Aegean Odyssey Cruise Review by Bob Dymowski: Discovering the Light of Greece
Discovering the Light of Greece
This was our first cruise of this duration, and our first visit to the Eastern Mediterranean area. We were very pleased with all aspects of the cruise - the ship was as nice as it looked online, the food and service were excellent, and the itinerary was extremely interesting and enjoyable. Our package included flights from the US, and it would have been nice to not have had to make a connection, but we were not able to obtain direct flights, even though they were available from and to our home airport.
Our transfer from the Athens airport to the ship was smooth, and we were taken to a hospitality room at a hotel until we could board the ship. Luggage handling was very good, and our luggage was delivered to our cabin promptly. Our cabin was Standard Outside, with only a porthole, located quite forward in the ship. It was not very large, but it was comfortable. We were on the Columbus deck (4), and could hear the sound of the water quite a bit. If we were to travel on the More Aegean Odyssey again, we would probably prefer a cabin on a higher deck. Our steward service was excellent, and the service in the two restaurants was always friendly and prompt. We preferred the Marco Polo restaurant on deck 3 for dinner, and thought that the food was very good. We also used the Fitness Center, and found it to be nicely equipped. All of the public areas of the ship are attractive. The internet service was reliable and reasonable in cost, and the internet room included 6 computers available 24 hours/day. Our cruise included a series of lectures concerning the history, geology, and culture of the areas which we were visiting, and all of the lecturers were very good. There was also a music program which included concerts, dance music, and cocktail music, and the musicians were all of excellent quality.
The shore excursions were all very good, and kept us very busy throughout the course of the cruise. The local guides were all very informative and spoke excellent English. The excursion experience was enhanced by the use of QuietVox transmitters and receivers which enabled us to hear the guides in the course of the tour through earpieces. The boxes worked well and were a big improvement over having to keep so close to the guide or asking him or her to speak louder. All of the excursions had ratings indicating the difficulty or amount of walking, and the ratings were reasonable. Some of the tours involved a considerable amount of walking, but anyone wishing not to do so was always able to sit and wait in an area for the group to return.
Disembarkation went very smoothly, although our ride from Piraeus to the airport took quite a while, perhaps due to detours caused by concern over truck demonstrations.
I would recommend this ship and the Light of Greece itinerary to anyone who is interested in seeing some beautiful and historic sights in Greece and Turkey. We thoroughly enjoyed it. Ports which we visited for excursions which do not appear on the list below included the following.
Nauplia - we went to the Tomb of Atreus and the Citadel of Mycenae in the morning, and then went to the Sanctuary of Aesclepius at Epidaurus. The latter included a 15000-seat theater. All of the sights were excellent.
Monemvasia - this is a delightful walled city, with narrow winding streets, nice shops and restaurants, and beautiful views of the sea and the surrounding cliffs. We enjoyed the visit there very much.
Samos - we visited the Archaeological Museum, a winery, and the ruins of the Temple of Thera. The views of the island were very pretty to and from these sights.
Kusadasi - we had a half-day excursion to Ephesus and a full-day excursion to Aphrodisias. Both of these were spectacular, especially the ruins of the Roman condominium at Ephesus. The scenery en route and returning from Aphrodisias was very interesting - mountains and fields of citrus, cotton, olive groves, and other crops. Turkey looked very nice.
Cannakale - we had excursions to Troy and to Gallipoli, and both were very good. The ferry ride over to the Gallipoli peninsula was an interesting experience - avoid using the WC under any circumstance, if at all possible! It was awful! Less
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