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Sail Date: April 2019
We are glad to find you all here, even if it's just virtual. I participated, together with my wife, on the cruise from 29.04 to 06.05.2019 with Celestyal Cristal. The only word that fits this cruise is "excellent" ... in all ... Read More
We are glad to find you all here, even if it's just virtual. I participated, together with my wife, on the cruise from 29.04 to 06.05.2019 with Celestyal Cristal. The only word that fits this cruise is "excellent" ... in all respects ... from boarding to disembarkation. The vessel is small enough, it is neither new nor modern, but that does not matter because this vessel has a team that provides the highest class service. First of all we noticed the cruise director Dany who made our embarkation to take place simply and quickly and after that he took care that the whole cruise unfolds in the most pleasant atmosphere. Dany is a complete man and artist, the heart of the shows every evening and the organizer of all the trips I participated in. He is indeed, as he says himself, like the Duracell Bunny, of inexhaustible energy. We was very pleasantly impressed by the simple organization and the impeccable development of shore excursions that were included in the program and in the price. The competence of the guides and drivers on the buses that have transported us was special. I have especially noticed the restaurant's chief of the ship, Mr. Adrian Zamfir, who does not resemble an ordinary boss wich is hiding in his office. This great man participates with his staff in the entire restaurant activity, having every evening some nice talk with every guest of the restaurant. He organized the most beautiful moments for most of his guests, including birthday parties for both adults and children. Reception at the restaurant and the showroom was always a pleasure in the presence of the hosts: Lisandra, Ori and Caroline. All the staff of these restaurants have competed in a nicer and most efficient service all over the world. On the whole cruise I have not seen anyone unhappy, but they all have only words of praise about the staff of the restaurants. We have been very good greatly served by Mr. Mohamad from Amalthia Restaurant, Mr. Adi Zaharia from the Fish Tavern and Didi Souschef from Leda Buffet. We remember with big pleasure of the activity of chefs from Chef's Corner, where every day you find only goodies. Drinks from all bars were good and well served. The entertainment was excellent, including two live shows a day, which often ended with generalized dance (artists and spectators). Very good were the bands that sang live at bars and swimming pools: "Trio Greco", "Souls Latin" and "Duo Jaleo". We was particularly impressed the performances presented in the evening. The artists involved here are complets: singing, dancing, doing acrobatics that sometimes seem impossible ... and everything is perfect in a show with the theme, it's not a random mix. A special mention for Maite, the "girl with the violin", that makes a special contribution alongside each band, improving the results. Note 10 to everyone. The most important advantage in this cruise was that almost everything was included in the price: Accommodation, meals, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, port taxes, service tax and 3 optional tours. The ports of call were excellent, and the time spent in each port allowed us to visit everything we wanted. I booked cabin 3101, a cheaper cabin, but I think it was the best choice. For how long I spent in it was perfect. Enough of space, endowed with everything that was needed, arranged and decorated. It did not have window, but the wall-painting had successfully replaced it, and the air was excellent. We did not feel the lack of window. I was very well served three times a day by a very careful manager. Towels and sheets have been changed regularly, all the toiletries provided ... all I needed! In the cabin, there were very few movements ... even in a bad weather and I always had a great sleep. We are particularly grateful and we promise to return, recommending this cruise to others. Read Less
28 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
There was nothing to fault on this holiday. Very well organised indeed. Holiday comprised of flights from London Heathrow to Athens return, 1 night in Athens hotel, then 7-night cruise including 24 hours in Mykonos, 48 hours in ... Read More
There was nothing to fault on this holiday. Very well organised indeed. Holiday comprised of flights from London Heathrow to Athens return, 1 night in Athens hotel, then 7-night cruise including 24 hours in Mykonos, 48 hours in Santorini, a day in Milos, another in Herculaneum, Crete and concluding with a half day visit to Ephesus, Turkey. A really good itinerary on this cruise if you like the best of the Greek Islands. The flights, transfers and hotel accommodation were all fine (Stewart Travel, Glasgow). The cruise was exceptional. Mostly because of the crew. Small comfortable ship (800 passengers). Extremely friendly and attentive staff (nothing was too much trouble for them). This was probably the best cruise we have been on to date. We were given cards when we arrived which entitled us to free drinks (alcoholic and soft) which covered all but the luxury brands of drink (18-year-old whisky etc.). It was fine for us only requiring beer, baileys, wine and coffee. We did have a lobster dinner one night and paid extra for that, but it was well worth it! The food was excellent. Ranging from the ‘Al A Carte’ restaurants to the buffets and bars. There was a wide range of dishes and choices to suite everyone. We didn’t have one meal we were not impressed with. The staff are very attentive, we didn’t wait long to be served ever. The entertainment on the ship was constant culminating with the two shows every night. The shows were excellent and varied, the dancers and acrobats extremely talented. The ship photographers were also very helpful, and their work was memorable. The easy pace of the island visits meant you had plenty of time to explore each destination properly. We were lucky with the weather and had clear blue skies and 23-25c most of the week. I cannot stress the friendliness and helpfulness of the Captain and his crew enough! They were all charming, went to great lengths to ensure the passengers were always happy and content. The safety and efficiency of the way the ship was run was impressive for me as an ex-seaman. Everything was properly done (we felt safe at all times). We had a magical holiday and would recommend this company, ship and staff unreservedly, everything was perfectly organised. We would cruise again with Celestyal without hesitation. They are an outstanding company (extremely impressed). Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Hi All, My trip Aug 27th from Athens on the Crystal 7 Day Idyllic Aegean Cruise was beyond what I expected. With only 476 cabins this makes for a nice intimate group with no line ups. The extra pluses like all inclusive drinks, free ... Read More
Hi All, My trip Aug 27th from Athens on the Crystal 7 Day Idyllic Aegean Cruise was beyond what I expected. With only 476 cabins this makes for a nice intimate group with no line ups. The extra pluses like all inclusive drinks, free tours and no tipping quickly made this my top favorite cruise of all time. The guests themselves were 40-75 age group comprised mostly of Canadians and Europeans. No language barrier at all as the staff for the most part are fluent in 5 languages. Very few children which does not exclude families but there is not a huge children's program and the sheer amount of walking and exploring would be difficult for kids or seniors with mobilty issues. Having said that the ship herself does accommodate physically challenged passengers. The food was superb with a la carte and buffet style options. We had a pre reserved table every night and we loved getting to know the staff. The food was international style with a North American flair and every meal was different and presented in the most elegant way. They do offer upgraded menu items like Lobster and select wines but we didn't feel the need to upgrade. I can not say enough about the hard working and friendly staff. By day 2 they knew us by name and we were always greeted in a friendly way. The cabins were spotlessly cleaned and had all the special touches you would find on any other larger cruise ship. Towel service, turn down service, cute towel animals and chocolate on the pillows. Our cabin was a large picture window which was lovely arriving in each port. I would have upgraded to balcony except there were none to book last minute. The best thing about this cruise is that it actually overnights in many of the Greek ports which give guests a chance to experience day and nightlife without having to rush to get back on ship. It was great to be able to explore these destinations on our own. The tours were amazing and very informative, especially Turkey which was a wonderful surprise as we were slightly nervous about going there. At no time did we ever feel any port or locals were dangerous. Of course there were lots of vendors selling their wares and for the most part they were ready to bargain and the clothing, jewelry and trinkets were truly authentic. I would not travel in August again just due to the thousands and thousands of tourists in each port every day plus the heat which was in excess of 38C every day. I would highly recommend this cruise to any of our valued customers and do recommend a few pre/post nights to unwind before the cruise. I will be telling anyone who is willing to listen how fantastic this experience was. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Very good food, clean cabins, great night shows and divers entertainment program. Really best value for money I've paid. Great for families with/without friends. I strongly recommend for everybody: you can enjoy the dense daily ... Read More
Very good food, clean cabins, great night shows and divers entertainment program. Really best value for money I've paid. Great for families with/without friends. I strongly recommend for everybody: you can enjoy the dense daily program or you just can relax in sun bath. I've have chosen 7 nights in Greek island with spectacular views; the atmosphere on the ship was like in (a big) family. The services was really good, the crew was very nice and we have really pleased with the overall atmosphere. Very nice live bands with Greek traditional music or from international . Danny, the cruise director, was a man of pleasant surprises every night with really good shows, that cover professional dance, good music, acrobatics, ballet and so on. The entertainment team was really good and interactive with peoples. Finally I spend very nice time on Celestial Crystal and I will back next year for a new experience. Thank you! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We wanted a true Cuban Experience and Celestyal Cruises are the only ones we knew of to provide that as most other cruises simply visit Havana. However, Celestyal take you to Cuban Ports and enhance your experience in the country. ... Read More
We wanted a true Cuban Experience and Celestyal Cruises are the only ones we knew of to provide that as most other cruises simply visit Havana. However, Celestyal take you to Cuban Ports and enhance your experience in the country. Embarkation was probably the simplest we have ever experienced in our 20+ cruises with various lines. We were aware that the ship used to be a Car Ferry but is has been refurbished so well that you just would not realise that fact. Our cabin was very spacious and immaculately clean, and yet again, probably larger than cabins on other cruise lines. We could not fault the food on board other than to say that the breakfast finished far too early and the food could be tepid most of the time. Other than that - you could not get late night snacks anywhere. The quality, even in the Buffet Restaurant, could not be faulted. On Deck, sunbathing was a joy as there were always plenty of sunbeds available. Probably the most memorable thing about our wonderful cruise though was the staff. Despite being on numerous cruises, the staff on this ship were the friendliest, most helpful we have ever experienced. We had 2 tours included in our package and they were absolutely excellent. The guides knew their stuff and made the experience very interesting. We had a Drinks Package and Pre-paid Gratuities which was an absolute bonus as I hate the situation on other ships when the staff are virtually begging for tips. The Drinks Package covered everything and the drinks were of good quality We had reservations about joining this ship due to its history (Car Ferry) plus the fact that we had never even heard of Celestyal before we researched cruises around Cuba but without doubt we would not hesitate to book with them again. Our only criticism apart from the tepid breakfasts was the fact that communication with the passengers could do with improvement as quite often you were left wondering what was going on. If you book this ship, avoid Deck 2 as your accommodation as occasionally there can be a strong smell of diesel. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
I chose this cruise, because I wanted to have fun with my wife. I hoped I would find a clear and fresh cabin but I didn't. So I don't suggest it to anonybody. Besides doctor does not appear, if you call him. A nurse is sent in ... Read More
I chose this cruise, because I wanted to have fun with my wife. I hoped I would find a clear and fresh cabin but I didn't. So I don't suggest it to anonybody. Besides doctor does not appear, if you call him. A nurse is sent in order not to pay 45€ per visit! The pharmacy is not properly updated and you may be in danger during the cruise, if something health matter occures. I called the hospital of the ship and an ironical nurse came into my cabin. She gave me a medicine for diarroia, caused by bad food in the ship, that caused stomachache and breathing problem during the night. Also many members of the crew didn't speak greek, although the majority of the passengers of the ship were greek people. I obviously do not suggest that cruise to anybody. I left the cruise in Kos in the third day and I did not regret it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Cruising the greek waters in summer is always a great pleasure for me.This is classical cruising ald style, when the pleasure of the destinations,the symbiosis with sea and sorrounding nature were paramount.If you want a luxury cruise on a ... Read More
Cruising the greek waters in summer is always a great pleasure for me.This is classical cruising ald style, when the pleasure of the destinations,the symbiosis with sea and sorrounding nature were paramount.If you want a luxury cruise on a superliner or a "sterylized "ambiance don't ever think about booking with Celestyal . If you want an old fashioned ( but clean and updated ) ship and love to experience a classical cruise on Greek islands this is for you.The ambiance is greek, it is exactly as vacationing in a greek island, greek atmosphere,greek music,greek food. In a 7 days cruise you get 10 destinations, the ship is nearly always at pier. And yes, there's also smoking people onboard ( but you can manage not to be disturbed by this,there are separated areas : here EVERYTHING is authentic, as is ashore ). NOTHING is similar to big american style mainstream cruise lines except kindness of the crews ,cleanliness of the ships and freshness of the food ( no,this is much better,everything is embarked fresh in many of the ports visited ) . And nothing is specially geared to american tastes : why it should ? This is Greece, not America ! At least, this is what I enjoy while travelling : the differences ! I want all true American...in America ! Wonderful and enjoyalble cabaret style evening entertainment ( they really exceeded my expectations who were adeguate to ship's style,simple ) and lot of music to dance : in a word, fun ! I was SO happy at the end of the cruise that I already booked same cruise for 2017 : there are so many beaches, so many activities , so many true and authentic experiences that awaits you in these islands that you could easily repeat this cruise every summer . I nearly forgetted has was pleasurable cruising in the 70's,80's etc. on reals ships, not on standardizex condominum-styled Hyatt-like ships. Enjoy. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
I have a nice trip in Celestyal Crystal to discover Greek Islands.The ship has a few years but is very well preserved. The food is excellent and the staff is very friendly. The places I visit are very nice and I feel it is a good way to ... Read More
I have a nice trip in Celestyal Crystal to discover Greek Islands.The ship has a few years but is very well preserved. The food is excellent and the staff is very friendly. The places I visit are very nice and I feel it is a good way to met some Greek islands. I am not sure to recommend several excursions but the tour of Ephesus is highly recommended. You can visit the other places on your own perfectly. Drinks are not included in the price but there are several options to drinks voucher. In my opinion the cruise is not only for families or honeymooners, but also for friends looking for a fun holiday. There is a small pool on the 9th floor deck and a hot tub on the 5th floor deck. You can also go to the casino and dancing every night in the lively nightclub. Every day there is usually music or theater performances. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This cruise was part of a guided tour with a large international tour company. We started in Istanbul for a few days before joining the cruise when it arrived in Istanbul from Athens. As part of a larger group our on-shore excursions ... Read More
This cruise was part of a guided tour with a large international tour company. We started in Istanbul for a few days before joining the cruise when it arrived in Istanbul from Athens. As part of a larger group our on-shore excursions were organised by our tour director and we had no problems at all. I was pleasantly surprised by the size of our outside cabin with window. It was larger than I had expected and the bathroom was a decent size too. We had plenty of storage in the way of wardrobe and cupboards. The only issue we had was the the bed was too low to store our empty suitcases underneath. We were on deck 5 which has an outside walkway that goes around the entire ship so we did have people walking past our window from early in the morning but the windows are mirrored so the room is still very private with the curtains drawn. There were two choices for eating; the buffet or the dining room. The buffet food was decent and plentiful if you ate early though it was never hot only warm. The al a carte in the restaurant was tasty though there is a limited menu choice. You could have breakfast in either the buffet or restaurant. I didn't attend any of the shows but was told that they were entertaining though not very professional. There are plenty of bar areas to enjoy; around the pool, indoors or at the rear of the ship on deck 5. As a smoker I spent most of my time at the deck 5 bar as it was one of the few places I could drink and smoke. The staff were all absolutely wonderful and very helpful with any requests we had. Our room stewards kept our room clean and neat. As the crew come from all over the world there are many new friends to be made if you enjoy learning about other countries. Watching the ship dock in the early morning was one of my regular highlights and the other was the sunsets. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We wanted to sail the Aegean and visit Istanbul and Ephesus, and this was the perfect cruise. We sailed from Lavrion, which is about a half-hour from Athens Airport. It's far-less crowded than Piraeus, and our embarkation was fast, ... Read More
We wanted to sail the Aegean and visit Istanbul and Ephesus, and this was the perfect cruise. We sailed from Lavrion, which is about a half-hour from Athens Airport. It's far-less crowded than Piraeus, and our embarkation was fast, easy and stress-free. The Crystal is a lovely ship, spotless, with plenty of great open spaces. Our cabin was on the 7th deck, so we had a view! It was small but comfortable and cozy, and the housekeeping staff checked in and put everything in order twice a day - they were absolutely lovely. We enjoyed the food immensely - it was delicious. The buffets were endless and offered plenty of healthy options, and we loved the restaurant, the Amalthia, particularly after a hot active day - it was elegant without being stuffy, and the staff was wonderful, particularly as we usually had an exhausted five-and-a-half year-old with us. As for this particular five-and-a-half year-old, the activities were great (paper flowers, fruit carving), as was the music, both Greek and Latin - he was constantly dancing. The service was impeccable - we felt like royalty, and everyone was fantastic, and genuine, with our son. We did and saw so much, and it was organized and safe. Our stops included Istanbul, Kusadasi (Ephesus), Chios, Santorini, Rhodes, Crete (Agios Nikolaos and Heraklion), Symi (incredible!) and Mykonos. The highlights? Oia in Santorini, Knossos, Old Rhodes, Mykonos Town, Symi and the villages of Mesta and Pyrgi in Chios, hidden spots that astonished everyone on our excursion. Back on board, the gym and sauna were great. Would we go again? Absolutely! Opa. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
I was expecting this cruise would not be up to the standard that we had enjoyed on other criuse ships and was not disappointed in my assumption. Meal times were a free for all when people had to queue up for the buffet (even though there ... Read More
I was expecting this cruise would not be up to the standard that we had enjoyed on other criuse ships and was not disappointed in my assumption. Meal times were a free for all when people had to queue up for the buffet (even though there were two buffet zones, only one was opened even for disembarkation breakfast time). If you elected to go to the main restaurant for "open sitting" you were always escorted to a seat at a table set for 8 people so which meant sitting with new people each time. The a la carte menu was really poor with little that could be called high quality food, and meals were often cold, particularly for breakfast. Water, tea or coffee was available only at mealtimes and had to be purchased at any other time of the day. There was no access to free drinking water during the day unless you were prepared to pay for it. Everything on board such as water, tea, coffee, drinks, use of the safety box in the cabin for example all came at a cost. I refused to pay 16.00 Euro's for the use of the safety box and was glad that i didnt lose one of the poor quality pool towels as that would have cost me 12.00 Euros for a replacement. The air conditioning in the cabin did not work well and we were advised that little could be done about it and just put up with it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
My wife and I have just returned from our vacation in Greece. While we were pleased with most of the trip, the cruise fell short of what we were expecting. Some problems were not serious - the food was hit or miss, and the "pool" ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned from our vacation in Greece. While we were pleased with most of the trip, the cruise fell short of what we were expecting. Some problems were not serious - the food was hit or miss, and the "pool" was more like a kiddie pool. Our big issue, however, was with our cabin. The cabin was supplied with two twin beds, rather than one larger bed, which was not what we had hoped for our honeymoon, nor was the stale smell on the blankets and the torn carpet. The worst part was the bathroom. The toilet did not work when we arrived. It was fixed quickly, but had to be dealt with the second and the third day as well. The shower did not drain properly, flooding the bathroom floor when we showered. Above all, the smell in the bathroom was that of a backed up sewer, and would drift into the cabin if the door was left open for more than a second. The outside of the room also smelled strongly of diesel. After returning home and researching this cruise line, we learned that this was formerly a car deck. While not everything about the cruise was negative (the entertainment was good, the all-inclusive drink special was worth the price, some of the meals were tasty, and the overall itinerary was fun), the cabin left a sour taste on this trip. If we had known what the cabin would be like we would have preferred to stay on the mainland for a few extra days. We would not use this cruise line again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
SHIP: My wife and I are experienced cruisers who have sailed throughout the Caribbean, to Alaska, the Mediterranean and also along European rivers on modern cruise ships of various sizes. The Louis Cristal sits firmly in the position of ... Read More
SHIP: My wife and I are experienced cruisers who have sailed throughout the Caribbean, to Alaska, the Mediterranean and also along European rivers on modern cruise ships of various sizes. The Louis Cristal sits firmly in the position of the worst cruise ship we have sailed. This is John Cleese's "Fawlty Towers" at sea! In effect, you don't realize until it's too late that this is a very basic cruise where you pay only for your cabin and meals, and then are nickel'd and dime'd for everything else, from bottled water, soft drinks, a rudimentary internet service, all the way to dining at the only specialty restaurant on board, the Alberta Steak House, which experience I had no desire to test. On the subject of food, the on-board meals are below average for what one expects on a cruise ship these days, being no more than basic cafeteria fare (surprisingly overseen by a French chef!). In addition, several passengers complained about the delays being served in the main restaurant. This is an older ship, although there are a lot of young, inexperienced staff sailing this route for the first time. Our young stewardess who greeted us when we arrived on board placed us in the wrong line for check-in where after a long wait, she was corrected by a supervisor and we had to join another queue. Timings and schedules were not well organized, and very few of the advertised times for events (including sail away times) were adhered to ... I guess the idea was to put everyone on relaxed Caribbean time. There was poor coordination between the ship's tour staff and the tour organizers in Canada in relation to prepaid tours, often leading to frustration on what should be an enjoyable Christmas cruise. This 1,200 passenger ship sailed from Athens over the previous 21 days with only 90 European passengers, and stopped in Montego Bay, Jamaica to pick up 45 mostly Caribbean passengers for the Cuba leg of the cruise. On the first night of dining in the main restaurant, all of the mostly Black Caribbean new cruisers were herded to sit together at the back of the dining room. Regardless of whatever reasons Management would offer for this action, it was insensitive, looked and felt awful, and was reminiscent of sailings from Africa to Cuba across the Atlantic centuries before, in one of the worse atrocities committed by humans against each other. Inherited prejudices die hard. Entertainment on board was generally of a mediocre standard, although the entertainment team that joined the cruise from Havana were quite good, featuring some excellent acrobats. Sassanya Dawson of Jamaica stole the show with her solo performance on Christmas Eve. CUBA On the other hand, the destination was a real eye opener! Any preconceptions a first time visitor has of Cuba are scuttled. On display was a poor Caribbean country that took on all the odds for decades and still excels on the world stage, whether in sports, music or exportation of health care workers to countries in need. There is a mystique about this geographically large country with wide expanses of beautiful countryside, and a high level of discipline amongst its population. Amidst ruins of once beautiful architecture is the national commitment to restoration, the out-pouring of a breathtaking culture of music and dance, and the impression that all citizens could articulate the national strategy for survival. You are drawn to discover and understand this country's history, and to observe its recovery. Visit the famous Tropicana show in its 75th year, and you find it impossible to believe that you are in one of the poorest countries of the world, putting on a world class display to earn tourist dollars to assist with its recovery. As the curator of the Museum in Santiago de Cuba told us: "Cubans have sharp minds, but empty pockets". RECOMMENDATION At the moment this is the only cruise that sails around Cuba and it is in its second season. If you don't mind mediocre quality, service and organisation on board, you can get by with this particular cruise. Or you can prepare yourself by managing expectations. However, this type of cruise ship is an anachronism in today's modern world. Cuba will soon open up to better quality cruise ships offering this type of exploration of the country. In this way, you will be able to see Cuba, a fascinating and historic destination, in the level of comfort for which the modern cruise industry has become known.   Read Less
Celestyal Crystal Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 0.0
Family 2.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 5.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.5 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates N/A N/A

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