The last Katigbak Cruise (Alaska 2007) we took was a wavy one. Blame it on the Great Sichuan earthquake which measured 8 in the Richter scale. It was felt in nearby countries and as far away as Beijing and Shanghai. It also caused under currents in the Pacific Ocean reaching the Gulf of Alaska, rocking our ship like it was a wobbling bowling pin. Although we all surmised it was refreshing to see the last frontier after overcoming 2 days of sea sickness, my in-laws were traumatised from taking another cruise. The next one had to be re-assuringly comfortable – worthy of considering a cruise again.
Majority decided that we take Celebrity Cruises’ Mediterranean Cruise. What won us over were the highlights of Greece – Santorini, Athens and Crete apart from seeing parts of Turkey and Italy. It was a second Mediterranean Cruise for Anton and I, the first via Costa (2004) with my mom and brother. Some have hailed it was the best Cruise Line among its ranks. We were a bit biased, as our experience with Costa, despite its row of unfortunate incidents, were hard to beat.
We planned to acclimatize a few days in Rome before Sail Date. The excitement took the better of us though as we ended up seeing a lot of places at an active pace – which was good reason for some work outs before the binge eating in the ship. The kids had much fun biking through Rome, no complaints about our long day out in Tuscany nor waking up early to see the Vatican City (Thank Heavens our toddler was our ticket through special lanes).
And as we embarked on our Cruise, We made pre-arrangements for transfers and private tours vs. the ship’s optional tours around ports. It was so much more convenient and reasonable (30% to 40% savings) on our own considering we were a big group itself.
Celebrity Silhouette was indeed a delightful experience. The ship was newer which meant there were more amenities and entertainment on-board. Service was excellent and the food was indeed a parade of tasteful, quality treats. The whole family enjoyed the flow of touring during days at port and cruising in the evenings and days at sea. Chilling in our cozy rooms or even in the lounge areas was so relaxing. There was never a dull moment nor a time of dissatisfaction. In conclusion, that lingering phrase to some, “Never Again to a Cruise” was thrown out the window :)) Which Cruise to do next???
Below is our full Itinerary with details of each Port we visited as well as contacts in case you care to venture independently. Of course, it was not all perfect considering the usual differences apparent in a big group. All the more interesting and funny in hindsight. But we managed through the slight hiccups and in the end, we all saw, experienced and had a memorable time.
Here’s the PDF Version.