We recently received this wonderful feedback from clients who went on a 12 night cruise through the Greek Isles.
Our cruise to the Greek Isles
Dan & Debbie B
We began planning our cruise last August as a 40th Wedding Anniversary trip. We met with Mary Caldwell of Caldwell Travel. We selected a 12 night cruise primarily because there were a couple of islands that we wanted to go to that were not included on the 7 or 10 day cruise. Mary suggested that we use Celebrity Cruise Line for our trip. We elected to stay an extra day in Venice, which allowed us to see more of the city.
The ship, Celebrity Silhouette, held 2,800 passengers, 900 crew, and was 10 football fields long and 16 decks tall. It took several days to maneuver around the ship, knowing which elevators to use, etc. There were two swimming pools and on one of the top decks an actual yard with real grass. We selected the Select Dining, which I would strongly recommend. This allowed us to dine anytime between 6pm and 9pm. Each night we were able to dine with someone new, and got to meet different people from different countries. There were quite a few people from Australia and Canada that we met on the cruise. When we did the emergency practice the first day on the ship, we even met a group of 15-20 people from Plainfield, IN.
The ship had numerous lounges that we could sit in and have a drink and listen to different types of music or simply sit and read our Kindles. Debbie’s favorite place was the Gelato Bar. She would have two scoops, while I had a mocha from the Coffee Bar. We enjoyed the upper deck in the evening as the ship left port and arrived in port the next day. Everyone we met said the coffee and tea outside our stateroom (The Hide Away) was the best on the ship.
On Thursday of the second week while at sea, we were treated to a breakfast buffet that was phenomenal, with ice sculptures, omelet stations, waffles made to order, etc. The food during the cruise was outstanding. Each night you could choose from a standard menu which was the same each night, as well as a new array of appetizers, soups/salads, entrees, and desserts. The portions were just the right size, so that you didn’t go away stuffed. There was an additional restaurant on the 12th floor which served food all day and night. If we were on ship, we would eat lunch there. Each day there was an Express Breakfast for those going ashore for tours and sight-seeing. The days that we didn’t go on a tour, we ate off the menu in the Grand Dining Room.
A couple of thoughtful things that happened to us on the cruise was Mary having a bottle of wine and a card for us in our stateroom when we arrived. A very nice touch, Mary. We also were invited to a cake and champagne reception for those celebrating just getting married or having a wedding anniversary. Surprisingly one evening we received a small heart-shaped cake at dinner.
The crew and staff that were on the ship serving us were outstanding. They knew our first and last names at dinner and when you would see one of them on the elevator or walking down the hall they would always smile, say hi and ask if we needed anything and if we were enjoying our cruise.
Most afternoons the Party Band played music at the pool and there was something to do every day and evening (games, competition against the captain and crew, etc). Several days or evenings the Party Band and the Silhouette Dancers performed, particularly when the ship was leaving port. The entertainment in the evenings was terrific. There were musicians, acrobats, comedians, etc. The theater probably held 400 people and was usually at capacity.
We enjoyed getting off the ship and taking the tours. We did five of those and the remaining days we simply went ashore and did our own excursions. We planned our shore excursions prior to our cruise, so that we toured in the morning, ate local foods for lunch, and then had the afternoons free to do our own site-seeing. Several people we talked with said they wished they had done the same, because they took an all-day tour (8-10 hours) or two 2-4 hour tours. They complained about being exhausted every night.
Many of the people were surprised that we took a 12 night cruise to the Greek Isles for our first cruise. They stated that we had chosen the best cruise and cruise line for our first cruise. We were surprised at how many cruises some of the people had taken already. I think the highest I heard was 26 cruises. The other thing that surprised me was the number of people who had either been on a cruise prior to boarding the Greek Isles or those who were taking another cruise once they finished the Greek Isles. In fact, our ship was leaving the afternoon that we got off in Venice to Croatia and numerous couples were continuing on the Croatian cruise.
I would be remiss if I did not thank Mary from Caldwell Travel for all of her work on making this cruise possible. The private transfers were great. We did not have to try to find transportation to the hotels or ship. It was well worth the expense, especially going overseas for the first time. I would recommend that aspect of the trip as well.
Overall, we had a great time and really enjoyed the cruise, meeting new people from other countries and seeing so much history and so many cultures. Our favorite places were Malta, Mykonos, and Santorini.