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SEP-OCT 2016

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24 S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6 and Ios, Greece. We even docked at both ports that serve the Athens area: busy Pireaus, a virtual beehive of activity that always seems to be packed with ferries and cruise ships, and serene and much less crowded Lavrion, which was convenient for our visit to ruins of the ancient Temple of Poseidon nearby. Celestyal Cruises' ships are not of the most recent vintage — bal- conies are available only to suite occupants — but they are obviously clean with very comfortable staterooms. We also encountered the line's Celestyal Olympia continually but were not able to get aboard the vessel. All relatively small vessels by current standards, Celestyal Cruises' ships are easy to get around without your becoming disori- ented. Food is good and plentiful, but not gourmet, although extra- cost steak and lobster entrees were excellent. Service was generally fi ne, the poolside barbecue dinner on Celestyal Crystal was very tasty, and both ships offered nice buffet breakfasts. My media colleagues all seemed to enjoy the Greek entertainment a lot, and the traditional Greek attitude and joyful love of life were evi- dent aboard both vessels and must be top selling points, in addition to the affordable pricing. For 2017, the line is offering a 20 percent early- booking discount, as well as new "all inclusive" packages, the prices of which include shore excursions and onboard drink packages. During the past year, Celestyal made several fl eet adjustments. When the charter of Celestyal Odyssey concluded, the vessel was replaced with Crystal Nefi li, which originally entered service in 1992 as Crown Jewel. The 19,093-ton, eight-deck ship, which underwent a major refurbishment before embarking on her career with Celestyal, accommodates 800 guests based on two to a cabin with a maximum of 1,074, plus 350 crew. Also, Celestyal Crystal has now been homeported year-round in Havana for weekly voyages offering four ports in Cuba, plus Montego Bay, Jamaica. Consequently, Celestyal Nefi li and Celestyal Olympia are now handling all of the line's three-, four- and seven-night Greece and Turkey sailings. For the record, the 37,773-ton, 12-deck Olympia, which began sailing for Royal Caribbean as Song of America in 1982, accommodates 1,448 guests two to a cabin with a maximum of 1,664, plus 540 crew. Celestyal Olympia Temple of Poseiden Temple of Poseiden in Sounion, Greece Ola Village on Santorini Vineyard grapes

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