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6 Crete (Heraklion) to Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

cruise was booked for me as part of package deal. 2 swimming pools but no water in them for 5 days !!!!! said it was all inclusive but we had to pay for water and juice.Chaotic when in port as often had to wait for over an hour to ... Read More
cruise was booked for me as part of package deal. 2 swimming pools but no water in them for 5 days !!!!! said it was all inclusive but we had to pay for water and juice.Chaotic when in port as often had to wait for over an hour to disembark due to americans receiving priority in getting off the ship to take part in excursions.Cabin very small and basic,felt like being on a cross channel ferry between Dover and Calais. Food in dining room was good and staff very friendly. Staff in general were helpful. Shore excursions especially in Athens were too rushed, we had roughly 3 hours ashore which was not enough to see the sights.In Athens we were halfway through climbing to the top of the acropolis when we ran out of time and the guide took us back down again !!!!! Had to buy postcards to get the full view of the Acropolis. Would never sail with this company again !!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Just returned from a week on the Celestyal Line’s Crystal “Idyllic Aegean” cruise to the Greek Isles out of Athens. Here’s the bottom line on the entire cruise experience - with apologies to those negative reviewers from another ... Read More
Just returned from a week on the Celestyal Line’s Crystal “Idyllic Aegean” cruise to the Greek Isles out of Athens. Here’s the bottom line on the entire cruise experience - with apologies to those negative reviewers from another orbit who’ve expressed reservations. Firstly, the really spectacular: - The multilingual cruise director, Danny, an energetic John Oliver clone, was an absolute delight and livened up the entire week; - Formal dinners are served and presented with gastronomic flourish, and most offer a truly memorable food experience - with a distinct European flair and great service. If your vision of good cuisine is everyday American comfort food, then maybe consider a different vacation option. The executive sous chef also offers a poolside specialty breakfast (omelet station) and lunch each day (pasta; gyros; fajitas; BBQ); - The nightly shows in the main theatre, performed by a resident troupe, were simply amazing with fabulous choreography, music, stage production, sound/lighting, and at times audience participation; we didn’t miss a single night; - It’s a visit to another world: the 910 passengers onboard represented 34 countries, the 403 crew members 31 countries, all of which provided a chance each day to talk to someone from a different culture (all announcements were in five languages) - an invaluable life event; - Generally, each interaction with a staff person was courteous and efficient. The mundane: - Yes, it’s an older ship that has been tenderly maintained. While it’s not the Ritz Carlton, accommodations are comfortable, clean, and well-serviced (thank you Jose and Ramesh). Does it look a little tired in spots? Sure, it’s a Euro-centric vacation vehicle and, thankfully, not a Disney wannabe. Consider what you really want when cruising the Greek Isles; - Rooms are clean and fresh, with comfortable bedding. We splurged on a balcony junior suite (only about 10% of all cabins have balconies) and it was well worth the extra cost; - Despite other comments here, the check-in, boarding, and disembarkation process was well-managed and flawless; ignore those comments from behind the curtain: - Crews are constantly sprucing up the ship to a sparkling white outside, and the interior reminds one of a favorite living room chair: comfortable and familiar, but not flashy or exotic; - Unlike American cruises, there is no automatic add-on gratuity cost for the week (which the crew probably never receives). We handed out cash directly to an appreciative staff. The negatives: - no assigned seating at dinner, but there are three available restaurants plus two buffets; (we covertly tipped one maitre’d the first night and were treated exceptionally the other six); - the gym and casino are tiny by today’s standards, but we didn’t care in the least (we took a week off exercise); - bottled water was not part of the beverage package; - no free Wi-Fi. but we were able to use cellular at each destination from the ship; - some of the free shore excursions were just mediocre and overcrowded. Consider upgrading to the other paid options at each port. Overall, a wonderful, adult experience. For couples or groups, not kids or teens, and a chance to interact with people from around the world. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Overall the reason my family chose this ship was because of the itinerary on overnight stays and long stays in port on each island. You did not feel rushed on the islands like sometimes you might on a Caribbean cruise. I believe a cruise ... Read More
Overall the reason my family chose this ship was because of the itinerary on overnight stays and long stays in port on each island. You did not feel rushed on the islands like sometimes you might on a Caribbean cruise. I believe a cruise is the best way to visit multiple islands in Greece in a short amount of time, but I would not suggest this cruise to anyone. Even though it has a great itinerary, the ship is lacking many things to make your trip better while on board. Pros -Itinerary is great and spent 2 nights in Santorini. -Staff is very helpful and knowledgeable. -Excursions we took were really good and the tour guides did an excellent job on getting you to experience the Greek Culture. -Food on islands is amazing. Not on cruise ship. -Spa is great. My wife loved her facial and massage. Cons - The ship is an early morning ship and you will not be able to sleep in. Keep your do not disturb on the door, or you will have the cleaning crew come in your room immediately when you dock at port. A lot of times the cleaning crew does not even knock on the door at all, they just come right in. -The cleaning crew was vacuuming outside our rooms at 1AM and you can hear everything that goes on in the hallway inside your room due to it being a cruise ship. This woke my family up multiple days throughout the cruise. -The cleaning crew is always cleaning which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but we felt like they were always hanging outside our room because the cart stayed against the wall majority of the cruise and every-time we left the room they were right outside your door. -The food on the ship is very bland. For buffet people you might would like it but after the second day my family said they were done with the ship food and ate on the islands the rest of the trip. After all you are in Greece. But for the price of the cruise the food should be much better, the chicken felt like you could chip a tooth while eating. The food is also cold for the majority of the part. The excursions that are offered are very good and if you chose any of them you would be happy. But the cruise does not provide a lot of variety of excursions as compared to Carribean cruises that i have been on. -On the last day, the cruise makes you leave your cabin at 8AM going into dock. Its currently 10AM and we are still not allowed to leave the ship. There aren't enough seats for everyone and you cannot stay in the hallways or on the floor. They will ask you to get up. This has never happened to me on a cruise before. If you take this cruise don't plan on doing anything other than walking around in athens due to this. After 8AM you aren't allowed back in your cabins and have to sit your checked luggage in the hallway before midnight the night before. -The omlet station for breakfast has only 2 machines and for 1,000 people that is not enough. There should be multiple stations set throughout the ship to avoid long lines. -The waiters are friendly but it takes European time to get to you. They are not assigned a certain section of tables and just walk around the cruise ship so the person you had for your first drink may be different for second since your first person may be on the otherside of the ship. -The Free drinks are very watered down and a hit or miss, most of the times a miss and some of them didn't even have alcohol sometimes . Some of the paid drinks I got were good, but were still watered down. -The fitness center is small with way to much equipment in there for you to really anything in a comfortable position. -Ship does not handle weather very well and is very rocky compared to others i have been on Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We really enjoyed this cruise. We were in cabin 6001, and were a bit worried when we read some of the reviews on here after we'd booked it. But no real problems. There is some noise from the anchors being let out, but that's over ... Read More
We really enjoyed this cruise. We were in cabin 6001, and were a bit worried when we read some of the reviews on here after we'd booked it. But no real problems. There is some noise from the anchors being let out, but that's over in a few seconds. There is shuddering as the ship manoeuvres, but that's felt everywhere. The walls are thin and we did hear sounds from the next cabin and from the corridor, but it seems that most cabin walls are thin on this ship. We had no problems over having our luggage delivered to the cabin. All the staff were friendly and helpful. The food in the dining room was good and the menu was quite wide-ranging and changed daily. Breakfast was also wide-ranging and there should be something to suit everyone. Drinks: they offer an all-inclusive package at €23.80 per person per day, plus 15% service charge, which wouldn't be value for money for us. When we turned that down they offered instead a "light" package of drinks with meals at €9.13 plus service. As a glass of wine with dinner is at least €5.50 this was good value, though they failed to make clear that it didn't cover drinks from any of the bars. Even so, we did better by taking this option than the all-inclusive package. You can get free tea and coffee, and water, from dispensers at the rear of the self-service restaurant. There is a daily newsletter covering that day's arrangements. Communication isn't perfect - the newsletter did not say that at the "Captain's Gala Dinner" most male diners would tend to wear a jacket and tie, so I did not and was a little out-of-place. But I wasn't thrown out! We went on just one of Costa's shore excursions, having booked others independently. At Santorini you go ashore by tender - they have crew members to assist passengers stepping between the ship and the boats - and those going on Costa's own excursions leave first, and the rest have to wait, which might have caused a problem for us getting to our excursion's meeting-point on time. We had to phone our company's emergency number about this. There is a separate service charge of €8.00 per person per day for gratuities to the cabin staff. There were several entertainment activities each evening but we didn't go to any of them. There is a small library, with a very small English section. There were six computers for public use but I could not get any of them to connect. Would I use Costa again? Well, what interests us is where the cruise is going, and the price. So Yes, if they were going where we wanted, when we wanted, and the price was reasonable,. But I'd also like to try another cruise line, perhaps one offering a different kind of experience - say, one that provided talks about the places the ship was visiting the next day. We went on this cruise to celebrate our fortieth wedding anniversary, and then spent a few more days in Heraklion. We thought the whole trip provided just the kind of celebration we wanted and we have no regrets bailout sailing on the Costa Classica.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was my first Costa cruise. I’ve cruised on nearly all the other cruise lines including MSC, another European cruise line. I wasn’t sure what to expect and was pleasantly surprised and very much enjoyed the cruise. The ship was in ... Read More
This was my first Costa cruise. I’ve cruised on nearly all the other cruise lines including MSC, another European cruise line. I wasn’t sure what to expect and was pleasantly surprised and very much enjoyed the cruise. The ship was in good condition, our oceanview room was fairly typical of other cruise lines, the main dining food was very good and the breakfast and lunch buffet was OK. The premium pay restaurant, Club Medusa, was excellent. The entertainment was in line with most US cruise lines. Keep in mind the Med cruises are very much different than the Caribbean cruises, so daytime entertainment is tamer. If you want to party, skip the cruise and head to Ibiza or Mykonos. The ship had several pools, hot tubs, Spa, excellent gym, shops, etc. I think there are some differences between Costa and MSC, who mainly market to the Europeans, and the US cruise lines sailing in the Med. First, nearly all the passengers were from Europe so all announcements are made in six languages. The ship had roughly 2300 passengers and we met only two other Americans. Second, the only dinner option is the main dining area. No dinner buffet, so if you have the early seating and get back to the ship after 7pm, late night pizza or paid room service are the only options. Third, the shore excursion options may be limited since they will only offer an English speaking tour if there are enough English speaking people taking the tour. This didn’t affect us since we normally don’t take the cruise line shore excursions, but beware if you do. Embarkation was very fast since we boarded off peak time in Heraklion, Crete. The port is right in downtown Heraklion. You may need to take a free short shuttle bus ride from the terminal building to the ship. You drop your luggage off at the terminal building before getting on the shuttle bus. There is an emergency drill your first night. Since Alanya, Turkey was not on the port of call listing, I am including in the ship review. Alanya, Turkey: This was the sleeper port of the cruise. I wasn’t expecting much and was pleasantly surprised. Great beaches, stunning mountain scenery, magical coastal views, a hilltop castle, Roman and Greek ruins, white water rafting, waterfalls and a quaint waterside area with cafes, shops and a scenic harbor. You can even ski if there in the winter. Definitely take a boat tour (one to five hours). The best beach is Cleopatra, a 20 minute walk from the ship or a few minute taxi ride. If interested in archeology, visit Side and some of the area ruins via private taxi or shore excursion. Disembarkation: Very organized and no issues. They will actually allow you to stay on board until 6pm if you have a late flight, but you need to vacate your cabin by 8am.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
The boarding was a little shambolic especially when the baggage scanner packed in and they tried pushing all luggage through the hand baggage X-ray, total chaos ensued. Eventually got through this one and bussed to another queue in a ship ... Read More
The boarding was a little shambolic especially when the baggage scanner packed in and they tried pushing all luggage through the hand baggage X-ray, total chaos ensued. Eventually got through this one and bussed to another queue in a ship side marque that turned out to be for the pre-boarding snap, not a happy picture! Glad to say it all improved from then onwards. This was our second Costa cruise, the first was on the Favalosa, the Mediterranea is a slightly older ship, but equally as impressive. Cabin (inside) was spacious, clean and well maintained. An issue with the beds was quickly resolved. If you like a couple of drinks during the day and wine at dinner I would always recommend the package My only small criticism of the Costa experience would be the evening dining; unlike some other cruise lines it is not the occasion it could be. The food it of a good quality it's just they serve it so fast, as soon as one you finishes a course the next is served meaning some were almost on their sweets whilst others were 3 courses back. The wine bottle is no longer left on the table prompting regular reminders to the waiter.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013

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