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14 Night Mediterranean Cruise from Athens

14 Night Mediterranean Cruise from Athens

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Celestyal Crystal
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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    Athens (Piraeus)
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Alexandria
  • Day 3
    Cairo (Port Said)
  • Day 4
    Jerusalem (Ashdod)
  • Day 5
    Limassol
  • Day 6
    Rhodes
  • Day 7
    Kusadasi
  • Day 8
    Athens (Piraeus)
  • Day 9
    Istanbul
  • Day 10
    Istanbul
  • Day 11
    Canakkale
  • Day 12
    Volos
  • Day 13
    Crete (Heraklion)
  • Day 14
    Santorini
  • Day 14
    Mykonos
  • Day 15
    Mykonos
  • Day 15
    Athens (Piraeus)

Celestyal Crystal

Celestyal Crystal - Celestyal Cruises

Pros

High-quality shore excursions pair well with port-intensive itineraries

Cons

Visibly worn ship that lacks dining variety and other modern amenities

Bottom line

Excellent value, with an emphasis on the destination and Greek culture


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
This was our experience on Celestyal Cruise Line, ship “Crystal”: Intro: Embarkation was an exercise in chaos, frustration and exhaustion. Long, long lines, very bureaucratic and much standing around waiting…and ... Read More
This was our experience on Celestyal Cruise Line, ship “Crystal”: Intro: Embarkation was an exercise in chaos, frustration and exhaustion. Long, long lines, very bureaucratic and much standing around waiting…and waiting…and etc... Not nearly enough cruise staff to take care of +1000 people Same for “life preserver safety class”. Standing and waiting, waiting, waiting, etc… We booked an outside cabin with what we expected to be an “unobstructed view” window. We got a tiny, TINY room (Cabin #5212) with beds pushed up against the window wall and a walkway outside the window where people strolled back and forth, looking into the cabin at will. Beyond the walkway was the ocean, but the only time you could pull the drapes back (unless you were the exhibitionist type) to enjoy it was at midnight. In effect, it was an inside cabin with a higher price. We spent ~$800 to upgrade to a Jr. Suite. Very nice with an outside deck, but the sting of the original booking situation remains. We feel it is only fair to rate the original booking rather than the upgraded one. Only exception: Flushing toilet (I won’t go into detail) Shower would go super hot on you with no warning Otherwise: Pros – Wonderful, helpful, patient, kind housekeeping staff (Kafik & Yuleidis). Great waiters, hair stylist, entertainers, etc. All service personnel worked very hard, were always helpful, pleasant and polite, and did a great job. We thank them and greatly appreciate them. 1 Con: Last morning before debarkation, needed tipping change for a 50 euro bill, but purser very rigidly refused. This is the desk where you change money so they had to have had bills and coins. Just not willing to share? Very disappointing attitude. Ports/Tours: Pros – Fantastic ports…Istanbul was unbelievably gorgeous, Troy was an amazing adventure, Volos was beautiful and other-worldly. Crete, Santorini and Mykonos far exceeded expectations. Itinerary could not have been better. Big, big kudos!!! . Tour guides were all excellent and informative. 1 Con: Crowds, crowds, crowds…not the cruise line’s fault, of course, but still VERY frustrating. The lines were long…more standing around and waiting, waiting, waiting. That’s time away from real sightseeing. Perhaps go earlier in the am? Crete tour took off at ~noon and way too hot and crowded by that time. Misc: Pros: We didn’t attend classes or spend much time on the ship so we can’t rate that area. I had my hair washed and blown dry very well and very inexpensively in the Beauty Salon. We did attend two evening shows and they were both as good as cruise entertainment goes. Cons: “All Inclusive”: This is a definite misnomer. You were constantly asked to pay extra for what should have been part of the price, i.e. an ice cream cone by the pool (really!), a list of exotic drinks which was shoved in your face continually in the bar and food was only available at certain times. If you wanted coffee at, say, 6:30am, before the breakfast buffet opened, you had to pay for room service. That’s absolutely ridiculous when rising early for touring. No sit-down breakfast either…only buffet. The lunch and dinner buffets were slowly set up and quickly closed down. The food dry, uninteresting and unappealing. The dining rooms at night were over-crowded and there was often a wait if you didn’t arrive at opening. THE BIGGIE FOOD Sad story: We booked the “Special Dining Room” for a “special gourmet dining experience” (4 people). It cost 38 euros for the booking. Then we ordered 2 Surf & Turfs for ~60 euros and 2 Lobster Thermidors for ~the same + 2 bottles of Pouilly Fuisse wine. Surf (lobster) was totally tasteless. I have never had that experience with lobster before…mind blowing. Turf was “beef tournedos” that were ordered med. rare and yet came with not a hint of pink on or in them. They were grey, dry and didn’t even look like meat at all. The potatoes were beautifully sculpted…and tasted like gelatin. On the other hand, the wine was wonderful, which was a blessing considering the foodl!. Our waiter was a very elegant gentleman from Egypt who was way too charming and classy for the food he served. The regular dining room food was just plain mediocre to bad with uninspired options. The buffet food was often cold and looked like it had been sitting for some time at opening. You had to pay for fresh orange juice (in Greece yet, folks!) Omelets in the morning were good, but only 2 stations (guys working hard) going for 1000 people created another long line and waiting, waiting, etc… Only had one lunch…stir fry. Was pretty good, but not hot enough. Again, only 2 stations (again working hard) meant more lines and more waiting and waiting. The food on this cruise was a HUGE disappointment. We did not expect unmitigated gourmet, but we did expect “tasty” and well prepared with maybe a little gourmet thrown in once in awhile. We simply cannot, in good conscience, recommend a cruise where the food is this bad. That’s about the bottom line for us and coupled with the rest of the frustrations, we would probably not book on Celestyal again. This is my 4th cruise. My 1st was a 4-day Greek Island cruise on a small Greek cruise ship (1981). Cabin was an insider (we were very young and poor), but larger than the Crystal’s window cabin we originally booked. Food was good and plenty of it. Young, fun crowd and it was a blast. I remember it fondly and wish that line was still running. For a small cruise, it was very well organized and everything moved along well. My 2nd and 3rd were 14 day’er on a Caribbean cruise (Norwegian) and 7 day’er on a Mexican Riviera cruise. On both cruises, the food was excellent, particularly (of course) Norwegian. There was always food available somewhere and no standing in lines or waiting. That’s our story and much as we hate to say it, we do not recommend Celestyal cruises based on our current experience. 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
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