Dear Ed Many thanks for your superb review. I wonder if you read this if you would give me your e-mail address as there are a couple of questions I would like to ask as we are taking this cruise on 2nd August?
Sincerely- Tony Hunter.
I would like to second that compliment. I was on the same cruise and was going to write a review until I read yours. Couldn't have said it better myself. ..
I'd like to add my own observations...
There was a Celebrity shuttle bus (come to think of it...there were two) at the train station when my husband and I arrived by train about 12:30.
We booked a tour of Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast with Salvatore (firstname.lastname@example.org) and split the cost with two other couples that we met on a Galaxy rollcall on another board. If you've never been to that area before, I would recommend it. Salvatore is a true gentleman and does a fantastic job of showing you the area.
We slept in and took our time getting off the ship at Athens. Knowing that we were their last hope, the taxi drivers were very amenable to bargain prices for their tours.
If I had one complaint about Celebrity, I believe that they should have provided the transportation to Taoromina free of change when they changed their plans and docked at Messina. There is nothing to do in Messina and those passengers who stayed in town were dissappointed. Hope this helps
Deebee-thanks for that extra bit of information about Taormina-I certainly agree with you that celebrity should have provided free transport.
Would you say that in most instances it is easy to travel independently at most ports of call or would you say that some of them require official tour guides ie going on the celebrity tours. I am thinking particularly about the trip to Pompeii which we don't want to miss and yet feel a little uncertain about travelling on our own or indeed with a small group of others as this is our first cruise?
The one other thing which we would really like to find out about is just how strict the cruise line was when you travelled about just taking a couple of bottles of spirits to our cabin just for a drink before dinner or perhaps as a nightcap later on?
I'm sure everyone has read so much on the subject on various boards but I thought that as you have just returned from a cruise on the galaxy in Europe that you would have the latest insight on Celebrities latest approach?
Many thanks-Tony Hunter.
Pompeii is very easy to reach on the local train. You want to get off the ship as early as you can to beat the tour buses. My husband and I each purchased a headset. I can't remember the price but it was reasonable..like 9 euros for two. Tons of tourguides there if that is what you want. We saw some of the ship tours and thought they looked crowded.
Now if I had to do it again...I would skip Pompeii and go to Herculaneum (Not sure of the spelling..I think it is called Urculana in Naples) instead. I believe it is a stop or two before Pompeii on the train. The seasoned travellers I talked to said that although it is smaller, it is better preserved and less crowded. Although I loved Pompeii, I still wish I had gone there.
As for your alchohol question....I bought a couple of bottles of wine in Rome and put them in my checked luggage. I don't know what they would do if you have wine or liquor in your carry-on. When I was ready to bring wine to the dining room, I would leave a bottle out and the steward would put it on ice in my absence. The corkage fee was twelve dollars and is cost effective, even for a cheap bottle of wine. I don't foresee any problems enjoying drinks in your room. Hope this helps.
Hi-Doreen-Many Thanks for the information on Pompeii and Herculaneum. I also have heard that the latter site is the better of the two. However, Pompeii has the aura appeal and I'm sure my wife would not be happy if we missed out on that one!!!
Only four more weeks to go and we are certainly looking forward with a little apprehension to our very first cruise. Once again thanks for your help-I'll let you know how we got on when we get back in mid-August. Best wishes from Tony.