Pre-Cruise: Scaling the Acropolis in Athens

We flew into Athens the day before our Celestyal cruise embarkation to eliminate last minute flight worries. The added time gave us the chance to explore Greece’s capital. No sooner than we checked into the ideally located Airotel (Hotel) Parthenon, John and I left to explore the Acropolis, looming over the city center. The view reminded me of Edinburgh, Scotland where Castle Rock dominates the skyline. We began the gradual climb up the craggy limestone hill, a …

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7-Day Idyllic Aegean Cruise aboard the Celestyal Crystal

A week-long cruise of the Greek isles sounds romantic, and that’s exactly how I intend to keep it!  My guy and I maintain our Boomer romance by driving two and half hours between our homes in different Florida cities. The opportunity to cruise together offers a quality time escape, not to mention sightseeing within a region known for its scenic beauty. Beginning in April, 2018, Celestyal Cruises rolled out a new seven-day Aegean Island itinerary, the only …

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Celestyal Olympia cruise: Greek cuisine a cruise delight

One of the things I enjoy most on a cruise is getting to try various foods.  Sometimes the choices are very difficult. But I had no problem deciding what to order aboard the Celestyal Olympia. I just went with the “Chef’s Specialty” option on each lunch and dinner menu. I had no idea what some of those specialties were but they were always delicious. At lunch today, for example, the Chef’s Specialty was Kotopoulo Pastitsato. The description …

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Celestyal Olympia Cruise: Visiting Patmos cave where St. John wrote Book of Revelation

The dreaded Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The terrifying Beast with Seven Heads. The scary opening of the Seven Seals. The Final Judgement with its brimstone vision of hell. How could all these horrific things detailed in the Book of Revelation have been written in such a beautiful place? Although our Celestyal Olympia cruise ship stopped for less than six hours on the island of Patmos, I was eager to visit the cave where St. John the …

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Celestyal Olympia Cruise: Ruins of ancient Ephesus filled with historic treasures

The statue of a large ball with a foot atop it might not seem unusual. But it certainly is. Touring ancient Ephesus, we came across remnants of a statue honoring Emperior Trajan who ruled the Roman Empire in the 2nd century. “You see that his right foot is on the ball, the globe. That means he ruled the world,” said tour guide Nevin. It also means that those ancient Ephesus folks knew the world was round long …

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Celestyal Olympia Cruise: Mesmerizing Mykonos a major mecca for travelers

Very busy day. Checked out of InterContinental Hotel in Athens. Took shuttle ride to Piraeus. Boarded Celestyal Olympia. Met ship captain Stathis Romeos. Did mandatory safety drill aboard ship. Ate lunch at ship’s Aegean Restaurant (yummy!). Arrived at Mykonos Island about 6 p.m. Whew! No way was I going to miss Mykonos. Mesmerizing Mykonos is definitely one of the most popular and most-visited Greek isles. The first cruise ship docked here in the 1920s.  But jet setters …

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Celestyal Olympia Cruise: Arriving in Athens for night before cruise

If I could give one piece of advice to fellow cruisers, it would be to arrive in your cruise departure city at least a day ahead of the cruise. As Geoffrey Chaucer said, “Time and tide wait for no man.” Or woman. Flights can be delayed or cancelled so it is best not to plan to arrive the day of a cruise, especially when it is an international flight to board a cruise ship. I’ve been on …

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Celestyal Olympia Cruise: Heading to Greece for ‘Iconic Aegean’ cruise

When I was in grade school, my favorite class was Greek & Roman mythology. I eagerly awaited hearing the teacher share stories about those ancient gods and goddesses. Athena – the goddess of wisdom – was my favorite. Her tale was enthralling. The daughter of Zeus, Athena didn’t have a mother. Instead, she sprang full grown and clad in armor from the forehand of Zeus. Naturally, the Greek city named after Athena was a place I always …

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Celestyal Crystal Cuba Cruise: Discovering Love Garden at Hotel Nacional de Cuba

ABOARD THE CELESTYAL CRYSTAL – I was the only person in the Love Garden. It is a bit out of the way at the famous Hotel Nacional de Cuba in Havana. Seemed like most people were walking through the hotel’s historic halls or heading down to enjoy the beautiful view of the sea. In truth, I discovered the garden because I was looking for a public restroom. Stepping around the corner, I saw the Love Garden sign …

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Celestyal Crystal Cuba Cruise: Skimpy costumes, beautiful showgirls & guys at Tropicana cabaret show

ABOARD THE CELESTYAL CRYSTAL – I don’t know where they sat. Probably not where I did. But such rich and famous folks as Jack Nicholson, Marlon Brando, Rita Hayworth, JFK, Ernest Hemingway and Lucky Luciano once attended the famous Tropicana show in Havana. Now I have, too, on a late-night excursion from my Celestyal Crystal cruise. The optional four-hour activity cost $149 for adults. Children under 18 not allowed. That price includes a glass of sparkling wine, …

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