154 Athens (Piraeus) Family Cruise Reviews

Our short but sweet “Journey to Antiquities” cruise is over but will remain a special memory for a long, long time! We boarded the beautiful Star in Athens and we were able to go to our stateroom immediately. A last minute upgrade ... Read More
Our short but sweet “Journey to Antiquities” cruise is over but will remain a special memory for a long, long time! We boarded the beautiful Star in Athens and we were able to go to our stateroom immediately. A last minute upgrade put us in a Penthouse Junior Suite which was a lovely space but the inclusion of free laundry (including dry cleaning!) was the biggest perk! Our housekeeping team was phenomenal … at every step they were eager to make sure that we were comfortable and had whatever we needed and/or wanted. This was a somewhat abbreviated version of the cruise. We had two sea days which were the 24th and 25th. That meant that we had only four ports before disembarking in Rome. We really didn’t miss the extra stops as we truly enjoy the time we spend on the ship and we were looking for some R&R on this trip. There were two sea days (back to back the 24th and 25th). There were lots of on board activities planned but the first day we had some really rough seas and ended up hunkering down in the cabin … navigating the ship was a challenge for all but the most sure footed! Things finally settled down during the night and we enjoyed a calm and peaceful Christmas day! Dining was, as always, a pleasure. We are not fussy eaters and although I love to cook I do enjoy occasionally having someone else do the shopping, chopping, serving and clean up! We skipped the Chef’s Table this trip as the menus were ones we have had twice before but we enjoyed two lovely dinners at Manfredi’s. We always enjoy The Restaurant and enjoyed most of our dinners there. The service was great and the food as good as we remembered! This trip we enjoyed some lunches at the Pool Grill which were very enjoyable … we often skip the grill as it can get crowded but they seem to have added some seating to the area around the grill and seating was much easier than it seemed to have been in the past. We did a mix of included and optional tours and enjoyed them all. Athens - We did the combination Acropolis & Plaka District by Foot in Athens. It was a nice tour and not as physically challenging as we anticipated. We had thought we might stay in town and take the shuttle back to the ship but when all was said and done it would only have been about an hour and a half of extra time and the traffic was pretty awful so we headed back to the ship with the tour guide. Kusadasi (Ephesus) – We took the Ancient Ephesus tour which was great … the only thing we noticed was the fact that we were shadowed throughout the tour by groups on the included A Gentle Journey Into the Ancient World tour. Several members of our group commented that they weren’t sure what we were doing that was different but weren’t sure it was worth the cost of the excursion. Another note on the Ephesus/Kusadasi stop … we were, at the end of the tour, taken to an establishment that sold goods that were made by local artisans who were subsidized by the government and apparently recommended by Viking (and a host of other cruise lines) as authentic and of good quality. While we appreciate knowing where good quality products (rather than “made in China” junk), we weren’t in the market for high priced (no matter how high the quality) souvenirs. The people in the shop were very nice but it felt a little high pressure (we were outnumbered two to one!). If they continue to make this stop on the tour(s) keep in mind that it is easy to skip and get back to the ship on your own. The port is across the street from the shop and the ship was easy to see from the place where they have you exit the bus. Chania (Crete) – We did the included tour here and enjoyed it very much. It is a charming town and there was a lot to see. I wish we had had more free time but it was adequate enough for non-shoppers. In Naples we did the Sorrento and Pompeii combination. We did Sorrento first thing in the morning which was a change from the printed itinerary but our guide suggested that traffic along the main road into the city could be problematic later in the day. Sure enough as we were leaving town the traffic into town was horrendous! We enjoyed a relatively quick trip to Pompeii where we had time for a quick piece of pizza before we began our tour. Pompeii was fascinating and we would have liked to have had more time there but we did feel that we got a good overview during our tour. We enjoyed a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice after the tour and enjoyed a lovely drive back to the ship. Another highlight of the trip was the extension Ultimate Italy / Umbria. The castle (yes, we stayed in a freaking castle!!!) was amazing and our guide took good care of us. There were only ten of us on the extension and everyone was friendly and respectful of the schedule and we enjoyed a great deal of friendly and lively conversation during some wonderful meals. The food was terrific! Although we had a crazy early departure time on the day we were to fly home Viking provided a private driver who got us to the airport comfortably and in plenty of time for a pre-flight breakfast. I would absolutely recommend this extension … or the one to Tuscany which we enjoyed last year! Both were awesome … but then of course Italy is awesome, isn’t it? All in all … great cruise, great time! Can’t wait for the next one … summer on the river! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
A new experience for us to see ancient sites in Greece and Turkey and to again explore Pompeii with family. A new ship put into service in May 2015, Viking Star is state of the art cruising limited to 930 over 18 age passengers. This is ... Read More
A new experience for us to see ancient sites in Greece and Turkey and to again explore Pompeii with family. A new ship put into service in May 2015, Viking Star is state of the art cruising limited to 930 over 18 age passengers. This is our second Viking Christmas week ocean cruise in the Med with grand daughters. Everything was fabulous- the weather, cabin, dining, activities, and shore excursions! A day and a half at sea was a bit much and we would have liked to have stopped in Sicily which was on the original route when booked. Christmas dinner was very special with lobster and beef Wellington. The spa has many amenities including a unique snow grotto. The salute to ABBA show was very lively and everyone was in a festive mood. We stayed an extra two days in Rome to explore the Vatican and ancient sites with great Italian food. We would definitely go again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Carbin - We had a 4 bed carbin, it was designed in a strange L shape. Although we booked a double bed, we ended up had 4 single bed. We had to sleep in a head to toe position. With the 2 ladders that goes up to the top bed, I had to ... Read More
Carbin - We had a 4 bed carbin, it was designed in a strange L shape. Although we booked a double bed, we ended up had 4 single bed. We had to sleep in a head to toe position. With the 2 ladders that goes up to the top bed, I had to squeeze and climb out of my bed everyday. Keep in mind, I am a petite 5.3' girl. The room was very tight, bathroom is even smaller. the corner shower with a shower curtain was a nightmare, the water temperature was either too cold or too hot. Food - Food was average, nothing fancy but ok until one day I found stainless steel scrub pieces in the pasta inside the buffet tray. After pointing it out to the serving staff, they simply picked the metal pieces from the tray and gave the tray a shake then said ' it's ok now madam.' I totally can NOT believe what just happened, this is certainly not ok. Some of the fruits don't taste fresh, after speaking to some of their staff who used to serve on other international brand, we were told this ship didn't really have a 'go off' date for the fruits, as long as they seem ok, they are OK. Unlike other cruise we have been on, there are no free flow snacks during the day, you have to follow a strict meal time. Outside of the meal time, you will have to pay for snacks such as pizza, salad. Swimming pool - it's about 10 meters long, more like a dipping pool, definitely not for swimming. Embarkation - For such a small- medium size ship, we waited in line for almost 2 hours to get on board, they were very inefficient. Disembarkation - This was the worst part. We were told to vacant the room by 8am . 7.55am while I was in the toilet getting changed, my children were changing in the carbin at the same time. The male cabin service staff broken into the room and shouted at us to leave while I was in my pajamas! When I heard him knocking on the door, I clearly told him we are almost ready! This was the very same person who had been smiling at us from day 1 till day 5. Day 5 was the day when we completed their customer service survey and that's the same day all the friendly smiles started disappearing from their face. On the last day, all the staff just didn't seem to be interested anymore, no smiles, nothing, they can't wait for us to go. Ports and Shore excursions - We picked up this cruise mainly because it's Ports of calls. Last day Santorini was supposed to be the highlight of the trip. We were told to get ready and wait for the shore excursion at 7.15am, we didn't leave the ship until 8ish .When we arrive Santorini that's 9 am and we had to Tour guide cancelled our 20 mins stop at Fira town took us directly to Oia where we were given 2 hours to look around. 11.20 we rushed back to the bus that took us to the cable car station where we waited for another 25 mins. The ship sailed another 6 hours in the afternoon, we arrived mykonos at 7pm. Everywhere is closed except souvenir shop, most of the people I spoke to all agreed 1 day 2 destination was a very poor planning and it doesn't make any sense at all. There is a reason they don't have a loyalty program, maybe they never expected for any returning customers ? Entertainment team - They were they only people still managed to smile at us even on the last day. I won't recommend this cruise for young families as there were very very limited children families and activities on board. Lots of smokers on board, I have seen people smoking on different decks. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We boarded the inaugural cruise at Athens (Piraeus). The bag drop and check In was a tented affair on the dock car park. The overall process was quite informal, and not quite the song and dance that we assumed would accompany such a ... Read More
We boarded the inaugural cruise at Athens (Piraeus). The bag drop and check In was a tented affair on the dock car park. The overall process was quite informal, and not quite the song and dance that we assumed would accompany such a memorable occasion. We were asked to leave our bags at the entrance to the tent, but oddly no receipts were issued. We were welcomed by a member of staff whom guided us to one of the make-shift desks where we handed over our passports and were issued with our ‘Medallion’ ID lanyards. These were the new facility on these ‘Medallion’ Class ships where you are identified and have proximity detectors all around the ship so that staff can identify you and charge everything to your account. You need to have the App, which seemed to have quite a few teething problems throughout our trip – more on that later. Boarding was also very uneventful, and we literally strolled onboard and were left to our own devices. No champagne or cocktail welcome, nothing at all, (not even a hello from senior crew), quite an anti-climax to be honest. We had an aft balcony room on Riviera deck (14), 107 which was quite a walk towards the back of the ship. As there were 4 of us (2 adults and 2 kids), we opted for a twin with sofa bed and drop down bunk. Overall, the room was understandably brand new with no apparent wear or tear, and had quite a nice ambience. Maybe not as big as we had expected, (around 197sq ft), but more than adequate. We had a fridge, direct dial phone, in room TV, small desk and chair, hairdryer, shower, bathroom – with good size sink, drying line, bedside desks, safe, limited drawers, but good sized open wardrobe. The ‘medallion’ opened your door as you approached and welcomed you by name on the small screen outside of your door. For those whom might like to travel incognito, there doesn’t appear to be an option to avoid your room occupant details being displayed on the door panel for all to see, along with your tier status. One of our new bags was also damaged by the porters, which oddly they asked to take away for repair. We got it back 2 days later with a very poor ‘fix’, customer services said that this was ‘standard’, which meant the case would have to be discarded at home. Facility wise, the ship was well equipped. There we a number of small to medium pools on deck 16, with plenty of hot tubs spread around this and deck 17. Loungers were plentiful and we didn’t have any issue at an stage in getting one. Towels and waiting staff were all around, along with a complimentary hot dog/burger bar & pizza bar around the pool. There was also an ice cream and popcorn concession called ‘Swirl’, but for the entire duration of the trip there was no one cream available. This was a common theme of this maiden voyage. There was also a well equipped gym with numerous class options. The equipment was high end and plentiful. Towels and water fountains were available. Restaurant options follow the usual Princess formula, with a few inclusive options, and others at a supplement. After some uninspiring reports from fellow guests whom used the premium restaurants, we were advised to avoid them until they got their act together- with poor/lengthy service being the main complaint. We dined in the ‘Soleil’ restaurant most nights as part of our Anytime dining option. The food itself was of a good standard, but the biggest problem for most of the trip was the wait for tables and time for food. It was clear from day 1 that staff were finding their feet, but as a few guests commented, we could understand if the kitchen had teething issues, but service is something that should be taken as read on a Princess cruise. To be fair, they did acknowledge the issues by offering all restaurant guests a free drink at their next sitting as an apology, but unfortunately it didn’t really improve for the whole trip. The Anytime Breakfast buffet on deck 16 was the biggest disappointment for us. In our view, the food quality and options were poor. We regularly attended empty dishes waiting for staff to refill, or a 20 minute wait for an omelette. Staff seemed to be on auto pilot, regularly walking by dirty dishes on tables, even when people were looking for places to sit. The general impression was that many had been given a ‘task’, be it getting drinks, which they followed to the letter. No deviation or common sense that a client doesn’t know what your task is, so when they ask for cutlery or a napkin, they don’t expect to be told ‘ask one of my colleagues’. They had a few pieces of high-tech equipment in the shape of touch screen automated coffee and drinks dispensers – sadly though, they were constantly out of service, some for the whole cruise. Their standard response was for us to walk about 150ft to the serving station further up.. Entertainment wise, we can say that it got better as the cruise went on. Inaugural nerves clearly affected some of the first performances, but the orchestra were excellent and the Saturday night ‘Rock Opera’ show was as good as any we have ever seen. There was also a number of bars and cafes throughout the ship, which again were terribly slow. So for those whom buy the premium coffee packages, expect a lengthy wait unless you are an early bird. The coffee itself was actually quite nice, but having one member of staff serving a line of 12 people is ridiculous. Similarly, the only ice cream concession on the ship proved to be nice but oddly unattractive. The actual cost of $1 per scoop was reasonable, but most people we met felt ‘nickle and dimed’ by the silly marketing display. As an unknown quantity for this new ship, the intention of ‘first scoop free’ was logical and appealing. However, when the server literally served a 5c sized ‘taster’ in a full sized bowl, most folk looked bemused. Almost universally, the comment ‘where is my free scoop’ was met with the reply, ‘that’s all we give’. Really??! Most just walked away, rather than pay the otherwise reasonable price. A definite own goal, especially when clients had no access to the defective outlet on deck 16. Shopping on board was definitely high end. The quality and selection was good, especially in the watch and jewellery shops, where we listed over some wonderful pieces. Oddly, there was very little by way of provision for kids/teen/youth clientele, missing a trick in the process. We promised to kit out our teen onboard, but there was very little other than a small adult t-shirt available. Alcohol and perfumery was competitive, although the art auctions seemed excessive – but everyone to their own. The Lotus Spa was well appointed, and one of the few parts of the ship which seemed to have adequate staff. However, as an example, $269 excluding the 20% service for a 55 minute massage was even more expensive than that which we paid in the 6 star Burj Al Arab in Dubai, so we passed. To be fair, they did do a discounted day at sea, which was around half the cost. The Movies under the stars on deck 16 was a highlight for us. Being able to see a blockbuster movie on a bus sized screen behind the funnels, whilst sitting munching popcorn on a lounger by the pool was a fab way to spend the night. As for the shore excursions, rather than listing them all here, I have reviewed them separately to ensure this review is not excessively long. Conclusion The ship itself was fine, having everything new was a novelty and appealing. Facility wise, yes, there could be more ‘fun’ items like slides or kid friendly outdoor items, but as the majority of cruisers on Princess are of an older age, it’s understandable as to why they opted for the facilities given. The kids club was clean and well provisioned, think Play stations and Xbox with some creative options, but our two wouldn’t use them as they’d prefer to be out in the sun/pool. Overall I’m not sure we would do an ‘inaugural’ cruise again, as there was far too many teething issues on this ship, none of which seemed of concern to Princess. I appreciate that admitting things weren’t exactly going to plan may be embarrassing to them, but some form of gesture or acknowledgement of the deficiencies would have been a welcome and appropriate touch. Leaving 3 hours late due to defective engines, fire alarms sounding erroneously, catering equipment being defective for the entire trip and consistently poor service throughout would seem a good reason to review that policy. Would we use Princess again, at the moment we haven’t decided. Whilst we have kids, our next trip is probably going to be on one of Royal Caribbeans’ established mega ships. That way we can keep them entertained and we can have a good variety of options for us. Tips Balcony rooms easily accommodate 2 adults and 2 kids. We did view a mini suite, but it’s almost identical, so save your money. Definitely get a drinks package for the kids if you have them, as it will work out cheaper for your cruise. The adult alcoholic option is only really of value if you drink more than 3 alcoholic drinks a day. If you aren’t happy with your service onboard but have a number of individuals whom you’d prefer to reward on your own, don’t think twice about requesting a reduction in the standard gratuity costs. It’s one of the few options you have to record and express your disappointment, but without depriving those whom you felt served you well. Even if it’s a 50% reduction, you can make your point and give the rest in cash to your room attendant or server. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We had been on two other Pullmantur ships and enjoyed the atmosphere very much. This time we had a family trip, including two small children. We chose Pullmantur for this reason. On other cruise lines there are often few children and many ... Read More
We had been on two other Pullmantur ships and enjoyed the atmosphere very much. This time we had a family trip, including two small children. We chose Pullmantur for this reason. On other cruise lines there are often few children and many very old passengers, who are uncomfortable with much, and with any children or young people especially. Being a Spanish line there are extended Spanish families and these cruises have the most varied age groups we have come across in 30+ cruises.On this trip I estimate over half were under 45 years old. The staff speak English and there are no on board costs, unless you need high end drinks and ship's excursions.Tips and drinks are included and are readily available. This includes the quality coffees. We had a new cruiser in our party and she left with no bill. I warned her this is not usual. So, what is it like? Yes, the ship is not new or glamorous but it is clean and cared for. Our outside cabins were bigger than most and the wide corridors are also a pleasure on older ships. The staff are very helpful and accommodating. An infant and a toddler at dinner was no problem. Our new cruiser is coeliac and vegetarian. She enjoyed her special dinner menu and there were clearly labelled gluten free choices, including a breakfast station, in the buffet. Deck area was adequate with enough sunbeds and pool stuff. There was not quite enough drink service here. There was not masses to do in the evening. We didnt expect much English so it was fine and being a party of 7 we were not really looking for much, so I cant really comment on this aspect. Being a Spanish ship 1st dinner sitting is 7.30 and second is 9.45. The non-Spanish, and there were a fair few of us (estimate was 30%) went for the 1st. So after dinner was drinks,just a few or more, and some music. . That was fine for us. The kids were welcome too. We made the theatre once. It was a bit odd but OK- Dancing and singing with Spanish commentary. There was a children's club but my daughter was not impressed by it and the kids only went the once. Cant say that I thought language would be a problem and it may be better for older ones.There was more of a structured programme for the 3+. Ours were 2 and 9 months. Food was great for a week. There was a gala dinner one night and a single menu for the rest of the week. Just about enough choices and well cooked and presented. The buffet was also varied and the Spanish options added to this. There was enough seating room here too, which doesnt always happen on cruise ships. This was an economical trip for all of us and we felt well served.There was no hassle to spend and tips really are not expected or sought..We didnt see a photographer above once. We were served readily and we experienced absolutely none of the animosity toward non-Spanish that others have reported. Staff were interested in us. Maybe they dont like rude folk? Iglu booked our flights and transfers and were great too. A good holiday for all and we would have no hesitation in going for it again. Reviews often emphasise the downsides but apart from the limitations I mention above we didnt really have any. I could think of some I suppose but they dont jump out at me, except the couple of short day stops in Malta and Cagliari when we had no time for much. It was cheap and very cheerful. Title said it all really. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise for the destination, but sadly the Emerald Princess quickly became a disappointment. Lack of entertainment, sub-par food, and horrible dining room attire rules. Nice shorts and shirt NOT acceptable but jeans and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the destination, but sadly the Emerald Princess quickly became a disappointment. Lack of entertainment, sub-par food, and horrible dining room attire rules. Nice shorts and shirt NOT acceptable but jeans and sports jersey's are acceptable on a Formal night. NO entertainment pool side on either sea days. They turned the music on for ice-carving then quickly turned the unacceptable playlist to very low. I understand the population on the cruise was a little older, but they were happy to listen to our music when we brought out our music player. All the pool guests around us were complaining. The drink package - they really encourage you not to use it, limits and rules for every situation. The spa was nice, although pricey - but that's expected on cruises they increase the price. Positive - I like the hand- washing stations at the entrance of the buffet. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We as a family wanted to do a Mediterranean trip. This particular cruise plan met most of our needs. The Cruise ship was excellent, the wait staff was great. The room steward did an excellent job. The meal offerings could have been ... Read More
We as a family wanted to do a Mediterranean trip. This particular cruise plan met most of our needs. The Cruise ship was excellent, the wait staff was great. The room steward did an excellent job. The meal offerings could have been little more variety on different days specifically for vegetarian family members. The entertainment shows were good mix. The comedy show needed little more oomph. The trivia games were good. There could have been little more learning types of activities would have been nice instead of trying to sell spa/spa products under the guise of health talks. The cabin location and décor were good for the time we spent in the room, mostly for little rest or sleep at night. We chose easy types of excursions due to group members needs but we thoroughly enjoyed it. The excursions for Santorini, Naples, Sicily and Kotor were all met our needs perfectly. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I was on the Aegean Sea cruise for 6 nights, boarding on August 26 in Athenas and disembarking in Kusadassi on September 1, 2019. My experience was excellent, a beautiful trip, an excellent itinerary, which includes two nights in ... Read More
I was on the Aegean Sea cruise for 6 nights, boarding on August 26 in Athenas and disembarking in Kusadassi on September 1, 2019. My experience was excellent, a beautiful trip, an excellent itinerary, which includes two nights in Santorini. The boat staff is excellent, the attention in the restaurant is incredible, especially by the waiters Abel, Arturito and Mario. The rest of the staff in the disco, theater, etc., the service was friendly & excellent too. The entertainment group is great (they are Cuban), which make you feel every night as if you were in a show in Las Vegas. The cleanliness of the room was very good, thanks to Ernesto and his work partner. Very good the boat that is small and somewhat old. However, they must renew the rooms a bit. And the only thing that is not good, is that breakfast is until 10:30 am and then lunch begins at 12:30 pm. If you wake up late and cannot go to lunch at breakfast time, you have no more food until 12:30 pm, The director of the cruise should consider having a buffet for those two hours. Otherwise I recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
All of the staff on board the Emerald Princess were extremely warm and welcoming. In particular, we would like to thank Raul and Antonio for their phenomenal hospitality! (Please see pic attached) We embarked in Athens and disembarked ... Read More
All of the staff on board the Emerald Princess were extremely warm and welcoming. In particular, we would like to thank Raul and Antonio for their phenomenal hospitality! (Please see pic attached) We embarked in Athens and disembarked in Barcelona. During our week at sea we visited Santorini, Montenegro, Sicily and Naples and had 2 fantastic days at sea. We loved the cold wet flannels and the cucumber/orange flavoured water that was offered to us on re-embarkation. The food on board was amazing; we loved the fresh pizza, which had a different choice of topping everyday. The menu offered a great selection and the vegetarian members of our party were happy with their options. We also loved the omelette stand at breakfast where you could choose all your ingredients. The movie selection was very impressive, including: The Greatest Showman, Shazam! and Avengers: Endgame. The overall hospitality was exceptional and we are very eager to return! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our third consecutive, annual cruise with Viking. Having enjoyed several of their river cruises, we decided upon an ocean voyage this year, in part because we were taking our two "under 30" ages kids. Viking ocean ... Read More
This was our third consecutive, annual cruise with Viking. Having enjoyed several of their river cruises, we decided upon an ocean voyage this year, in part because we were taking our two "under 30" ages kids. Viking ocean cruises offer more onboard than do their river going sisters and thought the additional options would be more suited to their interests than the rather sedate life on a river cruise. As we expected, the cruise was wonderful and one all of us will always remember. The itinerary was selected for its historical and cultural value. The ship embarked in Athens, but, since Viking offers no excursions before boarding, we booked a private company to pick us up at the airport, provide us with a personalized tour, and deliver us to the ship in time to sail. Regrettably, flight delays caused us to miss the (expensive) Athens tour and almost the ship itself. Although the flight delays were no fault of Viking, Viking imposes a financial "penalty" for guests who plan their flights through their air department and wish to fly in on any date OTHER than day of embarkation. This really cuts time very, very short, with little allowance for flight delays. For some absurd reason, Viking charges $100. extra, per guest, if they choose to fly in a day early and avoid the type of grief we experienced. Why they feel this cost is justified is beyond our comprehension. First, the customer saves Viking the need to provide an airport transfer to the ship. The customer purchases their own transportation, hotel, entertainment, food and beverage. It costs Viking nothing and actually save them time and trouble. I'm still annoyed with this policy as it affecting our next cruise plans with Viking. Once aboard, everything was delightful. The food was exceptional. Excellent variety and selections, fresh, beautifully presented and prepared with an expert hand. Since we are wine enthusiasts, we always purchase the Silver Spirits package as a convenience. It is actually quite a bargain. The wine list was adequate and far from legendary.Nevertheless, the Sky's sommelier, Roman, was delightful and went to extra effort to make suggestions and recommendations. Our waiters and the hostess always recognized us and called us by name! Our cabin steward, Edy, was equally fantastic. He could not have been more friendly, helpful, attentive and thorough. Always at the ready to assist in any way possible, including remembering my cabin number when I forgot it the first couple of days. If you are looking for a cruise with non-stop entertainment, Viking is not for you. We choose Viking specifically for that reason. No casinos, no guests under 18, no ambitious broadway shows, rock-climbing walls or on-board surfing. Viking caters to a different demographic. In the case of the Sky, guests could enjoy several pools and jacuzzi's, a heavenly spa facility too impressive for me to describe here (it has a "snow-room", if you can imagine), a full gym, and outdoor exercise and sports options (putting green, shuffleboard). Plenty to occupy one's interests when not ashore. We have always found Viking to provide exceptional shore excursions. The guides are very knowledgeable and, with few exceptions, quite amenable, enthusiastic and helpful. We did, however, experience quite a bit of unhappiness and discomfort on the 5 hour optional excursion to Krka National Park. The park itself was spectacular and well worth the time. The problems occurred when the guide seemed to underestimate the time required for many "older folks" to walk across narrow bridges or pathways. Secondly, the bus driver became completely lost on the way back to the ship. This confusion added two hours of unhappiness, which became more and more pronounced as time ticked on. Guests were unhappy, and the bus driver and guide swearing at each other! The final problem, and very upsetting to us, was the communication (not) provided by the Viking representative at the Hotel Molino Stucky where we stayed during our three day post-cruise extension in Venice. Poor communication caused us great confusion, grief and some money. When this fact was brought to her attention, she became very hostile and defensive. Rather than simply say " sorry for the misunderstanding", she thought it better to pursue an argument. She was truly the only completely rude Viking employee we have ever experienced. Embarcation and disembarkation are non-events with Viking. Quick, simple, no lines, no confusion. So, all in all, a great trip. We forgive Viking the glitches and will be repeat guests. Off to the Nile in 2020! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We selected the Idyllic Aegean 7 night cruise in early August 2019 aboard the Celestyal Crystal in an XB exterior stateroom. This was my second cruise (first was a western Caribbean cruise with Norwegian) and the dates and itinerary worked ... Read More
We selected the Idyllic Aegean 7 night cruise in early August 2019 aboard the Celestyal Crystal in an XB exterior stateroom. This was my second cruise (first was a western Caribbean cruise with Norwegian) and the dates and itinerary worked very well for our honeymoon plan. Unfortunately, that was one of the few enjoyable things about the cruise. First, the positives: -(Mostly) Great itinerary with overnight stops in Mykonos and Santorini -Our cleaning crew (Ernesto and Ayu) were very friendly and did a great job -Bartending staff were polite and fun The negatives: -Had to email customer support to even get my e-ticket for the cruise—I’ve received literally no email correspondence from them at any point (And yes, they had the correct email on file) -the boarding terminal had no signs or instructions for where/how to board. The ship was also very similar. We had to ask several times where to go/how to find things because of a lack of signs. This was especially true any time we tried to exit the boat at ports. -This cruise ship is old. The room/ship furnishings, restaurant, flooring etc could use a significant update -the rooms are TINY. The XB stateroom is a middle of the road option in terms of cost and we literally did not have enough room to put two normal sized pieces of luggage open on the floor. There was also no under the bed storage and very limited closet space which meant there was no where to store our empty suitcases. We ended up stacking them upright on top of each other so we could walk around the bed. As a 6’1” guy I banged my elbows against the shower repeatedly every morning. -Restaurant hours have significant restrictions (2-3 hours) for each meal and stop serving dinner at 2200. Some days, they didn’t even start serving lunch until 13:30 -Two a la carte restaurants with exactly the same menu as each other and very little variation in the buffet options -a la carte restaurant required pants for men at dinner and no flip flops but dress code was inconsistently enforced -the whole ship is on a relatively rigid “early bed, early rise” schedule. Good luck sleeping in during the 30+ minutes of morning announcements at 8am or before every morning. -a couple of the stops were not technically at a port and required lifeboat transport to the shore, sometimes taking 20-30 minutes or more. One stop required you to get in line prior to 8am to get a ticket and then wait for that number to be called, resulting in 2-3 hours of constant morning announcements on the intercom. -for a ship of 1200 passengers, the pool had a max capacity of 10 people and no poolside lounge chairs. I guess it didn’t matter anyway since the boat sailed so fast some nights that water was sloshing from the pool, all over the deck while people were trying to eat dinner. -drinks in the all inclusive package were incredibly watered down and served warm with 1-2 ice cubes. The drinks that were actually good were available to buy and with a much, much more extensive selection but it kind of takes away from the point of “all inclusive” -the last leg from Kusadasi to Athens was quite long which required the ship to travel at a VERY fast pace and rock severely the whole night. My wife and I had never been motion sick on a cruise before but were quite queasy and unable to sleep the last night due to the rocking and ridiculously loud squeaking of the entire boat because it’s too old to even withstand that kind of motion. -Our “honeymoon” courtesy was a printed sheet of paper on our bed the second night of the trip. They have many options to pay for champagne, extra dessert but basically no complimentary honeymoon extras on this “all-inclusive” trip Overall you should really only consider the cruise as a very cramped place to sleep with tons of rules and restrictions and have sub par food while going place to place on a good itinerary. For almost $2000 a person, we expected more. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Excursions too rushed and actually didn't see anything properly and definitely did not have the experience expected. Summary - 'Been there seen that' - Not 'Been there and done that'. Embarkation and ... Read More
Excursions too rushed and actually didn't see anything properly and definitely did not have the experience expected. Summary - 'Been there seen that' - Not 'Been there and done that'. Embarkation and disembarking were very well organised and efficient. Cleanliness was high and service from our steward was excellent. No issue service wise. Food was basically the same form day to day will minimal variations - food was ok of you love great if you love salt. Would have preferred to have more local foods from each destination we went to. Couldn't get into the restaurant we wanted even when booking a day on advance. Was my first cruise so wasn't sure what to expect - but definitely felt underwhelmed. My 2 teenage daughters did enjoy it but even their excitement was starting to dull toward the end. Everything seemed to have an additional charge when I expected most things to be included. Overall pretty poor value - rather do hotels and stay for a few days at each location that this overrated hop on hop off bus. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Selected this cruise for the ports around Greece and Turkey because line offered two overnights, one in Mykonos (magical) and Santorini (overrated, way too many steep stairs). The staff was friendly but also up-selling at every ... Read More
Selected this cruise for the ports around Greece and Turkey because line offered two overnights, one in Mykonos (magical) and Santorini (overrated, way too many steep stairs). The staff was friendly but also up-selling at every occasion, and reminding you "that's extra - not included", hence calling it the "SS Nickel & Dime." Embarkation was a disaster - the computers went down and we were kept waiting in line outside for an hour in 37 C heat . 45 minutes in the staff passed around paper cups with some sticky sweet green beverage - we passed. No apology offered, and no explanation. Only found out real reason because we overheard staff talking about computer access issues. My traveling companion was never able to get his credit card registered - some issue with computer. WiFI - not included! That's extra. And it's not cheap at 16 Euros for 3 hours. Other lines we have traveling on include WiFi as standard issue with fare. We kept phones in airplane mode and found wifi in port every day to keep up with email and calls. The included drinks package was a real disappointment because like other lines where you could use the average base cost of a glass of wine to pay extra to get something potable, we were reduced to drinking plonk and no-name budget beer and cordials. The drinks included in the package were sticky sugar laden things - the good cocktails were all at extra price. If guzzling pink zinfandel and Long Island Iced Teas is your idea of a great time to get drunk, you'll love this ship. If you have more sophisticated tastes, prepare for a week of sparking water and disappointment. It was farcical since the cheap stuff was all included that you had to present cruise card each time. It was for "Inventory control" purposes we were told. Staffing is "Soviet Full Employment" - one person takes your order with the card, then it goes to the bar, then a third person brings you the drink. Beware the Happy Hours where you can purchase for extra money potable cocktails and wine. Bars are understaffed and it took 20 minutes to get an Aperol Spritz one afternoon. Interestingly, the same drink is priced differently at different bars, even at happy hour. My account was also padded with some extra items I never ordered that I challenged the last night and had them removed. Specialty Coffees - come out of a machine using powdered milk, unless you go to one of the bars - by the pool and the rear deck on 5 have real espresso machines. Smoking Policy - unacceptable. Smokers have use of the best areas on the ship - all the decks and the rear deck bars. Even though the smokers are supposed to be on one side of the deck, they smoked anywhere they wanted to. Vapers thought they were excluded which made for smelly hallways and public areas. Smoking policy was not enforced. If being around smokers bothers you, this is another reason to skip this line. Ship photos - photographers are everywhere making the Selfie generation happy. One night they offered a photo stand where you put on ancient Greek costumes and pose that was good fun. Wait until the last night to buy photos when the package offers get better. Onboard Shopping: boutique (watches, jewelry, basic fashions, cosmetics, cigarettes, liquor and a few sundries) was open only when in international waters so shopping opportunities were intermittent. If you see something you want in handbags, scarves, rings or or gold chains by the inch, best to buy it the first time you see it as stock gets wiped out. They do have a sale the last night and I picked up two dressy blouses at 50% off that was a good value. Meals were monotonous and just average. Breakfast is a buffet even in dining rooms. Same items every day got boring in a hurry. Stick with Greek and Turkish food for best chance of having something that isn't frozen. Sad that all the fish/seafood was frozen, when you are surrounded by the Aegean Sea. In order to get a fresh fish you need to pay 25 to 35 Euros extra to sit at a special table for a Greek Taverna style meal. Not worth it, especially considering we ate well in Athens for 20 Euros a person average, including nice house wine/quarter litre. No room service included - not even for rolls and coffee in the morning - that's extra! Pizza and Ice Cream are available - but that's extra! Ship is a converted ferry boat. Conversion efforts were basic - lacking in decor, lots of rust around the edges and worn carpets, warped railings. It felt like a budget Las Vegas hotel. Smells of bilge and sewage were often wafting through the hallways. We kept the balcony door open a lot of the time to counter the unpleasant aromas. Beds were ok but topped with thick duvet that are not needed in 35 C heat. Mattresses are hard - not the pillow top type you find on Princess, Celebrity etc. Since it was so hot I slept on top of the duvet and asked for an extra sheet. We had a Junior Suite that was OK for ship cabin - slightly smaller than what we are used to on Celebrity, Princess, Holland America. No bedside tables available so we used upturned suitcases for bedside tables instead, wedged in between beds. The hangers are the annoying kind that you need to slide into a ring that is permanently attached to the rod. I brought two plastic hangers and clips to use to dry hand-wash items-very handy! Were told by other passengers that we were lucky to get bar soap and also individual bottles of shampoo and lotion. In standard cabins you access these via a dispenser on the wall. Hair dryer was adequate if you have short or thin hair. It is tethered to the desk area and cord is not very long so tiring to dry long hair - took 2X longer than usual to get the job done. Overall the staff were friendly, and our cabin staff were flawless. However there were some floaters among the group. At Santorini tender station the staff sat in the folding chairs eating ice cream while the passengers, some elderly with canes had to stand. There is no such thing as queuing in Greece - the tender boat approached in a different area, so passengers that dutifully waited in line were pushed aside and made to wait for another tender to arrive. It's every man for himself at port side tender stops! Three shore excursions were included: Mykonos tour, Crete/Knossos Palace and Kusadash/Ephesus and Turkish carpet weaving shopping stop. Tours were good, guides spoke good English and didn't have their hands out soliciting tips. Those who wanted to offer tips did so discretely. Ephesus was the most amazing Roman ruins - best preserved (not restored) I have seen in any country. Turkish carpet weaving stop was interesting until we became trapped by salesmen. Managed to evade them and get back to the bus. Turkey is a lot like Mexico - people chase and hound you to buy souvenirs and enter their shops. The Greeks are much more relaxed, they say hello and leave you to it so it's nicer shopping for souvenirs in Greece. Other shore excursions like beach trips and sporting activities were available - but that was extra! Bottom line - if you want to stop at Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, Milos (boring, stay on ship unless you need to buy groceries or medicine), Kusadasi/Ephesus, this line has it covered. If you have basic tastes when it comes to food and beverage it will do. Otherwise skip this ship and this line. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We wanted an anniversary cruise, and had hoped to book one of the cruises Athens to Venice. The problem seemed to be that every thing was already booked. I had spoken with Roland, and then emailed him some choices for 2019. It seemed ... Read More
We wanted an anniversary cruise, and had hoped to book one of the cruises Athens to Venice. The problem seemed to be that every thing was already booked. I had spoken with Roland, and then emailed him some choices for 2019. It seemed doubtful. Then a call from Roland that two rooms (4035 and 5051) became available, departing Athens on June 27, putting us in Dubrovnik on our July 1st Anniversary! Not only that but the rooms were on the starboard side, which was exactly what we wanted sailing north. We: my husband, our son, our daughter-in-law and myself arrived in Athens a day early and thoroughly enjoyed it. In the past, we usually traveled by train, but thought it would be too taxing for my husband. After a great deal of research, we found Viking. From the moment we boarded the ship, we were blown away. Everything was more than perfect! My husband had a great deal of special dietary needs; he had an amazing person who looked after him every day, giving him menus a day ahead, checking various items, answering questions, etc. Wonderful! The two individuals (4035 & 5051) who looked after our rooms were amazing, friendly and hard working. We enjoyed talking with them each day as well! The restaurant staff were very helpful and friendly; we hugged them goodbye. Our son, a Meteorologist, enjoyed conversations with the cruise director too! We enjoyed everything! Our son and daughter-in-law loved it as much as we did! The ship was beautiful and never seemed crowded. We had an early morning breakfast on deck going into Kotor. We were on deck with special drinks given out as we arrived in Venice; the views were unbelievable! There were shuttle buses to take us in and out of the cities; some ports were close enough to simply walk. I had read the Durrells of Corfu and thoroughly enjoyed my time in Corfu. We ate in Manfredi’s for our anniversary, complete with a very special anniversary cake. Our cruise: unforgettable! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Greek Isles in a convenient, economical fashion. We were searching for a cruise that focused on seeing the Greek islands and found that most of the major cruise lines that visit the Greek ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Greek Isles in a convenient, economical fashion. We were searching for a cruise that focused on seeing the Greek islands and found that most of the major cruise lines that visit the Greek Isles sail to/from Italy and Athens with various stops along the way in Sicily, Naples, etc. This seemed to be the most economical cruise that sailed in/out of Athens and only visited the islands. The biggest benefit of this cruise/itinerary is the long time the ship docks in Mykonos and Santorini, and we took advantage of this. So many of the cruises we looked at only had half a day+ on the islands and that doesn't give you much time to do more than get off/on the ship and walk around a bit. We toured Mykonos by taking the ship's bus to the old town early, walked around and shopped a little, took some pictures at the windmills, and then caught a bus for like 5 Euro round-trip to Paradise beach where we stayed for 4-5 hours eating/drinking/swimming and had a great time. It was a nice, relaxing day. We also planned our own excursion on Milos (speedboat tour around the island with swimming/snorkeling). We left the ship and spent the night on Santorini to be able to do a 5-hour sunset catamaran cruise that Thurs night so we didn't do the ship excursion. You can get a room a few blocks back from the caldera rim for under 100 Euro in June. The next day, some of us did the hike from Fira to Oia while the rest of the party rented a van and met us in Oia where we did more walking, shopping, and eating. Finally, we drove to the Venetsanos Winery for a wine tasting/food pairing before heading back to the ship for dinner. Santorini is amazing. We did the ship excursions in Eraklion/Crete and Kusadasi/Ephesus and they were fine. Ephesus is an amazing site and a must-see! However, by the time we got there it was crowded and then the whole rug factory tour/sales pitch at the end was a bit over-the-top. I didn't hear anything about any of the other ship-based excursions, but I'm not a big fan of riding around on a bus on someone else's schedule and priorities when it's easy to plan day-trips/activities in port independently. The staff was great, our room stewards took care of us, and embarking/disembarking was pretty seamless although the disembarking took a while. For whatever reason we never heard the "all clear to get off the ship" notification before we saw people on the dock leaving the ship. The ship is perhaps slightly dated and smaller than most, the pool is small, I think there's just 1 hot tub, and the buffets don't have a lot of variety day-to-day. The restaurants had a different menu each day and were fine. I would highly recommend this cruise for the purposes of seeing the Greek islands, but know in advance this is not a luxury cruise and you won't be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We wanted a short cruise at the end of our two week vacation in Greece. This one fit the bill perfectly. First, I am NOT a cruiser. However, as the fates would have it, I ended up on three cruises this year. The first two were on major ... Read More
We wanted a short cruise at the end of our two week vacation in Greece. This one fit the bill perfectly. First, I am NOT a cruiser. However, as the fates would have it, I ended up on three cruises this year. The first two were on major cruise lines, the third on Celestyal. The Celestyal cruise gets my prize for least annoying cruise. First, the ship is run like a finely tuned machine, and when you have so much to do in a short period of time, it is a good thing that it is. The staff were incredibly accommodating and friendly, unlike my first two cruises. These people seem to really like their jobs! The ship itself was beautiful in an awesome retro kind of way. It was meticulously maintained and the lounges were beautiful. They seemed to have restored the perfect retro vibe. Meal service was a well executed military operation as were the frequent disembarkations. It is not a small task to get all these people on and off that ship, usually twice per day. The food was a-ok, not a foodie paradise, but serviceable with nice variety and two enjoyable bbq's on the pool deck. The number of ports visited was truly remarkable, but it really was nothing more than getting a taste of the islands. Now we know where we want to spend more time. We had one whole day in Rhodes, which was blissful because we finally got to enjoy some beach time -- something we did not get in the other ports. The two included excursions were excellent. In other ports we simply rented a car for a couple of hours and got a feel for the islands. Another wonderful aspect of this cruise is that there is not a constant push to spend, spend, spend. The included drinks were great. We only ordered a few extras on the trip -- a much needed brow wax, a couple of smoothies for the kid, and a couple of knick-knacks. Our tab at the end of the cruise was around $39. On our other cruises we were greeted every morning with a stack of coupons and advertisements for art work, jewelry sales, photo packages, and on and on and on. There was none of that here. Everyone on the ship was genuinely concerned with our comfort and ease. We paid for the cruise and that was that. If you can manage the frenetic pace of frequent disembarkations and we want to see many places, this is a great option. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
It should be the first cruise and should be a great experience. On closer inspection, the ship was outmoded, worn and not up to date. Data transfer to iphone or laptop a sheer catastrophe. The bed width (we had twinbeds) only 80 cm - with ... Read More
It should be the first cruise and should be a great experience. On closer inspection, the ship was outmoded, worn and not up to date. Data transfer to iphone or laptop a sheer catastrophe. The bed width (we had twinbeds) only 80 cm - with a little swell you threatened to fall out. There should be a butler individually available to each cruise guest (which was mathematically completely impossible) - but that per Butler 15 guests were to look after, shows how rarely one had "his" butler actually available. The entertainment events were rather of moderate quality. Good were the mostly Filipino staff in the cabin cleaning and in the service of the three restaurants. In this overall form you can not advise a trip on the SilverShadow.A clear difference was also noticeable when offered dinner in the inclusive restaurant "the restaurant". We ate there twice and in both cases the food was extremely salted and we let things go back. Good were only the food in the two restaurants, where the drinks were charged separately. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Having cruised once before on a bigger ship, my wife and I did not know what to really expect from Celestyal. Yes full board was part of the package, but how were they going to be different. That easy, instantly we made great friends ... Read More
Having cruised once before on a bigger ship, my wife and I did not know what to really expect from Celestyal. Yes full board was part of the package, but how were they going to be different. That easy, instantly we made great friends with the crew. Celestyal want their staff to socialize with their guests so you would often see staff sitting having a quick chat with passengers. What surprised us was that we were greeted by name. Staff were excellent and everyone greeted you with a smile Crystal was awesome, catering for all our needs. the one positive was disembarking. Very quick and efficient and queues moved very efficiently. The entertainment was great and varied to cater for all types of passenger. Another positive we noticed was that were docked longer than other cruise liners so you could really experience the islands without the pressure of getting back to the ship in time and not seeing enough. We opted for a Junior Suite so we had our own balcony. This was great to be able to sit on our own deck and stair into ocean especially during sun rises. I would seriously recommend Celestyal Cruises to young and old alike. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The cruise was not a very good experience for us. When travel agent was selling us the ship, we were told us it is comparable to the royal caribbean fleet. We came in this ship expecting similar conditions for the ship and we were ... Read More
The cruise was not a very good experience for us. When travel agent was selling us the ship, we were told us it is comparable to the royal caribbean fleet. We came in this ship expecting similar conditions for the ship and we were shocked by the general condition and the lack of cleanliness. He did not sell this as an inferior quality cruise liner. When we complained at the reception desk we were told to wait to the end of the cruise and express our thoughts in the opinion survey. About the ship - Horizon: Ship itself is old and run down, probably should be retired. With alleged major refurbishment in 2012 only certain areas looked acceptable and that did not include cabins. About our cabin: bathroom smelled like urine 90% of the time, vanity top pealing, cabin AC not working, bathroom light not working, the showers were mildewy, furnishings dated and worn out, towels had seen better days, carpet was filthy and with stains It was very noisy in the rooms, we could hear our loud neighbors, as well as people calling on each other from the hallways. The majority of the passengers were spaniards and they are loud! Most passengers did not use the disinfectant machines People smoke almost everywhere outdoors The staff was friendly and helpful. The value for money was poor compared to what is on offer elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We went on our 1st cruise with Princess on our honeymoon and wanted to renew our vows on our 30 th Anniversary with Princess again. The service we experienced the 1st time was the deciding factor to use princess the second time around. Our ... Read More
We went on our 1st cruise with Princess on our honeymoon and wanted to renew our vows on our 30 th Anniversary with Princess again. The service we experienced the 1st time was the deciding factor to use princess the second time around. Our best friends accompanied us. We arrived in Greece two days before we sailed and got to see the sites of Athens. When we arrived at the port we found it was very easy to check in and board the ship. Once on board we were able to go to room very quickly and get settled. We then got word that Francesca wanted to meet with us to go over the itinerary of our vow renewal. On the day we renewed We started off with a couples massage in the spa. It was pretty relaxing and set the mood for the entire day. The ceremony itself with nothing short of spectacular. The chapel was decorated accordingly and corsage and bouquet were supplied by the ship. It was part of the package I know it was but you still say i we started off with a couples massage in the spa. It was pretty relaxing and set the mood for the entire day. The ceremony itself with nothing short of spectacular. The chapel was decorated accordingly and corsage and bouquet were supplied by the ship. After the ceremony that was performed by Captain Lawes we had a photographer and a videographer follow us for our camera shoot. The captain even allowed us to go onto the bridge where we got some great shots and video. The ENTIRE experience is one I will never forget. Read Less
Sail Date September 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
Sail Date August 2018
Oceania is a fantastic cruise line, up there with the best. The crew were second to none and the food is of course exemplary. We never had a problem finding sun loungers (despite many shaded sunloungers being reserved every day) and there ... Read More
Oceania is a fantastic cruise line, up there with the best. The crew were second to none and the food is of course exemplary. We never had a problem finding sun loungers (despite many shaded sunloungers being reserved every day) and there were many day beds available at all times too. The show lounge is called the Sirena lounge and it is more akin to a bar/lounge rather than the more typical double height theatre that you get on slightly bigger ships than Sirena. My comments on the cabin are below. We travelled as a family with four daughters and we were made especially welcome, particularly by the entertainment team who appreciated guests who were more similar aged to themselves! The ship was run extremely well and everything went smoothly. From the reception staff, the restaurant waiters to the room attendants, everyone made sure that we never queued for anything and it helped make our holiday superb. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We were looking for a cruise to the Middle East and had traveled with Viking on a river cruise. Their itinerary most closely matched our plans. The ship, its amenities, the crew were all outstanding. The excursions had a few bumps — ... Read More
We were looking for a cruise to the Middle East and had traveled with Viking on a river cruise. Their itinerary most closely matched our plans. The ship, its amenities, the crew were all outstanding. The excursions had a few bumps — it’s a difficult region for problem free visits, and the August weather temperatures were very challenging. The guides were well prepared and knowledgeable; there was a good selection of both included and optional tours, but logistics were complicated. I would have enjoyed more evening entertainment on the ship. The food and restaurants on board were great. Our cabin was spacious and comfortable. The common areas were beautiful and luxurious. I have traveled with other cruise lines and I think Viking is absolutely the best in customer service; every member of the staff was friendly, competent, helpful, and cheerful — all of which contributed to a most memorable experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
first timers, good staff and attentive service on this smaller ship. Food was not Michelin but was more than satisfactory in all restaurants. One downer though- in the A la carte rest'nt the dress code has been allowed to slip- not ... Read More
first timers, good staff and attentive service on this smaller ship. Food was not Michelin but was more than satisfactory in all restaurants. One downer though- in the A la carte rest'nt the dress code has been allowed to slip- not saying it should be black tie etc, but sitting down next to persons in flip flops and shorts who have just come back on board from the shore visits is not great fun! if unable to dock, they do need a few more activities during the 'sea time'. would have liked a little 'tour' of the ship for example, just to show the hidden workings and to keep us out of trouble on the aft deck with the Mojitos! Being a smaller ship, we were on some of the smaller islands and away from the larger crowds from other ships. But- friendly, money's worth, and excellent, clean cabins and public areas. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We enjoyed the new beds/bedding added to the Crown Princess recently and benefitted from a spring refurbishment to the ship. The itinerary and port excursions were excellent (though the Mediterranean in July/August is incredibly warm). Our ... Read More
We enjoyed the new beds/bedding added to the Crown Princess recently and benefitted from a spring refurbishment to the ship. The itinerary and port excursions were excellent (though the Mediterranean in July/August is incredibly warm). Our steward was wonderful. Spa services continue to be over-priced and there is no beverage package that actually makes sense but we enjoyed Princess once more on this second cruise and would continue to look at the company for future trips. In short: mini-suites continue to work for our family of three (one teen), the new beds are great, the teen club is a hit with our son, and we still love the International Cafe more than the other regular food options. This time we did endeavor to do laundry at sea - rather frustrating with people ignoring basic conventions of removing laundry from washing machines when done. Token machines for laundry were on our floor - handy, but not on every floor - a pain. We were in D603 - nice location for our needs. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018

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