To summarize the whole experience: Simply fantastic!
From the 'horror' stories that had been submitted to this and other forums we expected the worst but were delighted by the charm and treatment given in the refurb of this old ship and the fantastic organisation of the staff and crew who all made our cruise on the Aegean Odyssey simply the best we have done.
We travelled with many other well seasoned cruisers who all agreed this cruise to be one of their best trips ever also.
Yes there are a few small issues on board that need to be sorted out particularly the soot emitted from the ship which is surely an environmental hazard but which we were told would be addressed and corrected when the ship goes in for maintenance at the end of the cruise season.
None of these issues spoilt our experience and our odyssey continued with all of the great tours on our itinerary which all went to plan and organised with military precision. The only disappointment was that the ship was unable to traverse the Corinth Canal as planned due to debris still to be cleared from the rock falls in July but we were all treated to an alternative tour to Olympia which was extremely interesting to all.
Our favorite ports of call were Zadar, Split, Korcula and Dubrovnik but our private viewing of St Mark's Basilica in Venice under lights was simply breathtaking and certainly a highlight.
The food onboard was of a good standard and selections available were also very good. Service from all waiting and drinks staff was exceptional and we are missing being greeted by our name at every meal time now we are home.
The room stewards also did a wonderful job and are worth their weight in gold! The cabins were on the smaller side compared to other industry standards but were exceptionally comfortable and if possible book on Deck 7 which was just so close to everything.
The lectures were interesting to many of us who went on this cruise and our thirst for knowledge has been awoken particularly due to the often entertaining lectures by Thomas Mannack.
Prices of drinks onboard also was very reasonable and the free house wines at dinner were all extremely nice and came from each of the countries we visited- Italy, Croatia and Greece!
As we had late night departures out of Athens the company organises those travelling later in the day access to lounges at the Hotel Grand Bretagne which gave us a good base to continue our quest for more history by visiting the New Acropolis Museum and some more last minute shopping and some comfortable rest before our flights back to Oz.
As stated above our experience was fantastic making many new friends from all over the world and enjoying simply the best cruise ever.
To say we would recommend the Voyages to Antiquity cruises would be an understatement but we suggest you do book early as the secret is now out.
Yes all fledgling company's in the cruise industry have had problems in the early stages and this includes some of the biggest cruise operators but it is obvious that this company has acted quickly to ensure your experience will be a positive one and one that you will remember with great fondness forever.
Simply a fantastic experience!