Galaxy, June 2006
Following our rather disappointing two-nighter on Norwegian Jewel we started looking for a cruise for summer 2006. I did lots of research and had narrowed it down to two possibilities: a 9 night Iberian coast cruise with Fred Olsen, on Black Watch; and a 10 night ‘Best of the Meditteranean’ cruise on Celebrity’s Galaxy out of Civitavecchia and touching both the western & eastern Mediterranean. The most attractive thing about the Fred Olsen cruise was that it was a ‘Wine’ cruise in their Arts & Leisure program. For the Galaxy cruise, I just liked the itinerary (I’d never been to the eastern Mediterranean) and the company sounded intriguing.
In early September 2005 we went along to a Cruise Roadshow in Manchester organised by ‘Cruise Control’, a UK online TA specialising in cruises. We understood that reps from all the major companies would be htere, including both Fred Olsen & RCI/Celebrity. However it turned out that the Fred Olsen desk was empty; sickness, we were told. The RCI/Celebrity desk was manned, however, and one of their reps was able to answer all our questions about a Celebrity cruise, so we booked on the spot. At a bargain price, too – Cruise Control were known to offer keen prices, and there were special discounts available at the roadshow.
About a week or ten days later I started hearing rumours about the health of Cruise Control, and checking their website revealed that they were no longer offering cruises from the major players in the UK market – there had apparently been a break-down in relations. In the meantime I was anxious about our booking, of course, as we’d paid 10% deposit. Then we got a letter from Celebrity, confirming not only the reservation but also the price we’d been offered at the road show. About 48 hours later Cruise Control went into liquidation, and I believe some people had some problems getting their bookings confirmed or their money back.
We loved our cruise on Galaxy, which is why we are going back on her this year! (2007) I published a review here.