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Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise because I had never visited the Greek islands. We only had 3-4 days to spare, so I chose the Iconic Aegean cruise. I've seen some negative reviews of Celestyal Olympia, but we had a great time. The food was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because I had never visited the Greek islands. We only had 3-4 days to spare, so I chose the Iconic Aegean cruise. I've seen some negative reviews of Celestyal Olympia, but we had a great time. The food was good, the service was excellent, and the staff were pleasant, attentive and efficient. We chose a suite and we had ample space. The bed was comfortable and the AC functioned perfectly. We experienced some difficulty with the toilet and the maintenance crew came immediately, worked hard and remained until they had fixed the problem, which turned out to be a stuck air valve. The after dinner shows were a bit cheesy and Celestyal could do a little better in terms of the calibre of their artistes, but the days were so packed with activities that it didn't matter. All in all it was a wonderful cruise. Everything worked on the boat and it was clean, modern and well outfitted. There was no musty odour or unpleasant smell. Boarding and disembarkation was smooth and our luggage came off and on the boat with no problems. 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We are glad to find you all here, even if it's just virtual. I participated, together with my wife, on the cruise from 29.04 to 06.05.2019 with Celestyal Cristal. The only word that fits this cruise is "excellent" ... in all ... Read More
We are glad to find you all here, even if it's just virtual. I participated, together with my wife, on the cruise from 29.04 to 06.05.2019 with Celestyal Cristal. The only word that fits this cruise is "excellent" ... in all respects ... from boarding to disembarkation. The vessel is small enough, it is neither new nor modern, but that does not matter because this vessel has a team that provides the highest class service. First of all we noticed the cruise director Dany who made our embarkation to take place simply and quickly and after that he took care that the whole cruise unfolds in the most pleasant atmosphere. Dany is a complete man and artist, the heart of the shows every evening and the organizer of all the trips I participated in. He is indeed, as he says himself, like the Duracell Bunny, of inexhaustible energy. We was very pleasantly impressed by the simple organization and the impeccable development of shore excursions that were included in the program and in the price. The competence of the guides and drivers on the buses that have transported us was special. I have especially noticed the restaurant's chief of the ship, Mr. Adrian Zamfir, who does not resemble an ordinary boss wich is hiding in his office. This great man participates with his staff in the entire restaurant activity, having every evening some nice talk with every guest of the restaurant. He organized the most beautiful moments for most of his guests, including birthday parties for both adults and children. Reception at the restaurant and the showroom was always a pleasure in the presence of the hosts: Lisandra, Ori and Caroline. All the staff of these restaurants have competed in a nicer and most efficient service all over the world. On the whole cruise I have not seen anyone unhappy, but they all have only words of praise about the staff of the restaurants. We have been very good greatly served by Mr. Mohamad from Amalthia Restaurant, Mr. Adi Zaharia from the Fish Tavern and Didi Souschef from Leda Buffet. We remember with big pleasure of the activity of chefs from Chef's Corner, where every day you find only goodies. Drinks from all bars were good and well served. The entertainment was excellent, including two live shows a day, which often ended with generalized dance (artists and spectators). Very good were the bands that sang live at bars and swimming pools: "Trio Greco", "Souls Latin" and "Duo Jaleo". We was particularly impressed the performances presented in the evening. The artists involved here are complets: singing, dancing, doing acrobatics that sometimes seem impossible ... and everything is perfect in a show with the theme, it's not a random mix. A special mention for Maite, the "girl with the violin", that makes a special contribution alongside each band, improving the results. Note 10 to everyone. The most important advantage in this cruise was that almost everything was included in the price: Accommodation, meals, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, port taxes, service tax and 3 optional tours. The ports of call were excellent, and the time spent in each port allowed us to visit everything we wanted. I booked cabin 3101, a cheaper cabin, but I think it was the best choice. For how long I spent in it was perfect. Enough of space, endowed with everything that was needed, arranged and decorated. It did not have window, but the wall-painting had successfully replaced it, and the air was excellent. We did not feel the lack of window. I was very well served three times a day by a very careful manager. Towels and sheets have been changed regularly, all the toiletries provided ... all I needed! In the cabin, there were very few movements ... even in a bad weather and I always had a great sleep. We are particularly grateful and we promise to return, recommending this cruise to others. Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
There was nothing to fault on this holiday. Very well organised indeed. Holiday comprised of flights from London Heathrow to Athens return, 1 night in Athens hotel, then 7-night cruise including 24 hours in Mykonos, 48 hours in ... Read More
There was nothing to fault on this holiday. Very well organised indeed. Holiday comprised of flights from London Heathrow to Athens return, 1 night in Athens hotel, then 7-night cruise including 24 hours in Mykonos, 48 hours in Santorini, a day in Milos, another in Herculaneum, Crete and concluding with a half day visit to Ephesus, Turkey. A really good itinerary on this cruise if you like the best of the Greek Islands. The flights, transfers and hotel accommodation were all fine (Stewart Travel, Glasgow). The cruise was exceptional. Mostly because of the crew. Small comfortable ship (800 passengers). Extremely friendly and attentive staff (nothing was too much trouble for them). This was probably the best cruise we have been on to date. We were given cards when we arrived which entitled us to free drinks (alcoholic and soft) which covered all but the luxury brands of drink (18-year-old whisky etc.). It was fine for us only requiring beer, baileys, wine and coffee. We did have a lobster dinner one night and paid extra for that, but it was well worth it! The food was excellent. Ranging from the ‘Al A Carte’ restaurants to the buffets and bars. There was a wide range of dishes and choices to suite everyone. We didn’t have one meal we were not impressed with. The staff are very attentive, we didn’t wait long to be served ever. The entertainment on the ship was constant culminating with the two shows every night. The shows were excellent and varied, the dancers and acrobats extremely talented. The ship photographers were also very helpful, and their work was memorable. The easy pace of the island visits meant you had plenty of time to explore each destination properly. We were lucky with the weather and had clear blue skies and 23-25c most of the week. I cannot stress the friendliness and helpfulness of the Captain and his crew enough! They were all charming, went to great lengths to ensure the passengers were always happy and content. The safety and efficiency of the way the ship was run was impressive for me as an ex-seaman. Everything was properly done (we felt safe at all times). We had a magical holiday and would recommend this company, ship and staff unreservedly, everything was perfectly organised. We would cruise again with Celestyal without hesitation. They are an outstanding company (extremely impressed). Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Hi All, My trip Aug 27th from Athens on the Crystal 7 Day Idyllic Aegean Cruise was beyond what I expected. With only 476 cabins this makes for a nice intimate group with no line ups. The extra pluses like all inclusive drinks, free ... Read More
Hi All, My trip Aug 27th from Athens on the Crystal 7 Day Idyllic Aegean Cruise was beyond what I expected. With only 476 cabins this makes for a nice intimate group with no line ups. The extra pluses like all inclusive drinks, free tours and no tipping quickly made this my top favorite cruise of all time. The guests themselves were 40-75 age group comprised mostly of Canadians and Europeans. No language barrier at all as the staff for the most part are fluent in 5 languages. Very few children which does not exclude families but there is not a huge children's program and the sheer amount of walking and exploring would be difficult for kids or seniors with mobilty issues. Having said that the ship herself does accommodate physically challenged passengers. The food was superb with a la carte and buffet style options. We had a pre reserved table every night and we loved getting to know the staff. The food was international style with a North American flair and every meal was different and presented in the most elegant way. They do offer upgraded menu items like Lobster and select wines but we didn't feel the need to upgrade. I can not say enough about the hard working and friendly staff. By day 2 they knew us by name and we were always greeted in a friendly way. The cabins were spotlessly cleaned and had all the special touches you would find on any other larger cruise ship. Towel service, turn down service, cute towel animals and chocolate on the pillows. Our cabin was a large picture window which was lovely arriving in each port. I would have upgraded to balcony except there were none to book last minute. The best thing about this cruise is that it actually overnights in many of the Greek ports which give guests a chance to experience day and nightlife without having to rush to get back on ship. It was great to be able to explore these destinations on our own. The tours were amazing and very informative, especially Turkey which was a wonderful surprise as we were slightly nervous about going there. At no time did we ever feel any port or locals were dangerous. Of course there were lots of vendors selling their wares and for the most part they were ready to bargain and the clothing, jewelry and trinkets were truly authentic. I would not travel in August again just due to the thousands and thousands of tourists in each port every day plus the heat which was in excess of 38C every day. I would highly recommend this cruise to any of our valued customers and do recommend a few pre/post nights to unwind before the cruise. I will be telling anyone who is willing to listen how fantastic this experience was. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Very good food, clean cabins, great night shows and divers entertainment program. Really best value for money I've paid. Great for families with/without friends. I strongly recommend for everybody: you can enjoy the dense daily ... Read More
Very good food, clean cabins, great night shows and divers entertainment program. Really best value for money I've paid. Great for families with/without friends. I strongly recommend for everybody: you can enjoy the dense daily program or you just can relax in sun bath. I've have chosen 7 nights in Greek island with spectacular views; the atmosphere on the ship was like in (a big) family. The services was really good, the crew was very nice and we have really pleased with the overall atmosphere. Very nice live bands with Greek traditional music or from international . Danny, the cruise director, was a man of pleasant surprises every night with really good shows, that cover professional dance, good music, acrobatics, ballet and so on. The entertainment team was really good and interactive with peoples. Finally I spend very nice time on Celestial Crystal and I will back next year for a new experience. Thank you! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
The rapport price/benefits was very good. Very good organization, all the personal very kind. The islands to stop were good chooses. The food was very good, the same the entertainment. The fact that it was all-inclusive (also the ... Read More
The rapport price/benefits was very good. Very good organization, all the personal very kind. The islands to stop were good chooses. The food was very good, the same the entertainment. The fact that it was all-inclusive (also the alcoholic beverages) was a good point. The shore excursions were overrated, to expensive, but if you don't want to have an excursion, you have what to do by your self at the shore destinations. The breakfast could be more variate. The cabin that we had was nice, great enough for two persons, with all that you need in it: safe-box, bathroom, hair-dryer, TV. The cleanliness in the cabin was very good, sometimes in the public areas was not the same, but overall it was OK. A la cart restaurant was nice, the service prompt and the food very good and variate. Embarkation and disembarkation go very smoothly, even when it was by tender-boats. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We wanted a true Cuban Experience and Celestyal Cruises are the only ones we knew of to provide that as most other cruises simply visit Havana. However, Celestyal take you to Cuban Ports and enhance your experience in the country. ... Read More
We wanted a true Cuban Experience and Celestyal Cruises are the only ones we knew of to provide that as most other cruises simply visit Havana. However, Celestyal take you to Cuban Ports and enhance your experience in the country. Embarkation was probably the simplest we have ever experienced in our 20+ cruises with various lines. We were aware that the ship used to be a Car Ferry but is has been refurbished so well that you just would not realise that fact. Our cabin was very spacious and immaculately clean, and yet again, probably larger than cabins on other cruise lines. We could not fault the food on board other than to say that the breakfast finished far too early and the food could be tepid most of the time. Other than that - you could not get late night snacks anywhere. The quality, even in the Buffet Restaurant, could not be faulted. On Deck, sunbathing was a joy as there were always plenty of sunbeds available. Probably the most memorable thing about our wonderful cruise though was the staff. Despite being on numerous cruises, the staff on this ship were the friendliest, most helpful we have ever experienced. We had 2 tours included in our package and they were absolutely excellent. The guides knew their stuff and made the experience very interesting. We had a Drinks Package and Pre-paid Gratuities which was an absolute bonus as I hate the situation on other ships when the staff are virtually begging for tips. The Drinks Package covered everything and the drinks were of good quality We had reservations about joining this ship due to its history (Car Ferry) plus the fact that we had never even heard of Celestyal before we researched cruises around Cuba but without doubt we would not hesitate to book with them again. Our only criticism apart from the tepid breakfasts was the fact that communication with the passengers could do with improvement as quite often you were left wondering what was going on. If you book this ship, avoid Deck 2 as your accommodation as occasionally there can be a strong smell of diesel. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
I chose this cruise, because I wanted to have fun with my wife. I hoped I would find a clear and fresh cabin but I didn't. So I don't suggest it to anonybody. Besides doctor does not appear, if you call him. A nurse is sent in ... Read More
I chose this cruise, because I wanted to have fun with my wife. I hoped I would find a clear and fresh cabin but I didn't. So I don't suggest it to anonybody. Besides doctor does not appear, if you call him. A nurse is sent in order not to pay 45€ per visit! The pharmacy is not properly updated and you may be in danger during the cruise, if something health matter occures. I called the hospital of the ship and an ironical nurse came into my cabin. She gave me a medicine for diarroia, caused by bad food in the ship, that caused stomachache and breathing problem during the night. Also many members of the crew didn't speak greek, although the majority of the passengers of the ship were greek people. I obviously do not suggest that cruise to anybody. I left the cruise in Kos in the third day and I did not regret it. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Our recent cruise aboard Celestyal Olympia was really amazing, from the first day we boarded did we feel like we where part of a family. They really go above and beyond to please you as a guest. The food was mostly Greek but amazingly ... Read More
Our recent cruise aboard Celestyal Olympia was really amazing, from the first day we boarded did we feel like we where part of a family. They really go above and beyond to please you as a guest. The food was mostly Greek but amazingly great and tasty, we also ordered the grilld lobster in the main restaurant. Cruising with Celestyal Cruises brought us to two ports each day but that was not a problem for us. You have the feeling to have a seaday and portday in one. The cost of the drinks in the bars was also great and what we got was great and lots to chose from. We stayed in Grand Suite 9001 and was spacious and newly revitalised. Our cruise in two words: great and amazing. The entertainment was Greek inspirated and was nice to see some of the local dances. We sailed with our 14 months old girl and she also enjoyed her selfs and was loved by all the staff, she even walked with one of the officers on the hand. Really great to see. Our embarkation was amazing with a greating of 4 of the senior officers at the gangway. Disembarkation was even smooth with also a farewell from five members of the crew. Hospitality is a keyword of Celestyal Cruises and you can take this in the biggest sence of that word. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Cruising the greek waters in summer is always a great pleasure for me.This is classical cruising ald style, when the pleasure of the destinations,the symbiosis with sea and sorrounding nature were paramount.If you want a luxury cruise on a ... Read More
Cruising the greek waters in summer is always a great pleasure for me.This is classical cruising ald style, when the pleasure of the destinations,the symbiosis with sea and sorrounding nature were paramount.If you want a luxury cruise on a superliner or a "sterylized "ambiance don't ever think about booking with Celestyal . If you want an old fashioned ( but clean and updated ) ship and love to experience a classical cruise on Greek islands this is for you.The ambiance is greek, it is exactly as vacationing in a greek island, greek atmosphere,greek music,greek food. In a 7 days cruise you get 10 destinations, the ship is nearly always at pier. And yes, there's also smoking people onboard ( but you can manage not to be disturbed by this,there are separated areas : here EVERYTHING is authentic, as is ashore ). NOTHING is similar to big american style mainstream cruise lines except kindness of the crews ,cleanliness of the ships and freshness of the food ( no,this is much better,everything is embarked fresh in many of the ports visited ) . And nothing is specially geared to american tastes : why it should ? This is Greece, not America ! At least, this is what I enjoy while travelling : the differences ! I want all true American...in America ! Wonderful and enjoyalble cabaret style evening entertainment ( they really exceeded my expectations who were adeguate to ship's style,simple ) and lot of music to dance : in a word, fun ! I was SO happy at the end of the cruise that I already booked same cruise for 2017 : there are so many beaches, so many activities , so many true and authentic experiences that awaits you in these islands that you could easily repeat this cruise every summer . I nearly forgetted has was pleasurable cruising in the 70's,80's etc. on reals ships, not on standardizex condominum-styled Hyatt-like ships. Enjoy. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
I have a nice trip in Celestyal Crystal to discover Greek Islands.The ship has a few years but is very well preserved. The food is excellent and the staff is very friendly. The places I visit are very nice and I feel it is a good way to ... Read More
I have a nice trip in Celestyal Crystal to discover Greek Islands.The ship has a few years but is very well preserved. The food is excellent and the staff is very friendly. The places I visit are very nice and I feel it is a good way to met some Greek islands. I am not sure to recommend several excursions but the tour of Ephesus is highly recommended. You can visit the other places on your own perfectly. Drinks are not included in the price but there are several options to drinks voucher. In my opinion the cruise is not only for families or honeymooners, but also for friends looking for a fun holiday. There is a small pool on the 9th floor deck and a hot tub on the 5th floor deck. You can also go to the casino and dancing every night in the lively nightclub. Every day there is usually music or theater performances. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This cruise was part of a guided tour with a large international tour company. We started in Istanbul for a few days before joining the cruise when it arrived in Istanbul from Athens. As part of a larger group our on-shore excursions ... Read More
This cruise was part of a guided tour with a large international tour company. We started in Istanbul for a few days before joining the cruise when it arrived in Istanbul from Athens. As part of a larger group our on-shore excursions were organised by our tour director and we had no problems at all. I was pleasantly surprised by the size of our outside cabin with window. It was larger than I had expected and the bathroom was a decent size too. We had plenty of storage in the way of wardrobe and cupboards. The only issue we had was the the bed was too low to store our empty suitcases underneath. We were on deck 5 which has an outside walkway that goes around the entire ship so we did have people walking past our window from early in the morning but the windows are mirrored so the room is still very private with the curtains drawn. There were two choices for eating; the buffet or the dining room. The buffet food was decent and plentiful if you ate early though it was never hot only warm. The al a carte in the restaurant was tasty though there is a limited menu choice. You could have breakfast in either the buffet or restaurant. I didn't attend any of the shows but was told that they were entertaining though not very professional. There are plenty of bar areas to enjoy; around the pool, indoors or at the rear of the ship on deck 5. As a smoker I spent most of my time at the deck 5 bar as it was one of the few places I could drink and smoke. The staff were all absolutely wonderful and very helpful with any requests we had. Our room stewards kept our room clean and neat. As the crew come from all over the world there are many new friends to be made if you enjoy learning about other countries. Watching the ship dock in the early morning was one of my regular highlights and the other was the sunsets. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We wanted to sail the Aegean and visit Istanbul and Ephesus, and this was the perfect cruise. We sailed from Lavrion, which is about a half-hour from Athens Airport. It's far-less crowded than Piraeus, and our embarkation was fast, ... Read More
We wanted to sail the Aegean and visit Istanbul and Ephesus, and this was the perfect cruise. We sailed from Lavrion, which is about a half-hour from Athens Airport. It's far-less crowded than Piraeus, and our embarkation was fast, easy and stress-free. The Crystal is a lovely ship, spotless, with plenty of great open spaces. Our cabin was on the 7th deck, so we had a view! It was small but comfortable and cozy, and the housekeeping staff checked in and put everything in order twice a day - they were absolutely lovely. We enjoyed the food immensely - it was delicious. The buffets were endless and offered plenty of healthy options, and we loved the restaurant, the Amalthia, particularly after a hot active day - it was elegant without being stuffy, and the staff was wonderful, particularly as we usually had an exhausted five-and-a-half year-old with us. As for this particular five-and-a-half year-old, the activities were great (paper flowers, fruit carving), as was the music, both Greek and Latin - he was constantly dancing. The service was impeccable - we felt like royalty, and everyone was fantastic, and genuine, with our son. We did and saw so much, and it was organized and safe. Our stops included Istanbul, Kusadasi (Ephesus), Chios, Santorini, Rhodes, Crete (Agios Nikolaos and Heraklion), Symi (incredible!) and Mykonos. The highlights? Oia in Santorini, Knossos, Old Rhodes, Mykonos Town, Symi and the villages of Mesta and Pyrgi in Chios, hidden spots that astonished everyone on our excursion. Back on board, the gym and sauna were great. Would we go again? Absolutely! Opa. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
First of all, I want to tell you that, after booking our cruise, I have read some bad reviews about this cruise. People unhappy with ship , with food, etc. I went there expecting some bad experiences to happen. But, when I got there, ... Read More
First of all, I want to tell you that, after booking our cruise, I have read some bad reviews about this cruise. People unhappy with ship , with food, etc. I went there expecting some bad experiences to happen. But, when I got there, everything changed. I CAN ASSURE YOU that the cabin was very clean, the food was excellent and the crew was very friendly! This is my second cruise, after MSC, wich was also very nice one. Everything was well organised, people were smiling very friendly, food changed daily, fresh and tasty, drinks are REAL (not some cheap replacement) - we had Blue package. Entertainment on ship was good, with fair choices - dance, sport, activities, and in the evening - there was a dance/singing show. Karaoke, casino, shops, spa - a lot of options for everybody. Choice of ports was very good - that`s the reason we choose this cruise - Mykonos, Patmos, Kusadasi, Crete and Santorini. Good system of disembarkation, pretty decent time on each island, even that we thought that it will be not enough. We traveled alone, no kids this time, and honestly, was an AMAZING experience. We even thought what we didn't like, and we couldn`t find anything! Definitely recommended! Love to board again! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We read reviews before embarking on our trip so we knew to keep our expectations in check. Here is what I found to be true- It is indeed a 30 year old ship. If you are used to cruising on the newer beautiful Caribbean cruises (as I was) ... Read More
We read reviews before embarking on our trip so we knew to keep our expectations in check. Here is what I found to be true- It is indeed a 30 year old ship. If you are used to cruising on the newer beautiful Caribbean cruises (as I was) keep in mind this ship was not like that at all. Passport- you surrender you passport when you board. It was nerve wracking for us to do that. It made us worry about going to all these ports in Greece and one in Turkey and being with out it, but really it was fine. Getting it back the night before departure was not a problem. Safe- There is a safe in the room that you can pay per day to use. (We didn’t do this seeing as we didn’t have our passports we didn’t have much to put in a safe) Greek night- This is a designated night were you can where blue and white and they had a “greek show”- they should do more with this it could be really fun. Elegant night- same as all the formal night recommendations on other cruises however I found people to be dressed less formal than normal. October travel- weather was fine but it was windy. Sea was a little rough. Specifically our first port- we were unable to dock because of the waves, so we never saw Mykonos. I say we never even SAW it because it was dark upon arrival. We got hit with the time change the day before we boarded meaning an hour less of daylight in the evening everywhere we went. A problem since 3 of the ports were evening ports. Meaning about 45 mins of daylight on these islands we went to. Enough time to get off the boat (one we had to tender) and snap some pictures and then it started getting dark. If you can look into time daylight savings time if you want to travel around those times of year. Our stateroom cabin- we had an exterior with a window. It was depressing. The colors, the size, the random marks on the wall, the bathroom, the condition of the furniture and beds, it was anything but comfortable. It felt so dirty and honestly it was far worse than any interior room I’ve had on a prior cruise. On top of that it was 2 twin beds in an “L” shape, no moving the beds so no cuddling on our romantic honeymoon… did I not mention it was our honeymoon? Yea not ideal. So after checking with the customer service desk (I found them to be fine. Helpful but not overly friendly) I found out if we wanted a bed big enough for 2 people we would have to upgrade to a suite. 400 euros later we were in a suite. Luckily we were told the ship was only half full so extra rooms were available. –Keep in mind if that is true we were dealing with half the crowd as normal. We never found things to be busy regardless of where we were so it’s probably true about half full. I didn’t find the suite to be particularly clean either. I took some pictures of dirt/dust and hair in every corner of our room but I don’t see anywhere to upload pictures. Upon arrival to our suite I checked the bed and our sheets had some sort of crusty something on them so we called and got them changed and the girl that changed it was really pleasant. The room size was way better. Still only an exterior window no balcony. Also the bed was simply 2 twins pushed together and the mattresses were so worn that where they were supposed to meet in the middle was just a hard metal bar. Food- I found the quality of the food to be similar to all cruise food- in my opinion the QUALITY of the food you get on most cruises isn't anything to write home about but the QUANTITY of food is usually worth talking about. On the Olympia the amount of choices were slim. Buffet, dining room and room service (this costs money)were the only choices. At the buffet there was always a salad bar, bread, hot dogs, hamburgers, fries and some variations of cheeses and pasta salad type dishes- it was fine. The meal choices there were usually 5 choices. A beef, a chicken, a fish, a pork and a vegetarian choice. All with the same side option of the day. Staff in buffet was good. Food was fine I never left hungry. Just not a ton of options you may be used to. The dining room amount of options was similar to the menus I have seen on all the big cruises- Royal Caribbean, Princess, Norwegian, Carnival... in my opinion the dining room felt similar to what I knew. Perhaps only 2 differences. 1- the positive- A lot of Greek food options (don't worry always comfort food available) I liked getting to try Greek food with no worry about wasting my money if I didn't like it. 2- the negative- The seating. Anytime dining only. No assigned tables or wait staff. No tables for just 2. I found getting an attentive waiter to be harder than normal since they probably wont see you again and you probably won't tip them based on one meal, I felt the wait staff didn't really care to help. The other bad part about the seating is that you are just filed in and seated next to whoever happens to be there at the same time as you… not usually a bad thing however language became a real issue. Every table we sat at with the exception of 1, we were sat with people that didn’t speak English. Unfortunately we only speak English therefore it made for some very awkward meals. Also it seemed so unorganized… each time people were seated they needed to get special menus and special waiters that could speak the language of the guest. The language you speak is written on your boarding card which you carry around with you at all times why couldn’t they be scanned upon dining room entry and you could be seated at the appropriate table? I feel like this “wing it” method is unpleasant for the guest and stressful for the wait staff. Last note on food- The buffet (which we preferred) was only available night 1 and 2 of the cruise. Night 3 was our “elegant night” and after a long day we were just ready to slum it in jeans at the buffet. However the only option to get food was the dining room unless you wanted to pay for room service. Luckily we brought nicer attire… but how awkward would we feel if we didn’t have nicer clothes because had just planned all along to skip this night in the dinning room and just do the buffet. To only offer one dining venue on formal night is crazy. Also the dinner times were late- they usually started serving dinner around 7... nothing to eat before that unless you did room service($) Entertainment- To be honest we were exhausted and went to bed right after dinner most nights. We attempted to see the show on Greek night but only made it through 3 songs it was a little boring since we don’t speak the language and it was just one lady singing we were thinking maybe some Greek dancing would be really fun to watch but we didn’t see anything like that. Ports- You can book excursions through them and get priority to get off the boat first. The excursions were very expensive. We did book 3 of them through the cruise line. Smoking- as non smokers we aren't excited about all the smoking sections that seemed to linger into non smoking sections. Seemed to be more smoking guests than any other cruise I had been on, perhaps it's more of a European cruise thing not specific to this ship? Noise- We personally don't have an issue with hearing music from the bars and theater until the wee hours in our cabin while trying to sleep... We are both good sleepers so it didn't keep us awake but something to think about if you are. It was loud enough while laying in bed we could sing along to the words (the songs in English that is) if that gives you an idea. This could be placement of our cabin. Have I done a lot of complaining and still given this ship 2 stars and not only 1 star? Well it’s because you get to see so many ports. I probably should have done more research on bang for my buck, but according to other passengers they were happy with the price they paid. Since I paid a tour company it was a total package price on everything we did for 12 days so I can’t give you insight on other options. All I can say is over all we had a good time on the cruise. It wasn’t something we would recommend or do over again. We kept a positive attitude and the cruise was an experience. Just not one we would ever repeat. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
It was our very first cruise experience and we are definitely impressed and the highlight of our Europe trip. Prior to our departure date, we read some of the reviews about Celestial Olympia which some were not favourable but we were ... Read More
It was our very first cruise experience and we are definitely impressed and the highlight of our Europe trip. Prior to our departure date, we read some of the reviews about Celestial Olympia which some were not favourable but we were pleasantly surprised because our experience in the ship has not dampened or spoiled our enthusiasm to go on a cruise again in future, in fact we could go for a repeat cruise with Celestyal Olympia anytime. All the staff were very friendly and hospitable, the entertainment was excellent- the Greek band, the dancers, the lovely Greek lady singer, we had the most enjoyable four nights, we were definitely entertained. Our cabin which was a last minute upgrade to executive cabin was reasonably priced, it was a very smooth sailing we had the best sleep! We also liked the food, drinks were unlimited, we learned Greek dance, salsa and cha cha, we had lots of fun to say the least. We certainly highly recommend it and will do it again in future. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
I was expecting this cruise would not be up to the standard that we had enjoyed on other criuse ships and was not disappointed in my assumption. Meal times were a free for all when people had to queue up for the buffet (even though there ... Read More
I was expecting this cruise would not be up to the standard that we had enjoyed on other criuse ships and was not disappointed in my assumption. Meal times were a free for all when people had to queue up for the buffet (even though there were two buffet zones, only one was opened even for disembarkation breakfast time). If you elected to go to the main restaurant for "open sitting" you were always escorted to a seat at a table set for 8 people so which meant sitting with new people each time. The a la carte menu was really poor with little that could be called high quality food, and meals were often cold, particularly for breakfast. Water, tea or coffee was available only at mealtimes and had to be purchased at any other time of the day. There was no access to free drinking water during the day unless you were prepared to pay for it. Everything on board such as water, tea, coffee, drinks, use of the safety box in the cabin for example all came at a cost. I refused to pay 16.00 Euro's for the use of the safety box and was glad that i didnt lose one of the poor quality pool towels as that would have cost me 12.00 Euros for a replacement. The air conditioning in the cabin did not work well and we were advised that little could be done about it and just put up with it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
My wife and I have just returned from our vacation in Greece. While we were pleased with most of the trip, the cruise fell short of what we were expecting. Some problems were not serious - the food was hit or miss, and the "pool" ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned from our vacation in Greece. While we were pleased with most of the trip, the cruise fell short of what we were expecting. Some problems were not serious - the food was hit or miss, and the "pool" was more like a kiddie pool. Our big issue, however, was with our cabin. The cabin was supplied with two twin beds, rather than one larger bed, which was not what we had hoped for our honeymoon, nor was the stale smell on the blankets and the torn carpet. The worst part was the bathroom. The toilet did not work when we arrived. It was fixed quickly, but had to be dealt with the second and the third day as well. The shower did not drain properly, flooding the bathroom floor when we showered. Above all, the smell in the bathroom was that of a backed up sewer, and would drift into the cabin if the door was left open for more than a second. The outside of the room also smelled strongly of diesel. After returning home and researching this cruise line, we learned that this was formerly a car deck. While not everything about the cruise was negative (the entertainment was good, the all-inclusive drink special was worth the price, some of the meals were tasty, and the overall itinerary was fun), the cabin left a sour taste on this trip. If we had known what the cabin would be like we would have preferred to stay on the mainland for a few extra days. We would not use this cruise line again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
it was unbelievable, great services , greeeeeeeat food. The cabin was amazing. Very good entairtement we go to mykonos, rhodes kousantasi. We were with a group of 150 visiting Athens and this short 4 day trip to the Greek islands. My wife ... Read More
it was unbelievable, great services , greeeeeeeat food. The cabin was amazing. Very good entairtement we go to mykonos, rhodes kousantasi. We were with a group of 150 visiting Athens and this short 4 day trip to the Greek islands. My wife and I have done over 25 cruises, mainly Royal Caribbean, Holland, Celebrity and Disney--cruises to Caribbean, eastern and western and southern routes, Med and Baltic cruises. Fastest embarkation ever. We were on the ship in a flash. Luggage went up a moving ramp and on the ship. Cruise left at 1130am so they had to empty the ship and load in a few hours. We even had our luggage before the ship left.It was a good way to see the Greek islands...a sampling of the Greek food, so we were happy. Embarkation adn disembarkation went smoothly. I really loved this cruise.Excellent embarkation. In conclusion i will recomend it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
Customer service was the worst I've experienced on any cruise or vacation - cruise employees were not interested in helping us solve issues (see list of issues below). The food was really, really bad. And only available at select ... Read More
Customer service was the worst I've experienced on any cruise or vacation - cruise employees were not interested in helping us solve issues (see list of issues below). The food was really, really bad. And only available at select meal times instead of 24/7 as we'd expect. If we missed a meal because we were enjoying ourselves at the port city, then we had to pay for something sub-par at the one bar we could find still serving food. The pools were drained the first night and closed every night. And there was no hot tub. The entertainment on the ship was embarrassing - so so bad. The one excursion we booked was canceled during the trip, which was disappointing and frustrating. We have yet to receive a refund for that. We paid for an upgraded room to be able to move our beds together, but the beds were unmovable and in an L shape. Nice way to have a romantic getaway - having to sleep head to toe with my boyfriend?! Mold in the shower and on the shower curtain - not cleaned well enough obviously. Ship overall was horribly outdated - not updates whatsoever. The spa was next to the casino - which allowed smoking inside!!! Definitely opted OUT of a massage which would have been accompanied by slot machine music. Overall - I would never, ever recommend Celestyal Cruises to anyone. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We chose this cruise as we only had a limited amount of available time to visit the islands during our stay in Athens. I had done a lot of research and was a little nervous based on my findings on the internet. I wanted to write this ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we only had a limited amount of available time to visit the islands during our stay in Athens. I had done a lot of research and was a little nervous based on my findings on the internet. I wanted to write this review to inform people that this cruise was an amazing experience overall!! I booked online directly with Celestyal rather than use a tour group and was able to book at a 15% discount early booking rate. The process of booking was very easy and I was able to select my own cabin while booking. I chose to upgrade to a balcony suite (Cabin 9003) and it was fantastic! The cabin was very large (I think about 300sqft) with a large balcony, a nice sized bathroom with bathtub, a king-sized bed, lots of cabinet space for our clothing, and a small living room area. I feel that the selection of an upgraded cabin helped to make this cruise very enjoyable as we were able to escape there to enjoy our balcony in peace. We booked the 3 day excursion package which included: 1. KUSADASI - Ancient Ephesus and the Terrace Houses, 2. PATMOS - Religious visit to St John's Monastery -Grotto of Apocalypse, 3. CRETE - Minoan Palace of Knossos - 1st European Civilization, 4. SANTORINI - Spectacular Oia Village perched on the caldera rim. Overall, the excursions are great! We could have saved some money and tried doing these on our own, but I liked having everything ready to go for me when we reached the port and it was worth the extra bit of money to not have to worry about how we would get to all of the sights on our own. There is also the benefit of being first off on the tender boats when the ship did not dock. It was also nice to have the tour guides to explain the history to us. The only downside was not having enough time in Santorini. Oia was stunning and we really only had a total of 3 hours there after you tender boat in. I will certainly make another trip back and spend more time in Santorini in the future!! Mykonos was beautiful and we did this on our own and I would say that you do not need to book an excursion here. The dining was quite enjoyable for us. My husband and I went to the Aegean restaurant several times for lunch and dinner and were always placed with other people. We were able to meet people from all over the world and we really enjoyed this. The food was always good and we found the staff very friendly. We also went to Leda casual dining for breakfast and lunch and it is buffet style. The food here was good. We did sit on deck by the pool a few times and they always had an activity going on, but we did not really partake in any of the activities. This is a really port intensive cruise and we just wanted to relax when we were at sea. There was always entertainment in the evening and we did take in a couple of shows which were good, but again, because it was so port intensive, we tended to relax in the lounge or in our room on the balcony. We did purchase the all inclusive drinks package, which is worth it if you want to enjoy a few beverages. Overall, our cruise with the Celestyal Olympia was fantastic! For anyone who is looking to enjoy the islands in a short amount of time, this cruise is for you. The ship is a bit older, but the experience of the Greek Islands was amazing! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
I booked this cruise, to celebrate our wedding anniversary, in a hurry, it was a last minute idea I had and didn't read any reviews, it just matched my available dates so I went for it, and am very glad I did. Even though it was ... Read More
I booked this cruise, to celebrate our wedding anniversary, in a hurry, it was a last minute idea I had and didn't read any reviews, it just matched my available dates so I went for it, and am very glad I did. Even though it was our very first cruise experience ever, I knew that cruises through the Greek isles are supposed to be smaller and less luxurious than those in the Caribbean for example, so I set my expectations accordingly. Yes, it's an old ship, but very well maintained and with an excellent crew on board. All crew staff was great: the waiters always making sure if you're in need of a refill, the entertainment crew was absolutely brilliant, most of them multilingual and always with a smile on their faces. The shows on board were quite nice, really. The band in the theater was great, believe me, it was a Greek rock band that could nail Pink Floyd classics and make it look easy (great guitar player). Food was sometimes good and sometimes very good, not great. And to be honest, cruising through the Aegean is all about the destinations, we visited Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Kusadasi, Crete and Santorini. My only complaints: The weather was very bad, sea was very rough for the last two days of our journey, so bad that hale was falling in Crete and we couldn't disembark in Santorini due to the high waves. We were later refunded for the cancelled tour in Santorini. Cabin is outdated and not very comfortable to be honest. The Cuban band in the Latin bar, really sucked. Trust me on this one, I am latino and know perfectly the difference between good and bad Latin music. This bar was always empty, so clearly I was not the only one with this opinion. All in all, I can recommend this cruise, we had a great time, and would book in Celestyal again, not a 5 star, but definitely a 4. Recommendations: Don't go for the all-inclusive alcohol drink package unless you're a really serious drinker/drunken; you won't get your money's worth even if you spend all 4 days drinking till unconscious. Don't buy the Video or the Photographs, not worth it. Read Less
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