The shore excursions were good, except in Istanbul and Ephesus Turkey. Both times we ended up at rug dealers and felt somewhat pressured. We had no intention of buying rugs and didn't like waiting for those who had to makes calls to the US and decisions about buying rugs. HA should have shore excusions exclusively for those who want to buy rugs.
We definitely felt the increased nubmer of passengers on this ship, and prefer the smaller HA ships. As usual, several passengers became ill, including my husband. He developed bronchitis and visited the ship's doctor who dispensed medication and sent him to bed. Unfortunately, he missed Santorini but that gives us an excuse to go back!
All in all, it was a great cruise, the weather was perfect and as soon as we recover from jet lag, we start thinking about our next HA cruise.
The shore excursions were disappointing in that both ended with demonstrations and pressure to buy by rug dealers. HA needs to sponsor shore excursions just for people who want to buy Turkish rugs.
We took a daytime gondola shore excursion and were a little disappointed in the length of the trip - way too short, but all in all, it was great.