This was our second cruise on the Aegean Odyssey. Our first cruise in January 2015 was a bit disappointing, mainly because of problems with discoloured water and some poor shore excursions. However, we decided to give them a second chance ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Aegean Odyssey. Our first cruise in January 2015 was a bit disappointing, mainly because of problems with discoloured water and some poor shore excursions. However, we decided to give them a second chance based on the itinerary (Aqaba, Jordan to Athens) and our preference for a small ship experience. This time our overall impression was very good.
There were still problems. We had not purchased their pre-cruise land tour and so joined the cruise as "independant travellers". Despite email exchanges with our travel agent in Canada, their office in the US and the ship’s agent in Aqaba, when we arrived at the Port gate the ship’s agent claimed to have never heard of us. We were sent back into town where we had to wait for an hour while things were sorted out.
But once this drama was out of the way, our impression was that things have improved - discoloured water on only one or two occasions and much better organized shore excursions. We also enjoyed the entertainment more this time (an excellent operatic trio and a new, very talented singer/pianist Cruise Director). The shore excursion briefings and lectures were all excellent.
There was some grumbling about the fact that a large "Mr. Bridge" group had exclusive access most days and evenings to the Observation Lounge – the only public room with any decent views – throughout the trip. But for us, this was not a big deal.
All in all, we enjoyed the cruise very much. I have no hesitation in recommending them, provided one remembers that it is an older ship – which means small cabins, a bit of wear and tear and some noisy mechanical systems, including the air conditioning. The “small ship cruising" experience they provide does not necessarily mean "premium cruising", as some of their advertising implies. But with tips, shore excursions and wine with dinner all included, it offers excellent value for money. Read Less