Celebration - Greece and Turkey, fabulous ports of call: Thomson Celebration Cruise Review by tiggertastic

Thomson Celebration 4
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Celebration - Greece and Turkey, fabulous ports of call

Sail Date: June 2010
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Athens (Piraeus)
The issues: our parents cabin on deck 9 got flooded out on the 2nd night due to a thunderstorm, so we crammed 5 of us into our cabin for the night ( never thought I'd have to share with my future parents in law whilst on holiday) and although it was a problem at the time, Thomsons dealt with it admirably. They restored the cabin including laying a brand new carpet but as they wanted to ensure the roof was sound, they moved them to a crew cabin - exactly the same as a deluxe room. ( we had to laugh when Dad was saluted by a member of staff as he came out of his cabin!) The generators had a problem one day and an engine failed in Athens and we could not get to Izmir in time to give people lots of time to look around but we were the first cruise ship to ever dock at Cesme in Turkey and it was beautiful and the locals were thrilled to welcome us all. They even bussed the coaches from Izmir to ensure everyone's trips continued.

The food was good, Elsa, Leo and Gilbert in the More restaurant were excellent as was Nanette on the lido deck, knowing what we wanted before we chose it and decorated the table for our son's birthday which was a fantastic surprise for him. Keith is the best cruise director we have ever had in 11 cruises - he was organised, funny, often cheesy but looked like he loved every moment of his job and he knew how to organise what was on. The only problem is the teens on board had nothing organised for them. There weren't many on board but they were a little lost in what to do - well it was outside school holidays the first week. That said the older teens probably woudn't take part in what was organised anyway.

Some of the ports were great, Santorini beautiful, Rhodes town a good place to walk round, Istanbul was interesting and the Blue Mosque good. The lake at Ag Nik was pretty and we had a couple of lovely lunches in some of these places for very reasonable prices. It was the first time we had gone all inclusive and found we didn't drink anymore than we would have if we had been paying for each drink separately but it was lovely to see the smallest cruise bill we had ever had. Please do get off the ship and spend a few pound son the local food and drink, the locals need the custom and it's great to try different cuisine and it does not need to be expensive. One of the best food we had was a kebab in the hand in Canakkale and it was all of £2.50. The meal in Cesme was fantastic.

The entertainments team in the show lounge did some really good shows with a 7 min can can and a great Cameron macintosh show with Les Mis and an evening of Rocky Horror and Little shop of horrors but some of them were a little painful. It was obvious someone had a bad throat but made her continue to sing - ouch. It was really weird to have such a mixture like this. All in all we did have a fantastic time, although it took us until day 4 before we felt like we were actually on holiday - then to top it our son caught his toe getting out of the pool so we got to see the ships hospital for the first time. Lucky us! Yes she has a vibration but deck 2 is next to the engine and she is 27 years old. Hence we book a high deck and pay the extra. What this ship has is atmosphere - the larger ships we have been on can never seem to match this.

We actually visited 12 ports in 14 nights (system won't let you put more than 6) The second week had no day at sea - this was a new one on us and it was great.We also embarked in Marmaris Turkey but again not on the list of choices. We had 3 cabins as we took 2 sets of parent - so also had cabin 009 and 111. Come on Cruise Critic update your site to handle the details. Less

Published 07/11/10

Cabin review: 063

063 - suite on deck 8 - spacious with a full 6ft bed and a full double pull out sofa bed and room to move easily. Bathroom had both a bath and a shower. Good location near the lifts. 111 deck 7 and 009 deck 9 - Deluxe rooms - option for single or double beds - again with full bath and shower. 009 is near Horizons bar but far away enough not to hear it.

Port and Shore Excursions

The acropolis was worth seeing but we don't think we will ever go back. The ship trip drove around for an hour pointing out landmarks - in a bus with polarised windows so no luck taking pictures. We stopped for 5 mins at the old stadium to get pictures and then off to the acropolis.

There is no shade so go early and it gets packed - we decided to lose the guide after 15 mins and met them back at the bus - we had decided that the school type lesson was droning on a little too long at each place she stopped.

Marmaris - this is a holiday place with an old and new town - we walked all the way to the beach (30 mins) and it was pretty. They really take care of you on the beach with no charge for beds etc as long as you buy your drink from them. A lovely little paddle and lots of bargain copy goods. Son got jeans and a Liverpool shirt (copies of course but he's not bothered) for little money

Aghios Nikolas - 5 minutes walk into town and across a bridge you come to a lake where the germans were reported to have dumped their tanks at the end of the war.Lovely little restaurants around the lake and a very good price too. 3 of us ate a main meal and drank for less than $20.

It's pretty - you can get to a small sandy beach easily or walk around the limited number of shops.

Istanbul - took a cruise trip - visited the blue mosque and Hafia Sophia and the Cistern - great trip. Could have walked out of the terminal and caught the tram which stops outside both for less but the guide was well worth the money.

Read 403 Istanbul Reviews

Mykanos - where Shirley Valentine was filmed - very pretty - we tendered in. Winding whitewashed walls and streets to get lost in and a little venice for a lovely drink. A place you can do yourself easily.

We found the famous pelican sheltering from the sun under a tree - looking like he'd had his share of fish for a week.

Read 822 Mykonos Reviews

Rhodes Town - a 10 min walk maximum from the ship - an old walled town with lots of shops and bars - a good place to walk around and a pretty harbour

Read 383 Rhodes Reviews

Very difficult to review on here as the ports of call are not all listed. So we will cover a few here.

Santorini is beautiful - a volcano erupted that left the island split into a few parts. You tender in here and ride up the cable car for 4Euro each way. The white winding streets of shops are interesting and you can take a trip to Oia which has the white buildings with blue roofs that you see on all the pictures. Great bar near the cable car at the top with a great funny owner making everyone laugh. He asked my step mum if she wanted 'him or the menu' and she chose him!

Canakkale - pronounced Chanankale - visited Troy ruins - interesting but lumps of ricks and nothing has been rebuilt. The horse used in the film is in the centre harbour front in Canakkale and they have fantastic ice cream and kebabs for little money.

Cesme - wasn't supposed to stop here but it had a massive harbour with shops and the town centre was pretty - the people really friendly and they all spoke english

Nauplion - could have happily missed this one - walked around in about an hour - unless you want to climb the 999 steps to the fortress.

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