1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Celestyal Cruises
  4. Celestyal Cruises Cruise Reviews
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
A very mixed bag If you are interested in a review that unlike many posted by travel professionals please read on - I do read reviews and was disappointed that my experience on Celestyal did not live up to the rave reviews for Celestyal ... Read More
A very mixed bag If you are interested in a review that unlike many posted by travel professionals please read on - I do read reviews and was disappointed that my experience on Celestyal did not live up to the rave reviews for Celestyal Crystal . First the good - The staff mostly all willing to greet passengers with a smile and kind words. The room - we had an XC category room on level 4 - the room was quit spacious- the bed comfortable and while a bit dated always clean. The itinerary- one of the primary reasons we choose Celestyal was excellent. The Cuban entertainment team- one of the very best we have ever had on any ship we have been on - which is saying something as several of our previous cruises have been on lines like Disney and celebrity - vocally honestly very good . The Cruise director- Danny One word - Awesome! When have you seen a cruise director join the show to sing and dance? Shore excursions- For the amount of folks they had to take in the included excursions- they did a good job. The guides on the excursions were some of the best we have experienced Now to the klunky and quirky and not so good The bar service - unlimited drinks - do not imagine yourself in Cancun by any stretch of the imagination- they employ a method that requires staff to wait your drink- they say ‘so we can keep track of what we use’ - my guess is that the bar staff tips are tied to the amount of drinks they serve. Here is what that means - service is very unpredictable waiting 10 minutes for an espresso - not unusual. But if you learn the waiters who would not just take 8 orders it could be very prompt. Or as happened to me after waiting 15 minutes for a sparkling water they gave me someone else’s card - and I had to go back to get retrieve my card as I could never get back into my room :) Always double check that you got your card back :) The food - Unpredictable- sometimes quit good on other days just not good. I am a food snob but when the rice and chicken on American is not over cooked that’s saying something and the rice and chicken were better on my flight - good for American not sure how to explain mushy rice and dry chicken for most the week. Now we did have some really good dish’s but it was hard to know. It was midway through the week before we had what we would describe as a really good desert - kind of a first for us on any cruise. The staff - While some were great we had some who simple did not have language or competence for the task they were attempting to fill. At reception we had one amazing staff person who went out of their way to help and another who seemed to think his job was to smile and explain away the issues we were raising- in fact I’m pretty sure he straight up lied telling us the ship (1200 capacity) was at 100 percent and later to discover it was at 701? On another occasion when trying to share about a really bad tender experience waiting for over an hour - he told us the tender was every half hour. Again either a language or competence. The smell of diesel- Was present in the dining room almost every evening and in our room daily - I struggled with nasal congestion until I got off the ship Disembarkation- In over a dozen cruises on multiple lines all over the world I was quit surprised by how klunky and long it took - actually I’ve never taken this long to disembark To repeat? I am pretty unsure if I would repeat with Celestyal now that other major lines are picking similar itineraries. Also we are pretty sure we won’t be repeating Greece - it overall did not fully live up to the hype. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Had been on same ship to Cuba and enjoyed.Wanted to visit the Greek Isles. Ship only about 2/3 booked. Nice from standpoint of not crowded. Bad from standpoint 3 optional prepaid excursions cancelled for lack of enough participants. It was ... Read More
Had been on same ship to Cuba and enjoyed.Wanted to visit the Greek Isles. Ship only about 2/3 booked. Nice from standpoint of not crowded. Bad from standpoint 3 optional prepaid excursions cancelled for lack of enough participants. It was a hassle getting refund. Shore excursions said they couldn't credit our charge card immediately, yet they were able to bill charge card immediately for a substitute trip. Was told to expect refund 7-10 days post cruise. Didn't happen so I called and was told we were expected to go through our travel agent for refund, even though we booked the shore excursions directly on Celestyal website. Money has now been refunded, but a lot more hassle than necessary. Food and entertainment were good. Some of the shore excursions were a bit disorganized, but it was the first cruise of the season. Our bathroom smelled bad from the start of cruise and constantly leaked water under the sill of the shower, flooding the bathroom. We told the room steward. It was never fixed during the cruise. We should have been moved to another cabin since the cruise was not fully booked. I am rating shore excursions as poor due to management, even though most of the excursions themselves were OK. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
excursions and itinerary excellent, the food is poor, staff is excellent and helpful, Not enough tenders for number of people on the ship during excursions Pool is pathetic, very few lounge chairs Could smell diesel fumes ... Read More
excursions and itinerary excellent, the food is poor, staff is excellent and helpful, Not enough tenders for number of people on the ship during excursions Pool is pathetic, very few lounge chairs Could smell diesel fumes regularly, they were painting part of the boat and fumes were toxic Amenities need a lot of improvement Only 1 dining room open Pre cruise communication was non existent Overall disappointing If only care about ports and not on board experience this boat is worthwhile Suggestions Heated jacuzzi was cold Improve casino. Slot machines only Only have one English tv channel More on board activities Coffee, tea , water should be available 24 hours a day Lucky staff was friendly and helpful... Having breakfast while I write this and inhaling diesel fumes on the back deck Food stations are very limited in times open Expectations were not high, but experience were not close to being met Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We were a large group on our golden jubilee reunion tour (all alumni of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India - class of 1969) who after a 11 day tour of the Greek mainland decided to round it up with the 4 nights cruise of ... Read More
We were a large group on our golden jubilee reunion tour (all alumni of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India - class of 1969) who after a 11 day tour of the Greek mainland decided to round it up with the 4 nights cruise of the Greek Islands and Ephesus. Knowing that the ship, although refurbished not too long ago, was old had made us a bit apprehensive. However, the moment we boarded, we found everything spick and span and "all ship shape". The cabins were pleasant and spotlessly clean. The entire guest contact staff was extremely pleasant, friendly and efficient. Food choice was generally good although some strict vegetarians did face a few problems but then the service staff solved this by serving us specially prepared Indian meals at the restaurant on Deck 4. We truly felt like royalty, getting to eat not only the general buffet (or a la carte) meal but the additional superbly prepared Indian cuisine as well. I must make special mention of Mr Roy, Head Waiter, Mr Fenimo, steward, who took all of us under his wing and really looked after and pampered us; and of course, young Mr Yohan, who was amazing - like a magician he would smilingly present some good Indian delicacy for us to savour and make us feel truly at home. While the ship has multiple restaurants, we chose, except on barbecue night, to always dine at the Deck 4 Aegean Restaurant and get pampered! The optional shore excursions were rather expensive but nevertheless enjoyable. The two included shore excursions were exceedingly enjoyable in every way. The disembarkation was a revelation - I was convinced there would be chaos and confusion, but things went so smoothly, it was totally amazing. Would I recommend Celestyal to my friends? - absolutely and without any hesitation! Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
My wife and I were on a Globus tour of Greece and this 3-day cruise was included. Unfortunate thing is that neither cruise ship nor Globus told us what TIME we would arrive at each of the islands. This was a 'once in a ... Read More
My wife and I were on a Globus tour of Greece and this 3-day cruise was included. Unfortunate thing is that neither cruise ship nor Globus told us what TIME we would arrive at each of the islands. This was a 'once in a lifetime' trip for us, as we had always wanted to see Greece and some of the islands. The wonderful windmills of Mykonos - we arrived after 7:00PM (!!!!). My first photo on the island showed 7:12pm. Now, I ask you - how much of the island can you enjoy when you arrive at that hour. Our tour guide showed us where the windmills were - yep, there it was in the distance, barely discernible and if you stared hard long enough, you MIGHT be able to make out the shape. I mean, give me a break! THIS is how we were supposed to enjoy Mykonos? We did spend about 2 hours walking around Mykonos. Not my idea of spending time visiting Mykonos. The main church that we wanted to see, Church of Paraportiani (Our Lady of the Side Gate) was closed by the time we got there, and it would have been a far walk. We did see Church of St. George, an Orthodox church, and it was pretty inside, though small. Ephesus was great! We enjoyed it - our SECOND time since 2011. Daytime! Rug company taking up 1-2 hours of selling / twisting arms was totally unnecessary as it delayed cruise ship sailing on. Patmos - the ship made another stop at Samos at 2:30, picking up people via tender, causing us to be a bit later when we finally arrived at Patmos. There we took a tender to the port, arriving AFTER 6pm. First stop was the Grotto. To be honest, it was … nothing. A cave in which one thinks of everything very spiritual. This is where St. John of Patmos was said to have written the Book of Revelation. It is a fortresslike, 11th century monastery dedicated to the saint. 5 minutes there was more than enough. Next stop was the Monastery, a Greek Orthodox monastery founded in 1088. It had more displays and most interesting was the Museum. The details in … embroidery, jewelry, carvings were phenomenal, and you really need to look hard to see the tremendous details. It is named after St. John of Patmos. 1-2 hours is good for the Monastery. To be honest, I don’t think Patmos would be anything if it weren’t for these two sights. It’s dry and windy, and water is scarce. Tourism is needed for this island to survive. Tourist season is around Easter time to mid-October. Our ship was the only one at port the last two days. Crete: Knossos, center of the 300 BC Minoan civilization. This was a good tour, as we got to see a 4,000 year old palace, rumored to be that of King Minos. The bull if the symbol of Crete, so there are plenty of myths about Minotaurs, etc., including one of the 12 Labors of Hercules was to kill a Minotaur. There was quite a lot to see among the ruins, but unlike other ruins (Really - now I understand why many people say 'You've seen one ruin, you've seen them all."), many of these were still in relatively decent condition, considering their age. Afterwards, we went into the center of Knossos. We visited the Morosini Fountain. The place we spent the most time was at Church of Titus, and although there was a service going on, we did manage to take a few photos. The skull of St. Titus is preserved in a domed relic on the left of the entrance to the church. We walked down to the shores and saw the Venetian (they were here for 400+ years) fortress of Castello a Mare, built in 1541. It guards the inner harbor. Walking back to the bus, we took some photos of the Nike statue, symbolizing victory with help from many countries. Crete: Santorini. Our tour guide prepped us and told us what to do and got us set up, as the daylight time wouldn't be very long. The ship docked and we boarded the tender about 4:00. The tender was already starting out when it had to return, due to another group not being there on time to board! That took another 10 minutes, and the tender took 20 minutes to reach Santorini. Then we quickly boarded the bus and it took 45 minutes up a narrow 2-lane winding road all the way to the top. We can’t figure out WHY the tender takes us to the furthest part of the island on one side in order to reach the top at the other end of the island. Anyway, sun sets at 5:17 and we arrived at the bus parking area at 5:12. We had broken out into 2 groups: Speedy and slow. I was in the speedy one and we raced up to the top and I got my shots just about when the sun was setting. It's at that famous shot that everybody sees when they see photos of Santorini. Within 15 minutes, the sun was gone and it was fairly dark. We wandered around the town a bit until 7:15 when the bus left for the tender and back to the ship. When booking this Globus tour, no mention was made of the TIME that we would reach the islands. I don't blame Globus for us, but the cruise ship. If they KNOW when sunset is, wouldn't they PLAN to arrive at the island at least ONE hour before the sun sets? I don't mean, arrive and then have the tender take you to the island and/or then bus you to the appropriate site... I mean, actually BEING on the island and able to wander around at least ONE hour before dark. This should not be THAT hard for experienced cruise lines to figure out and plan accordingly. Cruise ships should be able to put scheduled arrival times at various ports. When we asked our Globus tour group if they would have taken this tour knowing the arrival times at the islands, not ONE person said they would. All 40 of us would NOT have taken this cruise. AND knowing that DST was going to happen ... really NO excuse from the cruise line at all. I am really ticked off at the cruise ship. I didn't plan to see the 3 islands in darkness, which is what all 3 islands wound up, except for about 15 minutes of daylight at Santorini. ----- Service personnel on board were VERY nice and helpful. That was not a problem with us. ----- Meals at the buffet line: Average Meals at the ala Carte restaurant: Very good ----- We had bought the Drinks package, so got bottled water as much as we needed. One item that stuck in my craw: There was a bottle of mineral water, clearly marked that it costs. There were 2 bottles of regular water, no sign that it costs. We took 2 of them one day - the rest of the time, we got the cold water from the bar -- AND we were charged for the 2 bottles from the cabin! When we protested this, and that we did have the Drinks package, it was shrugged off as "That's the way it is." It left us with another bad image and impression of the cruise line.... ALL in all, I would NEVER take this cruise line again. Read Less
28 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
There was nothing to fault on this holiday. Very well organised indeed. Holiday comprised of flights from London Heathrow to Athens return, 1 night in Athens hotel, then 7-night cruise including 24 hours in Mykonos, 48 hours in ... Read More
There was nothing to fault on this holiday. Very well organised indeed. Holiday comprised of flights from London Heathrow to Athens return, 1 night in Athens hotel, then 7-night cruise including 24 hours in Mykonos, 48 hours in Santorini, a day in Milos, another in Herculaneum, Crete and concluding with a half day visit to Ephesus, Turkey. A really good itinerary on this cruise if you like the best of the Greek Islands. The flights, transfers and hotel accommodation were all fine (Stewart Travel, Glasgow). The cruise was exceptional. Mostly because of the crew. Small comfortable ship (800 passengers). Extremely friendly and attentive staff (nothing was too much trouble for them). This was probably the best cruise we have been on to date. We were given cards when we arrived which entitled us to free drinks (alcoholic and soft) which covered all but the luxury brands of drink (18-year-old whisky etc.). It was fine for us only requiring beer, baileys, wine and coffee. We did have a lobster dinner one night and paid extra for that, but it was well worth it! The food was excellent. Ranging from the ‘Al A Carte’ restaurants to the buffets and bars. There was a wide range of dishes and choices to suite everyone. We didn’t have one meal we were not impressed with. The staff are very attentive, we didn’t wait long to be served ever. The entertainment on the ship was constant culminating with the two shows every night. The shows were excellent and varied, the dancers and acrobats extremely talented. The ship photographers were also very helpful, and their work was memorable. The easy pace of the island visits meant you had plenty of time to explore each destination properly. We were lucky with the weather and had clear blue skies and 23-25c most of the week. I cannot stress the friendliness and helpfulness of the Captain and his crew enough! They were all charming, went to great lengths to ensure the passengers were always happy and content. The safety and efficiency of the way the ship was run was impressive for me as an ex-seaman. Everything was properly done (we felt safe at all times). We had a magical holiday and would recommend this company, ship and staff unreservedly, everything was perfectly organised. We would cruise again with Celestyal without hesitation. They are an outstanding company (extremely impressed). Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We could not have asked for a more seamless, fun, educational and entertaining time on the cruise. We boarded in Mykonos (we had been there 4 nights), spent 3 nights on the cruise, and disembarked in Santorini (where we stayed 4 ... Read More
We could not have asked for a more seamless, fun, educational and entertaining time on the cruise. We boarded in Mykonos (we had been there 4 nights), spent 3 nights on the cruise, and disembarked in Santorini (where we stayed 4 nights). The ports were AMAZING! Our first port was Kusadasi, Turkey. Had this not been on the itinerary, we would have never gone there. It was THE HIGHLIGHT of our entire trip. We are not history buffs, by any means. Ephasus was the most breathtaking and educational archaeological site we have ever seen. The marble streets were breathtaking, and words cannot describe how awe inspiring the excavations were. Our tour guide was superb! It is a must see. The port town of Patmos was great (food, shopping), and the Medieval City in Rhodes with the Street of the Knights were also excursions we would highly recommend! Life changing for sure! The part that made the entire time on the ship the most fun was time spent at the Argo bar with Ajit, Ernie, and another bartender who's name I can't remember (not because of the drinks, but because I couldn't pronounce his name). They were energetic, poured a mean cocktail, and overall made us feel like part of the family during our short 3 night stay. They also gave us tips on where to visit in the ports we visited. Without them, this cruise would have simply been a taxi from one port to another. Ajit and Ernie are the best! Because of them, we would go again in a heartbeat! Read Less
15 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
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My daughter and I booked this cruise due to its varied itinerary which did not include any sea days and included two over night stays in Mykonos and Santorini rather than as a "cruise experience". This enabled us to independently ... Read More
My daughter and I booked this cruise due to its varied itinerary which did not include any sea days and included two over night stays in Mykonos and Santorini rather than as a "cruise experience". This enabled us to independently book a hotel for the night in Santorini. Having previously cruised with P and O and Royal Caribbean we did not want to spend too much time on the ship as we personally found that these larger ships are too rigid in their organisation for our needs. However The Celestyal Crystal in our opinion and experience as a smaller ship was the total opposite. Embarkation and disembarkation even when by tender ran smoothly with no queuing and minimum formality. Our inside cabin was clean, functional and had the most wonderful stewards who serviced the cabin at least three times daily. The dining choices...buffet and two formal restaurants were run by well trained and attentive staff. The food choices were good although at times the food served did not always match the description on the menu. The house wine was excellent. However the spirits and alcoholic cocktails although well presented appeared to be lacking in alcohol.The entertainment was excellent including twice nightly live shows, a live band ( a rarity these days on cruises ) and live music and dancing in the lounges. There was also a disco and karaoke bar which we did not visit due to lack of time on our part. The ports of call were excellent and the time spent in each port enabled us to visit historical sites, great beaches and local tavernas independently alongside three excursions which were included in the price of the cruise. We were unable to dock in Milos due to adverse weather conditions and the captain re arranged for us to visit Syros instead. As we arrived at a slightly later time in Syros the evening shows and restaurant times were rescheduled to start/finish at a later time. This is a fantastic example of how the customers were always put first on this cruise. There was a consistent happy, friendly, family atmosphere among the international passengers and crew. This was enabled by the excellent staff led by the cruise director Danny and his team. This cruise was all inclusive with three included shore excursions, a drinks package and all tips and gratuities. All the staff appeared happy in their roles and it was great to see crew members being given time off to explore various ports of call. We will definitely return and strongly recommend. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Some good points but don't expect the ship to be the same standard as a more luxury cruise ship e.g. Cunard The size of the ship is good with only 9 floors and plenty of lifts which arrive quickly. Our inside room was small so only ... Read More
Some good points but don't expect the ship to be the same standard as a more luxury cruise ship e.g. Cunard The size of the ship is good with only 9 floors and plenty of lifts which arrive quickly. Our inside room was small so only twin beds available with a small table in between. No tea and coffee in the room and room service is charged for. Some areas are tatty but we saw this ship as more of a means to reach a lot of destinations in a short (4 days) period Staff were mostly very helpful and all spoke reasonable English despite not many British people on board, mostly Greek, American, Japanese, Spanish etc. Food and drinks were good with a reasonable selection of drinks in the all inclusive basic package. We enjoyed the cocktails with a varied menu Nice buffets on deck such as a Greek night and a BBQ buffet. Food in the main restaurant is also good with self service for breakfast and lunch and waiter service at night. Now to our disappointment, we booked because of the itinerary and especially the all inclusive tours. You don't have any choice about these and we enjoyed Ephesus very much. Our second tour was cancelled due to a bus drivers strike. We were then offered a walking tour of Rhodes instead with a visit to the archaeological museum. We chose not to do this as we had visited Rhodes last year and seen most of this town. We were disappointed not to be able to do the bus tour so we went to ask if we could have a replacement tour the next day. They totally refused any kind of refund or replacement stating that it was not their fault the strike happened and they had put on the walking tour. We explained that we had paid for an 'all inclusive' cruise and the cost of the cancelled tour was 150 Euros. We only booked with Celestyal because of the different destinations. We also paid extra for the Patmos visit. There was no way they would give us any kind of replacement tour or refund and they claimed that the tours were 'complimentary' even though we paid more for this cruise than for a Cunard one the year before. It was such a shame because it really spoilt what had been a nice holiday up to that point and especially as we had booked this for our 40th anniversary and spent a little more than usual. Sad to say that I can't recommend this, I have now done almost 20 cruises and it is the only one where I have felt let down by the attitude of the excursion staff and policy of the company Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise