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60 Celestyal Cruises Family Cruise Reviews

I was really looking forward for this vacation, but it became terrible after booking this cruise. The ship was small, old and there was really nothing to do onboard. They didn’t even have the pools available to swim. I have been in ... Read More
I was really looking forward for this vacation, but it became terrible after booking this cruise. The ship was small, old and there was really nothing to do onboard. They didn’t even have the pools available to swim. I have been in different cruises before and I figured it was alright since the port destinations would make up for it. I was wrong, the excursions available were very unorganized. Staff was rude and unfriendly. There was no planned activities. Staff was not knowledgeable on instructions. They would announce meeting points at a certain time and they would be late. Food was terrible. Not much to do in she ship. I was traveling with 7 family members and we all felt the same way. I tried expressing my concerns to the cruise staff, but it was a waste of time. They simply didn't care. Never traveling in this cruise line again. 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
I was on the Aegean Sea cruise for 6 nights, boarding on August 26 in Athenas and disembarking in Kusadassi on September 1, 2019. My experience was excellent, a beautiful trip, an excellent itinerary, which includes two nights in ... Read More
I was on the Aegean Sea cruise for 6 nights, boarding on August 26 in Athenas and disembarking in Kusadassi on September 1, 2019. My experience was excellent, a beautiful trip, an excellent itinerary, which includes two nights in Santorini. The boat staff is excellent, the attention in the restaurant is incredible, especially by the waiters Abel, Arturito and Mario. The rest of the staff in the disco, theater, etc., the service was friendly & excellent too. The entertainment group is great (they are Cuban), which make you feel every night as if you were in a show in Las Vegas. The cleanliness of the room was very good, thanks to Ernesto and his work partner. Very good the boat that is small and somewhat old. However, they must renew the rooms a bit. And the only thing that is not good, is that breakfast is until 10:30 am and then lunch begins at 12:30 pm. If you wake up late and cannot go to lunch at breakfast time, you have no more food until 12:30 pm, The director of the cruise should consider having a buffet for those two hours. Otherwise I recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We selected the Idyllic Aegean 7 night cruise in early August 2019 aboard the Celestyal Crystal in an XB exterior stateroom. This was my second cruise (first was a western Caribbean cruise with Norwegian) and the dates and itinerary worked ... Read More
We selected the Idyllic Aegean 7 night cruise in early August 2019 aboard the Celestyal Crystal in an XB exterior stateroom. This was my second cruise (first was a western Caribbean cruise with Norwegian) and the dates and itinerary worked very well for our honeymoon plan. Unfortunately, that was one of the few enjoyable things about the cruise. First, the positives: -(Mostly) Great itinerary with overnight stops in Mykonos and Santorini -Our cleaning crew (Ernesto and Ayu) were very friendly and did a great job -Bartending staff were polite and fun The negatives: -Had to email customer support to even get my e-ticket for the cruise—I’ve received literally no email correspondence from them at any point (And yes, they had the correct email on file) -the boarding terminal had no signs or instructions for where/how to board. The ship was also very similar. We had to ask several times where to go/how to find things because of a lack of signs. This was especially true any time we tried to exit the boat at ports. -This cruise ship is old. The room/ship furnishings, restaurant, flooring etc could use a significant update -the rooms are TINY. The XB stateroom is a middle of the road option in terms of cost and we literally did not have enough room to put two normal sized pieces of luggage open on the floor. There was also no under the bed storage and very limited closet space which meant there was no where to store our empty suitcases. We ended up stacking them upright on top of each other so we could walk around the bed. As a 6’1” guy I banged my elbows against the shower repeatedly every morning. -Restaurant hours have significant restrictions (2-3 hours) for each meal and stop serving dinner at 2200. Some days, they didn’t even start serving lunch until 13:30 -Two a la carte restaurants with exactly the same menu as each other and very little variation in the buffet options -a la carte restaurant required pants for men at dinner and no flip flops but dress code was inconsistently enforced -the whole ship is on a relatively rigid “early bed, early rise” schedule. Good luck sleeping in during the 30+ minutes of morning announcements at 8am or before every morning. -a couple of the stops were not technically at a port and required lifeboat transport to the shore, sometimes taking 20-30 minutes or more. One stop required you to get in line prior to 8am to get a ticket and then wait for that number to be called, resulting in 2-3 hours of constant morning announcements on the intercom. -for a ship of 1200 passengers, the pool had a max capacity of 10 people and no poolside lounge chairs. I guess it didn’t matter anyway since the boat sailed so fast some nights that water was sloshing from the pool, all over the deck while people were trying to eat dinner. -drinks in the all inclusive package were incredibly watered down and served warm with 1-2 ice cubes. The drinks that were actually good were available to buy and with a much, much more extensive selection but it kind of takes away from the point of “all inclusive” -the last leg from Kusadasi to Athens was quite long which required the ship to travel at a VERY fast pace and rock severely the whole night. My wife and I had never been motion sick on a cruise before but were quite queasy and unable to sleep the last night due to the rocking and ridiculously loud squeaking of the entire boat because it’s too old to even withstand that kind of motion. -Our “honeymoon” courtesy was a printed sheet of paper on our bed the second night of the trip. They have many options to pay for champagne, extra dessert but basically no complimentary honeymoon extras on this “all-inclusive” trip Overall you should really only consider the cruise as a very cramped place to sleep with tons of rules and restrictions and have sub par food while going place to place on a good itinerary. For almost $2000 a person, we expected more. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We wanted to try something different from the big boats cruises and this was extremely satisfying! 1. Junior Suite with balcony - exactly what we needed. Large enough and kept very clean by the staff. 2. The ship small (under 1,000 ... Read More
We wanted to try something different from the big boats cruises and this was extremely satisfying! 1. Junior Suite with balcony - exactly what we needed. Large enough and kept very clean by the staff. 2. The ship small (under 1,000 passengers, I guess), but well kept and maintained. 3. The restaurants above all our expectations. By the way, don't miss the small a la carte restaurant (how can you miss it, they have only one)! The "surf and turf" is incredible. Also incredible is the waiter, Adrian Zaharia, who has two master degrees, one in law, one in economics. You'll be amazed how many topics of the conversations you'll have with him! 4. I am sorry I didn't catch the name of the Egyptian chef - big guy (tall) and great guy (personality). You have a secret wish and a favorite dish that is not on the menu - he'll cook it for you! 5. In the main restaurant we were attended by Geny and Aris - most kind and gentle waiters you'll ever meet. 6. Adrian Zamfir is "il capo di tutti capi" - the boss of all restaurants, the maitre d' of all ship's eateries. You can not miss him - he's the tallest, the biggest and the nicest guy, he entertains all guests in the restaurants, he listens to all, he is kind to all - when on board, just ask for "The Big White" and he'll appear like a genie in a bottle to make all your wishes come true. 7. The icing on the cake is Danny Buru. You don't know Danny? You don't know what you've missed until now! Danny is the cruise artistic director and so, so much more! I mean, come on, ladies and gentlemen, when have you ever seen an artistic director starring in a cabaret show, singing and dancing with the artists? Danny kept us entertained until well after midnight and woke us early in the morning for the free onshore excursions. 8. For last, one tip: if you'll embark in Heraklion, Crete, the embarkation will take five minutes. Enjoy! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
It is definitely Much More than Cruise. Tours and benefits are making your vacation unforgettable, because when you reach to Athens and Islands you are having simple tours and some transportation included to your Cruise rate that giving ... Read More
It is definitely Much More than Cruise. Tours and benefits are making your vacation unforgettable, because when you reach to Athens and Islands you are having simple tours and some transportation included to your Cruise rate that giving you tips about areas. And also you can learn something about history with the expression of Vasili. He is also giving you all detail about the public transportation and places you may wish to visit. Music was great, we always had good time with live music was playing during lunch and dinner time. Food in the ship was delicious, Housekeeping employee was great as well, they give us at least two times serves a day. Thank you to Tressa and Tony. Thank you to all service persons and entertainment team. I am definitely recommend Celestyal Crystal to all my friend and family and also who is planing to have Cruise experience. Thanks again to all. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Selected this cruise for the ports around Greece and Turkey because line offered two overnights, one in Mykonos (magical) and Santorini (overrated, way too many steep stairs). The staff was friendly but also up-selling at every ... Read More
Selected this cruise for the ports around Greece and Turkey because line offered two overnights, one in Mykonos (magical) and Santorini (overrated, way too many steep stairs). The staff was friendly but also up-selling at every occasion, and reminding you "that's extra - not included", hence calling it the "SS Nickel & Dime." Embarkation was a disaster - the computers went down and we were kept waiting in line outside for an hour in 37 C heat . 45 minutes in the staff passed around paper cups with some sticky sweet green beverage - we passed. No apology offered, and no explanation. Only found out real reason because we overheard staff talking about computer access issues. My traveling companion was never able to get his credit card registered - some issue with computer. WiFI - not included! That's extra. And it's not cheap at 16 Euros for 3 hours. Other lines we have traveling on include WiFi as standard issue with fare. We kept phones in airplane mode and found wifi in port every day to keep up with email and calls. The included drinks package was a real disappointment because like other lines where you could use the average base cost of a glass of wine to pay extra to get something potable, we were reduced to drinking plonk and no-name budget beer and cordials. The drinks included in the package were sticky sugar laden things - the good cocktails were all at extra price. If guzzling pink zinfandel and Long Island Iced Teas is your idea of a great time to get drunk, you'll love this ship. If you have more sophisticated tastes, prepare for a week of sparking water and disappointment. It was farcical since the cheap stuff was all included that you had to present cruise card each time. It was for "Inventory control" purposes we were told. Staffing is "Soviet Full Employment" - one person takes your order with the card, then it goes to the bar, then a third person brings you the drink. Beware the Happy Hours where you can purchase for extra money potable cocktails and wine. Bars are understaffed and it took 20 minutes to get an Aperol Spritz one afternoon. Interestingly, the same drink is priced differently at different bars, even at happy hour. My account was also padded with some extra items I never ordered that I challenged the last night and had them removed. Specialty Coffees - come out of a machine using powdered milk, unless you go to one of the bars - by the pool and the rear deck on 5 have real espresso machines. Smoking Policy - unacceptable. Smokers have use of the best areas on the ship - all the decks and the rear deck bars. Even though the smokers are supposed to be on one side of the deck, they smoked anywhere they wanted to. Vapers thought they were excluded which made for smelly hallways and public areas. Smoking policy was not enforced. If being around smokers bothers you, this is another reason to skip this line. Ship photos - photographers are everywhere making the Selfie generation happy. One night they offered a photo stand where you put on ancient Greek costumes and pose that was good fun. Wait until the last night to buy photos when the package offers get better. Onboard Shopping: boutique (watches, jewelry, basic fashions, cosmetics, cigarettes, liquor and a few sundries) was open only when in international waters so shopping opportunities were intermittent. If you see something you want in handbags, scarves, rings or or gold chains by the inch, best to buy it the first time you see it as stock gets wiped out. They do have a sale the last night and I picked up two dressy blouses at 50% off that was a good value. Meals were monotonous and just average. Breakfast is a buffet even in dining rooms. Same items every day got boring in a hurry. Stick with Greek and Turkish food for best chance of having something that isn't frozen. Sad that all the fish/seafood was frozen, when you are surrounded by the Aegean Sea. In order to get a fresh fish you need to pay 25 to 35 Euros extra to sit at a special table for a Greek Taverna style meal. Not worth it, especially considering we ate well in Athens for 20 Euros a person average, including nice house wine/quarter litre. No room service included - not even for rolls and coffee in the morning - that's extra! Pizza and Ice Cream are available - but that's extra! Ship is a converted ferry boat. Conversion efforts were basic - lacking in decor, lots of rust around the edges and worn carpets, warped railings. It felt like a budget Las Vegas hotel. Smells of bilge and sewage were often wafting through the hallways. We kept the balcony door open a lot of the time to counter the unpleasant aromas. Beds were ok but topped with thick duvet that are not needed in 35 C heat. Mattresses are hard - not the pillow top type you find on Princess, Celebrity etc. Since it was so hot I slept on top of the duvet and asked for an extra sheet. We had a Junior Suite that was OK for ship cabin - slightly smaller than what we are used to on Celebrity, Princess, Holland America. No bedside tables available so we used upturned suitcases for bedside tables instead, wedged in between beds. The hangers are the annoying kind that you need to slide into a ring that is permanently attached to the rod. I brought two plastic hangers and clips to use to dry hand-wash items-very handy! Were told by other passengers that we were lucky to get bar soap and also individual bottles of shampoo and lotion. In standard cabins you access these via a dispenser on the wall. Hair dryer was adequate if you have short or thin hair. It is tethered to the desk area and cord is not very long so tiring to dry long hair - took 2X longer than usual to get the job done. Overall the staff were friendly, and our cabin staff were flawless. However there were some floaters among the group. At Santorini tender station the staff sat in the folding chairs eating ice cream while the passengers, some elderly with canes had to stand. There is no such thing as queuing in Greece - the tender boat approached in a different area, so passengers that dutifully waited in line were pushed aside and made to wait for another tender to arrive. It's every man for himself at port side tender stops! Three shore excursions were included: Mykonos tour, Crete/Knossos Palace and Kusadash/Ephesus and Turkish carpet weaving shopping stop. Tours were good, guides spoke good English and didn't have their hands out soliciting tips. Those who wanted to offer tips did so discretely. Ephesus was the most amazing Roman ruins - best preserved (not restored) I have seen in any country. Turkish carpet weaving stop was interesting until we became trapped by salesmen. Managed to evade them and get back to the bus. Turkey is a lot like Mexico - people chase and hound you to buy souvenirs and enter their shops. The Greeks are much more relaxed, they say hello and leave you to it so it's nicer shopping for souvenirs in Greece. Other shore excursions like beach trips and sporting activities were available - but that was extra! Bottom line - if you want to stop at Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, Milos (boring, stay on ship unless you need to buy groceries or medicine), Kusadasi/Ephesus, this line has it covered. If you have basic tastes when it comes to food and beverage it will do. Otherwise skip this ship and this line. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Greek Isles in a convenient, economical fashion. We were searching for a cruise that focused on seeing the Greek islands and found that most of the major cruise lines that visit the Greek ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Greek Isles in a convenient, economical fashion. We were searching for a cruise that focused on seeing the Greek islands and found that most of the major cruise lines that visit the Greek Isles sail to/from Italy and Athens with various stops along the way in Sicily, Naples, etc. This seemed to be the most economical cruise that sailed in/out of Athens and only visited the islands. The biggest benefit of this cruise/itinerary is the long time the ship docks in Mykonos and Santorini, and we took advantage of this. So many of the cruises we looked at only had half a day+ on the islands and that doesn't give you much time to do more than get off/on the ship and walk around a bit. We toured Mykonos by taking the ship's bus to the old town early, walked around and shopped a little, took some pictures at the windmills, and then caught a bus for like 5 Euro round-trip to Paradise beach where we stayed for 4-5 hours eating/drinking/swimming and had a great time. It was a nice, relaxing day. We also planned our own excursion on Milos (speedboat tour around the island with swimming/snorkeling). We left the ship and spent the night on Santorini to be able to do a 5-hour sunset catamaran cruise that Thurs night so we didn't do the ship excursion. You can get a room a few blocks back from the caldera rim for under 100 Euro in June. The next day, some of us did the hike from Fira to Oia while the rest of the party rented a van and met us in Oia where we did more walking, shopping, and eating. Finally, we drove to the Venetsanos Winery for a wine tasting/food pairing before heading back to the ship for dinner. Santorini is amazing. We did the ship excursions in Eraklion/Crete and Kusadasi/Ephesus and they were fine. Ephesus is an amazing site and a must-see! However, by the time we got there it was crowded and then the whole rug factory tour/sales pitch at the end was a bit over-the-top. I didn't hear anything about any of the other ship-based excursions, but I'm not a big fan of riding around on a bus on someone else's schedule and priorities when it's easy to plan day-trips/activities in port independently. The staff was great, our room stewards took care of us, and embarking/disembarking was pretty seamless although the disembarking took a while. For whatever reason we never heard the "all clear to get off the ship" notification before we saw people on the dock leaving the ship. The ship is perhaps slightly dated and smaller than most, the pool is small, I think there's just 1 hot tub, and the buffets don't have a lot of variety day-to-day. The restaurants had a different menu each day and were fine. I would highly recommend this cruise for the purposes of seeing the Greek islands, but know in advance this is not a luxury cruise and you won't be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We wanted a short cruise at the end of our two week vacation in Greece. This one fit the bill perfectly. First, I am NOT a cruiser. However, as the fates would have it, I ended up on three cruises this year. The first two were on major ... Read More
We wanted a short cruise at the end of our two week vacation in Greece. This one fit the bill perfectly. First, I am NOT a cruiser. However, as the fates would have it, I ended up on three cruises this year. The first two were on major cruise lines, the third on Celestyal. The Celestyal cruise gets my prize for least annoying cruise. First, the ship is run like a finely tuned machine, and when you have so much to do in a short period of time, it is a good thing that it is. The staff were incredibly accommodating and friendly, unlike my first two cruises. These people seem to really like their jobs! The ship itself was beautiful in an awesome retro kind of way. It was meticulously maintained and the lounges were beautiful. They seemed to have restored the perfect retro vibe. Meal service was a well executed military operation as were the frequent disembarkations. It is not a small task to get all these people on and off that ship, usually twice per day. The food was a-ok, not a foodie paradise, but serviceable with nice variety and two enjoyable bbq's on the pool deck. The number of ports visited was truly remarkable, but it really was nothing more than getting a taste of the islands. Now we know where we want to spend more time. We had one whole day in Rhodes, which was blissful because we finally got to enjoy some beach time -- something we did not get in the other ports. The two included excursions were excellent. In other ports we simply rented a car for a couple of hours and got a feel for the islands. Another wonderful aspect of this cruise is that there is not a constant push to spend, spend, spend. The included drinks were great. We only ordered a few extras on the trip -- a much needed brow wax, a couple of smoothies for the kid, and a couple of knick-knacks. Our tab at the end of the cruise was around $39. On our other cruises we were greeted every morning with a stack of coupons and advertisements for art work, jewelry sales, photo packages, and on and on and on. There was none of that here. Everyone on the ship was genuinely concerned with our comfort and ease. We paid for the cruise and that was that. If you can manage the frenetic pace of frequent disembarkations and we want to see many places, this is a great option. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Having cruised once before on a bigger ship, my wife and I did not know what to really expect from Celestyal. Yes full board was part of the package, but how were they going to be different. That easy, instantly we made great friends ... Read More
Having cruised once before on a bigger ship, my wife and I did not know what to really expect from Celestyal. Yes full board was part of the package, but how were they going to be different. That easy, instantly we made great friends with the crew. Celestyal want their staff to socialize with their guests so you would often see staff sitting having a quick chat with passengers. What surprised us was that we were greeted by name. Staff were excellent and everyone greeted you with a smile Crystal was awesome, catering for all our needs. the one positive was disembarking. Very quick and efficient and queues moved very efficiently. The entertainment was great and varied to cater for all types of passenger. Another positive we noticed was that were docked longer than other cruise liners so you could really experience the islands without the pressure of getting back to the ship in time and not seeing enough. We opted for a Junior Suite so we had our own balcony. This was great to be able to sit on our own deck and stair into ocean especially during sun rises. I would seriously recommend Celestyal Cruises to young and old alike. Read Less
Sail Date May 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
Sail Date April 2019
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
Sail Date August 2018
first timers, good staff and attentive service on this smaller ship. Food was not Michelin but was more than satisfactory in all restaurants. One downer though- in the A la carte rest'nt the dress code has been allowed to slip- not ... Read More
first timers, good staff and attentive service on this smaller ship. Food was not Michelin but was more than satisfactory in all restaurants. One downer though- in the A la carte rest'nt the dress code has been allowed to slip- not saying it should be black tie etc, but sitting down next to persons in flip flops and shorts who have just come back on board from the shore visits is not great fun! if unable to dock, they do need a few more activities during the 'sea time'. would have liked a little 'tour' of the ship for example, just to show the hidden workings and to keep us out of trouble on the aft deck with the Mojitos! Being a smaller ship, we were on some of the smaller islands and away from the larger crowds from other ships. But- friendly, money's worth, and excellent, clean cabins and public areas. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this trip by chance, and I had the most wonderful 3.5 days in the cruise. Before the trip begins I know there will be little time on the islands and Athens, but this was what I've chosen and approved before payment. ... Read More
We chose this trip by chance, and I had the most wonderful 3.5 days in the cruise. Before the trip begins I know there will be little time on the islands and Athens, but this was what I've chosen and approved before payment. Everything was just perfect. We've stayed in juniour suite, which was quite big room for a cruise, everything was clean, and whenever we stop at the islands and come back, we found our room cleaned just perfectly. Dining was much better than I've expected, service was very rapid and kind in the restaurants. All the staff was friendly, kind and with smiling faces.Night shows were excellent, and luckily among 1600 people, around 700 of them from World Cruise Party and it was very entartaining to watch them partying around the pool. Pool was very small but who wants to swim in a pool when you are in endless seas!.. I adored our ship, the rescue boats hanging near the sides make the ship a bit nostalgic and cute. You may take your time while crusing, in your cabin to rest, in different lounges to listen to music or drink something, eating, sunbathing at the pool side, gambling in casino, walking at the deck, watching the waves from the deck and etc. In Patmos, Santorini and Mykonos boats got us from the ship to the ports which was very fun since to watch our ship from a boat was very exciting. Our turkish guide was excellent. I'll remember this cruise with very lovely memories. Read Less
Sail Date August 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
Sail Date July 2018
We went the whole family (2 adult children) on a 7 day cruise to the Greek islands. Excellent ship, renewed, great food, good cabins, Staff is very kind. Well prepared itinerary. What I liked the most is the human scale of the ship (1000 ... Read More
We went the whole family (2 adult children) on a 7 day cruise to the Greek islands. Excellent ship, renewed, great food, good cabins, Staff is very kind. Well prepared itinerary. What I liked the most is the human scale of the ship (1000 passengers), so that you have plenty of space and time to enjoy, no hurries, not being pushed by the herd of passengers coming behind you. Compared with the Costa and MSC ships (5000 passengers) where you just feel another number, and were you may not find a place for breakfast or lunch during rush hours (specially if you go to the buffet, instead of the restaurants), the atmosphere is much more relaxed on the Celestyal ships, And the staff is 10 times friendlier, not completely stressed like in other ships. Just make a simple calculation: in a 5000 passengers ship you have 1000 crew: on crew member every 5 passengers. On the Celestyal ships, you have 1000 passengers and 450 crew members: one crew member every 2 passengers, A huge difference!!. 100 percent recommend Celestyal Cruises. When we wanted to change an excursion from Efeso for another one in Samos (the same day), no problem, no extra charge. Good cruise company!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
The cruise was disappointing in that we stopped on the islands for very short periods. We were very rushed and at times it felt like we were herded like cattle. The food was mediocre and the ship is very dated with extremely small cabins ... Read More
The cruise was disappointing in that we stopped on the islands for very short periods. We were very rushed and at times it felt like we were herded like cattle. The food was mediocre and the ship is very dated with extremely small cabins even after we paid for an upgrade. The cruise was not my idea of fun and relaxation but more stressful and chaotic. Never again!! The pool was extremely small and uninviting. The room smelled like sewage and the toilet ran constantly. The ship was not very clean and the staff were inattentive. I am sure you could get a much nicer cruise elsewhere for the price paid. Make sure to do your research as there is an up charge for drinks, WiFi, and excursions. We definitely felt like we were not provided with the best service and accomadations for the mine up tjt was spent. Upon disembarkation we were all dismissed at one time cause a chaotic confusing crowded mess at the end of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Coming from Australia, we are used to being savvy about cruising – our country is a dumping ground for older ships with poor facilities (looking at you, Princess and P&O) or decent ships that have their prices massively pumped up the ... Read More
Coming from Australia, we are used to being savvy about cruising – our country is a dumping ground for older ships with poor facilities (looking at you, Princess and P&O) or decent ships that have their prices massively pumped up the moment they hit our shores for the season (looking at you, Royal Caribbean/Celebrity). Our family of four (parents, 19yo son and 17yo daughter) are experienced cruisers, so we are used to being cautious when booking our cruise holidays whether domestically or overseas. On this occasion, we were attending a family gathering in Europe and decided to extend our holiday by taking a cruise. Having done the Western Med several times, we were keen to concentrate on a different region. In October 2017, I cruised on Azamara Journey ex Athens return with my mother and had thoroughly enjoyed the itinerary, so I was keen to show my husband and children what Greece had to offer. Unfortunately, the choice for family cruising in the region is very limited, as many of the large, reputable cruise ships use Italy and Spain, rather than Greece, as their embarkation/disembarkation points, with limited Greek ports as part of their itineraries. Despite some research, we could find very little information from an Australian perspective on the quality of Celestyal cruising - even the travel agents we consulted had limited information and asked us to provide them with feedback if we went ahead with our cruise. (As we were to find out, most of the people cruising this line do not come from Australia, the UK or even the mainland of the USA; rather, they seemed to be from the Latin American countries and some European nations.) In the end, we decided to chance it, but played it safe by booking the best available cabins which, at the time, were a suite (Cat S) and an obstructed oceanview, both cabins being on deck 6. The total cost for the Idyllic Aegean itinerary (7 days), which included gratuities, selected drinks packages and three shore excursions, was in excess of AUD12,000. (We had hoped to upgrade both cabins onboard if this became an option, but it never eventuated as the cruise sailed at full capacity.) This price was in the ballpark of what I had paid per person for my 8 day cruise on Azamara in an oceanview cabin, so I was hopeful this cruise would be a decent one, though I wasn't naive enough to expect it would be up to Azamara's standards. My thinking was that it might equate to some of Royal Caribbean's older, smaller vessels, such as Rhapsody. THE GOOD: The ship is part of a Greek line and focuses on the islands, which is what we were looking for. We overnighted in Mykonos and stayed two full days in Santorini, which is not an option on larger liners. You can't take away from Celestyal that it offers unrivalled access to the Greek ports. Worth noting is that, at the last minute, the captain allowed all guests to disembark for an hour or so in Samos, while he picked up passengers who had attended an alternative shore excursion - this was unscheduled but appreciated and not something you could expect on larger liners. Our suite was very spacious, but had no opening windows or balcony. In fact, it was more like a very large oceanview, with just one large porthole. The shower stall was generously sized with a sliding glass door and the shower itself had the best pressure we'd ever experienced at sea. Fruit platters were provided each morning and canapes each evening (though the latter was often dry and tired) and there were complimentary toiletries for suite guests. These appeared to be the only privileges for this room category, with no advantages offered at embarkation/disembarkation, dining or for tender tickets. The cabin staff (Shafik and Teresa/Silvia) were excellent, which is usual on any cruise ship we've been on. They were attentive and keen to help with any requests. We ensured they received additional tips, accordingly. THE BAD: Our children's oceanview cabin was tiny - it was uncomfortably small for two adults and was sparsely appointed. The mattresses in both cabin grades were unusually firm and the pillows unusually soft, so we all ended up with sore shoulders when attempting to sleep on our sides. This was the first ship I have ever been on that didn't allow toilet paper in the toilets. As is the tradition in Greece on the mainland, all loo paper had to be disposed of in the bathroom bins. I found this off-putting. We have travelled diversely, from trekking in third world destinations to staying in five star resorts, however, this was the first time I felt the toileting facilities were substandard for the price we were paying. At home, we live on self-sustainable acreage with a biocycle septic system on the driest inhabited continent on earth, yet we have never had issues putting loo paper down the toilet in any system in our country, let alone on a cruise ship. I really think they could make more effort here. At the time of booking, our children were initially assigned an oceanview cabin on deck 2, however, I'd read the CruiseCritic review cautioning about the diesel fumes on this deck and I insisted on a deck change before final payment. Thank goodness I did. As it was, we still experienced occasional diesel fumes in the cabins on deck 6, as well as in the restaurants. Not terribly pervasive, but I can only imagine how bad it could be down on deck 2. THE UGLY: There is no polite way to say this - the food was appalling. We were looking forward to something more tempting than the usual American-influenced fare offered on the larger ships (which we sometimes find overly sweet and heavy). Celestyal claims to offer authentic Greek cuisine. Sorry, but last time I was in Greece, bland boarding school food was not part of the local experience. There were too many times that even the a la carte dinner in the restaurant was inedible (such as an Osso Bucco that was nothing but a bone chunk and fat swimming in packet-tasting gravy with no accompanying muscle meat to be found). Sadly, even breakfast offered little relief. If you strayed from the omelette and waffle station on the pool deck, there was only bland scrambled eggs and stale pastries on offer. The cereals, fruits and yoghurts were all poor quality; given the wealth of produce available in the region, it was unnecessary and very frustrating. The waitstaff in the restaurants were, almost without exception, terrible. They would forget entire courses, often provided the wrong meals to the wrong people and could not be bothered to apologise or seem at all concerned when their mix-ups became evident. Waitstaff on cruise ships are usually hard working and attentive - these guys were clearly not trained in the same manner as any others we've encountered over the years. It was like the Fawlty Towers of cruise ship restaurants. We had the 'all-inclusive' drinks package as part of our cruise and, at the time of booking, I asked our travel agent to find out how much it would cost to upgrade to premium drinks so that we could take care of this upfront. My experience is that included drinks packages with 'selected' drinks are never particularly good. After having some difficulty getting responses from the Australian wholesaler, our travel agent was told it would only be about an additional $5 per day to upgrade and we could do this onboard. The unpalatable truth is that it was an additional EUR14 per day to get the upgrade once on the ship. The included drinks were so poorly prepared that we decided not to risk throwing good money after bad. We found that as long as we stayed away from any drinks that involved mixers (viz. all the cocktails), then we could find something drinkable. Surprisingly (and fortunately), the house wines were not terrible. My husband, who is a whiskey drinker, simply purchased a bottle of Jameson from onshore and kept that in our suite for his drinks, rather than being forced to pay the premium upgrade for a watery version. We had a mixed experience with the included shore excursions. We didn't take the one offered in Oia, but did use the one offered in Heraklion. It was well run and very enjoyable. The shore excursion in Kusadasi was a travesty. When sailing on the Azamara, I did this port with a private guide and thoroughly enjoyed it. However, the guide provided as part of Celestyal's excursion couldn't speak comprehensible English and ruined the whole experience. It was so frustrating to know how it could have been presented and to see the faces of so many people glazing over from the way it was presented. Then, to top it off, we were dragged to the unwanted rug sales pitch where a couple fell for the hard-sell and purchased a rug, holding up our entire tour group so that we got back to the ship within 5 minutes of departure. My husband had wanted to explore the options to purchase a leather jacket, but in the end there wasn't even time to shop independently for souvenirs. The whole shore excursion was unacceptable and I would strongly encourage people to use a private guide for this port. The final insult to this cruise was the disembarkation. We arrived in port at the same time as another of Celestyal's ships, holding up disembarkation so that many passengers were in a panic as to whether they would make their flights. Unlike any other cruise I have been on, there was no prior request for information about people's plans for the next stage of their journey and there was no priority offered to disembarkation of suite guests. Frankly, watching people argue with the crew and push and shove to disembark the vessel was a fitting end to this cruise. Not at all recommended. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We boarded on Friday June 22nd. We entered our room (2039) and realized the floor was wet and there was an odor of mold. We called the front desk and they sent someone with a blower to dry it. I then realized the lower bed was wet. Not ... Read More
We boarded on Friday June 22nd. We entered our room (2039) and realized the floor was wet and there was an odor of mold. We called the front desk and they sent someone with a blower to dry it. I then realized the lower bed was wet. Not sure if this was related to the problem on the floor or if someone sat on it with a wet bathing suit and the housekeepers never bothered to put fresh sheets on the bed! Unacceptable either way!! My son then decided to take a shower and the entire floor was sopping wet! I called again asking to be moved to a new room and they repeatedly told me there was nothing! We decided to handle the problem in person so went down to the desk and said we would not stay in that room as our son has asthma that could be triggered by his mold allergy. We were told again and again there was nothing available but we refused that unacceptable room adamantly!! Finally they found an interior cabin (2114) which was fine and they told us we could have it until Sunday at 7:00am . Friday night at 11pm just as I was ready to go to bed in our new room they put a note under my door saying room 2039 was ready any time I wanted to return to it. Luckily I didn't move. The next morning we went to 2039 and a man was in there working on a broken pipe!! How that is ready to go back to I don't know! The odor persisted. We probably went to the desk 3 times on Saturday trying to get an answer as to where we would go on Sunday at 7am, everybody including Oksana gave us the runaround and wouldn't tell us. We told them there was no way we were going back to 2039! What they didn't seem to understand is that the carpet needed to be ripped up and replaced. Mold is something that should be taken very seriously and obviously they didn't get it. Saturday evening as again I was just going to bed at 11pm they put a note under my door saying I had to vacate 2114 by 7am. I was furious! All day I tried to get an answer to no avail. We had an excursion planned and had to be off the ship by 6:45 am on Sunday. At close to midnight on Saturday we found ourselves once again arguing with them at the front desk. They made us pack our bags and said they would move them to a new room by the time we got back from our excursion. This was a huge inconvenience at midnight!! We came back from our excursion and they said now we could stay in 2114 until our stop in Santorini. No one seemed to know what they were doing!! Meanwhile everything was packed. We came back from Santorini at 10pm on Sunday night and the general manager I believe Zlata Dukic or Martine Barbier ( the passenger services supervisor) finally got ahold of what was going on and put us in a suite. Earlier that day they gave us a pass to the more upscale dining, free wifi, and a bridge visit if we wanted it . Although it was a nice gesture at this point the damage was done. They had ruined our vacation with the constant fighting and begging with the front desk. I felt as if we spent more time fighting with the front desk than enjoying our vacation. We moved rooms 3 times during a 4 day cruise. We spent less than 12 hours in the suite because we had to vacate our rooms by 7am on Monday to disembark. One of the most upsetting parts was being informed via letter at 11pm that we had to move rooms. I can't imagine poorer customer service. It was as if on Sunday they finally realized they had failed at basic service quality standards. A dry clean room would be one of them. I will never set foot on a cruise run by them ever again !! I will be posting my experience on trip advisor because the public needs to be aware. I guarantee you they put some poor unsuspecting passenger back in to 2039 mold and all! This was my 11th cruise and never have I experienced conditions like this! Celestyal needs to be made aware that people pay money expecting comfort and satisfaction, they failed miserably!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We sailed on the Iconic Aegean cruise for four nights. It was great value for money. We had 2 nights first to explore Athens. The embarkation went very smoothly, well organized. This is the first time we have been on a cruise ship and we ... Read More
We sailed on the Iconic Aegean cruise for four nights. It was great value for money. We had 2 nights first to explore Athens. The embarkation went very smoothly, well organized. This is the first time we have been on a cruise ship and we were impressed with the variety of on board activities. There was something happening all the time and the musicians were very professional. We selected this cruise because it had our desired island itinerary. There were three shore excursions offered but only elected to do one. We had organised our own Ephesus guide as we wanted a private tour. The ship was well organised and there was a service desk open 24 hours for an inquiry. There was plenty of entertainment and a variety of restaurant choices. The food buffets offered a huge variety of cuisine. Our package included a food and drink package which was very good value for money as it included unlimited cocktails, wine, beer etc. There was a convenience shop on board which was handy. Our cabin was small but adequate. We spent little time in the cabin as there is so much to do onboard as well as island sightseeing. Our cabin steward was very helpful and attentive. I found all the crew went out of their way to make it an enjoyable cruise. The internet was expensive but no really an issue for us. We would have liked more time in Turkey but appreciate the logistics of the ship trying to coordinate passengers and tour groups disembarking and arriving as well as the port accessibility and ship safety. We traveled with two adult children and they found the cruise just as enjoyable. They cater for all ages. It was a little overwhelming trying to fit in all the ship experiences set out in the daily programe. The Rhodes excursion was excellent as we were hosted by a local woman who was very knowledgeable and friendly. We disembarked at Santorini as we wanted to fully explore this island for a few days and the itinerary only allowed four hours. Because we were disembarking we had the wait while the excursions passengers disembarked. This meant we didn't reach the island port until 6pm, we then had to wait for the tenders to go back and collect our luggage. However I can appreciate that Santorini is very popular and there are only a few tenders operating. Given the difficult logistics the crew did their best to get us off the ship. I would recommend Celestyal cruises. I would stay on the islands next time and use the ferry between island groups as there wasn't enough time for the excursions and we were aware that we must be back on board at the designated time. I would highly recommend this cruise. It was a wonderful experience. The Greek islands are outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
My family of 6 just returned yesterday from our 1 week cruise. We started our cruise in Montego Bay. The boarding process was simple and the terminal was not crowded, which we were very happy to see. By the time we got a drink in hand ... Read More
My family of 6 just returned yesterday from our 1 week cruise. We started our cruise in Montego Bay. The boarding process was simple and the terminal was not crowded, which we were very happy to see. By the time we got a drink in hand to start our vacation, our luggage had already made it to our rooms. The rooms were fine for us. Nothing fancy, but the bed was comfortable, the shower had hot water, and there was plenty of space for clothes. We didn't plan on spending much time in the rooms except to sleep, so we decided to save our money and not get an upgrade. We did look into it once we boarded. I believe the cost was around $350 to upgrade to a outside cabin with a window, and $450 for a balcony. Entertainment on the boat was exceptional. We went to every show in the evening at 9:00. They mainly consisted of dancers and singers, all of which are from Cuba. The dancers were especially talented. We frequented the Eros Lounge often where there was music every night. The piano and violinist were wonderful. We would also spend time there during the day to participate in the various games/entertainment. There were many games of Bingo, trivia, towel folding lessons, etc. Staff on the Crystal was second to none. We were able to spend a lot of time talking to them and getting to know their stories. Vladimir was absolutely hysterical. He hosted trivia often and would always come by to talk to us and make us laugh. Maherlys(sp?) was also wonderful. She hosted Karaoke every night and was able to get every person in my family to sing, which is quite an accomplishment! Alina was part of the wait staff in the lounges/bars. She was our favorite, although all the others were great as well. Our wait staff in the restaurant was led by Wayan. I would recommend asking for his section. Although there is no assigned seating, after the 2nd night on board, he would come over to the Eros Lounge to let us know that he had a table waiting for us. Lastly, I have to say that the excursions into Cuba were very well done. Havana was definitely my favorite location. It was nice that we had a lot of free time there to explore the city on our own. We did not do the Tropicana tour, but instead ate at a privately owned restaurant in the Old Havana district. It was a wonderful meal, and I would recommend that to anyone trying to get away from more touristy type places for a night. Paladar Los Mercaderes was the name of it, and it was only a 5 minute walk from the cruise terminal. Overall we had an amazing trip. I hope to be back on this boat when it sails in Greece! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This cruise was highly recommended by friends and we decided to try it for our annual Christmas Vacation. I have to say the entire experience was amazing. The nightly shows exceeded my expectations, the staff was friendly, kind, courteous ... Read More
This cruise was highly recommended by friends and we decided to try it for our annual Christmas Vacation. I have to say the entire experience was amazing. The nightly shows exceeded my expectations, the staff was friendly, kind, courteous and extremely helpful. The food and service at the restaurants were exceptional. I also liked the photo shoots and the fact that they were able to capture most of our memorable moments. Of course,I spent close to $100 collecting pictures of special moments with my family, but it was worth it. The cabins were as expected and the housekeeping staff did an amazing job cleaning them twice daily. Loved the daily activities, the zumba, yoga and dance classes. The only improvement I would recommend, however, is to the breakfast menu - having the same menu items every morning was not very appealing for a 7 day cruise. But overall, it was a great first time experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We booked this cruise as we wanted to see as much of the islands as possible in just a few days. This is exactly that happened and rather successfully, as now we wish, we had stayed longer. I' ll state first the negatives: long queues ... Read More
We booked this cruise as we wanted to see as much of the islands as possible in just a few days. This is exactly that happened and rather successfully, as now we wish, we had stayed longer. I' ll state first the negatives: long queues on first embarkation and on each disembarkation, which means much wasted time. The ship offer in the price just one excursion on Ephesus (but the guide was not very fluent on the language). The ship management does not explain what is included in the price as far as drinks is concerned and they don't give directions about shore activities. They could have more activities for children and teens. The positives: when asked the crew give useful information and are very helpful and gentle. Their proportion to the clients is amazing, they are everywhere, eager to serve. The buffet food is average, but in the dining room on deck four it is excellent, especially when served a la carte. Prepare to gain some weight. The best of all is Mohamed from Alexandria, the head – waiter, who helped us with gluten allergies and to whom we are grateful and hope to meet again in another cruise. All in all, in this cruise, you see a lot in just 4 days. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Best price great destination . They offer high standard food very good service, the cabins were excellent. The entertainment team offered a great show. We had a fantastic time. The staff was excellent the were very organized with the ... Read More
Best price great destination . They offer high standard food very good service, the cabins were excellent. The entertainment team offered a great show. We had a fantastic time. The staff was excellent the were very organized with the embarkation and debarkation. They had a big choice of drinks , cocktails, milkshakes. They offered a big selection of catering grill night greek cosine mediterenian , Chinese. Choice of food for children pizza burgers hotdog. The entertainers were great they offered a very well organized and directed shows the dancers were excellent. They offered a disco after 11 also greek music. The offered a big choice of shore excursion . The destination were excellent. I suggest that the ship should stay night at Mykonos and reduce the time in Rhodes island. The ship person ell was helping passengers in disembarkation. The price include excursion in efesos. The guide was very good she gave us a lot of information about efesos. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
AUGUST 2017 MY CELESTYAL OLYMPIA REVIEW : Returning from another incredible experience with Celestyal ! I had originally booked the 7 night itinerary of the Nefeli, but the ship was then exclusively dedicated to the Turkish market ... Read More
AUGUST 2017 MY CELESTYAL OLYMPIA REVIEW : Returning from another incredible experience with Celestyal ! I had originally booked the 7 night itinerary of the Nefeli, but the ship was then exclusively dedicated to the Turkish market for August and so we made the two combined 3 and 4 nights itineraries of the Olympia, in this month of August. Someone would say they are identical (with the addition of Rhodes for the longest cruise) : true but in these islands there are so many things to do and see, and the stops in port necessarily short, that doing twice these ports not only is pleasant but even advisable if you want to know a little more in deep the islands. Then… lets say the truth, staying 7 nights on the Olympia is just pure pleasure! About the ship... what to say? It was the Song of America of the Royal Caribbean, a revolutionary ship for the time when it was built and always had , under the RCCL flag, the maximum rates of guest’s satisfaction . I would say what I already said here once : these were the times when ships were built by the shipping companies for the pleasure of the passengers, today it’s very different, and there would be a lot to say, but this is another story. Coming back to us... great spaces, ample walking promenades with real teakwood decks , an unthinkable luxury today on modern ships. Many external staircases, even these very large to pass easily from one deck to another always enjoying the surrounding sea and islands, a characteristic now almost disappeared. Interior design... like a true liner , the ship’s experts knows what I mean. Elegant, incredibly spacious and chic . Maybe I belong to another era, but I find this design infinitely more elegant than the one of the standard modern ships that in my opinion is too... american style. In a word , too "glitzy” ! So... what I can say about “my” Olympia experience ? In my life I have done almost 100 cruises in the span of 60 years . Yes, because I made my first one in 1957, aged five years. I liked cruising and crossing seas so much that it become my job ( owning an agency specialized both in cruises and cruises for groups ) : I write this simply to say to those who read my review that my judgement, having been a professional in this sector is less subjective, probably perhaps more objective tha n it would the one of a regular passenger. Well, I can say that Celestyal, from the time of Louis cruises, has come a long way ! Before to make any assessment: the category of the ship. Celestyal is in the standard cruise segment. To clarify : for example, the type of catering of Celestyal, which I judge absolutely positive if not great for a ship of the standard segment , would certainly not receive the same judgement if the same was offered on a luxury ship. It seems obvious but it is not so, sometimes many expect services that it is absurd to expect for a certain category, so the next judgement is appropriate to the category of the ship ( but remember that MOST cruise lines belongs to this group ). About the ship I already spoke and the 2 cruises I was on were totally fully booked, so I can say that, at full capacity, I have never, but really never had the feeling of crowding and this means that the project of the ship was very good. Ah... another important thing: the maintenance of the ship is so great ! She is now 35 years old and she really does not show her age, except for her design, of course. No rust marks, everything is fully functional, outside and inside. The restyling of the cabins and in general of her interiors, made in the last 2 years, have updated the ship in a modern and elegant way . And that “Thalassa” bar up at the top of the Zeus Bridge (Greek Trattoria Style) is so amazing to enjoy departures and arrivals !!! The cabins : in the times when the ship was built the idea was that the passenger only needed the cabin just to shower , changing clothes and sleep a few hours so the space was limited. Today this concept evolved and cabins have become more spacious ( many love to consider their cabin as a sort of they home at sea ) but, anyway, the needs vary, depending on cruise styles, sea days, duration of cruise etc. . I can say that the Olympia’s standard rooms are rather compact but very well furnished on the shades of light blue and with modern new bathrooms and therefore perfectly suitable for cruises lasting 3 and 4 days. I had a junior suite on deck 7: simply beautiful !!! Ample as I like it , comfortable, with two large windows overlooking the promenade , big closets and drawers, a nice living area and a spacious bathroom. Another positive is the location : few meters and you are right on the promenade, that means continuous and immediate contact with the sea and the islands where the ship sails. I also saw the suites with balcony : just gorgeous , spacious and very well decorated with fresh and bright colors ! And with very deep balconies. Nothing to envy to ships of the award winnig companies. And now we come to the... software: and here, again, I was positively impressed. This year the all inclusive system has been introduced for the first time and my fear, indeed my fears, were two : firstly the quality ' of the drinks. In many all inclusive hotels , even quite expensive, I found the drinks quality rather poor and the service too slow while here the service was prompt and the quality of drinks absolutely good , they even offered alcoholic and non alcoholic cocktails : a cheer to the bar crew, friendly and efficient ! And how much effort they did always with a smile all the time ! Just good ! Bravo ! Same for dining. It is buffet everywhere , both in the restaurant and at the self service: wide choice, fresh food , wella presented but, above all, tasty ! And this, believe me, it's not obvious. Douglas Ward, the author of the cruise guide Berlitz, the "gospel" of the cruises, often laments that the "banquet catering" of the standard cruise ships offer foods with a bland, unsavory taste. Not here at all !!! The food is good and fresh but , above all, it has a Greek imprint, absolutely amazing for a ship sailing in the Aegean . Positive, positive, positive! Ok, I admit , I enjoyed the special attention of the the just exceptional Maitre D' Mr Sozos Sorros but, believe me, it was really outstanding in his job ( many luxury vessel’s Maitre D’s would have so much to learn from him ! ), well , I can say that even in the restaurants of the Cunard’s Grill class (and experts knows what I’m speaking about ) I wasn’t treated at this level of service ( I speak of course about service , not food that was always very good but don’t expect the impossibile : filet a’ la Wellington or caviar ,Cunard is in the luxury market ! ). A small detail, just for those interested in suites : guests occupying suites also have priority in the restaurant for the table request , for example a table for two or for a quieter area. Dining quietly on holiday is important, here's another reason for me to prefer a suite : if your budget allows go for a suite, you’ll not be disappointed, it’s well worth it ! Ah... I forgot: here there are no restaurant sittings , everyone eats when he wants during opening hours ( another feature typical of premium and luxury ships ). Even the afternoon tea is served here and you’ll find scones with dotted cream and strawberry jam in the purest tradition of the British afternoon tea : another positive point. And, always talking about positive things that are no longer commonly found, at least on standard ships, are barbecues and themed open-air buffets on decks , another fine maritime tradition nearly disappeared but not on Celestyal’s ships. Another important positive point: the absolute efficiency in the landings with tender boats: the greeks of Celestyal would have so much to teach the americans ! Super organized and super efficient , for me the best in the world! Drawbacks ? Sincerely, for the category of the ship, very few . Personally, staying in a suite, I find that this is probably the only company that still does not offer benefits like the others do, for example, priority tickets for tender operations or free breakfast in the cabin, all important things for a more demanding clientele who, obviously paying more, expects certain premium services . But these are details who don't affect the overall impression of quality. Shows: Funny ! And quite original ! I was so amused seeing their shows that I was happier here than assisting to the grand “musicals” of the american ships which, in the end, seems to me all similars and indeed linked to the anglo-aaxon tradition. In the Greek islands I like to "feel" and experience the great tradition of the Greek culture, not the anglo-saxon one ! Besides, I forgot... Greek music, a lot , pleasant to hear , everywhere , so enjoyable : this is the beauty of travelling with a Greek company like Celestyal ! About the ports of call I don't speak, too much has already been said and written. And then , everyone has his tastes and preferences on things to do and see ashore . I would only say that time ashore is never enough so doing the same cruise twice is a real treat ! Possibily as I do every year. That's why, for the next year, I will book the new, beautiful 7 nights cruise of the ( yachtlike ) Celestyal Crystal: long hours ashore to enjoy the islands and, especially, 2 entire days and one night to "get lost" , is just the case to say, in the unique Santorini. And a full day and an entire night to spend in Mykonos too ! Summarizing... a very positive experience I can suggest to experience to everyone ! And BRAVO to Celestyal Cruises , with capital letters ! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
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