We chose this cruise because it was an area we had never been to before and we were quite happy with the Celebrity line as we have cruised with them twice before. The June itinerary was perfect for us, just getting into the hot season in many ports and still not too many young kids who were still in school.
So far every cruise I have been on with Celebrity has amazed me about their customer service. Their crews are top notch and without criticism. Most crew seemed happy and always had a smile and greeting for you. They could not do enough!
Ikadek was our cabin steward. I swear these stewards hide around the corner to lean up you rooms as soon as you step out. He was wonderful. Even left us a nice surprise for a celebration evening.
Embarkation was quite quick and so was disembarkation on the last day. We chose to self-disembark on the last date as we had booked private transfer to the airport. Seemless.
Excursion prices are getting steep with Celebrity so we booked most of our excursions through private tour companies at substantial savings and seemingly better things to see and do. Santorini was tendered obviously but very efficiently done. The Island itself is just crowded and the cable car return was very crowded having to wait one hour in a long snaking line but I guess we could have competed with the donkeys on our own and walked down. Our choice so I can really complain too much.
The scheduled docking a departure times were always early. Everyone got back on board pretty promptly so no delays there and we were always early to every port.
We chose the Classic Beverage package for this cruise. In the past, it covered the basic drinks and coffees, but this time we seemed to get dinged for a dollar every time now you ordered a coffee with alcohol in it. That had not happened in the past. But staff were pleasant about it and quite clearly let you know if there was an additional charge. Good thing we had an onboard credit that we unsuccessfully tried to use up!!
Entertainment was very good but not as many full cast shows as we had in the past. A larger variety so we chose to skip a couple. The first night of Silent Disco was fun with a good variety of music for all ages but the second night must have been for the younger set as it was all electronic and dance club that I did not recognize at all. Maybe showing my age?? I think the design of the Grand Foyer is nice but not as a venue to dance. The large "rose" flower statue just takes up floor space - move it out of there. The grand stairway should have been moved farther back to the aft wall to make a larger dance floor space since so many activities and musical acts performed there. [I guess I am a nautical ship designer now?!?!]
I feel the Lawn Club is a waste of space for relaxing. Very rarely was anyone on the grass or in the large cabanas there. The Sunset Bar is taken up by smokers on one whole side. And they need to turn down the music on the speakers a lot. Could not hear a conversation with someone sitting directly beside me
Some concerns about this cruise are as follows:
1] We are non-smokers and had booked a balcony stateroom but unfortunately were not informed that we were on the port aft side directly above the smoking area. So we may as well have lived among the smokers. This information should be made available to guests. I understand the need for smokers to get their fix but not at my expense. It physically makes me ill. The smokers were to be outside on the Deck Five area and to the aft side of the doorway. They were never moved away from directly in front of the doors and therefore directly under the staterooms above [6235, 6233, 6231, 6229, and 6227]. And we were informed that the port side is good for viewing docking and departures. Wrong this time, Everything happened on the starboard side this cruise.
2] Opus Restaurant menu is tired. We ate more off the classic side than the specials of the night. Being the 3rd cruise, we found the menu was becoming the same as previous cruises. We actually preferred to eat in the Oceanview Cafe a few nights for better variety. But I must state the wait staff [Vlada, Jomar, Juan and Carlos were absolutely the best. Great fun and attentive service made the meals quite fun. They even made a point of celebrating people's anniversaries with song, cake and champagne.
3] Officer Rank Insignia should be posted somewhere. You see so many officer staf walking around the ship but have no idea what their function or rank might be. In fact one day I saw the Captain sitting with some other staff and did not realize who he was until I saw him at the Liar's Night show. Maybe as part of the television shows and ship information, they should tell you what their arm stripes mean. I did ask a few but you are reluctant to so so. Lots of security though, felt very safe on board.
4] External stateroom noise. It may seem trivial but when you can hear certain "activities" in the stateroom above you [love is grand - and prolonged!!!], at all hours of the night - from midnight through until 2:00 am, 4:00 am, etc, I does disturb the sleep of others to be wakened in the night and be disturbed by the noisy antics and rhythmic thumping. At first I thought possibly it was actual ship noises but eventually you heard the whole show to confirm what it was you were hearing....
5] Ship Enrichment. Would like to see more activities and tours provided to other areas like bridge, kitchens, and "off-limit" areas that could be made accessible on sea days.
6] Check your onboard account!! Frequently!! I checked mine daily on the TV channels and found someone had used my room number to book dinner and drinks in one of the specialty restaurants. I was able to have it corrected but was told by Guest services that the person obviously did not have their Se Pass card swiped, strictly through word of mouth to let this happen. We also found once we got home that there are are additional charges on our account that we will need to call about to get cleared off. This is the first time it has occurred but companions travelling with us had it happen to them as well.
It seems I am a little negative, but far from it. I really enjoyed this ship and the cruise port selections and if given the chance, will return to a few of these island in future.
I like the Celebrity cruise offerings [Caribbean, Alaska and Mediterranean] but might take a recommendation from family and friends and try some other lines just to see if Celebrity really does have the system down as properly as they seem to have it now.
Lots of space and cupboards to store away belongings.
Poor location above smoking deck located on Deck Five directly below you. Ship crew need to move the people back aft where their smoking area is located, not along the railings.
Could hear the "love activities" from somewhere around us - maybe above??
Close to elevator which you could occasionally hear the arrival "ding' but not bothersome as it was convenient to access elevators. Close to Desk Five where Cafe Al Bacio is located and we needed out regular coffee fixes there.
Could easily access any deck upwards or down for activities, meals or gangways.
Had taken some time in Venice and Rome prior to taking a private transfer to the ship for boarding. Same on last day to airport.
Private tour down to Taormina with driver/guide Francesco. Some time in town then up to Castelmola to explore and get a recommended restaurant for lunch. Beautifal view. Short tour of Messina on way back to ship.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Our driver and guide was a lovely young lady named Theresa. She met us exactly where promised and them drove us all over the main island to see sights many others probably did not. She would stop along the roads to pick herbs and plants to let us smell the aromas, get pictures and take us into small places others did not go. We even took part of the town Festival in San Filip. Viewed the Blue Grotto and learned so much about Malta that I want to go back. Toured the heights of land above Mdina. The lunch in Imgarr at a local restaurant o sample a large variety of local foods - rabbit; marrow beef; Malta toast; beef stew; macaroni and cheese Malta style, local home made fries; local wines; olive rolled beef 'grapes'. So wonderful! A jam packed day I will never forget. Take this tour if you can. Well worth the cost of E125/person.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Ornos Beach. Took local bus to beach. Paid for umbrella and chair. Lunch at Nice and Easy was excellent. You can do all this on your own without and excursion from Celebrity.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Private tour and taxi/guide right at port. Took us to all the sites in about 1.5 hours. Recommended Archipelego Restaurant which was great. Wish I could come back here some day. I liked the pace of life.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Not much to see we had not seen elsewhere. Hot and humid day to walk around. Had lunch at Elia Tavern - excellent.View All 41 Fira Walking Tour Reviews
Our tour guide told some of us to be back for 0930 and others for 1030 then disappeared! Too many people in small village where shops not even open yet! It is very picturesque.View All 255 Oia Village Reviews
Santos Winery - part of Celebrity excursion. Excellent to taste three different wines - red, white and dessert This port is so busy and we only had 5 ships in town. Tendered to new port and bused all over. If not with Celebrity you tender slowly to old port. Cable car down was a long one hour waitView All 110 Oia Wine Tasting Reviews
Too many people there just looking at their cell phones and pushing and jostling on walkways without railings. Watch your step as the footing is very uneven. Hard to believe the history of the construction at this location.
For some cultures it seems there is a need to take 8-10 pictures in a photo shoot preventing others from getting one shot. Get over yourselves - look around, not at your picture on your phone.View All 390 Acropolis Reviews
Fantastic place that I would love to return for more of a tour with a whole day. Such ancient history. Very unique design to Museum. Can't wait for actual excavations to open to public.View All 65 Archeological Museum Reviews
Bus drive around city to see many sites like Parliament buildings.View All 164 City Tour Reviews
Interesting to see it.View All 40 Old Olympic Stadium Reviews
Sorry - just a bunch to touristy shops again. Good restaurant for lunch - Arcadia Restaurant.View All 60 The Plaka Walking Tour Reviews
Great drive out to overlook of Positano. Cliff top roads. Wow!View All 284 Amalfi Coast Reviews
Vince made it come to life. Wanted more time but crowds impossible to move around by end of day.View All 505 Pompeii Walking Tour Reviews
Our guide was Vincenzo. Awesome man with lots of humour and history all in one. Spent some time shopping and had lunch in guide-recommended restaurant called Tasso. You have to try it. Pizza or pasta, lemon cake and a drink for just E15,00. It was huge portion and really tasty.View All 165 Sorrento Reviews