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Live Silhouette 29 Sep Med & Israel


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I have read that Sue Denning is the cruise director (?). If possible can you find out I'd she will be on the Nov. 4 TA?

 

Hav really been enjoying your review. Enjoy the rest of your cruise.

 

Thanks!

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I have to admit, Celebrity shore excursions are certainly easy and worry-free. We mostly plan our own things in port, but typically end up doing one thing arranged through the ship. A big contrast this trip would be the planning, time, and worry involved in our Jerusalem stay, contrasted with the ship shore excursion in Athens (to Corinth). With the ship tour your biggest worry is making it back on the bus on time, and even with that they will wait for you. All you have to do is show up and they plan everything, right down to the bathroom and shopping stops.

 

A few years ago we were scheduled for a tour of Corinth with a boat ride through the Corinth canal. From Athens I wanted to do the same thing, but couldn't figure out how to make it work on my own. So I paid the price and went with the ship tour. Simple and worry free.

 

We drove to the bridge over the canal, stopped for a bathroom break and a little shopping, then on to Corinth. At Corinth we only had an hour and 15 minutes, and a good 20 minutes was spent listening to the tour guide talk about Corinth (very little of it I remember). No headsets but I could still hear (if I wanted to). 1:15 was about just enough time at Corinth. I personally liked Delos better, spending nearly 3 hours there wandering the ruins (Delos is bigger and seemed more personal or something). As I've learned everyone is different, your mileage may vary.

 

After Corinth we stopped at a shop that sells reproduction vases and marble carvings (and jewelry). Half hour we too long for me, but it was interesting looking at the statue reproductions. Then it was to the bottom of the Corinth Canal where we boarded a boat, went through the canal, then turned around and came back. The boat had some typical Greek snacks and a soft drink included. I thought the canal was fascinating, even with the tour guides talking over the load speakers and talking over the history and repeated attempts at building a canal.

 

Then it was back on the ship for the ride back into port. A relaxing and worry-free day. While I might not have had as much control, nor got to do as much, it was simple. The pace of the ship shore excursion was definitely more laid back, and seemed to match the slow vacation feel on the ship, contrasted with the sometimes hurry-up see everything that you can get when trying to do your own thing and see as much as you can while in port.

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Chania

I think the word Chania must mean "relaxing, leisurely walk" because that's what we did.

 

Getting off the ship we decided to get a taxi, hoping it would be less walking than using the city bus. 10 Euro to the city center. Unfortunately, it drops you off right where the bus stops at the market and the driver didn't understand "can you take us to the old port?". Luckily, it is a VERY short walk downhill to the central area.

 

Food stalls and souvenirs in the market, but I think you get better prices in the little streets outside the market. Lots of small pedestrian streets selling leather, shoes, souvenirs, etc. It was pretty quite when we were there about 9:30am (but everything was open). Old port area has a lot of restaurants, with more little streets off to the side and behind with shops. Nice for a relaxing walk. We went into the Greek Catholic church, a big contrast to the Roman Catholic churches we'd seen so far. Stopped at a gelato shop and a newlywed couple from the ship bought our gelato, just because she wanted to do something nice!

 

A short walk again up hill back to the market where we caught the bus this time. 1.70 Euro one way, buying tickets from a blue vending machine. There is a sign that says bus 13 to Souda Port, but don't get on bus 13, instead walk across the street to where the buses that come directly from the port drop you off and pick you up. Luckily the bus driver asked us as we got on where we wanted to go and he directed us to the right bus (good thing he spoke some English)! I'm afraid there might have been another couple from the ship on that bus who weren't so lucky. I'm assuming the bus to the port is an express bus, but the number 13 bus probably takes its time and stops a lot and likely doesn't go into the port.

 

For little souvenir shopping I liked Chania, more relaxed than at other ports. Many restaurants were advertising that they wouldn't pressure you, so everything seemed pretty low key. In fact, probably a nice place to have lunch if you want to sit and relax and have some Greek food. It was a short port stop, but a nice way to spend the morning. Most everyone recommends just walking the town on your own and that's perfectly good unless you want to get away from the town and see a few other sites. (Also free wifi at the port.)

 

It seems we are always at dinner when the ship pulls out of port, so with leaving early today we'll watch the people come back and the ship sail away. One more sea day (and a half) now before this vacation is over.

Edited by dszrew
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Well we've joined the club and booked our future cruise onboard. I've never felt I could plan that far ahead, but there is really no downside to booking onboard. $200 deposit, $200 extra onboard credit, full refundable and changeable.

 

A thread a while back asked what job you'd like to have on ship. I think future cruise sales would be it. 6 month contract with 2 months off, they get to go out in port (taking turns to be on the ship). The girl who helped us has been doing it for 4 years and has seen a lot of different places. Kind of hectic sometimes while onboard and during busy times, but as she said, with the 2 months off the time evens out to be like working normal hours for 8 months, but saving your time off to be used all at once. A few of them are even married and sign up for contracts together!

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Lawn Club Hamburgers

With an 8 night dining package you'd think we would be tired of specialty dining, but we wanted to try the hamburgers at the Lawn Club. I really wanted to like them, really I did. But having done it once, I can't see doing it again. Here's why:

 

A good hamburger needs some fat content. Some might call it "greasy", or call it "juicy". But the lean ground beef they use didn't lend itself to a juicy burger.

Short on toppings. Mostly just a sauce, some cheese, and maybe some bacon. A really great burger often has some nice condiments.

I really expected thick cut bacon on my burger, but got a single thin piece of bacon, torn in half. I can go to Wendy's and get 3 full slices (or 6 if I get a Baconator). I had them bring more bacon, but by that time the effect was already spoiled.

No french fries. Really, they could do some gourmet fries, but instead 2 types of potato chips and some onion things (not even qualified as onion rings).

 

Best part of the meal was the chocolate chip cookie.

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Cabin

We booked this cruise several months in advance, but a little late and mostly booked it because prices were good and it was somewhere we always wanted to go. Our first few Celebrity cruises we were in Concierge class (having booked an aft cabin on the M class ships). Our last cruise we were able to get a good deal on Aqua class so gave that a try. We decided to try a regular Veranda this time.

 

I can't say that I really missed anything for having just a Veranda cabin. Other than cabin location (and some extra captain's club points), there is nothing in Concierge class we can't live without. And while Blu was good on our last cruise, with the money we saved this cruise we booked an 8 night dining package cheaper than if we had booked Aqua class. (8 nights specialty dining was too much--not quite enough variety in the menus.)

 

Our cabin steward was as good as any we've had. The bed was hard and after 8 hours I'd wake up with a backache and couldn't lay there any longer, but not sure that would have been any different in any other class. Sofa as always is the most uncomfortable thing to sit on.

 

We were in cabin 6120 up front. The balcony next to us sticks out so when the others were on their balcony, they could look directly at us. We were right above the theater, so heard thumping music in afternoons and at night. Fortunately I can sleep through that anyway. Would not book up front on this deck again though. My wife has trouble walking, and it seemed we would always be walking to the back for dinner, to get off the ship, etc. Our next cruise we've booked much earlier and have a wider selection, so we're back in the back where we belong. Doing just a Veranda again unless prices for Concierge come down between now and final payment.

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Disembarkation

We were given luggage tags a few days early, but we were scheduled to get off at 9:20, well past the time we needed to be off. I went and changed our luggage tags to get off at 8am. By 7:45 they had already called our number, so we walked off a little earlier than planned. Walk all the way to the back of the ship to get off, then all the way back to the front to get into the terminal to pick up our luggage.

 

All luggage was there, but a congested area getting out of the tent with everyone's driver waiting for them and everyone stopping right there at the doorway. Lines of buses, mostly Celebrity scheduled ones. We were renting a car so needed to catch the shuttle bus to the port entrance. I walked down looking for a shuttle bus but couldn't find it. After asking was told it would be the last bus in the line. It turned out to be a full size bus--put your luggage down below and climb in. Short ride to the port entrance directly with no stops. We got off and walked half a block to our rental car.

 

Spent the day driving the Italian countryside to Tuscania, Montefiascone, Civita di Bagnoregio, then stopped for several hours in Orvieto. Took the funicular to the top, hopped on the bus which stopped right at the main square with their striped church. It was very uncrowded and almost quiet there. Spent several hours in the square, having lunch (and gelato), and shopping for ceramics.

 

Dropped off our luggage at the Hilton Garden Inn near the airport, returned the car at the airport, then took the shuttle back to the hotel. After a short night, we were up at 4am to the airport for our flight home.

 

We had relatively few problems on the trip. Even getting off the ship late in Ashdod we did the best we could and still had a great time. Seems like we saved all our troubles for the trip home, as we missed our connecting flight in Amsterdam and had to be rebooked on two more flights to get home. Arrived home about 9 hours after originally planned (at least we didn't have to stay overnight in Amsterdam), after traveling for just about 24 hours straight.

 

My review would be better with pictures, but I took several thousand of them, haven't gone through them yet, and don't want to bother with how the boards make you post pictures. We're too busy getting back into life and planning our next adventure now to take the time to come back someday and post pictures. Overall it was a great cruise--we aren't really that picky and don't need much, just some peace and quiet and time to be by ourselves together.

 

The End.

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Cabin

.............The bed was hard and after 8 hours I'd wake up with a backache and couldn't lay there any longer, but not sure that would have been any different in any other class...........

Beds are the most comfortable we have ever had on a cruise ship, they have pillow topping on the mattress. Once we had the experience of a bed without the topping on the Eclipse and had the chief housekeeper come to the room and they fitted a new pillow top mattress.

 

The cabin steward acted dumb saying they are all like this but I knew different, don't be misled in future.

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Beds are the most comfortable we have ever had on a cruise ship, they have pillow topping on the mattress. Once we had the experience of a bed without the topping on the Eclipse and had the chief housekeeper come to the room and they fitted a new pillow top mattress.

 

The cabin steward acted dumb saying they are all like this but I knew different, don't be misled in future.

 

I'll keep that in mind next time. Lately I've been used to sleeping 5-7 hours getting up early for work, so when I'd wake up after 8-9 hours of sleep on the ship I still felt lucky. And it wasn't a bad back ache, just enough to keep me from sleeping. Of course I can often sleep out on the balcony when at sea.

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