We (wife and I, and another couple – call us “late 50’s”) chose this cruise as we wanted to experience a European cruise after doing several Caribbean cruises. This was our 3rd cruise on Celebrity. The Venice-Rome, and Dalmatian Coast was highly appealing to us as we have read so much about these areas. Port stops were Rijeka, Split, and Dubrovnik (Croatia); Kotor, Montenegro; Valleta, Malta; Catania, Sicily; Naples, Italy; and ending in Rome (Civitevecchia).
We flew into Venice a day in advance and stayed at the Hotel Olimpia, which is very convenient to the cruise port. It could not have been better for us. Although it was raining on embarkation day, we found it very easy to get to the Marittima Cruise Port via the people mover. Embarkation was as easy and fast as we have ever experienced. We were on board in no more than about 20 minutes, start to finish.
The staff welcomed us as they always have, with a glass of sparkling wine. Having been on the Infinity 2 years prior, the ship was immediately familiar. Overall, the Connie is in very good shape – very clean, well maintained. We get that she is older and will be spiffed up shortly, however there was NOTHING we could find that detracted from our cruise experience! Our room was in fine condition, and we did not experience “threadbare” conditions as I have seen in some reviews.
We were lucky to have left Venice when we did, for shortly after our departure, the city experienced their epic flooding that we only heard about later. We did dodge wind and rain for good parts of the cruise, however we were still able to enjoy our cruise. One port stop, Kotor, Montenegro, was cancelled due to advancing Adriatic weather systems, however they diverted to Corfu, Greece rather than settle for a sea day. That decision was made early, and we are thankful for the consideration for passenger safety.
Food is always subjective, but we always enjoyed all of our options. The menu in the MDR is somewhat repetitious from past cruises, however our food was always well prepared and tasty. Options in the OVC were varied, and we could always find options for the few meals we ate there. We did the Tuscan Grille one night to celebrate the birthday of one of our travel companions. This particular night was their “seafood night”, so they did not have their usual menu. We had the mixed seafood grill, and the amount of food was staggering. The staff also wanted us to have lobster, so they went ahead and gave us all a lobster too! It was very good, but not over the top. The wait staff was amazing, though!
Entertainment was very good overall. The House Band (“Cardinals”) and Music Soup were amazing (heard mostly in the Rendezvous Lounge). I am a musician, and the pianist is stunningly good! For “down time”, we really enjoyed the Stonewall Acoustic Duo (usually in the Cellermasters) – and got to know them a bit while on board. Very friendly folks! We only made it to one production show due to the busy itinerary - it was pretty good, but not over the top. Two different evenings featured British entertainers – one a “piano guy” (did all Elton John, Billy Joel, etc), and a female singer (seriously funny, and an amazing voice). Comedians were a bit “hit and miss”. Overall….quite happy with the entertainment.
The port stops were amazing – we mostly did private tours for the 4 of us. We did opt for ship credit to do ship tours from Catania, Sicily (Taste of Mt. Etna and Taormina), and Naples (Taste of Pompeii and Sorrento). They were good, but we do believe we were spoiled by the private tours. However, the distances travelled on these 2 tours dictated that we felt we should be on a ship tour.
Disembarkation was among the fastest ever! Our suitcases were easy to locate, and the lines easy to navigate. Bravo!
OVERALL – we thoroughly enjoyed this cruise. Everything, but for 1 port stop, went according to plan. While we do prefer the S-Class ships (Murano!!), we were very satisfied with our experience one the Connie. She was very warm and comfortable, and the staff was amazing. We would certainly book this ship (and M-Class) if the itinerary dictates it. Kudos to some of our favorite folks: Sanyan (stateroom attendant, Deck 3), Dawangga (bar service), Akor (bar service – Rendezvous Lounge); Carlos (MDR), and so many others!
Very clean and comfortable. Ample storage space for everything, and room for the suitcase under the bed!
We just walked around. It is Venice...how can one go wrong! We did enjoy the sun the day before embarkation, as the weather turned gray and rainy.
Vjeran with Tours by Locals gave us an amazing tour! Also a wonderful locals restaurant that tourists would never find, and right around the Diacletian Palace area!View All undefined undefined Reviews
An amazing tour provided by our guide, Victoria. We went to a fishing village, the Blue Grotto, the megalithic ruins, Mdina, and had lunch followed by a walking tour of Valletta. Terrific day, and a terrific guide!View All undefined undefined Reviews
We did the Taste of Mt. Etna and Taormina. Very good tour, but so limited for time in Taormina. Wish there were more time.
A great day, even in the rain. So glad we were able to experience Pompeii after the port was nearly closed earlier in the day.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Booked with Rome In Limo. Our driver Luca was amazing! We saw everything we wanted to see, had a private tour (with guide) of the Vatican Museum/St. Peters/Sistene Chapel, and drop offs for photos at so many places. Also a leisurely, delicious lunch at an Osteria Restaurant with homemade pasta, free-flowing wine, etc. Amazing end to a wonderful cruise!!View All undefined undefined Reviews