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Wilba's Idyllic Aegean Day 7

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    Wilba's Idyllic Aegean Day 7

    Ios & Santorini

    We awoke to yet another sun drenched day. As with everyday of this cruise, the weather has been scorching. The island of Ios is the result of a volcanic eruption way back in time, brown and rugged from every angle and totally mountainous.




    As this is another half day stop we took the ships tour to Maganari Beach. After a tender disembark and a one hour bus ride across mountain after mountain and hairpin after hairpin, on roads barely passable by two large vehicles, the views were spectacular but not for the feint hearted.

    The water was crystal clear and barely a ripple in sight, straw umbrellas and a beachside tavern. Not a bad way to spend the morning of the last day of cruise.





    We sailed from Ios at 2.00pm and two hours later we were anchored in Santorini along with Celebrity Reflection and Celestyal Olympia, (ex RCI Song of America)





    The sun is still beaming down and the temperature is like a baker’s oven. We had booked the tour to Oia, but in view of it not returning until 9.00pm and packing to be done, we swapped it for the morning tour to Manganari Beach. A good decision as we have done Santorini many times over, and Oia on one of our last cruises. We stayed onboard, enjoyed the sun, and psyched ourselves up for the dreaded last night of cruise.

    In Summary:

    The Food and Beverage service has been second to none throughout this cruise. The food has been everything I ask for on a cruise ship, well presented, at the correct temperature and most of all tasting of what it says on the tin, the latter being sadly lacking on more than one of the mainstream cruiselines in my opinion.







    The Unlimited Drinks Packages are priced accordingly.

    The White Package is an Unlimited Non Alcoholic Package @ €14.95 per day.

    The Blue Package covers Unlimited Alcohol plus everything in the White Package @ €22.95 per day. This package is going to suit the needs of most people and also includes fancy coffees, which works out at €160.65 per person for a weeks cruise.

    The Gold Package has the addition of Champagne, Premium brand spirits, and a selection of wines as opposed to ‘House Only’ @ €34.95 per day.

    All adults in the cabin must purchase the same package as per the norm of most cruiselines.

    Two different ‘Wine Only’ packages, Standard & Premium, are also available on a Buy 3 Get 4 basis.

    Staff gratuities are included in the cruise ticket prices, drinks, spa & beauty charges carry no additional charges, so what you see is what you pay.


    The Dress Code is distinctly Casual with a capital C on Celestyal, with the usual caveat of No Shorts in the MDR at evening meal time. How pleased was I that this rule was strictly enforced, with no exceptions. Hand Gel was also insisted upon before entry to the MDR. C’mon some of you so called posh boy cruiselines, it’s not difficult to implement with the right approach.

    Entertainment by the theatre company, Cirque Fantastic, makes a change from the usual cruise ship format. This hard working troupe who present a different show seven nights a week to a great standard, are very watchable.

    This has been a most enjoyable cruise, and for people like me who have ‘Done the Rounds of the Med’ and are looking for new found ports without the dodgem cars, bowling alleys, rock walls or roundabouts, a casual dress code, all with one of the most friendly and obliging crew one could wish for has been a breath of fresh air.

    Whilst I am on comparisons, not once have I experienced or witnessed any upselling of drinks packages, spa & beauty treatments or speciality meals.
    Drinks, even without the package are reasonably priced and no added charges. There were leaflets in the cabin on first arrival promoting all of the above, and the only thing under the door for the rest of the cruise was the daily programme. Just how I like it.

    There were few, if any, negative aspects that affected my cruise enjoyment, however I can see that some things might not be to the British cruisers expectations.

    The Pool does not have its array of sunloungers around it in the conventional fashion, it is in fact surrounded by tables and chairs which are used mainly as an outside buffet seating area. This is a small elderly ship and compromises have to be expected. That said, there were plenty of sunloungers available around the other deck areas without the need for the 4.00am Early Morning Towel Army. The one and only Jacuzzi is also in a Bar area on Deck 5 rear of ship.



    On the subject of small ship expectations, I took a peek at the inside cabins and they are as you would expect, ‘petite’. The Standard Outside is also smaller than we are accustomed to on the more up to date cruise ships, but the Superior Outside which I have resided in is more typical of the size of cabin we have come to expect. A proportion of these Superior Outsides are the very cabins that have had a Balcony recently added and now take on Junior Suite status
    Whilst on the subject of cabins, there are no ‘zip line’ clothes lines in the shower cubicle and OMG, neither is there a kettle.

    All in all this has been a great value for money cruise. Celestyal ships are all of a certain age so the fault finders won’t have too much trouble nit picking, but if you are looking for a week of different ports with one of the most friendly and obliging team of staff, look no further……….Wilba
    Wilba

    #2
    Fab review Wilba. Thank you so much for sharing. The first photo taken on the beach looking out on to the water looks like heaven.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks Wilba, a thoroughly enjoyable and informative blog series with fabulous photos.

      Comment


        #4
        Thank's for taking the time to write the blog Wilba , very informative as usual ,...Taffy
        ​Taffy

        Comment


          #5
          Sounds like a lovely cruise with a great itinerary , and thank you for the blog and photos . much appreciated .

          Comment


            #6
            I really enjoyed reading this blog Wilba, the photographs were excellent.
            I'm reminded of cruises I experienced with Chandris and Thomson, ( Ithaca, charter from Ulysses Line ) in the 70's.
            We so much enjoyed those Greek Island cruises, some of your ports bring back great memories.
            We enjoy smaller, older, more classic ships like this.
            I'd be interested in knowing how you made your booking, was it direct with the Cruiseline? Was it a fly cruise or did you make your own arrangements regarding flights?
            I'd certainly be interested in exploring this further,

            Regards

            Frank

            Comment


              #7
              Where do I book

              I think it all sounds like a very successful cruise indeed with some very positive aspects. Seems as though a lot going on, two ports in a day is intense but the the smaller number of passengers will have made getting on and off that much quicker.

              The food looks good and it has been a great insight into a line I didn't know much about, thanks for the blog...Carol

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Frank, Market Bosworth View Post
                I really enjoyed reading this blog Wilba, the photographs were excellent.
                I'm reminded of cruises I experienced with Chandris and Thomson, ( Ithaca, charter from Ulysses Line ) in the 70's.
                We so much enjoyed those Greek Island cruises, some of your ports bring back great memories.
                We enjoy smaller, older, more classic ships like this.
                I'd be interested in knowing how you made your booking, was it direct with the Cruiseline? Was it a fly cruise or did you make your own arrangements regarding flights?
                I'd certainly be interested in exploring this further,

                Regards

                Frank
                Thanks Frank for the compliments.

                Now I did state on my Kos page that we went there in the 70's on a ship I could no longer remember. Looking back through my 'memoirs' it was Ithaca on a complete Thomson fly package.

                I don't know of any UK agents booking Celestyal, mine was direct and as for flights I package my own wherever in the world.

                The UK Celestyal website is still in its infancy, but it has improved significantly from last year..........Wilba
                Wilba

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Guy, Ormskirk View Post
                  Where do I book

                  I think it all sounds like a very successful cruise indeed with some very positive aspects. Seems as though a lot going on, two ports in a day is intense but the the smaller number of passengers will have made getting on and off that much quicker.

                  The food looks good and it has been a great insight into a line I didn't know much about, thanks for the blog...Carol
                  I have done two cruises with Celestyal on a two stop most days basis, and apart from getting on and off tenders we have walked on and off with little more than half a dozen people each time.

                  On the subject of Disembarkation, Celestyal's policy for end of cruise is leave when you're ready as long as its one hour before sail time.

                  Our flight was about 1430, so we stayed onboard until around 1130 for the 30/40 minute taxi ride to the airport. The drinks package is valid up until the time you debark............Very handy and a much better last day experience than any cruiseline I can name!..........Wilba
                  Wilba

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks for the information Wilba, definitely one I will look into.
                    I've had a quick look at their website but your blog and photographs do them more justice, Ha!Ha!
                    Great that we share memories of the Ithaca, we had a few cruises onboard her, really excellent!
                    I'm not a big drinker of spirits, although I enjoy a long G&T, ice and slice occasionally. I do remember however being persuaded by a barman onboard Ithaca to try one of his Whisky Sours.
                    They were really excellent, needless to say the G&T's were relegated for the remainder of the cruise.
                    I have to say Thomson cruises in those early days were of a high standard, I haven't tried one for many, many years.
                    Anyway Wilba, thanks again and I'm glad to hear you had an enjoyable cruise,

                    Regards

                    Frank

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Sounds just about perfect to me, thank you for taking the time to share your experience, glad you had a lovely cruise 😀
                      ........................................Carol

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I am always nearly as sad as you must be when your cruise over and I can no longer be transported to wonderful locations.

                        I am pleased you had a great time and thank you once again.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Wilba View Post


                          On the subject of small ship expectations, I took a peek at the inside cabins and they are as you would expect, ‘petite’. The Standard Outside is also smaller than we are accustomed to on the more up to date cruise ships, but the Superior Outside which I have resided in is more typical of the size of cabin we have come to expect. A proportion of these Superior Outsides are the very cabins that have had a Balcony recently added and now take on Junior Suite status
                          Whilst on the subject of cabins, there are no ‘zip line’ clothes lines in the shower cubicle and OMG, neither is there a kettle.

                          All in all this has been a great value for money cruise. Celestyal ships are all of a certain age so the fault finders won’t have too much trouble nit picking, but if you are looking for a week of different ports with one of the most friendly and obliging team of staff, look no further……….Wilba
                          You've sold it to me again Wilba. Interesting on what you say regarding cabins. We did have an inside as a ' sleeping cabin ' only due to the problems on our first night sailing from Cuba. The insides are I agree very samll, but the lower grade outside which is what we initially had was huge, we then got 'upgraded' one deck above but the cabin was actually smaller again. What I did deduce after doing a last day reccie is that the cabins all vary considerably - I think mainly as a result of all the additions the ship has had throughout her life being extended on more than one occasion. As I noted in my blog:
                          https://www.cruise.co.uk/forum/1577-...l-crystal.html
                          Our first cabin:
                          https://www.cruise.co.uk/forum/1577-...at-breeze.html

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Bradbury, Coventry View Post
                            You've sold it to me again Wilba. Interesting on what you say regarding cabins. We did have an inside as a ' sleeping cabin ' only due to the problems on our first night sailing from Cuba. The insides are I agree very samll, but the lower grade outside which is what we initially had was huge, we then got 'upgraded' one deck above but the cabin was actually smaller again. What I did deduce after doing a last day reccie is that the cabins all vary considerably - I think mainly as a result of all the additions the ship has had throughout her life being extended on more than one occasion. As I noted in my blog:
                            https://www.cruise.co.uk/forum/1577-...l-crystal.html
                            Our first cabin:
                            https://www.cruise.co.uk/forum/1577-...at-breeze.html
                            You are probably right about the varying cabin sizes, I only managed to get a few peeks on a changeover day. No photos as the cabins were not yet made up, but both the XF Superiors we have had on Crystal and the same on Odyssey were all identical in size.

                            I managed to get into one of the top suites, not grand by modern standards, but lots of space with a king size bed with en suite in a separate room within the cabin.........Wilba
                            Wilba

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Lovely pictures and useful info about cruise ship, thanks.

                              Comment


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