We have just returned from a 12 night cruise to Italy and Greece. It was one of the best cruise we ever had.
This is our 8th cruise and embarkation in Barcelona was a breeze. We were in Suite 1615 on the 11th deck and it was exactly as we pictured it to be. Both our Concierge, Carlos and Butler, Cesar attended to our every need. Our Stateroom Stewarts, Allan and Taurif were extremely efficient and courteous. Table 212 at the early seating at the Symphony Dining Room was attended by our Waiter Jimmy and Asst. Waiter Kristalis. Here again we really impressed by their service and attention to detail.
The tours we pre-booked through Celebrity met our expectations. Expect crowded large groups in all the ports as the itinerary for this cruise is extremely popular. There were always a minimum of 2 large cruise ships in each port. Again we were very lucky with the weather as the seas were calm and peaceful. Santorini, Athens and Mykonos had each own special appeal. We were right to take the Tour "A Taste of Athens" as we now know where to go when we return. The Acropolis had the largest groups of tourist we have ever seen in Greece as the Parthenon was really a sight to behold.
My wife and I are both Catholics so we were very moved by the visit to the house of the Blessed Virgin Mary where also heard the noon mass especially for groups who booked the "Biblical Tour of Ephesus".
Our tour guide, Ilker, was very knowledgeable and professional. Of course, we had to see the making of the beautiful carpets of Turkey on this tour. At Ephesus, again expect very large groups of tourist.
We were pleasantly surprise by the evening shows we always watched at the Equinox Theater. Paul Baya, the Cruise Director, gave a wonderful performance when he sang, My Prayer. Each show was a minimum of 45 minutes to an hour. It was just the right mixture of comedy, musical Broadway style number, Circus Acts similar to Vegas type shows and orchestra music. Celebrity to us by far had the best theatrical numbers as compared to the Royal Princess. Mood Icons, the house band, were great. We really enjoyed dancing to their music each night.
We were a bit disappointed that Celebrity now charges for Circuit Cross Training Exercises and Zumba classes. We had Zumba daily at the Royal Princess and it was always free of charge.
To sum it up, we had a wonderful 5 star cruise!