Just returned from a fantastic nine-night Azamara Journey cruise to the Black Sea (May 25 to June 3). I had no complaints whatsoever. I love the all-inclusive nature of the Azamara product. Not having to pay for every coffee, bottle of water or glass of wine. The food is very good to excellent, the staff very attentive. Before I got off the ship I booked my third Azamara cruise.
Day 1-We departed Athens on time
Day 2-Mykonos, Greece. Tendering was easy, but as we got a kind of late start and it was a sunny day we skipped Delos. We wandered around town, visited the Archeological Museum that contained grave remains that were removed from Delos, when it was declared a scared island. We visited the Maritime museum, the windmills, had a nice lunch near little Venice and then shopped and wandered some more.
Day 3- Sea Day
Day 4- Nessebar, Bulgaria is a lovely town and another tender stop. We wandered around the old town and visited several Byzantine churches, the Archeological Museum and walked along the beach. Shopping was limited but the prices were very reasonable.
Day 5- Constanta, Romania. All reports about this town were that it is very depressing, so this was the day we took a ships tour to the Danube Delta. The two- hour drive was very nice through really lovely countryside where the primary occupation appeared to be shepherd. In town of Tulcea we boarded a boat and traveled along the Danube and onto a smaller man-made canal. We could hear lots of birds, saw only a few, but it was a fine enjoyable afternoon. Be warned that this is not the excursion for the serious birder.
Day 6- Odessa, Ukraine. We walked off the ship, up the Potemkin steps and into town. We saw the Opera House, the lovely architecture of the buildings, visited a flea market, visited the Art museum, the archeology museum, and shopped.
Day 7- Sevastopol, Ukraine- This was old home week. My cousin is one of three Americans living in nearby Balaklava. So he met us at the ship and guided us on local transportation to his town. We visited the local markets and took a hike overlooking the bay. We had a very fine day. This was followed by a very fine Amazing evening at the Mikhailovskiy Battery. It was a lovely weather with great food, sprits and a very fine show. Our favorite night!
Day 8- Yalta, Ukraine. This was our day for a five-hour private tour arranged with Sergey Tsarapora. We had a very nice yellow Mercedes van with driver and a tour guide Olga. Olga was amazing; she was a guide with Viking River Cruises (Dnieper) who was off for a several weeks due to German bookings. She was very well informed and proved to be a very educational guide of Vorontsov Palace (Alupka), Swallows Nest and Livadia Palace. We followed with a short lunch and a walk along the seafront.
Day 9- Sea Day
Day 10- Arrived into Istanbul, got taxi to Agora Life Hotel in Sultanahmet spent three wonderful days.