Checked in at Gatwick North for our flight to Istanbul with Turkish Airlines. Very impressed with Turkish Airlines, good food and service.
Arrived at Istanbul with the masses took around an hour to get through immigration and customs. However it was so worth it when we saw Crystal Serenity, she looked stunning against the backdrop of a cloudy and rainy night in Istanbul.
Check in was quick and easy, we were taken to our cabin 10115 Deluxe Stateroom with Veranda. It was bright and airy had a large Queen sized bed and full bath and what I loved was the wardrobe space! Our cabin stewardess introduced herself over the week she couldn't do enough for us.
We had pre dinner drinks in the Sunset Bar and then went to dinner in the Main Restaurant, food and service was impeccable. We decided to have a good look round the ship to familiarize ourselves but actually never went any further than the Avenue Salon and the amazing tunes that Marcie Castro was playing on the piano. Then a rather long stint in the Pulse nightclub!
The ship was still in Port at Istanbul and we had great plans to get off and explore - but this never happened as we were late risers, so we grabbed some lunch by the Seahorse pool and spent the rest of the day there, being constantly fed and watered! Again the service around the pool and in the Bistro was first class and the pool boys soon knew what we drinking - we didn't even have to ask! We were greeted with a Latte and Earl Grey everyday, very impressive.
We did however decide that we needed some exercise and played tennis on the Wimbledon Court, it was great fun playing on a ship.
That night we ate in the Main Restaurant and visited the Avenue Salon and just in case you are still hungry food is served in the Salon at 11.30pm as well as room service that John used a lot!
A whole day at sea to enjoy the sun and pool areas, which are spacious and no shortage of beds. Another day of playing tennis with great views!
Tonight was ate at Silk Road (Nobu), which was amazing especially the Teriyaki Salmon. Again the service was amazing as well as the food and wine and the atmosphere was really good.
Today we awoke to a wonderful hot and sunny day in Mykonos - the ship docked at 8am and we had breakfast on our Veranda with the crystal blue sea glistening. We took the complimentary bus into town, wandered around and grabbed a coffee and just watched the world go by. The town was pretty busy as there were two other cruise ships that had docked but we were still able to get around comfortably and saw a little bit of the Island.
We ate in Prego, the Italian restaurant, that night & the food and service were also excellent and it got to be a dilemma where we would eat each night!
We arrived in Pireaus to another hot and sunny day. We decided that we would visit the Greek capital and see all her spectacular historical sights, however this wasn't to be as there was a problem with the traffic and it was taking two hours to get to Athens, so we decided to leave it and make the most of our time around the pool.
Tonight we ate at Prego and danced the night away in the disco!
This was probably our favourite day of the cruise and we had breakfast on the balcony with amazing views of the Navplion Bay. We caught the tender to shore and embarked on a tour of the most beautiful and picturesque town. It was a Sunday so there were families bustling about going to church, locals taking in the lovely scenery drinking strong coffees. We found a smart little café down by the port and sipped hot tea and watched the world go by. Later we took a stroll around the little cobbled streets and shopped in the upmarket jewellery shops. We loved this place and definitely recommend a visit. It's so worth a visit and is a real hidden gem, if you are feeling energetic you can climb the 857 steps to the Palamidi Fortress.
Our last full day was spent at sea soaking up the last of the rays and as usual eating and drinking!
Disembarkation was painless as was our flight back to Gatwick with Easyjet.
This truly was a wonderful, relaxing, value for money, totally spoilt Holiday!
Thank you Crystal Cruises!
John, a first time cruiser, writes:-
Whatever you want from a holiday Crystal Serenity can offer it all!!
This six star ship boasts many activities for every holidaymaker, whether you want to soak up the rays around the pool, play tennis or pro-golf, tantalise your taste buds in the Michelin star restaurants, try your hand at the Casinos, take in a movie, a theatre show or dance to dawn in the disco the choice is yours!!!
You can holiday 24 hours a day and the crew work tirelessly to make your holiday a truly pleasurable and memorable experience.
I tried it and now I'm hooked. Take it from me, put this one on your list!!
Have a great cruise
John Albert - London Cabbie