15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Hi All, My trip Aug 27th from Athens on the Crystal 7 Day Idyllic Aegean Cruise was beyond what I expected. With only 476 cabins this makes for a nice intimate group with no line ups. The extra pluses like all inclusive drinks, free ... Read More
Hi All, My trip Aug 27th from Athens on the Crystal 7 Day Idyllic Aegean Cruise was beyond what I expected. With only 476 cabins this makes for a nice intimate group with no line ups. The extra pluses like all inclusive drinks, free tours and no tipping quickly made this my top favorite cruise of all time. The guests themselves were 40-75 age group comprised mostly of Canadians and Europeans. No language barrier at all as the staff for the most part are fluent in 5 languages. Very few children which does not exclude families but there is not a huge children's program and the sheer amount of walking and exploring would be difficult for kids or seniors with mobilty issues. Having said that the ship herself does accommodate physically challenged passengers. The food was superb with a la carte and buffet style options. We had a pre reserved table every night and we loved getting to know the staff. The food was international style with a North American flair and every meal was different and presented in the most elegant way. They do offer upgraded menu items like Lobster and select wines but we didn't feel the need to upgrade. I can not say enough about the hard working and friendly staff. By day 2 they knew us by name and we were always greeted in a friendly way. The cabins were spotlessly cleaned and had all the special touches you would find on any other larger cruise ship. Towel service, turn down service, cute towel animals and chocolate on the pillows. Our cabin was a large picture window which was lovely arriving in each port. I would have upgraded to balcony except there were none to book last minute. The best thing about this cruise is that it actually overnights in many of the Greek ports which give guests a chance to experience day and nightlife without having to rush to get back on ship. It was great to be able to explore these destinations on our own. The tours were amazing and very informative, especially Turkey which was a wonderful surprise as we were slightly nervous about going there. At no time did we ever feel any port or locals were dangerous. Of course there were lots of vendors selling their wares and for the most part they were ready to bargain and the clothing, jewelry and trinkets were truly authentic. I would not travel in August again just due to the thousands and thousands of tourists in each port every day plus the heat which was in excess of 38C every day. I would highly recommend this cruise to any of our valued customers and do recommend a few pre/post nights to unwind before the cruise. I will be telling anyone who is willing to listen how fantastic this experience was. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
This was our second Viking Star cruise, first the Inagural year Venice to Istanbul. We arrived in Athens three days early an toured on our own. Once we boarded the Star, we felt we had arrived home. The most welcoming part was several of ... Read More
This was our second Viking Star cruise, first the Inagural year Venice to Istanbul. We arrived in Athens three days early an toured on our own. Once we boarded the Star, we felt we had arrived home. The most welcoming part was several of the bartenders remembered us from two years prior. When you are addressed as Mr. Lang and welcome back, that was it, this was going to be a great trip. Tours— Highly recommend Mykonos by 4X4 vechicle trip, Nazareth & Sea of Galilee Shore Excursion, and last and most memorable From Naples The Vistas & Villages of the Amalfi Coast Shore Excursion. The last one stops in Sorento shipping and Delightful 3 Star restaurant lunch. The road trip along the coast were as advertised most scenic, I finally got the Amalfi Coast off my bucket list after 3 prior visits. Food— My favorite Restaurant is Manfredi’s, memorable fine dining, Chef’s Table was disappointing both trips, the Restaurant is better. My breakfast and late night treat was Mamsen’s in the Explorer Lounge on Deck 7. Interesting note the Executive Chef David McDonald is the only cruise chef I have ever seen throughout the ship we’re food is served- “inspecting the troops”, so to speak, everyday. He has the time to talk to guests- a mark of a true professional. Future bookings and discounts were not available on this cruise because of the official reservations agents departure, a letter was given to some Explorer Members to use this code. I missed the window due to health issues, but will try now on an Amazon Cruise in December 2019. The staff in all corners of the ship were very professional, I believe this is due in part to the original crew who set and maintain a high standard for all new members. All in all Viking out got it right, I hope this experience is transferred the new Ocean ships coming on line. Last — This is not a family cruise for younger folks, I believe as it was modeled this way. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
We wanted to try the small boat experience. Wind in the sails etc.Freedom. What happened was unexpected and not very good. Worse parts first I think - which may take a while. The sails only went up when the boat was becalmed and ... Read More
We wanted to try the small boat experience. Wind in the sails etc.Freedom. What happened was unexpected and not very good. Worse parts first I think - which may take a while. The sails only went up when the boat was becalmed and not moving. Then only for short periods to take photos.So travel was by engine - noisy and smelly. We missed one important port due to weather conditions. Larger boats didn't have this problem. The substitute port was of no interest to us. Little to see, no maps or information. No excursions organised or even ideas on what to do or see. There was no time or research or plan. We were just dumped. No internet access to research ourselves. Lack of professionalism and unfriendly staff. It was obvious that no one really cared if we had a pleasant voyage. The staff were terrible in some cases. There was a lack of language proficiency. German was the main language. English and French and other speakers were badly treated. There was a large group of German travel agents onboard and all efforts were made to make them happy. The staff ignored the rest of us. There was no "sail away" from ports with music and sails. On departure from Athens it was pitch black on deck. Very crowded and no one could see or knew what was happening. I think I could vaguely hear the famous Vangelis music but although I walked around the deck it didn't get any louder. Staff were only there to sell champagne. The dining room was too cramped and full. Staff canteen feeling. Staff didn't engage with passengers, We sat with a delightful French couple one night and tried to find other french speakers for them. Asked the Maitre D' but he didn't bother to even think about it. Summed up the voyage I've saved the worst for last. Embarkation was easy but we were told to wait on deck for the safety talk. I'm guessing that the cabins weren't ready and they wanted to "manage" us there. Waited and waited. Sickly cheap drink offered. Eventually gave up and found our cabin. No map or introduction to the boat or schedule was given to us on day 1. Staff were here and there but no talking or engaging with passengers. They were mainly Filipino with poor english. Returned later for the safety talk. Disorganised mess. There are simply not enough European speakers there to manage the amount of passengers. Not enough space to do this properly. If that wasn't bad enough we had to sit while a staff member went through a long rambling talk in German, English and French. Went on and on. We can only hope that her German was good as the rest wasn't. All the briefings on deck were like this. Long, long waits. Long, long mangled talks that were often unintelligible. We wasted so much room waiting and enduring these. When we were on deck there was no where to sit and enjoy the feeling of the sea air. All seats were taken early and aggressively defended and were too few for the number of passengers. We had to stand or stroll but that was hard given the number of people packed into such a small space. The public rooms had very small windows and missed the sea experience. We didn't dock in ports. Apart from Athens all were done by tender or even zodiac. Now for the good bits. We found prices for drinks very reasonable. There was a great cheap laundry service. Food was plentiful. It was easy to move around the boat even for those with slight mobility problems. Not suitable for wheelchair users but there were plenty of elderly and/ or walking stick users. We did like our small but very comfortable cabin and the whole boat was very clean. Being on a small boat could be pleasant but there were far too many people for that to happen here. The overcrowding made the staff too stressed to do a good job and the passengers unhappy. It was not a happy voyage. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We had a great time on this ship. I appreciate the size of it. For the first time since I began cruising, I didn't need to take any motion sick meds. Embarkation was smooth- we waited until around 2pm (it started at noon). We were met ... Read More
We had a great time on this ship. I appreciate the size of it. For the first time since I began cruising, I didn't need to take any motion sick meds. Embarkation was smooth- we waited until around 2pm (it started at noon). We were met at the taxi by baggage handlers who took our luggage and waited less than 5 mintues to board. Our room was an upgraded balcony, partially obstructed. You could see a lifeboat next to us, but who cares? The extra space was great. We spent a lot of time on the balcony. We ate in main dining every night at the 8:15pm seating. It gave us time to explore on shore and then nap and clean up for dinner. Shows were cruise ship standard, though others at our table absolutely loved them. (We are probably pretty cynical as regular concert/ theater goers). We loved the adult pool, the sanctuary. Our cabin Stuart and wait staff were great. We ate at Sabatini's. Food was really good. I've heard Crown Grill is even better. Pro's: Lots of space to wander. The main dining was great. We didn't have a bad meal the entire time. The coffee card was a great deal. We used it for Gelato too. Con's: The room service breakfast could be better. The coffee wasn't very good (so glad we bought the coffee card). Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
The advantages of going on a small cruise ship is its easy to get on and off without a huge crowd. Checkin was easy so was disembarking and finding your luggage. The crew as usual was great, helpful visible, the ship was spotless, ... Read More
The advantages of going on a small cruise ship is its easy to get on and off without a huge crowd. Checkin was easy so was disembarking and finding your luggage. The crew as usual was great, helpful visible, the ship was spotless, service was impeccable as always. This was an unusual cruise with 3 large groups totaling over 200, all American and young. This changed the vibe of the cruise, in my opinion for the better. Lots of people in their 20-30s range and a few kids. It was easy to get a lounger around the pool, which I couldn't say of many other ships, free sorbet was offered as you sat there in the afternoons. Movies in the evening was nice with blankets if you got cold. The itinerary was great, the islands were amazing all different and worth seeing. Turkey was wonderful, the economy was hurting because most of the cruises were avoiding the country. That reduced the crowds considerably. We were the only ship in port and we got some amazing bargains in the bazar. They sell genuine fakes. Which was funny to see. But they were honest. The quality was excellent and at a fraction of the price compared to the duty free at the airport. The Amazing evening was a wonderful local Greek pianist playing in the local town square in Crete with Greek dancers and a fireworks display in the bay over the ship. Wonderful evening that the locals could enjoy too. My cabin was a handicapped mini suite. Which was nice with the larger bathroom and free bar if you like to drink. Wasted on me as I don't. The only drawback was the lack of storage in the bathroom. Barely anywhere to put your toothbrush as it is designed to be able to get a wheelchair in under the sink. The only other drawback is the front door. The usual deadbolt was deactivated. So there was no way to keep the cabin attendants or butler out unless you had the do not disturb sign out. Also the automatic door opener was right next to the bathroom light switch. So in the middle on the night if you went to the bathroom and turned on the light you could open the door by accident and not be able to close it. So I left the bathroom light on all the time with the door closed to save any embarrassment. My only other comment would be the menus are now including vegetarian as well vegan and gluten free food at every location. Great if you want it but it now restricts us boring meat and potatoes kind of people. So I only ate at the main dining room once when it was prime rib night. Which was fabulous. Also they are trying to make all the deserts healthy by reducing the sugar and fat content. But somethings are just not meant to be healthy and going on holiday for a week I just splurge and go on a diet when I get home. Any food allergies they really go out of their way to help, just order a day in advance in the main dining room. Amazing they will do that for you. It was my first time in a mini suite, it was nice but for the money I would rather get a cheaper cabin and go on two cruises. You aren't in the room so much so it doesn't matter that much. I have another two cruises booked next year on Azamara so that says what I think of them. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Small Ship, No children, photographers, or up-selling, Great Food Great Service and Staff Great cabaret-style entertainment Great Itinerary What's not to love? The cruise was Oceania quality all the way. Food, ... Read More
Small Ship, No children, photographers, or up-selling, Great Food Great Service and Staff Great cabaret-style entertainment Great Itinerary What's not to love? The cruise was Oceania quality all the way. Food, service, staff, programs all were as good as we expected and worth the money. Our original idea that a cruise was the best way to see this part of the world was verified in spades. It was really nice to come back to the sanity and safety of the ship, and to know what you would be eating, and sleeping in every night. The cabin stewards were not quite up to usual standards, not as responsive but still very pleasant and helpful. The time in port was just about right for this trip. This was certainly a part of the world where you could spend 6 hours or 6 weeks. We come back to Oceania when we want it right. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
The ship is very nice! It's a old ship (1992) but renovated in 2016. It's a small ship (only 400 cabins) that's a very good thing. Service is excellent, everybody on board smile. You can lunch on the terrace on three floors ... Read More
The ship is very nice! It's a old ship (1992) but renovated in 2016. It's a small ship (only 400 cabins) that's a very good thing. Service is excellent, everybody on board smile. You can lunch on the terrace on three floors at the rear of the boat and have a great dinner in the aegan restaurant. The food is good. You can choose when you want eat, there's no turns like in others companies (maybe you must wait 5-10 min for a table, but no more). The service is quick and very friendly. You have entertainments all the day and good shows in the evening in the small theatre and two bars with live music (a Cuban band & a Greek band). If you want a minimum of space in your room take a junior suite on the 7 deck, the others rooms are very small, but you have no time to be in your room.... I recommend the all inclusive beverge package for good cocktails and other beverages. We embark in only 15 minutes from the taxi to the boat!!! It's a small boat so it could park in smalls ports. We need only one time the tenders in Santorini. I recommend Celestyal Nefeli! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise because of it gave us a great itinerary and allowed us to stretch our budget enough to spend a few days in Greece before embarking joining the cruise. We were picked up form the Athens airport by Carnival and it was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of it gave us a great itinerary and allowed us to stretch our budget enough to spend a few days in Greece before embarking joining the cruise. We were picked up form the Athens airport by Carnival and it was impressively smooth. The driver was fantastic and the embarkation process from the airport to getting on the ship was simple and efficient. When we got on board, our luggage was already at our room, giving us a chance to get unpacked and settled before the muster drill. The hallways were substantially wider than any ship we had been on previously, but this is our first newer ship so this may be more standard now. Also, despite being a sold out cruise, it rarely felt crowded on the ship. It was the largest ship we have been on and it was nice that it didn't feel like you were constantly fighting with people for elevator access and space on the deck, etc. The casino was one major drawback. You had to go through it to navigate from front to back of the ship on deck 4 and it was always smokey and the smoke tended to waft out into the common areas on either side. Being a new ship I would have expected it to have much better ventilation. The staff was amazing, from the dining staff to the entertainment staff. Although we did find that we had some trouble with meals being extremely slow in certain areas of the dining room. There was a bit of confusion on the first night surrounding special dietary needs but things were straightened out and they provided a delicious meal. Every other night was smooth, with menus being provided for the next day at the end of the meal. This was a very port intensive cruise so we did not spend a lot of time enjoying the amenities of the ship but what we did partake in were very good. We enjoyed most of the comedians we saw and the shows done by the entertainment staff were top notch. As others have commented, the liquid lounge design is not ideal for viewing the shows if you are in the floor seating at the back but I would say it is no worse than floor seating at any concert held in a sports arena. At most of the ports we did our own thing, but did do a tour with Carnival. That excursion was enjoyable but I would probably continue to arrange much of our time off the ship through private companies. I felt like we saved money and saw more/did more with the private companies. There's a big difference between seeing the Vatican with 6 people versus 50 in your group, The debarkation process on the ship was probably the smoothest we've ever experienced. I think some of this might have been helped by the fantastic gangways that they had in Barcelona making it so it was easy to get off the ship but it is worth noting that, despite it being such a large ship, it wasn't jam packed to get out with lots of confusion and chaos as we have experienced during debarkation elsewhere. Overall we had a great time and would definitely do this cruise again although we would try to have a TA after that port intensive itinerary. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Wonderfull! Al thé Time. The departure city was fantastic and we stained 2 days at a beatyfull hotel that was indicated by "windstar cruises". It was very easy to get on board.the ship was above all speciation! The cabin was ... Read More
Wonderfull! Al thé Time. The departure city was fantastic and we stained 2 days at a beatyfull hotel that was indicated by "windstar cruises". It was very easy to get on board.the ship was above all speciation! The cabin was excellent, The restaurants were perfect. The crew was absolutely friendly. There are some intertainments and activist on board but all the ports were so interesting that we stayed ashore the most part of the time. The travel's highlights were fantastic! Greece is marvelous! All the ports we stopped are one better than the others. The excursions were excellent.The passengers were all Americans, I and my niece were the only Brazilians passengers. If we had a wish, it would be real in one minute.Now my only dream is to do another cruise .I intend to go another time next year. I have already travel with my husband in many bigger boats but Star Breeze is the best one I have known. Sorry for the bad English, I speak Portuguese and French. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose this cruise as it was a brand new Carnival Ship thinking it would be awesome, we were very disappointed in comparison with other Cruise Companies, the lifts were dreadful, we were on the 14th floor and only 2 lifts to this floor, ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was a brand new Carnival Ship thinking it would be awesome, we were very disappointed in comparison with other Cruise Companies, the lifts were dreadful, we were on the 14th floor and only 2 lifts to this floor, we waited ages for lifts and had a person in a wheelchair. No reserved areas for wheelchair or disabled passengers in any of the function rooms or theatre. We had prepaid the drinks package only to have it cancelled 3 days before the cruise and on top of the 15% tips gratuity were charged 24% VAT. The theatre was the worst deigned I have ever seen all chairs on the ground floor the same level. No poolside live entertainment throughout the cruise. Only one plus side the food was fabulous, good portions and nice and hot. Only time we heard the captain was to tell us there was a problem with the engine and that we would be arriving in Barcelona Late. Tried it once never again better off sticking to what you know Read Less

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