Number of Cruises: ele
Cruise Line: Celebrity
Sailing Date: July 2nd, 2004
Itinerary: Western Mediterranean
My wife and I took our eleventh cruise on the Galaxy on July 2, 2004. The itinerary was based in the central Mediterranean making forays to both east and west on its ten day voyage. This was the first trip for us on Celebrity. We had heard a lot of favorable publicity regarding this cruise line.
It is hard to filter through what was a grueling experience the first few days. First, we allowed Celebrity to handle the airfare, transfers etc. They booked us on US Airways with a connection in Philadelphia. We only had one hour and ten minutes to make the connecting flight to Rome. Needless to say that was too tight as we had a few delays which made us five minutes late for our flight. We were then routed two hours later through Paris. From Paris we were booked on Saudi Arabian Airlines (go figure) to Rome. Our luggage did not make it and we did not receive it all until the fifth day while in Santorini. It is hard to get past the frustration of not having our luggage. The cruise line blamed the airline although Celebrity booked our itinerary. We were able to muddle through with t-shirts and on-board laundry but it was hard to get past our disappointment in this area.
The itinerary for the cruise was excellent. We hit two Greek Isles, Mykonos and Santorini. Each was beautiful and worthwhile. We then went to Malta. Malta was interesting but was the least enjoyed of our ports. Barcelona and Villefranche rounded out the journey. Overall, I would rate the ports of call as very good.
The shows were enjoyable. I had heard that this area was a bit weak with Celebrity but we were not disappointed. They had a good variety and were not overwhelming as some cruise shows can be.
Food was top notch. The seafood in particular was good. Subtle seasoning and balanced proportions made the fish desirable. I was not disappointed with any fish dish that I ordered. There seemed to be plenty of servers and one did not feel rushed as some cruise ships are capable of. I would say that the food was above average for a cruise ship. Indeed, the buffet line had better food than some cruises have in their main dining room. Free ice cream in the afternoon was a pleasant change from some cruise lines. The sushi bar was a delight.
Our cabin was fine and user friendly. Dispensers for shampoo and soap were helpful. There is plenty of closet space. We found out later in the cruise that there was another section behind the vanity mirror that could have helped if needed. The cabin staff was efficient and unobtrusive. We rarely saw our stewards but our needs were always met.
The ship looks a bit dated but was well laid out and beautiful. At nights the shows disgorged passengers through the shopping mall areas. It must be a trick borrowed from Disney amusement parks. We missed having a wrap around Promenade deck for walks. If you wanted to walk you had to use the jogging track. There were plenty of activities to choose from each day.
Despite our difficulties we recommend both the cruise ship and cruise line and are looking forward to our next journey.