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13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Embarkation - we arrived by private taxi without luggage tags that we only received on our arrival home. This made our baggage drop off extremely difficult cause as concierge passengers we didn't have proof of our right for priority ... Read More
Embarkation - we arrived by private taxi without luggage tags that we only received on our arrival home. This made our baggage drop off extremely difficult cause as concierge passengers we didn't have proof of our right for priority baggage delivery to cabin. Cabin Attendants - Frederick and Isaias both from the Philippines were the best in years Select Dining - Celebrity has big problems here, every single night we had to wait 20 to 30 minutes to get our preferred seating, no matter what time we arrived. The complaint was general and most agreed they would think twice before trying Celebrity again. Room Service - one dinner was quite good, fast and hot food, fish perfectly cooked and many morning breakfasts. This service was prompt and on time but make sure you check what you ordered and that the right plates and cutlery are there. The coffee was extremely bad and thanks to our complaints the service manager, Sara sent coffee from the Ocean Liner restaurant which was better. Forget the main buffet for breakfasts cause its always short staffed and crowded, you cannot find the table you want and especially much worse on sea days. So the best bet, go to the San Marco main restaurant for a tranquil served breakfast. Guest Relations are most professional and quick to solve issues something that I have found often very trying on other ships. However, a warning for those wishing to use the Destinations Concierge, as our experience with her was unhelpful. We wanted to know about an early departure taxi at Venice pier and were advised that taxis were hard to find and we should book one with her at $95. Considering that an excessive amount we took our chances and found that there were more than 20 taxis waiting and we only paid 45 Euros. Martini Crush Bar - The Classic beverage package that now a days is offered along with paid gratuities, is not valid if you would like to have a Martini at the Martini Crush Bar. Reason? Classic BP is for drinks up to $8 US (wine up to $9 US per glass) and the MC Bar asks for $13 US for the it, so its up to you if you want to upgrade and this will cost you $65 US per day. Cheers! Excursions Based upon advise we heard many times its better to do your own excursion rather than using the ships offers. Already knowing many of the ports, we decided to give it a try this voyage. Needless to say we did a lot of homework before the cruise to get familiar with the ports we had not visited before. Happy to say that those suggestions were right because the choices available are endless and all of them belong to private tour companies. An example, Kotor Open Tour, Hop on - Hop off service with a hostess on board cost only 20 Euros and took you to 3 other cites nearby to Kotor. To do the same through a ship offered tour would cost more than 100 US per person. Of course I would only recommend this approach to those without any mobility problems. Koper is beautiful place that deserves to be explored on foot. Great bars and restaurants and beautiful boutiques. Dubrovnik is a fantastic place, do not miss walking around part of the wall at least, its quite pricy (120kn) which can be paid by credit card. If you go, have lunch at the restaurant Tavulin Bistro ( bistro@tavulin.com ) located behind the Cathedral facing the main square. I is a very classy, tranquil and affordable place to have lunch and a glass of wine. Naples Don't make the mistake of walking anywhere more than 4 blocks in this crowded and busy city with extremely uneven sidewalks. Buy a day pass for bus and subway at about $3.5 US per person. Use that to visit the Archeological Museum at Museum Station. Don't go searching for the Cruise Critic choice pizza shop Sorbillo's on Via Tribunali!!! The place has no outdoors seating is extremely crowded, the service is rude and the 'famous' pizza although inexpensive was thin as paper and is not worth the problem to find it. Bus 151 will take you back to the port. Princess Cruises vs. Celebrity Cruises This cruise came just after our inaugural cruise with Island Princess, a 19 day Mediterranean and trans-Atlantic cruise. So we decided to compare the two. To make it short, Princess Cruise line wins it hands down in every aspect with only one exception, and that is the Fitness Facilities (Island Princess fitness area was an interior crowded, claustrophobic place meanwhile, Constellation's on deck 10 FWD was open, airy and with tremendous view of the sea). But, in service, food, and staff the Island Princess has no parallel. So to your last question: yes I would go again but with Princess Cruise line for sure. With Celebrity, regardless we are Elite Status we will pay much attention to many details that are important to us before making another booking on Celebrity eg. the ship size (small to medium), the room size, configuration and storage capacity. Celebrity Cruise Lines was considered a step above other cruise lines and I can attest that it was true. Unfortunately, lately we and many other passengers on this cruise realized that that high standard of quality is declining. The key thing was the change of Formal Night to Chick Night. It is obvious that they are putting money first and passenger satisfaction second. I understand very well that Cruise lines are businesses and as such they want to make money but anyway, that is not an excuse. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We are an American couple in our mid-60’s who were on a B2B in the Mediterranean and Adriatic for a total of 22 nights. We very much enjoyed the first one of our 12-night Mediterranean cruise which started on April 27 from Civitavecchia ... Read More
We are an American couple in our mid-60’s who were on a B2B in the Mediterranean and Adriatic for a total of 22 nights. We very much enjoyed the first one of our 12-night Mediterranean cruise which started on April 27 from Civitavecchia and ended on May 9 in Venice. I posted a summary of that cruise with details about the “Constellation”, food, entertainment, service and the ports called “Very Nice Mediterranean Cruise on Connie” if you’d like to check it out. This review is for the second part of the B2B which was the 10-night Adriatic cruise RT from Venice starting May 9. It was our 14th on Celebrity and 37th overall. Since we’d been on the “Constellation” six other times, the “Infinity” twice and the “Millennium” once, we knew the ship and its features well. Our experience on the ship on this cruise was very similar to the first one of our B2B. Our belongings were seamlessly moved from Cabin #8036 (2B Unobstructed Balcony) to Cabin #3008 (Ocean View) which were near the forward elevators on the starboard side. The layout of both cabins was very similar with a shelf under the window where the balcony door would be. The storage was adequate, but it would be nice to have a few more drawers in the closet. Since there are only two hooks on the walls, we bring magnetic hooks to give us some additional options for hanging clothes and papers. The food in the MDR was very good and the pizza and pasta station in the buffet were good. The entertainment was excellent and we continued to enjoy three production shows (“iHollywood”, “The Land of Make Believe” and “Celebrate The World”) even though we’ve seen them many times. The cast was terrific especially Robert who also was a very funny guest on Celebrity’s version of the “Tonight Show”. Cruise Director Maarten and Activities Manager Taylor were the best team we’ve seen anywhere as they started the party and kept the fun going. Graeme Kelleher is without question the best Captain’s Club Host we’ve ever had. The DJs also kept playing danceable music in the Reflections Lounge until late several nights even though only a few couples were still there (sometimes after 2:00 am). The overall service at all levels was great. We’d had lots of problems with “Select Dining” on the first cruise getting tables in our preferred section, but it improved on this cruise with a couple of exceptions. So, overall we had an excellent time. As with the first cruise, we had the Classic Beverage Package as one of our included perks. We really liked being able to get bottles of water when leaving the ship on every port call and during the day while onboard. We also got cans of soda and glasses of OJ whenever we needed them. In the evenings, we’d have several glasses of wine with dinner and other drinks in the theater as well as the bars and lounges. It was really nice to order whatever you wanted and not worry about signing for anything. It also lubricated our dancing! Obviously, there’s a balance for drinking alcohol late at night vs. being ready to go on an excursion the next morning, but we adjusted as needed during the 22 days/nights on the two cruises. There were eight ports and two days at seas on this itinerary. We still like to do what we can on own but since we’re getting older, we did more ship’s excursions than in the past. This time, it was pretty skewed as we only did one port completely on our own and seven with the ship. Here’s a summary of what we did in each port: We were in Venice overnight on the last day of first of our B2Bs. We walked from the ship docked at Marittimato pier to the People Mover station. There was a long line of people waiting to buy tickets for about $2. We didn’t bother to use it as it wasn’t much longer of a walk into Venice and we probably got there faster than people at the end of the line (and we saved $4). Once there, we each bought a pricey 24-hour vaporetto pass for 20 Euro (about $23) and went to Murano and Burano. Note that it took about three hours for that route so you need to allow enough time (especially if some of the vaporettos are so packed, you’d have to wait for the next one to arrive). The following day, we continued to use the same pass to go St. Marks. We had the typical Venetian experience as we wandered around getting lost until we found the train station. We then took our last boat ride and returned to the ship in plenty of time for the start of the second of our B2B cruises. In Koper, Slovenia, we did the “KR16 Lake Bled and Island” tour at $130 pp. It was a little pricey, but the lake is a long distance from the port. We’d been there in 2009 on a land tour, but that was in February so the boats didn’t go out to Slovenia’s only island. It took several hours to get there by bus, but we enjoyed the boat ride with one man paddling with two oars. We trekked up the steep stairs to the top of the hill, but unfortunately the church was under repair so you couldn’t go in. However, it was still nice to get there. After that part of the tour, we were offered two options: you could stay in the town to shop, eat or just wander around or the bus would take you up to the Bled Castle. If you opted for the castle, you could walk up a fairly steep cobblestone ramp to the ticket booth and get somewhat of a view. For 10 Euro, you could enter the courtyard where you got the full panorama including the island. While we were in line, a man gathered 10 people and got us in at a discount at 8 Euro each. There were more than 10 of us from the bus so the guide could have mentioned this to us so we could have done the same within our group. Once inside, there was an interesting museum, a wine cellar and an indoor restaurant plus outside tables overlooking the walls. The restrooms were free even if you didn’t buy anything. Even though we’d been there before, it was well worth the small additional cost (especially since we’re not shoppers and would have been a little bored in town). In Zadar, Croatia, we booked the “RZ13 Krka National Park – Half Day” tour at $85 each. We drove into the mountains for a couple of hours and finally reached the park. There were hundreds of small and large streams and waterfalls everywhere as you walked for about an hour on a boardwalk around a loop. About halfway out, there were some picnic tables where we had sandwiches, cookies and sodas that we brought from the ship. It was an interesting tour although some avid photographers blocked the path many times to take a ridiculous amount of “selfies”. We’d been to Split, Croatia before and seen Diocletian’s Palace and the other major sights in the town. So, we booked the ship’s “AT08 Ancient Salona and the Town of Trogir” (aka “Roman Ruins of Salona and Trogir”) for $60 each. It was a very gray day and drizzly, but we were able to see the ruins in Salona without getting soaked. We walked around the area to see how large the town used to be when it was the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia. There was also a small museum which had free restrooms. Unfortunately, there wasn’t time to visit the amphitheater as it was too far to see it within the time constraints on this tour. We then continued to the town of Trogir which was founded about 2,300 years ago. It’s said to be the best-preserved Romanesque-Gothic complex not only in the Adriatic but in all of Central Europe. There were many limestone buildings and we visited several churches. We were also treated to some Croatian songs from an acapella group of five men who were selling CDs. After trying to stay out of the rain on the promenade, I climbed up the bell tower of the Cathedral of St. Lawrence which was included in the admission price as part of the tour. There were quite a few stairs leading to a steep ladder and a tight squeeze to get to the highest level which offered a great view of the tiled roofs below. The only problem was that it started to pour and the rain came flying in through the open sides of the tower. I was soaked to the bone, but so was everyone else as they made their way back to the bus! In Dubrovnik, we did the “DU10 Highlights of Dubrovnik Riviera” for $73 each. We went to higher ground on the bus where we stopped to take pictures of the panoramic view of the walled city below. We drove further to the Konavoski Dvori restaurant which was next to a river with some of the water routed to waterwheels. We were served some local meat, cheese and bread plus a choice of a glass of red or white wine. It was only about 10:00 am so it was a little early to be drinking, but it was a nice stop for a break and restrooms. We continued down the coast to Cavtat, a fishing village and seaside resort, where we had about an hour of free time. The promenade was nice and had many benches where you could rest and look out over the quiet harbor. We then returned to Dubrovnik where we had a guided walking tour. The streets were very crowded and noisy so we weren’t able to hear much of the commentary (even with the earbuds for the “whispers”). Since it was early May and there were only two large cruise ships in port, we couldn’t imagine what the crowds would be like in the high summer season with many more ships there. Dubrovnik is the classic example of the double-edged sword of cruising: being able to see wonderful sights from the comfort of your ship vs. finding an overwhelming number of people doing the same thing which lessens the experience for everyone. At that point, we decided to break away from our group and the crowds to head for the cable car station above the city. On the stairway to get there, many shops were selling RT tickets for 120 Kuna ($18 pp), but we weren’t sure if they were higher priced than the official venue. It turned out that they were the same price, but you still had to wait in the same queue with or w/o tickets. It was not an original idea as there was a pretty long line when we arrived. Some people bailed out to take a taxi up to the top which made it a little quicker, but we still waited for about 45 minutes before we got to the ticket booth. There are two cable cars, one going up and one coming down. They each hold about 35 passengers and move quickly to the top or bottom in less than 5 minutes. Once you’re up there, you’ll get a great view of the walled city on the sea side and the mountains on the other side. There’s a restaurant, a small amphitheater where you can eat your own food and free restrooms. We brought sandwiches and cookies from the ship and relaxed there enjoying the views in all directions. There was a line for going down, but it didn’t take too long. It’s definitely worth the cost if the weather is clear. Once we got to the bottom, we walked back to the city, went to the Pile Gate area and joined the short queue for the shuttle bus to the ship. It’s free if you have any Celebrity excursion sticker or you can buy tickets if needed. It took about 15 minutes to get back. In Kotor, Montenego, we booked the “KV19 Seaside Resorts of Budva and Kotor” at $65. On the way to Budva, the bus stopped at an overlook so we could see Sveti Stefan, the famous high-end resort island on the Montenegrin Riviera. There was a lot of construction going on to widen the road and to build more hotels and casinos. Once in Budva, the weather wasn’t great, but we did a walking tour to the stone fort, citadel, church and other buildings above a nice harbor and a beach with some pounding surf. We had about an hour of free time to walk around with an option to get some food and drinks at a local restaurant. We then returned to Kotor where we were led on a walking tour through the Sea Gate inside the walls. It’s one of the best preserved medieval old towns in the Adriatic and is a UNESCO world heritage site. The architecture was interesting and there were many shops. If the weather wasn’t so gray and drizzly, I might have attempted to walk up the many steps to St. John’s Castle high above the city. Maybe we’ll give that a shot next time. When we were in Naples on the first cruise of our B2B, we did the ferry on our own to Capri and Anacapri. As we’d been to Pompeii many times, we opted for the ship’s “NP06 The Ruins of Herculaneum” for $73. We were surprised to see that the site was located in the middle of a residential neighborhood in the modern city/commune of Ercolano. Our first view of the ruins was looking down from above into the excavations. Our guide was great as he explained that only one fourth of the buried city has been uncovered so you got a sense of how large it was at that time. Unlike Pompeii, it was quickly buried in ash so it was virtually untouched when it was excavated. Casts were made of many skeletons of the people who were instantly killed by the intense heat of the eruption and are placed where they found them. The tour was very comprehensive as we visited pretty much every street, house and building. We’d definitely recommend it as a nice alternative to the crowds at Pompeii. In Catania, Sicily, we did another ship’s excursion called “CQ21 Panoramic Catania” for $55. Unfortunately, this was the most disappointing tour of our B2B as the city and surrounding area were very gray and rundown with litter everywhere which looked like it had been there for years. The bus dropped us off at an overlook of the Aci Castello, a castle built on black lava almost 1,000 years ago. We then did a “drive by” through some cities and historical areas, but we didn’t stop again. We returned by the same route to Catania where we had a walking tour. This was certainly better as the buildings and church exteriors were very interesting. We also saw the Roman ruins and the fountain from the underground river that provides drinking water to the city. Our guide also helped us to buy two deep-fried arancinis for 1.80 Euro ($2) each. They were the size of your fist and both had rice with one having tomato added and the other with eggplant and cheese. It was a very filling local treat and the highlight of this tour. At the end of the cruise, we booked the ship’s transfer by bus to the Marco Polo airport at $34 each. We did that to simplify things so we wouldn’t have to hassle with cabs or water taxis at the port. We got on the Celebrity bus w/o any problems and things were looking fine. However, when we got to the airport area, the bus stopped in a parking lot and everyone had to roll their bags up an incline in the rain with construction in progress. There were no carts to use and really not much direction from the staff as to what to do. Apparently, their buses are not allowed to drive to the covered airport entrance which was a surprise to us and the other guests. Not exactly the best way to end an otherwise nice cruise! All in all, we had a great time, even with so many ports in so few days. About the only thing that didn’t please us during the cruise was Celebrity charging $12 pp for transfers from the ship’s port to some of the cities. If they have to dock that far away, they really should be included. We did ship’s excursions those days so we didn’t have to pay, but it’s not fair to the independent travelers. In the coming ten months, we have three more cruises booked on the “Millennium” in Asia and another three on the “Solstice” in New Zealand, South Pacific and Australia. We’re definitely enjoying our experiences with Celebrity and we hope that our satisfaction continues. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We arrived in Rome four days prior to sailing. We toured Rome, the Vatican and Tivoli. Our embarkation was very smooth and efficient. The ship was lovely...pristine and well equipped. Our cabin was very nice with a comfortable bed and ... Read More
We arrived in Rome four days prior to sailing. We toured Rome, the Vatican and Tivoli. Our embarkation was very smooth and efficient. The ship was lovely...pristine and well equipped. Our cabin was very nice with a comfortable bed and ample space. Dining was good. We had breakfast in the cafeteria...lots of variety. Our lunch was usually in port. Dinner was in the dining room. Staff were courteous and meals enjoyable. Entertainment was a variety of shows. There were an assortment of daily activities to keep us busy on days at sea. The ports were all very exciting. Santorini was breathtaking , Kusadasi and Athens very interesting. We planned many shore excursions on our own based on recommendations from friends. Ten days went very quickly. This cruise would be recommended for adults, those who are interested in visiting old world, historical sites or a romantic escape. Would go on this cruise again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We've chosen Celebrity 3 times before and we thought we knew what to expect. Good food, good service, relaxation. In fact we'd been on the Equinox before just 2 years earlier. This cruise was at best "poor". The ... Read More
We've chosen Celebrity 3 times before and we thought we knew what to expect. Good food, good service, relaxation. In fact we'd been on the Equinox before just 2 years earlier. This cruise was at best "poor". The excursions were mostly extortionate and most of the ports were completely uninteresting or inconvenient without paying for the excursions. But we don't particularly enjoy being with a bus load of cruise passengers all day so we prefer to normally do our own thing. This worked great in our Fjord cruise for instance. But on this cruise it was basically awful. Most of the ports are lined with taxi drivers badgering you to take their taxi or buy their tat. The surrounding areas were uninteresting and with the exception of Pisa, none of them had a worthwhile travel option with local transport. So welcome to a port and if you want to go anywhere then you need to walk. This was especially dodgy in Naples. The food in the main dining hall was also noticeably poor. I wont bother with the details. We paid the extra for the alternative restaurants and these were more like we expected. The contrast with the bog standard in the main hall was quite obvious. The other thing that we noticed more in this cruise was how we were almost constantly targetted for marketing from the ship. It felt like a floating tourist trap. Irritating pushy photographers literally will NOT let you walk past without forcing you to pose for a pointless photo. We actually found ourselves planning our routes through the ship because neither of us enjoy being forced to have our photos taken. This was all over the ship and it was also IN the dining hall and also in the Cafe Baccio place. We told the photographers "no thanks" but that made f all difference. By the end, I could recognise them and I could see that they knew we were the ones who said no before. This is just a tiny part of the whole marketting experience of the ship, The daily brochure with ART SALE and watches and the ludicrously expensive bingo. Basically everything was a very obvious rip off. Which leads me to the real nail in the coffin from our perspective. The reason we will never sail with Celebrity again is because of the gigantic bill we got when we got home from their "Cellular at sea" phone system. The ship has a paid Wifi connection so if you want internet then this is what you should use. Our phones have free european roaming so I wasn't worried about roaming charges. This made no difference. At some point my phone connected to the cellular at sea and unbeknown to me, it received 34Mb of data from the ship. This is a tiny tiny tiny quantity of data. The ship billed my phone for more than £500.. That's around $800. to put this in context, we used over 2000Mb of data during our cruise from the italian, spanish etc phone companies. By sheer luck, we didn't see a similar download on the cellular at sea extortionate service. When I phoned celebrity they told us they were not willing to rescind the cost. The ships that offer this service must be ripping off their customers by gigantic quantities of cash from this and celebrity must be making a killing from it. The whip already has cheap-ish wifi that also goes on the satellite, so having a phone service that can inadvertently be connected to and is charged at £500 for a tiny download suggests that nobody should ever use this service unless they absolutely love burning money. The wifi is a tiny fraction of the cost. Clearly Celebrity know all of this already and they choose to continue using it as a way to basically ROB their customers for hundreds or possibly thousands of $'s. My phone could have downloaded 10 times this much and we would have been forced to swallow this bill. What a disgusting way for them to make money. Basically I would not recommend this company to anyone any more. And we previously thought Celebrity was our preferred cruise company. Better than the cattle treatment of Royal Caribbean (at least that's what we thought before) . But now the difference is quite slim. Celebrity have definitely gone downhill. They do not respect their customers. Everything is about money. The whole experience is monetized. Our state room attendants were nice though. Our next cruise will be with a better company because this was not an enjoyable experience. Coming home to the final insult of the deliberately extortionate phone bill confirms my suspicions of the management Just don't. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Based upon previous cruises with Celebrity we decided to book a last minute cruise on the Equinox. We were guaranteed an ocean view but were upgraded to concierge class. So we were quite happy with that. We had Champagne in the room upon ... Read More
Based upon previous cruises with Celebrity we decided to book a last minute cruise on the Equinox. We were guaranteed an ocean view but were upgraded to concierge class. So we were quite happy with that. We had Champagne in the room upon arrival and fruit (three granny smiths). However the overall impression is that the quality and attention to detail had gone downhill quite a bit. The food was ok but nothing like as good as previous trips. We were very lucky to have a really friendly table for dinner during the evening and made some nice friends. This helped us enjoy our dinners quite a lot. However we felt the rip off prices for drinks in the restaurants and bars was very excessive, then an 18% gratuity added on afterwards was quite obscene. We were plagued with staff trying to sell us drinks and specialist restaurant packages at extortionate prices too. The best thing to say about the cruise were the shows, they were all quite superb, but a little short. We booked three excursions and found them mostly overpriced and a bit boring, especially as the guides we had spoke poor English, they droned on and on and were really hard to understand. I thought the passenger standard of dress on board was far to casual bordering on quite scruffy sometimes and gave the cruise a poor ambience. Most of the staff were really friendly, but the bar staff were grossly inefficient, miserable and in need of some proper training. I have been put off a bit now as its certainly not as good as it was, so we may well look for something better. I am checking out Siverseas cruises reviews now. Read Less
30 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
This was our 15th Cruise. Majority of which have been with Celebrity who we had found to give a luxury cruise in the past. Sadly with all the cutbacks they have made, they no longer deserve the heading of luxury.All the little touches ... Read More
This was our 15th Cruise. Majority of which have been with Celebrity who we had found to give a luxury cruise in the past. Sadly with all the cutbacks they have made, they no longer deserve the heading of luxury.All the little touches which we enjoyed like fresh flowers in the cabin when you arrived (just a few in a vase) - gone, cotton wool etc. gone. The staff are issued insufficient toiletries to keep all their cabins stocked (expectation that not everyone will use them) So dont expect them to be topped up during the cruise. The quality of the food was very hit and miss. A few meals excellent but the majority very average and some poor. In the main dining room service was excellent (staff were all excellent throughout the ship, to the degree they felt like robots - however their is a feeling this is through fear of bad reviews and demotion - we heard some sad tales from several we spoke with) having said this they were all very professional. The self service restaurant used to be my favorite for breakfast - the quality is now so poor we avoided it. Although not a lot better in the dining room. Gone is the lovely brunch I used to look forward to once during the cruise. Gone are the food demonstrations where a buffet was laid out demonstrating their skills. My husband's cream dinner jacket was ruined in their cleaners - after a long battle they finally compensated us fairly- it took firm persistence but we got there in the end. My husband was a cruiseaholic refusing to have any other type of holiday. On the last day he said ' I dont think I want to cruise any more if this is the standard now' - I never thought I would hear those words ! The excursions seemed poor value - although in port for a full day - we went to Sorrento on your own (coach drops you off) but we were only allowed one and a half hours to explore - which was no where near enough time - we should have taken the boat from Naples rather than use their coach. All in all - no longer the 'beautiful Celebrity **** ' as they kept quoting at us. During my negotiation over the jacket I mentioned we had been on this ship 2 years ago - and changed we found it - the officer said 'ah yes but it's 2 years older now' - he didn't have an answer when I asked if that was the case - why had the costs gone up so much then? Below you will see the issues we had with the cabin No longer worth paying for Concierge Class - you get very little to warrant the extra Believe it or not - in the main we had a good holiday, met lovely people and saw great countries - but 'luxury' it wasn't! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
This was our first cruise and, overall, we think we chose a good ship. It was to celebrate my OAP status (during the cruise). Being in term time, there were few families and kids on board and the predominant age group was retirees of many ... Read More
This was our first cruise and, overall, we think we chose a good ship. It was to celebrate my OAP status (during the cruise). Being in term time, there were few families and kids on board and the predominant age group was retirees of many nationalities. English was the first language but announcements were in four languages. We found the process of embarking, and settling in easy, supported by enthusiastic staff on every level. It took a little time to orientate ourselves around the ship, which is to be expected. The food was excellent (be warned about how easy it is to put on weight) and on board entertainment (particularly in the theatre) was of a standard higher than we expected. The hot glass show (glass blowing) was a positive extra. The entertainments director (Alejandro) was energetic and a bundle of fun. We have no cruise comparisons, but more experienced cruisers that we talked to were generally positive too. Formality is relaxed with two “evening chic” evenings, where trousers and a shirt were adequate for men. Some passengers enjoyed the culture of dressing up. The ship is disabled friendly. Our cabin with balcony was well designed, storage space was good, the bed very comfortable and the support of our stateroom attendant was first class. He kept the place tidy and the daily clean ups were prompt (usually when at breakfast and at dinner). A minor negative was the one ply toilet paper, so any potential savings by the ship were quickly offset by the amount of paper used. There are no personal ironing facilities (contrary to what we were told by the agent we booked the cruise with) and ironing by the ship we felt to be expensive ($8 a dress). We kept to the same table in the main restaurant for most of the cruise as we appreciated the support of the staff there. The daily activities sheet was informative. Be warned, from the outset, the culture of the ship is to sell! Staff were trying to sell you Celebrity dining packages, the spa treatments and other costly extras (shore excursions) on a regular basis but I did not find them pushy. Shops on board were pricey. It would be easy to build up a costly final bill if you did not have prepaid extras. Select carefully unless money is not an issue. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the price. The price was great, and we loved the places we went, although we had been to all of them before. One of the first thing we noticed on this ship, as opposed to all the other ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the price. The price was great, and we loved the places we went, although we had been to all of them before. One of the first thing we noticed on this ship, as opposed to all the other cruises we have taken, was that many of the crew were not friendly or helpful. They would walk right past you and many murmur "hi", but were not particularly friendly. Although most of the cabin crew were very friendly, as were most of the waiters and servers. The people in the buffet, and the seating staff in the dining room, and many of the staff in the shop areas were not very accommodating or friendly, but very eager for you to buy. We also noticed that the ship was VERY dated, and was not at all well kept up. This was also a first for us. We had a balcony, and the whole 12 days, there was a dirty area right in the middle of the glass the size of a basketball that you couldn't see through at all. I ran a cloth through it just to see if it was scratched, but it was just dirt, and no one ever cleaned it. And there were four or five dried drips of paint down the glass as well. Also there was dirt in the gutter of the balcony near the railing that was always filled with black dirt and sludge. The floor by the wall was rusty and the paint was coming off the white rail beneath the bottom of the balcony. The rug was also coming up in front of the balcony door. There was black mold in the caulking at the bottom of our shower, and the hooks that held the shower curtain were rusty. The faucet was corroded. In the buffet, some of the cushions were torn and the seats had wear lines where people had sat that the lining was showing through. Most all of the railings on the decks were rusty and had big areas where the paint had been scraped off, so there were both rust and black areas wherever you looked. The lounge chairs were scraped and worn, and looked old. Also, the staff on the ship - especially at the excursion desk often didn't know things that they should have known, and gave us wrong information quite often. For instance, the last two days we were in Venice, and we could see busses in the distance that said "free port shuttle" on them, but no one could tell us if those were for our use, or if they came down to where out ship was. We were told by the desk that there was no free shuttle, but that we could pay 22 euro for the ships shuttle boat that would take us to St Marks Square. Then when we got off the ship there WAS a free shuttle to the end of the port. So after we saw that there was a free shuttle, we asked if it would be available the next day, the day of disembarkation, and we were told that it would not be available, which seemed very odd to me. While we were on the free shuttle, there were a few people who had paid for the ships shuttle to St Marks Square, but they never found where it was they were supposed to go, so missed it even though they paid for it. Also on the way back to the ship, there were quite a few different people who also never found where to get the ships shuttle, so never used it, having paid for it. AND we asked the bus personnel about the free shuttle the next day, and they said that yes, the free shuttle would be available for us to use. It seemed as though the ships personnel had no interest in anything that was not part of the ships excursion packages, which was also not how it had been on other ships. Usually we are told in the nightly newsletter basic things as to how to get around in the different ports if you were going on your own, and other tips about the ports that would help those of us who were not on the ships excursions. There was very little of that kind of information, although there was a little. It seems like the ships staff should have a basic knowledge of transportation and customs and so on for us as well as the ships tours, but they seemed very lacking in even basic questions about the ports. That being said, we still enjoyed the cruise, and would do it again. None of this was a deal breaker for us, since the price was so good, it was just not like anything we have experienced before. We could overlook that kind of thing, but we would be very discouraged and angry had we paid top dollar for this shabby ship. We enjoyed the food, and the people who were nice, and just ignored the bad stuff, but I would be very careful if that kind of thing is important to you. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We loved the itinerary: Rome, Civitavecchia, Naples, Pompey, Valleta Malta, Santorini, Rhodes, Mykonos, Crete, Ephesus, Athens, and Venice. Wow! What a trip! We had so much fun and loved each of the ports we visited. We used ... Read More
We loved the itinerary: Rome, Civitavecchia, Naples, Pompey, Valleta Malta, Santorini, Rhodes, Mykonos, Crete, Ephesus, Athens, and Venice. Wow! What a trip! We had so much fun and loved each of the ports we visited. We used cruisecritic.com to find excursions at a much cheaper rate than offered by Celebrity. Each one was perfect. I had also found some of the excursions on viator.com that worked out beautifully. One of our best deals through viator.com was the transfer from the Port of Venice to the Marco Polo Airport. A Mercedes van (could have easily accommodated 6 with luggage) picked the 4 of us up right at the terminal door and drove us to the airport at a cost of $55 US dollars total which was less than 50% of the cost of Celebrity's bus-type transfer. Quick, easy, and inexpensive! The food was excellent aboard the ship. We had an interior room near the center elevator on deck 7. The room was spacious and comfortable with plenty of storage, a seating area with table, vanity, room on either side of bed....shower was even more accommodating than we find on most of the other 27 ships we've sailed. The 2600 or so passengers made us never feel crowded. The ship allowed for easy exit at the ports. Never had a long wait to exit even on the tender location, Santorini. I would highly recommend this ship for adults and senior adults, not so much for children as it lacked many of the amenities favored by the younger crowd. The shows were generally very entertaining; Martin, the coordinator of all the entertainment was a hoot. The price of our 12 day cruise was just over $1000 each; I think we got a very, very good deal. I would have liked to see more enrichment activities including lectures on the ports of call, the culture and the history, such as we experienced four months ago on the Celebrity Solstice in New Zealand/Australia. Nothing like that aboard this ship. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
I must say having sailed with Celebrity in the past I was excited about this trip. We did have a nice time however, sadly it fell short in a number of ways and is why I cannot rate it more than average. Overall the ship is lovely, very ... Read More
I must say having sailed with Celebrity in the past I was excited about this trip. We did have a nice time however, sadly it fell short in a number of ways and is why I cannot rate it more than average. Overall the ship is lovely, very modern and great facilities. Our cabin was very nice and well located. In particular the lawn club and lawn area on deck 15 are fantastic and we spent lots of time there. The levels of service are generally very good especially from IWayan our Cabin Steward. Sadly though, I just found the ship too large, that meant a constant mob scene at the pool area which felt very very cramped and overcrowded. In addition, the elevator capacity was just not good enough there were often long waits and not just at peak times. The entertainment in the main was average to poor although the Cruise Director Rich was a fun guy and tried very hard. The worst aspects however was the shore excursions team who were simply chaotic. It all felt very disorganised and at one point we had 4 different notes and calls to our cabin with 4 different departure times from the same outing. This culminated in a dreadful disembarkation where we were going to visit Rome. The departure was chaos. The staff organising it had no clue and pretty much abandoned us all to sort ourselves out and find our way to the exit and busses. Truly it felt as if we were finished with our cruise so did not really matter much any more. There were very very disrespectful and rude to one very distressed man. Finally the food was merely OK. Some was very nice but much was average. The "hot food" in the Ocean View buffet was always tepid at best. The desserts in particular were poor in every venue we ate in. It appeared they put more effort into their 5 speciality restaurants (at extra cost). These were pushed hard with a very "in your face" sales approach each time we returned to the ship. They were even approaching us during lunch to try to get us to book, really how inappropriate!! We were in an Aqua Class Cabin and so dined at Blu Restaurant. This was meant to be a more exclusive speciality restaurant however, the menu was uninspiring albeit we did have some very nice individual items. Actually the menus in the main dining room looked better. The main issue in Blu however was that the service was so slow at times and to be honest the staff weren't all great either (some were delightful). After a complaint we did get a bit more attention but still it was not ideal. We were told by others that the food in the main dining room was fine but many said it was just huge and very very noisy. So overall would I go back with Celebrity or on this ship? Sadly I concluded I probably would not as there are just better propositions out there. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Wow, what a wonderful cruise. We spent the wad on this cruise ($3K/each plus hotel and airfare) but it was completely worth it. We got the deal that allowed us free drink package, gratuities included, and $500 of onboard credit. We used ... Read More
Wow, what a wonderful cruise. We spent the wad on this cruise ($3K/each plus hotel and airfare) but it was completely worth it. We got the deal that allowed us free drink package, gratuities included, and $500 of onboard credit. We used the $500 to pay for dinner at Murano one night, upgrades to the drink packages, and two massages (GREAT massages!!). We were also in AquaClass and we just love AquaClass -- our 2nd time doing it and can't imagine not doing AC on our next Celebrity cruise. THE FLIGHT: We flew Delta from Atlanta through JFK. I am a Diamond member with Delta so I had some upgrade certificates. I paid the lowest coach airfare and upgraded to their intl First Class (Delta ONE). I used points to pay for my partners First Class airfare. We love Delta's ONE Class. Modern pods with lay flat beds and Westin Heavenly bedding, high defn 14" monitors in each pod with tons of movies and TV shows. Also, Atlanta celebrity chef Linton Hopkins designs all of their menus to western Europe and the food is terrific. We had filet mignon with asparagus and lobster mac 'n cheese. Delta has a Master Sommelier, Andrea Robinson, who picks out all of their One Class wines and she does an excellent job. Great Spanish red wine pairing on this flight! The service -- as always -- on Delta One was superb. We arrived relaxed and replenished. BTW - we used Delta's Sky Club in JFK and that was stellar. They have an outside patio area where you can chill and have complimentary food/drinks while you wait for your flight. They even have waiters who will deliver drinks to you from the inside bar for a nominal tip. We sat across from Michael J Fox, who said he was on his way to Las Vegas, so that was cool! THE HOTEL: We arrived a day early as my partner had never been to Barcelona. We wanted to do some sight seeing before the cruise took off. We stayed just 2 kilometers from the ship, in Barceloneta. We got a small hotel room in a 3 star hotel called Hotel Oasis. The room and hotel were sufficient but nothing great. The location, however, was fantastic! Right near the piers and all the restaurants. And just 60 meters from the Barceloneta subway stop. We did the HOHO bus and got excellent pix. We bought tix to the Sagrada Familia right when we arrived (online) because it sells out quickly. We barely got them, for 5:30 p.m. We ate at some little restaurant in the Gothic Quarter. Don't remember the name. It was decent tapas. EMBARKATION: We took a taxi to the terminal (just 2 kilometers but 13 euros! They charge a 7 euro fee for drop off there!) but got there with no issue. The line was LONG!! We got there at approximately 12:40 p.m. and so did everyone else it appeared! The line moved fast though and once we got around the corner it split. There was one line for Elite members, Concierge/Aqua Class guests, and Suite passengers. Another line for everyone else. We got into the Aqua Class line and we were through security in less than 1 minute! We were at the agent's desk in less than 5 minutes! It was awesome! We were on board in just 35 minutes total! ROOMS: We've stayed in AquaClass on Reflection before. Rooms very similar. These felt a little larger but probably an illusion. The deck chairs were really worn (as opposed to the much newer ones on Reflection). The room, itself, was in good condition, however. We enjoyed it. The room was MUCH less noisy than the one we had in Reflection. Our travel agent recommended this part of the ship for noise and we're glad we took her advice. Our AC room on Reflection was near the back, near the Aqua Spa and it was really loud. FOOD: The part most of you care about. Well, we ate each night in Blu (the AC restaurant) except the first night in which we dined in Murano. Murano was fantastic as always but they've gone up on their price (now $50/person). Had we not gotten 30% off we wouldn't have paid full price. Not worth that much. Also the waiter was sort of stuffy but nothing bad about this meal. Anyway, back to Blu. Blu had some issues a couple of nights with the kitchen. It was really slow. The wine sommeliers and waiters, however, did their best to provide great service when the kitchen got really behind. One sommelier slipped us some wine that was a couple of dollars over the premium drink package in an apology for the long wait. That was great customer service we thought. The food at Blu, I must say, was just not as good as it was on Reflection. We talked about it as the cruise dragged on. The presentation was stellar but some things were not cooked at right temperature or were really bland. Other things (like the beef ribs) were crazily overcooked and dry. I would give it a 3.5 to 4.0 in terms of food quality/taste. However, some nights Blu really shined. There was one dish, a ribeye with black truffle, that was sensational! Another night they had a filet mignon, served with a celery root puree. Holy crap! That puree was the best thing I've ever eaten on a cruise ship. That would have won any Top Chef competition. Man, that stuff was so good that I ordered an extra side of just that puree. Wow. Also, there was a sea bream fish that was pan fried (can't remember the name of it) that was quite good. However when they missed they missed badly. The beef ribs (last night) were so dry I had to send them back. I ordered the NY strip off their every day menu instead. BTW - if you eat in Blu and don't try the every day NY strip steak at least once you're doing yourself a disservice. It's terrific! Great flavor! However, we did notice that the NY strip was a bit tougher on this cruise than the ones served on Reflection. And on another night they served a fish they called a "Chilean Sea Bass". We in the states know this fish as Pategonian toothfish. Well, I ordered it with trepidation. Surely this couldn't be Pategonian toothfish! And...well...it sadly wasn't. It tasted like a river fish, which I don't care for at all. And the broth surrounding it was very very bland. I sent it back. The restaurant manager (a lovely lady whose name I can't remember!) came over to see the problem. She said it was Barramundi (which is an "Asian sea bass" not "Chilean Sea Bass"). They need to change the title on the menu. I've had Barramundi in India. They can either come from coastal waters or lakes. This one definitely came from a lake. No thanks. Also, a couple of nights we got "hot appetizers" that were as cold as the expedite counter they had been sitting on for the previous 15 minutes before they were served. We didn't complain...we just didn't eat them. We never encountered this on Reflection. So, I'd have to give the kitchen a 3.5 out of 5 here. Now, the staff at Blu were superb! Waiters Rey and Shailej were fantastic! We had Shailej as our waiter on Reflection last year and he remembered us! We loved Oana (the hostess who always remembered our room # and our favorite areas to sit), the restaurant manager (again, can't remember her name!), back waiter Antonine, and the best wine sommelier we've ever had on board -- Red! Killer staff at Blu made up for the sometimes flat food. BTW - breakfast at Blu (we ate there 3 times) was terrific. The tableside Muesli service was fantastic and tasty. The eggs any style was a welcome menu addition. We also loved their coffee. Way better than the coffee in the Oceanview Cafe. If I were them I wouldn't put nutmeg on the french toast, however. Some people hate nutmeg (me!) but love french toast. I switched to a pancake on morning #3. Oceanview cafe is where we usually had lunch. Or we'd grab a burger/fries at the Mast Grill. Mast Grill had pretty good burgers and dogs but they were always running out of things and had no one to quickly get them replacements. As a result, people waited a lot for missing items to appear. Hope they can solve that one. Oceanview had buffet food. It's buffet food. Same as about any ship. Some things were good and some things were cold and chewy and bland. Go figure. Its a buffet. Meh. The pasta we had late night sometimes. We thought it was more bland than the pasta on Reflection but we thought that of Oceanview Cafe and Blu food in general. Murano was same quality as on Reflection but the service was way better on Reflection in Murano. The waiters did ballet service on Reflection and our server was warm and friendly on Reflection. BAR SERVICE: We had the premium drink package. We went almost every night before dinner to the World Class Bar (formerly the Molecular bar...no more liquid nitrogen drinks!!). Yelena was our bartender. She was terrific. She has a great personality and speaks her mind. Love that. Ivan helped her out some but he wasn't nearly as friendly...just a different personality. Also Andreea at the bar in front of Murano was terrific. We hung out there some and loved her service. Overall, the bar service was very easy to come by. This was in stark contrast to the horrid bar service on Reflection. Everyone had the drink package on that Caribbean cruise and it was harder than Hades to get service! Both Reflection and Equinox lacked drink servers who actually came to you while laying out. I guess that's a thing of the past. But the servers at the bars were all friendly, helpful, and had great warm personalities on Equinox. It was so easy to get a drink fast almost at every bar. ENTERTAINMENT: We didn't care much for the standard Celebrity singers/dancers (the singers, particularly the women, were good....just that their routines/shows were so unimaginative.) We've seen much better on Holland America and Princess. Celebrity never does a great job with this aspect, so I guess its their Achilles Heel. The entertainment brought on board, however, was pretty darned good. The British guy who did comedy and played piano was FANTASTIC! The other British comedian wasn't nearly as good. The Russian lady with the violin was out of sight too but every time she came out she took off another piece of clothing! By the last number she was down to almost ZERO. We were sure there would be no encore, as this may violate nudity laws! haha! The Eastern European circus performers were also great (think: Cirque du Soleil -Lite). COMMON AREAS: Very very clean and comfortable. Another reviewer said that this ship had an easy layout about it and I agree 100% We found the layout the easiest to negotiate than any other ship we have sailed on (10 previous cruises). Cafe Bacio was placed so well and therefore got a ton of business! Ditto for the Martini Bar, the theater, and the restaurants. It was so easy to get from one place to another. I don't think this ship is as pretty as the Reflection but its much easier to navigate. DISEMBARKATION: Very smooth except for taxi stand. We stood in the rain for 35 minutes waiting on a taxi. It was miserable. Nothing to fault Celebrity for though! SPA: Massage rooms were fantastic and so were our massages! We both commented that it was one of the best massages we've ever had. The masseuses are trained by Celebrity on each massage. We had the same massage and compared notes afterwards. They were identical and fantastic! The massage oils they use are first rate and the training is superb for their masseuses. Will do again if we have credit! We also went to the saunas 3 times during the cruise. We like Reflection's spa better. It had a cold sauna and 2 rooms with hot stone chairs in the Persian Gardens. But, this spa wasn't bad. EXCURSIONS: We've done many cruises and we know better than to buy excursions through the cruise ship. We always get external vendors. Much cheaper and the same, if not better, excursion. We found a company online that monitored cruise ship port dates and set us up with a package. We got full day tours of Ephesus, Athens (it rained all day!!), Rome, and Sorrento for just $78 each. Totally worth it! We went with a company called Cruising Excursions and it was totally professional and on the up and up. Would choose them again. Overall feelings about the cruise: tremendous staff!!! Good -- albeit not great -- food. Great ports! VERY clean ship! Friendliest staff we've had on any cruise. We thoroughly enjoyed this cruise and can't personally see how anyone can give this cruise lower than a 4. I think it would even be hard to give it a 4! We loved it! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We flew from South Florida to NYC and over to Barcelona. I was happy to have three nights there to get used to the time change and explore this beautiful, vibrant city. Be sure to walk the Rumbla. Our embarkation was a little hectic with ... Read More
We flew from South Florida to NYC and over to Barcelona. I was happy to have three nights there to get used to the time change and explore this beautiful, vibrant city. Be sure to walk the Rumbla. Our embarkation was a little hectic with a long line of passengers. We love the solstice class ship having sailed the Reflection on previous occasions. There are plenty of on board activities, including Shows, trivia, bingo, theme parties, art auctions, movies, wellness seminars, culinary demonstrations, fitness classes and Corning Hot Glass shows which I recommend seeing at night to enjoy the glow, Celebrity Life guest speakers and of course the lawn games. I found the service to be excellent and the crew to be friendly and professional. We enjoyed several shore excursions one of which explored the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, the Isle of Capri which we thoroughly enjoyed and the ruins of Pompeii. Our tour in Rome was also fabulous. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable about the Vatican and the Coliseum and we also explored some churches. As we had previously toured Athens we opted to be on our own. It is easy enough to take a local bus which is located near the port and get to the Parthenon and other sites within Athens for a song. My fave thing to do in Mykonos is to explore the shops walk up to the windmills and enjoy some Greek cuisine in the Venice of Greece. Santorini is equally as beautiful. Whether you take the tram or a donkey you will enjoy stunning vistas so don't forget your camera. If you pedicure is wearing visit the KissingFish and let the fish nibble all your dry skin away! Malta was also a lovely stop. We loved our port side veranda cabin with it's comfy bed and large couch. Dining is always pleasurable on Celebrity. We find the food to be delicious and so plentiful. We usually skip the specialty dining and opt for the dining room which is beautiful. Although we usually enjoy the entertainment we find it to be somewhat lackluster. The singers and dancers are great but I and getting so tired of watching entertainers wind themselves up drapes. The guest entertainers are hit and miss. As this was a back to back cruise I am unable to comment on disembarkation. All in all this was a fantastic cruise with memorable ports of call steeped in antiquity. I would also like to mention that the internet speed on this cruise was excellent. The ship was participating in a study regarding new internet technology, which I thought worked great and would love to see it installed on all cruise ships soon! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
We have done celebrity before, this was cruise number 4 whit them. And it was very good, the ports of call was perfect for us. That was one of the reasons that we picked this cruise. We are experienced travelers in late 20s early 30s ... Read More
We have done celebrity before, this was cruise number 4 whit them. And it was very good, the ports of call was perfect for us. That was one of the reasons that we picked this cruise. We are experienced travelers in late 20s early 30s married. We did celebrate 5 years wedding anniversary on this cruise. The embarkation went smooth, there was a loooooong line when we arrived at the port. But the line went fast and we were onboard in 35minutes. That was really good. The luggage arrived fast at the stateroom. The stateroom attendant was super, the room was in order 24/7. No lack of towels or other things. We had an broken drawer and we told the stateroom attendant, it was fixed in one hour. The ship is nice and clean. We like the size, is not to big or small. We like smaller ships also but celebritys solstice class is perfect. The stateroom are good sized 19m2 and have lots of storage room, and the beds are good. We ate at the mdr every night, we are no fans of buffet. So for lunch it is ok. The buffet have a large selection of hot and cold food. So everyone should find something they like for lunsj/dinner or snack. The food for breakfast/lunsj/dinner inn the mdr are good. Lots of choices and tasty. We like it and we dont see the point of paying to have dinner somewere else. Mast grill is good and easy, can be some line during primetime for lunsj. The bar service is good and fast. Compared to reflection i january is was express. The only down was in the martini bar, they didn't have a super flair bartender trio. They were good, but it was just missing a bit. The entertainment onboard is good, the shows were nice. It was good whit some english entertainment and sarcasm. The stars of the equinox were good and the shows they had were good. The houseband could have been better. It was a bit stressed music and repeating. We had booked some shore excursions before we left from home. They were great and it is expensive, but it is easy and if something happens we are taken care of. Disembarkation went fast and we was of before time, we had to wait for a taxi to the airport for 20min but overall this was a new record for disembarkation. Overall we are very satisfied whit the cruise, we will do celebrity again. Compared to other cruise lines we have tried, this fits us perfect. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
After a brief visit to Turkey a few years back we wanted to go to Istanbul. The October Constellation trip was a good price performer in the off season. We even got the free tips package, which was also popular with the crew as these ... Read More
After a brief visit to Turkey a few years back we wanted to go to Istanbul. The October Constellation trip was a good price performer in the off season. We even got the free tips package, which was also popular with the crew as these cannot be removed :) The embarkation was smooth and trouble free. We took the Havatas Airport Bus (13TL) and stayed at The Point Hotel in Taksim Square which was right at the bus drop off. We had the hotel call the cab in the morning to get to the ship. Note- negotiate cab fares up front- meters are ignored. This is a nice, well run ship. We marveled at the view of Istanbul before we left and wished to stay longer. We could find a decent beer (Leffe and an American Microbrew IPA) and the Captain was Greek and very entertaining and interesting. I was super cranky at the posted sign when I went to try to change to Anytime Dining (full don't bother) and the MDR food was OK - they have no idea how to make soup. The water for making tea was lukewarm as per legal requirements is a guess. We heard a lot of grumbling it was hard to find free food later in the afternoon or very late at night. We love the MDR vs. the buffet experience and the service was flawless. The highlight of the ship for us was the band- we like to ballroom dance. Kathleen and The Saints were in the aft lounge every night. The dance floor was a bit small but we made it work. There was a fabulous Euro DJ (Inferno) who played every night in the Martini Bar. Sadly you could not find him where there was a dance floor. No smoke was noticed anywhere :) They would open the helicopter pad for important sightseeing spots and you could chat with the Officers (the Housekeeping Director was a great resource for questions) - this was a nice touch. There was no piped in music in the library- yaa. This was our first time on Celebrity. They need a bigger variety of shore excursions at Kusadasi- we were less interested in ruins after 11 days. The ports were excellent- Corfu was just amazing for the forts and Greek lunch. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We were in cabin 9296 which seemed to be a nice location. It is said to be an upgraded cabin and the the balcony is a little larger than normal. Since the balcony is slanted towards the stern of the boat, you do not have a great view of ... Read More
We were in cabin 9296 which seemed to be a nice location. It is said to be an upgraded cabin and the the balcony is a little larger than normal. Since the balcony is slanted towards the stern of the boat, you do not have a great view of where you are going. The room steward was excellent and it seemed like they were always cleaning. We had the early dining in the Opus dining room and the waiter was OUTSTANDING. Couldn't ask for anyone better. The food was okay, but could have used some herbs as seasoning instead of just salt. Speaking of food, the buffet was mostly Mexican, Indian and Asian food. I won't use the word cuisine to describe it, because it wasn't fancy, nor really good. Could Celebrity think of any cheaper food to make? Breakfast was standard fare, with the highlight being the freshly carved ham station. Delicious. On previous Celebrity cruises I enjoyed the shrimp salad at lunch and would have a nice sandwich, however, no shrimp salad on this cruise. Salmon salad, egg salad or chicken salad. Again cost cutting? We did dine at the specialty restaurants and liked them, but Celebrity seemed to raise their cost from previous cruises and $45 a person seemed a bit high. The excursions were either very good or a major disappointment. We had never been to Greece or Turkey before and were looking forward to sights we only read about or saw in pictures. In Athens, I would rate the excursion as a two out of five. Could you believe that half the excursion was a sales pitch. We were brought to one place where they made monogramed necklace and wasted about an hour and then we were dropped off in the middle of town for three hours on our own. Yes, three hours to look at various shops or go to some local museum. Tried to catch an excursion bus back to the ship but they wouldn't take us and made us wait he whole three boring hours. Similar experience with other Celebrity excursions this trip. In Pompeii we wasted one hour at a shop that made wood products and furniture and another hour where they made cameos. In Turkey they wanted us to see a sales pitch on carpets. We would have like the additional time in Pompeii instead of the sales pitch. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We had 30 cruises with Princess but decided to go on a Celebrity cruise because it included 3 days in Israel. We expected a high quality cruise similar to Princess or possibly an improvement. Although the itinerary was good, the ... Read More
We had 30 cruises with Princess but decided to go on a Celebrity cruise because it included 3 days in Israel. We expected a high quality cruise similar to Princess or possibly an improvement. Although the itinerary was good, the Celebrity Cruise was terrible. Here are a few of the problems: - We were at sea 2 days before arriving at Israel and all passengers wanted to learn about Israel (culture, religious history and conflicts, sights to visit, creation of country, government, etc,) but Celebrity did not have a single presentation on Israel prior to arriving there. This is complelely unacceptable and all passengers were disappointed and angry about this Celebrity failure. - The entertainment was a almost non-existent, but what they had was very poor. They had 3 production shows in their theatre but they were a joke: no themes, low quality performers, street acrobats, very disjointed and mostly dark and depressing. Whereas Princess shows are fabulous! We tried to find a place to dance but when we went to a night club venue (twice) after the theatre shows, all they had was a DJ playing music videos, there was no dancing. Most passengers were like us, we walked in found nothing going on and walked out. Many bar tenders and waiters were standing around. Celebrity did have a small dance floor near the elevators, but it only held 20 people on a ship with 3000 passengers. This was the only live entertainment on the ship!!!! We feel that Celebrity is just a very, very cheap and they don't want to spend money on entertainment. On Princess they have live entertainment in the Wheelhouse Bar, the Explorers Lounge, the Club Fusion, the piano bars, and the beautiful Atrium. Plus they always have a classical string instrument group that plays both in Atrium and in a separate classical lounge at night. Princess even has afternoon tea dances, which we love; jugglers and acrobats in the Atrium, etc. We have never had such a terribly entertainment on a cruise! - The dining room food was poorly prepared and tasteless. We like to eat fish on cruises but we were unable to eat most Celebrity fish. They could only prepare salmon, so we had to eat it nearly every night. The salads has absolutely no taste. When we complained about the food, they recommended we go to one of their premium dining rooms where they charge $45 per person. - The room steward was completely incompetent and made so many mistakes we had to have her changed (the first time we've ever had to do this in 40 cruises). She would never have ice available and even forgot to leave the empty ice bucket. She kept resetting the temperature adjustment to the max maximum temperature so the shower was scalding hot when we got in. Apparently Celebrity doesn't train their employees on how to clean a room. And, please note we had an upgraded Concierge Balcony Cabin. - The cabins were extremely small with very little storage space for clothes. The worst storages situation we've ever had on a cruise. - They gave us several bottles of Champagne because of their service failures but when we asked if we could trade the Champagne for Diet Cokes they refused to permit this change. = We complained about the cruise after we returned but Celebrity Customer Service said that we received the same cruise as all the other passengers, so we didn't deserve any compensation or future cruise discount. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We enjoy cruising, visiting & experiencing the sights and sounds, not to mention the food, of places which we have never been to. We have cruised the Mediterranean several times, but not with Israel on the itinerary. As such, I would ... Read More
We enjoy cruising, visiting & experiencing the sights and sounds, not to mention the food, of places which we have never been to. We have cruised the Mediterranean several times, but not with Israel on the itinerary. As such, I would say we went on this cruise because of Israel. We embarked our ship in Rome, sailed to Naples, spent 2 nights in Ashdod, went to Haifa, then to Kusadasi, then to Mykonos, sailed to Athens, then to Malta & finally back to Rome. We did both private & ships' shore excursions and thoroughly enjoyed both. We did Naples, Haifa & Mykonos on our own, but if there is a next time, we would go on a private or ship's excursion in Haifa, as it was very hilly to walk. Notwithstanding the situation in Israel, we felt safe in every port that we visited. We booked a ship's excursion to the "Blue Grotto" for Malta, but on tour day, were advised that we could not go into the grotto due to the water being too high or rough sea (can't remember). Kudos should be given to Celebrity that they were going to credit us back 20% plus an extended time for viewing the grotto from the outside, exchange our tickets for another tour or full refund without penalty. Not sure what a private tour would have done. The Silhouette was the newest & largest ship that we have been on. We thought being on a full ship, that it would be too crowded, but were pleasantly surprised to the contrary. We also liked that the Silhouette was modern, bright & airy, compared to the other ships that we have cruised on. The staff on board were friendly & courteous, which reflects down from our "Greek" captain who was always hilarious! The food in the dining room & buffet (good variety in buffet) was average to good, while the entertainment that we managed to attend was very good. While we did not need to use it, there appears to be sufficient entertainment for the children on board. The gym was very well equipped with tread mills, stationary bikes, universal type machines, dumb bells, etc. There is also a walking/running track & basketball court on the upper deck. I was impressed with the large area of real green lawn also on the upper deck areas. The embarkation was a little longer than expected, while the disembarkation was fairly prompt. I guess as there is no real control by Celebrity, it depends on how many passenger arrive at the same time during embarkation. Al in all, a good itinerary on a great ship. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
This was the first time on Celebrity and the first time going on a larger ship. We had high expectations of the 'modern luxury' line. It's true, the ship was very comfortable, modern and well-maintained. It never felt ... Read More
This was the first time on Celebrity and the first time going on a larger ship. We had high expectations of the 'modern luxury' line. It's true, the ship was very comfortable, modern and well-maintained. It never felt over-crowded, and there were so many venues, you could always find somewhere quiet to sunbathe or have a drink. The ship has a policy of keeping public address announcements to a minimum, which we like. The staff were all friendly, welcoming and hard-working. We did a couple of the Celebrity tours (in Israel) and they were really excellent and good value. We upgraded our free drinks package for a reasonable fee and got good use from that too. Food is a bit of a mixed bag. The buffet ('Oceanview cafe') is big, and it looks (and feels) like a fast food restaurant, but it has a lovely outdoor terrace, and we enjoyed the food. We enjoyed Qsine most, then Murano and the Lawn Grill We were really disappointed with the Tuscan Grill which had a strange menu (french fries served in faux London newspaper - how Tuscan is that?) and a strange dark, corridor-like ambiance with rumbling engines beneath. The main dining options are based on a class system. Depending on cabin grade you can eat in Luminae, Blu or the main dining room. We were in veranda class, so that meant the main dining room for us. We were in the 'open seating' area of the restaurant which we found a bit squashed. The food in the MDR is OK if you like chops, chicken Kiev, overcooked sea bass and the like, but generally we were disappointed. The veranda cabin (9th floor) was well appointed and had a good bathroom, though the bed was a bit hard. We didn't really see any of the stage shows because the timing never worked out with our preferred time to eat, but the musicians around the ship were good. We considered going with Celebrity again this year, and maybe we will one day, but taking everything into consideration, we have booked back on our favourite line (Oceania) for our next cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
By far, the best Celebrity cruise trip we've taken (our 5th) Although the old days of white glove service on the Century are long gone, I will tell you that this ship is about quality, service and friendliness of the staff. (The ... Read More
By far, the best Celebrity cruise trip we've taken (our 5th) Although the old days of white glove service on the Century are long gone, I will tell you that this ship is about quality, service and friendliness of the staff. (The food was good as well!) We took a 14 day Holy land cruise and had a great time. Let's start with the Captain - not only is he superb (if there are no glitches, they get high marks!) BUT he's hilarious and friendly. Great sense of humor - great schtick - if he wasn't the Master of the Seas, he could be the head of entertainment! The Entertainment staff was really good. I sense they were down a man or two, but the 3 of them did a phenomenal job! We especially enjoyed the port vs. starboard games. All the head crew participated and made it even more fun. Speaking of entertainment - that's my only downside. I thought the hollywood/vegas shows were average. I was on the Constellation in February for 5 days and had 2 great shows. These were "fair". I wish I wasn't worn out and could have seen all the headliner shows, but with this itinerary (Naples, Jerusalem, Haifa, Ephesus, Mykonos, Athens, Malta) we were wiped out! The headliners singers were superb. Two were from "xxxx got talent", one was a london west-end performer. The Las Vegas Magician/whatever was really bad - that was the first time I walked out on a show. I would suggest booking some additional non-singing talent that is good. Food quality. Definitely worth the splurge at Tuscany and Murano (didn't try the others) - that was the quality I was used to on sailings of past... we got them to discount the restaurant to 30/pp (from 45 and 50) Main Dining room - food was well above average - not the greatest but was worth it - once they fixed the snafu with our table (couldn't find it due to moving tables around due to 2 large 300+ groups), things were great. They comped us on a bottle of wine for the problem, but with the beverage package, wasn't a bid deal . Service was good (need to get the early diners out of the restaurant - we had to wait on our table (8:30 seating) twice due to the people in previous seating being consistently late. Wait staff was excellent. Sommelier had a great sense of humor - bar staff was superb as usual - very friendly and accommodating. Speaking of the other dining rooms. I noticed that they didn't come around at the beginning of the cruise trying to get you to upgrade. That was a pet peeve of mine on other trips. However, I sensed that because of the large group reservations they had, they had trouble filling the restaurants - they started to push the restaurants - even in the main dining room - ASK FOR A DISCOUNT - YOU WILL GET IT!!! Room - great room - Concierge class was really nothing special and probably not worth the upgrade had crucon thrown in $700/cabin + free drinks + tips. We got afternoon snacks (really not very good) . by day 3 we didn't even see the order form. Room stewards were great - how come no more towel animals?? :) The ship itself was spectacular - immaculate and well kept. Every day they washed windows, dusted crevices, etc. well maintained Enrichment - the guy talking about the ports of call was pretty boring. Shore Excursions - save money - book on your own. We found a guy in Israel for $100/pp/day. found places we wouldn't have thought about. Check each port for "on-again/off again busses" - great way to get around and get a view of the city . Overall - GREAT TRIP - now back to reality! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
This was cruise number 31 for us and we had a great time. Was it perfect? Well, the weather was on the chilly side in the morning and we had a few showers and light rain in the morning at some of the ports but it didn't keep us ... Read More
This was cruise number 31 for us and we had a great time. Was it perfect? Well, the weather was on the chilly side in the morning and we had a few showers and light rain in the morning at some of the ports but it didn't keep us down. We had booked a tour to Montserrat through Celebrity. It was so miserable up on the mountain that we could hardly see our hands in front of us. The guide was awful, the only bad one we had experienced in years. He constantly disappeared and people got annoyed, nervous and frustrated. We've been on Equinox before and it is still as pretty and clean as ever. The service was very good but kind of slow in the dining room at times. No big deal. With 3,000 people to serve it can be expected and we were always well taken care off. We had Select Dining and pretty much came when we felt like it and never had to wait more than a couple of minutes. Neither of us had any complaints about the food. The Ocean View Café is a zoo and we both detest the set-up. It's basically the same on other ships. People walking around with glazed eyes, hands full of loaded plates and no available tables. We went to 9 of the shows and enjoyed them. First night, we just collapsed from exhaustion and went to bed early. We don't like magicians or jugglers so missed those shows and the violinist/comedian better hold on to his day job. He was beyond bad. Some people are impossible to please. We had one a few tables away from us who was loud and obnoxious. We called him "Blueberry Man" because he demanded fresh berries every morning before he left his cabin. He complained nonstop about every single thing he was served and managed to frustrate the poor servers. He claimed he was a well known food critic. Tours were mostly excellent but on the pricey side. I had tried to book them beforehand but as everyone knows, the Celebrity website is horrible. It was always down "for 20 minutes" and I noticed that the prices of tours had gone way up once we got on the ship. We spent over $1,100 on tours. Fortunately we had a lot of ship's credit. I highly recommend the all day tour in Lisbon and the all day tour to the Alhambra. They were the best we had on the cruise. We have booked a similar cruise, much of the same itinerary for next year. It is on the Silhouette. We are happy Celebrity cruisers. People should remember that nothing is ever going to be 100% perfect. The crew does their best, 3000 people cannot all be completely satisfied. Especially "Blueberry Man." Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We have been on 4 cruises now and one other was on Celebrity. This was hands down the best cruise we have been on yet. The ship (Reflection) was clean, the cabin (7334) was spacious (plenty of room for us to put all our things away...but ... Read More
We have been on 4 cruises now and one other was on Celebrity. This was hands down the best cruise we have been on yet. The ship (Reflection) was clean, the cabin (7334) was spacious (plenty of room for us to put all our things away...but we were just two people). Our cabin attendants were very helpful, and attentive. Our bed was situated right next to the veranda door and we kept it open all the time...day and night to hear the ocean. We had breakfast almost every morning at the buffet and always found something to eat always having fresh fruit, and strong coffee. We had a standing reservation with 5 other couples at 7:15 PM in the dining room (Opus) and the food was fantastic. We had the same wait staff (Charneil, Bogdan and Mahmet) every night and they were fantastic. If I have one complaint it was the entertainment. It was a little cheesy but there was a lot of other things to do (the casino, bars, dancing and shopping) so it wasn't that big of an issue. I would have liked a comedy club on board. We also had a glitch with one of the 6 excursions we went on. The Shore Excursion desk was helpful but didn't get us a full refund and that was a little disappointing. We will be doing another cruise with Celebrity for sure. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
The Celebrity Silhouette is a wonderful ship. For the most part, the food was great. The buffet choices for breakfast and lunch were wonderful, and the food was well-prepared. We had Celebrity Select dining in the main dining room. The ... Read More
The Celebrity Silhouette is a wonderful ship. For the most part, the food was great. The buffet choices for breakfast and lunch were wonderful, and the food was well-prepared. We had Celebrity Select dining in the main dining room. The service varied from adequate to outstanding depending on where we sat. The food was very good, especially the lobster tails on the second formal night. We had the Classic Beverage Package and had wine with dinner. We never had a problem getting wine. The choices were quite limited on the classic package, but we always found a wine we liked. We ate in Qsine, Murano, The Porch, and The Bistro. Qsine was awesome, so many choices, all well-prepared. The menu in Murano is getting tired. The food is quite good, but it's been the same for a few years. The Porch has mainly cold seafood. The quality of the food was outstanding, but more hot food choices would be more appealing. The Bistro was terrible. It took over 2 hours to get our entrees, and the crepes were cold, not hot. Celebrity listened to our complaints (6 of us), agreed we got bad service, and didn't charge us for the meal. We visited some great Mediterranean ports - Salerno, Italy, Messina, Sicily, Marseilles, France, Villefranche, France, Ajaccio, Corsica, and Livorno, Italy. In Marseilles, we left around 6 PM, even though Villefranche is only about 100 miles away. An extra 2 hours would have made a real difference in excursion possibilities. In Ajaccio, we left around 5 PM, pulled out into the harbor and sat for 2 hours. Again, the extra time in port would have allowed for much better excursions. We did private excursions in every port. The Internet was a joke. It was way faster to use the free internet in the ports than the ship's Internet. Sometimes, we couldn't even get an Internet connection. We just used the Internet for emails. It was way too slow to use a search engine. The ship was wonderful, clean and well managed. The food was really good, except for the Bistro. Our stateroom was immaculate. The Classic Beverage Package was a good deal for us, since it was included as a perk. Unless you drink a lot, I don't think it is worth $50 per day. The cruise was a real bargain, considering the quality of the food, accommodations, entertainment, and the ports of call. We will sail Celebrity again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
This was the 3rd cruise I have taken on the Silhouette. The first two cruises were in Aqua Class in the Caribbean. This time was in a suite (Sky) and I don't know if I can go back to non suite cruising on Celebrity. This review will ... Read More
This was the 3rd cruise I have taken on the Silhouette. The first two cruises were in Aqua Class in the Caribbean. This time was in a suite (Sky) and I don't know if I can go back to non suite cruising on Celebrity. This review will focus on the differences since last time I sailed on the ship (about 2 years ago) Pro's - Dining - I really liked Luminae as a separate dining option. They did have some odd selections a few nights but the food quality was pretty consistent and the service was great. Previously I liked Blu and went back once for breakfast and although it was good, I think Luminae was better. -Specialty Restaurants - We went to Qsine and Murano. We had been to both before. I think Qsine was better this time around - some of that was based on knowing what to order but it just seemed to be a more "mature" food experience than previous experiences. Murano seemed about the same - which was excellent. - Room layout - We were on deck 12 and the amount of room was very good for two people. We actually had too much storage space - much more than aqua class. Butler - The room comes with a butler. Our butler Orlando was incredibly nice and efficient. We really didn't use the butler services (I like doing things for myself) and I almost think he was a little concerned we didn't need help with anything, but his attitude was so positive it left an impression regardless. - Service - Overall I think the service aboard the ship is stellar. It was great this time around and great all the other times. Con's - -Reserving Michaels club for only top tier CC and higher level suite guests left a gap. The ship needs a space like Michaels club available to all guests. It seems like they could have repurposed something else more effectively. Watching sporting events in the molecular bar, etc just didn't feel the same. They need an alternative sport bar/pub like venue to round out their offerings. Considering the waste of space quasar is, seems like they could do something with that. -Passengers - I hesitate to comment on this but the passengers as a whole on this cruise left a lot to be desired. Obviously I am not talking about everyone - most of the people were very pleasant, but still more so than any cruise I have been on there were just some really disrespectful people. There seemed to be so many complaining, entitled, cut you off, knock your coffee into you as they rush to beat you to get some sausage type of cruisers that it left a lasting impression. For example my wife and I were getting a snack in the oceanview café and someone bussing the tables dropped their tray and spilt all their dishes on the floor. A couple of the passengers made fun of the guy and not in a funny ease the tension way. It was just mean. There were several other experiences. I realize there is a lot of "vacation brain" that goes on and with an older crowd it might be more prevalent but it just seemed like a lot of the stereo typical entitled cruisers aboard this cruise. I could go on but you get the idea. -Disembarkation - I don't know if its the port itself or what but what a huge train wreck. Getting luggage on to the busses safely was next to impossible. Was a much more chaotic situation than embarkation which went very smoothly. Anyway - all in all a great cruise experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
The good: Our cabin was comfortable. Not spacious, of course. Steward service was extraordinary. Service in the Silhouette restaurant was excellent. Wonderful itinerary. The not-so-good: The food -- both in ... Read More
The good: Our cabin was comfortable. Not spacious, of course. Steward service was extraordinary. Service in the Silhouette restaurant was excellent. Wonderful itinerary. The not-so-good: The food -- both in Silhouette, and the Oceanview buffet, was inconsistent. Of course the buffet is prey to the usual buffet limitations...runny eggs, lukewarm food. Silhouette did some dishes very well, others not good at all. We ate in the Tuscan Grill specialty restaurant one night. Surprisingly, the weakest part of the meal was the main course. Both my veal, and my wife's rib-eye, were gristly. Crew behind the Customer Relations desk were not terribly friendly or helpful...downright snippy at times. Port information handouts from the CR desk were often incomplete, misleading, unhelpful, and slanted towards using the Celebrity excursion packages. If you can figure out public transportation, you can save 90% on the cost of getting off the ship. I don't like the idea of restaurants that are only open to a certain class of stateroom. It sounds like the bad old days of "first class dining room", that I thought went out with the Titanic. They use the 3rd floor core area too much for music, dancing, live band's, DJ's. This causes the situation where you have to shout to be heard at the CR desk, and at every lounge in the central core. It would be nice to have a place to go for a quiet cocktail before dinner, or a coffee afterwards. Entertainment was weak. The house band (one source of the noise referred to above) was a cliche lounge act. It was frustrating to have an overnight in Dubrovnik, where we were close to town; but not in Rome, where we were a 90 minute train raid away. There was barely enough time to get in, see St Peter's, have lunch, and get back. Read Less
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