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Our 1st Celebrity cruise


jacketwatch
"Good but could have been better"

Overall Rating: Very Good

TRIP INFO

Sail Date:10/25/2011
Destination:Mediterranean
Departed From:Istanbul
# of Nights: 11-14 Nights
Cabin Type: Balcony
Sailed As: Couple

RATINGS

Food:<p>2</p>
Itinerary:Excellent
Cabin:Very Good
Entertainment:Good
Overall Value:Very Good
Spa/Fitness: Good
Embarkation: Fair
Debarkation: Poor
Staff/Service: Excellent
Overall Rating: Very Good

COMPLETE REVIEW

Sorry about the delay in getting this review up. I hope you find it useful.

Lets begin at the beginning. :smile: We had three nights precruise in istanbul and i must say its a fantastic city. we stayed in an area called Sultanahmet which has all of the major attractions w/i walking distance or a short ride away. The major sites include the Grand Bazaar, Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque and the hag Sofia church. All i can say is if you ever get a chance to go there do go. You won't be disappointed.

Embarkation was delayed and a foreboding of things to come. We arrived a bit early as usual but could not gt on for about 5 yrs. due to extensive cleaning being done as the previous cruise had a noro virus outbreak. As it turned out we would as well and unfortunately it would afflict both of us though the severity was not too bad.

So lets talk about the good. We have never felt so welcomed as we were on this ship. The degree of hospitality was excellent on all levels except one which I'll get to later. The cabin was always clean and spotless and for the most part the food was pretty good. a few times the entress were so so but all in all the food in the MDR was good as was the service. In fact it was great.

We went to just a few shows and I must say they were entertaining though the hypnotist need to work his magic on the audience to get good reviews. But the didn't. :rolleyes2:

The best part by far was the port stops, especially Israel. we had 4 days there though all tours had to begin from the northern port of Haifa as Ashdod or the southern port closed d/t rocket attacks from gaza the day b4 we were to port there. This is where so much history was made and it was utterly fantastic. We also had stops in Athens, Rhodos and Kusadasi, Turkey. All were great, esp. Kusadasi from which you can see the ruins of ephesus which rivals Pompei. Amazing sights.

Now the not so good. Disembarkation. we choose to self disembark so they had all of us meet in masse on a 4th floor lounge. Then they said , Ok you can leave so this resulted in a huge jam near the elevators. We should have been able to get off in groups or simply when we wanted to. We had to wait like crazy for an elevator then finally got one going up so we could get on as all the down ones were packed. As mentioned there was an outbreak of noro virus too and of course that is not the ships fault I think. It can and goes happen. The crew went to extraordinary lenghts to contain this including passing out all condiments and even putting, S+P, ketchup, mustard etc. on ones food. It put quite a strain on them but I never heard a complaint. Well done! :thumbup:

Now the ugly. As usual my wife requested special food, Indian food. Well X really messed this up big time. On our 8 previous cruises this request has been honored and well done. On the Connie the chef, if you can cll him that served the same Indian food every night. For 12 nights. We spoke to the maitre 'd and he cordially asked that different food be prepared. So what happened. Nothing. So then he wrote dwon our request for other items and gave it to the chef. Still no change. The last night a chicken dsh was served which was inedible. Imagine orange chicken that had a primary flavor of turnips. :rolleyes2: It was that far off from what it should have been.

My f/u with Celebrity CS was OK but could have been better. i wrote a nice letter about everything including all the good stuff and even mentioned names of those who I felt deserved special recognition. I failed to get a reply for about 3-4 weeks and called them The fellow i soke to was OK but under the circumstances i felt some compensation was due. I mean 12 nights of substandard food and being ignored when we asked for some califlower. :laugh: He did not see it this way/ Now bear in mind we paid extra for concierge level service so I don't think a future cruise credit, even n a moderate amt. was out of line. He acted lijke this could not ne done but I managed to convinve him so he offered diner on a future cruise at a speciality. The I had to ask for two so he agreed but it seemed like I had to drag this out of him. I mean if you are willing to do this this ensures that you'll get future business, right? C'mon dude get the big picture.

Beyond this my f/u with CS or others I have spoked to has been at the level I would expect so lets say the guy I spoke to initially was atypical. I hope so.

Insum, a very good cruise with fantastic ports, an overall great staff but a chef who needs to get "Grdon Ramseyed" :wink2: and a man inCS who needs to perhaps reread its definition.

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Jeez Larry, it seems they could have given a little accommodation here, especially considering this was a 12 night cruise with additional concierge service. As a minimum, the chef could have taken 10 minutes to visit your table and discuss a few options. The chef was either too new to understand the customer service nature of the cruise line, or too arrogant to be bothered with "Special Requests." I'm glad their comp'ing you a specialty dinner for two, but that won't solve the root cause of their problem chef and their clueless customer "service" guy. It would be funny if Gordon Ramsey paid that chef a visit on a future cruise! laugh.gif

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Jeez Larry, it seems they could have given a little accommodation here, especially considering this was a 12 night cruise with additional concierge service. As a minimum, the chef could have taken 10 minutes to visit your table and discuss a few options. The chef was either too new to understand the customer service nature of the cruise line, or too arrogant to be bothered with "Special Requests." I'm glad their comp'ing you a specialty dinner for two, but that won't solve the root cause of their problem chef and their clueless customer "service" guy. It would be funny if Gordon Ramsey paid that chef a visit on a future cruise! laugh.gif

Thanks! Hopefully the info went up enough to filter the word to those who need "refreshers" :biggrin: . As for the chef I suppose it does come down to the two reasons you gave. it would cool to see what Gordon would have done. :biggrin: The maitre 'd was about as frustrated as we were. Actually, much too late I did think of asking to see the chef but hopefully in the future we will get the kind of service consistently that most of the X folks gave. Cheers. :smile:

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Thanks for your review Larry. I'm sorry you hit a few bumps along the way but I'm glad you didn't let them ruin your vacation. It sounds like you had some amazing experiences.

Well the history part is amazing. No matter what your faith its sort of like this. Across the world are many churches named for religious events like the Annuciation, the Nativity, the Holy Seplechure and so on but here is where these events happened. Man this is it!!

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Thanks for the review, Larry. I'm surprised at Celebrity - shame on them for not following through with their usual standard of CS and then to not try to make amends for their mishandling! I hope that was just an isolated personnel issue and not a sign of things to come. We do like Celebirty and will be spending 15 days on her in March! Looks like you did have a great cruise in spite of this - the itinerary sounds amazing!

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Thanks for the review, Larry. I'm surprised at Celebrity - shame on them for not following through with their usual standard of CS and then to not try to make amends for their mishandling! I hope that was just an isolated personnel issue and not a sign of things to come. We do like Celebirty and will be spending 15 days on her in March! Looks like you did have a great cruise in spite of this - the itinerary sounds amazing!

Thank you. I too think the issues were a glitch. smile.gif

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Very well written review, Larry. Thanks for writing it. Every review is helpful .

So sorry to read about the virus but glad it wasn't too bad. Sounds like you and your wife rode out the negatives pretty well and still were able to enjoy your cruise. Glad that the great parts were really , really great.

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Very well written review, Larry. Thanks for writing it. Every review is helpful .

So sorry to read about the virus but glad it wasn't too bad. Sounds like you and your wife rode out the negatives pretty well and still were able to enjoy your cruise. Glad that the great parts were really , really great.

Thanks! I appreciate that. thumbup.gif

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Thanks for the great review, Larry...glad you had a nice cruise excepting for a few difficulties...maybe Celebrity needs to get Michel Roux back as head chef of Celebrity...food and everything was so great then.

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Thanks for the great review, Larry...glad you had a nice cruise excepting for a few difficulties...maybe Celebrity needs to get Michel Roux back as head chef of Celebrity...food and everything was so great then.

I'll have to google that dude biggrin.gif

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