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I'm writing this review, (something I never do), because it was difficult to find anything recent about this ship and cruise. It's true one books this vessel only for transportation to some beautiful Greek Islands but had I known in advance how poorly the ship is maintained and operated, a fishing boat would have been preferable. The food was bad, even the deserts, in both the dining and buffet rooms. Consequently the Aura Grill was a favored location (serves lunch only) offering hot dogs and pizza. I enjoy Greek food and sampled many offerings in our pre cruise stay for 3 says in Athens. With the exception of fresh vegetables and fruits, the food offerings were terrible in taste and presentation. The buffet is a mad house and disorganized. The restaurant is less so, however there is open seating and limited menu items. Our two meals in the dining room shared a table with pleasant fellow passengers that did not speak English and unfortunately we are not bilingual. On the third attempt, we requested to sit at an English speaking table and rudely denied. The refusal to accommodate is something that one who travels often is accustomed to experiencing without issue. It was the rudeness and argumentative nature displayed by the dining room host that was completely unacceptable. Tipping is required regardless of the caliber of service with no option. Unfortunately this meant that he was tipped the same as other attentive ship personnel. The attitude at the excursion and reception/customer service desk was negative as well. We have traveled on international cruise ships before and have never experienced such a lack of hospitality. A good aspect was that our cabin steward, and all spa service providers, were exceptional in their friendliness and willingness to assist/answer questions. The itinerary is exciting however there is little time in one place for a true experience. The Greek island highlight, Santorini, does not dock until 4:00 p.m.,, and uses tenders to transport passengers to and from the ship. This leaves only about 3 hours for an excursion and some of it in our case, in October, is without daylight. This is known in advance by the ships excursion desk yet the excursion is sold to include the volcano visit that never transpires due to lack of time on the Island. Our tour guide acknowledged this to be true. Passengers that asked for partial refund were either ignored or told to contact their travel agent after the cruise. One of the excursions that we purchased for touring at another island was cancelled while we were waiting to disembark for it. This left no time to select another. The cruise director, Bruno, was not certain why and inquiring at the excursion desk was of no help. The response was " this happens sometimes". Note to elderly passengers or those with mobility concerns... even the excursions given the lowest rating for physical requirement were demanding. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing. This is acceptable for the more formal dining room also. A captains night is observed on one evening and though the days agenda reads that attire is more formal, few observed this. After long days sometimes at two islands in one day, few even change clothing for dinner. I packed far too many clothing items thinking that it would be like evenings experienced with other cruises lines. Experiencing the beauty of the Greek Islands is breath taking and worth every moment spent there. Would I recommend this ship and cruise to another? Absolutely not. I saved the worst experience for last. My 81 year old mother had bed bug bites on her legs from sleeping on her bed in the cabin!!! Enough said.

Some Good, but Most Terrible

Celestyal Olympia Cruise Review by cherise10

10 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2015
  • Destination: Greece
I'm writing this review, (something I never do), because it was difficult to find anything recent about this ship and cruise. It's true one books this vessel only for transportation to some beautiful Greek Islands but had I known in advance how poorly the ship is maintained and operated, a fishing boat would have been preferable.

The food was bad, even the deserts, in both the dining and buffet rooms. Consequently the Aura Grill was a favored location (serves lunch only) offering hot dogs and pizza. I enjoy Greek food and sampled many offerings in our pre cruise stay for 3 says in Athens. With the exception of fresh vegetables and fruits, the food offerings were terrible in taste and presentation. The buffet is a mad house and disorganized. The restaurant is less so, however there is open seating and limited menu items. Our two meals in the dining room shared a table with pleasant fellow passengers that did not speak English and unfortunately we are not bilingual. On the third attempt, we requested to sit at an English speaking table and rudely denied. The refusal to accommodate is something that one who travels often is accustomed to experiencing without issue. It was the rudeness and argumentative nature displayed by the dining room host that was completely unacceptable.

Tipping is required regardless of the caliber of service with no option. Unfortunately this meant that he was tipped the same as other attentive ship personnel. The attitude at the excursion and reception/customer service desk was negative as well. We have traveled on international cruise ships before and have never experienced such a lack of hospitality. A good aspect was that our cabin steward, and all spa service providers, were exceptional in their friendliness and willingness to assist/answer questions.

The itinerary is exciting however there is little time in one place for a true experience. The Greek island highlight, Santorini, does not dock until 4:00 p.m.,, and uses tenders to transport passengers to and from the ship. This leaves only about 3 hours for an excursion and some of it in our case, in October, is without daylight. This is known in advance by the ships excursion desk yet the excursion is sold to include the volcano visit that never transpires due to lack of time on the Island. Our tour guide acknowledged this to be true. Passengers that asked for partial refund were either ignored or told to contact their travel agent after the cruise.

One of the excursions that we purchased for touring at another island was cancelled while we were waiting to disembark for it. This left no time to select another. The cruise director, Bruno, was not certain why and inquiring at the excursion desk was of no help. The response was " this happens sometimes". Note to elderly passengers or those with mobility concerns... even the excursions given the lowest rating for physical requirement were demanding. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing. This is acceptable for the more formal dining room also. A captains night is observed on one evening and though the days agenda reads that attire is more formal, few observed this. After long days sometimes at two islands in one day, few even change clothing for dinner. I packed far too many clothing items thinking that it would be like evenings experienced with other cruises lines.

Experiencing the beauty of the Greek Islands is breath taking and worth every moment spent there. Would I recommend this ship and cruise to another? Absolutely not. I saved the worst experience for last. My 81 year old mother had bed bug bites on her legs from sleeping on her bed in the cabin!!! Enough said.
cherise10’s Full Rating Summary
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