Celestyal Discovery Review

Itinerary Too Good to be True

Review for Europe - Greek Isles Cruise on Celestyal Discovery
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Reno KC
First Time Cruiser • Age 50s

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Value for Money
Public Rooms
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Sail Date: Mar 2024
Traveled with children

Having cruised a dozen or so times with several lines, we decided on Celestyal for a short 4 night cruise out of Lavrion. The itinerary was the selling point along with the timing- my daughter's Spring Break kept us locked into a specific week. We knew it probably would be a step down from the Holland Americas of the world but figured the islands visited would make up the deficit. When we booked, it was for the Olympia, but were notified in December that it would instead be on the Discovery, a refurbished 20 year-old ship that had until recently been cruising the Baltic. They don't use Piraeus but instead use Lavrion, a smaller ferry port that requires an hour taxi ride from Athens. That was not a big issue- we had a fantastic driver named Spiros and he kept us entertained the entire way. Upon arrival at Lavrion, we encountered the worst embarkation setup we'd ever seen. Mostly outside with 30 mph winds, Celestyal's organization was almost non-existent. 90 min later we were walking down the quay to the ship, the even older Olympia tied up nearby and forgotten. Finding our way to our staterooms, we started unpacking only to be shooed out by the stewards telling us no one can enter their cabins until after lunch. So we went above to the buffets with our hand luggage, only to find out they weren't opening until 1pm. No food, not even a grill by the pool. It had been a long time since breakfast in Athens and I had never encountered this in any other lines. So we waited, along with all the other passengers in a lounge, which fortunately was open- just beverages though.

The ship is small by today's standards but seemed clean and some refurbishment was ongoing. German signs are everywhere, showing its previous clientele. There is no central atrium- everything is scattered on the top 3 decks and minimal, but there are only 1200 passengers so it was mostly manageable.

Finally, after a perfunctory lifeboat drill the buffet opened, and after several days in Athens enjoying culinary delights the food was just adequate. But we were hungry and hunger trumps adequate.

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