Our 8-day Mediterannean Cruise was a 70th birthday gift from my partner. It was a fabulous “bucket list” experience.
Free parking was part of the package. We were warmly welcomed by staff at Bournemouth Airport where we were ushered to a designated area for Coffee, Prosecco & Orange juice & pastries for those who may have skipped breakfast to arrive on time. We were given excellent service throughout the trip at every port as we were given clear instructions & guided by easily identified CELEBRITY staff. The printed information sheets, presentations on TV & talks on the programme about each port were essential to preparing, planning & booking. Several excursions are available in each port.
If you are a coffee lover, make sure you know where to find coffee outlets on board. Unfortunately there isn’t a kettle in the cabin.
Cakes, muffins & all delicious sweet refreshments made me forget the calories, especially the chocolate mousse cake! If you have mobility issues, choosing a cabin convenient to areas like main dining room & theatre would be helpful.
We had a quiet, compact outer cabin fairly low down and midway so hardly felt movement when out at sea. The cabin was accessible to lifts & stairs. The small sofa & table made the area restricted. There wasn’t much space to store 2 large suitcases. A very comfortable, large double bed ensured that we had a good night’s sleep.
Our next cruise will probably be from Southampton in order to avoid the routine airport security & reduce time standing in queues. Extra time on board frees up time to settle in & orientate ourselves.
I occasionally ran late as I misjudged the time it would take me to wait for a lift & find a venue which may be on the other end of the ship.
The daily printed programme & a plan of ship’s layout should be in your bag at all times.
Standard of service in the dining areas varied depending on where you sat. We ate at different tables in order to meet people from different parts of the UK.
In the formal dining area, we chose the first sitting & it worked well for us. We arrived 10-15 minutes after the starting time.
Half an hour late would have been too busy.
The menu was fantastic; food portions were sometimes small but well prepared & creatively presented. Steak was the best I’d tasted for about 20 years! I ate steak 3 days in a row.
Its always best to report to a member of staff as you check in at meal times if you are experiencing problems The person in authority will ensure you are satisfied. When I mentioned to a Manager that someone at our table complained that potato portions were small, I was impressed by the way they responded: the waitress asked if any guests would like to order extra chips when they placed their orders.
Entertainment was varied & performed by superb artists. Each night was different and special. The only disappointment was the late night show for adults only.
Best time to travel: I prefer travelling May, June, September, October or early November – out of school holidays as the swimming pool area was busy & sometimes too busy & noisy on deck.
We chose to stay on board on two occasions so we could rest. It was much quieter, more relaxed on deck & in the pool. Service improved considerably & non-alcoholic fruit cocktails were most enjoyable (part of the drinks package).
Do not use any drinks including bottled water in the cabin. Water is offered in most bars & restaurants if you first check what is included in your package. A printout of drinks allowed on your package is available at one of the desks in the Main Reception area if you ask for one.
The gym had some great treadmills, cycles & cross-trainers. To keep costs down, I didn’t join a class nor did I have beauty treatments. I used the eam bath, changing room & shower to freshen up & wash hair by taking my own toiletries & change of clothing.
Hairdressing salon & beauty treatments are expensive so check the cheapest times to book. Get advice from the reception first as it is usually cheaper at certain times depending on if you book while at sea or in port.
The highlights were definitely Dubrovnik, Mykonos & Santorini. In Summer holidays it is overcrowded & felt rushed at times. However, Santorini did not disappoint me & I hope to fly & spend a week there to leisurely meander through the village & relax more than we did. I needed more time to shop, relax in a restaurant to enjoy a glass of wine while enjoying the stunning views of the Mediterranean.