1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Celestyal Crystal
We are experienced cruisers. We have sailed with Norwegian, Holland, Celebrity and Oceania in the past, as well as been on board very small cruise ships in Alaska and Patagonia. We selected this cruise via a Friendly Planet booking based on previous very favorable trips with them and due to the itinerary that would take us to Mykonos, Santorini and Crete in addition to Kusadasi in Turkey. We booked over a year in advance with three friends that travelled with us on this cruise. Embarkation was very easy. It is a small ship. Our tour manager also had us check in at 4 p.m. in the afternoon for a 9 p.m. sailing. This worked out very well. No one was in line ahead of our group (a total of 19 people) and we sailed easily through the process. Bags were delivered to the cabins within 30 minutes of getting on board. First glitch was upon arrival in the cabin. I have used in room safe deposit boxes at least a zillion times. The instructions for the in room safe deposit box left out key information. Everyone in our party could not figure out how to use the darn thing which resulted in a call to reception. An hour later, no one came to fix the problem. With the life boat drill starting in 10 minutes, we were much more insistent and finally a nice member of the staff came and gave us the missing information that resolved the problem. This was the beginning of our understanding that if you have a problem, calling reception is a total waste of time. The public areas of the ship have been updated and are fine. Nothing fancy, but it basically works. The cabins are another story. Luckily, we upgraded as far as Friendly Planet would allow us to (outside, XF cabins with lower beds, a couch and a table - no balcony). This gave us a much larger room than is standard on this ship. The furnishings are outdated and there is limited storage space. Storage space in the bathroom consists of a single shelf under the sink. There were plenty of hangers in the closet at least. Furnishings look to date to the 1980s. Basic, not attractive, but it works. For some reason, they never seem to clean the windows on the ship and seeing out is through a streaked pane of glass. Beds were comfortable. Keep your curtains closed during the day! Cooling system needs to be upgraded. We sailed in late April. In the heat of summer I cannot imagine how long it would take to cool down the cabin to an acceptable level. We kept the curtains shut when we were out of the cabin and in 24 hours we achieved a decent temperature. Food is okay and can be good at dinner but is problematic at breakfast. My advice would be to get a cappuccino from the bar (far better than the coffee that is offered) and a bowl of the very good Greek yogurt with some fruit. Bread is stale and seems to be leftover from dinner service the night before. One of our friends saw the French toast being fixed the night before for reheating the next morning; he avoided it from that point forward. We were only on board once for lunch. We ate as many meals as possible off the ship. Dinner was hit and miss. Some items were good, others a miss. Staff is nice and efficient. Sommeliers were very helpful in selecting Greek wines. Do not drink the wine on the drink package - just awful! You can get the wine list from the sommelier and "upgrade" for around 15 Euros or so to a better bottle or glass. Unfortunately, this is not allowed anywhere other than in the main dining rooms. Every night we upgraded to avoid the standard wine offerings. Cocktails are a bit of a nightmare. Very light hand on the alcohol pourings which resulted in our ordering a shot of whatever liquor we were drinking in addition to the drink to get the drink to taste right. Results in a substantial time delay, but solved the problem. Ask for additional ice as well if you want a cold drink. Drink menu is a bit strange, but we found things to keep us happy. Again, avoid the wine by the glass. The best thing by far about this ship is the itinerary. This is the sole basis of my "Very Good" overall rating. I care far more about where I am going than the ship I am on. At the last minute, they altered the itinerary to allow us an overnight in port in both Mykonos and Santorini. This was simply fantastic. To visit these towns that are packed with tourists during the day after 5 p.m. when they are all gone is magnificent. We had dinner on shore both nights (the ship departed around 11 p.m. on day 2) and walked the empty streets. Milos was also substituted for Ios at the last moment and we very much enjoyed this infrequently visited island. Book a tour in Milos to get you to the beautiful volcanic landscapes and the small towns. Do not just stay in the port area. We had delicious dinner at a restaurant on the harbor as we sailed out late. The late sailings (except in Ephesus) are a signature of this cruise and is a very good reason for booking. We had tours organized through the ship for Santorini to get us to Oia (essential to do this in my opinion), Mykonos, Milos, Crete (Knossos), Ephesus and Athens. All the local guides were very good and the tours operated efficiently and without problems. The ship handles tenders and embarking on the tours efficiently. The big cruise lines filled with American passengers have all abandoned going to Turkey due to the situation in Syria. Celestyal is registered in Malta and has passengers from all over. All announcements are in English, French, Spanish, German and Russian. We were informed that Celestyal is the only cruise line visiting Kusadasi this year. I was there in 1993 and wanted my husband and friends to see this magnificent place. It was wonderful to be able to go back. We did not feel threatened therein any way. Some Americans on the ship refused to get off in Turkey however. So, if you want an excellent itinerary through the primary Greek islands and are not insistent on a well appointed ship with luxury accommodations, this is the line for you!

Average ship/Excellent itinerary through the Greek Islands

Celestyal Crystal Cruise Review by mlarocca

21 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We are experienced cruisers. We have sailed with Norwegian, Holland, Celebrity and Oceania in the past, as well as been on board very small cruise ships in Alaska and Patagonia. We selected this cruise via a Friendly Planet booking based on previous very favorable trips with them and due to the itinerary that would take us to Mykonos, Santorini and Crete in addition to Kusadasi in Turkey. We booked over a year in advance with three friends that travelled with us on this cruise.

Embarkation was very easy. It is a small ship. Our tour manager also had us check in at 4 p.m. in the afternoon for a 9 p.m. sailing. This worked out very well. No one was in line ahead of our group (a total of 19 people) and we sailed easily through the process. Bags were delivered to the cabins within 30 minutes of getting on board.

First glitch was upon arrival in the cabin. I have used in room safe deposit boxes at least a zillion times. The instructions for the in room safe deposit box left out key information. Everyone in our party could not figure out how to use the darn thing which resulted in a call to reception. An hour later, no one came to fix the problem. With the life boat drill starting in 10 minutes, we were much more insistent and finally a nice member of the staff came and gave us the missing information that resolved the problem. This was the beginning of our understanding that if you have a problem, calling reception is a total waste of time.

The public areas of the ship have been updated and are fine. Nothing fancy, but it basically works. The cabins are another story. Luckily, we upgraded as far as Friendly Planet would allow us to (outside, XF cabins with lower beds, a couch and a table - no balcony). This gave us a much larger room than is standard on this ship. The furnishings are outdated and there is limited storage space. Storage space in the bathroom consists of a single shelf under the sink. There were plenty of hangers in the closet at least. Furnishings look to date to the 1980s. Basic, not attractive, but it works. For some reason, they never seem to clean the windows on the ship and seeing out is through a streaked pane of glass. Beds were comfortable. Keep your curtains closed during the day! Cooling system needs to be upgraded. We sailed in late April. In the heat of summer I cannot imagine how long it would take to cool down the cabin to an acceptable level. We kept the curtains shut when we were out of the cabin and in 24 hours we achieved a decent temperature.

Food is okay and can be good at dinner but is problematic at breakfast. My advice would be to get a cappuccino from the bar (far better than the coffee that is offered) and a bowl of the very good Greek yogurt with some fruit. Bread is stale and seems to be leftover from dinner service the night before. One of our friends saw the French toast being fixed the night before for reheating the next morning; he avoided it from that point forward.

We were only on board once for lunch. We ate as many meals as possible off the ship. Dinner was hit and miss. Some items were good, others a miss. Staff is nice and efficient. Sommeliers were very helpful in selecting Greek wines. Do not drink the wine on the drink package - just awful! You can get the wine list from the sommelier and "upgrade" for around 15 Euros or so to a better bottle or glass. Unfortunately, this is not allowed anywhere other than in the main dining rooms. Every night we upgraded to avoid the standard wine offerings.

Cocktails are a bit of a nightmare. Very light hand on the alcohol pourings which resulted in our ordering a shot of whatever liquor we were drinking in addition to the drink to get the drink to taste right. Results in a substantial time delay, but solved the problem. Ask for additional ice as well if you want a cold drink. Drink menu is a bit strange, but we found things to keep us happy. Again, avoid the wine by the glass.

The best thing by far about this ship is the itinerary. This is the sole basis of my "Very Good" overall rating. I care far more about where I am going than the ship I am on. At the last minute, they altered the itinerary to allow us an overnight in port in both Mykonos and Santorini. This was simply fantastic. To visit these towns that are packed with tourists during the day after 5 p.m. when they are all gone is magnificent. We had dinner on shore both nights (the ship departed around 11 p.m. on day 2) and walked the empty streets. Milos was also substituted for Ios at the last moment and we very much enjoyed this infrequently visited island. Book a tour in Milos to get you to the beautiful volcanic landscapes and the small towns. Do not just stay in the port area. We had delicious dinner at a restaurant on the harbor as we sailed out late. The late sailings (except in Ephesus) are a signature of this cruise and is a very good reason for booking.

We had tours organized through the ship for Santorini to get us to Oia (essential to do this in my opinion), Mykonos, Milos, Crete (Knossos), Ephesus and Athens. All the local guides were very good and the tours operated efficiently and without problems. The ship handles tenders and embarking on the tours efficiently. The big cruise lines filled with American passengers have all abandoned going to Turkey due to the situation in Syria. Celestyal is registered in Malta and has passengers from all over. All announcements are in English, French, Spanish, German and Russian. We were informed that Celestyal is the only cruise line visiting Kusadasi this year. I was there in 1993 and wanted my husband and friends to see this magnificent place. It was wonderful to be able to go back. We did not feel threatened therein any way. Some Americans on the ship refused to get off in Turkey however.

So, if you want an excellent itinerary through the primary Greek islands and are not insistent on a well appointed ship with luxury accommodations, this is the line for you!
Celestyal Cruises 1, Passenger Services @Celestyal Cruises has responded
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience on board the Crystal. Every passenger’s feedback is of great value to us and your remarks will be forwarded to the appropriate departments. We hope to welcome you again on board our vessels for an even better experience.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of The Independent Traveler, Inc.
mlarocca’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Celestyal Crystal price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Cabin 7210
Outdated.