Just returned from Oceania’s Med Legends and Myths, Oct. 12-24.
We weren’t assigned a stateroom until we arrived at the port. We had opted for a B2 Stateroom category but were upgraded to an A3. I’m not looking a gift horse in the mouth but I wouldn’t pay for this upgrade. Though it was just fine. The only differences are that you get 4 options for dining in Toscana and the Polo Grill, a canvas bag, and some free clothes pressing. Oh yes, free soft drinks from the minibar. All very nice, but not worth spending another $200 per person.
I really can’t fault Oceania. The Service from the time you arrive at the airport until you depart is superb. Someone is always there to give special assistance or answer a question. The stateroom was small, but comfortable and well fitted. The food is every venue is excellent. Service lagged occasionally in the Terrace Café, but the food there was far better than the equivalent on Holland American. (The only other line we’ve been on) the abundance of fresh fruit, berries in particular, makes one wonder how they do it. We had decided not to partake of any excursions, rather, to hire a guide or driver when we felt it was needed and on three or four of the stops we planned to use the Ipod Discovery Series offered by Oceania. However, we were notified on arrival that the Discovery Series had been cancelled. We couldn’t imagine why and when we questioned that weren’t given a very satisfactory answer. So, we were left to our own devices which was fine except for Itea/Delhi. Actually it may not have mattered as there were only six cabs in town and if you weren’t there early then you were out of luck. I would strongly suggest signing up for your ship’s excursion for Delphi if for no other.
For Crete, we contacted Lefteris Nikiforakis, who we found on a posting on Cruise Critic. His website is: www.taxiservices-crete.gr or email firstname.lastname@example.org. He is charming, genuine, philosophical and very knowledgeable. He knew his history and loved his job. He was very proud to be a Cretan. I recommend him without reservation. He is not a tour guide, so will not be allowed to take you into the Palace of Knossos, but he prepares you very well for your visit. Oh yes, Lefteris charged us 40 USD an hour, which was less than we would have paid on the ship’s excursion.
The other guide we hired was for Ephesus, also found on Cruise Critic. We went through
Ekol and requested Ali, since we had read about him. They couldn’t guarantee it, but we did get him and were delighted. He is extremely bright, serious with a quiet sense of humor. We strongly recommend him. We did Ephesus, which included the Terrace Houses, which aren’t to be missed. The price was competitive. www.ekoltravel.com