It’s impossible to ignore the excitement and buzz on board a Celebrity Cruise ship when it’s about to arrive into a new port. Or leave one for that matter. People congregate on deck seeking out the best viewpoint – starboard or port? Music plays and there’s waving to other ships, boats and passing vessels.
‘Istanbul not Constantinople’ added to the atmosphere when we sailed down the Bosphorus. As the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia shimmered into view it changed to a Turkish lilting eastern-style music completely putting us in the mood for our time in Istanbul.
The Blue Mosque
Saturday morning I had breakfast on my balcony as dawn broke over the Bosphorus. I gazed, mesmerized, as the waters shifted from grey to gold to cobalt blue as the sun rose and the city of Istanbul started to stir. The lilting sound of the call to prayer wafted across the water instilling a sense of place. It was the perfect ending to a fabulous cruise from Venice to Istanbul. As the sun reflected golden on the water I reflected on my outstanding week with Celebrity Cruises.
Breakfast on my balcony
I met up with Amy from Celebrity Cruises, Monica from The Travel Hack and Elle from Bird in the Hand to spend a week cruising the Mediterranean. Our ship, Celebrity Equinox, is a floating island, and every morning we’d wake to a new location, a new view and new experiences. I’d leave my curtains open every night so I could see each day’s new dawn from my pillow.
As soon as I woke and saw my new view I was out of bed and ready to explore. And I’m so not a morning person! This was my second cruise with Celebrity and I loved every minute of it. I’d been unsure about my first cruise. Would there be enough to do? I’m a doer, an explorer and find it hard to sit still for long so I didn’t want to be lying on a sun bed for a whole week. Well, there’s loads to do. All the time. In fact you could end up needing a holiday after taking a cruise!
Of course when the ship’s docked there’s exploring to be done on land but on a sea day there’s so much to do too. Spinning classes on deck, a workout in the gym or a Pilates class. There’s a theatre, artworks all over the ship and even a basketball court. I took a fantastic yoga class overlooking the water and came out feeling refreshed and invigorated.
The Equinox Spa
I also visited the ship’s spa and had a deep tissue massage. Susan, who had magic fingers, managed to seek out every little knot and made sure all my stress and tension just melted away. The next day I was walking on air and my back has felt loose and relaxed ever since. In fact I still feel fabulous – even after a week back in the office.
The Persian Garden
Food on Board Celebrity Cruises
The award-winning food on board Celebrity ships is exceptional and we ate at most of the ship’s speciality restaurants; Blue, Tuscan Grill, Murano and even at the Captain’s Table. We also chatted to the executive chef and two head chefs who set up a little cooking demonstration for us and took us on a tour of one of the ship’s galleys which was fascinating. Imagine cooking for nearly 3,000 guests three times a day.
Victor, Equinox Chef
Avocado, Salmon and Crab Starter
Our Celebrity Cruise Route
We took just part of this Mediterranean cruise and began our voyage in beautiful Venice before sailing across the Adriatic to spend a day in Dubrovnik seeking out scenes from Game of Thrones and gorgeous little cliff-side bars.
Bridge of Sighs, Venice
The Apothecary, Dubrovnik
As you can imagine exploring Venice and Dubrovnik was pretty exhausting but a sea day followed and with a bit of pampering in the Spa we were rejuvenated and ready for a stop at the Greek Island of Mykonos. We explored the blue and white alleyways of Mykonos and Little Venice and climbed the hill overlooking the town to check out the iconic windmills. We also took an excursion to the tiny island of Delos birthplace of Apollo.
Our final destination was the fascinating city of Istanbul.
Istanbul from the Bosphorus
Hagia Sofia Mosque, Istanbul
Of course, between each port-of-call, were some pretty amazing on-board experiences. I’ll be sharing with you some of the highlights in the next couple of weeks so stay tuned for posts on these and the destinations we visited. Find out some surprising facts about what goes on behind the scenes on a Celebrity Cruise ship and check out some views from a cruise; photos of the cities we visited seen from the ship during sail-away and arrival. Some of the best I’ve ever experienced and from a totally different perspective as we sailed past.
Huge thanks go to Celebrity Cruises who hosted me on this amazing cruise, however, all views and opinions are entirely my own.
Read all my Celebrity Cruise posts.