Before the cruise: We had it all booked online therefore we checked in online and had our luggage tags and Xpress passes with us.
Embarkation: We booked 2 Celebrity Suites (3 people in each suite) and there was a separate check in counter for Suite Class so a staff member escorted us through the process and we were given our room key cards. We hold indian passports so we had to surrender our passports to the cruise staff. Immediately after checking our visas and passports we went through security screening. Before entering our cruise we were given chilled water and cold towels. We then boarded the cruise ship and had to go through security screening again. Embarkation over all was very smooth and staff were very warm and welcoming. The ship was at the port for 2 days - Embarkation day and Day 1, so we booked a shore excursion for Athens on Day 1.
MY BEST TIPS:
SHORE EXCURSIONS: Either book your shore excursions online (you get a better deal) or as soon as you finish embarkation and check in, go to your designated lounge (each class has a separate lounge/concierge) and meet your concierge to discuss the excursions and make detailed notes for each excursion and choose wisely as you may like to explore the city yourself as well. You will always get taxi drivers at all ports to give you a good deal on city tour and will drop you off at a local market close to the port so you can walk back to the cruise. The shore excursions are outsourced so a local company will take you to these form the cruise and the cruise is not responsible for these.
SPA: Read the Celebrity Today newspaper delivered to you the night before for really good offers on massages and other salon services. Do not miss this out as these will be the cheapest deal you will get. When the ship is docked at ports you will get cheaper price than you would on when the cruise is sailing.
DINING: Food was good, but you need to know where you want to eat your biggest meal. So explore all restaurants on the first day itself to see which suits you best. Luminae is the most exclusive restaurant only for the Suite Class (Floyd was our server and was excellent in accommodating our vegetarian needs). There are other exclusive restaurants where you pay and eat but all of the class assigned restaurants are free.
ENTERTAINMENT: Celebrity Today News is your best friend to find out what entertainment and activities are going on throughout the day. These are very interesting, some are chargeable and most are free and they accommodate to each age group. Make sure you even carry the newspaper in your bag so you can walk in to any. Activities are very good and interesting with 2-3 formal dinner events.
SERVICE: read cabin review. Butler is your saviour for anything and everything you may need/want. He will go out his way to provide to you although he is assigned 7 suites, he was attentive to our requirements. Stateroom attendant will assure your room is up to the standards. One thing I noted between Celebrity Cruises and Celestyal Cruises was that celestyal cruises didn't give you that extra touch of luxury when boarding or embarkation. You can clearly feel the extra special with luxury when you are with celebrity as they provide you cold towels and fruit infused water (seasonal fruit varieties) and they will even greet you properly whereas celestyal cruises staff just wanted to fit as many people on the tender boat and were in a hurry.
SHOPPING ONBOARD: Apart from luxury stores, there were daily heavy discounted stalls in the evenings with products like Michael Kors bags, luxury watches, scarves, clothing, cosmetics, accessories.
CONCIERGE: Free drinks and snacks with a friendly concierge Manuela who made sure our stay was comfortable overall.
Cabins were very clean and neat. Bathroom was also very good. N othing looked old or worn out ( I thought this when i was looking at the pictures online but it was much better).
The Cruise was very well maintained and looked as new although it's 9 years old.
Good to Know: Celebrity Cruises is the only cruise line that has Real Grass on their cruise ships.
Sanitisers were present every 50 metres on the ship and when you board the cruise two staff members are ready to provide you with sanitiser.
Would I go again? I would definitely and I am already planning my next trip from Celebrity Cruises.
Celebrity Suites comprised of a Living room, Bedroom, Bathroom with a Bathtub, a Walk in wardrobe, a balcony with a lounger and seating. On arrival you get a champagne bottle ready for you with complimentary goodies (there were many, see below). You get 1 butler and 1 stateroom attendant who will look after everything you need, from spa bookings to table reservations and event bookings. The Best part- the complimentary coupons you receive if you are a member of Captain's Club (we were automatically signed up as we booked online). Each person got many coupons -- Complimentary Laundry, Dry Cleaning, Gelato from Gelataria etc., Casino credit (we won $120 using these only). There is plenty of space for clothing, separate cabinet for shoes, Suitcase storage (Your butler will store these away for you), 2 LED TVs (one in bedroom and one in living room), Bathroom was pretty spacious and breathable as compared to some other cruises, they provided Bulgari toiletries. Fruits and Snacks are provided everyday in your room with high tea. We were lucky to have Felix as our butler who was very helpful. Since we were teens and needed every now and then and he still wouldn't get irritated and always looked happy and eager to help.We even met him outside the cruise and he still greeted us warmly and made sure we were having a good time. Our stateroom attendant was Baso, who was very lively and welcoming and made sure all our needs with regards to the suite were provided. He was very friendly and would always greet us with a smile and made sure we had a good laugh whenever he spoke to us.
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