June 26, 2004
Had a nice time on our cruise from Barcelona to Venice. Ship was very nice. Service was excellent. Had a cat 1A cabin which was great. Sorry to learn that that category will go away as of Jan. It will become CC instead. CC (concierge) is a scam to boost the price. Sure you get some nice touches, but the increase in cost doesn't warrant it. The beds, towels, shower, etc. in cat 1A were fine. The ports were interesting, but it would have been nice if Celebrity had supplied readable maps and had been more informative about where and when their shuttles go. Unfortuately, in most ports many things were closed due to timing, strikes and holidays.
Villefranche had tender problems. Docked at 10am, but due to tender problems (4 ships trying to tender to the one dock) we got off after noon. It was Sunday, stores were closed. Got a train to Nice, had a nice lunch and walked to the beach. Lovely port. Needed more time.
Livorno. Got the 1st shuttle to the train station. Train to Florence was easy. Walked around. Visit the Duomo and Baptistry, had a nice lunch, shopped ( great jewelry on the Ponche Vecchio), and had a lovely day. Train was not AC on the return. Traffic from the train in Livorno to the ship was awful. Ship left port at 8pm instead of 7pm. Monday, in Florence, the museums are closed.
Rome. Had plannned to take the train, but took the ship's tour "ON Your Own" because it was a holiday( Feast of St. Peter and Paul) Dropped off at the Vatican. Toured St. Peter's Basilica ( Vatican Museum and Sisteine Chapel were closed) , walked all over Rome. Loved the Trevi, plazzas and Pantheon. Had great pizza. It was a lovely hot day. Shops were closed for the holiday.
Naples. Went to Pompeii in the afternoon. Extremely interesting, but very HOT. Great place. Do it in the morning. Take lots of water.
Mykonos and Santorini. Quaint, interesting. Stores were open. Charming.
Athens. HOT HOT HOT!!! Over 100 with matching humidity. Makes Phoenix in the summer fell cool. Climbed the Acropolis. Highlight of the trip. Athens in a big crowded city. Did a half day tour. Shops were closed. Sunday.
Dubrovnik was OPEN. The walled town is fascinating. Just wandered around. Loved it.
Venice. Enchanting. Romantic. Great shopping. The civic museums were closed due to a strike. Visit St. Mark's and the Guggenheim. Gucci was having a 1/2 price sale. Had fun!
A very nice cruise in spite of all the stuff that happened to us. Pickpockets everywhere.( Got hit in Barcelona) Street crime is rampant. ( WEar money belt or just stash it in your undies - wear no jewelery ) Lost luggage. ( Next time -carry on ) Broken camera ( take a spare)Was dissapointed that so many attractions were closed. ( On a cruise, your time is limited - it just reduced the options available) Extremely hot( wear light clothing, sunglasses and a hat: carry water,wetnaps; and smile. Have fun. Enjoy. Don't fret about what you don't do or see, enjoy what you DO.
We were very dissapppointed in our dinner at the Olympic restaurant. It was overcooked and vegies were cold. Worst meal and service on the ship. DO NOT eat there! They tend to pay attention to large parties ( we were just 2) who spend $$$ on the fancy overpriced wines. It's a lovely room, but not worth the time.