Quest: Romantic, Relaxing, Luxurious trip of a lifetime!
Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
We booked the Seabourn Quest, Greek Islands and Turkish Delight, sailing from Athens and disembarking in Istanbul. We were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary, where we recruited another couple to go with us on a 2 week European vacation that included 2 days in Athens, Greece at the beginning, then another couple days in Istanbul and 3 days in Paris before heading back to the USA.
The ship was absolutely spectacular in every way! When we arrived in our stateroom there was a bottle of champagne on ice waiting for us. On days where we needed to be up early, we arranged for breakfast to be served on our balcony. The staff gave us a special treat on the last night, where we celebrated our anniversary. Every need was met without even asking.
While there were 450 people on board, the ship never seemed crowded, nor did we have to wait for seating at meals. There are a number of places where you can feel like you have the ship to yourself, such as the forward deck on More
the 6th Level, where there is a hot tub and sun deck during the day, and a quite spot to be with that someone special at night. Less
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Cabin review: Seabourn Quest 536
Large walk-in closet. Large bathroom, with separate shower and bathtub. Balcony was just large enough to have a table and 2 chairs to enjoy breakfast on the deck. This room is in a center of the ship, where we had VERY LITTLE movement while at sea. Couch and desk with 2 chairs in a separate seating area. This room had lots of storage. Location was also very convenient to the laundry rooms.
Port and Shore Excursions
Ancient port of call. Lots of history, great views of the Bosporus. Take a tour so that you can gather as much information during your visit. We LOVED the cisterns, as well at the Topkapki Palace. Good street food as well. Spice Market was also a plus, but the wife was put off the the aggressive vendors in the Grand Bazaar, the largest in the world.
Kusadasi (Ephesus) Turkey was a great excursion, full of history. While it is amazing that the original port of Ephesus is now 5+ miles inland, it was well worth visiting this ancient site. Ephesus was the second largest city in the Roman Empire, next to Rome, with much of the ruins still remaining to be excavated. Be sure to get the side tour of the new excavations of the Terrace Houses that are being done by Austria. It was great to see the work that continues at this site. Kusadasi itself is a normal city, with prices on carpets and pottery that are better than Istanbul (or so we were told.) We bought some nice pottery, while our friends bought a beautiful Turkish carpet. BARGAIN HARD!
OVERRATED! While the restaurants in Mykonos Town were nice, with a sunset view from Little Venice quite a treat, the rest of the island was disappointing. We went to the Tropicana Club at Paradise Beach after seeing it rated as one of the Top Ten Beaches in the world by Travel Channel. NOT SO! The beach was mediocre at best, where even the people watching was not what it's cracked up to be. The beach was among the worst I've ever experienced, with a large rock outcropping 10 meters off the beach limiting our ability to swim. After taking to the life guard, we decided to snorkel on the far side of the large rock outcropping, thinking it would have some great sea life worth seeing. NOT SO! Not sure if there is good snorkeling in Greece, but it sure isn't the case at Paradise Beach.
One of the larger Greek islands, this port of call had a wonderful old city to explore. We took an excursion to Mount Filerimos and Rhodes Old City, which the Mount Filerimos part of the tour was quite nice, the tour guide spend too much time taking us through Mussolini's castle in the old town, looking at endless mosaic's in the floor.