Hi everyone! If you’re reading this, I just finished my 10-Day Greek & Malta cruise in partnership with Celebrity Cruises! They reached out a few months ago and said I could choose any cruise on the site as long as it departed before the start of 2023. I, of course, jumped at the opportunity! This cruise had multiple destinations that were on my bucket list like Athens, Santorini, Rome, Mykonos, and Barcelona which made it the perfect choice.
I sent over my choice and then started to plan! We ended up flying into Rome Saturday morning at 8am and then staying until we boarded the boat Monday. We also will be staying in Barcelona for a night to experience the city once we dock on the last day! Keep reading for a recap of my Celebrity Cruises: 10 Days Greek & Malta Cruise, and check out the links for each excursion as well!
What You Needed to Board:
In order to board the cruise ship, you needed to have gotten a COVID test (with a negative result) within 48 hours of getting on the boat. We found a pharmacy in Rome who did it for us and it was only about $40USD to get two of them done! You also need to have a passport for the COVID test and to get onto the ship.
The Cruise Ship:
Out of all mediterranean cruise lines, I love love loved Celebrity Cruises. The ship was absolutely massive and had so many great things to do! I think the coolest part to me was the “Magic Carpet” which was a lounge that overlooks the sea and hangs over the side of the boat. It can move up and down and this is also what we used to tender to shore!
They also have two different sections of the pool. There’s an outdoor portion that is larger than the other, and has pool aerobics classes, dance classes, and more hosted around it! Then there’s the Solarium (Jasim and I’s favorite) which is inside with almost a greenhouse-esque feel. It has two hot tubs and was more relaxing and calm!
The rooftop garden was GORGEOUS and they hosted movie screenings there everyday! It’s also a nice place to just sit and relax. Just behind that was the Sunset Bar where you get a panoramic view of the ocean. It sits at the back of the ship and is just an insane view.
One of Jasim and I’s most frequent haunts was The Club (but it’s not what you think haha). They hosted game shows and trivia every night of the cruise and we went for about half of them! You end up finding other trivia obsessed people and just having a great time.
Jasim frequented the Casino, and I even spent some time there learning Blackjack! Also on the 4th floor were all the shops, The Martini Bar, two restaurants (Cypress & Cosmopolitan), the Photo Studio, the Theatre, and about 3 other food/drink locations.
The ship was absolutely massive with over 3000 guests, but unless you were at the main pool, it never felt too large! We ran into the same people almost every day and Jasim ended up making like 15 friends on the ship. Everyone was so kind and chatty!
Food & Beverages:
Drinks – We ended up having the Premium Beverage Package which means you can basically get any drink at any time if it’s priced under $15! All you need is your SeaPass card. This can be alcoholic beverages, water, or just a soda. We have only come across one drink over $15 and that was at the most expensive restaurant on board, so don’t worry about nothing being cheap enough.
Coffee – They also had two cafes on board, Cafe al Bacio (one on the 4th floor and one on the 14th in the main dining hall), which were probably my favorite places on board. The one on the lower floor had patisserie and snacks every day, made custom lattes (decaf AND oatmilk options), and brought adorable tea to you to drink while sitting.
Food – With our package, we had options of the main dining hall (Oceanview Cafe), and 4 other restaurants to eat at all complimentary.
- Oceanview – Oceanview serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a buffet style format. The germaphobe in me loves the fact that they had sinks to wash your hands at the beginning of the hall. They have food from all over the world, and my favorite part is the foods specific to the port/country you’re currently in!
- Cypress (Mediterranean) – They had speciality butters with unique flavors to start the meal, delicious cocktails, and delicious food! I went with a pasta dish and Jasim got the lamb (I am telling you now, GET THE LAMB).
- Cosmopolitan (New American) – The corn soup at the beginning of the meal was 100% a winner for us. Jasim ended up getting TWO BOWLS it was that good. For my main, I got the oxtail and it was to die for. The carrots and mushrooms it came with were great as well!
- Neapolitan (French) – This was our least favorite. The food wasn’t as flavorful as we would have liked, but I tried escargot for the first time and that was absolutely delicious!
Specialty Dining – The Celebrity Cruise team gave us one complimentary dinner during our cruise. I decided to choose Le Voyage and I am SO HAPPY we went with that choice. Both Jasim and I said it was one of the best means we have ever had. I got the risotto and it was the most delicious comfort meal. The best part? They end the meal with fresh, handmade, cranberry-orange madelines that smell as good as they taste.
After our very chaotic boarding, we went to our room which was absolutely gorgeous. We have a Veranda Suite with infinity (floor to ceiling) windows. The window rolls halfway down and has a balcony area as well which makes the entire room feel that much bigger.
For a cruise ship, this room is actually very large! The bathroom has room for two people to be in there at once (it’s tight, but it can work!), there’s a full sized couch, a smartTV, and king sized bed! There’s also storage around the ENTIRE room which is helpful since you’ll likely have a lot of luggage for a 10 day cruise.
Recap of Each Day:
I wanted to have a recap of each day on the cruise to talk about what we did at each port, as well as anything fun we did on the cruise too! There were so many exciting experiences and I can’t wait to walk through all of them. This cruise was 10-Days long, so strap in and get ready to read about them all!
Day 1: Boarding (Rome)
To preface this story, I have to mention that we were literally the last two people on this cruise. I kid you not. I thought we had to board within the hour before the ship departs, but it STOPPED boarding an hour before. Luckily the Celebrity Cruise team is amazing and let us onto the dock only 15 minutes before the ship left.
After we got to the room and relaxed a little bit, we went to guest relations to fix a few small issues. They resolved these so quickly and were done by the time we finished with dinner! We then had our first dinner on board at Le Voyage (read more about this above).
By the time we finished with dinner, we were so extremely tired that we just went back to the room and fell asleep!
Day 2: At Sea
Our second day was fully at sea which was really nice because after a hectic first day, we needed a break. Jasim has always been good at/loved table tennis, so he competed in an on-board competition (he got 2nd place).
I ended up signing up for a yoga class on board that kicked my butt in the best way. It was an hour long and was about $25 to do! The overall fitness center is free, but classes end up costing a bit more. While I did the yoga class, Jasim participated in a Blackjack tournament!
For dinner we ended up trying the Neapolitan which was the complimentary French restaurant. I tried escargot for the first time and, I must admit, it was SO GOOD. The rest of the meal was average, but the escargot won the meal for me.
Day 3: Olympia, Greece
Our third day was in Olympia (Katakolon), Greece! We started the day going to tour Ancient Olympia and it was really cool seeing how some of the buildings have been able to withstand centuries of rain and strife. There was also a museum, but the line was insanely long so we skipped it.
We ended up booking a taxi driver for the day, and he took us to a super secluded beach that was only a few miles from our ship. Unlike America, in a lot of European areas, the cabana chairs and umbrellas are free if you buy a drink from the bar/restaurant! After spending about two hours here, we headed back to the ship and did some trivia.
Day 4: Athens, Greece
Day four was Athens, Greece! At the port we hopped into a taxi, but the driver then said since we wouldn’t be using him all day, he could take us to the train station and go from there. The train station was so self-explanatory and easy, so I’m thrilled we ended up going with that option.
The train signs are in English and Greek so if you’re worried about not knowing, don’t! We took the train about 15-20 minutes from the port to Monastiraki Square which is the main center of Athens.
I had skip the line tickets for the Acropolis, so we headed straight there in the morning! If you are going to skip an ancient site, let it be this one. It was so insanely crowded that my anxious self just wanted to leave the entire time. Half of it was also under construction which made it even less worth it.
I was able to book tickets for the Temple of Zeus for just $11 more per person when I booked the Acropolis, but it was honestly even less worth it. It was a hot, grass lot with a building completely under scaffolding. PLUS, it’s pretty far away from the Acropolis itself.
After we saw some of the historic sites, we went back over to the Monastirakii area for some shopping! I ended up getting a hand knitted wall hanging from this adorable Grecian woman for only 48 euros.
You also HAVE to stop at Little Kook Tea Shop. It’s an alley and shop that is absolutely DECKED OUT in Alice in Wonderland theming. I loved every moment of it! The snacks/food are also super themed and cute.
Day 5: Santorini, Greece
Santorini was our day five port and it was such a lovely (but HOT) day. I decided to book a Santorini Dress photoshoot with the gorgeous, flowy dresses. It started off a tad rocky because I thought I was booking a shoot in Oia, but it was actually in a smaller town 25 min away.
After the small confusion, it ended up being an AMAZING shoot. If you have extra $$$ to spend and want to feel like a princess, I highly recommend treating yourself to a shoot like this. Tony and his partner were so kind and helped me get some fantastic shots.
After the shoot, Jasim and I headed back down to Oia for lunch and to shoot some other locations. We had lunch at the Blackrock Café and yall, the risotto was life changing. The cocktail I got was also TO DIE FOR. It is a bit pricey, but in a New York kind of way.
We ended up heading out to shoot the Kastro Houses and Blue Domes. Honestly, it was so hot that I recommend only doing 1-2 shots in the city for the sake of you and your partner. Jasim and I both ended up slightly sunburnt and just very exhausted overall.
We took it easy after we got back to the boat since we were so tired, but almost every day we head to the Solarium to swim and get in the hot tub because it’s so relaxing! I worked on this post a bit after dinner, and we met some lovely ladies from the UK.
Day 6: Rhodes, Greece
Rhodes was our next stop and it was an interesting day to say the least. The taxi men at the port were all trying to charge 150 Euros for a city tour and to take us to the bee museum. We weren’t having that so we tried to go into town to find a taxi.
Well shockingly enough there were like 0 taxis in the city and right as we were about to give up on finding one, a very sweet man pulled up and took us to the bee museum! It’s about 7 miles outside of historic Rhodes, and so cute.
You get to learn the history of beekeeping, how it started in Greece, ancient beekeeping practices, the uses of honey, and can even watch bees in their hive! You have to try the Pasteli regardless of if you go to the museum or not. It’s a honey, sesame seed, and almond snack that is a Greek staple.
The cruise left early this day, at 4pm, so we came back to the boat to relax! I ended up hanging out by the pool and reading for a bit, then Jasim and I went for a swim! I blogged a bit before dinner, and then we dressed up for the Cosmopolitan. You can read more about that restaurant above.
Jasim also convinced me to try Blackjack for the first time, so we went over to the Casino after dinner to play a few rounds. We lost literally $100 in about 10 minutes, but it was fun learning the game!
Day 7: Mykonos, Greece
Mykonos was one of the ports I was most excited to visit! We had to tender to the island because the port is small, but Jasim and I ended up being the FIRST people of the boat and on the FIRST ship to head to the island.
We arrived to Mykonos at about 8:00am which was originally when the first boat was supposed to leave! We were some of the first people on the island which was great because we shot all the photos I wanted by about 10:00am.
Since it was getting hot and we were toting around a backpack, we came back to the boat, showered, and then headed back to Mykonos for lunch! We stopped at Kavos and I got a fried Feta and Honey app that was one of the best foods I have ever tasted.
For the rest of the day, we walked around the city and shopped around! I ended up getting a silk set, some gifts for the lovely people who clean our room every day, and Dior scarf that says “Mykonos” (thanks Jasim!). You’ve also GOT to try Limoncello. They had a vegan option and it was the most refreshing thing after a hot day!
We came back to the ship in the early afternoon and shot some ship content before we went back to the pool!
Day 8: At Sea
Surprise! I woke up sick with COVID. I woke up with a fever, sore throat, and really intense chills. I went to the medical center on board and they confirmed the test was positive. Protocol on board is to quarantine for 5 days and then re-test. The only thing with that was we were docking in Barcelona four days after this.
After I tested positive, they have special procedures to get the infected back to their rooms. They have a mister with cleaning product that they spray behind you on your way back, and take you to your room through the “tunnels” of the ship that only workers use in order to keep other guests safe.
The ship took SUCH great care of me. They called the next two days every few hours to ask if I needed any room service, made sure I had the medicine I needed, and even brought me my own tea kettle/tea. They also got Jasim into a different room after he tested negative so I didn’t keep exposing him!
Day 9: Valleta, Malta
Tragically I had to miss Malta, but I wanted to list the items I had planned to do whilst stopped here! I planned to have us start the day on Republic Street to do a little shopping. This area was close to Strada Stretta (Strait Street) and take photos under the gorgeous, colorful lights.
After this we planned to go to St.John’s Cathedral which is absolutely GORGEOUS. The floor is delicate and intricate so you aren’t even allowed to wear heels inside. This was about an 8-10 minute walk from Barrakka Gardens (you HAVE to check out the view from the upper gardens) which was the next item on my list!
Birgu is a 15 minute trip from Valleta and you can take a boat from city to city! Here there is the Church of St. Lawrence which is another gorgeous house of worship. Old Town of Birgu is also a must-see area in Malta! If you have extra time in your day, I’d suggest checking out Birgu.
Day 10: At Sea
Since I was quarantining this day as well, I wanted to just mention how fab the wi-fi was on board. I spent the day just watching movies on my laptop in bed, but Elon Musk’s Starlink system made it stream as easily as if I was at home! You can also transfer wi-fi between your computer and laptop with two clicks and it made my life SO EASY.
Day 11: Barcelona
Barcelona was one of my favorite stops on this trip and it wasn’t just because it was the first day I could leave my room in four days. We started the day with the Sagrada Familia and, if you’ve never seen it, it looks like the drip castles we used to make at the beach as kids! It was absolutely stunning and something you MUST do.
After this we headed over to Park Guell which gives you a full view of the entire city. It’s also the photo spot that you can see below! Keep in mind this area is very, very crowded (but going to see it is still worth it in my opinion). We ended up heading back to our hotel for some lunch and to check in.
To start the afternoon, we went to Palau de la Musica. They have gorgeous tile covered pillars that make the most stunning photo op. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll be in the auditorium when a tour is going through and you’ll get to hear the most magical organ play.
When in Barcelona, you HAVE to check out the vintage district. My friend, Michaella, recommended Bogo Vintage (which was fab), but the entire street is full of vintage shopping! Hilariously enough a lot of thrift shops carry United States heavy clothing, but there are some vintage gems able to be found too.
Even though I got COVID towards the end of my trip, this trip was truly exceptional and I am so so grateful that Celebrity Cruises gave me this opportunity. They took SUCH great care of Jasim and I both when I came down with COVID to the point where we never want to cruise with any other line in the future!
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out all the other posts linked throughout this one and the one below where I’m sharing everything I packed for my trip. If you want to check out the mediterranean cruises Celebrity has planned in 2023, be sure to (click here) to check them out!