Nicely Scheduled Mediterranean Cruise
Celebrity Constellation was a beautiful mid size Cruise ship. We like it. This 12 days Mediterranean, there were only 2 Sea days. Each evening our ship departed from the port, next morning when we ... Read More
Nicely Scheduled Mediterranean Cruise
Celebrity Constellation was a beautiful mid size Cruise ship. We like it. This 12 days Mediterranean, there were only 2 Sea days. Each evening our ship departed from the port, next morning when we woke up, we were in a brand new port and town to explore. More than 75% of the fellow passengers were typical retired seniors, at the same time we saw some honeymoon couples enjoying their lifetime trip.
We flew to Roma via Frankfurt, and stayed 2 nights in Roma before embarking Constellation at Civitavecchia port. Our pre-cruise hotel was “Hotel de Monti”, actually it was not a hotel but there were 6 rooms only apartment style accommodation at the 3rd floor in the old building built in 16 century. The room was surprisingly modern and very cleans with comfortable bed, including good breakfast was a bonus. Walking distance to Roma Termini, Colosseum, and Trevi Fountain, and easily go to St. Peter’s Square by Metro.
We tried to arrive at Civitavecchia before noon to avoid embarking crowds. Our embarking was very smooth, we got our Sea-Pass card right away without any line-up. Soon we found ourselves eating our lunch at the Oceanview Café. Celebrity kept our passports when we checked in at Civitavecchia until one day before disembarking at Venice.
Our cabin was inside #8085, mid-ship on deck 8. Nicely organized inside cabin and located very quiet section. We didn’t spend much time in our cabin, just take a shower and sleep. This 12 days Mediterranean Cruise, only 2 sea days, so almost every morning, as soon as our ship moored at the pier, we were out of the cabin to explore the town. Perhaps, if we had a balcony cabin, we wouldn’t have enough time to enjoying a balcony.
2 years ago we had an Alaska Cruise on boarded “Celebrity Century”, it was a very pleasant cruise. On board Century, we were encountered very happy, friendly crews at Restaurants, Buffet, Bars, Pool deck, and Security points. They were enjoying their works with passengers. We had a very fun cruise.
Unfortunately, on boarded Constellation, we did encounter the grouchy crews and staffs regularly. They just routinely did their works everyday but did not take any extra mile to take care of their cruise guests. It’s seems like, they do their routine work without any energy or eagerness. It was sad to see………..
The worst crew was a front desk personnel. They treated cruise passengers like un-welcoming herds. They showed us obvious annoying look first, and then asked with fake smile, “What can I help you!”. We tried to avoid guest service desk as much as possible we could because they would ruin our enjoyable cruise.
If I named one crew who took care of us very pleasantly, he was a dinning waitperson named "Vladimir". Every time we had our dinner at his section, we enjoyed our meals and conversations with him.
Entertainments: We only saw 2 shows out of 12, one was Hollywood production style show and the other one was Saxophonist from Liverpool, UK. Both show were nicely done, at least I didn’t fall a sleep in the chair.
There were only two sea days in 12 days cruise. These sea days pool deck was jam packed with sunbathing peoples. So you should wake up early to get a lounger or two at prime location.
Dining staffs were promoting specialty restaurants very hard at the Main Dinning and Buffet entrance, Gangways, Elevator halls, everywhere. I think Celebrity cruise specialty restaurants’ cover charge was too pricey. Inclusive main dining was more than good enough for us. Even the 2nd Chic day, we got a Lobster tail at the main dinning.
Disembarking was well organized and very smoothly done. Three nights before, we picked our disembarking time and got color-coded luggage tags with number on it. 1 day before disembarking, just placed tagged luggage outside of the door before 11pm, next time we saw our luggage was at the cruise terminal in Venice waiting for us to pick up.
Ports and Excursions: First of all, we don’t like any group(big or small) tour excursion, since we have to follow the tour’s timetable. We hate it !. Therefore, we did D.I.Y. excursions all ports except Kusadasi, Turkey.
Rome, Italy: Pre-cruise. We spent 2½ days in Rome to explore. We visited major tourist attractions such as Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Vatican, and St. Peter’s Square. These places were packed with tourists and the Selfie-Stick was the most popular device in Roma.
Pisa, Italy: Early in the morning, we took the Trenitalia train(€58pp, Return ) from Rome Termini to Pisa, 2.5hours later we arrived at Pisa central station. From there, we caught the city bus (€2 Return, 15minutes) to Pisa Leaning Tower. The Pisa Tower was still standing with such a leaning angle, amazingly. There were many leather products shops in front of the entrance but all were counter fit products, so be aware!
Napoli, Italy: Cross the busy road in front of the Napoli cruise terminal, we took a streetcar(€1.70 each way) to Napoli Porta Nolana station. And then, we caught the Campania Express train for tourist to go to Pompeii(€11 Return ). Pompeii Ruin(€13 Entrance fee) was very unique, and huge archeological site, you need at least 3 hours to explore. Good walking shoes, water, hat, and detailing map are essentials.
Valletta, Malta: Our ship arrived at 1:30pm. We walked to the Elevator Tower(€1) near the harbour, it lifted us up to Upper Barrakka Gardens area. Harbour view from this Garden was spectacular. There was a free Wi-fi hotspot at this Garden, everybody frantically using it. We wanted to go to old Valletta town but ferry from Valletta to Sliema was canceled due to rough sea(?).
Santorini, Greece: There were two choices of transportation at Santorini. One was taking a cable car(€5) to top of the cliff, town of Fira. The other one was take a ferryboat to Oia. Tender boat took us to tiny Fira harbour; at there we bought a “Ferry + Bus transfers ticket(€15)” to go to Oia. Less than 40 minutes ferry ride and bus transfer, we arrived at town of Oia. It was a beautiful breathtaking town, and a stunning harbour view from the top. Explored Oia for 3 hours, and then we caught a transfer bus to town of Fira. We had our lunch at the restaurant with spectacular view of Santorini harbour. Even our huge cruise ship was looks like tiny, tiny toy ship from there. Our return to ship, we rode a cable car down to the Fira harbour.
Kusadasi, Turkey: This was the only port we hired a Tour company called “Ephesus Shuttle” because we were afraid of mishap in Turkey. We had “Shuttle - 1” 4 hours Ephesus tour, plus House of Virgin Mary with a knowledgeable tour guide named Ms. Dicle Gundem(?). She was a very intelligent lady who is working as a tour guide for 7years. Highly recommend.
Rhodes, Greece: Cruise ships moored on a pier directly opposite the walls of the medieval Old City. Walk to the end of the pier, cross the road, and you are into the walled Old City of Rhodes. We walked around Cobblestone street for 2 hours, not much to see but interesting old town. Nice restaurant named Socratous Garden was our stop to take a break in the hot day.
Mykonos, Greece: Our ship docked Mykonos new port early in the morning. Cruise sold unlimited use of transfer bus from new port to old port town for $5. However we knew in advance, there is a Sea-bus(€2 each way) frequently right in front of the cruise ship to the old port town and drops us off in the centre of town. We loved White tiny church(Church of Paraportiani), the White buildings, Little Venice, and Windmills in the old town. Walking through the twists and turns of the streets was wonderful experience. We saw enough ruins already so we didn’t go to Delos.
Athens, Greece: Our ship berthed at Piraeus Terminal A. Just outside of the terminal, we found a X80(Express bus ) bus-stop to city centre as we expected. However, posted sign at the bus-stop said “Out of Order!”, we didn’t know what does it mean, but definitely X80 bus was not running at all in May. Walked out of the Piraeus port and caught X40 city bus(€1.70 each way) to Syntagma Square. We spent good 4 hours at Acropolis-Parthenon(€20 entrance fee) , Areopagus- Mars Hill, and then wondering around Plaka area for shopping. At Syntagma Square, we could watch a Presidential guard changing ceremony. Don’t miss it out; it was a kind of fun/entertainment to watch.
China, Greece: We docked the port of Souda, about 4km from Chania. Just outside of terminal, the city was operating a non-stop transfer bus(€2 each way) for cruise passengers to Chania old town. There were the old buildings, the mosque, the lighthouse and crystal clear waters makes Chania very pictorial.
Venice, Italy: You must see the town of Venice from the Sea. When cruise ship was maneuvering the narrow strait into Venice harbour, we could see everything about town of Venice. We decided to walking in and out of Venice, we used People Mover(€1.5 each way) from pier to Piazale Roma. From there, we walked to Raialto Bridge, and St. Mark's Square. The street was a perfectly maze but we could find many direction signs on the building wall. Again it was a totally crowded tourist town, therefor further away from the main tourist attractions; we could find a good restaurant with reasonable price in Venice amazing city. Read Less