We have just completed a cruise with Voyage to Antiquity from Istanbul to Venice called " The Holly City of Byzantium". Having done two Orient Line, and one Voyage of Discovery cruises over the last 4 years we were excited to try this new venture by Gerry Harrod. As this was a new product being marketed as a "premium" ship which provided at least the same standard as past ships as mentioned. The Ship, Aegean Odyssey, had completed 4 cruises following a total strip down and refit in Greece. The interior was very Spartan and hospital in decoration. Although there has been a reduction in the number of passengers to 380 the cabin we had was one of the smallest we have ever had. Clean but very basic as was the whole ship. There was a strong sewerage smell throughout the whole cruise and the air conditioning failed early in the cruise which made it uncomfortable.
There was a choice of two restaurants ,one the formal Marco Polo and the Bistro. The standard of food was poor to start with but improved in the Marco Polo but remained poor in the Bistro which offered little choice and variety. The service although friendly was slow and disorganised. Average sitting in the Marco Polo would last an average of 1 1/2 to 2 hours. There was now 24 hour coffee or ice water available outside of dining hours. There was coffee available at the bar for a price. Wine was provided as included in the cruise price although no choice apart from white or red wine.
Entertainment was mainly around lecture based on the cruise theme which was popular and well attended. There was a female piano player and vocalist as well as a musical trio. Tours provided as part of the cruise was first class in standard and focused on the theme of the cruise.
Overall it was not a happy ship for passengers or crew as many problems seemed to occur regularly. We were disappointed overall with this product and would not rate this ship near what we had experienced in past cruises, at best 2 star if that. It failed in most areas and we would not recommend it even with the inclusions provided in the price.