4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
Celestyal's mainly short, port-intensive itineraries don't leave much time for onboard activities, but they stick as closely as possible to the traditional cruise format. Dinner is held in two seatings, while breakfast and lunch are open-seating, either in the dining room or the buffet.
Production shows are geared toward an international audience, and there's plenty of live music in the bars and lounges. In the case of the Cuba Cruise sailings on Celestyal Crystal, performers and musicians hail from Cuba. The ships also have pool decks, small spa/gym complexes, casinos and shops for sundry items.
There's no doubt that the ships are getting on in age -- in some cases more than 30 years old -- and although they are regularly refurbished (which, in the case of Crystal, includes adding balconies), they're showing signs of wear. When the company rebranded two of its ships as Celestyal in 2014-2015, the vessels received extensive renovations in the public areas and cabins.
There's a fun, friendly vibe onboard -- the small size of the ships and long service of crew leads to a friendly, personalised service, wherever you are in the world.
The passengers on each ship vary widely from cruise to cruise. Greek Isles cruises mainly attract package tourists from all over the world (typically Europe and North America); the nationalities will depend on which tour groups are booked on each particular cruise.
The Cuba Cruise sailings on Celestyal Crystal attract a completely different crowd: mainly Canadians, Scandinavians and other Europeans with the odd Brit, as well as American educational groups. Passengers tend to be ages 55 to 65 years old.
When it sails in the Med, Celestyal Cruises attracts a wide age range of travellers, from people in their 20s to those in their mid-70s. As a rule, shorter three- and four-night Greek Islands itineraries tend to attract a younger crowd. Children are welcome onboard but tend to be more in evidence on Mediterranean itineraries during the summer season.