We are a Canadian couple in our early 50's have done both cruising and all inclusive packages. This was our 20th cruise and 2nd with Celebrity. ( some back ground details so you understand this was not our first experience at travel.)
We had chosen Celebrity as this was our second European journey with Celebrity. Love the size of the ships and the itineraries. We also landed a few perks that were nice incentives as well.
Embarkation was smooth and quick in Venice. We did stay at an Airbnb for 3 days prior to tour around. Water taxis are easy to negotiate in Venice. Purchase a multi day pass and explore on and off. We water taxied from the airport to our Airbnb. Easy peasy. Just research in advance.
We were on the ship in 20 mins of arrival at the port. Smooth, checked in and eating our lunch on board at 12:30 cabins were ready at 1:30 luggage at room by 2:30pm Muster drill at 3:45ish then off to the races for 10 amazing days.
The ship is wonderful. My only complaint. Not even a complaint more of an observation
was the main piazza. It really did not exist like in most ships there is a vast opening from the 3rd floor all the way up to the 7th. Seats all around so you can ppl watch and listen to entertainment. As this is an older ship the design, it is quint and areas are choppy. Like I said an observation and unique. Not a disappointment.
The staff were friendly and polite at all times. They are hard working people miles away from their families for months on end to ensure that we as passengers have a pleasurable experience. I often get to know our waiters, they have wonderful stories.
Food was excellent. Bar service never an issue. The Classic booze package was just perfect. House wines wonderful, from Tuscany, Chili, South Africa to name a few. Did not feel the pressure to upsell at all. Spirits were plentiful and mid range. Really unless you are a alcohol expert Classic is perfect.
Cabin was well appointed. Balcony was perfect size, room steward was tentative.
1. Koper Slovenia: itself is very small, so an hour or so is likely to be enough time to stroll then head out and explore. Ships dock opposite a lift which takes you up to town level. You can also walk its about 6mins. We took the public from Koper to Piran which is a really pretty town a little along the coast and the drive there and back has some scenery too. Regular city buses and inexpensive. Travel every 30 mins to and from Piran is a must. Go to the info centre and we booked a 7 Euro per person walking tour for 90 mins. It was excellent. Such a beautiful spot and have the narrative along the way was exceptional. Eat at a seaside restaurant. Excellent seafood.
2. Zadar Croatia: Free shuttle from the ship to town. Bus lets you off at the boardwalk
first hit the The Sea Organs (http://vinovo.magnify.net/video/ZADAR-Morske-orgulje-Sea-Orga) Then continue on the board walk into old town. Explore I suggest you stay in the old part of the town, sit in a caffees, do some people watching, than change a spot and do the same. The church St. Donat and the treasury chamber are worth the visit inside, other than that Zadar is more an experience of strolling through the streets (like ST. Paul de Vence near Nice or Aix a Provance near Marsellies if you are familiar).
3. Dubrovnik Croatia. Having stayed there 6 yrs ago did not want to visit old town. That is amazing and walk to the bus terminal which is adjacent to the cruise terminal and busses travel to and from old town for cheap. .The ship charges 5 xs the cost for the same thing.
We opted to visit sea-side town of Cavtat. Not a long bus ride but what a beautiful town. We just strolled along the waterside that borders the town. Swam in the Adriatic. 5 areas to sun yourself on a pier. rent chairs and relax for a couple of hours.
A lot of nice café’s and places to sit as you walk. Hiking / walking paths easily marked worth strolling. What a great day and a must see this town. A ferry ride back to Dubrovnik or the bus. we opted for the bus as it brought us back to the terminal next to the ship. You can take Libertas #10 from the Gruz Harbor directly to Cavtat. Bus cost is 25 Kuna per person, no foreign currency. Take the small boat back to the old town,
4.Kotor Montenegro. Wake up early and watch the sights pulling into the harbor.Bay of Kotor surrounded by steep,mountains lined with historic buildings, churches, towers, docks, and marinas along the shore. It’s onthe list of the 25 most beautiful bays in the world. We tendered and walked the stairs 430 up the side of the mountain. The views amazing. Arrive early and do this. the hike up is aprox 50 mins. Not for the faint of heart.
Bring water. The walk down was good but started to get crowed by fellow tourists. Spend the rest of the day in Old town getting lost in the streets and enjoy an Aperol Sprits and seafood.
5. Sea day..need I say more. Sleep in and enjoy the amenities of the ship. Message special at the spa for this day. FYI. Book it the evening before they promo that on the ship.
6 & 7. Malta Valetta. 2 days. purchase the hop on hop off pass for 2 days. 32.00 usa and it is charged to your room by the ship. Excellent cheap way to see the Island. We did the red line one day and the blue line the next. Spent time in the old town. they have 2 for 1 dinks on the main street. 2 aperol spritz for the price of one. Good way to finish an afternoon. We swam in the Mediterranean at the Grotto.
8. Sicily - Sircusa ( did not stop in Catania Italy due to berth availability.) Sircusa was an amazing surprise. Tender to the Island. Walk to the right. find the market what a great experience. The market with the local produce, spices, cheeses and the vibe of the shop keepers. Stoll old town and have a lunch. Walk the marina. Impressive yachts.
9. Naples. Having been before we opted for the Fast ferry to Capri. Beautiful, stunning and totally worth the 40min Ferry ride. Ferry from Naples to Capri departs at 8:35 / 9:10
Purchase at the ferry. Once on Capri immediately purchase ticket for Naples ( fills up fast)
Capri harbour a taxi or trolly up to the town for glorious views - especially dizzying vertical views waaaaay down to sea- level from viewpoints on the edge of town. Capri there are a number of little restaurants and shops right by the docks
Don't buy the ticket online ahead of time. When you get off the ship just go to the left and you can buy your ticket. Check the schedules though as you may not want a round trip with the ferry company. Some are faster then others. If you aren't going round trip with the same company just buy your ticket in Capri right there when you get there and you are set for your return. Be sure to do the chair lift, the views are amazing!!!!!!. We hiked the Arco Nature walk. totally worth the view. took us 25 mins of meandering through small walk ways with surprising views around each corner. Away from the crowds. It was fabulous. We had a great sea view lunch then back to the ship on the 2:50 Ferry gave us time to relax on the ship.
10. Rome. Having been before. Unfortunately high tailed it to the airport.
aprox 50 mins from the port. Pre arrange a driver. Fellow travellers are congested at this port trying to arrange for transportation. If you choose to do Rome for a few days. It is a must. Book and Airbnb. Book tours through Viator. and take in the sights and food you will not be disappointed.
This was an amazing journey. My apologies if this seemed long winded. These reviews do help me with journaling my travels. I found these tips to be of help for me while doing my research. I hope this will be of benefit to others.
Celebrity will not disappoint.
Excellent- well appointed