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573 Greece Cruise Reviews

This ship was Recommended by our sister in law who had previously sailed on the Spirit. We found the cruise to be extremely well organized from start to finish. We were kept very well informed of any and all changes that were made due ... Read More
This ship was Recommended by our sister in law who had previously sailed on the Spirit. We found the cruise to be extremely well organized from start to finish. We were kept very well informed of any and all changes that were made due to weather. Embarkation and disembarkation went extremely well. Couldn't ask for better. We found the staff to be extremely courteous, polite, friendly, and engaging. We did not eat at the buffet. However, we found all the restaurants and specialty restaurants to be very satisfying. Not out of this world, but very satisfying. All of the Tours were amazing, except for the Hop On / Hop Off Malta. There was very little information provided to us during this tour. Norwegian explained that it is not their tour and had no control over the content. If that's the case, we personally don't believe they should be offering to sell it if it's sub standard. It ruined our day in Malta. We had an amazing trip, which in our view was by and large due to the staff on board. They simply couldn't do enough for us. Our only complaint was the flights. Norwegian booked our flights as part of the package. Apparently our cruise booking was a promotion and as such we were not allowed to upgrade our seats on the Air Alitalia flight from JFK to Rome and back. This was NOT MADE CLEAR TO US WHEN BOOKING, otherwise we would have booked our own flights. This was a major aggravation and very disappointing. If his is the rule, this should be made very clear to customers when booking !! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This cruise was part of a Globus land tour of Greece. Embarkation was one of the smoothest ever experienced I'm sure because the Ship was only 3/4 full. We enjoyed the free drink package at no extra cost which was a real treat. ... Read More
This cruise was part of a Globus land tour of Greece. Embarkation was one of the smoothest ever experienced I'm sure because the Ship was only 3/4 full. We enjoyed the free drink package at no extra cost which was a real treat. You had a great selection of beer, wine and spirts. The service aboard was both professional and extremely friendly. The food was fantastic! We ate in the main dinning room 2 nights and enjoyed a great steak and a wonderful Chicken Kiev. Lots of choices with really great service. As others have reviewed, the excursions were a bit rushed. We were lucky to be on the first tinder to Santoriani, so we were able to get the photos we wanted. There were 5 ports of call on this sailing, so you were pretty busy! I really was surprised in how much I enjoyed this cruise. I've cruised many times before on much larger ships. Don't be afraid to try it! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This is our fourth, and now last, Windstar cruise. The ship, the Windstar, is run down and tacky. The food was awful. The equipment in the “gym” creeky and poorly maintained. Lastly the shore excursions were often boardering on ... Read More
This is our fourth, and now last, Windstar cruise. The ship, the Windstar, is run down and tacky. The food was awful. The equipment in the “gym” creeky and poorly maintained. Lastly the shore excursions were often boardering on worthless. Internet? $245 a week for minimal and often nonexistent service. And all this for a premium price. Windstar needs to up its game considerably if it want to play in the premium market. Right now it a mid level experience with a too high price tag. Maybe it’s that the smaller ships aren’t as profitable but they have ignored the Windstar. When I complained, it took many tries to get an answer. The food was not fresh because we never docked in a port only anchored. Really? The poor satellite reception for the TV and internet was due to ground and sea interferences. Isn’t this 2019? All in all, it’s time to move on from Windstar. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I'll start by saying we travel a lot, but aren't "cruise people". We've only been on one other cruise. Most of our travel is self-booked, no groups, tours, etc. That said, we were looking to do something out of the ... Read More
I'll start by saying we travel a lot, but aren't "cruise people". We've only been on one other cruise. Most of our travel is self-booked, no groups, tours, etc. That said, we were looking to do something out of the ordinary and special for our 35th anniversary cruise, and had our sights set on exploring a few greek islands. After looking at options including cruises, flights, and water taxis, we decided on the 3-night Celestyal Olympia cruise. We figured that if it didn't agree with us, 3 nights would be OK. We liked the smattering taste-test of the islands, and we liked that two excursions were included. Embarkation was a breeze for us, but read the cabin details for possible explanation. Yes, the ship is old, but it's been refurbished quite nicely. It was perhaps a little nicer than expected. I think we had 1,000 passengers, so quite a bit under capacity. That may have helped with things for our cruise. Staff was exemplary! Every single staff member we interacted with was just so nice and helpful. There were no exceptions to this: from the Master (captain), who told us how to find our room (we didn't know who he was at the time), to the people who gave out towels as we came back aboard, 100% of them were just great. The food was better than expected. We like greek food, but were certainly not limited to that. The Texas BBQ night was superbly executed and very popular. Entertainment was OK, but we didn't really pursue that at all. We really enjoyed both of the included excursions in Turkey and Crete! A lot. Really added value for us. We did not book any other excursions. Yes, some of the island stays are very brief, but we knew that going in. They were long enough to learn where we might want to return some day. Getting off the boat for island visits seemed very organized to us, and went smoothly. Again, some of this was due to our cabin selection. We learned that people who booked excursions got off first (!), then cabins by rank/number, then people who were staying at the location (not getting back on the boat). We didn't even look at any other excursions, so I don't know what the options or cost were, but worth considering if you want to get off the boat first. Lastly, I should mention I was fighting a nasty kidney stone the entire cruise, and it really compromised my ability to enjoy food, drink, and a couple of the excursions. This is no reflection on Celestyal at all; on the contrary, the staff were very understanding and supportive of my situation. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We went from Athens to Cyprus, then Israel for 5 days (2 ports), then Crete and back to Athens. We stayed at the Electra Palace. Very good location, good shopping and restaurant near by. We also ate at the hotel. Breakfasts were excellent. ... Read More
We went from Athens to Cyprus, then Israel for 5 days (2 ports), then Crete and back to Athens. We stayed at the Electra Palace. Very good location, good shopping and restaurant near by. We also ate at the hotel. Breakfasts were excellent. Dinner on the 7th floor with the Acropolis overlook us. spectacular. We had an N2 cabin, port side near the aft elevators. The cabin was one of the best we have been in at sea with a generous balcony and plenty of room to walk around the bed and lots of storage space. We chose to eat at the two specialty restaurants for dinners as the food, service and ambiance are better there than in the main dining room. The eating area upstairs is a little cramped and not always well-supplied, but the food is edible if not terrific. Our butler and room staff were outstanding. We were 4 friends and used private tours the entire trip as we don't like going on those big buses. We are already booking our next N2 Azamara. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Our table was 671 and they always make sure we had that table right by the window and our waiter Mr. Kumar was amazing and he spoiled us like we have never been spoiled before. Pankaj Kumar, we will never forget you The food was ... Read More
Our table was 671 and they always make sure we had that table right by the window and our waiter Mr. Kumar was amazing and he spoiled us like we have never been spoiled before. Pankaj Kumar, we will never forget you The food was amazing our rooms were perfect the balcony could use a little bit more space but otherwise it was fantastic. But the entertainment wasn’t Las Vegas style it was just pretty average.. We ended up just taking in two shows that’s about it The shore excursions were great we loved every minute of it only thing is there wasn’t enough time in Santorini which is a real drag it would’ve been nice if we had more time there. Our rooms or shall I say our beds were really comfortable shower was clean and housekeeping was fantastic I would definitely recommend MCS opera Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I was really looking forward for this vacation, but it became terrible after booking this cruise. The ship was small, old and there was really nothing to do onboard. They didn’t even have the pools available to swim. I have been in ... Read More
I was really looking forward for this vacation, but it became terrible after booking this cruise. The ship was small, old and there was really nothing to do onboard. They didn’t even have the pools available to swim. I have been in different cruises before and I figured it was alright since the port destinations would make up for it. I was wrong, the excursions available were very unorganized. Staff was rude and unfriendly. There was no planned activities. Staff was not knowledgeable on instructions. They would announce meeting points at a certain time and they would be late. Food was terrible. Not much to do in she ship. I was traveling with 7 family members and we all felt the same way. I tried expressing my concerns to the cruise staff, but it was a waste of time. They simply didn't care. Never traveling in this cruise line again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
OK!
7 nite Athens Greece, round trip, 9/19 Cruise was fine, not unpleasant. Friendly crew, outstanding food and service related to food. Cabin comfortable but really missed having a private veranda (and just for the record, had one of us ... Read More
7 nite Athens Greece, round trip, 9/19 Cruise was fine, not unpleasant. Friendly crew, outstanding food and service related to food. Cabin comfortable but really missed having a private veranda (and just for the record, had one of us been quarantined here, as we observed happening to someone we had met, the same size and layout would have made for a miserable experience). Simple entertainment-evening duo-very enjoyable. Found co-passengers somewhat unsociable, missed the “cruise director” who would have facilitated interaction. Included event at Ephesus awesome. Two ports were cancelled, one shortened several hours, because of wind. Had the impression had been going on all summer. Poor planning of alternative activities, excursions, when situation changed. Purchased excursions costly, did not include all activities listed in descriptions. This was our first experience with a more “upscale” cruise experience and did not find it to be at all worth the additional cost. Although parts of the experience were better, many were the same, at double the expense. Large ships with problems can be uncontrollable and miserable, this not especially better. Believe it is time to return to other forms of travel. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Choose this cruise to experience Greece and its food, drink and culture. The good is that Princess did an awesome job on embarkment (no wait) and disembarkment. Excursion organization and cleanliness, and great staff. It couldn’t have ... Read More
Choose this cruise to experience Greece and its food, drink and culture. The good is that Princess did an awesome job on embarkment (no wait) and disembarkment. Excursion organization and cleanliness, and great staff. It couldn’t have been any better. I rated 4 stars because I wouldn’t take this cruise again. It was boring. Entertainment was for older people ( we were a party of 8 in our late 50s and early 60s). Pool parties and piano bar weren’t what we had on other cruise lines. After dinner we struggled to find things to do. We were looking for dancing or comedy. There was one great band with a woman singer that we found 2 nights and that was the entertainment highlight. We had people in our party fall asleep and leave during auditorium shows. We did trivia a few times and that was fun. Food and drink were awesome. Service was exemplary. Shore excursions ... mostly good, organized, good guides and clean bus on all with no waits. Crete we did a beach excursion and when we got there there weren’t enough lounge chairs for our party to be together, stained cushions on loungers and you couldn’t swim cause of the rocks .. not what we expected. Now Corfus excursion was awesome town and cooking class. Highlight of the trip. We booked wanting to see white beaches and bluest water with the white buildings and saw none:(. Too windy to go to Mykonos (which we booked for) and princess did nothing for us that day ie, free drinks, more entertainment so that felt like a wasted day. One more thing, we were on a Greek cruise and the nightly dining had no Italian or Greek food or appetizers. Would highly recommend they change this to have 2 or 3 options for the area every night. Also the wine and beer of that region would be a plus. Would recommend this cruise for older people. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
It started with watching the guys throwing our bags on the conveyor belt and when we received our bags the handle was broken , the bag was brand new bought for this trip now the extension handle is broken. The food was very poor especially ... Read More
It started with watching the guys throwing our bags on the conveyor belt and when we received our bags the handle was broken , the bag was brand new bought for this trip now the extension handle is broken. The food was very poor especially the 2 bbqs the food was cold and all the meat so dry and tough , the corn was terrible as well we left a whole plate full of food. The entertainment was very average they had Greek dancers at on the pool deck dancing which went for about 30 minutes each dance seems the same. The islands themselves were great we totally enjoyed them, Thank God there was something to look forward to. We even ate there to get a decent meal as we could not rely on the food of the ship.being our first cruise we were so looking forward to it as our friends have talked them up. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
just back from what was supposed to be a fantastic cruise due to the itinery which was brilliant, pity we cant say the same about the ship, where do you begin, having got to our cabin the dissapointment began although relatively clean the ... Read More
just back from what was supposed to be a fantastic cruise due to the itinery which was brilliant, pity we cant say the same about the ship, where do you begin, having got to our cabin the dissapointment began although relatively clean the cabin was tired looking and in need of a refurb, this was supposed to be a delux balcony cabin not the words id choose but anyway the next day at breakfast we went up to the buffet restaurant and there wasnt a table to sit at ! we wandered round f or 10 minutes trying to find a table which we grabbed as soon as one was vacated, dont know why we bothered as the bacon was like leather and the eggs void of any taste that resembled an egg, i lived on cereal for the next fortnight, so dismayed at the breakfast we thought we would grab a sun bed with it being a sailing day, boy were we optimistic not a sunbed in sight, with 1,800 passengers there was probably enough sunbeds for a small fraction of that number we couldnt even find a table and chairs in the sun and this was the scenario for the whole of the fortnight. next we thought we would drown our sorrows, chance would of been a fine thing as the alcohol was weak or watered down, and so to the evening meal ... yes youve guessed queues down the corridor and when you got to the front we were told on several occasions oh you will have to take a pager we will call you when there is a table available, one night it was 10.0 clock we were having our evening meal which we complained about to the restaurant manager but we were ignored . this cruise cost us over £5500 and wasnt worth even half that, to sum up the ship takes on too many passengers than what it can cope with and will certaainly not be booking again wiyh them but will be oing back to p&o who are excellent cruise providers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Let me list the points: 1) Accommodation - we paid for a cat A cabin and on arrival were shown to a cabin with twin beds. We argued that we booked a double but manager just shrugged shoulders and said boat was full which turned out to ... Read More
Let me list the points: 1) Accommodation - we paid for a cat A cabin and on arrival were shown to a cabin with twin beds. We argued that we booked a double but manager just shrugged shoulders and said boat was full which turned out to be a complete lie. Met the couple opposite us and they had been booked into cat B and then decided they didn't like the cabin and were given an upgrade (at a discounted rate) to a double room. My bed was 1 metre wide, against a wall with a bunk bed folded above it. It is just a foam mattress on the hard base which had a slope from all the previous people lying on one side trying to avoid hitting their head on the bunk. The sheets were worn and yellowing. The room was dirty - can see the dust in the gaps between the furniture, the bathroom was only 2 stars, the shower curtain didn't reach the bottom so we constantly had water running over the floor. When the sea is rough the water doesn't drain properly. Toilet didn't flush properly. Another couple we met had exactly the same complaint re lack of double room. 2) Food - average 3) Diesel fumes - it didn't matter what deck you were on there was a constant smell of diesel fumes - absolutely nauseating. 4) We booked this through Peregrine and after about 4 weeks they responded to our complaint and offered 10% discount off the next tour we book with them. Well after having one horror experience there is no way we would book any other tours with them. 5) Itinerary - changed due to weather conditions. Can appreciate that. 6) shore excursions extra. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Warning and apologies in advance for how ridiculously long this is going to be! Feel free to pass on by. :) My husband and I met our 23-year-old daughter in Venice (she lives in Germany) to embark on the NCL Star 7-day Greek Isles ... Read More
Warning and apologies in advance for how ridiculously long this is going to be! Feel free to pass on by. :) My husband and I met our 23-year-old daughter in Venice (she lives in Germany) to embark on the NCL Star 7-day Greek Isles cruise August 18-25, 2019. Planned stops were Kotor (Montenegro), Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos, and Argostoli (all Greece), and Dubrovnik (Croatia). At check-in we found that the Venice Portmaster had, for some reason, mandated that the ship leave about 4 hours later, which meant we wouldn’t be able to stop in Kotor the next day. It was disappointing, but since there was clearly nothing we could do about it we just decided to enjoy having a day at sea. CABIN: For our first time ever, we upgraded from our usual balcony to a suite. The Star doesn’t have a Haven, but has the “Family Suite” (plus other suites), which was awesome, and great value for the money! The bed was one of the most comfortable we’ve ever slept in. We were in 12026, which had plenty of space for the 3 of us. There’s no balcony, but (almost) floor to ceiling windows. Not gonna lie, I did miss having a balcony, but I would still book that type of suite again over a smaller balcony cabin. Plus, we were very close to the pool area so could easily go outside there. Our daughter had the choice of a murphy bed or a fold-out couch. She chose the murphy bed, and the steward got it out for her each evening and put it away each day. It had a curtain that went all the way around it for plenty of privacy, which was nice. The bathroom was amazing compared to regular balcony cabin bathrooms!! There was actually room to move, plus two sinks and a separate tub and shower. You have to go through the walk-in closet, which is a bit small, to get to the bathroom, but that wasn’t a big deal to us. NEED TO KNOW: This cabin had no USB ports near the bed, and only one European outlet on each side of bed, which had lamps plugged in. My husband had to unplug his lamp and use a converter to use his CPAP machine, and I had to plug my phone in across the room, which made it hard to hear my alarm. Also, there is no outlet in the bathroom except for shavers. However, there is a big mirror and counter space in the main room with plenty of outlets (U.S. and European), and there were 2 hair dryers in the room. TIPS: ~ If you’re going to book a Family Suite on the Star, try to book 12030, 12032, 12530, or 12532. They’re a bit bigger due to angling of the ship. ~ Definitely bring converters and power strips for more plug-in options, and if you’re bringing a curling iron, curling wand, or hair straightener make sure they’re dual-voltage so you’ll have a choice of either U.S. or European outlets. ~ Suites get snacks & treats delivered to the room each afternoon. If you want to keep something (like chocolate-covered strawberries), put it in your mini fridge, otherwise they’ll take it away later. GETTING TO CRUISE: We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn Venice Mestre San Giulano the night before the cruise. In my research I had been under the impression that the farthest we could be driven was to the People Mover, so had planned to take that. However, our taxi driver was able (by showing our cruise documents) to take us all the way to the actual ship, which was awesome! I believe that taxi ride was around 35 euro. EMBARKATION: Since we were in a suite, we got priority boarding which was awesome! They had mailed us priority luggage tags ahead of time, and as soon as they saw our tags, they came to us, checked our bags, and escorted us to a priority area with light food & beverages. They brought our room key cards to us there. We were the first ones on the ship, and were led on and brought to Cagney's for lunch (suite guests have options of free breakfast and lunch in a couple of the specialty restaurants throughout the cruise). After lunch we went to the pool bar and hung out there all afternoon. Our suite was open by about 1:45 p.m., but our luggage didn't come until around 4:00 (we expected that so we weren’t upset). Muster was at 5:00 p.m., and went very quickly and smoothly. We had a couple of issues trying to set up the social media internet package and were finally told to go to the "Internet Manager" on Deck 9 who fixed our issue within 2 minutes. PHONE/INTERNET: Make sure you go into airplane mode when you’re leaving each port, or you could get big phone charges! You can still get onto the ship’s app for free while you’re in airplane mode, and the ship’s internet if you pay for it. One of our Free-at-Sea offers was 250 internet minutes, which my husband planned to use. However, he forgot to turn it off the first night, and wasted it. I told him to go talk to guest services and they might give him some time back, but he didn’t care enough to do that. My daughter and I both bought the social media package. We were going to share one (by taking turns), but then she wanted her own, so we were each able to have it on at all times on the ship, which was really nice. It worked great for Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and Snapchat. Not sure about Twitter; I didn’t try it. We could upload and send pics without a problem; it was just a little slow at times. When we got into each port, we went out of airplane mode and used Verizon data for $10/day. You can also pay around $10 per person for the entire cruise to communicate with each other through the ship’s app while on board. SHIP ENTERTAINMENT: I had seen several reviews in which people said they were disappointed with the entertainment on this cruise. Maybe our standards are lower but we seriously enjoyed almost everything we watched! We saw Band on the Run, the Vegas Show, Paradis, Craig Halliday (violinist), a magician/contortionist show, and an aerobatic show by a married couple. Band on the Run was the first night, and when it started I thought it was going to just be so-so quality, but it ended up being very good! Vegas and Paradis were fantastic, as was Craig Halliday and the aerobatic show. The only show we weren’t super enthusiastic about was the magician. He was decent, but lots of his tricks were repetitive (just different boxes to appear and disappear in), and it was easy to figure most of them out. We also went to the Atrium lounge for Neil Diamond music by the “Melodic Trio,” which was really nice. TIP: The BALCONY SIDE SEATS are excellent if you can get a front row in them! We were quite close to the stage (looking down on it) and could see great, plus had extra leg room and a ledge on which to put our drinks, which the regular seats didn’t have. OTHER SHIP FUN: We went to Bliss Lounge for a “Finish That Song” game show, which was lots of fun but they clearly wanted the game to end in a tie (not a big deal, but what’s the point?). We went to World Landmark Trivia and were disappointed when it ended up being World Flag Trivia, but we played anyway and managed to guess a few correctly. We went to the “Not So Newlywed” game in Bliss, which was hilarious (as expected). It is definitely not kid-friendly, but the staff in charge kept warning people of that, so nobody can say they didn’t know ahead of time. We went to Bingo once, but they didn’t have enough players so they gave us our money back and let us play for free. We went to the Perfect Couple game, which was fun and funny, but also not for all audiences. Overall had a good time doing those things. We aren’t super late-night people, so didn’t go to any of the late parties and other events. SHIP SPECIAL SERVICES: My daughter and I got “Fire & Ice” pedicures (involves hot rocks) in the spa, and they were awesome! They cost $75 each, plus gratuity, so came out to $88 each. There was another option that was only $6 less but it didn’t include as much leg and foot pampering, so we were glad we’d splurged the little bit of extra. We also attended one of the “Canvas By U” sessions (painting by instructions) for $35 and had lots of fun, plus have our paintings as souvenirs. NOT-SO-GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE: I had read a lot of other reviews about this cruise and ship, and noticed quite a bit of negativity about customer service. Honestly, I thought people were just being a bit whiny, but now I have to agree, because this cruise had the poorest customer service we’ve ever experienced on an NCL cruise. It wasn’t bad enough to ruin our trip, and since we’ve had other good NCL experiences we know this wasn’t representative of all NCL cruises, but it was still surprising and disappointing. Examples: ~ We had heard/read that with a suite we would get a butler. We had a letter in our room from ours telling us to call anytime, but we literally never saw him until Thursday morning (on a Sunday-Sunday cruise), and then we just happened to notice his name tag when he was helping in the priority disembarkation area for Mykonos. We saw him a few times in our room after that, but he was always in a big rush. We didn’t have any particular needs that weren’t being met, but we also didn’t experience anything special from him. I don’t know if this was because NCL had him spread too thin doing other things, or if it was just his work habit, but we talked to other people in a suite and they said their butler was awesome. ~ In a suite you get free room service, but when we tried to call for breakfast one morning, nobody answered. The menu had said we could leave a door hanger menu out at night to order for the next day, but we didn’t have any of those in our room. I called the concierge later and told her that, so we got some after that and when we did get room service it was reasonably decent. ~ The morning that we couldn’t get room service for breakfast I went to the cereal and yogurt bar out by the pool, and they had no spoons out. It wasn’t that they’d run out, they literally didn’t put them out. I’m fine with mistakes happening, and I didn’t throw any kind of fit over it (just asked for a spoon), but I thought it was kind of ridiculous to forget when the food items there could pretty much only be eaten with a spoon. ~ We went to O'Sheehans at 11:30 for lunch one day before docking. We were told lunch didn’t start until 11:45, so we asked if we could just sit at a table and wait until 11:45. They said yes, and seated us with menus. That was the last time they came to our table for over 30 minutes. I finally had to flag down a server to take our order. ~ They have a midweek laundry special, which is one bag for $20 (I recommend doing this!). We had it ready and was told we’d have everything back by noon the next day. Noon came and went, and we heard nothing. We finally called around 5:00 p.m. and somebody brought it to us. GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE: In spite of that list above, we also experienced some excellent service! Our steward, Richard, was fantastic all week; he was cheerful and pleasant, and was present whenever needed. ALL of our bartenders went above and beyond to exhibit great service, which was probably enhanced by the pile of $1 bills my husband had brought and was tipping with for each drink (yes, he had already prepaid required gratuities, but he knows how far a few bucks of appreciation can go and has no problem doing that). They were calling us by name starting on the first day and remembered us every time we saw them throughout the ship. One night in Versailles the server asked if we were planning to attend the 7:30 show and we said yes, so she said she would take special care to make sure we had everything in plenty of time, and she did. Also, our daughter’s birthday was the last day of the cruise. There was a birthday card waiting in the room when we started that she could use in any restaurant to celebrate her birthday, which we used in La Cucina and she got a free mini cake. I decorated a corner of our suite for her birthday and apparently our steward saw that, so he left us another mini cake. And the last night when we were eating at Cagney’s, they heard us mention her birthday so they brought out ANOTHER mini cake and sang to her! FOOD: ~ Ginza – Ate dinner there twice. Excellent food; slightly slow service but very friendly. Small portions, which worked for me because I ordered a few different courses, but hearty eaters might want to get 2 entrees (my husband did). ~ O’Sheehan’s – Went for late night snack, and remembered nachos not being great from our last NCL cruise, but decided to give them another try. I still like them more loaded but they worked. Somebody nearby got wings that looked and smelled delicious. Also went there for breakfast one morning and it was excellent. ~ Moderno – Suite guests can eat breakfast there for free, so we did twice, and it was very good (same menu both times). Also had one of our specialty dinners there. If you’ve ever eaten at Fogo de Chao (a land-based Brazilian steakhouse chain), this doesn’t match up, but if you haven’t then it’s fine. ~ Versailles (main dining room) – Had a lunch and a dinner there, and it was good both times. ~ Cagney's – Ate lunch there twice (free due to suite), and had our last night’s specialty dinner there. Very good food and service, but if you’re not a steak eater I recommend checking the menus ahead of time (I’m not but my husband really is, which is why we went). I had seen it earlier in the week and there was at least one chicken option, but the night we went there wasn’t. Also, the appetizer options were only three seafood choices and one “thick bacon.” That’s not a complaint; just good to know, especially if somebody doesn’t care for seafood. ~ La Cucina – Another specialty dining choice. Good food and service, but nothing super memorable. ~ Aqua (another main dining room) – Ate there twice, good food and service. ~ Garden Café (buffet) – Meh. Not terrible, not great. Super crowded during expected busy times, but not bad at other times. ~ Room service – I already discussed that earlier, but something to note is that even though my husband and daughter could order free soft drinks in restaurants with their Unlimited Beverage Package, that wasn’t the case with room service. We got charged $3.50 for each Pepsi Max, because apparently with room service cans are the only option and those aren’t free (except in the casino for certain player levels). If they had told us that when we ordered, we would have declined and gotten our caffeine elsewhere. (BTW, the suites come with a coffee maker, similar in operation to Keurig.) DISEMBARKATION/LEAVING CRUISE: We chose to carry our own luggage off because for us it was more of a hassle to have it ready by midnight the night before. Being in a suite, we got priority disembarkation, which meant we could go to the Ginza restaurant between 7:45 and 9:30 a.m. and get escorted off the ship ahead of others. It was fairly seamless. We were planning to take a taxi to our hotel (staying one more night in Venice), and we saw a taxi line right when we got off the ship. However, there were no taxis there and upon further investigation we discovered that those would have only taken us to the outside of the cruise port. So, we just walked out (took maybe 10 minutes) and caught a taxi there. We were staying at the Doubletree Venice North, which was quite a ways away (closer to the airport), and it cost 75 euro. Taxi driver only wanted cash, so I had to run over to an ATM (it was right there) to get that. After arriving at the Doubletree, I saw that they had a shuttle to & from the cruise port that would have been 12.50 euro per person, so of course wish I would have checked that ahead of time. EXCURSIONS: ~ Venice – We arrived in Venice the day before the cruise around 9:00 a.m. After taking our luggage to our hotel, we purchased a 24-hour ACTV (public transportation) pass for 20 euro. This was good for all buses, local trains, and vaporettos (public water taxis), and was really easy to use. I recommend downloading the MyPass Venezia app before you go, and then just purchasing from there. (You can also purchase the cruise port People Mover ticket from there for 1.50 euro.) We just showed it to the driver on the bus, and then when we got to the water taxi stop, we had to go to the machine, hold it up to a scanner, and have it print us a paper ticket to use for the rest of the day. We didn’t spend time on actual Venice that day; we used the pass to boat-hop to Murano (famous for glass-blowing), Burano (famous for lace-making), and Torcello (first place Venetians settled in the 5th century, and has a church dating back to the 600’s, plus a 12th-century bell tower that you can climb for 5 euro). We loved all of them, but especially Burano and Torcello, because they weren’t very crowded. Highly recommend visiting these places if you have time, and it was a good way to stay awake after traveling all night. You can also take a more formal tour to all 3 islands for around 20 euro, but you’ll have to pay to get to wherever that leaves from, and our passes included that transportation, plus gave us more flexibility on time. We used Google Maps to figure out where to go, and it told us exactly which boats and buses to take. ~ Corfu – We booked NCL’s “4x4 Adventure” and LOVED IT!!!!! Seriously, it was our favorite excursion the entire week. You have to be able to drive a manual-transmission jeep and be comfortable starting from hills. Everybody gets a small jeep and drives in a caravan all over the island. We were able to go many places that the buses couldn’t, due to size. We went up the side of a mountain that had 27 zigzag turns to the village of Sokraki, which was small, peaceful, and beautiful. We also went to Bella Vista (“beautiful view”) and it was amazing! They served us ouzo or wine there, plus a few snacks, while we overlooked the amazing blue water. Then we drove to the Koum Quat distillery where we learned a bit about them, saw what they made, and sampled the liqueur and candy. It was fun, beautiful, relaxing, and we felt like we got more of the island flavor by visiting the less populated areas. I HIGHLY recommend this! NOTE: They had us fill out a scary-sounding waiver on the ship before we left and told us to give it to the guide, but when I tried to give it to him he laughed and said we wouldn’t need it! TIP: If you have a backseat passenger, bring a towel or something to put on the seat. Our daughter wore shorts, and the back seat got REALLY hot whenever we parked. ~ Santorini – We booked NCL’s “Charming Oia & Winery” excursion, which we enjoyed very much. I wanted to see the island, but my daughter wanted to see a winery, and this was a nice happy medium. We didn’t spend too much time at the winery, and the views from there were incredible. After that our bus took us to Oia, which has the amazing blue & white buildings you see in so many Greece pictures, and after some time there took us to Fira, where we had the option of taking the cable car down to the ship tender (2-hour wait), riding donkeys (DON’T—it’s cruel!), or walking (we did that). I had read that Santorini is ridiculously crowded, and that was true. Even though this was the location I had most been looking forward to on the cruise, once was definitely enough because I don’t have the patience for that many people. However, I’m glad I went, and the tour we chose was a good fit for us. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable about the history and customs on Santorini, and I was never bored during the ride. I was surprised how “not green” the island looked; I didn’t realize rain is such a rare occurrence there. After we got to Fira my husband and daughter were ready to go back to the ship, but I wanted to stay in Fira for a little shopping, plus watch the sunset from there. I watched part of the sunset, but then decided I also wanted a bit of light while walking down, and it was beautiful watching the sun set the rest of the way on my journey down the hill. As far as the steps go, even though our tour guide had advised against walking, it really wasn’t bad and we were all glad we’d gone that way. You have to dodge a few donkeys and a bit of donkey dung, but there’s plenty of room. Each step is around 4 feet deep and at least 5 feet wide. They do all slant a teeny bit downhill, so I recommend some type of closed-toed shoes. I was wearing Croc flip flops, which are usually my most comfortable walking shoes, but my feet kept sliding down into them since the steps slanted down. TIP: Make sure you have euro coins for restrooms! (Actually, this applies everywhere we went.) And keep in mind that some of the restrooms are just holes in the ground. I paid 0.50 euro for that privilege. ~ Mykonos – We didn’t book anything ahead, because everything I’d read made it sound like we could just wing it. My husband stayed on the ship so it was just my daughter and me. I had read about “Mykonos Farmers,” a local creamery that supposedly made fantastic cheese and Greek yogurt, so we looked on a map and found it. We were going to get a taxi or bus, but decided to walk to Starbucks first (my daughter’s town in Germany doesn’t have one so she was quite excited). It was about a 20-minute walk through some really cute areas, but also included SUPER long and high hills, and (worse than that), walking on a very busy road with no sidewalks or shoulders. But we made it without a problem. By then we were only a 30-minute walk from Mykonos Farmers, so we set off to do that, with similar hills and unsafe roads, so when we saw a car rental place we decided to give that a try. The first one quoted 80 euro, so I said no (we only needed it for about 4 hours). The second one quoted 60 euro, plus said we could return it at the port (which we were somewhat far from by then), so we went for that. I didn’t need an international driver’s license; she just took down info from my license and CC number. She said she only needed the CC number “just in case,” but actually wanted us to pay in cash. I told her I needed to go to an ATM, and she said I could do that while we had the car and just bring her the money when we return it, which was really nice. So we took the car (a 2-seater SmartCar) and were thrilled that we had done that! I’d read horror stories about driving in Mykonos, but it wasn’t bad at all, especially in such a small car, and we were able to accomplish so much more than we would have. We drove to Mykonos Farmers and LOVED IT!! The owner, Yiorgos Syrianos, was gracious enough to give us a spontaneous tour (12 euro each) and was extremely proud when telling us about the generations-old techniques they use, with very little modern technology, to create their very creamy yogurt and flavorful cheese (both of which we got to sample!). He learned everything from his grandmother, and has passed it down to his son. We got to sample quite a bit of the amazing yogurt, plus 3 different cheeses, and little toast things with cheese spread, all included in the price of the tour. We purchased cheese, because he said certain types could stay unrefrigerated for up to a week. It was seriously fantastic, and we were the only guests there so it felt very personal and local. Apparently you can also book cooking classes there. After that we drove to a beach to take some photos, and then went to the Little Venice area, which is by the windmills. We had to pay 12 euro to park there (not a big deal, but good to know). Little Venice had the typical Greek tourist shopping we’d come to expect, but it was still fun to walk around. When we were ready, we called the car rental lady and told her we were heading to the port, where she met us and we paid her cash. Getting a car there made a huge difference in what we were able to see and do in a short time. ~ Argostoli, Kefalonia – We booked NCL’s “Melissani, Meze & Ouzo” tour. It was okay, but not what I expected (which was my own fault after reading the description again), and now that I’ve been there I would rather rent a car and just do things on our own. For some reason I thought this tour involved a lot more time on a boat (again, I see now that the description never says that). It consisted of a 45-minute bus ride across the island (with an outstanding guide!), then a 30-45 minute wait in line, then a 15-minute ride in a small boat around the underground lake, then a short ride to the village of Sami where we enjoyed ouzo, wine, and meze (small Greek dishes) in a really pretty setting by the water, and then a 45-minute ride back to the port. The underground lake is beautiful, but I’m not sure it’s worth the hassle and wait. Like I said, our line was 30-45 minutes, and when we got out it looked twice as long. If you’re set on going to this lake, you could rent a car and try to go as early as possible to beat the crowds. We loved the village of Sami, and enjoyed about an hour of walking around there after our meze. It was touristy, but not too crowded and very cute, with friendly people. But again, we could get there on our own in a car, and some other sort of boat tour would have been fun. We did enjoy the island overall though, and wouldn’t mind going back. It was interesting to see such different topography and architecture from the other Greek islands we’d just visited. ~ Dubrovnik – We booked NCL’s “Game of Thrones” tour and really enjoyed it! Old Town, Dubrovnik, is another insanely crowded place, but we’re big GoT fans so just dealt with it. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable, and gave us little radio things to hang from our necks with earbuds so we could hear everything he was saying. He had photos of GoT scenes, which he showed us from those spots, and talked about other GoT scenes that had occurred around Dubrovnik that we weren’t going to. It was really interesting to see how many changes the show made to the scenery (I think mainly digitally). Our guide also talked extensively about the history of Dubrovnik, and mentioned memories he had of when it was part of Yugoslavia, and from the 1990-1992 war after which Croatia became independent. It was a bit of a rushed tour with tons of information, but our stop wasn’t very long and I think this was probably as efficient as we could have been. Our daughter isn’t a GoT fan, so she just paid 30 euro to see the fortress and Old Town herself, with no tour, and enjoyed that also. When we were released for free time and told to meet back at the bus about an hour later, we were kind of over the crowds, climbing, and heat, and decided to take an NCL shuttle back early (our guide had said we could). It was nice getting back on the ship without the crowds! ~ Venice (again) – We had saved St. Mark’s Square and the Grand Canal for the end of the trip, so after we left our luggage at our hotel, we took the hotel transportation back into Venice and bought vaporetto tickets (7.5 euro each way) for the Grand Canal. Those are crowded (as is the whole St. Mark’s area), but a nice inexpensive way to see a lot in a short time. At St. Mark’s Square we first went to Hard Rock Café for lunch, and then went to St. Mark’s Basilica, which is free if you don’t mind standing in line (it looked long but moved quickly so we only waited about 20 minutes), and then the campanile (bell tower), which has an elevator and cost 8 euro to go up. It was well worth that for the amazing views, and there was no line when we were there. After that we went to the Rialto Bridge, and on the other side was more tourist shopping. Then the others wanted to sit and have a beer, so I walked on my own to the Jewish Ghetto, which I’d been wanting to see. This was the area of Venice in which Jewish people were forced to live by the government of the Venetian Republic starting in 1516. (The English word ghetto is derived from the Jewish ghetto in Venice.) It starts at the Ponte delle Guglie (bridge), and actually had locked gates back then. In 1797 the Venetian Republic was dissolved by the French army of Italy, ending the ghetto's separation from the city. Today, the ghetto is still a culturally active center of Jewish life in Venice, although only a few members live in the ghetto. It was really interesting to see, and nice to get away from the crowded tourist areas, but sad to think about the history. If I’d had time, a tour would have been helpful to get even more out of it, but it was still interesting to see the buildings, people, and stores with Menorahs and related artwork. It should have been about a 20-minute walk, but I stopped to take quite a few photos, so it was longer, but I enjoyed getting out of the crowds and seeing a different area of Venice. On my way to the Ghetto, I’d seen a really cute restaurant with red checkered tablecloths both inside and out called “Al56zerootto,” so we all decided to eat dinner there. It was very good, with lots of culinary options and great service, and seemed “authentic.” The address is 30131 Venezia – Cannaregio 5608 Campiello Riccardo Selvatico, in case anybody is interested in trying it. If you’ve actually read all of this, thanks for following along, and let me know if you have any questions! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
After planning for over 1 year I finally got to go on a Windstar cruise. I was expecting a lot and, for the most part it, met all expectations. Prior to going on the cruise my initial cruise was cancelled as the ship was chartered. ... Read More
After planning for over 1 year I finally got to go on a Windstar cruise. I was expecting a lot and, for the most part it, met all expectations. Prior to going on the cruise my initial cruise was cancelled as the ship was chartered. They gave us a $500/pp credit and paid to change our airfare. I loved the small size of the ship. The cabin was small but functional. The bathroom had nice bath products and good water pressure. The outlets were 110v. I brought a small power strip without surge suppressor and multiport USB charger. Otherwise there were 3 outlets in the cabin and 1 in the bathroom. There is a small minibar in the cabin. It has a bottle opener. We brought 2 bottles of wine and took glasses of wine with us to the dining room. I missed having a private balcony. I didn't think this would be a problem but there were always groups of people drinking and music up on deck. Smoking wasn't really a problem. The deck closes around 6 PM to set up for the restaurant. The food was average to good. Dinner was the best meal. Breakfast and lunch were buffet, with a variety of daily specials. Breakfast would close at 10 AM one day and at 9 AM the next so you have to check your daily program the night before. They do have room service included but it would take 30-40 minutes. Service is very good on the ship and getting a drink at a bar was never a problem. They usually have 1 or 2 happy hours/day with discounted drinks for $5.50. Typically drinks are $8-9 and a beer is $6-7. At $59/person/day I skipped the unlimited beverage package. They had a musical duo in the lounge every night as well as DVDs to take back to your cabin. One night they brought in a local dance group to perform. You were allowed in the bridge when they were underway. The sails were rarely up as the conditions have to be just right. We saw them once during a sail-away. The pool is small but refreshing. Probably much larger per person than the mega ships. I was most interested in the water platform. Due to sea conditions we only had it for one out of 4 planned days. The gym was also small but adequate but being that you can get off the ship everyday I was able to go for a hike onshore. We had to skip Mykonos due to windy conditions which would not allow us to tender. The tenders ran every 1/2 hour which was not a problem except that there was a Tauck tour onboard consisting of about 40 people and they would leave as a group and take a tender so if you didn't time it correctly you had to wait for 1 hour to get a tender. The other passengers, for the most part, were very nice. Most tended to be in their late 60s to early 70s and were a friendly group. There were a couple of newly-weds. We brought our teenaged children with us and they were the only children on the ship. They had a good time but would have liked it had there been people their own age, however, I was expecting this so they weren't disappointed. I did some laundry mid-way through the cruise for under $30. We gave it to the steward before 9AM and we had it back before 5 PM. Towards the end of the cruise they had an all you can stuff into a large laundry bag for $45 deal. Both options were less than the unlimited laundry for $7/person/day. We did get the kids the unlimited WiFi which is, as others have said, slightly better than nothing. I was able to get cell service everyday when we were in port. We went a few days early and stayed for one night at the Hilton and 2 nights at the Electra Metropolis, near Syntagma square. I liked both of them as they both had pools but liked the location of the Electra better as you can walk everywhere. We went on one ship excursion in Turkey but otherwise we did our own thing on the islands. I found the prices for the excursions to be on the high side and they tended to be 3-5 hours long. They had a port talk in the lounge the night before and a local guide would be in the main lobby to answer any questions you had about the island. They had a special dinner in Ephesus for us. The setting was great. The food not so great. The advantage of the smaller ship is being able to go to ports not visited by larger ships. I really enjoyed the ports of call. I was disappointed not to see Mykonos but we were able to go to a small beach in Samos. After Samos we went to Kusadasi in Turkey then to Patmos, Santorini, Monemvasia and finally Nafplion. We finished in Athens where I used the remainder of my OBC to get a private van to the airport for $118 for 2 ppl or $236 for the 4 of us. A taxi would cost 50 Euro. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Boarding began at 1 PM. We arrived around 1:30 and had to wait on line for 15 min to register. You are required to leave your passport with the ships bursa and it is returned to you on the last day. Luggage is out of your cabin by 6:45 AM and you leave by 8 AM. When I initially booked I paid $5,000 for the AX cabin and $4,500 for the BX cabin. Shortly after the price dropped and they let me cancel and rebook for the lower price. I did this 2 more times. There is no problem as long as it is 120 days out. Many passengers booked within 45 days of sailing and paid $3,100 for the same cabin that I paid $4,000 for. Not a big deal but I would not book a Windstar cruise far in advance. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruse for a birthday celebration and we were already in Greece. We were looking forward to sailing under sail, even if briefly. They play loud music to accompany the raising of the sails, then take them down straight away. ... Read More
We chose this cruse for a birthday celebration and we were already in Greece. We were looking forward to sailing under sail, even if briefly. They play loud music to accompany the raising of the sails, then take them down straight away. No lift on this older boat and a lot of stairs to get to dining room, etc. Our room steward was excellent. Food was very good and BBQ on deck lovely. Entertainment almost non-existent. Some very nice touches on this cruise, as in dinner at the Library of Celcus at Ephesus and they did this well. We have cruised often and prefer the smaller ships of Oceania and will probably return to this line. The itinerary was OK and, thankfully, there were no days at sea as there is not much to do. It was an expensive 7 days. The biggest drawback was our expectation of actually sailing. On December 30 we received a letter from Windstar asking for any changes to our information and to return by December 27. No return envelope or link to do this online. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise because I had never visited the Greek islands. We only had 3-4 days to spare, so I chose the Iconic Aegean cruise. I've seen some negative reviews of Celestyal Olympia, but we had a great time. The food was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because I had never visited the Greek islands. We only had 3-4 days to spare, so I chose the Iconic Aegean cruise. I've seen some negative reviews of Celestyal Olympia, but we had a great time. The food was good, the service was excellent, and the staff were pleasant, attentive and efficient. We chose a suite and we had ample space. The bed was comfortable and the AC functioned perfectly. We experienced some difficulty with the toilet and the maintenance crew came immediately, worked hard and remained until they had fixed the problem, which turned out to be a stuck air valve. The after dinner shows were a bit cheesy and Celestyal could do a little better in terms of the calibre of their artistes, but the days were so packed with activities that it didn't matter. All in all it was a wonderful cruise. Everything worked on the boat and it was clean, modern and well outfitted. There was no musty odour or unpleasant smell. Boarding and disembarkation was smooth and our luggage came off and on the boat with no problems. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I chose this cruise in order to visit particularly Hydra, Mykonos, Santorini and Crete, which were itemised in the itinerary. Embarkation & disembarkation were no problem. First, the problems arose as we left the port, when the ... Read More
I chose this cruise in order to visit particularly Hydra, Mykonos, Santorini and Crete, which were itemised in the itinerary. Embarkation & disembarkation were no problem. First, the problems arose as we left the port, when the Captain informed us that the detailed itinerary, that we had chosen especially, was going to be undertaken in reverse order. This meant that on our first night we arrived in Hydra at night, and were given 3 hours from 9pm-midnight to go ashore. This was a hopeless time to explore Hydra's natural beauty - in the dark. During the following two days, the Captain informed us that the weather prevented him from undertaking 3/4 of the planned itinerary. We therefore did not visit Mykonos, Santorini or Crete, but sailed to one or two ports on the Peloponese coast. We were hugely disappointed by the alternative ports. The weather seemed normal, albeit a sea swell did exist. We had been told to anticipate swimming stops en route. This happened only twice in 7 days, each for approximately 1.2 hour in unenchanting surroundings. The ship itself was in tired shape and although described as 'luxury', had several issue of wear. For example, the shower tray in our 'P' class cabin bathroom filled up with the shower's water & leaked onto the floor because the plughole was in the wrong place to drain the water. The decks alongside the cabin windows were filthy. The windows everywhere outside were consistently dirty. The upholstery was worn and dirty. Then there was the food. This was drearily like that which is supplied in any motorway roadside cafe. For example, scrambled eggs for breakfast were presented in a steel container at 07.30, where the same eggs remained unrefreshed until 09.30. Every cooked course was treated with the same indifference, so each were desperately unappealing. There was nothing that was luxury about this cruise, except its online description. The best I can say about it was that the mostly Eastern European crew were as helpful as they could be, and the beleaguered Manager was exceptional. We would have left the ship and flown back early had we been able to, but for their contribution. Do not expect what is advertised by this company. The cruise was disappointing, as has been the response from the Managing Agent, Seafarer, who has yet to apologise for offering a ship that he failed to mention was scheduled for a complete refit at the end of the 2019 season. I am not surprised. I was horrified by its appearance. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My husband and I, and 2 other couples, chose this ship because we wanted a small ship. It was perfect in size...getting on and off ship was easy and quick. We were in cabin 240 which is at the very end of the hall. It proved to be a ... Read More
My husband and I, and 2 other couples, chose this ship because we wanted a small ship. It was perfect in size...getting on and off ship was easy and quick. We were in cabin 240 which is at the very end of the hall. It proved to be a great room in the sense that there wasn't much foot traffic outside our door. The cabin had more than enough storage cabinets and plenty of under bed storage for suitcases. Bathroom had a great shower and all amenities were good. My complaint about this ship is the last night before disembarking, they seemed to shut off all A/C. It wasn't just our cabin, but everyone else's, too. Don't know what the deal was, but our final night on board was sleepless...very hot. The gym was small, but adequate with a couple tread mills, 1 elliptical machine, 1 stationary bike and lots of free weights. None of us had a bad meal and all dinners exceeded our expectation. Cabin attendants were very good and all the staff was very helpful and kind. ENTERTAINMENT: Windstar needs to work on this aspect. Most of the music played outside around the bar and deck area was so old and tired...Jackson 5 genre. It seemed like our party ages 55-60 were the youngsters, and maybe the majority who appeared to be 70's and 80's enjoy that era of music. We would've enjoyed more current music. Our cruise had a pianist and singer that performed most evenings, but the room was small with low ceilings so the music was too loud. We always left for areas that we could converse. Our party of 6 did not go on any Windstar excursions because we found better value by booking private tours on our own. All in all, we loved the ship and would consider going again based on the service we received and the small ship size. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We wanted a short cruise at the end of our two week vacation in Greece. This one fit the bill perfectly. First, I am NOT a cruiser. However, as the fates would have it, I ended up on three cruises this year. The first two were on major ... Read More
We wanted a short cruise at the end of our two week vacation in Greece. This one fit the bill perfectly. First, I am NOT a cruiser. However, as the fates would have it, I ended up on three cruises this year. The first two were on major cruise lines, the third on Celestyal. The Celestyal cruise gets my prize for least annoying cruise. First, the ship is run like a finely tuned machine, and when you have so much to do in a short period of time, it is a good thing that it is. The staff were incredibly accommodating and friendly, unlike my first two cruises. These people seem to really like their jobs! The ship itself was beautiful in an awesome retro kind of way. It was meticulously maintained and the lounges were beautiful. They seemed to have restored the perfect retro vibe. Meal service was a well executed military operation as were the frequent disembarkations. It is not a small task to get all these people on and off that ship, usually twice per day. The food was a-ok, not a foodie paradise, but serviceable with nice variety and two enjoyable bbq's on the pool deck. The number of ports visited was truly remarkable, but it really was nothing more than getting a taste of the islands. Now we know where we want to spend more time. We had one whole day in Rhodes, which was blissful because we finally got to enjoy some beach time -- something we did not get in the other ports. The two included excursions were excellent. In other ports we simply rented a car for a couple of hours and got a feel for the islands. Another wonderful aspect of this cruise is that there is not a constant push to spend, spend, spend. The included drinks were great. We only ordered a few extras on the trip -- a much needed brow wax, a couple of smoothies for the kid, and a couple of knick-knacks. Our tab at the end of the cruise was around $39. On our other cruises we were greeted every morning with a stack of coupons and advertisements for art work, jewelry sales, photo packages, and on and on and on. There was none of that here. Everyone on the ship was genuinely concerned with our comfort and ease. We paid for the cruise and that was that. If you can manage the frenetic pace of frequent disembarkations and we want to see many places, this is a great option. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
20+cruises with thomson,1st on discovery great ship ,staff,and entertainment, one gripe Broadway lounge next to live room the noise could be heard in the atrium we're a singer was trying to perform right next door to the live room ,3 ... Read More
20+cruises with thomson,1st on discovery great ship ,staff,and entertainment, one gripe Broadway lounge next to live room the noise could be heard in the atrium we're a singer was trying to perform right next door to the live room ,3 venues right next to each other crazy!.the slug and lettuce pub was only used for quizzes and sometimes a group, good bar to meet and have a talk with people instead of daft quizzes and noise,perfect for background music and relax. Plus disappointed with no group or singer on stage in the afternoons when people get back on the ship ,we used to look forward to hear them on deck before the afternoon trivia questions. All in all great time had by all nearly!we must mention our room cleaners Rhea and Eddi very polite and always smiling made everyday a happy one thanks to them and all the bar staff and waiters for there hard work .corfu airport is a joke,waiting outside in a queue about 100 yards long in the heat waiting to put our cases in to the check out,sorry but not much help or info from tui staff.the much liked crew show was pathetic the backgroud pictures of the singer/artist took longer than the person singing,we are all for a bit of background on their lives but come on! maybe thats why there was only 4 crew members chose to sing,usually they put on a great show and receive the loadest cheers of the night.i hope this is a fair review and we will pick marella cruises again, thanks again to all the staff for a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Wanted a smaller ship for the Greek Isles. The crew was great. The bar service was slow. They needed more bar staff. Meals were adequate. Went to the Crystal Restaurant our last night and my husband and I enjoyed a delicious meal on ... Read More
Wanted a smaller ship for the Greek Isles. The crew was great. The bar service was slow. They needed more bar staff. Meals were adequate. Went to the Crystal Restaurant our last night and my husband and I enjoyed a delicious meal on the deck. Also, the dinner seafood bar b que on deck was excellent. All excursions and guides were good, well organized and informative. Our room 211 was noisy from engine. More then a hum. The room was well organized and suitcases were stored under bed. I would not choose this ship again because the engine noise at night was too loud. See cabin review below for more details. Motor Coaches were comfortable. Enjoyed the Acropolis and Museum Tour when we disembarked. Athens was fun and Hotel Grand Bretagne was excellent. Enjoyed walking from hotel, view from our balcony of Parliament, the Square, the Acropolis. Weather was perfect. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We sailed on Sirena May 29, 2019 out of Venice. Although Sirena did an overnight in Venice, our flight didn't arrive until late afternoon. I used Oceania for my air. They booked us through Copenhagen from Boston with a five hour ... Read More
We sailed on Sirena May 29, 2019 out of Venice. Although Sirena did an overnight in Venice, our flight didn't arrive until late afternoon. I used Oceania for my air. They booked us through Copenhagen from Boston with a five hour wait for our flight to Venice. The next day the ship departed at 3:00pm. Useless port unless you arrive at least a day early. The ship just finished a total renovation. I was not impressed. It did not look elegant. The cabin (concierge) was extremely small. No afternoon appetizers. The luggage couldn't fit under the beds so we had to deal with it the entire time in the cabin. One could barely walk by the bottom of the beds. I also thought concierge was an upgrade from a balcony. I honestly did not feel there was any difference between balcony and concierge. Nothing special. As a matter of fact, I left a precious hand painted piece of artwork on the desk upon disembarkation. Upon arrival home, I immediately contacted Oceania via email as there was no phone number provided for this. From guest services I received a response that they checked with the vessel's Concierge, Chief Housekeeper and the Reception Desk, however, the artwork was not found nor returned to lost and found. I asked that they talk with the cabin steward as he would have found it and he would be able to tell them what he did with it. Oceania has not responded. Very disappointed with their response. We made excursion reservations prior to embarking on the cruise. Upon arrival in our cabin there was a letter informing us that one of the excursions was cancelled. We visited with the excursion staff but the new excursions we chose were unavailable and we were sent back to our cabin to choose additional choices. Many of our fellow cruisers were affected with cancelled excursions. We spent more time arranging new excursions than enjoying the cruise. We were so looking forward to the Greek Islands but the ports were so crowded you could not move on the islands. The highlight of this cruise was the food. They do an exceptional job in all the restaurants. One feels very special. The entertainment was below par when compared with larger cruise lines. There were very few children onboard. Having been on Oceania before, and being so impressed with the line, I talked a girlfriend into this cruise. It was an embarrassment for me. I spoke so highly of Oceania to her prior to the cruise. I am sorry to say I would not cruise with Oceania again. There were too many problems to call this a vacation. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Booked this island cruise long in advance. The highlight is a candle light dinner in the ancient library of Ephasis. Violin quartet, lovely meal under the stars. This was exceptional and only Windstar had the relationship with the ... Read More
Booked this island cruise long in advance. The highlight is a candle light dinner in the ancient library of Ephasis. Violin quartet, lovely meal under the stars. This was exceptional and only Windstar had the relationship with the Turkish ministry of culture to do this event. All the locations were wonderful. Excursions well managed and ship processes very smooth with a well led crew. The evening meals were fabulous with variety and a great selection. Breakfasts and lunches were well done; a good selection of buffet items in each. Embarkation and debarkation procedures were efficient. Easy to do with only 136 pax. They will push for you to buy the alcoholic drink package. With the average cost of drinks about 9$, you'll need to personally drink about 6 beers/wines per day. With the bigger mixed drink package as well, you'll need to have about 8-9 drinks a day. They will add on a 15% service charge on top of the cited package prices. We found it not worthwhile to buy a package for how much we drink. The top line wifi package is $350. The wifi reception in the cabin is poor and even on deck you shouldn't expect good bandwidth for much more than email or a basic news read. We cancelled after a day and they accommodated our request with a refund. This is still a solid value cruise. You get to meet a lot of folks but it's never crowded. Don't expect big shows or entertainment. There was one capable piano/singer duo on the cruise each night and a Cretan Greek dance group one night in Agios Nikolaous that was excellent. The service was personal and attentive from the bar to the dining room to the cabin. The Captain and senior officer in charge of "Hotel services", essentially all the guest interactions, were involved and interacted well with both pax and crew. We've been to Greece a lot; even lived there for a while and this cruise was a very fine way to visit Athens and the islands. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Moderate to smaller ship and that was a positive. Rome as embark Location and itinerary were reasons for our selection and price seemed fair. Reputation of Holland America was good per friends but cruise turned out to be boring. AARP had ... Read More
Moderate to smaller ship and that was a positive. Rome as embark Location and itinerary were reasons for our selection and price seemed fair. Reputation of Holland America was good per friends but cruise turned out to be boring. AARP had written a favorable review about this particular cruise. Excursions were good, car rentals on two occasions went smoothly but onboard no beverages beyond tea and lemonade and water - so this got very old. Corking fee if you brought back wine or beer. No WiFi either. We ended up paying so we could post pics and updates with family. Ship was dated in its decor but very clean. Just wasn’t thrilled with anything onboard. Majority of cruisers were over fifty with little diversity. In the future I would seek more educational and hands on programs onboard. That came only on the excursions which are add ons and not Holland America run. Most had similar backgrounds and truthfully a more broad range of travelers would have made the cruise better. Maybe two children onboard. Will try another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Looking for tremendously attentive hospitality and service levels? Celestyal Olympia gets 6 Stars out of 5! The service, the kindness, the attitudes of the staff were A-1 throughout the cruise. This was a condensed time frame to see 6 ... Read More
Looking for tremendously attentive hospitality and service levels? Celestyal Olympia gets 6 Stars out of 5! The service, the kindness, the attitudes of the staff were A-1 throughout the cruise. This was a condensed time frame to see 6 islands, with 2 in some days. That was both good and bad as it was a great introduction to many of the Cyclades, but not as much time as one might have wanted in each. A 7 day cruise would take care of that, but we chose the shorter and figured we would return to the shorter locations like Mykonos. The cabins were older and smaller but as a single, the window cabin worked great for me. Space worked fine but with 2 persons, probably would not. Bought the upgrade XB Deck 6 cabin 6042, convenient to Deck 5 (shows, gatherings prior to disembark, etc) and 4 (dining) where much took place. Cabin stewards were wonderful. The unlimited drink package was included and such fun as so many bars to choose from, including the 360 degree views from the Horizon Bar up top on Deck 12. It was gorgeous night and day, pulling into or out of ports. The evening shows were fine. A young Cuban dance team worked hard to give us nice shows, but did not attend all of them. We were in ports 3 nights so did not get to experience more than one dinner at the ala carte dinner restaurant, but it was very good. Also was confused about a special 36Euro dinner as thought it was the ala carte option til nearly the end of the cruise. Service just couldn't be better and nearly always with a smile. Breakfasts there were buffet but added items and cappucinos were easily ordered with the drink pass. Could have done the pool deck also but it was chilly and windy in mid May. Disembarkations were handled efficiently, though disliked having to go to the lounge an hour early many days to get the tickets to get off in group #1 to have time on land if not on a tour sold by the ship. That was not welcomed and should be done differently. Overall, I loved this ship. Have been on many cruises, but rarely do you find the unique hospitality of the Greeks thoroughly emphasized by what must be the training by Celeystral to staff from many parts of the world. Tips were already included so that was even better. They were doing their jobs and hopefully were all rewarded well. Enjoyed the Greek cooking class, the variety of locations on the ship to go, the shops and most of the time, the food. It felt rather sad to leave this Happy Ship and get off in Athens. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019

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