Overall, this was probably the best cruise we have taken between Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. There was lots to see and do and the excursions we took were all very good. The ship was very clean and well maintained. We slept well every night and were able to truly relax. Some thoughts on specifics . . .
We couldn’t find any real value for this upgrade this trip. The Blu Restaurant was the only perk offered. We didn’t have access to Michael’s Lounge, which was unfortunate. The Blu Restaurant was never open early enough for breakfast on days when we had an excursion planned. The dinner menu choices in Blu were almost never as good as the choices in the Opus General Dining Room. We don’t think we would pay for this upgrade again.
Premium Drink Package
We have been disappointed with the Celebrity drink packages on every cruise we have taken. This time, the only benefit we got from the Premium Package was for wine selections in Blu and Opus. And, the only “premium” wines offered were Mer Soleil Chardonnay and Decoy Cabernet, every single night. No other options to try. And, none of the other bars on the ship offered a premium wine option. Really disappointing for anyone who knows and enjoys wine. Access to Michael’s Lounge would have helped a great deal.
The excursions were really well planned and executed this trip . . . kudos to the organizer(s)!! We spent very little time waiting for our bus number to be called sitting in the Reflection Theater this time.
As with every other massage I have had at Canyon Ranch, I tell them where I would like them to spend time and energy (my neck), and they go about doing whatever it is they always do. They spend very little time and zero energy really trying to work through neck pain. Stop asking me if you aren’t going to do anything different.
Our room attendant, pronounced E-mah-day, was exceptionally attentive and eager to please us. Whatever he is getting paid, it isn’t enough. He is great and should be treasured!!
Opus Dining Room
Our server at Table 32, Brian, and our sommelier, Marvin, were both fabulous professionals. We looked forward to joining them about half the evenings on the ship and enjoyed their service to be much more attentive and fun than what we found in Blu.
For what it is, I think the chefs in the buffet do a great job! My only suggestion would be to start serving pastries, fruit and continental items (eggs, sausage and potatoes) earlier than 6:30 am for guests who are planning to take an early excursion and need to eat something (anything) before they leave the ship.
Private Pilates Class
OJ was very good and we enjoyed his class very much. My only caution to Celebrity would be . . . I’m not sure this class should be advertised as a “Private Pilates” class, because it really is a very general core strength and stretching class. There were no true Pilates elements included in the class. When guests are paying $100 per hour for Pilates, they should get Pilates.
Gifts from Friends
Since this was my retirement cruise, we received flowers from two of our friends. One arrangement arrived with no card, so we had to put a photo up on Facebook to figure out who sent it to us (not good). When we returned home, the same friends asked if we had also received a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne and a dinner in a specialty restaurant on the evening of our choice. No, we didn't. My husband saw a bottle of Dom Perignon in our refrigerator, but just assumed it was part of the bar. I would think a gift of Dom Perignon would be left on the coffee table in a bucket of ice and with a card. Not well executed and our friends are now trying to work through getting credits from Celebrity.
We very much enjoyed the formal "at sea" nights on Celebrity. They have discontinued them and now call the at sea nights "chic". We saw all kinds of attire on the "chic" nights and were quite disappointed. We have booked an Azamara cruise for 2020 in hopes they will have formal nights and a much better premium wine selection.
Pros: Very close to the elevators. Nice, bigger balcony than most cabins (double the depth from the sliding door to the balcony rail). Great view. It is the last room before the forward "bump" but we didn't feel it affected our view at all. The balcony does catch the wind when you are underway, but not bad.
Cons: This cabin is right below the pool and deck chairs on Deck 14. For the first few days, we woke up at night and early in the morning when staff was securing and/or rearranging the deck chairs. We got used to the noise eventually, but not sure we would choose this cabin again.
We walked into town. Lots of white stores and very narrow streets. A fun place to shop.
What a great day! We didn't book this excursion until the night before we were in port. I didn't want to ride the cable car up to Santorini, so we took a tour instead. This was the most expensive tour of the trip ($399 each) but it was well worth it for a full 9 hour day. We first toured Akrotiri (a fairly new site similar to Pompeii but fascinating to see). A quick stop at a privately owned winery called "Segalas" was interesting (the wines weren't great, but it was fun). Lunch in the town of Oi (with the famous blue domes) for some photo ops and shopping too. Great day and we highly recommend!! Oh, and we did have to take the cable car back down to the ship (if you are afraid of heights, sit facing the mountain and count to 180 and you'll be at the bottom).View All undefined undefined Reviews
Recommend you walk to the 22 story elevator along the waterfront to get up to the fortress and city center. Beautiful flowers, lots of shopping and restaurants. At 12 noon and 4 pm, find the crowd along the water side of the fort to see the canon ceremony . . . your children will enjoy it too.
Excursion was called "Lovely Tourmina". Lots of shopping and lots of nice restaurants. Thoroughly enjoyed the day.View All 101 City Tour Reviews
Prior to the cruise, we stayed a few nights at the Palazzo Naiadi Hotel (absolutely beautiful and we highly recommend). We scheduled a transfer from the hotel to the ship (thought we had reserved a Mercedes and got a van, so be careful and check your confirmation for vehicle type).
Excursion was called "Lindos On Your Own". Lots of shopping and restaurants. It was very hot early in the day and we enjoyed wine and lunch at Yanni's Restaurant . . . highly recommend.View All 51 Lindos Walking Tour Reviews
This excursion was called "Celebrity Discover Collection: Exclusive Tour of Italy's Amalfi Coast". This was the second most expensive excursion we took ($249 each) on this cruise. It was a full day and it was fabulous. We visited Positano, Sorrento and Pompeii. We saw so much and we ended our trip feeling like this was the very best. Highly recommendView All 284 Amalfi Coast Reviews
The Acropolis Museum was fascinating. Lunch on the rooftop of a restaurant was awesome with wonderful views. Great day!View All undefined undefined Reviews