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Day 1 Venice, Italy Flights were OK despite there being a stopover and connection at Schipol (Barrhead Travel decided to lie about this when we booked as they told us the flight was direct). Coach for the transfer was about 10 mins walk away in searing heat. Transfer was about 20 mins. Off coach, pick up luggage and wheel up to scanner, leave luggage and walk up to check in. Pretty quiet, complete a couple of forms, over to scanner, through with hand luggage. Onto ship. Photo taken for sea pass, through another scanner. Into lobby, no-one to direct, all staff too busy trying to sell drinks packages and photos, passengers milling around. Found way to room by ourselves. Dropped hand luggage and found buffet restaurant, pretty busy, decent lunch. Back to room, luggage had arrived, unpacked, showered and changed for dinner. We booked “my time” dining, table for 2, good service, decent Food, good start to first night. Watched a Motown show, good act, casino not open as in Port. Early night. Room a bit dated and a bit worn worn but comfortable bed, (2 singles pushed together. Booked transfers to Venice for next day. Yet more cost on top of the cruise price, you can pay $25 for a 2 day “pass” allowing you to spend some time in Venice on day 1 but we were just too tired Day 2 Venice, Italy Breakfast was good, plenty of choice, restaurant very busy but plenty of seats. Caught the shuttle boat, recommend paying the $20 per person return as no queues and around the same price as standard boats at 8 euroes per person single. Dropped off near St Marks square. Spent a very pleasant day in Venice, very expensive coffee in St Marks square at 8 euros. Venice is lovely, very picturesque city, lots to see. Caught shuttle back early afternoon for some sunbathing. Be aware that you need to be back on ship for the evacuation drill at 3.15pm, this certainly shortens the day in Venice, was able to watch ship sail from Venice up the grand canal. Day 3, Koper, Slovenia Off ship, into lift on dockside and you are in the town, 2 mins walk to the old town main square. Lovely clean place, worth going inside the old tower (3 euros) lots of metal steps to climb, about 50m, great views at the top. The buildings in this part are very old, loads of little alleyways with gift shops. Coffee is about 1 euro (stark contrast to Rome), plenty of places to stop. From the main square down some steps, turn left into another square with a fountain. Straight on and out via the old wall, you are now in a modern part of town. Turn right and follow down to marina, lovely spot, plenty of shops. There is a modern shopping centre here although we did not go in. Spent some time wandering the marina. Follow the road back towards ship and there is a family park with safe swimming area. Koper is really lovely but you will struggle to fill more than a couple of hours unless you venture further afield or have lunch. Day 4, Bologna or Ravena, Italy However, the ship docks nowhere near either, another charge to take you to Ravena 12 euros, 20 minute coach journey, passed mainly industrial areas, nothing scenic at all and driver got lost!, considering the cost of the cruise they should include transport to get to the actual location they promise instead of leaving you with the choice of staying on the ship or paying extra for transport, but Bologna seems to be at least another hour away. Not much in Ravena, seems a pretty drab place, lots of graffiti, bus dropped off in a non descript street and we were advised it would shuttle back and forth. Spent probably 10 mins in an old church, wandered some streets but absolutely nothing of note here, got back on bus after an hour, pretty much a waste of the 24 euros. There is a beach near the port, probably have been better to wander over there. There may well have been things to see but no info was given. Very poor in terms of a cruise stop, most people we spoke to had the same impression. Day 5 Split , Croatia Ship docks about a 10 minute walk from the centre, there are buses and taxis waiting. The walk is not scenic, it takes you past loads of little stalls selling drinks, food and cheap souvenirs, as this is also the ferry port and main bus station it is very busy. Once you reach the "other side" it is nicer. Almost straight ahead is an archway, this takes you into what remains of the old cathedral, it is now lined with craft stalls, this leads to old roman ruins, this is probably the best part of Split. The remaining time was spent wandering the small streets but they are very narrow and extremely busy so window shopping proved difficult. A very uninspiring meal at “big Nacho” restaurant in the converted square area was a disappointment. Split has a lot of history and a pretty harbour, some magnificent ruins and loads of shops but it is very "touristy" and seemed a bit overwhelmed when we visited. Day 6, Dubrovnic, Croatia Another shuttle bus payment to get us into the old town, probably 20 minutes, loads of traffic, dropped off near one of the "gates" to the old town. Was not expecting it to be so busy, absolutely heaving. The old town is wonderful, well preserved and maintained, almost like a film set (parts of 'game of thrones' is filmed here along with other movies), but it was far too busy to enjoy properly, every cafe and bar was rammed. Spent a good hour or so but it was far too hot, low 30's, the side streets are extremely steep. Gave up on the cable car as it was 15/20 mins walk away up a steep hill. Probably best enjoyed over a couple of days as there is lots to see. The coastline is magnificent, lots of islands and hills, very scenic. Loads of people selling trips, tours, buses and boat trips, it was all a bit much, particularly were we were dropped off, traffic is a nightmare with buses and cars trying to manoeuvre through the crowded streets. Day 7, Kator, Montenegro Had to get a tender to shore, not too much of a wait. Extremely picturesque area, surrounded by very scenic hills/mountains, you sail into a valley/gorge – either get up early to see when you arrive or be ion deck when you sail away – not to be missed. This is a lovely walled city. Plenty to see, loads of little alleyways and squares, not too crowded. Some nice restaurants. A lot of the old buildings are closed off or are used for other purposes so you cannot go in. There is a route up into the hills (3 euros) taking you past an old church and up further to what seems to be a ruined fort, but the route is steep and slippery, someone said it was 1500 steps and with the temperature in the low 30's few people braved it. Outside the walls there was not too much, on the opposite side to where the shop moored there is a shingle beach and swimming area and a couple restaurants. Day 8, at sea. Restaurants were very busy and the first time you had to spend some time finding a sunbed, that said there are enough to go round and always a plentiful supply of towels. They had their "mad $10 sale", my idea of hell, hoards of women scrambling about stalls full of cheap jewellery, bags and scarves, 1 person working the till and huge queues. Day 9, Malta This is a beautiful place, so much history, loads of really old buildings, decided to take the open top bus tour, it is only €10 but was discounted to €7.50' for this you could take in all 3 tours but would probably need more than a day to do so. We chose the red route, which we were advised was leaving in 10 mins but over 30 mins later we were still waiting, be aware that they do NOT run to any timetable. Malta is really historic, it looks quite drab and dusty in places with loads of areas that seem derelict and quite run down. Once away from the main areas you are in countryside, again though not very scenic. The commentary was good if a little out of sync. We got off at the blue caves in the south. A few mins walk down to the boats and for €8 you can take a 30 minute trip out to the caves, this was an excellent little trip and well worth it. When the trip is over there are little electric buggies that will take you up the steep slopes for €1 each, well worth it. Including the boat trip we were on the bus for over 4 hours so be careful of timings. The sail away from the harbour was wonderful, stunning views in every direction. You really need more than a day to appreciate Malta. Day 10, Catania, Italy Disappointed, weather was forecast to be showery and thundery which did not help, only in Port till about 3.30pm which was a blessing, long line waiting for free shuttle, this turned out to be an 8 seat minibus, hence the long queues, checked the walk into town was only 10 mins so set off on foot. Once through the port terminal and across the street you pass through a really run down area, full, of dirty alleys and covered in graffiti, turn left at the top of a little square and follow the long street to a large square, some nice buildings and a church along with some cafes. Plenty of streets run off the square but nothing much to see, spent less than an hour before the rain came so called it a day and headed back. Others we spoke to were equally as critical, another poor stop, not sure if these stops are done for economic reasons ie it costs less to berth here than in more popular areas? I am sure there are nicer areas outwith the centre but the weather put paid to any further travel, certainly not a great advert for Scicily to be honest as it seems the local council cannot be bothered to make the place welcoming. The ship This Celebrity Constellation is not a patch on ships we have been on with Royal Caribbean, they are part of the same group with Celebrity supposed to be the top of the range. The ship is drab from the outside, almost like a large ferry. It is functional rather than grand and shows its age in places. Having experienced better ships I would only go for newer vessels from now on. There are plenty of bars, one coffee shop where you pay about $6 for "premium" coffee, and some shops selling overpriced goods, quite why anyone wants to pay $70 for a "Celebrity" sweatshirt is beyond me. The layout is not as good as other ships and quite a few people stated they kept getting lost. We opted for "my time" dining which meant we turned up and were given a table for 2, this worked well for us as we tended to eat reasonably early but noticed fairly big queues at peak times. Menu was pretty limited but food was always good and well presented. Tables are pretty close together so you do end up in conversation with fellow guests which was good. Everyone we spoke to at dinner felt the ship was not as good as others. It seems the staff are well versed in extracting every cent from you as you are constantly asked if you want wine (paid for), premium coffee after dinner (paid for), your photo taken (paid for) and for the first couple of days they push their drinks packages every time you order a drink. Getting off on shore you are hassled to have your photo taken 3-4 tines by staff with "local” hats, holding a lifebelt or with a painted moustache, it all gets tiresome after a while and cheapens the cruise. The main buffet restaurant (Ocean View Café) on deck 10 is good, never felt too crowded and always a decent choice of food at breakfast or lunch on the days back from a shore visit. We also had our main meal at night a couple of times and it was pleasant to just eat what we fancied without having to "dress up", speaking of clothes, Celebrity have done away with formal nights, replacing these with "evening chic" this simply means males can wear long trousers and open neck shirt or polo , ladies tended to wear dresses or skirts, very few could be described as "fancy" this suited us but did hear some old time cruisers complain that standards had slipped, that said some tuxedos and evening dresses were in evidence. Pillows were pretty stained as was the mattress, not the standard we were expecting. Shopping is a mix of high end goods like Rolex and very cheap items, very much geared towards female customers. Not really too much to see after the first visit, some sale nights and specials such as discounts on watches, if you want to spend $10,000 on a Rolex then this is the place for you. They also have art exhibitions/auctions and info on collecting art, we stopped for a few mins and the "host" was speaking to people as if they were at school, asking for a show of hands and singling people out to answer questions, all seemed rather dull with just a few people in attendance. Americans, Canadians and Europeans usually make up the largest passenger groups, though the mix can significantly change with the itinerary. When the ship is in Europe, the passenger mix is international, with a roughly even blend of North American and European cruisers, mostly hailing from England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain. Probably worth researching tours before you go as limited info on ship and clearly they push their own (generally overpriced – some go to close to $400 per person). It is possible to book private tours for a good bit less but for most people the worry is making it back on time (with an organised Celebrity tour they guarantee the ship will not sail without you). Very small pool but plenty of loungers and as many towels as you want, lots of sunbathing areas on the upper decks. The food Generally very good, whether in the buffet restaurant or the main Marco Polo restaurant, decent quality and attentive staff. Always plenty of choice. Heard some people complain about the main Marco Polo restaurant, food being sent back and slow service. Food stations are constantly replenished and cleaned and new serving tongs are used regularly, the pasta and stir fry stations are really good as is the omlette station at breakfast. There are additional restaurants on board that you can pay to eat in (and I think can also be included on some of the premium upgrade packages), on prior cruises as you had already paid for your meals you paid a small premium to eat in the other restaurants, $20 I believe, on this cruise you paid per person/per item in some areas, and they were expensive. One couple we met ate in the “Sushi on 5” restaurant and they slated it, food was not as expected and they felt they wasted $70 (could be really authentic sushi not suited to their palette as they admitted they normally eat their sushi from M&S. They were constantly trying to get people to sign up, at one point we felt pestered for our room number as we were looking at the menu, very off putting. Entertainment Pretty god in the main, headline act every night in the theatre, ranging from singers to ships cast. Stand out act had to be Ben Mills, he is high energy and very entertaining, put on a brilliant show, entertainment is nowhere as good or as varied as Royal Caribbean though. Sam Kane (ex Brookside and husband of Linda Lusardi) did a couple of turns and he was pretty decent, a violinist was really good – not normally my thing but thoroughly enjoyable, as were a new act(tone beats? – a doo whop, 50’s and 60’s act) Lots of quizzes dotted around the ship. Casino and a couple of movies under the stars, I guess there is a lot more to do if you could be bothered to go through the days itinerary and get involved in things like table tennis. Cabins or staterooms We have had inside, outside and balcony rooms. For the big difference in price and the limited time spent in them we tend to go for inside now. They are small but perfectly adequate and functional. Everything you need is available (except never enough clothes hangers). Beds are large( 2 singles pushed together)and comfortable, air-conditioning works well. Limited TV channels, shower is good. Attendants are good, attentive and always leave the room very clean, the turn down service each night is a nice touch. Summary Ok ship, good food, varied and quality entertainment, some great and some poor stops, great staff and great service. Would have been disappointed if I had to spend more days at sea (only 1 day at sea on this cruise) as limited facilities and cramped cabins (sorry Staterooms). Port transfers, check in etc all well handled and no hassle. Check if flights are direct or with stopover as very few direct flights available and it seems the travel agents make a habit of misleading (and in our case telling an outright lie) – from Scotland it will be Edinburgh to Schipol to Venice with a 3 hour wait, returning via Rome with a mad rush to catch the connection to Edinburgh, but you may also go via Heathrow/Gatwick – this makes the entire journey 10-12 hours.

Decent ports, disappointing ship

Celebrity Constellation Cruise Review by alpacino123

10 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Day 1 Venice, Italy

Flights were OK despite there being a stopover and connection at Schipol (Barrhead Travel decided to lie about this when we booked as they told us the flight was direct). Coach for the transfer was about 10 mins walk away in searing heat. Transfer was about 20 mins. Off coach, pick up luggage and wheel up to scanner, leave luggage and walk up to check in. Pretty quiet, complete a couple of forms, over to scanner, through with hand luggage. Onto ship. Photo taken for sea pass, through another scanner. Into lobby, no-one to direct, all staff too busy trying to sell drinks packages and photos, passengers milling around. Found way to room by ourselves. Dropped hand luggage and found buffet restaurant, pretty busy, decent lunch. Back to room, luggage had arrived, unpacked, showered and changed for dinner. We booked “my time” dining, table for 2, good service, decent Food, good start to first night.

Watched a Motown show, good act, casino not open as in Port. Early night.

Room a bit dated and a bit worn worn but comfortable bed, (2 singles pushed together.

Booked transfers to Venice for next day. Yet more cost on top of the cruise price, you can pay $25 for a 2 day “pass” allowing you to spend some time in Venice on day 1 but we were just too tired

Day 2 Venice, Italy

Breakfast was good, plenty of choice, restaurant very busy but plenty of seats. Caught the shuttle boat, recommend paying the $20 per person return as no queues and around the same price as standard boats at 8 euroes per person single. Dropped off near St Marks square.

Spent a very pleasant day in Venice, very expensive coffee in St Marks square at 8 euros. Venice is lovely, very picturesque city, lots to see. Caught shuttle back early afternoon for some sunbathing. Be aware that you need to be back on ship for the evacuation drill at 3.15pm, this certainly shortens the day in Venice, was able to watch ship sail from Venice up the grand canal.

Day 3, Koper, Slovenia

Off ship, into lift on dockside and you are in the town, 2 mins walk to the old town main square. Lovely clean place, worth going inside the old tower (3 euros) lots of metal steps to climb, about 50m, great views at the top. The buildings in this part are very old, loads of little alleyways with gift shops. Coffee is about 1 euro (stark contrast to Rome), plenty of places to stop. From the main square down some steps, turn left into another square with a fountain. Straight on and out via the old wall, you are now in a modern part of town. Turn right and follow down to marina, lovely spot, plenty of shops. There is a modern shopping centre here although we did not go in. Spent some time wandering the marina. Follow the road back towards ship and there is a family park with safe swimming area. Koper is really lovely but you will struggle to fill more than a couple of hours unless you venture further afield or have lunch.

Day 4, Bologna or Ravena, Italy

However, the ship docks nowhere near either, another charge to take you to Ravena 12 euros, 20 minute coach journey, passed mainly industrial areas, nothing scenic at all and driver got lost!, considering the cost of the cruise they should include transport to get to the actual location they promise instead of leaving you with the choice of staying on the ship or paying extra for transport, but Bologna seems to be at least another hour away. Not much in Ravena, seems a pretty drab place, lots of graffiti, bus dropped off in a non descript street and we were advised it would shuttle back and forth. Spent probably 10 mins in an old church, wandered some streets but absolutely nothing of note here, got back on bus after an hour, pretty much a waste of the 24 euros. There is a beach near the port, probably have been better to wander over there. There may well have been things to see but no info was given. Very poor in terms of a cruise stop, most people we spoke to had the same impression.

Day 5

Split , Croatia

Ship docks about a 10 minute walk from the centre, there are buses and taxis waiting. The walk is not scenic, it takes you past loads of little stalls selling drinks, food and cheap souvenirs, as this is also the ferry port and main bus station it is very busy. Once you reach the "other side" it is nicer. Almost straight ahead is an archway, this takes you into what remains of the old cathedral, it is now lined with craft stalls, this leads to old roman ruins, this is probably the best part of Split. The remaining time was spent wandering the small streets but they are very narrow and extremely busy so window shopping proved difficult. A very uninspiring meal at “big Nacho” restaurant in the converted square area was a disappointment. Split has a lot of history and a pretty harbour, some magnificent ruins and loads of shops but it is very "touristy" and seemed a bit overwhelmed when we visited.

Day 6, Dubrovnic, Croatia

Another shuttle bus payment to get us into the old town, probably 20 minutes, loads of traffic, dropped off near one of the "gates" to the old town. Was not expecting it to be so busy, absolutely heaving. The old town is wonderful, well preserved and maintained, almost like a film set (parts of 'game of thrones' is filmed here along with other movies), but it was far too busy to enjoy properly, every cafe and bar was rammed. Spent a good hour or so but it was far too hot, low 30's, the side streets are extremely steep. Gave up on the cable car as it was 15/20 mins walk away up a steep hill. Probably best enjoyed over a couple of days as there is lots to see. The coastline is magnificent, lots of islands and hills, very scenic. Loads of people selling trips, tours, buses and boat trips, it was all a bit much, particularly were we were dropped off, traffic is a nightmare with buses and cars trying to manoeuvre through the crowded streets.

Day 7, Kator, Montenegro

Had to get a tender to shore, not too much of a wait. Extremely picturesque area, surrounded by very scenic hills/mountains, you sail into a valley/gorge – either get up early to see when you arrive or be ion deck when you sail away – not to be missed. This is a lovely walled city. Plenty to see, loads of little alleyways and squares, not too crowded. Some nice restaurants. A lot of the old buildings are closed off or are used for other purposes so you cannot go in. There is a route up into the hills (3 euros) taking you past an old church and up further to what seems to be a ruined fort, but the route is steep and slippery, someone said it was 1500 steps and with the temperature in the low 30's few people braved it. Outside the walls there was not too much, on the opposite side to where the shop moored there is a shingle beach and swimming area and a couple restaurants.

Day 8, at sea.

Restaurants were very busy and the first time you had to spend some time finding a sunbed, that said there are enough to go round and always a plentiful supply of towels. They had their "mad $10 sale", my idea of hell, hoards of women scrambling about stalls full of cheap jewellery, bags and scarves, 1 person working the till and huge queues.

Day 9, Malta

This is a beautiful place, so much history, loads of really old buildings, decided to take the open top bus tour, it is only €10 but was discounted to €7.50' for this you could take in all 3 tours but would probably need more than a day to do so. We chose the red route, which we were advised was leaving in 10 mins but over 30 mins later we were still waiting, be aware that they do NOT run to any timetable. Malta is really historic, it looks quite drab and dusty in places with loads of areas that seem derelict and quite run down. Once away from the main areas you are in countryside, again though not very scenic. The commentary was good if a little out of sync. We got off at the blue caves in the south. A few mins walk down to the boats and for €8 you can take a 30 minute trip out to the caves, this was an excellent little trip and well worth it. When the trip is over there are little electric buggies that will take you up the steep slopes for €1 each, well worth it. Including the boat trip we were on the bus for over 4 hours so be careful of timings. The sail away from the harbour was wonderful, stunning views in every direction. You really need more than a day to appreciate Malta.

Day 10, Catania, Italy

Disappointed, weather was forecast to be showery and thundery which did not help, only in Port till about 3.30pm which was a blessing, long line waiting for free shuttle, this turned out to be an 8 seat minibus, hence the long queues, checked the walk into town was only 10 mins so set off on foot. Once through the port terminal and across the street you pass through a really run down area, full, of dirty alleys and covered in graffiti, turn left at the top of a little square and follow the long street to a large square, some nice buildings and a church along with some cafes. Plenty of streets run off the square but nothing much to see, spent less than an hour before the rain came so called it a day and headed back. Others we spoke to were equally as critical, another poor stop, not sure if these stops are done for economic reasons ie it costs less to berth here than in more popular areas? I am sure there are nicer areas outwith the centre but the weather put paid to any further travel, certainly not a great advert for Scicily to be honest as it seems the local council cannot be bothered to make the place welcoming.

The ship

This Celebrity Constellation is not a patch on ships we have been on with Royal Caribbean, they are part of the same group with Celebrity supposed to be the top of the range. The ship is drab from the outside, almost like a large ferry. It is functional rather than grand and shows its age in places. Having experienced better ships I would only go for newer vessels from now on. There are plenty of bars, one coffee shop where you pay about $6 for "premium" coffee, and some shops selling overpriced goods, quite why anyone wants to pay $70 for a "Celebrity" sweatshirt is beyond me. The layout is not as good as other ships and quite a few people stated they kept getting lost. We opted for "my time" dining which meant we turned up and were given a table for 2, this worked well for us as we tended to eat reasonably early but noticed fairly big queues at peak times. Menu was pretty limited but food was always good and well presented. Tables are pretty close together so you do end up in conversation with fellow guests which was good. Everyone we spoke to at dinner felt the ship was not as good as others. It seems the staff are well versed in extracting every cent from you as you are constantly asked if you want wine (paid for), premium coffee after dinner (paid for), your photo taken (paid for) and for the first couple of days they push their drinks packages every time you order a drink. Getting off on shore you are hassled to have your photo taken 3-4 tines by staff with "local” hats, holding a lifebelt or with a painted moustache, it all gets tiresome after a while and cheapens the cruise.

The main buffet restaurant (Ocean View Café) on deck 10 is good, never felt too crowded and always a decent choice of food at breakfast or lunch on the days back from a shore visit. We also had our main meal at night a couple of times and it was pleasant to just eat what we fancied without having to "dress up", speaking of clothes, Celebrity have done away with formal nights, replacing these with "evening chic" this simply means males can wear long trousers and open neck shirt or polo , ladies tended to wear dresses or skirts, very few could be described as "fancy" this suited us but did hear some old time cruisers complain that standards had slipped, that said some tuxedos and evening dresses were in evidence. Pillows were pretty stained as was the mattress, not the standard we were expecting.

Shopping is a mix of high end goods like Rolex and very cheap items, very much geared towards female customers. Not really too much to see after the first visit, some sale nights and specials such as discounts on watches, if you want to spend $10,000 on a Rolex then this is the place for you. They also have art exhibitions/auctions and info on collecting art, we stopped for a few mins and the "host" was speaking to people as if they were at school, asking for a show of hands and singling people out to answer questions, all seemed rather dull with just a few people in attendance.

Americans, Canadians and Europeans usually make up the largest passenger groups, though the mix can significantly change with the itinerary. When the ship is in Europe, the passenger mix is international, with a roughly even blend of North American and European cruisers, mostly hailing from England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain.

Probably worth researching tours before you go as limited info on ship and clearly they push their own (generally overpriced – some go to close to $400 per person). It is possible to book private tours for a good bit less but for most people the worry is making it back on time (with an organised Celebrity tour they guarantee the ship will not sail without you).

Very small pool but plenty of loungers and as many towels as you want, lots of sunbathing areas on the upper decks.

The food

Generally very good, whether in the buffet restaurant or the main Marco Polo restaurant, decent quality and attentive staff. Always plenty of choice. Heard some people complain about the main Marco Polo restaurant, food being sent back and slow service.

Food stations are constantly replenished and cleaned and new serving tongs are used regularly, the pasta and stir fry stations are really good as is the omlette station at breakfast.

There are additional restaurants on board that you can pay to eat in (and I think can also be included on some of the premium upgrade packages), on prior cruises as you had already paid for your meals you paid a small premium to eat in the other restaurants, $20 I believe, on this cruise you paid per person/per item in some areas, and they were expensive. One couple we met ate in the “Sushi on 5” restaurant and they slated it, food was not as expected and they felt they wasted $70 (could be really authentic sushi not suited to their palette as they admitted they normally eat their sushi from M&S. They were constantly trying to get people to sign up, at one point we felt pestered for our room number as we were looking at the menu, very off putting.

Entertainment

Pretty god in the main, headline act every night in the theatre, ranging from singers to ships cast. Stand out act had to be Ben Mills, he is high energy and very entertaining, put on a brilliant show, entertainment is nowhere as good or as varied as Royal Caribbean though. Sam Kane (ex Brookside and husband of Linda Lusardi) did a couple of turns and he was pretty decent, a violinist was really good – not normally my thing but thoroughly enjoyable, as were a new act(tone beats? – a doo whop, 50’s and 60’s act)

Lots of quizzes dotted around the ship. Casino and a couple of movies under the stars, I guess there is a lot more to do if you could be bothered to go through the days itinerary and get involved in things like table tennis.

Cabins or staterooms

We have had inside, outside and balcony rooms. For the big difference in price and the limited time spent in them we tend to go for inside now. They are small but perfectly adequate and functional. Everything you need is available (except never enough clothes hangers). Beds are large( 2 singles pushed together)and comfortable, air-conditioning works well. Limited TV channels, shower is good. Attendants are good, attentive and always leave the room very clean, the turn down service each night is a nice touch.

Summary

Ok ship, good food, varied and quality entertainment, some great and some poor stops, great staff and great service. Would have been disappointed if I had to spend more days at sea (only 1 day at sea on this cruise) as limited facilities and cramped cabins (sorry Staterooms). Port transfers, check in etc all well handled and no hassle. Check if flights are direct or with stopover as very few direct flights available and it seems the travel agents make a habit of misleading (and in our case telling an outright lie) – from Scotland it will be Edinburgh to Schipol to Venice with a 3 hour wait, returning via Rome with a mad rush to catch the connection to Edinburgh, but you may also go via Heathrow/Gatwick – this makes the entire journey 10-12 hours.
alpacino123’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Inside Stateroom 11
Cabin 11 2039
Small (as expected), bit worn, some damage on woodwork and walls, mattress and pillows stained. Sower curtain stained and shower head moved a lot during shower.
Deck 2 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Dubrovnik
    Dubrovnic, Croatia
    Another shuttle bus payment to get us into the old town, probably 20 minutes, loads of traffic, dropped off near one of the "gates" to the old town. Was not expecting it to be so busy, absolutely heaving. The old town is wonderful, well preserved and maintained, almost like a film set (parts of 'game of thrones' is filmed here along with other movies), but it was far too busy to enjoy properly, every cafe and bar was rammed. Spent a good hour or so but it was far too hot, low 30's, the side streets are extremely steep. Gave up on the cable car as it was 15/20 mins walk away up a steep hill. Probably best enjoyed over a couple of days as there is lots to see. The coastline is magnificent, lots of islands and hills, very scenic. Loads of people selling trips, tours, buses and boat trips, it was all a bit much, particularly were we were dropped off, traffic is a nightmare with buses and cars trying to manoeuvre through the crowded streets.
    View All 1,175 Dubrovnik Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Dubrovnik Cruise Port Review
  • Koper
    Day 3, Koper, Slovenia
    Off ship, into lift on dockside and you are in the town, 2 mins walk to the old town main square. Lovely clean place, worth going inside the old tower (3 euros) lots of metal steps to climb, about 50m, great views at the top. The buildings in this part are very old, loads of little alleyways with gift shops. Coffee is about 1 euro (stark contrast to Rome), plenty of places to stop. From the main square down some steps, turn left into another square with a fountain. Straight on and out via the old wall, you are now in a modern part of town. Turn right and follow down to marina, lovely spot, plenty of shops. There is a modern shopping centre here although we did not go in. Spent some time wandering the marina. Follow the road back towards ship and there is a family park with safe swimming area. Koper is really lovely but you will struggle to fill more than a couple of hours unless you venture further afield or have lunch.
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  • Kotor
    Had to get a tender to shore, not too much of a wait. Extremely picturesque area, surrounded by very scenic hills/mountains, you sail into a valley/gorge – either get up early to see when you arrive or be ion deck when you sail away – not to be missed. This is a lovely walled city. Plenty to see, loads of little alleyways and squares, not too crowded. Some nice restaurants. A lot of the old buildings are closed off or are used for other purposes so you cannot go in. There is a route up into the hills (3 euros) taking you past an old church and up further to what seems to be a ruined fort, but the route is steep and slippery, someone said it was 1500 steps and with the temperature in the low 30's few people braved it. Outside the walls there was not too much, on the opposite side to where the shop moored there is a shingle beach and swimming area and a couple restaurants.
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  • Blue Grotto Boat Trip
    We got off at the blue caves in the south. A few mins walk down to the boats and for €8 you can take a 30 minute trip out to the caves, this was an excellent little trip and well worth it. When the trip is over there are little electric buggies that will take you up the steep slopes for €1 each, well worth it.
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  • City Tour
    This is a beautiful place, so much history, loads of really old buildings, decided to take the open top bus tour, it is only €10 but was discounted to €7.50' for this you could take in all 3 tours but would probably need more than a day to do so. We chose the red route, which we were advised was leaving in 10 mins but over 30 mins later we were still waiting, be aware that they do NOT run to any timetable. Malta is really historic, it looks quite drab and dusty in places with loads of areas that seem derelict and quite run down. Once away from the main areas you are in countryside, again though not very scenic. The commentary was good if a little out of sync. Including the boat trip we were on the bus for over 4 hours so be careful of timings. The sail away from the harbour was wonderful, stunning views in every direction. You really need more than a day to appreciate Malta.
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  • Naples
    Very wet and windy day so not ideal, but from what I seen it was a decent place, some local history and sights, plenty of shopping
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  • Split
    Split , Croatia
    Ship docks about a 10 minute walk from the centre, there are buses and taxis waiting. The walk is not scenic, it takes you past loads of little stalls selling drinks, food and cheap souvenirs, as this is also the ferry port and main bus station it is very busy. Once you reach the "other side" it is nicer. Almost straight ahead is an archway, this takes you into what remains of the old cathedral, it is now lined with craft stalls, this leads to old roman ruins, this is probably the best part of Split. The remaining time was spent wandering the small streets but they are very narrow and extremely busy so window shopping proved difficult. A very uninspiring meal at “big Nacho” restaurant in the converted square area was a disappointment. Split has a lot of history and a pretty harbour, some magnificent ruins and loads of shops but it is very "touristy" and seemed a bit overwhelmed when we visited.
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