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PRE-CRUISE: Our trip included 4 days in Athens before departure with an included tour of the Acropolis and Parthenon. We felt that the paid tour of Sounion was not really worth the cost and we didn't go on the paid tour of Delphi because of the long bus ride required. We very much enjoyed exploring the City of Athens on our own. OK, the shopping was truly the fun part for me and I think my husband enjoyed some of it as well. We also saw the Acropolis museum and ate twice at a small street-side eatery with a view of the Parthenon. We were met by David Price, our excellent tour director from Trafalgar/Insight, on Friday afternoon before the cruise. He rounded up the rest of our relatively small group at other area hotels and escorted us to the ship. The ship left Lavrion port rather than Pireaus and we were told that this is standard, unlike what was in the Trafalgar write up. (Turned out that this worked very well for the return airport trip --via Mercedes-- as it was closer. First class, Trafalgar!) OK, back to the cruise -- our cabin was small, but adequate and we didn't spend much time peering out the two portholes on the 3rd level. We had room for to unpack and hand most of our clothes. Ester, our cabin steward, was very accommodating and we appreciated the fun towel animals that greeted us each evening. The bathroom was small but there was an in-wall cabinet that was very handy and made up for the limited counter space. (I actually felt that the shower was roomier than the narrow tub at the hotel we stayed at in Athens before the cruise.) The seas were calm for our entire outing so we never found out if we'd be seasick. Happy for that, for sure. Dining was not quite as good as we'd anticipated but we certainly didn't lack for food. If we wanted an entree for an appetizer, we got it with no questions asked. The one real failure was the bread. For the most part, it simply wasn't anything special and that was the case at breakfast, lunch and dinner. We are definitely a bread-eating family. ;-) The morning breakfast start time was puzzling. It varied from 6:30 to 7:30. We are early risers so found it a bit odd. Oh, the excursions -- well, we certainly spent some money on those. And, even more money at the Turkish rug shop. Anticipating their arrival here in a month or so to beautify our home. Again, our Trafalgar tour director was great about telling us which excursions we'd find worth the money. When there wasn't one he recommended for a particular day, he took us out on his own. Perfect! We were one of the "younger" older couples on the ship, which was very sparsely populated. I think there was almost one crew member for every passenger -- around 280-something. By our last night, we were down to 160ish passengers as some arrived/departed at each port. While I'm sure the cruise line didn't think the same, we loved the small size of the group!!! There were only a few children but all were well-mannered. Thank you, parents. The entertainment was pretty much the same thing every night and many activities didn't happen because there were no takers. That's the downside of a small group of passengers. The wait staff in the dining rooms and lounges were superb! Thank you for your smiles and top service. I think I've gone on long enough. All-in-all a wonderful first cruise experience and we'll plan to a repeat in the future though likely to another area of the world. Thanks, Celestyal Nefeli.

Our Trafalgar tour director "made" our cruise!

Celestyal Nefeli Cruise Review by lindylou1220

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
PRE-CRUISE: Our trip included 4 days in Athens before departure with an included tour of the Acropolis and Parthenon. We felt that the paid tour of Sounion was not really worth the cost and we didn't go on the paid tour of Delphi because of the long bus ride required. We very much enjoyed exploring the City of Athens on our own. OK, the shopping was truly the fun part for me and I think my husband enjoyed some of it as well. We also saw the Acropolis museum and ate twice at a small street-side eatery with a view of the Parthenon.

We were met by David Price, our excellent tour director from Trafalgar/Insight, on Friday afternoon before the cruise. He rounded up the rest of our relatively small group at other area hotels and escorted us to the ship. The ship left Lavrion port rather than Pireaus and we were told that this is standard, unlike what was in the Trafalgar write up. (Turned out that this worked very well for the return airport trip --via Mercedes-- as it was closer. First class, Trafalgar!)

OK, back to the cruise -- our cabin was small, but adequate and we didn't spend much time peering out the two portholes on the 3rd level. We had room for to unpack and hand most of our clothes. Ester, our cabin steward, was very accommodating and we appreciated the fun towel animals that greeted us each evening. The bathroom was small but there was an in-wall cabinet that was very handy and made up for the limited counter space. (I actually felt that the shower was roomier than the narrow tub at the hotel we stayed at in Athens before the cruise.)

The seas were calm for our entire outing so we never found out if we'd be seasick. Happy for that, for sure. Dining was not quite as good as we'd anticipated but we certainly didn't lack for food. If we wanted an entree for an appetizer, we got it with no questions asked. The one real failure was the bread. For the most part, it simply wasn't anything special and that was the case at breakfast, lunch and dinner. We are definitely a bread-eating family. ;-) The morning breakfast start time was puzzling. It varied from 6:30 to 7:30. We are early risers so found it a bit odd.

Oh, the excursions -- well, we certainly spent some money on those. And, even more money at the Turkish rug shop. Anticipating their arrival here in a month or so to beautify our home. Again, our Trafalgar tour director was great about telling us which excursions we'd find worth the money. When there wasn't one he recommended for a particular day, he took us out on his own. Perfect!

We were one of the "younger" older couples on the ship, which was very sparsely populated. I think there was almost one crew member for every passenger -- around 280-something. By our last night, we were down to 160ish passengers as some arrived/departed at each port. While I'm sure the cruise line didn't think the same, we loved the small size of the group!!! There were only a few children but all were well-mannered. Thank you, parents.

The entertainment was pretty much the same thing every night and many activities didn't happen because there were no takers. That's the downside of a small group of passengers. The wait staff in the dining rooms and lounges were superb! Thank you for your smiles and top service.

I think I've gone on long enough. All-in-all a wonderful first cruise experience and we'll plan to a repeat in the future though likely to another area of the world. Thanks, Celestyal Nefeli.
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