1) Cruise left Barcelona on Oct. 3, 2009 arrived in Venice Oct. 17, 2009. 2) We left home Oct 1st spent a night in Barcelona and stayed an extra night in Venice. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Quickly adjusted to time zone as well as not being in a crazy rush on sail day. 3) Stayed in Eurostars Ramblas Boqueria in Barcelona, Columbus Hotel in Rome (During 2 day Rome visit), Hotel Casa Nova in Venice.
Rated Cruise 9 out of 10 (Best we've ever had in our 15 cruises) To clarify, we are very picky and unforgiving in lots of areas so a 9 is probably the highest we could give any cruise line. The criticisms of Celebrity is that the Guest Services staff is uninformed and not very helpful. We asked 3 questions of them in the 14 days and all 3 answers were wrong. Grossly wrong. Celebrity, in other areas, reminded me that they are in the business of making money first, being honorable second. Still rated a 9!
We bought a Concierge Class Room. NOT WORTH IT!! No priority Tender boarding, pillow menu is a joke, dollar store binoculars were useless, daily canapEs and showerhead was the only thing left and that wasn't worth the up charge. Don't waste your money with this. Still rated a 9!
Tours? Be careful. Very overpriced for what you get. They scare you into believing you can't do it on your own. OK, we bought transportation mostly. "Florence/Pisa on your own" was worth the price to not have to hassle with trains and local tour guides. Rome.. Buy a train ticket and do everything yourself. Easy as pie!! Istanbul all on our own, we saw everything our table mates saw without the cost. Still rated a 9!
So, why rated a 9? The food was outstanding, the staff was unbelievably friendly, the timing of everything was spot on, our room steward was PRICELESS, the itinerary was 2nd to none, and the weather was perfect.
I would certainly recommend Celebrity to anyone. One piece of advice to any Celebrity rep reading this: Your staff should do anything they can to make a guest happy. Your advertisement in the Photos Area said "Buy (3) 8X10 photos and get the Leather Portfolio free." Just because my Embarkation Photo was on sale when I bought it should not have disqualified me from the free Portfolio. This was cheap of you and your supervisor should have realized that I paid over $7,000 to Celebrity and that $5.00 difference between a full priced photo and the sale price wasn't worth me feeling you were greedy and cheap. "We will fix the ad for the next cruise", the supervisor said as she then wished us a good night.
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Occasionally we would get a septic smell in the bathroom caused by plumbing problems. Never experienced that before. Heard neighboors talking through walls. Another first on a cruise ship. Other than that the room was FANTASTIC!!!! Would get that room again.