Traveled with my mom. This was on her bucket list. When i found it on a travel site i've used before for a decent price, I called to alert her. She jumped at the chance to go.
FLIGHT: We flew from NYC to Budapest, to get 2 days of Budapest in before the cruise. We made the HUGE mistake of flying Alitalia "Magnifica" Business Class. Alitalia -- never again. The flight attendants in business didn't smile once. They acted like they absolutely HATED their jobs. Food was not good. Service was absent. Slept well in the Magnifica seat/bed though. Arrived in Rome late and missed the ONLY connecting flight a day to Budapest on alitalia. We arrived at 9:00 am and our flight to Budapest was on the other side of the airport and with customs we couldn't make it there by 9:15 am, when boarding ended. They rebooked us on the flight the next day....so we spent an entire day in an airport Hilton Garden Inn and only got ONE day in Budapest. Sucks because Budapest was amazing. Alitalia took almost 3 hours to reissue our ticket as we sat at the FCO airport completely jetlagged. They treated us like it was our fault that we missed the flight. Everyone acted like helping us was a huge inconvenience (I wonder how they treat their economoy class customers if this was our experience) and again everyone seemed to hate their job. A huge difference from the corporate culture at Delta. Thank GOD we had booked Delta on the way home,
Budapest Hotel: Stayed at the Marriott on the Danube. AMAZING view from executive lounge veranda. Awesome hotel and even better executive lounge -- with views that were just breathtaking. Will stay there again. Do yourself a favor and upgrade to the executive floor to get that dusk view. You'll never forget it. I've been to Europe over 30 times and never had the view at dusk that i had from that veranda. Wow.
Great space other than the bathroom. Tons of storage. Bathroom tiny! The shower worked fine but was tiny. Beds were very comfortable (Celebrity Aqua Class beds always are). Prefer the Aqua Class tea better on the Solstice class ship but a minor complaint. Canopes were pretty good on this ship -- better than most other Celebrity canopes. The thermostat worked great! There never was an absence of A/C like on some other ships.