Hi Susan! We’re back from our cruise – we had a wonderful time. Celebrity is REALLY great. It’s just that something extra. The ship and staff were terrific. Thank you for your help in reserving dinner for us; it worked perfectly. After the first night we had the same table and wait staff which was really nice. We also tried one of the specialty restaurants, Murano, and it was really great – we’ll do it again.
The ports were outstanding. You know Venice is great. We had a terrific view on our way in and out of port. Tony and I did our own thing that last day. The only port we did’nt care for so much was Naples because we went to Capri. Tony had wanted to go back there since our Mediterranean cruise on RCCL a number of years ago. But it was SO commercial and such a tourist trap, and so crowded. We really ran out of things to do there and looked forward to getting back to the ship. We had already done Positano, Sorrento and Pompeii, so if we take another cruise that goes to Naples I think we’ll take it as a rest day on the ship! (or maybe go into Naples for some pizza!)
The rest of the ports were terrific, though, and NOT commercial at all. They were all lovely. Our favorites: Orvieto – we had done several days in Rome on our own in the past so we picked this excursion. What a great choice! It’s a hilltop medieval town about 2 hours from Rome. We were the only excursion there and the town is so charming! We had a wonderful lunch at a first class restaurant, and visited the most beautiful church we’ve ever seen (pretty remarkable, right?) We had time to walk around on our own and the shopping was great – not all super expensive stuff but also not kitschy. We had a really great tour guide. I would love to go back there.
Malta – What a beautiful place! Limestone buildings, fortresses. Classy town, beautiful pier area and the harbor was majestic. We walked the town on our own. It was busy, there was another ship there, but nothing to deter you from having a great time. We saw a church built by the Knights of Malta (from the Crusades) called the Co-Cathedral of St. John – it was an incredible place and the knights are buried there. The town is so welcoming, with a parade, etc.. Would love to go back there too.
Montenegro – it took us a good hour and a half to get to the port of Kotor from the Adriatic – you go through what looks very much like fjords. Our excursion took us up to the mountains where we had a breathtaking view of the bay and the ship. I’m not great with heights and it was way up so it was a white-knuckle ride on the bus, but so worth it. We stopped in a mountain town and had homemade prosciutto and cheese and wine at 930am haha. Then we went to a little village where their only king had lived. Then we went to a seaside town on the Adriatic and had a great lunch and time to walk around the old town. I highly recommend this port also – hopefully we make it back there, too!
The other ports (Ravenna, Dubrovnik, Sicily) were also excellent. In Sicily we went to Syracuse and saw the ancient ruins and went to the town of Ortigia. Had another really special lunch in a hotel restaurant on the top floor with a beautiful view of the harbor. This was another medieval town that was so charming. You couldn’t miss on this itinerary. The only thing was that it was SO HOT – mid 90’s every day. So we skipped Split and rested a bit on the ship.
The excursions on Celebrity are really top notch. Attention to detail, first class meals, excellent tour guides. They really focus on ensuring you have potty breaks, etc.. Gathering and de-boarding for the tours is very organized. We were very impressed.
The ship was the sister to the Reflection so it felt like home. Our cabin was even almost in the same place. A beautiful ship, happy staff, outstanding service. Given they’re going to where we want to go when we want to go, we will look to sail with them again.
And thank you so much for the bottle of wine! That was really so nice of you. We enjoyed it!
Attached are 3 photos. First is view from the mountain in Montenegro. Second is the view from our cabin on our sail into the bay of Kotor, Montenegro. The third is in Malta.