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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2010
First, let me say that I NEVER wanted to go on a cruise! The idea of being cooped up on a floating hotel was made me nauseous. Nevertheless, I reluctantly agreed to go and, after doing some research and comparing different cruises on ... Read More
First, let me say that I NEVER wanted to go on a cruise! The idea of being cooped up on a floating hotel was made me nauseous. Nevertheless, I reluctantly agreed to go and, after doing some research and comparing different cruises on different cruise lines, my wife and I selected a cruise on the Celebrity Equinox, which was the newest ship in Celebrity's fleet. Since we were going to the Mediterranean and would be visiting such ports as Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes and Naples, we decided on a stateroom with a balcony. The thought of sitting outside, eating breakfast, with a view of the Mediterranean was too good to pass up. As it happened, on the day we actually booked the trip, Celebrity cut the price of its concierge level cabins so that they were the same price as a regular balcony. It seemed like a good deal so we booked a concierge room. We also paid for a Classic Non-alcoholic Beverage package and one that included some alcoholic beverages. My wife likes a glass or two of wine with dinner; I rarely drink anything alcoholic. We made our own travel arrangements and flew into Rome a day early. Since we arrived at about 7 am Rome time, we had an entire day to spend in Rome. We also booked a hotel in Rome for four days following the cruise. We figured that, as long as we were here, we might as well spend some time in Rome. The first night, we booked a hotel in Trastevere and spent the day wandering around this lovely area across the river from the main areas of Rome. The next day we got a car service (Bob's Cars) to the cruise port to board the ship. I was excited, but still a bit skeptical. In the terminal, there was a bit of a crowd waiting to go through the boarding process and some long lines. It was then that we noticed the "Concierge Only" sign and no line! We zipped through the boarding process and headed for the ship. I think I was on board for about three minutes when I decided that I REALLY LIKED IT! I was hooked. The Equinox is a beautiful ship. The pool area, the restaurants, the theater, the library, the night clubs --- everything was stunning. But the thing that won me over was the staff. Everywhere we went there were friendly crew members who sincerely interested in whether or not we were enjoying ourselves. Our steward was wonderful and took care of all our requests swiftly. We originally planned to try different specialty restaurants, but the food in the main dining room was so good that we never made it to the other restaurants. We were able to choose from the "classic menu," which was the same each night, or from the "specialty menu," which changed each night and featured dishes from specialty restaurants from around the fleet. The staff was always helpful and attentive and the sommelier took great care of my wife, even though she only ordered wine by the glass instead of whole bottles. Our concierge stateroom was on deck 11 at the rear of the ship. It was pretty roomy and had plenty of storage space. The balcony was lovely and it was incredibly relaxing sitting there in the mornings or late afternoons and watching the ship's wake. It seemed as though we were at the edge of the world. We particularly enjoyed the shows in the theater. I heard people complain about the quality. Sure, they're young performers and the shows are not anywhere near Broadway quality. But the performers are energetic and talented and give it their all every performance. We booked a couple of shore excursions and did our own thing in some locations. We booked the ship's excursion to Delos, Ephesus and Pompeii and the Amalfi coast. All three were excellent and worth the money. An excursion to Taormina was too short and we felt rushed this was the only excursion that was a bit disappointing (although Taormina was lovely). We did our own walking tours of Mykonos, Rhodes and Athens. The ship's excursion to Athens was very brief and the people who booked it were complaining that they were rushed. We took a train from the port into Athens, spent as much time as we wanted at the Acropolis and the Ancient Agora, had a leisurely lunch and took the train back to the port in the late afternoon. In Santorini, we rented a car (in advance) a drove around the island. Since we were concierge passengers, we had priority disembarkation at the end of the cruise (which meant we didn't have to get up at the crack of dawn --- we picked our time to leave the ship). We got our luggage easily and Bob's Car Service was waiting for us at the dock to take us into Rome for four more wonderful days. This was a great vacation. We loved everything about the Equinox and Celebrity and I couldn't wait to take another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2012
We cruised on the Celebrity Equinox in late Sept/early Oct. of 2012. The ship is very modern and beautiful The crew was the best I have ever experienced on a cruise and I have been on quite a few. All ports are nice. Go ahead of the ... Read More
We cruised on the Celebrity Equinox in late Sept/early Oct. of 2012. The ship is very modern and beautiful The crew was the best I have ever experienced on a cruise and I have been on quite a few. All ports are nice. Go ahead of the cruise or after to see Rome. The first morning we passed by a live volcano so be sure not to miss that. First stop was in Italy and we grabbed a van with 2 other couples to go to Termini. Well worth it. beautiful views and cute town. Be sure to have a glass or wine on the patio of the 5 star hotel up there. Other favorite stops were Mykonos, saw the town and went to a beach on the other side only about 15 minutes by cab. Beautiful swimming. Santorini is amazing. Spend the day in Oia. In fact loved it so much we went back to Mykonos and Santorini a month ago and stayed in each 5 nights, Last stop was Naples. We took the ferry to Sorrento and had a wonderful time. Great town. The ship is so nice. We had a balcony room and our staff was the best. We went to see the ports so we did not go to much of the entertainment. The Ice bar is cool. I would definitely go Celebrity again. Great value and wonderful people in the crew Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
Returning to Celebrity after a six year absence, and the last Celebrity cruise we did was a 15 day Infinity Hawaii. Have cruised twenty two times on various lines and we're Celebrity elite. Chose this cruise for the amazing ... Read More
Returning to Celebrity after a six year absence, and the last Celebrity cruise we did was a 15 day Infinity Hawaii. Have cruised twenty two times on various lines and we're Celebrity elite. Chose this cruise for the amazing itinerary- ten Mediterranean ports in twelve days. This was our fifth time cruising the Mediterranean, two Oceania and three Celebrity. Love all of these ports and can never get enough. Arrived the day prior and took the train straight to Civitavecchia from Fiumicino. Stayed at Hotel Miramare which is a great little hotel and within walking distance of the port. We shopped for our two bottles of wine, boarded about 11:30 and all went very quickly and easily. While having lunch in the Oceanview Cafe it was announced that our rooms were ready. Stateroom was lovely- category 2C on a balcony guarantee. It was well laid out, very comfortable bed, lots of bathroom counter space and biggest shower outside of a suite we've ever had. Supposed to be a partial oceanview, starboard last cabin aft, but the view was terrific only blocked by the roof of the restaurant below. Halfway through the cruise, because of a loud rattle in the wall of the cabin we were upgraded to a C1, aft cabin with that amazing view. Lucked out as the only cabins available previously were insides. The day we switched just happened to coincide with someone moving out of it because they did not like it (?). Obviously we had no complaints about it (!) and guest relations was amazing in taking care of us. The ports were fantastic and Celebrity was able to get us off the ship fast at each one. Tendering in Santorini was a breeze. Did not use any of the cruise lines shore excursions- all independent. Yet I knew immediately on laying eyes on the ship in port that yikes, this ship was way to large for me. On the exterior the massive top heaviness was not aesthetically pleasing. The atrium of the ship while gorgeous to others felt stark and closed in for as big as it was. Can't explain why but the ship felt claustrophobic in the center atrium. Most people like the art we felt it wasn't as pleasing and maybe even controversial as previous Celebrity ships. They were photographic reproductions, subtle but uninteresting. Even the decorative wood, say around the elevators and other public spaces wasn't wood, but artificial-plastic like a page out of Las Vegas. But I NEVER spoke to one person on board who felt quite like we did. Everyone thought the ship was gorgeous. Can't comment on the activities, as the cruise was port intensive, and we only utilized the gym, jogging track, pools, library and enrichment talks. They were all terrific. But another reason we're no longer Celebrity people but Oceania/Azamara people as we're not interested in the casino, theatre, bars and ship activities. Cellar Masters was great- enjoyed tasting a variety of wines.The gym was fabulous and loved the pool area, always lots of padded comfy chairs in pool and solarium, and never felt crowded on the two at sea days. The library left much to be desired. While it was beautiful the books were dated and several copies of the same books no one seemed to want. Dining is subjective but we felt it was hit or miss, yet mostly hit. Had select dining, and some great meals in the MDR and some OK ones, but dining staff knock themselves out trying to please. I'm vegetarian and always found something on the main menu, even tho there is a vegetarian menu. One night when our waiter noticed I wasn't eating my meal, she insisted on getting me something else and returned with a fabulous portobello mushroom dish. Some dishes were just bland and not anything like the Celebrity of old. Lobster was huge, infact all portions were huge and we couldn't finish. Desserts were so-so, although you must try the carrot cake in Cafe al Bacio (no charge). Tried all three specialty restaurants and Qsine was our favorite- fun and delicious. None of them are worth the $90 extra per couple however and food not spectacular as it used to be. Lots of half price meals on our cruise, and at $45 worth trying once. Not impressed with either Murano or Tuscan Grille. OK, big deal- the coffee. It was horrendous in the Oceanview cafe, a tad better in the dining room, pretty good in the Solarium. If you like coffee plan on paying $4.50 for specialty coffee, or maybe bring your aeropress. Service was outstanding, and a smiling friendly face everywhere. and one thing that is always constant on every Celebrity ship we've cruised. Our comment card was overfilled with glowing praise for employees. Even Guest Relations was ever accommodating. Disembarkation was very smooth. Have to reiterate that even thought there were 2500 passengers, the ship never felt crowded. Overall, we'd again do the same itinerary, but not cruise Celebrity again. Remember the day when Celebrity was near perfection, just a notch below lines like Oceania. But now between the size of the ship and dining it's not for us anymore. We prefer the smaller, intimate ships. Solstice class are so massive you barely feel that you are on water which is a plus for those who suffer seasickness. They look top heavy and barely like a ship anymore- it feels like a 12 story hotel, or like six Nordstroms glued together. The dining has declined as have most cruise lines so only fair to say in it's class it's probably very good. For our tastes we'd rather pay more and cruise less for the luxury class like Oceania or Windstar. We like to "feel" the ocean/sea as felt in the smaller ships, and like the old style wood and intimate ships. We cruised this because of the fabulous itinerary, and while we'd do the itinerary once again, wouldn't do it on Celebrity. There were some excellent parts of the experience, but the larger picture made it not the line for us. Came home and booked another Oceania Med for next spring. Again I talked to no one onboard who felt quite as strongly as we did. Most people loved it, and the complaints we heard were about music, some noise in cabins, and shore excursions- never dining. If you like big ships this is probably a great option. Lastly we stayed in Venice at Hotel al Ponte Mocenigo for three days and it was superb. We've been to Venice many times and this was one of our favorite places to stay. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
Have just spent 11 days cruising on this magnificent ship , departing from Civitavecchia(Rome) and sailing to Santorini, Istanbul, Kusadasi, Mykonos, Athens and Naples. we departed May 27th 2013. Excellent organisation in embarking some ... Read More
Have just spent 11 days cruising on this magnificent ship , departing from Civitavecchia(Rome) and sailing to Santorini, Istanbul, Kusadasi, Mykonos, Athens and Naples. we departed May 27th 2013. Excellent organisation in embarking some 3000 passengers. This ship is only a few months old, so everything on board was spic and span.Rooms were huge and spotlessly clean. Meals were superb (but servings a bit big for my husband and I), entertainment was world class. activities were numerous and covered interests for all ages. We could not fault the service anywhere on the ship. 10 out of 10. Shore excursions were very good, but quite pricy compared to those you could arrange privately. we did private tours in Santorini and Kusadasi and took a taxi from Pireus to Athens with a great taxi driver called Mick, who was waiting at the port. We did a big tour to the amalfi coast, Salerno and Pompeii through the ship. ( and a half hours for $157 Aussie dollars including lunch- and going to amalfi by launch. That was a wonderful tour. We also did a tour of a sail up the Bospherus River in Istanbul plus tour of the city and the Grand Bazaar. Nice to say we have been to Istanbul but would never bother to go again. we stayed there overnight but would rather have had more time in other places. Only real complaint was the charges for drinks-plus 15% on each drink on top of the gratuities you pay each day. also at Kusadasi, they had a shuttle bus to take people from the ship to the edge of town- about a five minute ride and charged passengers $8US for a ticket to ride the bus(return fare). But many people just hopped on the bus who hadn't paid anything, They could have provided the buses for free. Also bottles of water in the cabin are $4us each, Beware. apart from that everything was excellent- especially organisation. Would definitelt go with them again Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
Our first cruise with Celebrity, after 3 Caribbean cruises on Princess.We were surprised by some of the negatives and although they didn't ruin our trip, we all felt like there was much to be improved upon. Our fellow cruisers were a ... Read More
Our first cruise with Celebrity, after 3 Caribbean cruises on Princess.We were surprised by some of the negatives and although they didn't ruin our trip, we all felt like there was much to be improved upon. Our fellow cruisers were a mix of ages, probably the largest majority 45+, but there were lots of younger people too. In terms of children, quite a few teens, and a few babies all pretty well behaved. Embarkation: We arrived in Barcelona on the morning of our sailing. We had purchased the transfer from the airport, and even though it was more expensive than taking a taxi, it was VERY convenient. we were at the port by 10:30 and on the ship by 11. Check in was very simple and quick. We were able to purchase our beverage package upgrade right at the port, which saved us the trouble later. There was a small duty free shopping area at the port after check-in, but before we actually boarded the ship, which was nice if someone wanted to purchase wine to take aboard. We didn't purchase anything in this area. just past that was the first photo-op, as is usual. Once we got to the ship we were greeted with champagne (or OJ) and lots of smiles! Our only issue with embarkation was that our luggage didn't make it to our rooms until nearly 6:00 pm-- we would have liked to have had some time in the afternoon to unpack and get settled. Apparently this is a common thing when you arrive early, your luggage gets put to the back and comes last :( Overall though, it was a good experience with no huge issues. The Ship: Just beautiful. Easy to maneuver, our first time on a Celebrity ship and we found everything simple and easy to get to. I was surprised that the photo gallery was so out of the way. I don't usually buy more than one photo on a trip, and since I never saw most of them it was easy! The public spaces, lounges etc. were all nicely decorated and spotless. The public area rest rooms were always well maintained never saw one thing out of place. The rest rooms weren't always well marked-- for example it took us 3 days to find out that there were 2 ladies rooms near the pool area-- for 2 days we kept going out of the pool and up a floor to find the rest rooms. I was disappointed by the pools. They were nice, but far too small for the number of people on the ship. The 3rd pool -- the solarium-- we nice enough, but it's a quiet area and everyone in there was sleeping --- or maybe worse---- so much that it was uncomfortable even to have a quiet conversation with my husband. We didn't stay in there long. The main pool area was, 2 pools, one shallow and one about 6 ft deep... both very tiny. I was shocked when they commandeered the deeper one (usually older teens and adults in that one) for several hours for a volleyball game -- which of course meant it wasn't usable for anyone else. I was also very surprised given the limited seating that they took over one corner and had shirts and things to sell on the sea days... they could have set up anywhere, but took out lounge chairs!! Lots of music and entertainment, all pretty good, and the drink service was decent during the days we were out there. Stateroom Deck 10 1409: The stateroom was fine. we were in a CC aft stateroom -- nice location, VERY quiet. the balcony was big enough to just barely fit two chairs with footrests and a small table -- that was fine since we didn't spend too much time on it. Made for some fantastic views coming and going from our many ports. The bathroom was pretty generously sized, lots of cubby spaces for toiletries. Shower was small, but fine. The room was nice, although I felt because of the set up it was a bit cramped (bed was near the slider door to the balcony- so it closed the room up a bit.) There was enough storage space, more than I've found on other ships. Dining, Service and Food: We had 8:45 traditional seating in the Silhouette dining room, although I don't think we ate there more than 6 times for reasons I'll explain below. We were a group of 7 and they squeezed us into a table for 6 in an already very very overcrowded room. we had a hard time going between chairs to get to our table somewhere in the middle, and the servers and assistants had a hard time getting around everyone--- I think all of us got bumped on a regular basis. Although our server and assistant were very nice, there was a language problem, and we all felt that the staff had not been well trained. The food-- well-- I was greatly disappointed in the food in the MDR---the menu seemed like it was trying too hard-- duck, lamb, veal... the standard left side menu didn't even have a simple pasta on it to choose. Too fancy for my (and the rest of my family's ) tastes and what we did select was often bland. The sauces in particular were a problem.. just no flavor. Overall the menu felt like it was thrown together with no plan in mind..I don't understand why if there is a baked chicken or steak on the standard menu, there is the same thing on the day's special menu with almost no variation. For that reason, we ate 3 times in specialty restaurants-- Murano, and Tuscan Grill-- which were amazing-- food, service, wonderful wine list! The other nights we ate in the Oceanside Cafe or ordered room service. The Cafe was a pleasant surprise, I usually hate buffets, but it was very good. Room service was just ok. The difference between the specialty restaurants and the MDR was extreme. I don't believe it makes sense to have to pay extra to get good food and service. This was the one area that I really felt will probably keep me from sailing again with Celebrity. Excursions: We did a tour from the ship in Croatia that was very nice, well organized good stops. Our ship tour from Venice on the first day was good, and gave us the highlights along with Murano and a gondola ride, and the 2nd day we wandered the streets ourselves which was fun. Our other ports in Italy we did private tours and we found them to be less expensive with far better itineraries (we set them of course!) and great service from the 2 companies we used. Debarkation: Went smoothly, had transfer for an early (10:45 AM) flight. We were supposed to have a special lounge area-- some members of our group got the notice, some didn't. It required us to go to the lounge (Silk Harvest) 30 minutes before our debark time, so we just slept longer and went to the theater with everyone else. 6:15 was way too early! Once our bus was called it went quickly. No issues. Couple of other notes: If you get an internet package to use wireless, it's easiest to go right to Celebrity Online and have them set up your mobile device, they were fantastic. There didn't seem to be a Sommelier on the ship.. there were people who claimed to be, but they were barely wine servers who were not well trained. If you want good wine, I think you might need to check out Cellar Masters-- all of the lounges and restaurants had different wines, and most of the servers had not one clue about wine. We didn't go to Cellar Masters since we had the premium bev package and it's not included, seemed silly to spend more money in that area. The beverage package was a nice thing-- no slips to sign, and I think a good value for us personally. The casino was ok-- I did well on the machines. I was shocked that when I won what I thought was a rather significant jackpot that I didn't hear from the casino host there encouraging me to play more :) The reward credit program isn't explained at all-- for every 75 pts you earn you get $1 to play with, but ask the cashier and they can help. Bingo was expensive ($39, $49 and $59 packages) 3 games were played and overall they paid out about 1000 to the 3 winners... just seemed like a bit of a rip off. I expected more games than 3 for sure. I never went to a single shop on board. Others we were traveling did, and got a few good buys, but nothing special. Typical cruise ship shops and normal prices. Overall: We had a great vacation-- the itinerary was very busy, some very long port/excursion days, but it was such a beautiful area we didn't mind a bit :) The problems with the MDR certainly didn't ruin our trip, but it was the one area that I was very surprised since we had been told of Celebrity's strength in that area. Happy to answer any questions for those of you headed out on Equinox soon!! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
We did an 11 night cruise through the Med on the Silhouette going Venice to Venice with multiple stops in Italy, Croatia, Malta and Montenegro. I'm 43 years old, married and travelling with my 7 year old son and another couple. This ... Read More
We did an 11 night cruise through the Med on the Silhouette going Venice to Venice with multiple stops in Italy, Croatia, Malta and Montenegro. I'm 43 years old, married and travelling with my 7 year old son and another couple. This was my 31st cruise but only 2nd with Celebrity. We've done a lot of cruises with Royal Caribbean and I've got to say, it might be tough to go back now! The ship is beautiful and maintained like new. The service was excellent and the crew was always warm and welcoming. The food was great! Never experienced a bad meal in the main restaurants and the pay restaurants were as they should have been....AWESOME! The Lawn Grille and Quisine were outstanding. don't understand the people writing negative reviews about them. Never been on a cruise with such a funny and witty Captain. Actually looked forward to his announcements after the first day. Ended each once with......OUT!!!!! Ladies....wait til you see him in person. My wife and her girlfriend couldn't take their eyes off of him when he played Volleyball on the Crew vs. Passenger game.....think young Sean Connery, but Greek! LOL! The unlimited beverage package was included for all 4 adults. The 2 husbands opted to upgrade to the Premium Package for an additional 10 bucks a day......and was worth every cent! 100 kinds of vodkas, 75 kinds of For those of you who are not heavy drinkers, remember what else is available 24/7.....fresh squeezed OJ and grapefruit juices, all specialty coffees and teas, Evian water, Perrier, San Pelagrano, canned sodas, Gatorade, Vitaminwaters. We all experienced the BEST cruise of our life........and so should you!!!! Thank you Celebrity Silhouette! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
We booked directly with Celebrity in order to secure a five hundred dollar on board credit. This came in useful when paying our wine and bar bill. Beware prices for drinks are high. The Reflection at less than a year old and is very ... Read More
We booked directly with Celebrity in order to secure a five hundred dollar on board credit. This came in useful when paying our wine and bar bill. Beware prices for drinks are high. The Reflection at less than a year old and is very impressive. The sweeping central atrium is beautiful, the cabins are pristine with modern decor and the bars are exciting night time venues. Although we were slightly disappointed with the evening entertainment there were some stand out acts. 'These Guys', a group of four young Californian men were sensational. The comedy venue 'Sin City' show was great entertainment. Ask any guy who watched this show if they remember Sarah Storey, the Australian burlesque dancer. Overall the shore trips were well organised, but a little uninspiring. The food was never something to rave about, but consistently good. We soon learnt that the meat choices were by far the best. The buffet had plenty of choice and we always found a table outside to sit, both for breakfast and lunch. Both embarkation and disembarkation were efficient but a 6.30 start meant that Celebrity got us to the airport with three and a half hours to go before our flight to Birmingham. Overall a very pleasant cruise, but we came away saying we would like to try another cruise company next time. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
Had previous sailed with Infinity, we choose Reflection the newest Celebrity ship for our east Mediteranean trip. The sail in was smooth, the staffs were wonderful and attentive, the itinerary was interesting. The service wass top notch as ... Read More
Had previous sailed with Infinity, we choose Reflection the newest Celebrity ship for our east Mediteranean trip. The sail in was smooth, the staffs were wonderful and attentive, the itinerary was interesting. The service wass top notch as always with celebrity cruise. The ship had great design. Overall we were very pleased. Embarkation: We took the train from Roma termini to Civitavechia and catch the cab from outside of station to the ship. We arrived 2.5 hours before departure and there was almost no line. Check in took less than 10 minutes and we were on the ship in less than 20 minutes. The most smooth boarding I've experience. Ship: Absolutely beautiful, very modern, contemporary and very tastefully decorated. Lots of interesting arts with 'reflection' theme. Its the largest ship in Celebrity fleet and it did feel a bit too big to my preference. I love the lawn club. Pool area: The first day at sea was kinda chilly and very windy. Outdoor pool was empty due to the rough weather and everyone jammed packed in the solarium. No lounge chairs were available. The second day at sea and onward we were blessed with amazing hot sunny weather for the rest of trip and pool deck were always packed and few remained in the solarium. And it was not particular easy to find available lounge chair at desirable spots, but we typically can kinds lounge chairs within 10 minutes. Dining: The dining room was beautiful, with two level wine cellar in the center back, high ceiling. Service was as if in 5 star restaurants. We have anytime dining, and never have issue getting a table for ourselves when we walk in. Had previous been on Norwegian and experience their chaotic freestyle dining where often a 45-60 minutes wait for a table, we was really impressed with Celebrity's ability in having tables available every time we are about to dine. Tender: The only tender service was at Santorini, that is one area I think Celebrity can improve on. We waited 1.5 hours for our turn to be tendered to Santorini, which drastically cut short the amount of time we have there. The wait was too long and Celebrity should do better. Entertainment: We liked both production shows (include Reflection the show) as well as all the guests performances. The acrobatic performance were breathtaking. The musical performance were great, I didn't recall any show that disappoint except one, which was a magic/hypnosis show. Very impressed with the venues. Ports: We liked all the ports we visited. Santorini, Istanbul, Kusadasi, Mykonos, Athens, Naple/Capri. Celebrity had local traditional music performer making loud drum sounds at the day arrive in Istanbul, it was amusing, but totally unnecessary. Interesting turkish dancers onboard while at Kusadasi. We enjoyed all ports, but we do wish we had more time in Santorni, where we arrived at 1pm and waited 1.5 hours for tender. Staffs & Crews: All officers onboard were professional and introduced themselves on first night. Cruise Director really cared about passengers experience, and hotel director really cared about guest stay. What impressed me the most was In-Room Dining director. The morning at Istanbul, our room service arrive 20 minutes late. Which didn't bother us, and we never complained. But he personally chase us down that evening at the main dining room to apologize for the 20 minutes delay and compensate us with sparkling. That is true high level of service!!! Absolutely amazing!!! Disembarkation: It was hard to leave the wonderful ship. Yet they made it so easy to disembark. WE pretty much walk right out the ship. Took only 15 minutes to disembark and collect our luggages. Overall: Can't talk highly enough the ship, the staffs, the officers. Though I do wish there's a bigger pool area for amount of guests and improve on tender service. But the crews and staffs really made it one of the best cruise experience we've had.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2013
This was the first time my boyfriend had cruised and the second time for me. We had never been to Europe and we felt this was the best way to see as much as we could without packing and unpacking. Stateroom was a great size, king size ... Read More
This was the first time my boyfriend had cruised and the second time for me. We had never been to Europe and we felt this was the best way to see as much as we could without packing and unpacking. Stateroom was a great size, king size bed, couch, several drawers, a desk/vanity with a good size drawer and plenty of storage areas. Great closet with lots of hangers. The bathroom is a very well designed small space. The shower is fabulous, water temperature controlled as well as water flow. Lots of places to store your toiletries. There are two American plugs at the desk/vanity and one over the sink in the bathroom. Hair dryer is okay, you have to hold the button down when you're using it, it's European current. The balcony is a good size, 2 chairs that recline and a table. You'll love it when entering each port. Our steward kept our ice bucket full all the time. We were located right near the elevators in room 7239, excellent location, there's a wall between your room and the elevators, so no noise! Ship is beautiful. We spent a lot of time on the sundeck, where the lawn club is. Great place to see the ports. You can smoke up there, the guys went to enjoy cigars. Drinks are good, sometimes pretty strong. The pool area can get pretty crowded and really hot. The Solarium is nice for adults, no kids allowed, you may even get into the pool. We had the late seating for dinner. Food was well presented and overall really good. Avoid the steaks, most of them were not great cuts. Soups were fabulous as well as all the appetizer choices. Our waiters Nandan and Aartee were incredibly attentive, eager to please. We had a problem getting cocktails when you first sit down, sometimes took a half hour to even order them. We spoke to Joesph the maître d' and it was taken care of immediately, never happened again. Don't miss the brunch, gorgeous ice sculptures, towers of shrimp cocktail, fresh salmon, carved roast beef. Room service is really good for breakfast although inconsistent. We ordered breakfast ham one day there were 6 slices, next day one slice. Order 2 coffees for each person or they'll give you a little pitcher of coffee instead of a carafe. The Oceanview on deck 14 is terrific, Breakfast is really good, lots of choices. For lunch best pasta with Bolognese sauce, and ceasar salad is great. Shore excursions included a trip to Tuscany with lunch at a farmhouse. Best day ever. Venice was nice but really hot, Gondola ride is just okay, took 15 minutes to walk to the area you climb into the boat. Kotor is amazing, exotic and beautiful, bring water shoes the beach is nothing but rocks. The boat ride included, is really crowded and hot, not relaxing as stated. Get to the Equinox Theater earlier than your tickets say, they gather your group and leave quickly. Ship's medical is great. I got an upper respiratory infection as soon as I stepped on the boat. Dr. Gordon from Scotland is an exceptional doctor. He treated the infection aggressively. Nurses Marlene and Von super nice and compassionate. If you have to go to the medical unit, avoid Rita, she's cold and abrasive. Loved the cruise, beautiful sparkling clean ship, friendly crew and really pleasant enjoyable time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2013
We were trying to combine two cities, Venice and Barcelona in one trip and also wanted to experience a large cruise ship. This cruise on the Equinox, embarking and disembarking in Barcelona, with an overnight in Venice, was the perfect ... Read More
We were trying to combine two cities, Venice and Barcelona in one trip and also wanted to experience a large cruise ship. This cruise on the Equinox, embarking and disembarking in Barcelona, with an overnight in Venice, was the perfect combination of all those goals. We had a veranda cabin, #1584, in AquaClass with a spa privileges on the 11th deck and it was a nice cabin. We never took advantage of the spa because we were too busy. We feared getting sea sick but only felt a teeny bit of motion once for just a short time. The cabin had lots of room, a snack, water and iced tea each day as well. We had access to a special restaurant, Blu, and went there only once during the cruise. The food was good, but we preferred the casual environment of the buffet so went there for every other meal. We loved eating outside on the deck every time the weather permitted, which was most of the time. We loved the service of everyone on this ship, but especially our room steward. He could not have been more helpful for friendly. We also especially loved the refreshing cold towels and drink service given each and every time we left or returned from/to the ship on shore excursions. We only used ship excursions and found them to be very, very accurately portrayed, professional and interesting. We would love to sail Celebrity again! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
Good points: food,excursions. Pleasant crew. Bad points: .money grabbing cruise line Overpriced drinks. Mediocre entertainment,with odd exception,like the classical trio. Wifi rip off,overpriced and ineffective .this alone would put me ... Read More
Good points: food,excursions. Pleasant crew. Bad points: .money grabbing cruise line Overpriced drinks. Mediocre entertainment,with odd exception,like the classical trio. Wifi rip off,overpriced and ineffective .this alone would put me off celebrity.most top hotels ,restaurants give free wifi. Ship needs refurb ,foyer like something out of the 70's ,net curtains would you believe . Speciality restaurants good,but overcharged,consider what we paid! Cabin in aqua class,cramped and noisey from pool equipment room,large overhang outside balcony. Though blue restaurant ok,which was included in aqua class. Overcrowded at disembarkation ,could be better organised and info not given about delays.had to take a tour to use up time waiting to fly out from Istanbul.they were not interested in you on the last day,just wanted to get rid asap. No point complaining,they only give you a voucher off another cruise.as if! Our first cruise.will possibly give p and o a look,but won't rush back . Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
Pros: - Beautifully appointed enormous boat - Glass studio on top deck provides amazing shows - Gorgeous roomy cabin - 98% of the staff is excellent - Food quality is very high - Very helpful cruise software available via in-room TV ... Read More
Pros: - Beautifully appointed enormous boat - Glass studio on top deck provides amazing shows - Gorgeous roomy cabin - 98% of the staff is excellent - Food quality is very high - Very helpful cruise software available via in-room TV - Excellent cleanliness - Specialty restaurants are nice (but expensive) Cons: - Terrible internet support and pricing, needlessly complex, the worst I've experienced on a cruise ship - Thousands of other passengers everywhere. Specialty restaurants are your only respite (but cost $30 to $45 additional per person per meal) - Not enough elevators - be prepared for waiting - Constant sales pitches from the staff: drink packages, specialty restaurants, spa, photos, jewelry, etc. - Entertainment is mediocre (other than the acrobatics show and the glass studio) - Obnoxious cruise director - Passive-aggressive butler - Cannot hear daily announcements in cabin - Mediocre library Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
Our recent cruise aboard Equinox was excellent from the swift and welcoming embarkation throughout our 12 interesting and most enjoyable days right to the slick disembarkation at the end. This is a class ship with friendly, watchful ... Read More
Our recent cruise aboard Equinox was excellent from the swift and welcoming embarkation throughout our 12 interesting and most enjoyable days right to the slick disembarkation at the end. This is a class ship with friendly, watchful officers and cheerful, helpful staff.  We were lucky to be looked after by Daniel in stateroom 1154 and by Vincent in the Silhouette Dining Room. The ship is beautiful and spotlessly clean throughout; facilities are excellent but spa and beauty treatments are very expensive. We had a drinks package with prepaid gratuities but otherwise it would be easy to run up a huge bar bill as every drink has a15% gratuity added on. There is a good choice of places to eat and we tried Murano as a treat for an anniversary celebration - lovely food , perfect service, expensive wine. The entertainment, with Jason in charge, was the best we have seen on a cruise. The core team of dancers and singers was outstanding and entertained us with big production shows, and other performers joined and left the ship such as a juggler, illusionist, violinist, singers ( male and female) - all high calibre performers. The only show I didn't like was Sin City which was well advertised as risqué but I found it smutty and vulgar, not the kind of show to be expected on Celebrity - I didn't meet anyone who really enjoyed it. The entertainment staff worked hard throughout the cruise to interact with passengers but were never intrusive. There was something for everyone, well advertised in the daily bulletin but if you wanted perfect peace that was no problem. Entry to and departure from ports was hassle free. In fact, the only time I felt hassled was in Kusadasi when über persistent shopkeepers kept trying to persuade me to buy! We did a couple of excursions from the ship but many passengers went on trips independently because it was so much cheaper. We enjoyed the ports on our itinerary - Santorini an Mykinos in particular for sheer beauty - but any cruise on this lovely ship would be a treat. This was a thoroughly enjoyable holiday - Celebrity is definitely a cut above! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
Our 12 days on the Eqiinox was wonderful. I travelled with my girl friend and was a little worried we would feel out of place as 2 Middle aged women (I can't believe I just admitted that) and a ship potentially filled with couples. ... Read More
Our 12 days on the Eqiinox was wonderful. I travelled with my girl friend and was a little worried we would feel out of place as 2 Middle aged women (I can't believe I just admitted that) and a ship potentially filled with couples. Thanks to cruise critic, we built some wonderful relationships on and off board. The ship was top notch! We had considered cruising with an all inclusive ship but since this was Brenda's first cruise, decided to go with Celebrity. After a day, she summed it up by asking "what else would we need." We were fortunate to have booked when there was a promo available and enjoyed an on board credit and a beverage package. We upgraded the beverage package for a nominal fee and would recommend this to anyone. Tips are included in the packages so calculate this before you make a decision. After connecting with fellow cruise critic travellers pre cruise, we booked all of our tours in advance. Our tour of Rome was especially good with a group of six of us and an intimate private tour of the Vatican. We also had days in Naples, Santorini, Ephesus, Arhens and Malta. All were wonderful. Malta was a hidden gem we were not prepared for. We just hopped on an open bus in Valletta and say the whole island. Our state room was well maintained. 1 night was loud when our neighbors had their tv on really loud but that was isolated. Out steward did a good job although we barely saw him. The food in the main dining room was very good. Service was outstanding. The staff work incredibly hard and we tipped the dining staff frequently. Maybe this helps with the service??? We and our "dining family" opted to go to one of the special restaraunts one night. It was nice but not really something I would do again. The breakfast buffet was always bustling with the staff all smiling and bidding us a happy "good morning". There were endless choices available. We ordered room service one morning and were disappointed. The food was cold and unappetizing. We had lunch in the dining room one day and it was wonderful! Other than that we made plates from the buffet and took them to our deck chairs. We frequented the cafe twice a day. They made great lattes to start our days and perk us up late afternoon. The entertainment was ok. We never made it to all the shows but out of all of them, none really stand out. They had the same performers doing the cirque du soleil show as the broadway show and as talented as they were, it just didn't work. I had only cruised with Carnival in the past and that was great with kids. As just adults, celebrity was really good and more refined than Carnival. Perhaps that had to do with the European influence? Imbarkment on the Equinox was pleasant. We arrived at 1130 am and were having lunch on the deck by noon. We spent the rest of the afternoon on deck chairs enjoying the sun till our room was ready. Disembarkation was painless. We had booked through the ship for transport to the airport and they had us there hours too early. Next time, I think I will book private transport and sleep in a little more. We are sailing on the silhouette in January with a group of 7. I hear the 2 ships are very much alike. I would highly recommend the Equinox. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
Empty nesters finally getting around to taking vacations. Hubby booked this awesome itinerary on an amazing ship. We are now "hooked" on cruising! Ocean view Balcony cabin can't remember the cabin number, but it was mid ... Read More
Empty nesters finally getting around to taking vacations. Hubby booked this awesome itinerary on an amazing ship. We are now "hooked" on cruising! Ocean view Balcony cabin can't remember the cabin number, but it was mid ship on the 9 the deck, perfect location for first cruise. Cabin location just right amount of walking to/ from elevator Cabin size: Larger then I expected, plenty of storage under bed for luggage, above bed there are cupboards we didn't even use, desk/vanity area was nice with many areas to store items, closet large with a good size safe, plenty of hangers & we had fluffy robes as well. Bathroom: WOW, the shower was large glass enclosed with a bar to rest you foot to save your legs & a clothesline to hang wet bathing suits or laundry. Only thing I would change is the faucet in the sink makes it difficult to wash your face without possibly bumping your forehead. The ship is amazing, nicely decorated, we were part of a "wine" group that held their tastings in the Murano restaurant, a beautiful venue at the aft with amazing floor to ceiling windows. Food in MDR was a nice variety, with one side of the menu changing nightly. Staff friendly, hard working & very attentive without being over bearing. Our ports were awesome....what can you say about the Med that hasn't already been written! Guests age range 40-70's with a few family's, but mostly couples. So, in a nutshell, love Celebrity, love the Equinox, can't wait to sail her again. If you get a chance GO!   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
We arrived at Southamton Docks about 11.15 excellent signposting told us where to park. A lorry took our suitcases away and we walked over to check in. I was amazed how smooth this was. Checking in and boarding happened like a dream and ... Read More
We arrived at Southamton Docks about 11.15 excellent signposting told us where to park. A lorry took our suitcases away and we walked over to check in. I was amazed how smooth this was. Checking in and boarding happened like a dream and before I knew what was happening we were on the ship. We were encouraged Togo up to the restaurant where we had a light lunch, we could have had anything and everything it was Allen offer. Luckily we sat by a couple who been on the .eclipse before who gave us some good pointers and told us what would happen next. At 1pm it was announced out staterooms were ready and so we made our way tour room on Deck 8. What a lovely cabin, plenty big enough for us and with a lovely verandah . Our cases arrived a little while later and we then explored the ship. We had select diing and therefore went to dinner when we wanted, we never ever queued although we did see queues at times. We went to the gym most morning and had breakfast in the healthy bar outside the gym which was quiet and did smoothies and sugar free cereals etc. A couple of mornings we had breakfast in our cabin but given we went to to the gym most mornings it was easier to have breakfast after the gym. On days at sea if you left it too late it could sometimes be tricky getting a sun bed, but for us this was no big deal and if we really wanted a bed we got out there early! The entertainment was fantastic, something for everybody, apart from the guy who played in the piano bar. he was not our taste, but then you cannot please all of the people all of the time. We went on two organised tours and they were fine, we preferred to do our own thing. Our. Cabin steward Gelcy was kindness itself, he was so helpful and often left towels in various shapes on the bed. One evening we came back to find a frog with sunglasses on, which did make us laugh. I loved the whole two weeks, my Husband got a little bored but then I expected him to. I would happily go back to the Eclipse, the ship, the entertainment and mostly the Staff, they were wonderful Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
This was our second Celebrity cruise, having previously had a week on the Solstice in the Caribbean. That was impressive and relaxing. This time, it was two weeks around the Mediterranean. Two weeks is long time on a boat you might think ... Read More
This was our second Celebrity cruise, having previously had a week on the Solstice in the Caribbean. That was impressive and relaxing. This time, it was two weeks around the Mediterranean. Two weeks is long time on a boat you might think but luckily we enjoy the opportunity to do nothing. This cruise attracted a much older demographic (I'm mid 30's) and don't underestimate what that means, although it's beyond the control of Celebrity. So, the basics. We embarked at Southampton. Really smooth operation. Cases taken in the car park and the terminal is literally across the street. Check in was a breeze (make sure you setup everything online) and we perhaps waited 20mins in the lounge until we were allowed on. So by 12.30pm we were across the gangplank. For cruises novices (some in our party were) the 'going aboard' process is a little chaotic. Celebrity offer you a glass of fizz and then you're allowed throughout the ship. But there is often a bottle neck and alot of confusion about where to go. We knew the layout of the boat, so headed aft for the elevators. I find it's best to go topside as quick as possible and if you can find a corner for lunch in the buffet, even better. Cabins were available sooner than expected too. We stayed in a Aqualcass cabin - knowing that this has some obvious perks, such as Blu (restaurant) and the Spa access. The cabins are also higher up and forward, near the spa. The cabins on the Eclipse are pretty comfy. Alot is made of the storage space and there is loads - enough for 2 weeks worth of clothes and shoes. It was all very clean and in good condition. The bed was large (king size, albeit with curved corners) and the whole place feels roomy enough. The balcony is a good size too. Enough space to lie out. They actually give you reclining loungers unlike some lines that only give you upright chairs. We never had issues with the cabin. Everything worked (ok, one light and the phone stopped working but were fixed sharpish) and it was made up and cleaned like clock work, even if we stayed on the balcony. Only tiny issue was that some of the added value amenities (binoculars, slippers, tote bag etc) had to be asked for...some only turning up in the second week. But we were given double rations of canapés and mineral water, so I'll let that slide. On a wider note, we had breakfast almost everyday in Blu to avoid the buffet crush...and it's worth it. Also had dinner there most nights. Excellent service and classy food. Smaller portions but the attention to our party was amazing. Occasional nights we dined in the 'speciality' restaurants. Now these need some context; we had a dinner package. So, if you like theatre and flamboyance with your food give these a go. But the food wasn't much better than Blu; just different. Murano is cited as THE gourmet eatery. But it's more about lavish decor and constant theatrical service. The opposite is of course true in a Michelin starred establishment but this is a cruise ship. I'd avoid Qsine if you want a quiet meal. It's really full on. Fun but not worth it if you want to be left alone. The only one worth the true effort/cover charge is Tuscan Grille. The view form the aft is amazing at sunset. We dined early just to enjoy it. Its a slightly more relaxed ambience too. And then there's the buffet. I realise it serves a purpose and people love the perceived value for money but on this cruise it was chaos. The quality of the food was pretty good. The repetition is managed well. But the pace by which the other quests moved around the stations was maddening. Queues formed and people dithered around in circles not realising that the food is the same on both sides. Again, this is the guest's not Celebrity's fault. But some crowd control might be helpful? Amenities wise, we enjoyed the calm of the coffee shop, the solarium and the Cellar Masters club. It was mostly too windy to sit out on deck so we also hid away in the relaxation room at the end of deck 11. But the decks in good weather are extremely crowded. Cheek by jowl. I have no idea why they think we'd pay $000's to literally sit inches from partially clothed strangers! The old argument about the lawn being a waste of space is applicable here. We gave up sitting out by the pool when other guests were literally pressed up against us. Not great for a premium cruise line. We tolerated one half of a 'show' from a guest act. The ship's own company was dreadful. The hot glass show too was passable but having seen it before, I have no idea why anyone thought this would be a great longterm entertainment event. Used the gym often; it's very well equipped and has a great location looking out over the bow. In terms of ports only Livorno and Civitavecchia need excursions - there is nothing to do locally. The others have opportunities accessible from the ship. Genoa was special case with a really crappy walk to the developed harbour area, which was saturated with street sellers. Not nice. And then the negatives. We saw and felt the customer service slide some what in the second week. As if the crew were getting bored. Orders took longer and the restaurant (Blu) was more chaotic. They also ran out of some fruit and weirdly Budweiser (?). As we had an AQ Class cabin we were called to say we had a $60 discount for Spa treatments. When we enquired at the Spa reception, the woman couldn't have been less helpful. She had no idea what we were referring to and said she needed to check with her manager. They called us a few hours later, when we told them to get lost. Total break down in sales/communications. We also had a awkward run in with the manager of the Bistro; walking up for a table, we were asked if we were on the wait list. We asked what the wait was (amazed people would actually wait 40mins for a crepe)...and then noticed there were several (not one or two) empty tables. We asked why they were empty and the manager said bluntly he was 'waiting for people to turn up'. How long he'd wait was anyone's guess. He clearly didn't understand the logic that a wait list only works if people turn up on time. Really backward. And rude. We then had the worst food service experience for a LONG time in Blu. With two meals being served with plastic AND then metal pieces in them. We of course complained and the waiter, chef, and maitre'd all came to table to gush apologies. But with no offer of compensation/credit etc. We had to ask for the wine to be comp'd. Then wouldn't do this, instead offering us a bottle of champagne the following night. Which wasn't the point. They were then obsessed with making sure we filled in the survey card based on all the OTHER meals we'd enjoyed. Really tacky. Last gripe was during a port day, we went down to deck 2 to access the gangway, we turned left out of the elevators following a sign 'gangway'. However, we didn't realise that we had strayed into the crew area (them having left a door open) - until we noticed the Celebrity staff propaganda charts and the horrified stares of the off duty waiters. We were eventually accosted by an officer who both apologised and chastised us, wanting to know what we were doing wandering around down there - to which we said 'trying to get out!' (we had a wheelchair user in our party, so weren't ambling around for no reason). So, some really crappy security and customer service right there. Overall it was a pleasant and well served cruise. The whole selling point for Celebrity is attention to detail, which for the most part they do really well. Even the disembarkation was well managed. There are elements that are pretty trashy (smoking areas, junk food, flash mob dancers) but most aspects stand up to 'you get what you pay for'. Saying that, I don't think we'd sail with Celebrity again, plenty of others to try. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
This was our first adventure on a Celebrity ship, having previously always been faithful to one of their competitors- Princess. We found the Eclipse to be an very modern ship with the interior decor being especially engaging. The artwork ... Read More
This was our first adventure on a Celebrity ship, having previously always been faithful to one of their competitors- Princess. We found the Eclipse to be an very modern ship with the interior decor being especially engaging. The artwork one would encounter in the stairwells - yes we took the stairs a lot - both much quicker than waiting for a lift and better for the legs ladies - was particularly mesmerising e. g a glass box filled with multicoloured knitted balloons just waiting for some athlete to attempt the inflation process. The latter installation reminded me of a quirky emergency facility - only break glass and inflate in emergency situations! Other enchanting inclusions - the lawn club, the glass blowing shows, admiring the skills of the bartenders in the Molecular cocktail bar, the Ice bar with real ice counter tops etc etc Our balcony cabin was very comfortable and offered plenty of storage space -the over the bed aircraft style lockers were a bonus . We had some issues with the TV volume controls part way through the cruise but the whole TV was replaced within an hour or so - no problem. Great cabin stewards - both cheerful and helpful. We chose anytime dining in one of the main dining rooms as opposed to the fervently advertised speciality restaurants. 98% of the time our decision was vindicated with the food on offer on only one evening being leather disappointing. The Speciality restaurants were US$45 per person and Q sine particularly rather gimmicky e.g order on an Ipad, meal in a wooden box . Why? The entertainment was hit and miss as with all cruises - we preferred to listen to one of the bands on board - Who's Carter Hayes ? Great sound and took requests. Having said that the Chinese illusionist appearing in the main theatre was incredible ! Never had a problem accessing machines in the gym and the panoramic seaview was an enticement to keep attendance regular. Port excursions were well organised and enjoyable - notable mentions included Monte Carlo , Florence and Pisa in the one day. We also loved Gibraltar although we walked into town organised our own tour. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and timely. Overall the cruse was very relaxing and dilemma free. Would sail with Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
We have sailed Celebrity several times, and every cruise we believe that things could not possibly get better, and yet each next cruise, somehow, they do! The Silhouette, the 2nd newest Solstice Class ship, though clearly a Solstice ship, ... Read More
We have sailed Celebrity several times, and every cruise we believe that things could not possibly get better, and yet each next cruise, somehow, they do! The Silhouette, the 2nd newest Solstice Class ship, though clearly a Solstice ship, seems somehow to be a cut above it's predecessors, though it's hard for me to put my finger on exactly why. I personally love that the Corning Glass Show has been replaced with the Lawn Grill - the fee is minimal and though we personally did not eat there as, simply put, with so many ports of call, there was very little time to do all that Silhouette has to offer - we met many many guests on board who were raving about their experience and returned several times to the Lawn Grill, enjoying the fun, camaraderie, party atmosphere, and excellent food. I also love the addition of The Porch, on the same deck as the Lawn Grill - another low additional fee restaurant - the location frankly was always screaming for The Porch to be there - a stunning spot to sit, have a light meal, the ocean at your feet - quite beautiful. We are also thrilled that Q-Sine has replaced Silk Harvest - this is the case on the Millennium Class ships, but Silhouette and Reflection, to my knowledge, are the only Solstice Class ships that have Q-Sine. We LOVE Q-Sine, having first eaten there on Summit. Q-Sine serves delicious, inventive, exciting food in a highly stylized tapas-esque manner. I believe that Q-Sine is the brain child of chef Jacques Van Staden, created as a key addition to Celebrity's evolving culinary vision, and we are very excited about it. We ate in Q-Sine twice on this cruise - it is our favorite specialty restaurant, as we personally find Murano and Tuscan Grille, though the food is very good, to be a bit too traditional and frankly, almost passé. I think that Celebrity has an eye to the future and realizes that a new generation is coming up - lines like Cunard and Holland are geared to a clientele 'of a certain age', but Celebrity seems to be focused on the younger set, or at least, the younger at heart set, who are upwardly mobile, have refined sensibilities - those that are more of the "foodie" generation, who enjoy more than a slab o' meat and some boiled veg. To that end, Celebrity has instituted a new certification, "SPE Certified", for certain of it's dishes in Aqua Class and in the Main Dining Room - on Silhouette, that's the Grand Cuvee. The SPE certification ensures that the dish is the ideal portion size, low in sodium, low in processed ingredients and saturated fats, and takes into account seasonality, sourcing - and makes sure it is delicious. On this cruise, we ate in Grand Cuvee on the Select Dining plan, and I chose primarily SPE dishes and found them to be fabulous - in fact, this cruise in particular, I found all of the food to be the best I've had on Celebrity - I am assuming this is due to the work of the Executive Chef Anthony Wilson on board, and his collaboration with the head of dining for the line, Chef Van Staden, John Suley, and other head chefs - from our experience on Silhouette, innovation is afoot - the food quality was exceptional - my husband and I were both very aware of that - we are already Celebrity fans, but the food was definitely kicked up a few notches on Silhouette - more modern, creative - we were very pleased. All that said, and I could say more positive things about the food in the restaurants - we were not happy with the room service. Not sure why, but the breakfast menu is very limited, pared way back from the last time we sailed non-Aqua class - no pancakes, no waffles, not even oatmeal on the menu! For eggs, you can only choose scrambled or an omelet - again, on the printed menu. In order to go 'off the reservation', I called, and on the phone, I was able to order oatmeal and pretty much anything else that I wanted - but, you have to make a call. Clearly, the room service model is being streamlined for efficiency of the overall operation, but the guest definitely suffers - however, if you call, you can get what you want - those that ask, get. The Cruise Director, Lisa Richard and her direct report, Tyler - both from the USA - are quite possibly, in my experience, the most entertaining activities duo in the Celebrity fleet. Their daily morning film on the Cruise Director channel 2, outlining the highlights for the day, was hysterical. I often had to watch it several times as I was so engrossed in their antics, that I missed what they were saying. Lisa generally plays the Dean Martin role to Tyler's Jerry Lewis, with great success! The activities team as a whole was very good - being that the cruise was so port intensive, and we were off the ship far more than we were on, we did nevertheless manage to participate in several activities such as lawn game competitions, trivia, and poker - my husband played lots of poker - OH, and that is another uptick regarding Silhouette - on Silhouette, every night, there was a dealer poker cash game, with actual cards, not the machines and an actual human dealer (sorry, you can tell that I don't play, my terminology is all off!). He loved that, and it was something that was missing on the other "X" ships we have sailed. We also enjoyed the Battle of the Sexes at 10pm in Sky Deck 14, loads of raucous fun! My husband in fact led the charge for the men, picking Tyler up in his chair, throne style, and parading him around the room, clearly giving the men a competitive edge in the game! The entertainment provided by the Silhouette Production Staff performers was outstanding, and there were more of these performers than on our other cruises - yes, the standard 4 singers, but there were more dancers, more acrobats - we lost count, frankly, and we started to get confused because some of the dancers were also the acrobats. There did seem to be 2 acrobats that were exclusively only acrobats……anyway, yes, talented to the max, for sure. All of the productions done by the Production Staff were excellent, like the Masque Theme Party in the Grand Foyer, which included the Activities Staff - very fun and well done - and of course the main shows like the Broadway production and Velocity. We were not so enthused over the specialty acts that were brought in. We found them to be just ok, not as exciting as on prior "X" cruises - with the exception of the magician, Brett Sherwood - he was terrific. For the first time, we sailed in an aft cabin, and absolutely loved it. We were on the 8th floor. The only downside was that it is a VERY LONG WALK from the elevator or stairs to the aft cabins! One must plan accordingly, as you can't just casually 'run back to the room'! Still, the views we had from aft far outweighed the downside of the extra long walk. Being aft negates the wondering about hmmmmm, is the better view on this cruise starboard or port……..being aft, you see it all. We loved our sail away from Venice on our own veranda since we could see in all directions, both sides, straight ahead, all from the privacy of our veranda. BTW, we had sailed out of Venice once before and had enjoyed the gorgeous gala event that Celebrity makes it, by piping in Venetian-esque music, such as songs sung by Andrea Boccelli and Sarah Brightman - for your first sail away from Venice, you don't want to miss that, but since it was our second, we very much enjoyed the privacy of our own aft veranda. Our steward was very good, a request to him producing our desired pillow request. This was not Aqua Class, so no proverbial so called phantom pillow menu, but those that ask, get. We also had two nights with towel art - yes, I love towel art, and I was not disappointed! The captain of Silhouette, Captain Alevropoulos, was exceptionally available - he was not at all stuffy, in fact to see him in the Celebrity game show, "Liar's Club", a version of the game of Balderdash, well, that was something to see! First, the captain generally does not participate in this, but this captain was very dynamic, social and accessible. One night we were dining in Q-Sine, and he came in and stopped at each of the tables to greet the diners and yes of course, I had my husband take my picture with him! We are members of the Celebrity reward program, Captain's Club - I am an elite member, so my husband and I enjoyed gratis cocktails and appetizers in the Sky lounge every night from 5-7pm. The 90 minutes of free internet is particularly useful, not to mention the free bag of laundry. The Captain's Club hostess, Donna, was extremely lovely. All of the Elite events I thought were very well run. We especially enjoyed the wine tasting as the sommelier was dynamic and got everyone to participate actively. We also were invited onto the helipad for the sail away from Dubrovnik - a select number of guests are invited to the helipad for certain notable sailaways, and we were very happy to have this pleasure. And also for the first time, we were invited to dinner at the Captain's Table, hosted by two of the senior officers on board. Eight guests are invited, and I can't say enough about what a lovely experience this was. I do hope that in the future, we receive that honor again. I will do a brief review of the ship's shore excursions that we took. On our own, or with private tour companies, we explored Venice, Malta, Capri (from the port of Naples) and Rome but the rest of the ports we did with a Celebrity excursion. Koper, Slovenia - KR13 Best of Ljubljana: Walking Tour, River Cruise & Lunch 7 1/2 hours We very much enjoyed this tour - our guide David, who looks exactly like Matthew Perry from the TV hit show "Friends" - and he has often been told that - was outstanding, lots of information throughout the tour. He is dynamic and extremely well informed. Upon arriving in Ljubljana, a bathroom opportunity is presented before the tour formally begins. It was raining rather heavily for the walking tour, so it was not as extensive as it might otherwise have been but it was still quite good. Lunch was at the Sokol restaurant - a traditional Slovenian restaurant where the staff wears local folk costumes. The food was very good, turkey with outstanding mashed potatoes made with caramelized onions, but the apple strudel was the highlight. The river cruise was very nice, and we had 1 1/2 hours to explore Ljubljana on our own - a non-touristic city, beautiful, clean, lots of markets to explore. The bus driver on the way back to the ship played a mix of local pop and traditional music, things that the people of Slovenia listen to every day - a nice touch. Ravenna, Italy - RV25 Ravenna & Bologna 9 hours Bus directly to Bologna which is a bit of a drive, but the tour guide was excellent, so she made the time pass quickly. Upon arriving in Bologna, a bathroom break comes first before beginning the tour. Bologna is a beautiful city, especially the parts that we explored, not touristic. A highlight is the Basilica di San Petronio which was to have been larger than St. Peter's in Rome until the Pope got wind of it, but you'll learn about that on your tour! Lots of sites, refer to the official Celebrity description, including the twin leaning towers of Bologna. Lunch is at the Cantina Bentivoglio where we were served the best lasagna that I personally have ever had - pasta as thin as parchment, super al dente! You can take a photo with a nonna-esque woman who is rolling out all of the pasta by hand. We got 90 min on our own, before lunch, to shop and explore the beautiful markets, to visit some of the sites such as the leaning towers on our own, or to simply get a cappuccino in the square. The drive to Ravenna is short. The mosaics in the Basilica di San Vitale and the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia are impossible to describe and an awe-inspiring must to see! The guide walked us through, providing excellent commentary, a memorable day. We had only a short amount of time in Ravenna to jump into a gift shop, only about 10 min. Split, Croatia - AT42 Krka National Park & River Town of Skradin 7 hours Note: Make sure you bring kuna! Even though Croatia is now part of the EU, they do not take Euros - the shops at the falls, and there are several, are in fact on the militant side about ONLY accepting kuna. Before joining the EU, they used to accept Euros, kuna, even dollars, but now, only kuna. Our tour guide, Ivo, was not cut from the traditional tour guide cloth of the warm and fuzzy variety, but he was kind, informed and witty - his is a dry wit. He had a challenge at the national park, when a few guests came up missing - apparently, the guests that were missing did not understand English, didn't know or, we learned, care very much, about the meeting point, and so they missed the river boat ride to Skradin. Our guide was able to hook them up with a cab to Skradin to meet us at the restaurant (though, the restaurant was so bad, they should have just gone back to the ship, but no, that would have been way too far!). So, my point being that our guide was very capable - there were 44 of us on this excursion, and he was alone, having to deal with the lost members as well as get us all onto a river boat, then walk us through the town of Skradin and to the (awful) restaurant. This tour would have been fabulous if not for the restaurant, but, don't let that dissuade you as by the time you take this tour, maybe if I complain enough, the tour operator will contract with a different restaurant! The National Park itself is beautiful, not to be missed! The walk through the park on a wooden plank path, over many and various small waterfalls, gorgeous vegetation, and then, the huge falls, the main event so to speak, the Skradinski Buk Waterfalls - stunning! You can bring a bathing suit and swim in the natural pool at the base of the falls, lots of people were doing this, though not from our tour. You explore the falls and the park on your own, though, so there is plenty of time to swim if you like. Upon arriving at the park, we got approximately 90 minutes to explore it all on our own, and that is enough time. After our 90 min exploring Krka and the falls, we took a riverboat to Skradin - this was the part of the tour when the guide realized that several of the guests had not shown up at the meeting point. It's a scenic boat ride, and the town of Skradin is beautiful - but very sadly, there is no time to explore it. However, if your restaurant is Restoran Visovac, then ditch lunch and explore the town on your own. Eat lunch somewhere else, trust me!! Ask your guide what time the bus is leaving and meet the tour at that time - seriously, because the town is super charming and it was so sad to miss it, especially since we were stuck at such a horrible lunch spot. We were fed a "traditional meal", supposedly, but the turkey, or was it chicken, was leather dry and the veg they gave us was OBVIOUSLY frozen. The potatoes were simply boiled - not roasted, just boiled. Oh, and the dessert - a frozen chocolate cake very much like Sara Lee, I'm not kidding you. A huge disappointment, and only the 2nd bad lunch I have ever gotten on a Celebrity excursion and I have taken MANY of them. The drive back to the ship is over an hour, but most people slept on the bus. Maybe if I had drunk the wine served with lunch I wouldn't have minded the bad food so much! Dubrovnik, Croatia DU19 Bike Adventure in Konavle Valley 4 1/2 hours Excellent excursion! Only one other couple took this tour, too bad for those that missed it! Our guide met us at the ship and we took a mini-van to the bike office, which is attached to the winery that we visited at the end for a wine tasting (yes, amazing wines are produced in Croatia!). The bike ride is not strenuous, as the path is through the valley, so it is quite flat. It is rural, scenic, charming, and we had fantastic weather - as we were riding our guide plucked ripe figs from the trees, handing them to us while we were all peddling along! We stopped several times for explanations along the way of vineyards, farms, a house that was full of bullet holes from the war in the early 1990s, a church, fruit trees, etc. The guide brought lovely fruit with him for us for a snack. We stopped at a mill which is also a restaurant, with a fresh water spring - we filled our water bottles with fresh spring water, quite lovely! After the ride, we tasted several wines from the winery and we actually purchased a bottle of Merlotina Merlot, quite nice, and what was nicer was that no one noticed that it was stashed in our backpack when we got back on board so we did not have to turn it in, to get it back on our last cruise day. After the excursion, we asked the van driver to drop us at Pile Gate, Dubrovnik old town - we spent several hours exploring old Dubrovnik, the many shops, Diocletian's Palace - had a fabulous lunch at Konoba Jezuite and then caught the Celebrity shuttle bus back to the ship. Kotor, Montenegro KV70 Baroque Delicacies of Boka Kotorska 4 hours This is a tender day, the ship is anchored close off shore and we take a tender. I do not understand why this tour is titled the way it is - the word "delicacies" to me implies food - a better title would have been simply, "Walking tour of Perast and Kotor with visit to Our Lady of the Rocks", because that's what this tour is about. If I had not read the actual description provided by Celebrity, I would have missed this amazing tour, so I am very glad that we read, as truly, this is a great excursion. From the tender dock, we took a short scenic bus ride to Perast, a beautiful Baroque village where we immediately boarded a small boat to take us out to the island of Our Lady of the Rocks Church. We have a guided tour here and are able to explore a bit on our own. It is a beautiful spot, with a mystical story behind it, you will enjoy it very much. After about an hour here, we went back as a group to Perast where we all went to a charming seaside restaurant for a delicious snack. We were all seated outside, by the water, and were served a slice of the local cake, an indescribable almond cake, a large slice, though I could have eaten three pieces of this for sure - moist and scrumptious! We also could have a coffee or tea, I had a cappuccino - why don't cappuccinos in the USA taste as good as those in Europe?? Then, we were allowed to explore Perast on our own - we had about 45 for this. Gorgeous, small village - stroll the uber scenic seaside walkway and visit St. Nicholas. Then, the bus took us back to Kotor - very close. The guide provided a walking tour of the old town, but we decided to give back the headpieces and explore completely on our own. We spent several hours in Kotor - it is a large walled city, quite ancient, reminiscent of old Dubrovnik, definitely a must-do. After our extensive exploration, we walked back to the very nearby port and caught a tender back to the ship. Catania, Sicily CQ26 4X4 Adventure: Fire & Water 8 hours This is a day spent wholly on Mt. Etna! We truly loved this excursion! Luckily for us, the weather was gorgeous - I have heard that Mt. Etna is often shrouded in clouds, but not today - it was sunny and clear, hurrah. There were only 14 guests who took this tour (I actually don't think more than that can take it, as numbers are limited - yes, I am quite sure that 14 is the max number of guests allowed, and that is the number we had.) Three 4X4 vehicles held everyone - 6 guests in one car, 4 each in the other two. The guide rides in the front car and talks to everyone in the other vehicles through a very effective radio system - she came in loud and clear at all times. The cars picked us up at the pier, and drove directly to Mt. Etna - it is a very scenic ride, once we got out of Catania which is not a desirable destination, as we went up and up and still higher up! Our guide was terrific, very informative and humorous. We stopped at several lava fields, we hiked over the rims of past eruptions. Many of the hikes were quite strenuous - some, not everyone could actually do. The lava rocks can be slippery and the declines steep, so you often have to walk down sideways so as not to have your shoes slip - I myself slipped a few times but the 3 drivers were always walking with us to lend an elbow or strong arm for stabilization. We stopped for a bathroom break at an alpine outpost, Rifugio Citelli - google it - the photos you see are what we saw, yes, it is that beautiful! While there, we had time for a cappuccino and a pastry, cost on our own. The break was followed by more driving to various spots from which to hike, a highlight being a "repel" down into a lava cave, ok so "repel" may be overstating it, but we did have to lower ourselves into a cave, no stairs, using a rope, hand over hand, to go down. Very exciting! Also, since it had been raining for a few days before our visit when the sun decided to come out in our honor, wild mushrooms were growing everywhere, so townspeople abounded - they had driven up to Etna to harvest them bringing their rustic straw baskets - even the drivers were picking them, and then showing them to us - amazing to have portobellos and porcinis growing wild, BIG gorgeous specimens, right there, under bushes, there for the taking! For lunch, we went to the Monte Conca Ristorante - truly delicious! Plate after plate was served to us family style - a plate of beautiful fresh green beans in an herbed olive oil marinade, sweet peppers, olives, tomato bruschetta far above the ordinary, beautiful roasted eggplant, roasted spiced potatoes, several cheeses, a few dishes that I am still not sure exactly what they were, but similar to quiche but much more intriguing and on and on - there was also a very nice pasta dish, but to me, the stars were the many and varied vegetable dishes - so fresh, so expertly prepared! This was an excellent excursion, but definitely not for anyone that has mobility issues!   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
Background: I am a 47 year-old single woman who loves to travel! This was my 27th cruise, and my 5th on Celebrity. On this cruise, I traveled with my mom. We are both very active and chose this cruise because of the interesting ports, most ... Read More
Background: I am a 47 year-old single woman who loves to travel! This was my 27th cruise, and my 5th on Celebrity. On this cruise, I traveled with my mom. We are both very active and chose this cruise because of the interesting ports, most of which we had never been to before. Out intent was to just wander around each port and take in the culture and atmosphere. Ship info: This ship was really sleek and beautiful, but there are some things about it that didn't work for me. The one thing that most impressed me was the staff. I've never seen a group of officers (including the Captain) who were so engaged, visible, friendly and fun. They truly were EVERYWHERE and made each passenger feel like a guest in their home. Now my expectations are so high for my next cruise! The ship itself is really beautiful and well designed. I rarely felt I was in a crowd as there were so many different areas. The only couple of complaints I have are these. The grassy area on the top deck is a complete waste of space. It was always roped off and there was never anyone there. Also the restaurants that charge a fee on that grassy deck were always empty. It' s just a shame that half of the top deck is mostly empty. Just open it up and stop charging a fee. Also, there is really no central atrium or gathering point. Activities: My only true complaint was the complete lack of anything fun to do. When you looked at the daily activity guide, it appeared to be full, but when you really looked at it, most activities were for a fee (food and/or beverage related) or occurred during the day when you were in port. In the evening (between maybe 6-10pm) there was absolutely nothing to do other than whatever the main show was. The assumption is that the entire ship would be just drinking and eating and entertaining themselves. But we saw many people just wandering around looking for something to do. There wasn't even a great band playing where you could sit and listen to music. I honestly thought the Cruise Director was completely worthless as it related to entertainment Service: Impeccable! And soooo friendly!!! Port & Shore Excursions: We did not book any shore excursions through the ship. We arranged two excursions on our own through Cruise Critic boards, and then just wandered around on our own. The ship did provide (for a fee) some shuttle services that we did use in Venice, Ravenna and Dubrovnik. These were fairly priced and very well communicated and arranged. Embarkation: Super easy. Took all of 7 minutes and we were on the ship by 1pm Cabin: We booked cabin 1200, which was a Concierge class balcony. The cabin is pretty well designed, but there definitely is a lack of drawer space. The bathroom was fantastic. Very well designed and spacious for a cruise ship cabin. We completely rearranged the furniture and made the room seem bigger. The beds and bedding were extremely comfortable. Dining: We had "anytime" dining so we could do what we want, when we wanted. We ate breakfast everyday in the buffet and LOVED the eggs benedict. I thought this was one of the best organized buffets on any ship I've been on. Very spacious and lots of choices. For dinner, we split between the main dining room and the buffet. Sometimes the dining room just made us too full, so we opted to graze at the buffet and eat a little lighter. One evening we ate at the Tuscan Grille and that was superb! Overall, I thought the prices for the specialty restaurants were too high. $45 for a specialty dinner when you are used to eating for free is just too steep. Entertainment: Not much. The production shows were good. The guest entertainers were ok. The bands were non-existent. There was a good acapella group, but they only played for 15 minutes at a time. The "party" band was terrible. There were two "one-man" guitar players. Really? That's entertainment? This is my one complaint about Celebrity. They really skimp on the entertainment, especially the live music Disembarkation: Seemless Summary: For me, Celebrity is all about the ports of call and the service. If you are not looking to be entertained, but you are looking for great ports every day and being treated like a guest in someone's home, this is for you. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
A beautifully appointed ship, clean, glamorous, trendy, quirky; just don't expectsmiles from the staff or a quick drink. My wife and I cruised on the Silhouette as part of a 39 day Mediterranean adventure to celebrate our Silver ... Read More
A beautifully appointed ship, clean, glamorous, trendy, quirky; just don't expectsmiles from the staff or a quick drink. My wife and I cruised on the Silhouette as part of a 39 day Mediterranean adventure to celebrate our Silver Wedding Anniversary, in Sept. 2013. This was our tenth cruise but our first on Celebrity. Initial impression: From bag drop off to sipping a glass of sparkling wine on board took less than 20 minutes, very impressive! Our bags were delivered after 2 hours and our partially obscured balcony cabin towards tge aft on the Starboard side of deck six was well appointed and quite spacious. The storage space above the bed made good use of dead space and was very handy. Like many on this cruise we had taken afvantage of the 123 promotion and availed ourselves of the free drinks package, paying the additional USD240, we upgraded to the platinum package (all drinks up to $ 12 a glass included). In theory this sounded great, in reality however, not so. Drink package downside: (I) prior to 5 pm to get a drink you needed to go poolside to find an open bar, intermittently the bar on deck 3 would also be open. Even during the trivia sessions, the hosting bar remained closed. (ii) limited no. of bar staff meant lengthy waits when one did find an open bar. For example, the one bar that serviced the ENTIRE buffet, was staffed by only one bartender, regardless of the time of day. (iii) drink service was almost non existent, 2 drink staff service the entire bottom level of the theater during shows, not once were we offered poolside service. (iv) limited wines available by the glass. Restaurants The quality of food at the main restaurant was very good but the menu was dissapointingly uninspiring. To be travelling on such a beautiful ship through regions famous for quality food, and yet be served 'meat and potato' style dishes was a disappointment. The dessert menu was the worst of all, very limited and little daily change. A cynical cruiser might suspect that this is an attempt to promote fee per dining bookings invthe speciality restaurants. A note on table settings: My wife is coordinator of hospitality studies at a Catholic College and as such notices particulars. Very seldom were we seated in the main restaurant to find a fully laid table, the absent items seemed to be absent at random and varied from cutlery, to glassware, napkins and cruet sets. We often found ourselves devoid of teaspoons, and resorted to using knives after waiting up to 5 minutes for one to appear upon request. Specialty restaurants: The quality of food and service at these is exceptional and indeed what one should expect in general on a 5 star line. The additional cost of up to $ 50 pp (compared to $ 20 on RCL) was somewhat extravagant. We did learn however that an early booking at 6 pm afforded one a 50% discount. Murano- quality French inspired menu with at table preparation Qsine - quirky tapes style plates (skip lunch before this one) Tuscan grill - definitely our pick, fantastic service, outstanding menu, and a panoramic view of the ship's wake. With 10 ports of call in 12nights, this is an adventure cruise more than a vacation, be prepared to book early morning wake up calls (our tip is to book breakfast on your balcony for these mornings). All in all, Sillhouette was a dissapointment. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
I am a little late in writing this review however events upon our return home conspired against a timely submission and so I shall rely on my notes and memory. This was our second Mediterranean cruise with Celebrity and we were looking ... Read More
I am a little late in writing this review however events upon our return home conspired against a timely submission and so I shall rely on my notes and memory. This was our second Mediterranean cruise with Celebrity and we were looking forward to the experience. We had toured the western Mediterranean on the Solstice in 2011 and this time we were touring the eastern Med. Embarkation was the quickest and most efficient I have encountered in the five cruises I have taken. It took very little time and it seemed that we did not have to pass through a massive gauntlet of staff trying to get us to book massages, specialty restaurants etc. We even managed to by pass the usual photo shoot which for us, has never produced a magical, must have picture. Once on board we found the staff friendly and efficient. We were able to access our room on deck 8 (mid ship balcony) fairly early and our luggage was there in record time. A far cry from the late night delivery I once experienced with another cruise line. Our cabin was large enough for two - basically an average cruise ship size room. I had been concerned that we would find it a little crowded since we enjoyed a family suite on our last cruise and reveled in that extra space. All in all we had sufficient room for our clothing, luggage and souvenirs (the total of which mounted daily). We had a larger than normal balcony and we were able to open up a swing panel to the cabin beside us where some additional family members were staying. The balcony easily accommodated 5 or 6 of us for port watching and sky gazing). The shower in our room was spacious for a cruise ship and we found that the water pressure was good. There was plenty of room for toiletries and robes. The room attendant was very good and really pleasant. Meals were mostly in the select dining area which worked will for our schedules. The flexibility afforded by that dining option meant we could tailor our dinner reservations around our shore excursions as opposed to the other way around. We highly recommend this option. The food however was not as good as the food on the Solstice. I would describe it as average at best and say the majority of times it leaned towards the bland side. The wait staff we had were definitely inferior to those on the Solstice. Water and beverage glasses left empty for long periods of time. Indifferent service overall. We ate at two specialty restaurants. First I would like to comment on the Tuscan Grille which accommodated our rather large group of 16. I feel that I have to apologize to the other diners as I do not believe this restaurant environment was intended to host a large group. For couples enjoying a quiet, elegant dinner, we must have seemed an unwelcome intrusion and I would think twice before booking a large or potentially rowdy group into that restaurant. The food was excellent however the waiter stated he would bring a mixture of side dishes. I had ordered a particular side dish but did not get to eat it since the waiter brought one small dish of each side plate. We would have preferred to get the specific side dish that we ordered as opposed to what was easiest to serve. That small glitch in service notwithstanding, the overall meal was excellent and the desert was wonderful. The wait staff overall were fast, efficient and a credit to the restaurant. They handled our group well. The Murano was our second specialty restaurant and it was exceptional. I should note that out of our rather large group, only my husband and myself were attached to those reservations so dinner for two was a much quieter and elegant affair as opposed to our previous dinner for 16. We enjoyed our Murano experience so much that we booked a second night there. The service was superb, the food exquisite and the experience delightful. These two wonderful dining episodes have made us fans of specialty restaurants, or at a minimum, fans of the Murano restaurant. Room service was not the best. I ordered breakfast in our room the first morning of sailing. We had a shore excursion planned and I had opted to place the room service order the night before so we could save some time in the morning. We ordered breakfast to arrive an hour and fifteen minutes before we were going to depart our cabin for our excursion. Breakfast never arrived and when I called to inquire about the status of the delivery, I was told that they were busy as a large number of people had ordered breakfast in their cabins that day. The breakfast never arrived. We tried again a few days later and the breakfast arrived without any utensils which necessitated a trip to the nearest restaurant to obtain them as opposed to calling up room service again. The entertainment on the ship was OK but nothing to rave about. We did not expect Broadway or Vegas quality experiences and so for pure entertainment value, they met our expectations. The Martini bar was great fun. A frosty bar surface and friendly staff make this a must stop on the ship even if you don't drink alcohol. The bar tenders (who must have seen the movie "Cocktail"), emulate the juggling bottles and glasses for an all around entertaining display. What a show they put on and frankly the bar is in a great location to meet up for a post-shore excursion drink or a before dinner drink. Quite a few members of our family group met there to enjoy the small group atmosphere within a frosty/icy cosmopolitan environment. There are some nice quiet areas on the ship that are great little places to enjoy a book or people watch. I took advantage of one of the reading nooks suspended above the library. We cannot comment on the shore excursions as we booked private excursions at every port. We were always welcomed back with cool towels and beverages. The only time we found a problem returning to the ship was in Venice where there was some type of delay in passing through the port screening to get to the ship itself. We were not sure if it was the ship or the port that was the cause of the delay. It was a wet and cool day and we were greeted by hot chocolate and once again, warm welcomes. Overall we enjoyed our time on the ship and the cruise itinerary. This is our second cruise with Celebrity and we certainly would book with this cruise line again. Without doubt, we would endorse the eastern Mediterranean itinerary. We are going to try the Celebrity Transatlantic cruise next! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
We sailed from Rome for the 11 night Eastern Mediterranean cruise, and it was best cruise experience to date. Why? Ship: brand new with just the right amount of public spaces Crew: Outstanding Ports of Call: Hugh variety Food: Well ... Read More
We sailed from Rome for the 11 night Eastern Mediterranean cruise, and it was best cruise experience to date. Why? Ship: brand new with just the right amount of public spaces Crew: Outstanding Ports of Call: Hugh variety Food: Well above average Our review may be biased because we selected the Aqua Class. Although this gives you access to the spa, the main benefit is that you get to dine in Blu, which offers better and more healthy selection in a more intimate environment. I think we paid about $200 extra/person, and it was well worth it. Dining: We ate in Blu most nights and only ventured into other pay extra dining only 2 nights. You can book ahead, but don't bother. They offer great deals on a daily basis. We at the Lawn club because it is outside and weather was great We also ate at Qsine. I would recommend Qsine 1 night. We got a 2 for 1 special on the overnight in Istanbul. Otherwise, the additional charge is really a waste if eating in Blu. Cabin: Bathroom is larger than most ships as well as balcony. Otherwise it's a standard cruise ship balcony cabin. Other than sleeping at night, we were never in it, so who really cares. I am always amazed at people who pay so much extra for a suite. If you are on a luxury cruise line why would you sit in your cabin. Crew: Amazing. Not one complaint. Based on the hours they work, it would be a sin to complain. Entertainment: We went every night. Although good, it was not as good as some other ships. If the Reflection has a weakness, this is it. They change the shows all the time, so this will vary cruise-to-cruise Ports: Good selection. The one issue is that the Reflection is so big, that sometimes you wind up pretty far from the city you are vistiting, especially in Rome and Athens. Getting on and Off: Best experience to date. It took 20 minutes to get on and 20 minutes to get off. TIP: we flew to Rome and took the train from Airport to port. You have to walk a few blocks, but otherwise it's easy. The fare from airport to Civittachia is on 11 Euros/person. Take train from airport towards Rome. The local train stops in Rome/Trastaverre. It runs every 15 minutes. From there catch a train to the Civittachia, which runs every 30 minutes. Trenitalia website has schedule. In Civitacchia You have to walk from station towards port where there are free busses to boat. It takes about 2 hours maximum from Airport to boat. Slightly more work, but we saved over $300. Ports: We have strong bias against ship excursions based on expense and being herded around like sheep. At dinner we explained what we did to fellow diners, and most seemed jealous. We are healthy and in shape so we also have a bias towards hoofing it on our own. Overall, we spent only $120 on transportation off ship. Also most eating places have free wifi so bring your Ipad or phone and text and email for free. Just ask for password and login. Santorini: We waked up donkey path. Its kind of a hike, but not that bad. The experience of sharing the path with hundreds of donkeys was worth the experience. We ate in Santorini (boat leaves at 10 PM) and walked back down path. Bring a flashlight or use cellphone flashlight feature since path is covered in donkey poop. If you don't walk there is a tram. Istanbul: Walked from ship to sights. It's not that far A cab will cost you about 20 Euros. There is also a trolley. The crowds were hugh which surprised me since it was October. I downloaded a map app (RMaps) for android phone that let me use phone as GPS even though I had no network connection. I used it to navigate streets. We went to Mosques and palace, as well as markets. We liked the spice market which is just across bridge from where ship docks. Kusadashi: Walked into town and got taxi to Ephesus. Cost was $80 for 2 ( you have to negotiate). They take you there and wait for you, and you don't pay till you get back to port. You don't have to worry about them leaving you based on that. Insist on this is arrangement. Mykanos: Walked 100 yards from ship toward town and found a place to rent car for $45/day. We drove to Super paradise beach and spent day there. One of the best beaches on Island. Since it is an Island, its hard to get lost. Athens: We walked from ship to train. Train runs from Piresus to Acropolis (Monastraki). Cost is 2 Euros, so our transportation cost was only 4 Euros. Again I had map application that let me use phone as GPS so could not get lost. If you are healthy climb Mount Lytvakos. The view is amazing. There is even a restaurant on summit. You can get Athens Subway map online. Naples: Boat to Capri is only a block from cruise ship. Trip there and back really takes the entire day. Well worth the visit. You can try to do more, but 5 passengers would have missed ship if Captain had not waited 30 minutes to depart. Once on Capri, buy your return ticket before you do anything. I can't imagine why anyone would sign up for excursion here. Walk from ship to boat terminal. buy ticket, and go to Capri. Naples as a city is not really interesting.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
This was my third time doing the Mediterranean and his was by far my favorite. I love Celebrity and the Soltice class ships. I had been on the Reflection so I knew that I loved the ship. I had done Eclipse twice and like the Reflection ... Read More
This was my third time doing the Mediterranean and his was by far my favorite. I love Celebrity and the Soltice class ships. I had been on the Reflection so I knew that I loved the ship. I had done Eclipse twice and like the Reflection better. I like the Lawn Club Grill and the alcoves. We only ate in the MDR on one night we love Tuscan Grille and Qsine and Lawn Club Grill!! We upgradfed to a Sky Suite and it was awesome except we were below the Ocean View Cafe and it created a noisy morning for us. This is my only complaint that we complained several times and nothing was ever done about all of the noise. We stayed in Rome a couple of days before and did the underground tour of the Coleseum, it was awesome through Walks of Italy. We found a very7 nice local wine bar and very much enjoyed our experience there. We took a private tour in Sicily with Cellar Tours they took us to two private wineries and we had a Romantic private lunch at Bella Restaurant, this was all included in the price of our tour. In Athens we booked the Athens on our own and went to the Acropolis and then had a Greek lunch and greek wine and got back just in time for our bus ride back to the ship. In Mykonos we went to Paradise Beach by cab and had them drop us off at a Hotel named Vencia Boutique and sat outside at the Karavaki Restaurant and had lunch with the most amazing view.!! It is up the hill from town and we walked down the hill to town to shop. Took the ship bus back to the Ship. In Santorini we took a cab over to the black sand beach and then took a cab back to Fira and had lunch with an amazing view of Santorini. In Naples we took a private tour with seeamalficoast.com I highly recommend this tour they pick you up at the ship with a private Mercedes take you to Sorrento for private time to shop. Then stop for lots of pictures, stopping in Positano for shopping time. Then up the hill for the most amazing food and view ever imaginable!! Best food we have ever had and the view made the food taste even better. We had two more stops after lunch. For transporation to and from the ship we used Romecabs and they were very efficient and reasonably priced. I had taken tours from the ship on my first trip to Mediterranean and to crowded and not so enjoyable. I learned of all of these things in port from Cruise Critic and reading reviews and I am so glad that I did!!   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
If I have my facts straight, our newly promoted Ship's Master, Captain Tasos Kafetzis is but 38 years of age. A "dashing" bachelor and lover of fast cars, powerful motorcycles and even more powerful cruise ships proved to be ... Read More
If I have my facts straight, our newly promoted Ship's Master, Captain Tasos Kafetzis is but 38 years of age. A "dashing" bachelor and lover of fast cars, powerful motorcycles and even more powerful cruise ships proved to be the hit of the voyage for many if not most of the women and quite a few of the men. Captain Tasos is fond of "donut" maneuvers in tight spaces and handles them superbly. He is also, seemingly, one of us and, perhaps, even one of the crew, seemingly much loved by them even as he has just taken over this vessel. I saw him in port, poolside, in the Oceanview Café. He seemed to be having as much fun as we did. But, don't let his youth fool you; we transited near hurricane force winds one night (65 knots) and I felt barely a shudder. The ship and the captain are to be commended. As for Constellation, she is neat and tidy and clean and there was no hint of the Noro Virus that reportedly plagued her on an earlier Mediterranean voyage. The virus, of course, is the fault of the passengers more than the crew or ship. Hand sanitizer was offered everywhere. I heartily recommend breakfast and evening cocktails at the Sunset Bar on Deck 10. Mario, a server who quickly learned my preferences and name, is an excellent server. After he told me of the $20 bottles of 2012 Anakena Chilean cabernet that they were selling--the also had $20 bottles of sauvignon blanc--I got hooked. That wine sells for $8 or so in liquor stores in the U.S. and is very good for the price. To find it here for $20 blew me away. Drink up. For an extra treat, stroll inside the adjacent Oceanview Café and make yourself a cheese plate accompanied by bread sticks or garlic bread and take it out on the deck with you. Seats fill up on both the starboard (non-smoking) side and port (smoking) side quickly but they turn over reasonably often. Don't hesitate to ask to share a table; there are a lot of friendships to be made out there. As a wine lover, I also frequented Cellar Masters on Deck 5 where Elvis--from India--holds forth both pouring from bottles behind the bar and also sells cards for automatic pours from the three wine dispensers in the bar. One was down but Elvis did a good job of mixing and matching whites so the inoperable station wasn't too much of a concern. The reds were amazing: Phelps, Nickle & Nickle, Far Niente and more by the glass is a great find aboard a ship. $100 cards were offered with a $35 bonus and $200 cards delivered a $90 bonus. Remember that there is a 15% automatic gratuity on all drinks so the $100 card actually costs you $115, etc. The Martini Bar on Deck 4 was always popular and the bartenders put on quite a show there. Dine at Ocean Liners at least once but make sure you are offered a discount. Twenty percent off is common but, if you ask, up to fifty percent can be had. The service is sublime and both the chateaubriand for two and the sole are wonderful. Service is excellent with simultaneous revelation of everyone's entre and more. Don't miss it. Skip Tuscan Grille, the Italian steakhouse on Deck 11. On my first and only visit, my lobster alfredo was inedible. After one bite I pushed the plate away. It took my server a full five minutes to muster up the courage to ask if anything was wrong. When I said it tasted "off," he retreated with it. But, I was presented with a bill at full price. Never in all my years of dining have I sent an entre away and still been billed for it. Food in The Oceanview Café (buffet) was fine if uninspired. If you like burgers, be sure to try the Poolside Grille on Deck 10. For me, a burger is a great lunch. The dining room, San Marco, was what you would expect; nothing more and nothing less. I opted for 8:30 but went to Ocean Liners three times,Tuscan Grille once and ate at the Oceanview Café twice leaving only six nights in the dining room. Constellation's crew is good at what they do but they are not well trained about what to do when the inevitable service failure occurs. Fortunately for Celebrity, service failures were few and far between. Typically, wireless internet is pricey but, unlike on many ships, the service aboard Constellation was fast and reliable. I suggest a trip to the "Celebrity iLounge" on Deck 9 to have one of the two able staff members there install the "app" on your phone or laptop. The app makes it much easier to both sign on and to successfully execute the critical "sign off." Signal strength was great everywhere that I went on the ship. Guitarist John Winters, guitarist Cesar Paucar and string trio Fiore were all fine before or after dinner entertainment. But, I was most surprised by the quality of the singers and dancers in the Celebrity Theater. I am usually embarrassed for big production number shows on cruise ships but this group was very good. The Carousel Party Band did a fine job in Reflections on Deck 11 if that's your late night thing. The place got hopping more than once. Ports were Istanbul, Sea Day, Kusadasi, Turkey (Ephesus), Bodrum, Turkey, Rhodes, Greece, Marmaris, Turkey, Santorini, Greece, Athens (Piraeus) Greece, Mykonos, Greece, Chania (Crete), Greece, Sea Day and Istanbul. We docked everywhere except for Santorini which was, for me, the highlight. Cabins are average in every way. Mine (6074) was well serviced by Francis and I heard no complaints from anyone about anything amiss in the hotel department. The crowd aboard Constellation was pretty friendly and, if you tried (and I did) you could make friends easily. That is not always true but this semi-upscale crowd (typical for Celebrity) has its social skills pretty well honed. There were almost no children aboard, probably due to timing and the remote nature of the departure port. As you would expect, there was a diverse bunch of passengers hailing from all around the world. With the exception of Tuscan Grille, this cruise was sublime for me. Read Less
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