Celestial Journey

Celestial Journey


 

 

Celestyal Cruises, a cruise company based in Limassol, Cyprus, currently operates two cruise ships. The shipping company advertises with the following statement: “The Greeks have a penchant for generosity and good cuisine. As true ambassadors of Greek hospitality, our friendly staff welcome you on board and look forward to pampering you with authentic recipes, first-class beers, fine wines and selected spirits.” The statement arouses our curiosity. On a week-long cruise in the Eastern Mediterranean, we put one of the two cruise ships, the Celestyal Journey, to the practical test.

Celestyal Journey in Kusadasi

Celestyal Journey in Kusadasi


Celestyal Journey – a proven cruise ship

Celestyal Cruises has always marketed used, medium-sized cruise ships. The Celestyal Journey, measured at approximately 55.900 GT - and put into service in 1994 - originally sailed as “Ryndam” for the Holland America Line. The ship was then passed on to P&O Cruises Australia within the Carnival group. There it was called Pacific Aria until 2020. The ship has been sailing for Celestyal Cruises since September 2023.

MS Ryndam in Tromsø


The Celestyal Journey has 630 cabins and suites; With double occupancy, the ship holds 1.260 passengers. Five hundred crew members ensure the well-being of the guests.

Celestyal Journey in everyday cruise life

It takes a journey with the Celestyal Journey to get to know its strengths. The cruise ship doesn't fit into the world of modern, floating theme parks at all. Celestyal Journey offers the cruise experiences that ship travelers enjoyed long ago. That means: lots of space, an atrium extending over three decks, attractive public areas, generously sized and tastefully decorated bars, lounges and restaurants as well as extensive teak decks.

The atmosphere on board the ship seems familiar. The Celestyal Journey concept was developed primarily for international markets. The main onboard languages ​​are Greek, English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Staterooms

The Celestyal Journey offers its guests 129 inside and 352 outside cabins, as well as 120 junior suites and 29 suites on five guest decks. The catalog lists 13 cabin categories. Due to the age of the ship, the proportion of cabins and suites with balconies is significantly lower than in current new buildings. The cabins and suites are comfortably furnished and offer modern comfort.

Description of our cabin

During our Aegean cruise we stayed in junior suite #9207, located on the ninth deck aft. Celestyal Cruises' Junior Suites are spacious balcony staterooms that have been declared "junior suites". The cabin offers contemporary comfort on an area of ​​21 square meters. Warm wood tones and a blue-based carpet create a feel-good atmosphere. The beds are high and comfortable. Cabinets and drawers have enough storage space for longer trips.

Celestyal Journey - Junior Suite #9207


Celestyal Journey - Junior Suite #9207


Celestyal Journey - Junior Suite #9207


Celestyal Journey - Junior Suite #9207 


The narrow sanitary area does not match the look of the living space. He reveals the true age of the ship. The cabin lacks a shower stall, instead the shower is in a small whirlpool tub with a high, uncomfortable entry. A problem for travelers with mobility limitations. The balcony is spacious.

Gastronomy - restaurants, bars and lounges

The shipping company strives to introduce its guests to the cuisine of the regions they are visiting. The kitchen team focuses on the flavors of the Mediterranean, Asia and North Africa. Special dietary needs are catered for.

Dining options

Ship guests enjoy diverse and varied meals at all times of the day. The Thalassa full-service restaurant and the Taverna buffet restaurant are well frequented during main meals. The thoughtful and guest-oriented service always satisfies us.

Restaurants included in the tour price according to decks

Thalassa Restaurant – Deck 7

The large, visually elegant service restaurant aft on deck 7 is open for main meals. The quality of the food and the service are very good.

Celestial Journey - Thalassa Restaurant
Celestial Journey - Thalassa Restaurant
Celestial Journey - Thalassa Restaurant
Celestial Journey - Thalassa Restaurant
The Taverna Buffet Restaurant – Deck 11

The Taverna offers good food to guests on both sides of the ship. The buffet offers Greek specialties and pastries for the main meals. The restaurant also has a small, shadeless outdoor area and tables in front of the indoor pool.

Celestyal Journey - Taverna Buffet Restaurant
Celestyal Journey - Taverna Buffet Restaurant - High Tables
Celestyal Journey - Taverna Buffet Restaurant - Vegetable Selection
Celestyal Journey - Taverna Buffet Restaurant - Cheese Selection

Restaurants subject to a surcharge by deck

Smoked Olive Restaurant – Deck 8

The well-kept and well-arranged restaurant (normal capacity 120 seats) stands for authentic dishes and Mediterranean snacks. The Smoked Olive serves as a dining room for suite and junior suite guests during main meals. The service is excellent.

Celestyal Journey - Smoked Olive Restaurant


Celestyal Journey - Smoked Olive Restaurant


Celestyal Journey - Smoked Olive Restaurant


Celestyal Journey - Smoked Olive Restaurant 


Pink Moon – Deck 8

Like Holland America before, this restaurant reflects an Asian atmosphere. It stands for South Asian exotic dishes, tempting spices and noodle specialties. It also serves as a dining room for suite guests.

Celestyal Journey - Pink Moon Restaurant


Celestyal Journey - Pink Moon Restaurant


Celestyal Journey - Table at Pink Moon Restaurant


Celestyal Journey - Table at Pink Moon Restaurant 


Chef's Table – Deck 8

The Chef's Table can be booked upon request for exclusive dining experiences.

Celestyal Journey - Chef's Table


Grill Seekers – Deck 8

The restaurant is the meeting place for meat lovers. In the shipping company's jargon, it stands for new dimensions of surf & turf, seafood and locally sourced meat.

Celestyal Journey - Grill Seekers
Celestyal Journey - Grill Seekers
Celestyal Journey - Grill Seekers
Celestyal Journey - Grill Seekers - Bar
The Greek Deli – Deck 11

Greek specialties are served in the Greek Deli between 12:00pm and 21:00pm The buffet is located near the indoor pool

Selected bars & lounges – by deck

The deck plan shows seven bars & lounges. Visually, they remind us of the past Holland America times in terms of their features. The price level is reasonable and differs little from the restaurants in Athens, Thessaloniki and the trendy Greek islands. However, the prices seem inexpensive compared to popular US shipping companies.

Martini Piano Bar & Lounges – Deck 8

The generously sized Martini Bar is positioned next to the minimalist casino.

Celestyal Journey - Martini Piano Bar


Celestyal Journey - Martini Piano Bar


Celestyal Journey - Martini Piano Bar


Celestyal Journey - Martini Piano Bar 


Blue Bar & Lounge – Deck 8

The elegant Blue Bar, equipped with blue seating, adjoins the casino on the other side. Guests enjoy their drinks with relaxed music.

Celestyal Journey - Blue Bar & Lounge


Celestyal Journey - Blue Bar & Lounge


Celestyal Journey - Blue Bar & Lounge


Celestyal Journey - Blue Bar & Lounge 


Ocean Bar & Lounge – Deck 10

A respectable bar where live musical performances take place.

Celestyal Journey - Ocean Bar


Horizons Lounge & Disco – Deck 12

The Horizons offers the best views of the surrounding sea and the landscapes ahead. Karaoke and dance events take place there late at night.

Celestyal Journey - Horizons Lounge & Disco


Celestyal Journey - Horizons Lounge & Disco


Celestyal Journey - Horizons Lounge & Disco


Celestyal Journey - Horizons Lounge & Disco 


Lest we forget: small snacks are served in the bars and lounges between 16:00pm and 17:00pm and from 11:00pmpm to 23:45pm

Sport and wellness

Sports offers

The range of sports on offer is varied: bodybuilders, water lovers and ball athletes will find something to do.

Gym

The manageable fitness studio is equipped with modern technology. Accordingly, it is well attended.

Celestyal Journey - Gym


Celestyal Journey - Gym


Celestyal Journey - Gym


Celestyal Journey - Gym 


Two pools

On deck 10 there is a sundeck and a pool in the rear area of ​​the ship. A second pool is located on the 11th deck in the middle area of ​​the ship. There are also jacuzzis and loungers. When the weather is good, the roof can be opened.

Celestyal Journey - Indoor pool with Jacuzzis


Celestyal Journey - Indoor pool with Jacuzzis


Celestyal Journey - Outdoor Pool


Celestyal Journey - Outdoor Pool


Beach Club – Deck 11

Sun seekers can relax on the beach club's spacious sunbathing area in the bow area. Suite residents relax in the Rays Suites area, which is equipped with green artificial turf and comfortable loungers.

Celestyal Journey - Ray's Suites Area


Celestyal Journey - Ray's Suites Area


Celestyal Journey - Ray's Suites Area


Celestyal Journey - Ray's Suites Area 


Tennis Court – Deck 12

Tennis players use the tennis court located on the port side.

Basketball Court – Deck 12

Basketball players meet to play on the starboard side of the ship.

Celestyal Journey - Tennis Court


Celestyal Journey - Tennis Court


Celestyal Journey - Basketball Field


Celestyal Journey - Basketball Field 


Wraparound boat deck – deck 6

The wide surrounding boat deck on the 6th deck is ideal for running training. During our stay on board, however, the loungers that we are used to on other cruise ships were missing from the entire deck area.

Celestyal Journey - Boat Deck


SOZO Health Spa – Deck 11

The spa area is equipped with a variety of options. The full spectrum is on offer: steam baths, saunas, a beauty salon as well as Asian wellness practices, Indian head massages, Balinese massages with hot stones or Shiatsu treatments.

Celestyal Journey - SOZO Health Spa


Entertainment

Cruises require ambitious entertainment programs, especially on days at sea. Even though there are no days at sea on the one-week round trips to Greek and Turkish destinations due to the short distances, we find the entertainment program on board the Celestyal Journey to be successful. It is mainly divided into daily, varied show programs, live music in the bars and lounges, lecture hours as well as the presentation of travel destinations and occasional cooking shows in the symposium. Noisy on-board entertainment is frowned upon.

Celestyal Journey - Musical Entertainment


Celestyal Journey - Musical Entertainment


Celestyal Journey - Musical Entertainment


Celestyal Journey - Musical Entertainment 


The show program takes place in the elegantly designed, two-story Amphitheater Show Lounge on decks 7 and 8.

Celestyal Journey - Theater Deck 7


Celestyal Journey - Theater Deck 7


Celestyal Journey - Theater Deck 8


Celestyal Journey - Theater Deck 8 


On our trip, 13 singers, dancers and artists contributed to the evening's entertainment in different shows every day. The quality of the shows is comparable to performances by German and international competitors.

'Celestyal Journey - Cabaret Show
'Celestyal Journey - Cabaret Show
'Celestyal Journey - Cabaret Show
'Celestyal Journey - Cabaret Show
'Celestyal Journey - Cabaret Show
'Celestyal Journey - Cabaret Show
'Celestyal Journey - Cabaret Show
'Celestyal Journey - Latino Show

The small casino on the eighth deck has three gaming tables and a number of modern slot machines.

Celestyal Journey - Casino - Slot Machines


The so-called symposiums on deck 7, three conference areas, are used for lectures. The largest hall also serves as a meeting point for cooking demonstrations.

Celestyal Journey - Symposium - Show Kitchen

Celestyal Journey - Symposium - Show Kitchen


Also worth mentioning are the shops on deck 8, whose offerings are wide-ranging.

Children on board

The Celestyal Journey is not necessarily a family ship. However, it heads to attractive destinations and is large enough to be interesting for families. The children's area aft on the twelfth deck is available for accompanying children.

Celestyal Journey – data and facts

Commissioning;

January 1994 under the name Ryndam

Size:

Length 219 meters; Width 31 meters, draft 7,70 meters

measurement

GT 55.877

Passenger decks

9 decks

Main machine

two diesel-electric Sulzer engines

Maximum speed

20 knots (38 kilometers)

Klassifizierung

ex Statendam class (Holland America Line)

Staterooms

630

passengers

1.260 with double occupancy

Manning

Currently 500 people

Flag home port

Shorts
Hamilton

shipyard

Fincantieri, Monfalcone shipyard

Board language

Greek, English, Spanish, etc

Currency on board

Euro

itinerary

cruiseturtletested the Celestyal Journey on a 2024-day Aegean voyage in May 7. Start and destination port: Piraeus. The route list included the destinations Thessaloniki, Kusadasi, Heraklion/Crete, Santorini, Mykonos and Milos. The trip was supported by Celestyal Cruises. Regarding our journalistic independence, we refer to the chapter “We are independent”.

Conclusion and evaluation of the ship

The Celestyal Journey has been in use for more than 30 years. The medium-sized ocean-going ship stands out from the usual mass tourism business.

Although the shipping company has only been using the ship since September 2023, it presents itself as a sparkling clean and well-organized cruise ship. The bars, lounges, restaurants and shops are lavishly designed. The main restaurants offer varied Mediterranean food. The bar menu serves upscale demands at acceptable prices. The service is well coordinated. The entertainment on offer is entertaining and refreshing, and there is something for every taste. In short: the ship has a lot of charm. We especially recommend it to fans of classic cruises who are not afraid of international audiences.

June 2024

Booking Options Celestyal Journey

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