1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Greece Cruises
  4. Greece Cruise Reviews
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Warning and apologies in advance for how ridiculously long this is going to be! Feel free to pass on by. :) My husband and I met our 23-year-old daughter in Venice (she lives in Germany) to embark on the NCL Star 7-day Greek Isles ... Read More
Warning and apologies in advance for how ridiculously long this is going to be! Feel free to pass on by. :) My husband and I met our 23-year-old daughter in Venice (she lives in Germany) to embark on the NCL Star 7-day Greek Isles cruise August 18-25, 2019. Planned stops were Kotor (Montenegro), Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos, and Argostoli (all Greece), and Dubrovnik (Croatia). At check-in we found that the Venice Portmaster had, for some reason, mandated that the ship leave about 4 hours later, which meant we wouldn’t be able to stop in Kotor the next day. It was disappointing, but since there was clearly nothing we could do about it we just decided to enjoy having a day at sea. CABIN: For our first time ever, we upgraded from our usual balcony to a suite. The Star doesn’t have a Haven, but has the “Family Suite” (plus other suites), which was awesome, and great value for the money! The bed was one of the most comfortable we’ve ever slept in. We were in 12026, which had plenty of space for the 3 of us. There’s no balcony, but (almost) floor to ceiling windows. Not gonna lie, I did miss having a balcony, but I would still book that type of suite again over a smaller balcony cabin. Plus, we were very close to the pool area so could easily go outside there. Our daughter had the choice of a murphy bed or a fold-out couch. She chose the murphy bed, and the steward got it out for her each evening and put it away each day. It had a curtain that went all the way around it for plenty of privacy, which was nice. The bathroom was amazing compared to regular balcony cabin bathrooms!! There was actually room to move, plus two sinks and a separate tub and shower. You have to go through the walk-in closet, which is a bit small, to get to the bathroom, but that wasn’t a big deal to us. NEED TO KNOW: This cabin had no USB ports near the bed, and only one European outlet on each side of bed, which had lamps plugged in. My husband had to unplug his lamp and use a converter to use his CPAP machine, and I had to plug my phone in across the room, which made it hard to hear my alarm. Also, there is no outlet in the bathroom except for shavers. However, there is a big mirror and counter space in the main room with plenty of outlets (U.S. and European), and there were 2 hair dryers in the room. TIPS: ~ If you’re going to book a Family Suite on the Star, try to book 12030, 12032, 12530, or 12532. They’re a bit bigger due to angling of the ship. ~ Definitely bring converters and power strips for more plug-in options, and if you’re bringing a curling iron, curling wand, or hair straightener make sure they’re dual-voltage so you’ll have a choice of either U.S. or European outlets. ~ Suites get snacks & treats delivered to the room each afternoon. If you want to keep something (like chocolate-covered strawberries), put it in your mini fridge, otherwise they’ll take it away later. GETTING TO CRUISE: We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn Venice Mestre San Giulano the night before the cruise. In my research I had been under the impression that the farthest we could be driven was to the People Mover, so had planned to take that. However, our taxi driver was able (by showing our cruise documents) to take us all the way to the actual ship, which was awesome! I believe that taxi ride was around 35 euro. EMBARKATION: Since we were in a suite, we got priority boarding which was awesome! They had mailed us priority luggage tags ahead of time, and as soon as they saw our tags, they came to us, checked our bags, and escorted us to a priority area with light food & beverages. They brought our room key cards to us there. We were the first ones on the ship, and were led on and brought to Cagney's for lunch (suite guests have options of free breakfast and lunch in a couple of the specialty restaurants throughout the cruise). After lunch we went to the pool bar and hung out there all afternoon. Our suite was open by about 1:45 p.m., but our luggage didn't come until around 4:00 (we expected that so we weren’t upset). Muster was at 5:00 p.m., and went very quickly and smoothly. We had a couple of issues trying to set up the social media internet package and were finally told to go to the "Internet Manager" on Deck 9 who fixed our issue within 2 minutes. PHONE/INTERNET: Make sure you go into airplane mode when you’re leaving each port, or you could get big phone charges! You can still get onto the ship’s app for free while you’re in airplane mode, and the ship’s internet if you pay for it. One of our Free-at-Sea offers was 250 internet minutes, which my husband planned to use. However, he forgot to turn it off the first night, and wasted it. I told him to go talk to guest services and they might give him some time back, but he didn’t care enough to do that. My daughter and I both bought the social media package. We were going to share one (by taking turns), but then she wanted her own, so we were each able to have it on at all times on the ship, which was really nice. It worked great for Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and Snapchat. Not sure about Twitter; I didn’t try it. We could upload and send pics without a problem; it was just a little slow at times. When we got into each port, we went out of airplane mode and used Verizon data for $10/day. You can also pay around $10 per person for the entire cruise to communicate with each other through the ship’s app while on board. SHIP ENTERTAINMENT: I had seen several reviews in which people said they were disappointed with the entertainment on this cruise. Maybe our standards are lower but we seriously enjoyed almost everything we watched! We saw Band on the Run, the Vegas Show, Paradis, Craig Halliday (violinist), a magician/contortionist show, and an aerobatic show by a married couple. Band on the Run was the first night, and when it started I thought it was going to just be so-so quality, but it ended up being very good! Vegas and Paradis were fantastic, as was Craig Halliday and the aerobatic show. The only show we weren’t super enthusiastic about was the magician. He was decent, but lots of his tricks were repetitive (just different boxes to appear and disappear in), and it was easy to figure most of them out. We also went to the Atrium lounge for Neil Diamond music by the “Melodic Trio,” which was really nice. TIP: The BALCONY SIDE SEATS are excellent if you can get a front row in them! We were quite close to the stage (looking down on it) and could see great, plus had extra leg room and a ledge on which to put our drinks, which the regular seats didn’t have. OTHER SHIP FUN: We went to Bliss Lounge for a “Finish That Song” game show, which was lots of fun but they clearly wanted the game to end in a tie (not a big deal, but what’s the point?). We went to World Landmark Trivia and were disappointed when it ended up being World Flag Trivia, but we played anyway and managed to guess a few correctly. We went to the “Not So Newlywed” game in Bliss, which was hilarious (as expected). It is definitely not kid-friendly, but the staff in charge kept warning people of that, so nobody can say they didn’t know ahead of time. We went to Bingo once, but they didn’t have enough players so they gave us our money back and let us play for free. We went to the Perfect Couple game, which was fun and funny, but also not for all audiences. Overall had a good time doing those things. We aren’t super late-night people, so didn’t go to any of the late parties and other events. SHIP SPECIAL SERVICES: My daughter and I got “Fire & Ice” pedicures (involves hot rocks) in the spa, and they were awesome! They cost $75 each, plus gratuity, so came out to $88 each. There was another option that was only $6 less but it didn’t include as much leg and foot pampering, so we were glad we’d splurged the little bit of extra. We also attended one of the “Canvas By U” sessions (painting by instructions) for $35 and had lots of fun, plus have our paintings as souvenirs. NOT-SO-GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE: I had read a lot of other reviews about this cruise and ship, and noticed quite a bit of negativity about customer service. Honestly, I thought people were just being a bit whiny, but now I have to agree, because this cruise had the poorest customer service we’ve ever experienced on an NCL cruise. It wasn’t bad enough to ruin our trip, and since we’ve had other good NCL experiences we know this wasn’t representative of all NCL cruises, but it was still surprising and disappointing. Examples: ~ We had heard/read that with a suite we would get a butler. We had a letter in our room from ours telling us to call anytime, but we literally never saw him until Thursday morning (on a Sunday-Sunday cruise), and then we just happened to notice his name tag when he was helping in the priority disembarkation area for Mykonos. We saw him a few times in our room after that, but he was always in a big rush. We didn’t have any particular needs that weren’t being met, but we also didn’t experience anything special from him. I don’t know if this was because NCL had him spread too thin doing other things, or if it was just his work habit, but we talked to other people in a suite and they said their butler was awesome. ~ In a suite you get free room service, but when we tried to call for breakfast one morning, nobody answered. The menu had said we could leave a door hanger menu out at night to order for the next day, but we didn’t have any of those in our room. I called the concierge later and told her that, so we got some after that and when we did get room service it was reasonably decent. ~ The morning that we couldn’t get room service for breakfast I went to the cereal and yogurt bar out by the pool, and they had no spoons out. It wasn’t that they’d run out, they literally didn’t put them out. I’m fine with mistakes happening, and I didn’t throw any kind of fit over it (just asked for a spoon), but I thought it was kind of ridiculous to forget when the food items there could pretty much only be eaten with a spoon. ~ We went to O'Sheehans at 11:30 for lunch one day before docking. We were told lunch didn’t start until 11:45, so we asked if we could just sit at a table and wait until 11:45. They said yes, and seated us with menus. That was the last time they came to our table for over 30 minutes. I finally had to flag down a server to take our order. ~ They have a midweek laundry special, which is one bag for $20 (I recommend doing this!). We had it ready and was told we’d have everything back by noon the next day. Noon came and went, and we heard nothing. We finally called around 5:00 p.m. and somebody brought it to us. GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE: In spite of that list above, we also experienced some excellent service! Our steward, Richard, was fantastic all week; he was cheerful and pleasant, and was present whenever needed. ALL of our bartenders went above and beyond to exhibit great service, which was probably enhanced by the pile of $1 bills my husband had brought and was tipping with for each drink (yes, he had already prepaid required gratuities, but he knows how far a few bucks of appreciation can go and has no problem doing that). They were calling us by name starting on the first day and remembered us every time we saw them throughout the ship. One night in Versailles the server asked if we were planning to attend the 7:30 show and we said yes, so she said she would take special care to make sure we had everything in plenty of time, and she did. Also, our daughter’s birthday was the last day of the cruise. There was a birthday card waiting in the room when we started that she could use in any restaurant to celebrate her birthday, which we used in La Cucina and she got a free mini cake. I decorated a corner of our suite for her birthday and apparently our steward saw that, so he left us another mini cake. And the last night when we were eating at Cagney’s, they heard us mention her birthday so they brought out ANOTHER mini cake and sang to her! FOOD: ~ Ginza – Ate dinner there twice. Excellent food; slightly slow service but very friendly. Small portions, which worked for me because I ordered a few different courses, but hearty eaters might want to get 2 entrees (my husband did). ~ O’Sheehan’s – Went for late night snack, and remembered nachos not being great from our last NCL cruise, but decided to give them another try. I still like them more loaded but they worked. Somebody nearby got wings that looked and smelled delicious. Also went there for breakfast one morning and it was excellent. ~ Moderno – Suite guests can eat breakfast there for free, so we did twice, and it was very good (same menu both times). Also had one of our specialty dinners there. If you’ve ever eaten at Fogo de Chao (a land-based Brazilian steakhouse chain), this doesn’t match up, but if you haven’t then it’s fine. ~ Versailles (main dining room) – Had a lunch and a dinner there, and it was good both times. ~ Cagney's – Ate lunch there twice (free due to suite), and had our last night’s specialty dinner there. Very good food and service, but if you’re not a steak eater I recommend checking the menus ahead of time (I’m not but my husband really is, which is why we went). I had seen it earlier in the week and there was at least one chicken option, but the night we went there wasn’t. Also, the appetizer options were only three seafood choices and one “thick bacon.” That’s not a complaint; just good to know, especially if somebody doesn’t care for seafood. ~ La Cucina – Another specialty dining choice. Good food and service, but nothing super memorable. ~ Aqua (another main dining room) – Ate there twice, good food and service. ~ Garden Café (buffet) – Meh. Not terrible, not great. Super crowded during expected busy times, but not bad at other times. ~ Room service – I already discussed that earlier, but something to note is that even though my husband and daughter could order free soft drinks in restaurants with their Unlimited Beverage Package, that wasn’t the case with room service. We got charged $3.50 for each Pepsi Max, because apparently with room service cans are the only option and those aren’t free (except in the casino for certain player levels). If they had told us that when we ordered, we would have declined and gotten our caffeine elsewhere. (BTW, the suites come with a coffee maker, similar in operation to Keurig.) DISEMBARKATION/LEAVING CRUISE: We chose to carry our own luggage off because for us it was more of a hassle to have it ready by midnight the night before. Being in a suite, we got priority disembarkation, which meant we could go to the Ginza restaurant between 7:45 and 9:30 a.m. and get escorted off the ship ahead of others. It was fairly seamless. We were planning to take a taxi to our hotel (staying one more night in Venice), and we saw a taxi line right when we got off the ship. However, there were no taxis there and upon further investigation we discovered that those would have only taken us to the outside of the cruise port. So, we just walked out (took maybe 10 minutes) and caught a taxi there. We were staying at the Doubletree Venice North, which was quite a ways away (closer to the airport), and it cost 75 euro. Taxi driver only wanted cash, so I had to run over to an ATM (it was right there) to get that. After arriving at the Doubletree, I saw that they had a shuttle to & from the cruise port that would have been 12.50 euro per person, so of course wish I would have checked that ahead of time. EXCURSIONS: ~ Venice – We arrived in Venice the day before the cruise around 9:00 a.m. After taking our luggage to our hotel, we purchased a 24-hour ACTV (public transportation) pass for 20 euro. This was good for all buses, local trains, and vaporettos (public water taxis), and was really easy to use. I recommend downloading the MyPass Venezia app before you go, and then just purchasing from there. (You can also purchase the cruise port People Mover ticket from there for 1.50 euro.) We just showed it to the driver on the bus, and then when we got to the water taxi stop, we had to go to the machine, hold it up to a scanner, and have it print us a paper ticket to use for the rest of the day. We didn’t spend time on actual Venice that day; we used the pass to boat-hop to Murano (famous for glass-blowing), Burano (famous for lace-making), and Torcello (first place Venetians settled in the 5th century, and has a church dating back to the 600’s, plus a 12th-century bell tower that you can climb for 5 euro). We loved all of them, but especially Burano and Torcello, because they weren’t very crowded. Highly recommend visiting these places if you have time, and it was a good way to stay awake after traveling all night. You can also take a more formal tour to all 3 islands for around 20 euro, but you’ll have to pay to get to wherever that leaves from, and our passes included that transportation, plus gave us more flexibility on time. We used Google Maps to figure out where to go, and it told us exactly which boats and buses to take. ~ Corfu – We booked NCL’s “4x4 Adventure” and LOVED IT!!!!! Seriously, it was our favorite excursion the entire week. You have to be able to drive a manual-transmission jeep and be comfortable starting from hills. Everybody gets a small jeep and drives in a caravan all over the island. We were able to go many places that the buses couldn’t, due to size. We went up the side of a mountain that had 27 zigzag turns to the village of Sokraki, which was small, peaceful, and beautiful. We also went to Bella Vista (“beautiful view”) and it was amazing! They served us ouzo or wine there, plus a few snacks, while we overlooked the amazing blue water. Then we drove to the Koum Quat distillery where we learned a bit about them, saw what they made, and sampled the liqueur and candy. It was fun, beautiful, relaxing, and we felt like we got more of the island flavor by visiting the less populated areas. I HIGHLY recommend this! NOTE: They had us fill out a scary-sounding waiver on the ship before we left and told us to give it to the guide, but when I tried to give it to him he laughed and said we wouldn’t need it! TIP: If you have a backseat passenger, bring a towel or something to put on the seat. Our daughter wore shorts, and the back seat got REALLY hot whenever we parked. ~ Santorini – We booked NCL’s “Charming Oia & Winery” excursion, which we enjoyed very much. I wanted to see the island, but my daughter wanted to see a winery, and this was a nice happy medium. We didn’t spend too much time at the winery, and the views from there were incredible. After that our bus took us to Oia, which has the amazing blue & white buildings you see in so many Greece pictures, and after some time there took us to Fira, where we had the option of taking the cable car down to the ship tender (2-hour wait), riding donkeys (DON’T—it’s cruel!), or walking (we did that). I had read that Santorini is ridiculously crowded, and that was true. Even though this was the location I had most been looking forward to on the cruise, once was definitely enough because I don’t have the patience for that many people. However, I’m glad I went, and the tour we chose was a good fit for us. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable about the history and customs on Santorini, and I was never bored during the ride. I was surprised how “not green” the island looked; I didn’t realize rain is such a rare occurrence there. After we got to Fira my husband and daughter were ready to go back to the ship, but I wanted to stay in Fira for a little shopping, plus watch the sunset from there. I watched part of the sunset, but then decided I also wanted a bit of light while walking down, and it was beautiful watching the sun set the rest of the way on my journey down the hill. As far as the steps go, even though our tour guide had advised against walking, it really wasn’t bad and we were all glad we’d gone that way. You have to dodge a few donkeys and a bit of donkey dung, but there’s plenty of room. Each step is around 4 feet deep and at least 5 feet wide. They do all slant a teeny bit downhill, so I recommend some type of closed-toed shoes. I was wearing Croc flip flops, which are usually my most comfortable walking shoes, but my feet kept sliding down into them since the steps slanted down. TIP: Make sure you have euro coins for restrooms! (Actually, this applies everywhere we went.) And keep in mind that some of the restrooms are just holes in the ground. I paid 0.50 euro for that privilege. ~ Mykonos – We didn’t book anything ahead, because everything I’d read made it sound like we could just wing it. My husband stayed on the ship so it was just my daughter and me. I had read about “Mykonos Farmers,” a local creamery that supposedly made fantastic cheese and Greek yogurt, so we looked on a map and found it. We were going to get a taxi or bus, but decided to walk to Starbucks first (my daughter’s town in Germany doesn’t have one so she was quite excited). It was about a 20-minute walk through some really cute areas, but also included SUPER long and high hills, and (worse than that), walking on a very busy road with no sidewalks or shoulders. But we made it without a problem. By then we were only a 30-minute walk from Mykonos Farmers, so we set off to do that, with similar hills and unsafe roads, so when we saw a car rental place we decided to give that a try. The first one quoted 80 euro, so I said no (we only needed it for about 4 hours). The second one quoted 60 euro, plus said we could return it at the port (which we were somewhat far from by then), so we went for that. I didn’t need an international driver’s license; she just took down info from my license and CC number. She said she only needed the CC number “just in case,” but actually wanted us to pay in cash. I told her I needed to go to an ATM, and she said I could do that while we had the car and just bring her the money when we return it, which was really nice. So we took the car (a 2-seater SmartCar) and were thrilled that we had done that! I’d read horror stories about driving in Mykonos, but it wasn’t bad at all, especially in such a small car, and we were able to accomplish so much more than we would have. We drove to Mykonos Farmers and LOVED IT!! The owner, Yiorgos Syrianos, was gracious enough to give us a spontaneous tour (12 euro each) and was extremely proud when telling us about the generations-old techniques they use, with very little modern technology, to create their very creamy yogurt and flavorful cheese (both of which we got to sample!). He learned everything from his grandmother, and has passed it down to his son. We got to sample quite a bit of the amazing yogurt, plus 3 different cheeses, and little toast things with cheese spread, all included in the price of the tour. We purchased cheese, because he said certain types could stay unrefrigerated for up to a week. It was seriously fantastic, and we were the only guests there so it felt very personal and local. Apparently you can also book cooking classes there. After that we drove to a beach to take some photos, and then went to the Little Venice area, which is by the windmills. We had to pay 12 euro to park there (not a big deal, but good to know). Little Venice had the typical Greek tourist shopping we’d come to expect, but it was still fun to walk around. When we were ready, we called the car rental lady and told her we were heading to the port, where she met us and we paid her cash. Getting a car there made a huge difference in what we were able to see and do in a short time. ~ Argostoli, Kefalonia – We booked NCL’s “Melissani, Meze & Ouzo” tour. It was okay, but not what I expected (which was my own fault after reading the description again), and now that I’ve been there I would rather rent a car and just do things on our own. For some reason I thought this tour involved a lot more time on a boat (again, I see now that the description never says that). It consisted of a 45-minute bus ride across the island (with an outstanding guide!), then a 30-45 minute wait in line, then a 15-minute ride in a small boat around the underground lake, then a short ride to the village of Sami where we enjoyed ouzo, wine, and meze (small Greek dishes) in a really pretty setting by the water, and then a 45-minute ride back to the port. The underground lake is beautiful, but I’m not sure it’s worth the hassle and wait. Like I said, our line was 30-45 minutes, and when we got out it looked twice as long. If you’re set on going to this lake, you could rent a car and try to go as early as possible to beat the crowds. We loved the village of Sami, and enjoyed about an hour of walking around there after our meze. It was touristy, but not too crowded and very cute, with friendly people. But again, we could get there on our own in a car, and some other sort of boat tour would have been fun. We did enjoy the island overall though, and wouldn’t mind going back. It was interesting to see such different topography and architecture from the other Greek islands we’d just visited. ~ Dubrovnik – We booked NCL’s “Game of Thrones” tour and really enjoyed it! Old Town, Dubrovnik, is another insanely crowded place, but we’re big GoT fans so just dealt with it. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable, and gave us little radio things to hang from our necks with earbuds so we could hear everything he was saying. He had photos of GoT scenes, which he showed us from those spots, and talked about other GoT scenes that had occurred around Dubrovnik that we weren’t going to. It was really interesting to see how many changes the show made to the scenery (I think mainly digitally). Our guide also talked extensively about the history of Dubrovnik, and mentioned memories he had of when it was part of Yugoslavia, and from the 1990-1992 war after which Croatia became independent. It was a bit of a rushed tour with tons of information, but our stop wasn’t very long and I think this was probably as efficient as we could have been. Our daughter isn’t a GoT fan, so she just paid 30 euro to see the fortress and Old Town herself, with no tour, and enjoyed that also. When we were released for free time and told to meet back at the bus about an hour later, we were kind of over the crowds, climbing, and heat, and decided to take an NCL shuttle back early (our guide had said we could). It was nice getting back on the ship without the crowds! ~ Venice (again) – We had saved St. Mark’s Square and the Grand Canal for the end of the trip, so after we left our luggage at our hotel, we took the hotel transportation back into Venice and bought vaporetto tickets (7.5 euro each way) for the Grand Canal. Those are crowded (as is the whole St. Mark’s area), but a nice inexpensive way to see a lot in a short time. At St. Mark’s Square we first went to Hard Rock Café for lunch, and then went to St. Mark’s Basilica, which is free if you don’t mind standing in line (it looked long but moved quickly so we only waited about 20 minutes), and then the campanile (bell tower), which has an elevator and cost 8 euro to go up. It was well worth that for the amazing views, and there was no line when we were there. After that we went to the Rialto Bridge, and on the other side was more tourist shopping. Then the others wanted to sit and have a beer, so I walked on my own to the Jewish Ghetto, which I’d been wanting to see. This was the area of Venice in which Jewish people were forced to live by the government of the Venetian Republic starting in 1516. (The English word ghetto is derived from the Jewish ghetto in Venice.) It starts at the Ponte delle Guglie (bridge), and actually had locked gates back then. In 1797 the Venetian Republic was dissolved by the French army of Italy, ending the ghetto's separation from the city. Today, the ghetto is still a culturally active center of Jewish life in Venice, although only a few members live in the ghetto. It was really interesting to see, and nice to get away from the crowded tourist areas, but sad to think about the history. If I’d had time, a tour would have been helpful to get even more out of it, but it was still interesting to see the buildings, people, and stores with Menorahs and related artwork. It should have been about a 20-minute walk, but I stopped to take quite a few photos, so it was longer, but I enjoyed getting out of the crowds and seeing a different area of Venice. On my way to the Ghetto, I’d seen a really cute restaurant with red checkered tablecloths both inside and out called “Al56zerootto,” so we all decided to eat dinner there. It was very good, with lots of culinary options and great service, and seemed “authentic.” The address is 30131 Venezia – Cannaregio 5608 Campiello Riccardo Selvatico, in case anybody is interested in trying it. If you’ve actually read all of this, thanks for following along, and let me know if you have any questions! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
After planning for over 1 year I finally got to go on a Windstar cruise. I was expecting a lot and, for the most part it, met all expectations. Prior to going on the cruise my initial cruise was cancelled as the ship was chartered. ... Read More
After planning for over 1 year I finally got to go on a Windstar cruise. I was expecting a lot and, for the most part it, met all expectations. Prior to going on the cruise my initial cruise was cancelled as the ship was chartered. They gave us a $500/pp credit and paid to change our airfare. I loved the small size of the ship. The cabin was small but functional. The bathroom had nice bath products and good water pressure. The outlets were 110v. I brought a small power strip without surge suppressor and multiport USB charger. Otherwise there were 3 outlets in the cabin and 1 in the bathroom. There is a small minibar in the cabin. It has a bottle opener. We brought 2 bottles of wine and took glasses of wine with us to the dining room. I missed having a private balcony. I didn't think this would be a problem but there were always groups of people drinking and music up on deck. Smoking wasn't really a problem. The deck closes around 6 PM to set up for the restaurant. The food was average to good. Dinner was the best meal. Breakfast and lunch were buffet, with a variety of daily specials. Breakfast would close at 10 AM one day and at 9 AM the next so you have to check your daily program the night before. They do have room service included but it would take 30-40 minutes. Service is very good on the ship and getting a drink at a bar was never a problem. They usually have 1 or 2 happy hours/day with discounted drinks for $5.50. Typically drinks are $8-9 and a beer is $6-7. At $59/person/day I skipped the unlimited beverage package. They had a musical duo in the lounge every night as well as DVDs to take back to your cabin. One night they brought in a local dance group to perform. You were allowed in the bridge when they were underway. The sails were rarely up as the conditions have to be just right. We saw them once during a sail-away. The pool is small but refreshing. Probably much larger per person than the mega ships. I was most interested in the water platform. Due to sea conditions we only had it for one out of 4 planned days. The gym was also small but adequate but being that you can get off the ship everyday I was able to go for a hike onshore. We had to skip Mykonos due to windy conditions which would not allow us to tender. The tenders ran every 1/2 hour which was not a problem except that there was a Tauck tour onboard consisting of about 40 people and they would leave as a group and take a tender so if you didn't time it correctly you had to wait for 1 hour to get a tender. The other passengers, for the most part, were very nice. Most tended to be in their late 60s to early 70s and were a friendly group. There were a couple of newly-weds. We brought our teenaged children with us and they were the only children on the ship. They had a good time but would have liked it had there been people their own age, however, I was expecting this so they weren't disappointed. I did some laundry mid-way through the cruise for under $30. We gave it to the steward before 9AM and we had it back before 5 PM. Towards the end of the cruise they had an all you can stuff into a large laundry bag for $45 deal. Both options were less than the unlimited laundry for $7/person/day. We did get the kids the unlimited WiFi which is, as others have said, slightly better than nothing. I was able to get cell service everyday when we were in port. We went a few days early and stayed for one night at the Hilton and 2 nights at the Electra Metropolis, near Syntagma square. I liked both of them as they both had pools but liked the location of the Electra better as you can walk everywhere. We went on one ship excursion in Turkey but otherwise we did our own thing on the islands. I found the prices for the excursions to be on the high side and they tended to be 3-5 hours long. They had a port talk in the lounge the night before and a local guide would be in the main lobby to answer any questions you had about the island. They had a special dinner in Ephesus for us. The setting was great. The food not so great. The advantage of the smaller ship is being able to go to ports not visited by larger ships. I really enjoyed the ports of call. I was disappointed not to see Mykonos but we were able to go to a small beach in Samos. After Samos we went to Kusadasi in Turkey then to Patmos, Santorini, Monemvasia and finally Nafplion. We finished in Athens where I used the remainder of my OBC to get a private van to the airport for $118 for 2 ppl or $236 for the 4 of us. A taxi would cost 50 Euro. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Boarding began at 1 PM. We arrived around 1:30 and had to wait on line for 15 min to register. You are required to leave your passport with the ships bursa and it is returned to you on the last day. Luggage is out of your cabin by 6:45 AM and you leave by 8 AM. When I initially booked I paid $5,000 for the AX cabin and $4,500 for the BX cabin. Shortly after the price dropped and they let me cancel and rebook for the lower price. I did this 2 more times. There is no problem as long as it is 120 days out. Many passengers booked within 45 days of sailing and paid $3,100 for the same cabin that I paid $4,000 for. Not a big deal but I would not book a Windstar cruise far in advance. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise because I had never visited the Greek islands. We only had 3-4 days to spare, so I chose the Iconic Aegean cruise. I've seen some negative reviews of Celestyal Olympia, but we had a great time. The food was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because I had never visited the Greek islands. We only had 3-4 days to spare, so I chose the Iconic Aegean cruise. I've seen some negative reviews of Celestyal Olympia, but we had a great time. The food was good, the service was excellent, and the staff were pleasant, attentive and efficient. We chose a suite and we had ample space. The bed was comfortable and the AC functioned perfectly. We experienced some difficulty with the toilet and the maintenance crew came immediately, worked hard and remained until they had fixed the problem, which turned out to be a stuck air valve. The after dinner shows were a bit cheesy and Celestyal could do a little better in terms of the calibre of their artistes, but the days were so packed with activities that it didn't matter. All in all it was a wonderful cruise. Everything worked on the boat and it was clean, modern and well outfitted. There was no musty odour or unpleasant smell. Boarding and disembarkation was smooth and our luggage came off and on the boat with no problems. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose this cruise in order to visit particularly Hydra, Mykonos, Santorini and Crete, which were itemised in the itinerary. Embarkation & disembarkation were no problem. First, the problems arose as we left the port, when the ... Read More
I chose this cruise in order to visit particularly Hydra, Mykonos, Santorini and Crete, which were itemised in the itinerary. Embarkation & disembarkation were no problem. First, the problems arose as we left the port, when the Captain informed us that the detailed itinerary, that we had chosen especially, was going to be undertaken in reverse order. This meant that on our first night we arrived in Hydra at night, and were given 3 hours from 9pm-midnight to go ashore. This was a hopeless time to explore Hydra's natural beauty - in the dark. During the following two days, the Captain informed us that the weather prevented him from undertaking 3/4 of the planned itinerary. We therefore did not visit Mykonos, Santorini or Crete, but sailed to one or two ports on the Peloponese coast. We were hugely disappointed by the alternative ports. The weather seemed normal, albeit a sea swell did exist. We had been told to anticipate swimming stops en route. This happened only twice in 7 days, each for approximately 1.2 hour in unenchanting surroundings. The ship itself was in tired shape and although described as 'luxury', had several issue of wear. For example, the shower tray in our 'P' class cabin bathroom filled up with the shower's water & leaked onto the floor because the plughole was in the wrong place to drain the water. The decks alongside the cabin windows were filthy. The windows everywhere outside were consistently dirty. The upholstery was worn and dirty. Then there was the food. This was drearily like that which is supplied in any motorway roadside cafe. For example, scrambled eggs for breakfast were presented in a steel container at 07.30, where the same eggs remained unrefreshed until 09.30. Every cooked course was treated with the same indifference, so each were desperately unappealing. There was nothing that was luxury about this cruise, except its online description. The best I can say about it was that the mostly Eastern European crew were as helpful as they could be, and the beleaguered Manager was exceptional. We would have left the ship and flown back early had we been able to, but for their contribution. Do not expect what is advertised by this company. The cruise was disappointing, as has been the response from the Managing Agent, Seafarer, who has yet to apologise for offering a ship that he failed to mention was scheduled for a complete refit at the end of the 2019 season. I am not surprised. I was horrified by its appearance. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My husband and I, and 2 other couples, chose this ship because we wanted a small ship. It was perfect in size...getting on and off ship was easy and quick. We were in cabin 240 which is at the very end of the hall. It proved to be a ... Read More
My husband and I, and 2 other couples, chose this ship because we wanted a small ship. It was perfect in size...getting on and off ship was easy and quick. We were in cabin 240 which is at the very end of the hall. It proved to be a great room in the sense that there wasn't much foot traffic outside our door. The cabin had more than enough storage cabinets and plenty of under bed storage for suitcases. Bathroom had a great shower and all amenities were good. My complaint about this ship is the last night before disembarking, they seemed to shut off all A/C. It wasn't just our cabin, but everyone else's, too. Don't know what the deal was, but our final night on board was sleepless...very hot. The gym was small, but adequate with a couple tread mills, 1 elliptical machine, 1 stationary bike and lots of free weights. None of us had a bad meal and all dinners exceeded our expectation. Cabin attendants were very good and all the staff was very helpful and kind. ENTERTAINMENT: Windstar needs to work on this aspect. Most of the music played outside around the bar and deck area was so old and tired...Jackson 5 genre. It seemed like our party ages 55-60 were the youngsters, and maybe the majority who appeared to be 70's and 80's enjoy that era of music. We would've enjoyed more current music. Our cruise had a pianist and singer that performed most evenings, but the room was small with low ceilings so the music was too loud. We always left for areas that we could converse. Our party of 6 did not go on any Windstar excursions because we found better value by booking private tours on our own. All in all, we loved the ship and would consider going again based on the service we received and the small ship size. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We wanted a short cruise at the end of our two week vacation in Greece. This one fit the bill perfectly. First, I am NOT a cruiser. However, as the fates would have it, I ended up on three cruises this year. The first two were on major ... Read More
We wanted a short cruise at the end of our two week vacation in Greece. This one fit the bill perfectly. First, I am NOT a cruiser. However, as the fates would have it, I ended up on three cruises this year. The first two were on major cruise lines, the third on Celestyal. The Celestyal cruise gets my prize for least annoying cruise. First, the ship is run like a finely tuned machine, and when you have so much to do in a short period of time, it is a good thing that it is. The staff were incredibly accommodating and friendly, unlike my first two cruises. These people seem to really like their jobs! The ship itself was beautiful in an awesome retro kind of way. It was meticulously maintained and the lounges were beautiful. They seemed to have restored the perfect retro vibe. Meal service was a well executed military operation as were the frequent disembarkations. It is not a small task to get all these people on and off that ship, usually twice per day. The food was a-ok, not a foodie paradise, but serviceable with nice variety and two enjoyable bbq's on the pool deck. The number of ports visited was truly remarkable, but it really was nothing more than getting a taste of the islands. Now we know where we want to spend more time. We had one whole day in Rhodes, which was blissful because we finally got to enjoy some beach time -- something we did not get in the other ports. The two included excursions were excellent. In other ports we simply rented a car for a couple of hours and got a feel for the islands. Another wonderful aspect of this cruise is that there is not a constant push to spend, spend, spend. The included drinks were great. We only ordered a few extras on the trip -- a much needed brow wax, a couple of smoothies for the kid, and a couple of knick-knacks. Our tab at the end of the cruise was around $39. On our other cruises we were greeted every morning with a stack of coupons and advertisements for art work, jewelry sales, photo packages, and on and on and on. There was none of that here. Everyone on the ship was genuinely concerned with our comfort and ease. We paid for the cruise and that was that. If you can manage the frenetic pace of frequent disembarkations and we want to see many places, this is a great option. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
20+cruises with thomson,1st on discovery great ship ,staff,and entertainment, one gripe Broadway lounge next to live room the noise could be heard in the atrium we're a singer was trying to perform right next door to the live room ,3 ... Read More
20+cruises with thomson,1st on discovery great ship ,staff,and entertainment, one gripe Broadway lounge next to live room the noise could be heard in the atrium we're a singer was trying to perform right next door to the live room ,3 venues right next to each other crazy!.the slug and lettuce pub was only used for quizzes and sometimes a group, good bar to meet and have a talk with people instead of daft quizzes and noise,perfect for background music and relax. Plus disappointed with no group or singer on stage in the afternoons when people get back on the ship ,we used to look forward to hear them on deck before the afternoon trivia questions. All in all great time had by all nearly!we must mention our room cleaners Rhea and Eddi very polite and always smiling made everyday a happy one thanks to them and all the bar staff and waiters for there hard work .corfu airport is a joke,waiting outside in a queue about 100 yards long in the heat waiting to put our cases in to the check out,sorry but not much help or info from tui staff.the much liked crew show was pathetic the backgroud pictures of the singer/artist took longer than the person singing,we are all for a bit of background on their lives but come on! maybe thats why there was only 4 crew members chose to sing,usually they put on a great show and receive the loadest cheers of the night.i hope this is a fair review and we will pick marella cruises again, thanks again to all the staff for a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Wanted a smaller ship for the Greek Isles. The crew was great. The bar service was slow. They needed more bar staff. Meals were adequate. Went to the Crystal Restaurant our last night and my husband and I enjoyed a delicious meal on ... Read More
Wanted a smaller ship for the Greek Isles. The crew was great. The bar service was slow. They needed more bar staff. Meals were adequate. Went to the Crystal Restaurant our last night and my husband and I enjoyed a delicious meal on the deck. Also, the dinner seafood bar b que on deck was excellent. All excursions and guides were good, well organized and informative. Our room 211 was noisy from engine. More then a hum. The room was well organized and suitcases were stored under bed. I would not choose this ship again because the engine noise at night was too loud. See cabin review below for more details. Motor Coaches were comfortable. Enjoyed the Acropolis and Museum Tour when we disembarked. Athens was fun and Hotel Grand Bretagne was excellent. Enjoyed walking from hotel, view from our balcony of Parliament, the Square, the Acropolis. Weather was perfect. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We sailed on Sirena May 29, 2019 out of Venice. Although Sirena did an overnight in Venice, our flight didn't arrive until late afternoon. I used Oceania for my air. They booked us through Copenhagen from Boston with a five hour ... Read More
We sailed on Sirena May 29, 2019 out of Venice. Although Sirena did an overnight in Venice, our flight didn't arrive until late afternoon. I used Oceania for my air. They booked us through Copenhagen from Boston with a five hour wait for our flight to Venice. The next day the ship departed at 3:00pm. Useless port unless you arrive at least a day early. The ship just finished a total renovation. I was not impressed. It did not look elegant. The cabin (concierge) was extremely small. No afternoon appetizers. The luggage couldn't fit under the beds so we had to deal with it the entire time in the cabin. One could barely walk by the bottom of the beds. I also thought concierge was an upgrade from a balcony. I honestly did not feel there was any difference between balcony and concierge. Nothing special. As a matter of fact, I left a precious hand painted piece of artwork on the desk upon disembarkation. Upon arrival home, I immediately contacted Oceania via email as there was no phone number provided for this. From guest services I received a response that they checked with the vessel's Concierge, Chief Housekeeper and the Reception Desk, however, the artwork was not found nor returned to lost and found. I asked that they talk with the cabin steward as he would have found it and he would be able to tell them what he did with it. Oceania has not responded. Very disappointed with their response. We made excursion reservations prior to embarking on the cruise. Upon arrival in our cabin there was a letter informing us that one of the excursions was cancelled. We visited with the excursion staff but the new excursions we chose were unavailable and we were sent back to our cabin to choose additional choices. Many of our fellow cruisers were affected with cancelled excursions. We spent more time arranging new excursions than enjoying the cruise. We were so looking forward to the Greek Islands but the ports were so crowded you could not move on the islands. The highlight of this cruise was the food. They do an exceptional job in all the restaurants. One feels very special. The entertainment was below par when compared with larger cruise lines. There were very few children onboard. Having been on Oceania before, and being so impressed with the line, I talked a girlfriend into this cruise. It was an embarrassment for me. I spoke so highly of Oceania to her prior to the cruise. I am sorry to say I would not cruise with Oceania again. There were too many problems to call this a vacation. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Booked this island cruise long in advance. The highlight is a candle light dinner in the ancient library of Ephasis. Violin quartet, lovely meal under the stars. This was exceptional and only Windstar had the relationship with the ... Read More
Booked this island cruise long in advance. The highlight is a candle light dinner in the ancient library of Ephasis. Violin quartet, lovely meal under the stars. This was exceptional and only Windstar had the relationship with the Turkish ministry of culture to do this event. All the locations were wonderful. Excursions well managed and ship processes very smooth with a well led crew. The evening meals were fabulous with variety and a great selection. Breakfasts and lunches were well done; a good selection of buffet items in each. Embarkation and debarkation procedures were efficient. Easy to do with only 136 pax. They will push for you to buy the alcoholic drink package. With the average cost of drinks about 9$, you'll need to personally drink about 6 beers/wines per day. With the bigger mixed drink package as well, you'll need to have about 8-9 drinks a day. They will add on a 15% service charge on top of the cited package prices. We found it not worthwhile to buy a package for how much we drink. The top line wifi package is $350. The wifi reception in the cabin is poor and even on deck you shouldn't expect good bandwidth for much more than email or a basic news read. We cancelled after a day and they accommodated our request with a refund. This is still a solid value cruise. You get to meet a lot of folks but it's never crowded. Don't expect big shows or entertainment. There was one capable piano/singer duo on the cruise each night and a Cretan Greek dance group one night in Agios Nikolaous that was excellent. The service was personal and attentive from the bar to the dining room to the cabin. The Captain and senior officer in charge of "Hotel services", essentially all the guest interactions, were involved and interacted well with both pax and crew. We've been to Greece a lot; even lived there for a while and this cruise was a very fine way to visit Athens and the islands. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Moderate to smaller ship and that was a positive. Rome as embark Location and itinerary were reasons for our selection and price seemed fair. Reputation of Holland America was good per friends but cruise turned out to be boring. AARP had ... Read More
Moderate to smaller ship and that was a positive. Rome as embark Location and itinerary were reasons for our selection and price seemed fair. Reputation of Holland America was good per friends but cruise turned out to be boring. AARP had written a favorable review about this particular cruise. Excursions were good, car rentals on two occasions went smoothly but onboard no beverages beyond tea and lemonade and water - so this got very old. Corking fee if you brought back wine or beer. No WiFi either. We ended up paying so we could post pics and updates with family. Ship was dated in its decor but very clean. Just wasn’t thrilled with anything onboard. Majority of cruisers were over fifty with little diversity. In the future I would seek more educational and hands on programs onboard. That came only on the excursions which are add ons and not Holland America run. Most had similar backgrounds and truthfully a more broad range of travelers would have made the cruise better. Maybe two children onboard. Will try another cruise line. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Looking for tremendously attentive hospitality and service levels? Celestyal Olympia gets 6 Stars out of 5! The service, the kindness, the attitudes of the staff were A-1 throughout the cruise. This was a condensed time frame to see 6 ... Read More
Looking for tremendously attentive hospitality and service levels? Celestyal Olympia gets 6 Stars out of 5! The service, the kindness, the attitudes of the staff were A-1 throughout the cruise. This was a condensed time frame to see 6 islands, with 2 in some days. That was both good and bad as it was a great introduction to many of the Cyclades, but not as much time as one might have wanted in each. A 7 day cruise would take care of that, but we chose the shorter and figured we would return to the shorter locations like Mykonos. The cabins were older and smaller but as a single, the window cabin worked great for me. Space worked fine but with 2 persons, probably would not. Bought the upgrade XB Deck 6 cabin 6042, convenient to Deck 5 (shows, gatherings prior to disembark, etc) and 4 (dining) where much took place. Cabin stewards were wonderful. The unlimited drink package was included and such fun as so many bars to choose from, including the 360 degree views from the Horizon Bar up top on Deck 12. It was gorgeous night and day, pulling into or out of ports. The evening shows were fine. A young Cuban dance team worked hard to give us nice shows, but did not attend all of them. We were in ports 3 nights so did not get to experience more than one dinner at the ala carte dinner restaurant, but it was very good. Also was confused about a special 36Euro dinner as thought it was the ala carte option til nearly the end of the cruise. Service just couldn't be better and nearly always with a smile. Breakfasts there were buffet but added items and cappucinos were easily ordered with the drink pass. Could have done the pool deck also but it was chilly and windy in mid May. Disembarkations were handled efficiently, though disliked having to go to the lounge an hour early many days to get the tickets to get off in group #1 to have time on land if not on a tour sold by the ship. That was not welcomed and should be done differently. Overall, I loved this ship. Have been on many cruises, but rarely do you find the unique hospitality of the Greeks thoroughly emphasized by what must be the training by Celeystral to staff from many parts of the world. Tips were already included so that was even better. They were doing their jobs and hopefully were all rewarded well. Enjoyed the Greek cooking class, the variety of locations on the ship to go, the shops and most of the time, the food. It felt rather sad to leave this Happy Ship and get off in Athens. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We are Americans in our 50s. We travel a lot, but this was our first ever cruise. I really liked our 7-day cruise of the Aegean. The itinerary was great, we liked the ship, and the people working onboard were great. Our cruise director ... Read More
We are Americans in our 50s. We travel a lot, but this was our first ever cruise. I really liked our 7-day cruise of the Aegean. The itinerary was great, we liked the ship, and the people working onboard were great. Our cruise director Danny was excellent. I am giving my review to tell readers what I would have found useful to know, and to also provide constructive feedback to Celestyal since I see they sometimes read this site. ITINERARY: First I want to say that the itinerary is extremely well thought out, especially the departure times from each island. You hear about cruisers having to rush back to their ship for concern they might miss the sailing. Not so with the Crystal. Our departure time from Mykonos was not until 7am the next morning, so people could stay out partying all night if they wanted. Departure times from Milos and Santorini were at midnight, so you could spend as much time sightseeing as you wanted, watch the sunset, have dinner in a restaurant on shore, and not be at all concerned about getting back to the ship on time. GETTING ON AND OFF THE SHIP: I had heard from people cruising larger ships that getting off the boat can be tedious. I’d also heard that if you don’t buy one of the ship’s excursions, it will be a problem getting off quickly. Not so with the Crystal. At four of the six ports we visited – Athens, Mykonos, Crete and Kusadasi – the boat pulls up to the dock and you simply walk off a gangplank. No issues getting off the ship when you want. At Santorini and Milos you have to use tenders (small boats that take you to and from shore). On the first day at Santorini was the included excursion for everyone, so you just went with your assigned group, took the next tender, and then got on the bus for your tour. On the second day at Santorini, you just got on a tender whenever you wanted. They were every half hour. And since the boat didn’t leave until midnight, there was absolutely zero worry about getting back in time. We had all the time we wanted in Santorini. On Milos we did NOT purchase an excursion, so had to get a tender ticket and wait for the booked excursions to leave first. In the end, we waited maybe half an hour to have our ticket number called to take the tender. And since the Crystal did not leave Milos until midnight, we had all the time we wanted on Milos. Absolutely no concern about rushing back. CABIN: I initially booked an interior cabin as I didn’t think I would care much about whether I had a view. However I later paid to upgrade to an exterior cabin in order to get a more space. (The website lists the square meters for every type of cabin.) However I was very glad I had changed to a windowed cabin, as I discovered I was prone to a touch of motion sickness the first few days. Looking out a window at the horizon is especially helpful with motion sickness, so I was glad I paid the extra money to have one. Also I really did appreciate the extra space. Our cabin stewardess Victoria was really sweet, constantly cleaning our room, and always greeting us so cheerfully when we got up in the morning and when we returned from excursions in the afternoon. She also made us adorable towel animals in the evening. I think I am pretty sensitive to smells but only noticed diesel fumes when outside on the lower decks. I did not notice any diesel smell inside our midship cabin on deck 4. There was sometimes a faint sewer odor coming out of the floor drain in our bathroom, but fortunately our bedroom did not have it. The shower worked perfectly. I loved the scent of the shower gel. I also want to warn: the deck 5 “exterior” cabins have a walkway running right outside their windows! I noticed this because I walked by them when I was exploring the ship. I am glad I did not have one of those cabins. You have a window but someone can walk by it at any time. I don’t think people walk there often, but in the end you have to be careful about keeping your curtains closed while getting dressed. As far as I could tell, for the rest of the exterior cabins on the ship, the window is truly on the outside of the ship. That was definitely the case for exterior cabins on deck 4. WHAT TO BRING: there were only 2 available plugs in our cabin, one for a Europlug and one for an American style plug. Whatever your nationality, I highly recommend you bring the appropriate adapters so you can make use of BOTH plugs. (If you are an American, bring a Europlug adapter. If you are European, bring an American plug adapter. If you are English, bring one of each type of adapter.) And if you have more than 2 things to plug in, bring a compact outlet multiplier as well. If you have compact binoculars bring them as well, it’s nice to be able to look at the islands you sail to and by. Bring miniature padlocks to lock your suitcases when you embark and disembark. Unlike airlines, you are allowed to lock your checked suitcases. My recommendation is to check pretty much everything. I embarked carrying just my purse and disembarked with just a small backpack containing my nightclothes and cosmetic kit. You CAN bring your roll-aboard to breakfast on the last day, but do yourself a favor and don’t. Just lock it and let the ship deal with it. Retrieving the luggage on disembarkation was well organized. WHAT NOT TO BRING: a lot of clothes and fancy clothes. The cabin doesn’t have much storage space in the closet for clothing. I had to store half my wardrobe in my suitcase stored under my bed. And I brought too many clothes because I mistakenly thought people had to dress up for dinner. You CAN dress nicer for dinner in the sit-down restaurant, but a lot of people did not. There was a rule against shorts, but any kind of pants are fine, even jeans. The “Captain’s cocktail party” was merely a presentation in the theater. Not really a “party” at all. I’m not sure of how to arrange things so that an entire ship could actually have a real cocktail party to meet and mingle with the crew... But what they DID have you really do not need to go to, much less dress up for. I brought a long dress to wear to that event, but it turned out I REALLY did not need it. And I’m really REALLY glad I didn’t insist my boyfriend bring a jacket, as he never would have used it. In the end, we found this ships's attire as casual as all travel generally is these days, so you can leave your nice clothes at home if you prefer to travel lighter. FOOD: After our first experience in the sit-down restaurant Amalthea on the 2nd day, I insisted on eating there every time. The food there was presented beautifully. I didn’t think everything turned out perfectly in taste, but there was plenty to eat with four courses offered at both lunch and dinner. And if you didn’t like what you had chosen, you could ask the waiter to bring you something different. In the end I was really pleased with the food and dining experience in Amalthea. By contrast, the buffet restaurants were not to my taste. Too hectic and the food presentation was a little too close to cafeteria-style for what I expected from a cruise. Our sailing was about 75% full, but only one of the two sit-down restaurants was open. That led to lines at dinner, although the line moved quickly. I don’t think we ever waited longer than 20 minutes. I don’t mind waiting, but I would prefer not to stand in line to do it. I would suggest Celestyal come up with a “take-a-number” scheme like at the deli, so we could at least sit and relax with a drink while waiting. Also, surprisingly, the buffet restaurant gave us LESS chance to socialize with other passengers. People are naturally reluctant to take their own initiative to join strangers already sitting at a table in the buffet restaurant. But in the sit-down restaurant you can ask the Maitre-D’ to seat you with other passengers speaking the same language. Instant introduction. I enjoyed talking with everyone we sat with. The largest number of passengers we met were from the UK. I also want to say that the Crystal varies the lunch times day to day so as to accommodate people who might be returning early or late from an excursion. Well thought out. DRINKS: The “all-inclusive” cocktail menu was really quite impressive. Lots of cocktails, lots of after dinner liqueurs, etc. We especially appreciated the chance to try SIX different Greek liqueurs for free. We liked some of them enough to buy them at the duty free shop at the Athens airport when we flew home. We also really liked a couple of the cocktails made with the Greek spirits. I will admit the “included” Greek wines were not great, but they were drinkable. If you are a very serious wine drinker, that might be a reason to use the “premium” menu. Or you can simply order a free cocktail with your dinner. We never once ordered off the premium menu and didn’t feel at all deprived. DAYTIME SHIPBOARD ACTIVITIES: we only had time to go to one, the Greek cooking demonstration conducted by the assistant cruise director Tereza. It was very, very well done. Tereza could host her own TV cooking show, she has so much personality and love of explaining Greek food. If you see this class on the daily sheet, DO NOT MISS IT! Speaking of Greek food, this is one of my suggestions to Celestyal: offer more Greek dishes on the menu! In my opinion, they should try to offer one Greek option for every course. Greek food is wonderful and people visiting Greece should be given more opportunity to try it. WIFI: there was a long explanation in the information sheet in our room about why satellite wifi is so expensive at sea. OK understood, but how about offering free wifi while in port? I think passengers would really appreciate that. Also, how about having free access to an on-board website just for the Celestyal Crystal, listing the daily schedule, excursions, lunch and dinner menus, drink menus etc. I know from my friends that some other cruise lines do this. I ended up taking cell phone shots of the daily sheet and menus so I could refer to them. It would have been nicer to call this information up via an App. The ship could also use an App to manage the line at the sit-down restaurant(s). Go on to an App to say you want to eat now, number in your party, preferred table language. Then get a pop-up message when your table is ready. And if there were proofs of the professional photos available on a website, people might buy more of them. Other amenities: The casino was very small, just video games. Luckily I don’t care about gambling. Also the swimming pool was incredibly small; I never saw anyone swim in it. Luckily I didn’t care about that either. If those are things you care about, you might not be as happy with this ship. Finally, the excursions: we paid for one which was good, and then went on the three that were included for everyone. Unfortunately when you have a ship full of people all doing the same excursion at once – even a small ship that is only 75% full – it is going to be a bit crowded. The Crete excursion to Knossos and the Heraklion museum was disappointing to us. Our guide clearly tried to do her best with the limited amount of time and the over-crowding, but we were disappointed in not getting to see as much as we would have liked. We later talked to fellow passengers who had toured Knossos and the museum on their own and really wished we had done it that way too. The included excursion to Ephesus concluded by taking us to a rug “factory” out in the country and they managed to find enough such rug places to take EVERY bus to a separate one! That part was really well done. I thought I would find the rug factory tacky, but the one we were taken to was really enjoyable. Our tour of the rug factory concluded with a relaxing light lunch outside in the shade, with just the 25 or so people on our bus. That was really delightful, and my hat is off to the excursion organizer for coming up with this way to make that part of the excursion uncrowded. My sincere recommendation to Celestyal is to come up with ways to make the rest of the included excursions less crowded as well. For example, in Crete: take one third of the the buses to Knossos first, take one-third to the museum first, and take one-third to the walking tour of Heraklion first. Then swap around. Overall I thought the cruise was well done and would recommend it to other people. The itinerary is really good, and the ship is in my opinion very well run. The employees are hard-working and friendly. The food and drink were very enjoyable. I offer my complaints as constructive feedback to what could be made even better, or what my fellow cruisers might wish to know before booking and sailing. ------ Port reviews: Mykonos: we paid for the excursion for the island of Delos which we enjoyed. Afterwards we used the cruise-provided free shuttle buses to go between the port and Mykonos Town where we wandered around on our own. It was easy to see the town attractions on foot by ourselves. The ship does not sail until 7am the next morning so you can partake of as much nightlife as you want. MILOS: we rented a car at the port for the day and then drove around seeing what we wanted to see. It was very easy to arrange and much cheaper than an excursion. We heard from fellow passengers that if you are an American, some of the rental car companies will insist on an International Driver’s Permit. (These permits can be obtained in a few minutes at any AAA office in America. You don’t even need to be a member. Plan ahead and get a permit before you leave.) Europeans don’t need the international permit to drive in Greece. I don’t know about the rules for drivers from other continents. Driving in Greece is easy with a map app on your phone. Road signs are in English as well as in Greek. Google maps even has free parking lots listed. Sarakiniko beach on Milos is not to be missed! It was spectacular and one of my highlights of the cruise. If you go on your own you can spend as much time as you want there. Wear water shoes or hiking sandals you can get wet. SANTORINI: the included excursion to Megalochori, Oia and Fira was crowded. Everyone commented on how if Oia is this crowded in May, can’t imagine how it would be in July and August. On the second day in Santorini we hiked on our own along the crater rim from Fira to Oia. This was beautiful, but is only for people who are physically fit. It could take 5+ hours depending on how many pictures you stop to take. A lot of hiking up and down, sometimes in loose gravel. Good hiking shoes are a must! Carry a water bottle, wear a hat and use good sunscreen. We stopped along the way for lunch in the lovely and uncrowded town of Imerovigli in between Fira and Oia. We talked to fellow passengers who rented a car to visit beaches and wineries on Santorini. As long as you don’t want to park in Fira and Oia (both VERY crowded) car rental is a convenient way to visit Santorini at your own pace. Again, Americans were asked to show an International Driver’s Permit in order to rent. CRETE: we went on the included excursion to Knossos Palace and the Archaeological Museum. We thought this excursion was too crowded and were disappointed in the limited time at each place. If I were to do it again, I’d pay out of my pocket to do it on my own. I read it’s easy to get to Knossos by taxi or bus, and the museum is easily walked to from ship. After the excursion we did our own walking tour of Heraklion. If you look at the bottom of “authentic Greek” gifts sold in shops in Santorini and Mykonos, you’ll see most of them were made in Crete. So we decided to do our major shopping in Crete, especially for olive oil. The stores are easily walked to from the port. KUSADASI: we did the included excursion to Ephesus and the rug factory. Ephesus was magnificent and our guide was really good. Although all the buses arrived at Ephesus at the same time, the guides were able to keep the groups spread out at the site well enough that we could enjoy it. The rug factory tour was surprisingly enjoyable. They took each bus to a SEPARATE factory, so it was completely uncrowded and relaxing. The rug place even provided us a light lunch of Turkish food. Our guide emphasized that no one should feel pressured to buy a rug, and no one in our group ended up buying. The Crystal also offered a late lunch timed for people returning from the excursion, but we had enough to eat at the rug factory that we just got some dessert on board. This was the best of the included excursions. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The cruise was not a very good experience for us. When travel agent was selling us the ship, we were told us it is comparable to the royal caribbean fleet. We came in this ship expecting similar conditions for the ship and we were ... Read More
The cruise was not a very good experience for us. When travel agent was selling us the ship, we were told us it is comparable to the royal caribbean fleet. We came in this ship expecting similar conditions for the ship and we were shocked by the general condition and the lack of cleanliness. He did not sell this as an inferior quality cruise liner. When we complained at the reception desk we were told to wait to the end of the cruise and express our thoughts in the opinion survey. About the ship - Horizon: Ship itself is old and run down, probably should be retired. With alleged major refurbishment in 2012 only certain areas looked acceptable and that did not include cabins. About our cabin: bathroom smelled like urine 90% of the time, vanity top pealing, cabin AC not working, bathroom light not working, the showers were mildewy, furnishings dated and worn out, towels had seen better days, carpet was filthy and with stains It was very noisy in the rooms, we could hear our loud neighbors, as well as people calling on each other from the hallways. The majority of the passengers were spaniards and they are loud! Most passengers did not use the disinfectant machines People smoke almost everywhere outdoors The staff was friendly and helpful. The value for money was poor compared to what is on offer elsewhere. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have been on 31 cruises but this was our first time on a Pullmantur ship. We liked the idea that it is a Spanish cruise line since my husband speaks Spanish fluently. The cruise price included gratuities and all beverages so it was a ... Read More
We have been on 31 cruises but this was our first time on a Pullmantur ship. We liked the idea that it is a Spanish cruise line since my husband speaks Spanish fluently. The cruise price included gratuities and all beverages so it was a better value than a hotel. The itinerary included two Greek Islands that we had not been to before. Pullmantur's Horizon is an older ship but the maintenance was good. Our deluxe balcony cabin was very comfortable with more closet space than many newer ship. The room steward was exceptionally good to the point where we tipped him even though the gratuities were inclusive in the cruise price. We found the food to be quite good. The first day we walked into the buffet for lunch and I went to the hand sanitizer machine and put my hands under it, pushed a button, and felt really stupid when a pat of butter fell into my hands from the automatic butter dispenser (clever machine). Other reviewers have commented that there was no butter served but I found it the first day. In the dining room each table had a bottle of virgin olive oil which was perfect for dipping the rolls and delicious breads that were served. My husband is not an adventurous eater, but he always found something on the menu that he liked. The entertainment was good. One night the production staff did a Mama Mia/Abba show that was so good that we skipped dinner and sat thought the second (repeat) show. We went to most of the musical shows and found them to be delightful. Even with my minimal understanding of Spanish, I understood the humor. It was Easter Week and the ship was loaded with young students. The morning music poolside was more upbeat than we preferred with our first cup of coffee, but other than that, it was fun to see the future cruise addicts enjoying themselves. The bar staff at the pool bar we kept very busy, but the students were well behaved and respectful. It was a treat for us to be able to go to any bar and get a soda, beer or cocktail without a charge. I liked the Cava and house red wines. We met interesting people from Europe as well as from South America and the Caribbean. It was a relaxing with no pressure to buy things or to tip. We would definitely cruise with Pullmantur again. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
My wife and I were on a Globus tour of Greece and this 3-day cruise was included. Unfortunate thing is that neither cruise ship nor Globus told us what TIME we would arrive at each of the islands. This was a 'once in a ... Read More
My wife and I were on a Globus tour of Greece and this 3-day cruise was included. Unfortunate thing is that neither cruise ship nor Globus told us what TIME we would arrive at each of the islands. This was a 'once in a lifetime' trip for us, as we had always wanted to see Greece and some of the islands. The wonderful windmills of Mykonos - we arrived after 7:00PM (!!!!). My first photo on the island showed 7:12pm. Now, I ask you - how much of the island can you enjoy when you arrive at that hour. Our tour guide showed us where the windmills were - yep, there it was in the distance, barely discernible and if you stared hard long enough, you MIGHT be able to make out the shape. I mean, give me a break! THIS is how we were supposed to enjoy Mykonos? We did spend about 2 hours walking around Mykonos. Not my idea of spending time visiting Mykonos. The main church that we wanted to see, Church of Paraportiani (Our Lady of the Side Gate) was closed by the time we got there, and it would have been a far walk. We did see Church of St. George, an Orthodox church, and it was pretty inside, though small. Ephesus was great! We enjoyed it - our SECOND time since 2011. Daytime! Rug company taking up 1-2 hours of selling / twisting arms was totally unnecessary as it delayed cruise ship sailing on. Patmos - the ship made another stop at Samos at 2:30, picking up people via tender, causing us to be a bit later when we finally arrived at Patmos. There we took a tender to the port, arriving AFTER 6pm. First stop was the Grotto. To be honest, it was … nothing. A cave in which one thinks of everything very spiritual. This is where St. John of Patmos was said to have written the Book of Revelation. It is a fortresslike, 11th century monastery dedicated to the saint. 5 minutes there was more than enough. Next stop was the Monastery, a Greek Orthodox monastery founded in 1088. It had more displays and most interesting was the Museum. The details in … embroidery, jewelry, carvings were phenomenal, and you really need to look hard to see the tremendous details. It is named after St. John of Patmos. 1-2 hours is good for the Monastery. To be honest, I don’t think Patmos would be anything if it weren’t for these two sights. It’s dry and windy, and water is scarce. Tourism is needed for this island to survive. Tourist season is around Easter time to mid-October. Our ship was the only one at port the last two days. Crete: Knossos, center of the 300 BC Minoan civilization. This was a good tour, as we got to see a 4,000 year old palace, rumored to be that of King Minos. The bull if the symbol of Crete, so there are plenty of myths about Minotaurs, etc., including one of the 12 Labors of Hercules was to kill a Minotaur. There was quite a lot to see among the ruins, but unlike other ruins (Really - now I understand why many people say 'You've seen one ruin, you've seen them all."), many of these were still in relatively decent condition, considering their age. Afterwards, we went into the center of Knossos. We visited the Morosini Fountain. The place we spent the most time was at Church of Titus, and although there was a service going on, we did manage to take a few photos. The skull of St. Titus is preserved in a domed relic on the left of the entrance to the church. We walked down to the shores and saw the Venetian (they were here for 400+ years) fortress of Castello a Mare, built in 1541. It guards the inner harbor. Walking back to the bus, we took some photos of the Nike statue, symbolizing victory with help from many countries. Crete: Santorini. Our tour guide prepped us and told us what to do and got us set up, as the daylight time wouldn't be very long. The ship docked and we boarded the tender about 4:00. The tender was already starting out when it had to return, due to another group not being there on time to board! That took another 10 minutes, and the tender took 20 minutes to reach Santorini. Then we quickly boarded the bus and it took 45 minutes up a narrow 2-lane winding road all the way to the top. We can’t figure out WHY the tender takes us to the furthest part of the island on one side in order to reach the top at the other end of the island. Anyway, sun sets at 5:17 and we arrived at the bus parking area at 5:12. We had broken out into 2 groups: Speedy and slow. I was in the speedy one and we raced up to the top and I got my shots just about when the sun was setting. It's at that famous shot that everybody sees when they see photos of Santorini. Within 15 minutes, the sun was gone and it was fairly dark. We wandered around the town a bit until 7:15 when the bus left for the tender and back to the ship. When booking this Globus tour, no mention was made of the TIME that we would reach the islands. I don't blame Globus for us, but the cruise ship. If they KNOW when sunset is, wouldn't they PLAN to arrive at the island at least ONE hour before the sun sets? I don't mean, arrive and then have the tender take you to the island and/or then bus you to the appropriate site... I mean, actually BEING on the island and able to wander around at least ONE hour before dark. This should not be THAT hard for experienced cruise lines to figure out and plan accordingly. Cruise ships should be able to put scheduled arrival times at various ports. When we asked our Globus tour group if they would have taken this tour knowing the arrival times at the islands, not ONE person said they would. All 40 of us would NOT have taken this cruise. AND knowing that DST was going to happen ... really NO excuse from the cruise line at all. I am really ticked off at the cruise ship. I didn't plan to see the 3 islands in darkness, which is what all 3 islands wound up, except for about 15 minutes of daylight at Santorini. ----- Service personnel on board were VERY nice and helpful. That was not a problem with us. ----- Meals at the buffet line: Average Meals at the ala Carte restaurant: Very good ----- We had bought the Drinks package, so got bottled water as much as we needed. One item that stuck in my craw: There was a bottle of mineral water, clearly marked that it costs. There were 2 bottles of regular water, no sign that it costs. We took 2 of them one day - the rest of the time, we got the cold water from the bar -- AND we were charged for the 2 bottles from the cabin! When we protested this, and that we did have the Drinks package, it was shrugged off as "That's the way it is." It left us with another bad image and impression of the cruise line.... ALL in all, I would NEVER take this cruise line again. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We boarded the ship in Piraeus after spending 2 nights in the King George Hotel in Athens, followed by a 2 night land tour to Delphi and Nauplia. This was a very popular cruise: we booked 6 months ahead and there were only 3 cabins left! ... Read More
We boarded the ship in Piraeus after spending 2 nights in the King George Hotel in Athens, followed by a 2 night land tour to Delphi and Nauplia. This was a very popular cruise: we booked 6 months ahead and there were only 3 cabins left! We had an outside cabin on Columbus deck, which was compact but had everything needed for a two week cruise. There are two restaurants on board: the Marco Polo which is open for lunch and dinner, and the Terrace Café, with an inside and outside seating area, which was open for all meals, plus afternoon tea and late night snacks. The food was good and we enjoyed sitting outside for meals when the weather permitted. We often used the Marco Polo restaurant in the evening. Service was professional but could be slow at busy times. The Head Waiter Danny deserves a special mention for keeping things running smoothly. Complimentary wine was served at dinner. We had the same Italian wine served to us every night though which became tedious. Some variety is needed! Most of the shore tours are included in the cost of the cruise, and these had good content and were generally interesting and well organised. We visited several Greek islands where tenders were needed, and this proved challenging for the less able passengers, some of whom chose to stay on board. There were two lecturers on this cruise. The archaeologist was interesting, but the other lecturer's presentation was monotonous, and he tended to overrun his time slots, which was frustrating. Entertainment was provided by the Odyssey Trio, a classical trio who were excellent, and the Cruise Director Richard Sykes, who is a very talented singer and pianist, and a real asset to the company. A jazz singer and pianist were also on board. There was a mix of nationalities on board, with British, Americans, Australians and we were informed that the average age was 72. We enjoyed the cruise apart from the chaos at the British Airways check-in at Athens airport on our return journey. A cruise rep. stationed here to assist passengers would have helped enormously. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
for the Itinerary - I never did the Greek Islands before, so this time I tried to "link-up" NINE Cruise Segments, starting on 1st October in ATHENS and finishing on 8th December in DUBAI. There were several "double" ... Read More
for the Itinerary - I never did the Greek Islands before, so this time I tried to "link-up" NINE Cruise Segments, starting on 1st October in ATHENS and finishing on 8th December in DUBAI. There were several "double" Segments through some of the Greek Islands, which gave me the opportunity to visit Ports twice or more = so that was a good experience. Unfortunately, this Ship caters mainly for the Spanish Package Deal Market, so everything is in Spanish - some Shows are (Only) in Spanish, and some of the English Announcements are hard to understand..... Whenever I book, I always opt for the cheapest INSIDE Cabin, so even though I had booked the 9 Cruise Segments on the same day - there were NO Upgrades - in fact I had to change Cabins after every Segment. What "riled" me, was one night when I wanted to eat in the Main Restaurant and ordered my Meal with the Waiter, I requested some GREEN Vegetables to go with the Meal, to which the Waiter flatly refused - NOT AVAILABLE!!! So after such a negative attitude, I took my meals at the Buffet Restaurant, where I could "help myself" to whatever Vegetables were available, even though many times only COLD Green Vegetables were there on offer. Another Negative point was, that the Dinner Plates were COLD, sand the food presented was also only "warm" or Cold - so I asked the Chef's there to re-heat the plate???? Which is not saying much for the quality of the Food or the Service. AND, the "COMPULSORY" Gratuity charge came to about 1000 EUROS!!!! With such a mediocre Service - this was a total RIP-OFF!!! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
In choosing this cruise we wanted to travel to the Greek Islands in a smaller ship, visit ancient sites and learn a little more of the history of the area. The brochures and itinerary met all our requirements as it was a combination of 3 ... Read More
In choosing this cruise we wanted to travel to the Greek Islands in a smaller ship, visit ancient sites and learn a little more of the history of the area. The brochures and itinerary met all our requirements as it was a combination of 3 back to back cruises. It indicated a reasonable level of fitness which also suited our requirements. On arrival in Venice we found that the cabin was as we expected. Not flash, but functional; however, had only one, poorly located powerpoint. The staff were generally helpful but some appeared that they would have been happier elsewhere. We found the food to be adequate but not to the standard we had experienced with some other companies. Food in the main eating area was cafeteria style, dishes were not labelled so everyone had to ask what each dish was. This created long slow lines at every meal. We asked the staff about adequate signage and were told that it was not Company Policy. Deserts and other hot foods were “serve yourself”, which provided huge opportunity for cross contamination and increased the risk of allergic reaction if staff did not understand or were not available to provide adequate answers. I am allergic to poultry and asked staff the ingredients. I was answered ‘meat sausage’. turned out is was chicken and as a consequence spent a very unpleasant few hours. There were not always staff to ask. There did not appear to be adequate staff to ensure appropriate hygiene was maintained by the passengers. We were served on a number of cracked cups and bowls which should have been removed from service. The more formal eating area was much better as the food was individually served. Since the cruise was focussed on Ancient Greek and Romanan ruins there were guest lecturers on each of the three legs. Most lecturers provided interesting insights but others just went through the motions. The AV facilities were as old as the ship, and provided many interruptions and failures. Most lecturers used laser pointers which were useless. Talk times were not at optimum times but when most passengers were not on board. As days went by it was obvious that the ship was extremely noisey. When our small ship was birthed next to one carrying 10x more passengers (3000) the only one you could hear was the Aegean Odyssey. Whilst cruising the noise level was greater than 75db in the cabin, which made sleeping difficult. The poor crew had to remove soot daily from the outside furniture and many passengers gained black oil stains on their clothing. Shore excursion staff lacked basic knowledge of the ports visited and could not tell passengers where pharmacies or banks were located, cost or location of buses or taxis. Nor could they tell us about some of the places of interest that were on the shore sheets. Manning of desk tardy. Not there on time. A little offhand and sometimes rude with responses. Water was only provided to guests who elected to do organised excursions. The excursions were usually run by local guides, some good some hopeless, who tried to accommodate all passengers. Unfortunately, with an average age of passengers in the middle to late 70s, the pace at which they were forced to go resulted in excruciatingly slow movement that then meant some of the highlights were not seen. This persisted for all three legs of our journey. It really should have been called Voyages of Antiquity! There appeared to be a policy of ensuring the passengers who had travelled before were always first off the ship. Unfortunately, due to their age and lack of mobility, this ensured everyone else was delayed. Tender safety was poor. The crew did not provide definitive instruction on where to sit, how to hold arms, slide along seats to move rather than walking and direction on where to sit and when to stand for exit. As many of the passengers no doubt had osteoporosis, it will only be a matter of time before bones are broken. Very poor! At the end of the first leg our cabin developed a water leak which soaked the carpet. The hotel manager offered us a move to a cabin on the upper deck which we readily accepted. It was slightly larger with one bed instead of two singles and slightly quieter (72db) Unfortunately the hot water was intermittent and often was filthy and both taps lacked acceptable pressure. The toilet would not flush so we resorted to a 10l bucket! When cruising, the room vibrated to such an extent that we were forced to put towels in the door to stop it rattling. There is no way this room was worth an extra $4000 pp! On our last day there was a significant water leak which resulted in a large area of one level being flooded. Since the ship had no downtime the oncoming passengers had a very wet and potentially mouldy trip ahead. Internet now is a must for travellers and unfortunately was exorbitant in cost and was of such poor quality that many passengers demanded refunds. In conclusion, Voyages to Antiquity have a great product but need to ensure guests’ capabilities are assessed and appropriate shore excursions are provided so that all passengers are provided with the experience they expect. The ship is in dire need of major refurbishment and maintenance. The crew have to endure more than most. I would not recommend this trip to anyone who has even a moderate level of fitness. It’s like travelling in a floating care facility! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We went around the eastern med. The ship was ok all staff were good , friendly and worked very hard. Food was good but always busy in the island restaurant in mornings and at linsh time. Snack shack food was good at lunch you could get ... Read More
We went around the eastern med. The ship was ok all staff were good , friendly and worked very hard. Food was good but always busy in the island restaurant in mornings and at linsh time. Snack shack food was good at lunch you could get small portions of fish & chips or chicken & chips Ect. Gallery 47 restaurant was ok and we only had to wait about 10 to 15 mins to be seated you get a buzzer so you can go and have a drink while you are waiting. Bar staff were good in live bar and around the pool also when watching the shows always asking if you need anymore drinks. We paid to upgrade to a delux cabin with a balcony on seventh deck which was very nice the only down side which spoiled our holiday was that this cabin has a VERY VERY Bad vibration through out the cabin from the balcony to the front door this happened every time the engines were running day and although the night the bed was shaking we later found out that cabin 7088 has the same problem. We also had a problem with the airconditioning it was freezing cold and although we turned it right on to the warmest setting it was still freezing we reported it but nothing changed we were told you could not turn it off, Our cabin steward Lino and his team were very good nothing was to much trouble for him Thank you LINO. BE WARNED DONOT BOOK CABIN 7090 OR 7088 Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Our group of 6 adults cruised the iconic isles cruise it was fantastic from start to finish apart from two nights of rough seas that prevented us docking in Zante but instead we docked in katakolon which was beautiful. Food and drink was ... Read More
Our group of 6 adults cruised the iconic isles cruise it was fantastic from start to finish apart from two nights of rough seas that prevented us docking in Zante but instead we docked in katakolon which was beautiful. Food and drink was excellent something to suit everyone bar staff gr8 and especially the waiter Nikola from serbea who was so good to us throughout the week. Inside cabin was compact but good for us and had everything we needed Reginald was our house keeper and always was so pleasent and friendly. Will definitely be booking again well done TUI.Embarkment and Disembarkment were exceptional smooth and as we were on an evening flight we were able to stay on book with full use of all inclusive facilities until our pick up time,luggage all colour coded and ready for our coach. Only downside was the entertainment got a bit repetitive and we didn't enjoy the comedian at all but still loads more to keep us entertained. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We could not have asked for a more seamless, fun, educational and entertaining time on the cruise. We boarded in Mykonos (we had been there 4 nights), spent 3 nights on the cruise, and disembarked in Santorini (where we stayed 4 ... Read More
We could not have asked for a more seamless, fun, educational and entertaining time on the cruise. We boarded in Mykonos (we had been there 4 nights), spent 3 nights on the cruise, and disembarked in Santorini (where we stayed 4 nights). The ports were AMAZING! Our first port was Kusadasi, Turkey. Had this not been on the itinerary, we would have never gone there. It was THE HIGHLIGHT of our entire trip. We are not history buffs, by any means. Ephasus was the most breathtaking and educational archaeological site we have ever seen. The marble streets were breathtaking, and words cannot describe how awe inspiring the excavations were. Our tour guide was superb! It is a must see. The port town of Patmos was great (food, shopping), and the Medieval City in Rhodes with the Street of the Knights were also excursions we would highly recommend! Life changing for sure! The part that made the entire time on the ship the most fun was time spent at the Argo bar with Ajit, Ernie, and another bartender who's name I can't remember (not because of the drinks, but because I couldn't pronounce his name). They were energetic, poured a mean cocktail, and overall made us feel like part of the family during our short 3 night stay. They also gave us tips on where to visit in the ports we visited. Without them, this cruise would have simply been a taxi from one port to another. Ajit and Ernie are the best! Because of them, we would go again in a heartbeat! Read Less

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise