Panorama II Cruise Review by wooddonna
- Sail Date: April 2015
- Destination: Greece
Our cabin was on the top deck, right next to the Captain's. It was quite roomy, with a double bed, sofa, bathroom etc. We really only used our cabin for sleeping, because we could relax in the lounge area or on deck chairs on the front deck. It was wonderful to lounge on the deck area when the ship was under sail. The sound of the wind in the sails was exhilarating. With so few passengers ( all of whom were friendly and interesting) it almost felt like we were on our own private yacht. We really loved the exclusivity of small ship cruising. We never felt like part of a herd ( something we certainly observed when huge passenger liners docked in larger ports)
Ours was a round trip from Kusadasi (Turkey ) to Athens and some beautiful Greek Islands. While we did stop at the popular tourist islands of Mykonos and Santorini (both magnificent) we were also able to visit other ports where the huge passenger liners don't stop. For us, this was one of the major attractions of being on a small ship. As it was too windy to moor at Tinos, we visited the elegant island of Syros, capital of the Cyclades and joined the fascinating walking tour led by Natalia. We also loved Patmos and Samos because, unlike Santorini, they were not overrun by tourists. We enjoyed hiring a car and visiting the beaches and sites recommended by Natalia. Many other passengers enjoyed the shore excursion to the mediaeval town of Chora. I would also recommend the shore trip to Ephesus, the magnificent Greco-Roman city near Kusadasi.
For me, one of the most simple pleasures was being able to enjoy swimming from the back of the boat on scheduled swim stops in magnificent coves. Swimming from the boat to the beach at Kythnos and also to beautiful Manganari Beach on Ios were highlights. ( certainly not something I could have experienced on a huge passenger liner.)
We really enjoyed the meals onboard. I am coeliac (gluten-free) and my needs were catered for beautifully. The waiters and chef would ensure that everything I chose from the copious and delicious buffet was indeed gluten-free.
The Captain's cocktail party and formal dinner ( we were seated next to the captain) and the Greek night ( with visiting performers who had us on our feet dancing) were most enjoyable.
My husband and I would heartily recommend Variety's Aegean Odyssey on the Panorama 2 for travellers who prefer a more intimate, private and exclusive sailing cruise experience. We also recommend joining the Variety Club after the first cruise. This gives you access to special offers and discounts ( we received a discount on our second Variety Cruise when we booked directly with Malvinas Vonta, the co-ordinator) We are planning another Variety Cruise on the Caribbean in the future.
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