The deep blue sea! A big boat, unlimited drinks, and food. The Celestial Olympia was like a sleeping giant. I always wondered how something so massive could float and sit there so quietly. But there she was and I was ready to set sail on a solo travel cruise into the blue and visit five stops in Greece. From Athens, the Celestial Olympia would sail to Mykonos, Ephesus, Patmos, Heraklion and lastly, Santorini.
Boarding a ship can be like a cattle call with droves of people walking up to board.
I found my room only to be told we would be having a safety drill which would require you to go your designated deck and stand there with your life vest on. The woman in charge of this drill was really into her job, to say the least. She was yelling and essentially grabbing people by the vest to put them in position. I’m assuming her aggressiveness was to remind everyone that during a real emergency, she would still this scary.
Post-fire drill, I got to my room and relaxed for about an hour. While others booked this cruise a year in advance I booked two months in advance. That cost me a balcony room. To my credit, the ship, although still massive was smaller than a lot of mainstream cruise lines like Princess or Carnival so there were only like 10 balcony rooms available. The friends I made grabbed two of those rooms and told me I could come in and enjoy it with them. They even offered to let me stay there. But I had a room, quaint but it was mine so I would go back there. At least I had a big window.
The room was for two people.They didn’t have “Rooms for 1.” Because why would anyone travel solo right? In fact, I got charged a “single supplement” because I went alone. This supplement is an extra charge you get to make up for the gratuity they would typically receive. I see it as a punishment, to be honest. Instead of punishing me, you should be rewarding me with a room fit for a queen! Many cruise ships are doing away with the single supplement but sadly, this cruise line is not one of them. Even though there was an extra charge, it was a small price to pay to have a room all to myself.
The ship was older but offered entertainment which I saw none of. We just weren’t on the boat long enough. The way I saw it, it was more of a means of transportation. Unlike other cruises where you are at sea for days at a time, this one was only hours before you were at another port. One bonus on this cruise was that there were no children. Not one. I was happy about that. I don’t want to cruise with your kids. I don’t want to fly with them either but that’s a whole other blog post.
Now, I don’t know about you but I love food. When you combine that with travel, I am in heaven. The cruise included breakfast, lunch, and dinner. All were buffet style and also offered an a la carte option if you didn’t want to stand in line with a lot of people and there were a lot. The bonus here was the unlimited premium drinks. Want Grey Goose and soda? Done. Anything you wanted, anytime. I kept looking up the servers and bartenders waiting to get a look of disappointment in the amount of alcohol I would order but they were only so happy to serve me. I chose to get breakfast on the boat because often times we would be cruising during that time. But if we were not cruising for lunch or dinner, I chose to eat at the ports. Tours were set up to be done and then you could come back on the ship and have dinner. No judgment to those who would want to eat on the boat but why would you miss an opportunity to dine at the location? Even if time was tight, I refused to go back on the boat to have dinner. I wanted to enjoy the scenery and the local food. It was worth it.
I chose to get breakfast on the boat because often times we would be cruising during that time. But if we were not cruising for lunch or dinner, I chose to eat at the ports. Tours were set up to be done and then you could come back on the ship and have dinner. No judgment to those who would want to eat on the boat but why would you miss an opportunity to dine at the location? Even if time was tight, I refused to go back on the boat to have dinner. I wanted to enjoy the scenery and the local food. It was worth it.
Which makes it something to consider. When booking, you might want to think about what’s important. To me, spending as much time as possible on the islands was the most important. Not dining on the ship. I wanted to eat and drink as the locals did!
The crew onboard the Celestial Olympia were kind and attentive. I felt very comfortable on board. I had plenty of space in my room, plenty of areas to sit and enjoy the ocean view when were cruising and unlimited premium drinks to keep be entertained. Although it’s not a ship I’d recommend for long travel, it definitely served its purpose for some solo travel on a cruise.