a complimentary hot dog/burger bar & pizza bar around the pool. There was also an ice cream and popcorn concession called ‘Swirl’, but for the entire duration of the trip there was no one cream available. This was a common theme of this maiden voyage. There was also a well equipped gym with numerous class options. The equipment was high end and plentiful. Towels and water fountains were available. Restaurant options follow the usual Princess formula, with a few inclusive options, and others at a supplement. After some uninspiring reports from fellow guests whom used the premium restaurants, we were advised to avoid them until they got their act together- with poor/lengthy service being the main complaint. We dined in the ‘Soleil’ restaurant most nights as part of our Anytime dining option. The food itself was of a good standard, but the biggest problem for most of the trip was the wait for tables and time for food. It was clear from day 1 that staff were finding their feet, but as a few guests commented, we could understand if the kitchen had teething issues, but service is something that should be taken as read on a Princess cruise. To be fair, they did acknowledge the issues by offering all restaurant guests a free drink at their next sitting as an apology, but unfortunately it didn’t really improve for the whole trip. The Anytime Breakfast buffet on deck 16 was the biggest disappointment for us. In our view, the food quality and options were poor. We regularly attended empty dishes waiting for staff to refill, or a 20 minute wait for an omelette. Staff seemed to be on auto pilot, regularly walking by dirty dishes on tables, even when people were looking for places to sit. The general impression was that many had been given a ‘task’, be it getting drinks, which they followed to the letter. No deviation or common sense that a client doesn’t know what your task is, so when they ask for cutlery or a napkin, they don’t expect to be told ‘ask one of my colleagues’. They had a few pieces of high-tech equipment in the shape of touch screen automated coffee and drinks dispensers – sadly though, they were constantly out of service, some for the whole cruise. Their standard response was for us to walk about 150ft to the serving station further up.. Entertainment wise, we can say that it got better as the cruise went on. Inaugural nerves clearly affected some of the first performances, but the orchestra were excellent and the Saturday night ‘Rock Opera’ show was as good as any we have ever seen. There was also a number of bars and cafes throughout the ship, which again were terribly slow. So for those whom buy the premium coffee packages, expect a lengthy wait unless you are an early bird. The coffee itself was actually quite nice, but having one member of staff serving a line of 12 people is ridiculous. Similarly, the only ice cream concession on the ship proved to be nice but oddly unattractive. The actual cost of $1 per scoop was reasonable, but most people we met felt ‘nickle and dimed’ by the silly marketing display. As an unknown quantity for this new ship, the intention of ‘first scoop free’ was logical and appealing. However, when the server literally served a 5c sized ‘taster’ in a full sized bowl, most folk looked bemused. Almost universally, the comment ‘where is my free scoop’ was met with the reply, ‘that’s all we give’. Really??! Most just walked away, rather than pay the otherwise reasonable price. A definite own goal, especially when clients had no access to the defective outlet on deck 16. Shopping on board was definitely high end. The quality and selection was good, especially in the watch and jewellery shops, where we listed over some wonderful pieces. Oddly, there was very little by way of provision for kids/teen/youth clientele, missing a trick in the process. We promised to kit out our teen onboard, but there was very little other than a small adult t-shirt available. Alcohol and perfumery was competitive, although the art auctions seemed excessive – but everyone to their own. The Lotus Spa was well appointed, and one of the few parts of the ship which seemed to have adequate staff. However, as an example, $269 excluding the 20% service for a 55 minute massage was even more expensive than that which we paid in the 6 star Burj Al Arab in Dubai, so we passed. To be fair, they did do a discounted day at sea, which was around half the cost. The Movies under the stars on deck 16 was a highlight for us. Being able to see a blockbuster movie on a bus sized screen behind the funnels, whilst sitting munching popcorn on a lounger by the pool was a fab way to spend the night. As for the shore excursions, rather than listing them all here, I have reviewed them separately to ensure this review is not excessively long. Conclusion The ship itself was fine, having everything new was a novelty and appealing. Facility wise, yes, there could be more ‘fun’ items like slides or kid friendly outdoor items, but as the majority of cruisers on Princess are of an older age, it’s understandable as to why they opted for the facilities given. The kids club was clean and well provisioned, think Play stations and Xbox with some creative options, but our two wouldn’t use them as they’d prefer to be out in the sun/pool. Overall I’m not sure we would do an ‘inaugural’ cruise again, as there was far too many teething issues on this ship, none of which seemed of concern to Princess. I appreciate that admitting things weren’t exactly going to plan may be embarrassing to them, but some form of gesture or acknowledgement of the deficiencies would have been a welcome and appropriate touch. Leaving 3 hours late due to defective engines, fire alarms sounding erroneously, catering equipment being defective for the entire trip and consistently poor service throughout would seem a good reason to review that policy. Would we use Princess again, at the moment we haven’t decided. Whilst we have kids, our next trip is probably going to be on one of Royal Caribbeans’ established mega ships. That way we can keep them entertained and we can have a good variety of options for us. Tips Balcony rooms easily accommodate 2 adults and 2 kids. We did view a mini suite, but it’s almost identical, so save your money. Definitely get a drinks package for the kids if you have them, as it will work out cheaper for your cruise. The adult alcoholic option is only really of value if you drink more than 3 alcoholic drinks a day. If you aren’t happy with your service onboard but have a number of individuals whom you’d prefer to reward on your own, don’t think twice about requesting a reduction in the standard gratuity costs. It’s one of the few options you have to record and express your disappointment, but without depriving those whom you felt served you well. Even if it’s a 50% reduction, you can make your point and give the rest in cash to your room attendant or server. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Let's start with the great.... the entertainment was off the charts, much superior to any other cruise we have taken, all STELLAR! Embarkation and debarkation were organized and a breeze. The food and service was best in the ... Read More
Let's start with the great.... the entertainment was off the charts, much superior to any other cruise we have taken, all STELLAR! Embarkation and debarkation were organized and a breeze. The food and service was best in the specialty restaurant Sabatinnis. If you love Italian food, don't miss it. There were plenty of choices in the Speciality restaurants and although we did not try them all, we heard from other guests that they were all excellent. Elevators did not accommodate the massive numbers of guest and wait time was long. Be careful with shore excursions which are not created equal. Also, when you pick an excursion that includes your meal, you give up your ability to pick a great restaurant and are forced to a prix fix that was menza mens. That should not happen when you have one day in Italy.... a slice of chicken breast would not have been my pick. All in all, it was probably the best week of my life, perfect weather and magnificent Ports helped.The most difficult part was leaving. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We just came off the Sky Princess Inaugural Cruise from Athens to Barcelona (October 20th to the 27th). We then spent two days in Barcelona. This was our second Princess cruise, the first being the Crown Princess in 2007. We have also ... Read More
We just came off the Sky Princess Inaugural Cruise from Athens to Barcelona (October 20th to the 27th). We then spent two days in Barcelona. This was our second Princess cruise, the first being the Crown Princess in 2007. We have also done 3 Carnival (with the children) an RCL to Alaska and Celebrity Reflection about four years ago. Princess is our favorite cruise line. We have already booked a transatlantic on the Crown Princess in two years. The Sky Princess is immense, everything seems to be “super-sized” inside it. There are so many bars and places to eat you cannot try them all. What stuck us the most was how friendly and happy the staff was. The Ship decorations are wonderful, but not over the top glitzy. We had a cabin on the Sun deck. It is the standard Princess Balcony. Serviceable, not a huge amount of space, but how much time do you actually spend in the cabin anyway. Our Cabin Steward, Franco, was good. He always had a smile and a hello for us, even if he was the way down the hallway. If we asked for something (like a couple of extra towels), it was taken care of immediately and we did not have to ask again. Even though our Cabin was on the same deck as the Retreat Pool, we never had a chance to check it out, other than walking through it. Not enough Sea Days, I guess. We had anytime dining and the most we had to wait was about 5 minutes on maybe two nights. Overall the food was good and better. There were some outstanding things, some average, but generally good. The Beef Wellington was terrific. A few of the main courses for a couple of nights were a bit over cooked and dry on occasion. It is hard to cook for 4,000 people. We ate at the Crown Grill one night and it was fantastic! Our server, Ygenvey, was tremendous, he really made the experience wonderful. The dishes were excellent. We really enjoyed the dinner. The World Fresh Market Place (Buffet) was your typical Buffet. Some of the stuff was good, some not. A large selection, but not everything changed every day, so there were a large number of repeats. I thought the scrambled eggs they had for Breakfast were terrible. They were mealy and tasteless; however the made-to-order Omelets were good. Lunch for us was a combination of the Buffet or the Salty Dog Grill and the Slice Pizzeria. Both were acceptable. One day we ate lunch at Alfredo’s Pizzeria on Deck 7. The service there was a bit slow, but the pizza and the Calzone made up for it. The International Café was always busy and had some terrific little bites and desserts. My Wife had a Coffee Package and was there at least twice a day! Our favorite place, however, was Take 5, the Jazz Club on Deck 6. The music was nice, but the real draw were the three bartenders, Emil, Raisa and Wynn. We went there every night after Dinner and if we went to the Show. They became like old friends. We had a wonderful time sitting at the bar talking, drinking and listening to the music (although the musicians talked a little too much). The Princess Shops were a little disappointing, I thought, compared to what I remember from past cruises. The Sky Princess is a Medallion Cruise. The Medallions worked well. As you approach your cabin door, it recognizes you and unlocks the door. Otherwise it works like the old cards. You give it to the server, and they scan it when you order a drink or purchase something. We did not try ordering drinks with it at our seat, as everyone was so anxious to get your drink order. Manny, on the pool deck was terrific. He remembered our names, knew what we wanted to drink right away and was so friendly and attentive. It was nice when we were at Take 5, we never had to show the Medallion. The ship reads it and the staff can see you are there and make the necessary purchases for you. They have also integrated the on-board pictures to the Medallion and have done away with the printed proofs. Now you go to a terminal scan your Medallion and it pulls up all the pictures they have taken of you. Of course, it does not always read the Medallion when the pictures are taken, so a staff member must show you all the “unaffiliated” pictures to tie them into your Medallion. Not a real issue. A couple of nits to pick, one more annoying than the other. The more annoying one first. It is hard to find the rest room in certain locations. There is of course a sign on the wall, but no door is indicated. Just a plan paneled door. You must know to open that one to find a little alcove with the men’s and women’s rooms inside. It could have more clear signage. The other one is that the ship was so new it did not have everything loaded. I forgot my cuff links for the formal night. In the past, I rented them. This time they had not loaded the formal wear items for rent yet. The second formal night, we say they had everything for rent, but by then I had solved the problem by buying some cuff links in Corfu made of olive wood. The absolute best element, however, is when the ship is leaving port and blows the ships horn, it is then followed by the horn playing a riff from the Love Boat Theme. Terrific Idea! Each time it sounded there were cheers and applause on the deck. To sum up, it was a terrific amazing week and the ship is the main reason why. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I’ll admit, this was my first cruise so maybe I don’t have anything to compare it to but I came away from this cruise totally thrilled. Sure there were hiccups, it was the inaugural cruise, but the very good far outweighed the bad. ... Read More
I’ll admit, this was my first cruise so maybe I don’t have anything to compare it to but I came away from this cruise totally thrilled. Sure there were hiccups, it was the inaugural cruise, but the very good far outweighed the bad. The Sky Princess is gorgeous, especially the piazza. Our cabin with balcony was more spacious than I expected with tons of storage facilities. Our steward was awesome and made me laugh the way he set out my pajamas each night. Thanks Ivan. I have never had service this amazing before. The food was fantastic. The bars, especially Vines, was also fantastic. I loved their wine flight. Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze. I had done my homework and was “ocean ready”. I had no problems with the medallion and I liked the bookmarking feature for daily events. I barely looked at the Patter. Entertainment was fantastic, especially the Rock Opera show on our last evening. The costumes and music were broadway quality. We did one ship’s shore excursion to Amalfi and while crazy expensive, it was very well done. I have motion issues and was concerned about that, but I almost forgot I was at sea, I felt very little motion at all. Smooth sailing. I was very sad to leave this lovely ship. I’d go back in a heartbeat! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
It is a terrible ship, old and tired. Tiny cabins single beds at right angles to each other, even for couples . Hardly any storage, we had our clothes on the window ledge. The Food is awful and monotonous. Same breakfast every day, ... Read More
It is a terrible ship, old and tired. Tiny cabins single beds at right angles to each other, even for couples . Hardly any storage, we had our clothes on the window ledge. The Food is awful and monotonous. Same breakfast every day, congealed eggs, over cooked bacon etc. Coffee foul. Buffets breakfast and lunch only occasionally a waiter served lunch. Dinner you had to queue for and no seats for disabled, standing for over 40 minutes until we complained. and if you are disabled just forget it. No room for a wheelchair, slippery ramps. Tenders impossible to get in unless able bodied. Never again . Hardly any entertainment. Excursion desk gives wrong advice, we had to advise them in the end. We did not see one happy face onboard, everyone was unhappy and complaining, from all different nationalities. We spoke to English, Dutch, Americans, Brazilians , Argentinians and we all felt the same Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We had been on two other Pullmantur ships and enjoyed the atmosphere very much. This time we had a family trip, including two small children. We chose Pullmantur for this reason. On other cruise lines there are often few children and many ... Read More
We had been on two other Pullmantur ships and enjoyed the atmosphere very much. This time we had a family trip, including two small children. We chose Pullmantur for this reason. On other cruise lines there are often few children and many very old passengers, who are uncomfortable with much, and with any children or young people especially. Being a Spanish line there are extended Spanish families and these cruises have the most varied age groups we have come across in 30+ cruises.On this trip I estimate over half were under 45 years old. The staff speak English and there are no on board costs, unless you need high end drinks and ship's excursions.Tips and drinks are included and are readily available. This includes the quality coffees. We had a new cruiser in our party and she left with no bill. I warned her this is not usual. So, what is it like? Yes, the ship is not new or glamorous but it is clean and cared for. Our outside cabins were bigger than most and the wide corridors are also a pleasure on older ships. The staff are very helpful and accommodating. An infant and a toddler at dinner was no problem. Our new cruiser is coeliac and vegetarian. She enjoyed her special dinner menu and there were clearly labelled gluten free choices, including a breakfast station, in the buffet. Deck area was adequate with enough sunbeds and pool stuff. There was not quite enough drink service here. There was not masses to do in the evening. We didnt expect much English so it was fine and being a party of 7 we were not really looking for much, so I cant really comment on this aspect. Being a Spanish ship 1st dinner sitting is 7.30 and second is 9.45. The non-Spanish, and there were a fair few of us (estimate was 30%) went for the 1st. So after dinner was drinks,just a few or more, and some music. . That was fine for us. The kids were welcome too. We made the theatre once. It was a bit odd but OK- Dancing and singing with Spanish commentary. There was a children's club but my daughter was not impressed by it and the kids only went the once. Cant say that I thought language would be a problem and it may be better for older ones.There was more of a structured programme for the 3+. Ours were 2 and 9 months. Food was great for a week. There was a gala dinner one night and a single menu for the rest of the week. Just about enough choices and well cooked and presented. The buffet was also varied and the Spanish options added to this. There was enough seating room here too, which doesnt always happen on cruise ships. This was an economical trip for all of us and we felt well served.There was no hassle to spend and tips really are not expected or sought..We didnt see a photographer above once. We were served readily and we experienced absolutely none of the animosity toward non-Spanish that others have reported. Staff were interested in us. Maybe they dont like rude folk? Iglu booked our flights and transfers and were great too. A good holiday for all and we would have no hesitation in going for it again. Reviews often emphasise the downsides but apart from the limitations I mention above we didnt really have any. I could think of some I suppose but they dont jump out at me, except the couple of short day stops in Malta and Cagliari when we had no time for much. It was cheap and very cheerful. Title said it all really. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary,We have previously cruised with Celebrity and Cunard,so a smaller ship was a first.We really enjoyed the wonderful places we visited.Santorini was fabulous,Mykonos too..Kusadasi was very intetesting ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary,We have previously cruised with Celebrity and Cunard,so a smaller ship was a first.We really enjoyed the wonderful places we visited.Santorini was fabulous,Mykonos too..Kusadasi was very intetesting also.Food on the cruise was lovely.Plenty of choice at breakfast,lunch and dinner.and staff were very pleasant and accomodating.Some people complained that restaurants weren't open all the time,but fine for usThe included shore excursions were really good and the guides very informative.Now the downside.We were in cabin 2006,don't choose it! It is so near the engine you can smell diesel as soon as you step into corridor,not pleasant.Also very noisy.We felt every move of the shipWe would cruise on Celestyal Crystal but choose a higher deck.Said it all really but must give a special mention to the great staff in the restaurant and our cabin steward,we were well looked after by Migiol in the cabin.Overall a lovely cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The dining was average, it just started to get repetitive after a while. For breakfast, it was the same options for seven days. There were hot food items (eggs, hash browns, pancakes, french ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The dining was average, it just started to get repetitive after a while. For breakfast, it was the same options for seven days. There were hot food items (eggs, hash browns, pancakes, french toast, omelets), a yogurt section with many toppings, fresh fruit, bread and pastries. For lunch and dinner, the buffet was similar each day. There was a salad section, some deli meats and cheeses, usually there was a chicken, fish, and pork entree, but sometimes beef or lamb. There was often a potato, rice, or pasta option as well. There was always bread and a different soup each day and there was always dessert. Also, each day there was a special lunch station, such as tacos, pasta, or fajitas. This really helped with the variety and I wish that they did something similar with breakfast and dinner. There was usually a table available in the buffet areas and a long wait for a table during dinner in the restaurants. The earliest breakfast started was 7 am and I wish there was an option to start even earlier. At least the option of having fruit and pastries available and have the hot food come at 7 am. I did not go to many activities other than the big nightly shows at 9 pm, which were wonderful. There was a special group of dancers who came onto the ship in Crete and I really enjoyed that performance. Mykonos: The ship had a shuttle bus from where the ship docked in the "New Port" to the "Old Port." It was then an easy walk to Mykonos Town to see the windmills and Little Venice. We took an excursion to the island of Delos from a company outside of the ship because it was a better price. Milos: The tenders dropped us off in Adamas. We took a cab to Papafragas beach. It was definitely a dangerous descent to get to the water there. We walked a short ways to nearby Pachena beach and that was a much safer place to get into. We took the Milos bus back to the ship. There was shopping and dining in Adamas near where the tenders left us. Santorini: The ship's excursion took us to three locations, Megalochori, Oia, and Thira. You had the option to leave the excursion at Oia if you wanted more time there. Oia was ridiculously crowded and I think the excursion gave plenty of time because I did not want to spend lots of time in the "tourist trap." Thira was less crowded than Oia, but still crowded. The ship's excursion gave you a ticket for the cable car to return to the port and take a tender back to the boat. The second day in Santorini we took a tour with a private excursion. Crete: Like in Santorini, the ship sent everyone on the excursion at the same time, so it got very crowded at the Palace of Knossos and we had to wait in line a lot. It was unfortunate because Celestyal could have staggered the departure times a bit to help with the crowds. The tour then took you to the museum and gave a guided tour of the Minoan section. We chose to leave the guided tour then and saw the rest of the museum on our own. We walked from there to the Koules Fortress then walked to see the Morosoni Fountain and Agios Titos Church. It was about a 20 minute walk back to the ship from near the Morosoni Fountain. You can also stay on the tour and the tour bus will bring you back to the ship. Kusadasi: Ephesus was amazing, we had a really great guide! It was crowded, again the ship could have staggered all of the buses better. After Ephesus you were required to go to the carpet co-op. They also had pashminas, jewelry, and leather goods for sale. Our guide made it clear that we were not obligated to buy anything. Although I did not want to buy a carpet, I was okay with this stop because at least they gave us a meal! A lot of Celestyal buses stopped here, I would recommend that they let the shoppers stay and send the non-shoppers back to the ship on an earlier bus. We had to wait for the last person on our bus to finish shopping, which took a while. There was no set time that people had to finish shopping, I think if there was going to be a sale, they wanted to get it!! We walked around Kusadasi for a bit and it was beautiful, I really wish we had more time there! There were a lot of little beaches along the shore within walking distance from where the shore was docked and I wish we had time to go swimming. Embarkation and disembarkation from the ship were quick and went smoothly. Overall a great cruise due to the itinerary. The food would benefit from more variety, like more theme options each day for each meal. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the price. We got a balcony room for the decent price. The room was OK, but there was a vibration from the engine or from other mechanical part, that sometimes was severe and disturbed the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the price. We got a balcony room for the decent price. The room was OK, but there was a vibration from the engine or from other mechanical part, that sometimes was severe and disturbed the sleep. We complained to the customer service, someone came to check, he said that this is a known problem and left and that's it. Food was good, wine, coffee and some alcohol drinks were included. During the cruise the itinerary was changed and we had less time in Croatia and more time on the ship. The ship was boring, the entertainment was very boring (we don't speak Spanish). On the fifth day we decided to leave the ship and spend more time in Croatia and it was the best moment of the whole cruise :-). When we informed the customer service that we are leaving they behaved kind of weird in the beginning: they told us that it involves some kind of procedures and it is not easy and we have to pay 25 Euro per person per night (total 100 Euro) to leave!!! I came back in the morning, told them that we are leaving and refusing to pay, singed some form and left. Never again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Smaller cruise line, very attentive crew, nothing was a problem,this was the second of the seabourn ships we have been on, the year before we were on the Oncore but prefer the Odyssey, so much so we have booked our trip for next year on ... Read More
Smaller cruise line, very attentive crew, nothing was a problem,this was the second of the seabourn ships we have been on, the year before we were on the Oncore but prefer the Odyssey, so much so we have booked our trip for next year on the Odyssey, she is just a bit smaller than the encore and we felt more at home. Our cabin on both ships was fabulous, really roomy and great bathrooms. We loved the selection of dining and ate at The Thomas Kellar when we were able, Could not fault the crew, always very happy and there for our enjoyment, ports and shore excurtions also great. We don't think it is a ship for children as there is nothing for them to do, which is another reason we chose Seabourn and have told so many of our friends all of the wonderful treats on board. The ship was very modern and very clean. Judi and Alan Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My husband and I went with a group of people organized by a travel agent. The itinerary was perfect, and so were the excursions and guides. The majority of the crew was friendly, but some were not. We enjoyed the tours and the ... Read More
My husband and I went with a group of people organized by a travel agent. The itinerary was perfect, and so were the excursions and guides. The majority of the crew was friendly, but some were not. We enjoyed the tours and the destinations, but we were very disappointed with the food and the included drink selection, all 26 of us, which is our biggest complaint. Also, it forced us to eat on the Islands if you wanted to spend any additional time after the excursion because they cut off the lunch after 2 pm. I have never been on a cruise that did not offer many options for eating any time you wanted, but not on this cruise! It was our anniversary, so we chose the most expensive suite with a large balcony. The cabin was very nice and would recommend this option if you decide to go on this ship. This cruise was our first trip to Greece, and it was gorgeous. I recommend you go to the Islands as we did, but I cannot recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We liked the venue: Athens to Venice. The accommodations were good. Cabin nice and clean. Balcony and pools were great. Food wasn’t what I expected is all. I’m not fond of cafeteria style. We ate at The Restaurant was good. As was The ... Read More
We liked the venue: Athens to Venice. The accommodations were good. Cabin nice and clean. Balcony and pools were great. Food wasn’t what I expected is all. I’m not fond of cafeteria style. We ate at The Restaurant was good. As was The Chef table. Manifrdis was ok. The Explorer bar was our favorite! Great bartenders and view! We felt service was slow even with so many employees mulling around. Many times we would have to go find someone. Excursions were excellent, though places were extremely crowded especially Dubrovnik. Too many cruise ships allowed at a time so guided tended to rush you through so other guides could get in. We would of signed up for our third cruise but thought down payment was high. We want to go on another river cruise possibly Portugal/Spain. Hopefully in 2 years. We loved the river cruise Paris to Zurich 2 years ago. More personal. See you in 2 years Viking! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click