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215 Celestyal Cruises Celestyal Crystal Cruise Reviews

My husband is a travel consultant and found out about this cruise at a training. We have always wanted to visit these amazing destinations...Greece, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Turkey and Rhodes. The ship was not the newest, but extremely ... Read More
My husband is a travel consultant and found out about this cruise at a training. We have always wanted to visit these amazing destinations...Greece, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Turkey and Rhodes. The ship was not the newest, but extremely clean. The people working on the ship were extremely friendly. Although there were people from many countries on the ship English was used for announcements, entertainment, etc. Many excursions were included in the price. They all were escorted by a guide who was very well educated in the destinations. Drinks were included in the cruise fare and they were extremely generous. The cabin was more than adequate, as we were very Port intensive. There were many choices of where to eat. Buffet was available for all meals and also two sit down restaurants. In the bar areas you could order pizza, burgers, sandwiches for a small fee. We were very pleasantly surprised by the cruise!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I selected this cruise as I live in Cyprus and I could join the ship in Limassol. I actually went on the bus from Paphos to Limassol. A whopping 4 euros. It sounded good in the brochure. I was a little dubious, as the price was low. ... Read More
I selected this cruise as I live in Cyprus and I could join the ship in Limassol. I actually went on the bus from Paphos to Limassol. A whopping 4 euros. It sounded good in the brochure. I was a little dubious, as the price was low. And living in Cyprus, I expected the organisation would be rather slipshod. How wrong can you be !!! I had an excellent time. Being a widower, I was travelling alone. I expected a pokey cabin. Wrong ! I was allocated a full size cabin, complete with a sofa. Comfy and lots of space. Ester and Laura, my stewards, were lovely. Treated me very well. The food was very good. Living in Cyprus, I was hoping for an international menu, as a change from Greek food. And boy, did I get it. A wide choice every evening, with lots of variety. As many dishes as I wanted. All prepared to a high standard. And the waiter service was superb. I dined in the Olympus restaurant. Demitrious, the manager, was very efficient. He found me a quiet spot, on my own, every evening. The waiters were from all over the world. Brazil, Uzbekistan, Goa,Indonesia, Egypt, to name a but a few. All were professional and friendly, working together in a smooth harmony. ( If working people can do this, why do politicians find it so difficult ). They all found a few minutes to chat to me, and helped to make my holiday. All the staff I encountered were helpful and friendly. The entertainment was aimed at the international nature of the passengers. As they included people from the USA, Spain, Japan, Romania, UK, plus the majority being Greek, it was just as well. The shows were slick and polished, with a very enthusiastic large group of artistes involved. The cost included 3 excursions. I expected something cheap. Wrong again. They were full day trips, with knowledgeable guides, and very well organised. On the full day at sea I attended 2 lectures. Both well presented. The ship is fairly compact, but there were a good number of activities for the passengers who wanted to do more than just recuperate after the excursions. The gym had very up to date equipment. I cannot recall a single instance of something major going wrong. I was kept informed at all times of any delays. Mainly caused by Egyptian officialdom. All in all, a well run ship. A credit to the company. If Celestyal maintain this standard, and keep their pricing competitive, they will prosper. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This cruise was actually won by a work associate and I was to join her. Her schedule did not allow her to go so I was able to bring my adult daughter double bonus This was my 50th cruise but never to this region or this line. I had ... Read More
This cruise was actually won by a work associate and I was to join her. Her schedule did not allow her to go so I was able to bring my adult daughter double bonus This was my 50th cruise but never to this region or this line. I had not expectations as to what to expect was not generally diapponted. This is a small ship with only 700 passengers this vovage so never crowded The ship passengers were about 75% Greek. We probably meet about 60 Americans on board Cabin: We had an ocean view cabin always kept very clean and neat. received pillow pals everyday as they made of cabin and it remained until next day No special soap or body lotions infact shampoo and soap was same container in shower. Staff went out of their way to be very pleasant anytime we saw them. Entertainment I would rate a solid 3 the shows each evening were very similar and their were not comedians or juggler acts like often on big lines. However the staff had good voices and did an ABBA tribuate that was very very good. They also had a Greek band in lounge at times playing Greek Music, a Piano and Violin player nightly and a singer use partner played the keyboard. It is an busy cruise so not alot down time. Meals I did not like breakfast but just me. There was an omlettle station by the pool each day but had to walk there from the buffett. Egss mostly precooked so a over easy egg was cooked several hours ago. I found out on second to last day that you could get served but hardly anyone knew this so everyone did the same buffett The food was however the same. Dinner was anytime dining and if possible they sat us with someone speaking English or we sat by ourselves Each meal was very good to excellent but also had lamb, pork or chicken most nights If a fish it was a local fish Differant but generally pretty good I only had lunch and really a snack at lunch becasue we were off ship everyday but the seaday. One evening they had a Greek buffett by the pool which was good Pool This was a problem. First the hot tub was one place and the pool was another. There were table and chairs all around the pool but no lounge chairs so if you wanted to go for a swim there was really no place to dry off. Several days no water in the pool at all I never saw anyone in it. The glass closure was ontop but becasue of location and the fact no place to comfortably sit I never saw one person in it the entire cruise. Ports I took all of the tours that were offered free and purchased one from the ship in Israeal Each language had an escort that spoke English however some were naturally better than others The Jerurelum tour guide was extremely poor. I really was disappointed it was a long day,we were rushed very badly. AT one point she just left everyone and never looked back tro see we had not even crossed a busy street and she was already around the corner and into a Garden no where to be seen. It was really unfortunate becasue no only did I pay extra for this tour ,it was the one place I really wanted to see. I actually complained about her to excusion booth when we got back on ship and did not give her a tip Many others felt as I did and did not tip her also I would definately return to this area and cruise this line again if given opportunity The population on the cruise were about 75% Greek Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise purely for the itinerary. The 7 night 3 Continents tour leaving from Athens did not disappoint in any way. We'll certainly use Celestyal again. Flying into Athens on the day of the cruise departure was a risk, ... Read More
We chose this cruise purely for the itinerary. The 7 night 3 Continents tour leaving from Athens did not disappoint in any way. We'll certainly use Celestyal again. Flying into Athens on the day of the cruise departure was a risk, but we'd seen Athens a few times before, and weren't keen to stay over. A 1 pm arrival was delayed by half an hour but we still made the 2.09 train direct to Pireaus and we were queuing to board the ship by 3.30. The embarkation took about an hour overall. Quite busy. Once on board we took to the ship immediately. Small and old but a great way to travel. Cabin was fine, nothing special but all you could need, and the staff were excellent. Dining was of the turn up and be seated variety. If we wanted to sit alone we got a table for two, if we felt like company we we placed at bigger tables and every evening worked out fine. The bars might have lacked a bit of atmosphere but they were more than adequate, inside and on deck. Bar and restaurant staff were the most pleasant we have ever encountered, the girls from Turkistan on the rear deck bar were so enthusiastic about working on this ship, compared to others they'd served on, so it looks like they were treated ok. The weather was good to us, just one shower as we arrived in Turkey but dry by 10.00 am and sunny again. Cairo- excursion included in the fare. 16 buses in convoy (with armed guard) to the Archaeological museum and then the Pyramids at Giza. We were about 90 mins late docking in Alexandria, so the trip was a bit rushed, but what an experience. The long bus journey is not for the faint hearted, and an obligatory shopping halt prolonged the day. Highlight of the trip. Ashdod - we paid for the ships excursion to Jerusalem and Bethlehem. About an hour to Jerusalem, Gethsemene, Western Wall, Holy Sepulchre Church, Via Dolorosa and then on to Bethlehem. Another compulsory visit to a local outlet. Cyprus - we needed a day off so just took the free shuttle into Limassol and had a very pleasant few hours wandering about. Plenty of tours were offered but we didn't feel the need. Rhodes - trip to Lindos and Rhodes included in fare. We were revisiting the island after 40 years and it was interesting to see the changes. Rhodes old town was empty and we had the streets to ourselves in the late afternoon, and many shops were closed. Stunning town. Kusadasi- Great trip to Ephesus which surely rivals Pompeii in its appeal? again, we were here 40 years ago and much more is to be seen now. Fantastic place. Athens - Docked at 8.30 and we ignored the queuing instructions as we only had hand luggage and sneaked off the ship ahead of being called, there was no queue and we just walked off. Had we waited it might have been 11.00, as the luggage undergoes inspection before passengers are allowed to collect but we had none. We caught the metro to Monastiriki left our cases in a bag b'n'b and has a tour of the Ancient Agora. Sunny and warm in December. Quick bite to eat in the 'flea market' area and off to the airport. Lovely. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My mom and I opted to the Three Continent Cruise on the Crystal because of the ports visited for my mom’s birthday. We were overall pleased with the cruise and I don’t regret the extra expenditure for the Grand Suite. With that said, ... Read More
My mom and I opted to the Three Continent Cruise on the Crystal because of the ports visited for my mom’s birthday. We were overall pleased with the cruise and I don’t regret the extra expenditure for the Grand Suite. With that said, there were some really great features and some areas that you should be aware may fall short of some people’s expectations. Embarkation notice for suite guests: We got to the cruise terminal early and I am glad we did. Suite guests are offered priority check-in but when the boarding line opened, there was no separate line and poor sign directions for suite guests. Guests began queuing up well in advance of official boarding time and the general boarding check-in line quickly encompassed the entire entryway to the terminal, so it was impossible for suite guests to know that there is actually a separate desk (across the room from the general check-in). In fact, I asked a cruise ship security/line attendant for where suite guests should check-in and he told me to go to the back of the general boarding line. If this is supposed to be a benefit of paying extra for suites, Celestial needs set up a separate line. Once we got to the right place, check-in was quick and did not have to go through the general queue. Cruise ship positives: The dining room food was always good and well presented (suite guests receive free room service from the dining room menu and we used it a couple times and were always pleased with the quality). The on-board activities were hit or miss but the evening entertainment was good and I would rate it as just as good as evening shows on some larger mega cruise ships. The cruise director, Danny, was fantastic and entertaining. While it is a smaller ship, it offers almost all of the same key amenities as larger ships. Being a smaller ship, we never had to wait to be seated and there was always plenty of room in dining and lounge areas. The ship, while older, is also immaculately cleaned. The disembarking process (for both excursions and final disembark) was smooth and well organized. There was only one instance when lines became congested and unruly (the first port of call). Negatives: The buffet was mediocre and you could count on basically having the same choices every day. Aside from a lack of diverse food choices, I was also dismayed to find there were virtually no traditional Mediterranean choices. I heard from many of my Greek friends before taking the cruise that I would love the food (I do), but was disappointed that a Greek cruise line cruising the Mediterranean offered basic choices like rice, pasta, potatoes, spaghetti and similar foods but only once that I noticed did they offer a regional cuisine (dolmades). Suite benefits: If you can afford it, this is one time a suite may be actually worth the upgrade cost (although a lot of time is spent in port on this cruise so that may be a countering argument for some). Suite guests receive complimentary room service (all meals) and we also received a welcome basket of fruit and wine and every morning fresh cut fruit and bottled water was delivered, every afternoon canapes were delivered, and every evening cookies/treats were delivered. We had a Grand Suite room and the view and larger deck facing the front of the ship (right below the bridge) was an excellent vantage point. We had two gentlemen who were concierges and two gentlemen who were housekeeping for our room, and all of them went above and beyond to provide us with absolutely outstanding service. Excursions: One of the best features of the Celestial’s cruises are the free included excursions in some of the ports with options to purchase alternatives. We took excursions in all of the ports and the contract companies in each were all top of the line. The buses used were comfortable and the guides were knowledgeable. The excursion in Egypt was fascinating but we were late getting into port and the tour company had to cut back time at various locations. There was very little time for shopping, except and one shop “approved by the cruise line”. Beware at the pyramids there are numerous of people trying to aggressively sell merchandise and it was also sad as an animal lover to see so many malnourished stray dogs throughout Egypt. In Israel, we paid for the Jerusalem/Bethlehem excursion and got to see most all of the advertised spots except going down into the grotto at the Church of Nativity due to long lines as that excursion also got started late due to the ship docking late, which also caused the tour company to cut back on tour locations and rushed us past shopping. We were only able to stop at one “cruise line approved” store, which was terribly over-priced. A couple of the other excursions started late as well but were generally shorter days so they didn’t seem as rushed. I’m not entirely sure why so many of the port days got us in late or off the boat late, resulting in the tour companies to have to condense the tour, but it was the first visit by the Crystal on this route (3 Continent Cruise) so it may have been just working through new logistics but hopefully they get it worked out so future cruisers don’t have their tours cut short. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
7 Nights Cruise 3 Continents – Celestyal Crystal Ship – the ship is more like a ferry, very old & worn, basic and casual. We expected a very basic cruise and didn’t pack any evening clothes. Although there was the usual ... Read More
7 Nights Cruise 3 Continents – Celestyal Crystal Ship – the ship is more like a ferry, very old & worn, basic and casual. We expected a very basic cruise and didn’t pack any evening clothes. Although there was the usual captain’s gala night, so there’s a dress code for that evening if participating. Cabin – the cabin was an ok size but the bathroom was tiny and much smaller than other ships. The cabin comes with twin beds as standard and you need to call reception on-board to arrange it into a double. Entertainment – the same in-house entertainment team each night which was really bad. We went twice and didn’t return – it’s more enjoyable looking out to sea! We usually love on-board entertainment but this was disappointing. Dining – there are 2 dining rooms which have the same menu. Flexible dining yet had no problems with queues. There are 2 sides to the buffet. The food was bad. We expected a smaller cruise to provide better quality food but it was the worst we’ve experienced. If you have dietary requirements i.e. vegetarian, vegan you will not be catered for. The ship was not informed of our dietary requirement so the maitre’d and staff were not aware and they had no provision on-board. They just improvise when you’re on-board i.e. remove the meat from Bolognese, which then isn’t a sufficient meal. Don’t expect starters, desserts or to be able to eat anything from the buffet if you have a dietary requirement. Drinks package – all inclusive is very limited with only 1 house red, white and beer. When booking we were informed the drinks package included everything except premium brands but this wasn’t the case. We’re used to a wide selection of wines included in drinks packages. Spirits and cocktails were as expected. A charge for bottled water and sodas as normal. Juices incur a charge. Excursions – the excursions were awful. The tour guides gave us hours at souvenir shops which were outrageously priced, at the expense of visiting sites on the itinerary. For Cairo, we had about 30-45 minutes at the pyramids and sphinx sites. The tour was around 7am until 10pm with the majority spent driving and little food at approximately 3pm. It was not a proper tour, there were not enough headsets to go around, the guide left half the group at the museum’s security gate so we missed the tour and also left us to try to find the entrance to the inside of the pyramids. It was interesting that we were accompanied by police escort and roads were blocked off for our passage. For Israel, we did not visit the birthplace of Jesus. The tour guide would shout at us, not allow us to shop or go to the toilets, and would say we didn’t have time to visit places on the itinerary, yet allowed 2 hours for a buffet lunch and souvenir shop. The Israel tour was almost as long, around 8am until 9pm. Everyone was asked to wait in the theatre for the tours, rather than asking groups to arrive at different times as would be expected, which was very unorganised. Check-in process – from 2pm. Very unorganised and stressful, a free for all with no queue. Overall – we booked this cruise for the stops in Cairo and Jerusalem, which we wouldn’t have felt safe visiting on our own, and liked the idea of a 1-day trip with a cruise company. The excursions were awful and missed some of the key attractions on the itinerary. The ship, food and entertainment were poor. The price was cheap and a basic cruise was expected, however the excursions, which should have been the highlight of the trip, were awful, so it was overall disappointing. We will not cruise with Celestyal again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
One must accept the premise that this is a smaller ship. Everything is scaled down. But it has some incredible offerings that other lines don't have. First, what might disappoint some: The buffet is small. It is not sumtuous. ... Read More
One must accept the premise that this is a smaller ship. Everything is scaled down. But it has some incredible offerings that other lines don't have. First, what might disappoint some: The buffet is small. It is not sumtuous. It is just adequate. There are supplements on the deck with omlette stations, BBQ etc. But this cruise line is not all about the food. The restaurants have a menu selection like other cruise lines. The restaurant food is above-average for what you might find in a standard port-side restaurant. But what is Great: Destinations, including shore excursions: We were off the ship every day. One day included two islands. Don't cruise with this line if your idea of cruising is at-sea days. The onboard offerings are scant during port time. The included excursions have great guides. Tours were available in various languages. (An unexpected highlight of the cruise was an excursion to the hanging monasteries near Volos. It was a last-minute decision that was worth the expense.) Entertainment: The ship has a Cuban-based cirque-style troupe that is outstanding. The nightly shows are not to be missed. They have energy, voices, acrobatics, and just wonderful performances. I compare this to my last Carnival cruse which generally consisted of dancers lip-syncing tunes. The Crystal's performers are so much better. Its a small ship, it was off-season, there were reportedly about 700 passengers, so getting on and off was a breeze, including at every port. The cruise director: Danni speaks 8 languages, and he used all of them in his daily introductions and thank yous. Finally, the ship may be older, but it is well-cared-for. It is not threadbare. I'd recommend this ship for active people who want to get off the ship and see as much as possible! I will also say that "gratuities are included." But consider that in Greece, tipping is not really a thing. The servers are not overpaid. We did tip (in Euros) and I believe it was apprciated. Please consider tipping the staff that serves you well. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was our experience on Celestyal Cruise Line, ship “Crystal”: Intro: Embarkation was an exercise in chaos, frustration and exhaustion. Long, long lines, very bureaucratic and much standing around waiting…and ... Read More
This was our experience on Celestyal Cruise Line, ship “Crystal”: Intro: Embarkation was an exercise in chaos, frustration and exhaustion. Long, long lines, very bureaucratic and much standing around waiting…and waiting…and etc... Not nearly enough cruise staff to take care of +1000 people Same for “life preserver safety class”. Standing and waiting, waiting, waiting, etc… We booked an outside cabin with what we expected to be an “unobstructed view” window. We got a tiny, TINY room (Cabin #5212) with beds pushed up against the window wall and a walkway outside the window where people strolled back and forth, looking into the cabin at will. Beyond the walkway was the ocean, but the only time you could pull the drapes back (unless you were the exhibitionist type) to enjoy it was at midnight. In effect, it was an inside cabin with a higher price. We spent ~$800 to upgrade to a Jr. Suite. Very nice with an outside deck, but the sting of the original booking situation remains. We feel it is only fair to rate the original booking rather than the upgraded one. Only exception: Flushing toilet (I won’t go into detail) Shower would go super hot on you with no warning Otherwise: Pros – Wonderful, helpful, patient, kind housekeeping staff (Kafik & Yuleidis). Great waiters, hair stylist, entertainers, etc. All service personnel worked very hard, were always helpful, pleasant and polite, and did a great job. We thank them and greatly appreciate them. 1 Con: Last morning before debarkation, needed tipping change for a 50 euro bill, but purser very rigidly refused. This is the desk where you change money so they had to have had bills and coins. Just not willing to share? Very disappointing attitude. Ports/Tours: Pros – Fantastic ports…Istanbul was unbelievably gorgeous, Troy was an amazing adventure, Volos was beautiful and other-worldly. Crete, Santorini and Mykonos far exceeded expectations. Itinerary could not have been better. Big, big kudos!!! . Tour guides were all excellent and informative. 1 Con: Crowds, crowds, crowds…not the cruise line’s fault, of course, but still VERY frustrating. The lines were long…more standing around and waiting, waiting, waiting. That’s time away from real sightseeing. Perhaps go earlier in the am? Crete tour took off at ~noon and way too hot and crowded by that time. Misc: Pros: We didn’t attend classes or spend much time on the ship so we can’t rate that area. I had my hair washed and blown dry very well and very inexpensively in the Beauty Salon. We did attend two evening shows and they were both as good as cruise entertainment goes. Cons: “All Inclusive”: This is a definite misnomer. You were constantly asked to pay extra for what should have been part of the price, i.e. an ice cream cone by the pool (really!), a list of exotic drinks which was shoved in your face continually in the bar and food was only available at certain times. If you wanted coffee at, say, 6:30am, before the breakfast buffet opened, you had to pay for room service. That’s absolutely ridiculous when rising early for touring. No sit-down breakfast either…only buffet. The lunch and dinner buffets were slowly set up and quickly closed down. The food dry, uninteresting and unappealing. The dining rooms at night were over-crowded and there was often a wait if you didn’t arrive at opening. THE BIGGIE FOOD Sad story: We booked the “Special Dining Room” for a “special gourmet dining experience” (4 people). It cost 38 euros for the booking. Then we ordered 2 Surf & Turfs for ~60 euros and 2 Lobster Thermidors for ~the same + 2 bottles of Pouilly Fuisse wine. Surf (lobster) was totally tasteless. I have never had that experience with lobster before…mind blowing. Turf was “beef tournedos” that were ordered med. rare and yet came with not a hint of pink on or in them. They were grey, dry and didn’t even look like meat at all. The potatoes were beautifully sculpted…and tasted like gelatin. On the other hand, the wine was wonderful, which was a blessing considering the foodl!. Our waiter was a very elegant gentleman from Egypt who was way too charming and classy for the food he served. The regular dining room food was just plain mediocre to bad with uninspired options. The buffet food was often cold and looked like it had been sitting for some time at opening. You had to pay for fresh orange juice (in Greece yet, folks!) Omelets in the morning were good, but only 2 stations (guys working hard) going for 1000 people created another long line and waiting, waiting, etc… Only had one lunch…stir fry. Was pretty good, but not hot enough. Again, only 2 stations (again working hard) meant more lines and more waiting and waiting. The food on this cruise was a HUGE disappointment. We did not expect unmitigated gourmet, but we did expect “tasty” and well prepared with maybe a little gourmet thrown in once in awhile. We simply cannot, in good conscience, recommend a cruise where the food is this bad. That’s about the bottom line for us and coupled with the rest of the frustrations, we would probably not book on Celestyal again. This is my 4th cruise. My 1st was a 4-day Greek Island cruise on a small Greek cruise ship (1981). Cabin was an insider (we were very young and poor), but larger than the Crystal’s window cabin we originally booked. Food was good and plenty of it. Young, fun crowd and it was a blast. I remember it fondly and wish that line was still running. For a small cruise, it was very well organized and everything moved along well. My 2nd and 3rd were 14 day’er on a Caribbean cruise (Norwegian) and 7 day’er on a Mexican Riviera cruise. On both cruises, the food was excellent, particularly (of course) Norwegian. There was always food available somewhere and no standing in lines or waiting. That’s our story and much as we hate to say it, we do not recommend Celestyal cruises based on our current experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because of its destinations but all a bit rushed and often late arrival. We had a drinks package that I can only describe as penny pinching as many drinks not available and waters and mixers were from large bottles ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its destinations but all a bit rushed and often late arrival. We had a drinks package that I can only describe as penny pinching as many drinks not available and waters and mixers were from large bottles and often were very flat and had to be returned often, you could purchase mixers and water if you wanted better quality which we did, Coffee on board was abysmal very weak and dreadful quality unless you paid for coffee pods, A number of passengers complained about the quality of cocktails. Food in restaurants was frequently well and truly overcooked although some of the ingredients were good, Seating arrangements were so poor and disorganised that almost every night you had to queue for considerable time which caused the crew to get unwarranted abuse from a number of passengers. The complimentary wine was a choice of 3 low quality wines unless again you purchased wines and drinks from their premium (I question this use of the word) list Pool - only 10 people allowed in at a time with possibly 1200 passengers. Public rooms looked sad and in need of a bit of tlc Staff either very good or very poor but overall very pleasant It took 21/2 hours to embark for us, other clients said 3 hours and disembarkation was a farce as we were asked to vacate our cabins at 8am and then we sat for 2 hours 20 minutes with no further information before they started disembarkation and of course everyone was then in a rush to get off so it became chaotic as passengers did not follow their laid down procedures. Excursions that we went on were of poor quality and very crowded, In Santorini we set anchor slightly late and had then got approximately 5 hours to go on tender, coach for excursion, get cable car down to tenders, last tender 12.30pm, The destinations were a real exiting part of the cruise. We did complain a few times about parts of the above but found it futile as things did not improve and we then decided why spoil our holiday so just accepted the situation, We could say more but it then makes it seem as though you are just moaning The penny pinching by this company ensures that we will not be sailing with them again Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Carbin - We had a 4 bed carbin, it was designed in a strange L shape. Although we booked a double bed, we ended up had 4 single bed. We had to sleep in a head to toe position. With the 2 ladders that goes up to the top bed, I had to ... Read More
Carbin - We had a 4 bed carbin, it was designed in a strange L shape. Although we booked a double bed, we ended up had 4 single bed. We had to sleep in a head to toe position. With the 2 ladders that goes up to the top bed, I had to squeeze and climb out of my bed everyday. Keep in mind, I am a petite 5.3' girl. The room was very tight, bathroom is even smaller. the corner shower with a shower curtain was a nightmare, the water temperature was either too cold or too hot. Food - Food was average, nothing fancy but ok until one day I found stainless steel scrub pieces in the pasta inside the buffet tray. After pointing it out to the serving staff, they simply picked the metal pieces from the tray and gave the tray a shake then said ' it's ok now madam.' I totally can NOT believe what just happened, this is certainly not ok. Some of the fruits don't taste fresh, after speaking to some of their staff who used to serve on other international brand, we were told this ship didn't really have a 'go off' date for the fruits, as long as they seem ok, they are OK. Unlike other cruise we have been on, there are no free flow snacks during the day, you have to follow a strict meal time. Outside of the meal time, you will have to pay for snacks such as pizza, salad. Swimming pool - it's about 10 meters long, more like a dipping pool, definitely not for swimming. Embarkation - For such a small- medium size ship, we waited in line for almost 2 hours to get on board, they were very inefficient. Disembarkation - This was the worst part. We were told to vacant the room by 8am . 7.55am while I was in the toilet getting changed, my children were changing in the carbin at the same time. The male cabin service staff broken into the room and shouted at us to leave while I was in my pajamas! When I heard him knocking on the door, I clearly told him we are almost ready! This was the very same person who had been smiling at us from day 1 till day 5. Day 5 was the day when we completed their customer service survey and that's the same day all the friendly smiles started disappearing from their face. On the last day, all the staff just didn't seem to be interested anymore, no smiles, nothing, they can't wait for us to go. Ports and Shore excursions - We picked up this cruise mainly because it's Ports of calls. Last day Santorini was supposed to be the highlight of the trip. We were told to get ready and wait for the shore excursion at 7.15am, we didn't leave the ship until 8ish .When we arrive Santorini that's 9 am and we had to Tour guide cancelled our 20 mins stop at Fira town took us directly to Oia where we were given 2 hours to look around. 11.20 we rushed back to the bus that took us to the cable car station where we waited for another 25 mins. The ship sailed another 6 hours in the afternoon, we arrived mykonos at 7pm. Everywhere is closed except souvenir shop, most of the people I spoke to all agreed 1 day 2 destination was a very poor planning and it doesn't make any sense at all. There is a reason they don't have a loyalty program, maybe they never expected for any returning customers ? Entertainment team - They were they only people still managed to smile at us even on the last day. I won't recommend this cruise for young families as there were very very limited children families and activities on board. Lots of smokers on board, I have seen people smoking on different decks. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My husband and I did a 7 day cruise aboard the Celestyal Crystal on October 21 - Eclectic Aegean. Neither of us are travel agents. It was their first cruise to include Istanbul and that was the main draw for us. I was a bit apprehensive ... Read More
My husband and I did a 7 day cruise aboard the Celestyal Crystal on October 21 - Eclectic Aegean. Neither of us are travel agents. It was their first cruise to include Istanbul and that was the main draw for us. I was a bit apprehensive after reading all the negative reviews, so boarded with low expectations. We have cruised three times before - Royal Caribbean (Symphony of the Seas to Mexico), Princess - Diamond ( to Alaska) and Norwegian Jewel (Baltic). It is true that the cabins are smaller than average, so we booked a junior suite and it was very comfortable for the both of us. In fact we found the cabin to be very conveniently configured and it was clean, well maintained and looked new. Our cabin steward, Shafique told us that the junior suites had been remodeled just a year ago. The food was good - it could have used a little more variety but we never went hungry. The chef went out of his way to prepare some special Indian meals for us and a few other passengers, which we appreciated very much. The shows were good and there were plenty of onboard activities to keep us all entertained. There were excellent singers, musicians and the on-board lecturer - Caroline was outstanding and we enjoyed her lectures very much. The included shore excursions were also quite good and we could not really complain. There is a very small room for children's activities but I don't really think there was anything worthwhile for the kids to do. We had no children with us and there were very few on board. I don't think this is cruise for you if you want a really good children's program. This is NOT a cruise for you if you are looking for midnight buffets etc. In fact, for passengers wanting ice cream, pizza or anything outside of the what is served during mealtimes (breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner) costs extra. Which was a first for us. But we were not hungry in-between meal times so this did not upset us in the least. This is also not a cruise ship if you want to use the pool. The pool is very small. The gym is also quite small, I used it once but the rest of the time we were docked and out sightseeing. Our itinerary was port intensive. The embarkation process at Pireus was a nightmare but the disembarkation was a breeze! The staff were wonderful and did their very best to accommodate everyone and take care of their passengers. I would not hesitate to sail on the Celestyal Crystal again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The first point to note, and this will become relevant as this review progresses, is Celestyal’s core market seems to be organised tour groups. Beginning with embarkation. This was our 11th cruise and was by far the worse embarkation ... Read More
The first point to note, and this will become relevant as this review progresses, is Celestyal’s core market seems to be organised tour groups. Beginning with embarkation. This was our 11th cruise and was by far the worse embarkation process I have ever encountered. Check-in took us two hours, which we thought was bad but fellow passengers we spoke to endured a two and a half and in one case a three hour embarkation debacle. This is the first cruise we have been on where luggage labels for your checked baggage are not provided in advance. This means a long queue to drop off your bags, in our case over half an hour and we arrived half an hour before the official arrival time. Passengers behind us had to wait up to an hour to drop their bags off. Annoyingly, passengers travelling in organised tours had been issued with baggage labels and were able to drop their bags off as soon as they arrived and effectively jump the queue. Once the bags are dropped off you have to then join a queue to pick up your cruise card, this took 45 minutes and was not the end of the process as having gained your cruise card to actually check in – other cruise lines do the card issuing and check-in at the same time, why can’t Celestyal. The final delay, and I accept this is not Celestyal’s fault, was passing through immigration control, which was probably the biggest contributor to the delay. With near on 1,000 passengers there were just two immigration officers and with most passengers being American it was a slow process. I said there were two immigration officers, at one point, despite there being massive queues, one of them disappeared for 20 minutes, leaving the other guy on his own. Once past immigration Celestyal staff then take your passport off you and you don’t see it again until the last night of the cruise – something I don’t particularly like myself. By the end of check-in my mood was, shall I say, somewhat tense. On board we went straight to our cabin, described as a Junior Balcony Suite which was, in reality, just like any standard balcony cabin on other cruise lines At least, with the delay our bags were outside our room when we reached our cabin. Time to explore the ship and, frankly it didn’t take long, I’ve been on larger cross-channel ferries, indeed this ship began life as a car ferry. For us the size wasn’t an issue, small is good and this ship makes a pleasant change from the impersonal mega ships. We did have concerns the ship may have been too small for the number of passengers but those fears were unfounded. The safety briefing was a farce. First of all you had to arrive at your muster station wearing our lifejacket. The briefing, well what it was, was conducted in several languages – however passengers not speaking the language currently being broadcast carried on speaking when their language wasn’t being used, so you couldn’t hear the announcement. We were then given a demonstration of how to put on a lifejacket – excuse me, we were all wearing our jackets already because we had been told to. The ship has most of the facilities you expect on a cruise but on a smaller scale. The swimming pool is small but then again this was a destination cruise with stops every day so it wasn’t the type of cruise for lounging by the pool. The “theatre” is more of a lounge with a stage but it was adequate for the numbers. Danny the cruise manager was very good, a great sense of humour without going over the top. There was the usual issue with a broad cross section of nationalities on board that the announcements being made in multiple languages but it gave you the chance to swot up on your basic French and Spanish. There are two main restaurants and two buffets. The main dining rooms operate on an open dining system, for us it worked well as we like to eat early. Those wanting to dine later did sometimes have to wait for a table to become free. The restaurants / buffets only open for breakfast / lunch / dinner so midnight buffet on board, which is no bad thing – it takes the temptation away. Breakfast is buffet style whether in the restaurant or buffet – the advantage of using the restaurant for breakfast is you have a table before you get your food. The breakfast buffet was the same every day but with a large selection you could still vary what you had. Dinner in the restaurants was three courses, which was enough. You could order specials like steaks or lobster at an extra charge, and the charge was reasonable – I ad a decent fillet steak one evening and it was only €13.50 extra. There is a small speciality dining room with about six tables which charged around €37.50 for a meal but I don’t think it was worth the money as the menu was basically the same as the extra menu in the main restaurant, which would have worked out cheaper. There are a few tables for two in the main restaurant, which are like gold dust – we managed to get one twice Otherwise it’s shared tables of eight. You are supposed to be put on a table with people speaking the same language – good in theory but not in practice. One night we were on a table with Chinese speakers another with German speakers. There is an all inclusive drinks package on board. OK there is a limited wine choice but unless you’re a wine snob the choice is adequate. The all inclusive drinks menu is quite extensive, running to 12 pages. There is a premium drinks menu as well and unlike other cruise lines the cost of the premium drinks and cocktails is very reasonable. For example €3.50 to upgrade to a premium gin, or €4.50 for a premium cocktail. The cruise includes three excursions in the price of the cruise. A generous offer in theory but an unmitigated disaster in practice, I’ll cover that in the excursions section of this review. Paid for excursions are grossly overpriced. The crew were friendly, although the only time the Captain was seen or heard was at the Captains Cocktail Party and he looked as though he really didn’t want to be there Ships photographers are impossible to escape, either onboard or ashore. Their photo prices, whilst still expensive, are cheaper than most other cruise lines. Disembarkation was slow but that actually suited us as we wanted to get off as late as possible, for those with earlier flights it was an issue. Cabins had to be vacated by 08:00 but the first passengers were not allowed off until 10:15. This was a good cruise but not perfect. Their interpretation of time is, shall we say, fluid. The included excursions were a good idea but badly executed …. we were in Istanbul two days, so why send everyone on the included cruise as soon as we arrived, why not split it. A final word of warning and this is nothing to do with Celestyal, but if disembarking at Pireaus be careful if taking a taxi into Athens. Our driver claimed his meter wasn’t working and tried to charge us double what the fare should have been. It was only when I took his photo and threatened to call the police that he charged the correct fare. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
It is a terrible ship, old and tired. Tiny cabins single beds at right angles to each other, even for couples . Hardly any storage, we had our clothes on the window ledge. The Food is awful and monotonous. Same breakfast every day, ... Read More
It is a terrible ship, old and tired. Tiny cabins single beds at right angles to each other, even for couples . Hardly any storage, we had our clothes on the window ledge. The Food is awful and monotonous. Same breakfast every day, congealed eggs, over cooked bacon etc. Coffee foul. Buffets breakfast and lunch only occasionally a waiter served lunch. Dinner you had to queue for and no seats for disabled, standing for over 40 minutes until we complained. and if you are disabled just forget it. No room for a wheelchair, slippery ramps. Tenders impossible to get in unless able bodied. Never again . Hardly any entertainment. Excursion desk gives wrong advice, we had to advise them in the end. We did not see one happy face onboard, everyone was unhappy and complaining, from all different nationalities. We spoke to English, Dutch, Americans, Brazilians , Argentinians and we all felt the same Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary,We have previously cruised with Celebrity and Cunard,so a smaller ship was a first.We really enjoyed the wonderful places we visited.Santorini was fabulous,Mykonos too..Kusadasi was very intetesting ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary,We have previously cruised with Celebrity and Cunard,so a smaller ship was a first.We really enjoyed the wonderful places we visited.Santorini was fabulous,Mykonos too..Kusadasi was very intetesting also.Food on the cruise was lovely.Plenty of choice at breakfast,lunch and dinner.and staff were very pleasant and accomodating.Some people complained that restaurants weren't open all the time,but fine for usThe included shore excursions were really good and the guides very informative.Now the downside.We were in cabin 2006,don't choose it! It is so near the engine you can smell diesel as soon as you step into corridor,not pleasant.Also very noisy.We felt every move of the shipWe would cruise on Celestyal Crystal but choose a higher deck.Said it all really but must give a special mention to the great staff in the restaurant and our cabin steward,we were well looked after by Migiol in the cabin.Overall a lovely cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The dining was average, it just started to get repetitive after a while. For breakfast, it was the same options for seven days. There were hot food items (eggs, hash browns, pancakes, french ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The dining was average, it just started to get repetitive after a while. For breakfast, it was the same options for seven days. There were hot food items (eggs, hash browns, pancakes, french toast, omelets), a yogurt section with many toppings, fresh fruit, bread and pastries. For lunch and dinner, the buffet was similar each day. There was a salad section, some deli meats and cheeses, usually there was a chicken, fish, and pork entree, but sometimes beef or lamb. There was often a potato, rice, or pasta option as well. There was always bread and a different soup each day and there was always dessert. Also, each day there was a special lunch station, such as tacos, pasta, or fajitas. This really helped with the variety and I wish that they did something similar with breakfast and dinner. There was usually a table available in the buffet areas and a long wait for a table during dinner in the restaurants. The earliest breakfast started was 7 am and I wish there was an option to start even earlier. At least the option of having fruit and pastries available and have the hot food come at 7 am. I did not go to many activities other than the big nightly shows at 9 pm, which were wonderful. There was a special group of dancers who came onto the ship in Crete and I really enjoyed that performance. Mykonos: The ship had a shuttle bus from where the ship docked in the "New Port" to the "Old Port." It was then an easy walk to Mykonos Town to see the windmills and Little Venice. We took an excursion to the island of Delos from a company outside of the ship because it was a better price. Milos: The tenders dropped us off in Adamas. We took a cab to Papafragas beach. It was definitely a dangerous descent to get to the water there. We walked a short ways to nearby Pachena beach and that was a much safer place to get into. We took the Milos bus back to the ship. There was shopping and dining in Adamas near where the tenders left us. Santorini: The ship's excursion took us to three locations, Megalochori, Oia, and Thira. You had the option to leave the excursion at Oia if you wanted more time there. Oia was ridiculously crowded and I think the excursion gave plenty of time because I did not want to spend lots of time in the "tourist trap." Thira was less crowded than Oia, but still crowded. The ship's excursion gave you a ticket for the cable car to return to the port and take a tender back to the boat. The second day in Santorini we took a tour with a private excursion. Crete: Like in Santorini, the ship sent everyone on the excursion at the same time, so it got very crowded at the Palace of Knossos and we had to wait in line a lot. It was unfortunate because Celestyal could have staggered the departure times a bit to help with the crowds. The tour then took you to the museum and gave a guided tour of the Minoan section. We chose to leave the guided tour then and saw the rest of the museum on our own. We walked from there to the Koules Fortress then walked to see the Morosoni Fountain and Agios Titos Church. It was about a 20 minute walk back to the ship from near the Morosoni Fountain. You can also stay on the tour and the tour bus will bring you back to the ship. Kusadasi: Ephesus was amazing, we had a really great guide! It was crowded, again the ship could have staggered all of the buses better. After Ephesus you were required to go to the carpet co-op. They also had pashminas, jewelry, and leather goods for sale. Our guide made it clear that we were not obligated to buy anything. Although I did not want to buy a carpet, I was okay with this stop because at least they gave us a meal! A lot of Celestyal buses stopped here, I would recommend that they let the shoppers stay and send the non-shoppers back to the ship on an earlier bus. We had to wait for the last person on our bus to finish shopping, which took a while. There was no set time that people had to finish shopping, I think if there was going to be a sale, they wanted to get it!! We walked around Kusadasi for a bit and it was beautiful, I really wish we had more time there! There were a lot of little beaches along the shore within walking distance from where the shore was docked and I wish we had time to go swimming. Embarkation and disembarkation from the ship were quick and went smoothly. Overall a great cruise due to the itinerary. The food would benefit from more variety, like more theme options each day for each meal. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My husband and I went with a group of people organized by a travel agent. The itinerary was perfect, and so were the excursions and guides. The majority of the crew was friendly, but some were not. We enjoyed the tours and the ... Read More
My husband and I went with a group of people organized by a travel agent. The itinerary was perfect, and so were the excursions and guides. The majority of the crew was friendly, but some were not. We enjoyed the tours and the destinations, but we were very disappointed with the food and the included drink selection, all 26 of us, which is our biggest complaint. Also, it forced us to eat on the Islands if you wanted to spend any additional time after the excursion because they cut off the lunch after 2 pm. I have never been on a cruise that did not offer many options for eating any time you wanted, but not on this cruise! It was our anniversary, so we chose the most expensive suite with a large balcony. The cabin was very nice and would recommend this option if you decide to go on this ship. This cruise was our first trip to Greece, and it was gorgeous. I recommend you go to the Islands as we did, but I cannot recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
cruise was booked for me as part of package deal. 2 swimming pools but no water in them for 5 days !!!!! said it was all inclusive but we had to pay for water and juice.Chaotic when in port as often had to wait for over an hour to ... Read More
cruise was booked for me as part of package deal. 2 swimming pools but no water in them for 5 days !!!!! said it was all inclusive but we had to pay for water and juice.Chaotic when in port as often had to wait for over an hour to disembark due to americans receiving priority in getting off the ship to take part in excursions.Cabin very small and basic,felt like being on a cross channel ferry between Dover and Calais. Food in dining room was good and staff very friendly. Staff in general were helpful. Shore excursions especially in Athens were too rushed, we had roughly 3 hours ashore which was not enough to see the sights.In Athens we were halfway through climbing to the top of the acropolis when we ran out of time and the guide took us back down again !!!!! Had to buy postcards to get the full view of the Acropolis. Would never sail with this company again !!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Just returned from a week on the Celestyal Line’s Crystal “Idyllic Aegean” cruise to the Greek Isles out of Athens. Here’s the bottom line on the entire cruise experience - with apologies to those negative reviewers from another ... Read More
Just returned from a week on the Celestyal Line’s Crystal “Idyllic Aegean” cruise to the Greek Isles out of Athens. Here’s the bottom line on the entire cruise experience - with apologies to those negative reviewers from another orbit who’ve expressed reservations. Firstly, the really spectacular: - The multilingual cruise director, Danny, an energetic John Oliver clone, was an absolute delight and livened up the entire week; - Formal dinners are served and presented with gastronomic flourish, and most offer a truly memorable food experience - with a distinct European flair and great service. If your vision of good cuisine is everyday American comfort food, then maybe consider a different vacation option. The executive sous chef also offers a poolside specialty breakfast (omelet station) and lunch each day (pasta; gyros; fajitas; BBQ); - The nightly shows in the main theatre, performed by a resident troupe, were simply amazing with fabulous choreography, music, stage production, sound/lighting, and at times audience participation; we didn’t miss a single night; - It’s a visit to another world: the 910 passengers onboard represented 34 countries, the 403 crew members 31 countries, all of which provided a chance each day to talk to someone from a different culture (all announcements were in five languages) - an invaluable life event; - Generally, each interaction with a staff person was courteous and efficient. The mundane: - Yes, it’s an older ship that has been tenderly maintained. While it’s not the Ritz Carlton, accommodations are comfortable, clean, and well-serviced (thank you Jose and Ramesh). Does it look a little tired in spots? Sure, it’s a Euro-centric vacation vehicle and, thankfully, not a Disney wannabe. Consider what you really want when cruising the Greek Isles; - Rooms are clean and fresh, with comfortable bedding. We splurged on a balcony junior suite (only about 10% of all cabins have balconies) and it was well worth the extra cost; - Despite other comments here, the check-in, boarding, and disembarkation process was well-managed and flawless; ignore those comments from behind the curtain: - Crews are constantly sprucing up the ship to a sparkling white outside, and the interior reminds one of a favorite living room chair: comfortable and familiar, but not flashy or exotic; - Unlike American cruises, there is no automatic add-on gratuity cost for the week (which the crew probably never receives). We handed out cash directly to an appreciative staff. The negatives: - no assigned seating at dinner, but there are three available restaurants plus two buffets; (we covertly tipped one maitre’d the first night and were treated exceptionally the other six); - the gym and casino are tiny by today’s standards, but we didn’t care in the least (we took a week off exercise); - bottled water was not part of the beverage package; - no free Wi-Fi. but we were able to use cellular at each destination from the ship; - some of the free shore excursions were just mediocre and overcrowded. Consider upgrading to the other paid options at each port. Overall, a wonderful, adult experience. For couples or groups, not kids or teens, and a chance to interact with people from around the world. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Overall the reason my family chose this ship was because of the itinerary on overnight stays and long stays in port on each island. You did not feel rushed on the islands like sometimes you might on a Caribbean cruise. I believe a cruise ... Read More
Overall the reason my family chose this ship was because of the itinerary on overnight stays and long stays in port on each island. You did not feel rushed on the islands like sometimes you might on a Caribbean cruise. I believe a cruise is the best way to visit multiple islands in Greece in a short amount of time, but I would not suggest this cruise to anyone. Even though it has a great itinerary, the ship is lacking many things to make your trip better while on board. Pros -Itinerary is great and spent 2 nights in Santorini. -Staff is very helpful and knowledgeable. -Excursions we took were really good and the tour guides did an excellent job on getting you to experience the Greek Culture. -Food on islands is amazing. Not on cruise ship. -Spa is great. My wife loved her facial and massage. Cons - The ship is an early morning ship and you will not be able to sleep in. Keep your do not disturb on the door, or you will have the cleaning crew come in your room immediately when you dock at port. A lot of times the cleaning crew does not even knock on the door at all, they just come right in. -The cleaning crew was vacuuming outside our rooms at 1AM and you can hear everything that goes on in the hallway inside your room due to it being a cruise ship. This woke my family up multiple days throughout the cruise. -The cleaning crew is always cleaning which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but we felt like they were always hanging outside our room because the cart stayed against the wall majority of the cruise and every-time we left the room they were right outside your door. -The food on the ship is very bland. For buffet people you might would like it but after the second day my family said they were done with the ship food and ate on the islands the rest of the trip. After all you are in Greece. But for the price of the cruise the food should be much better, the chicken felt like you could chip a tooth while eating. The food is also cold for the majority of the part. The excursions that are offered are very good and if you chose any of them you would be happy. But the cruise does not provide a lot of variety of excursions as compared to Carribean cruises that i have been on. -On the last day, the cruise makes you leave your cabin at 8AM going into dock. Its currently 10AM and we are still not allowed to leave the ship. There aren't enough seats for everyone and you cannot stay in the hallways or on the floor. They will ask you to get up. This has never happened to me on a cruise before. If you take this cruise don't plan on doing anything other than walking around in athens due to this. After 8AM you aren't allowed back in your cabins and have to sit your checked luggage in the hallway before midnight the night before. -The omlet station for breakfast has only 2 machines and for 1,000 people that is not enough. There should be multiple stations set throughout the ship to avoid long lines. -The waiters are friendly but it takes European time to get to you. They are not assigned a certain section of tables and just walk around the cruise ship so the person you had for your first drink may be different for second since your first person may be on the otherside of the ship. -The Free drinks are very watered down and a hit or miss, most of the times a miss and some of them didn't even have alcohol sometimes . Some of the paid drinks I got were good, but were still watered down. -The fitness center is small with way to much equipment in there for you to really anything in a comfortable position. -Ship does not handle weather very well and is very rocky compared to others i have been on Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
IMHO the Celestyal Cruise Lines get a bad rap by travel agents. I was told that the the experience was not "upscale" and discouraged to consider. I'm sure glad we booked a 7-day cruise in an outside cabin. I understand the ... Read More
IMHO the Celestyal Cruise Lines get a bad rap by travel agents. I was told that the the experience was not "upscale" and discouraged to consider. I'm sure glad we booked a 7-day cruise in an outside cabin. I understand the reservations of some TA's and some reviewers. The ship does not have all the bell and whistles of the newer mega liners. If you're expecting this type of cruise experience then the Celestyal Crystal isn't for you. Missing are the atriums, chandeliers, rock climbing walls, boardwalks and bright neon colors. But also missing are the long lines and the intimidation of learning a larger ship. What you do get on the Crystal is a smaller ship (900 or so passengers - depending on the fill of the cabins), a ship that has been lovingly maintained - no warn carpets or furniture, polished brass and wood and no rust! Something that I can't say for the other cruise lines we've been on. Think retro boutique hotel versus a large convention or resort hotel. Our cabin on Deck 5 with an outside large window was of adequate size for two people. The bedding was comfortable, bathroom had a glass shower door, and we had two drawers that were not used. Our roll aboard luggage easily fit under the bed. Steward service was twice a day with the customary animal shaped towels left at evening turndown. Despite having gratuities included, the staff was wonderful and accommodating. Service was top-notch. Breakfasts were buffet except for an omelette/waffle/pancake station. Lunch was a la carte, buffet or daily specials on deck; crepes, fajitas, wok etc. Overall the food was above average and sometimes bordered on the outstanding! All nicely presented, with varying menus each day. Dinner was accompanied by attentive wine stewards who continually refilled wine glasses. One memorable meal in the dining room was a North Atlantic Salmon that was flaky, firm, yet moist and served with asparagus over a bed of risotto noir, black colored with octopus ink. Vegetarian, gluten free and Greek selections were also available. Service in the bars was outstanding. The drinks were weak, the wine was not! Greek red, white or rose was served in the bars and dining room. The wine was not stellar, but palatable. Premium wines were available for purchase. Weaker drinks allowed us to indulge in one or two cocktails before dinner, ample wine with dinner and enjoy an after dinner cocktail or two during and after the shows without being hungover the next morning! There was some creative work arounds needed to satisfy arbitrary serving rules with the included drinks. For example I could not order a Rusty Nail cocktail but could order Drambuie and Scotch separately. An Americano Negroni became Gin and Campari. After the first few times the servers knew exactly what we wanted and the arbitrary rules seemed to vanish! The Entertainment consisted of a fresh production every evening. Sometimes accompanied by live music and other times canned. The theatre is set up like a night club rather than theater style adding to the ambiance. The cast was young, enthusiastic, athletic and talented. Shows ranged from singing and dancing to more cirque style acrobatics. The theater had the latest LED stage lights and sound systems. A special treat was a visit by a local troupe of dancers while in Crete with native musicians and traditionally costumed dancers. RCCL take note - no Vegas retread magicians, comedians or piano players! The included excursions were excellent, well organized with minimal lines. In the ports getting on or off the boat was either by tenders or on the dock. Santorini was a hasslewith 4 mega cruise ships plus the two Celestyal Ships. All the passengers in the narrow alleys made for a mass of humanity and long lines of over an hour waiting for the tramwayin the sun. Excursions would be a challenge for those who are mobility impaired. Most of the passenger demographics were aged 50+ with many early yet still mobile retirees. Wear comfortable shoes and be careful on the stone paths! Passengers were delightfully diverse and mostly from Europe, Australia and North America. There was a minimum of motorized wheel chairs and a refreshing lack of demanding and often obnoxious elite-status passengers, often found on the larger cruise lines. Embarkation was a breeze at 20 minutes. Passengers vacated cabins at 8:30 AM at the end of the cruise but left the ship at 10 AM. Food and drink service was available in the restaurants and bars. Taxis to an from the port were readily available. All in all the Celestyal Crystal met or exceeded our expectations and matched if not exceeded the level of service we've received from the major cruise lines. It was a wonderfully relaxing and efficient way to see the Greek Islands without having to pack and unpack and deal with the cattle herding of passengers onto the Greek ferries. We slept while being transported to the various islands. Can't get much better than that! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We traveled on the Crystal ship on Celestyal in September, 2019, to the Greek Islands of Mykonos, Milos, Santorini, and Crete, and to Kusadasi, Turkey. It was exactly what we were looking for – comfortable transportation to the islands. ... Read More
We traveled on the Crystal ship on Celestyal in September, 2019, to the Greek Islands of Mykonos, Milos, Santorini, and Crete, and to Kusadasi, Turkey. It was exactly what we were looking for – comfortable transportation to the islands. There were 915 passengers and 450 crew members. The ship is well-maintained, clean, and efficient. This is not a luxury cruise ship, but it is sufficient, very pleasant, and relatively inexpensive. Our room was nice and clean, and well-furnished, with an ample picture window. The room was cleaned or refreshed at least twice a day. Room staff was very friendly and helpful. The food selection for breakfast and lunch on the buffet was attractive, fresh, and tasty. There was plenty of seating available, indoors or outdoors, to enjoy your meal. Staff cleaned up dishes and tables very quickly. Dinner in the restaurants was lovely. Five-course meal selections were offered each night. The food presentation was excellent, and the food quality was very good. The wait staff was attentive and service was excellent. Entertainment in the main theater was similar each night, but thoroughly enjoyable. There was pre-dinner entertainment nightly in the lounge area, a pianist and violinist, and the music was delightful. I highly recommend cruising with Celestyal. 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
Very good experience in a cruise. It was recommend by travel agent. Ship is small but very comfortable. Embarkation and disembarkation was fast and smooth. We were a group of six people, the cabins are small but enough to sleep ... Read More
Very good experience in a cruise. It was recommend by travel agent. Ship is small but very comfortable. Embarkation and disembarkation was fast and smooth. We were a group of six people, the cabins are small but enough to sleep comfortably. Cabins environment was very good, air condition temperature was good. The breakfast and lunch buffet were varied and tasty, the buffet and food area is clean and the crew, helpful, friendly and lovely. The dinner was amazing, very good food, varied and tasty. The waiter was friendly and polite. Entertainment was excellent, every and each night there’s a new show, singers, dancers and some circus like shows. There are music to listen or dance in several public rooms of the ship. Enrichment activities were enjoyable. We didn’t use the fitness and beauty service. Excellent customer service. Shore excursion was very good, the guides are knowledgeable, polite and friendly I recommend the Celestyal Crystal for families, friends and couples. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this particular cruise to work with a trip to the UK that we were taking before the August 12th departure date. Celestial was the only one that worked. The Greek island stops were amazing. Santorini, Mykonos and Kusadaski were ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise to work with a trip to the UK that we were taking before the August 12th departure date. Celestial was the only one that worked. The Greek island stops were amazing. Santorini, Mykonos and Kusadaski were absolutely gorgeous. There are several stops that were two days and that was too long. You’ll be shopped out after one day. That said I would not repeat this cruise. The negatives were of the ship. Smaller ship with small areas to gather. The ship staff was very courteous and extremely friendly. The only pool is super tiny and this pool area also serves as one of the places to eat. The food on board was marginal at best. The quality of the two buffets and the two al a cart restaurants were bad. Selections and quality were not good. For the price of the cruise the food was not to what we expected or experienced on other cruise lines. The price includes drinks but the list is limited on what is free. The cocktails were poorly mixed and even buying top shelf did not help with the case of a margarita. The last thing I’ll mention is that we’re from the U.S. and the majority of passengers were from counties like Iran and Turkey so we did get several cold shoulder treatments from these passengers. Just one persons opinion. Hope this helps. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Since we live in Athens, and our last cruises were abreoad, we though it would be a great idea to combinbe cruising from our home port (no need for flights and hotels) and our summer vacations which we traditionally have in Greece. ... Read More
Since we live in Athens, and our last cruises were abreoad, we though it would be a great idea to combinbe cruising from our home port (no need for flights and hotels) and our summer vacations which we traditionally have in Greece. Emkarkation was quick taking into account the old cruise terminal of Piraeus port (about 40 minutes from baggage drop off until on board) and we were amazed that the cabins were ready and the luggage showed up 15 minutes later. So no walking around dragging carry ons. Crystal is an aged but very well aged and maintained cruise ship. it's better to thing of it as a mega-yacht rather than a small cruise ship. The itinerary is destination oriented meaning you get 24 hrs in Mykonos 10 hours in Milos, 48 hrs in Santorini, 12 in Heraclion Crete, and half a day in Kusadasi Turkey. The swimming pool is small, but it was not used most of the time so we actually had more personal space in the small pool rather than on the large pools in other cruise ships. So it was our ritual after coming back on board to have a quick shower and have a couple of drinks while dipping in the pool. Great! There was also a hot tub in the aft bar at deck 5 which we used once. All drinks are included (excluding premium spirits and wines, which are available at a nominal surcharge), and the included driks include wine by the glass (which is bottled wine of a respected Greek winery), draft greek beer (Mythos) and the most popular "middle shelf" spitits like Beefeater Gin, Stoli vodka, Cutty Sark scotch etc. The details on the brands included are availabel on Celestyal's website. Onviously they had some more generic/obscure brands available, so it is a good idea never to order a "gin & tonic" but rather a "Befeater & Tonic". This applies to any bar on land of course... The food in the buffet was nice, nothing spectacular, but the cooking stations i.e. custom omelletes for breakfast, and various other events during the cruise like a barbeque on deck, or wok cooking were great. What really surprised us was the quality and presentation of the food offered in the MDR's. There are 2 MDR's, with no set dining times or tables. You just show up and are seated according to preferred language, or can be seated alone depending on availability. One small area for improvement is that the dishes on offer might be too internnational and could use more greek cuisine (even though we enjoyed the curry offered one night, it doesn't really match with haveing a view of Santorini out of the window). However this is a matter of preference, and being Greek I did expect the Greek cuisine offerings to go a bit further than greek galad, tzatziki and moussaka...It's like goin to italy and being offered only pizza and pasta... Anyhow the food was great, and not one time did we leave the MDR disappointed. The service was absolutely fantastic, from all aspects. Entertainment was hit and miss (but this was expected since there were over 35 nationalities on board) so it was the usual variete shows with singing, dancing and some acrobatics. They were ueually about 50 minutes long, we did not attend all nights. Again however why spend your evening watching a show when you can relax with unlimited drinks on deck, enjoying the moonlight over the summer Aegean Sea? So in summary, do not book if you expect Oasis Class onboard experience and facilities, you will be disappointed, it is not a resort at sea. It is a small ship, with all the basic amenities and services of larger ships, but the whole point is the destination intensice itinerary with a lot of port time. So the ship is the place to eat, drink, relax and enjoy the view preparing for the next destination. The cruise fare includes 3 shore excursions, in Santorini, Heraclion Crete and Kusadasi. In Santorini it is the trip to Oia, the most famous village in Santorini, the one with the sunset. However it is in the morning so if you want to see the sunset, you have to take the 45 minute bus or taxi from Fira to Oia. Personally I don't hink it's worth it due to the amount of people. Better to watch from one of the villages that are closer like Imerovgli, or Fira (on top of the cliff from where the tenders drop you off, and you have to take the cable car - 6eur each way to go up/down Fira) which are less crowded. We watched both sunsets from the ship, and there were many places onboard where especially on the top decks where you were alone. In Heraclion it is the guided visit to anciant Knossos, and the Heraclion Archaeological museum (tickets are included). then you can either get back on the bus and back on the ship around 14:00 or stay as long as you like and take a 5 min / 5 Eur taxi back to the ship from the centre of Heraclion. In Kusadasi the excursion to ancient Ephesus is included. We opted to stay in Kusadasi and shop in the bazaar area (3 min walk from the ship), which is an experiance of it's own especially if you like haggling, and streed food. Always aim for a price 30% from the original one quoted. Note that the duty free in Turkey at the port has great prices on liquor and tobacco! In Mykonos and Milos we just renter a car (had arranged in advance) and went to various beaches, in Mukonos we also went out after dinner. Driving in Milos is just fine, and the ship tenders drop you off at the new port so it's a few minutes walk until the car rental offices (local ones, but with online booking available). We drove all around the island haveing spent 45Eur on car rental and 10Eur on fuel. Again, book in advance, don't expect to get of the ship and find available cars for rent especially during July and August. I do not reccomend driving in Mykonos, especially in July and August. Anyway most of the beaches have been unfortunately converted into high end and high cost "Beach Clubs" (focused on catering to very very wealthy people and their entourage of beautiful young ladies) so most times the beach cannot be even accessed. Not to mention the cost of (starting from 80 eur per set of sunbeds). The only free beach that is still accessible by bus is Kalafati beach. So my reccomendation for Mykonos is etiher: 1. Get the local bus or ship shore excursion to Kalafati beach 2. Get an excusrion to Delos island with very interesting ancient ruins 3. If you like partying (on the cheap), spend the morning walking in the old town of Mykonos. Buy a bottle of liquor (or more smaller ones) from a small super market, throw it in the bag or even better transfer it to half lt plastic water bottles. Then arouns 13:00 take the bus either to Tropicala Club or Super Paradise (about 20 mins). No entrance fee, beers at 6 eur, drinks at 8 eur. Get a nice spot at the bar, get a cold drink and swim in the sea. The afternoon parties start at 16:00 and go on until midnight more or less. No chance of getting a nice spot at the bar aftyer 16:00. As the pary goes on take advantage of your secret stash of booze!!!! Do not go out for lunch/dinner in Mykonos, and if you do ALWAYS check the menu and prices before. It is so expensive that it could ruin your holidays. If you must eat something at shore, and have not eaten enough already onboard have a (mediocre but acceptable) souvlaki at 4-5 eur. If you must eat out do it in Milos, it is much cheaper and better quality (after researching of course). Dinner is Santorini duing the sunset is a bucket list item (especially for someone that has flown all the way to Greece), but do your research and reservations in advance. It is expensive, but manageable (30-40 Eur per person compared to hundredes per person in Mykonos). We always ate at the ship... So back to Mykonos. Get back on the ship for dinner around 21:00, go out and stroll around int he old town. No need to actually go into a bar if you don't want to, its all about walking around the old streets, see and be seen. there are a lot of small shops that have cold beers, wine etc to cater to your every need. No need to rush to get back on the ship, since the ship arrvives at Milos at 13:00 on ther next day, so no getting up early. Obviously if you have th $$$ to spare the sky is the limit on high end clubbing in Mykonos! There are free shuttle buses from the Mykonos new port to the old town every 30 minutes until 00:00 and then every 1hr until 06:00 am. Ship leave at 07:00. We used the laundry service onboard, cheaper than on mainstream cruise lines. Note to Greek cruisers that might have an Aegean Airlines Miles card: you can redeem miles towards the cruise fare! We would definately go again, and next time probably try one of their 3-4 night cruises with the other -much larger- ship Olympia. The specific 7 night cruise is the most cost effective and comfortable way to get a good basic taste of these islands, decide which one you like before comitting on a dedicated vacation on one of them. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Celestyal Crystal Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.6
Dining 4.0 3.5
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.2
Family 2.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.5 3.8
Service 4.5 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 3.9
Rates N/A N/A

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