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When you leave Rome you will have the sun on your balcony in the afternoon when you board but as the ship turns both going and coming you will find you get your fair share of morning/afternoon sunshine. The cheapest place we found for cigs/alcohol was Pireaus the port for Athens. We thought Mykonos was nice but small whilst Santorini is very interesting place high up on the cliffs with a cable car access or go by donkey !!. It is very cobbled but some lovely jewellery shops and more jewellery shops, but still worth seeing. We thought Rhodes was a lovely Island and Istanbul was in particular the Kasba was unbelievable. We went on the trip Asia/Europe and you simply cross a bridge similar to the Humber and you are in Asia looking back into the centre of Istanbul in Europe. From October Celebrity will have more non smoking areas including your stateroom and balcony.
We will be on Solstice in the spring in the Caribbean doing what is called a back to back so looking forward to see Cruise Reviews in January/February of the ship.
Given you are new to cruising you will need to go onto the Celebrity website and input details of all those travelling. I usually do this 3/4 months before we are due to join the ship. On the same webpage you can download the excursions you can book before you go, or on the ship. It is usually cheaper to simply look for taxis or minbuses who will do the job a lot cheaper, but being new to cruising it is better to find some other cruisers who know the ropes and you can join them. My wife had a stroke a few years ago now and I always book the ship excursions, I pay for them before we go so no real headache. My wife always worries if we did go on our own and there was a problem and the taxi/minibus were late getting back to the ship would it wait - NO - only if you are on their excursion, it then could leave you with the headache of catching up with the ship at your cost. All Celebriaty ships have computer wi-fi to use anywhere around the ship and they have dedicated IT rooms or you can use your own laptop but it has to be registered with their IT people for you to access their network. There are what is known as bundles of time but they will explain this to you, but an hourly rate of £20/30 is the norm or about 25p per minute for surfing the net. If you have a mobile it will work if triband or quadband I don't think the dual band does but cost for voice is not cheap but handy to send texts as it will work at sea as well as when berthed.
I had a few minutes to spare there is a lot more but if you look at this website you will see them popping up quite regularly.
Doesn't it depend which way the ship is travelling as to which side of the ship gets full sun.