Overall Rating: Very Good
|# of Nights:||11-14 Nights|
|Overall Value:||Very Good|
|Overall Rating:||Very Good|
Sorry about the delay in getting this review up. I hope you find it useful.
Lets begin at the beginning. 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.
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!
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. 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. 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" and a man inCS who needs to perhaps reread its definition.