118 Athens (Piraeus) Senior Cruise Reviews

Having loved our Viking River Cruise in 2017, we decided to try the Viking Ocean Cruise. So glad we did. Everything about the ship and the crew was exceptional. The atmosphere, the food, wine, shore excursions, on board activities, it ... Read More
Having loved our Viking River Cruise in 2017, we decided to try the Viking Ocean Cruise. So glad we did. Everything about the ship and the crew was exceptional. The atmosphere, the food, wine, shore excursions, on board activities, it was all marvelous. With only 930 passengers, one never felt crowded and we never had to wait for a table or any type of service. The crew was super professional, courteous and friendly. They helped to create an atmosphere wherein it was easy to make friends with fellow passengers. The cabin design was streamlined and gave a sense of space. Having all cabins with balconies is a huge bonus. Having room service breakfast on our balcony a couple of time was a lovely luxury. The staff in all the restaurants, bars and spa were fabulous. We attended several shows, all of which were fun and entertaining. We have already booked our next Viking Ocean cruise and can't wait for it. Thank you Viking! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Recommendation from friends. The ship was clean and efficient. The staff were truly great - responsive and polite. The food was excellent at Manfreds but could only get a reservation one night - very disappointing. Some meals at The ... Read More
Recommendation from friends. The ship was clean and efficient. The staff were truly great - responsive and polite. The food was excellent at Manfreds but could only get a reservation one night - very disappointing. Some meals at The Restaurant were good and others not so - for example, Sword Fish over cooked. The public places on board were very comfortable. The optional excursions were great. The optional Silver Beverage Package was well worth it. The cabin Stewart, Josephine, was so good. So was Jean Paul at The Restaurant. We used the Explorers’ Lounge a lot and found it so comfortable and the service excellent. We particularly enjoyed the guitarist. When we book another cruise we will use Viking again - smaller ship, no children, no casino, etc. we are considering a river cruise, particularly the Danube. Thanks to the crew of the Viking Star for such a pleasant experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The cruise hit several locations we wanted to visit. We were glad we started in Greece then Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia and went to Italy. We did extend our trip 2 days in Venice which was a must. The locations seemed to improve as we ... Read More
The cruise hit several locations we wanted to visit. We were glad we started in Greece then Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia and went to Italy. We did extend our trip 2 days in Venice which was a must. The locations seemed to improve as we headed north. The food was outstanding and the daily wine choices were great. We should have taken more advantage of the onboard entertainment. The crew were outstanding. They were very attentive and funny. We appreciate their efforts and service. The excursions were great we did upgrade a few. The history and culture were amazing. Great cultural enrichment and wine! We overpacked. Having the onboard washers and dryers were great to recycle and bring less. We recommend being self aware as a traveler. We were disappointed by the rudeness of some of the other travelers. When something did not go perfect the ship crew always worked hard and quickly to correct it. Be patient. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise for the ports that it was stopping at. We also liked the amenities and class of the cruise. We enjoyed the club class dining. Our servers Jelana, Ryan, Iris and Bazvan were the BEST! We always asked to sit at their ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports that it was stopping at. We also liked the amenities and class of the cruise. We enjoyed the club class dining. Our servers Jelana, Ryan, Iris and Bazvan were the BEST! We always asked to sit at their station and enjoyed their company immensely. The saw to our every gastro need and gave excellent tips on what to order. They really added to our vacation enjoyment! We took 2 of the cruise excursions which were both extremely well run. The guides were very knowledgable. We tried to sign up for some tours in Marseille but they were canceled. I liked Paulos who gave tips on the ports during the sea days. We loved the Sanctuary. It was a quiet and relaxing way to spend the afternoon. The servers were all very friendly and accommodating, waiting on for every need. We really liked the evening shows in the Princess theater, especially the dance themes like the 70's disco. The activities during the day seemed geared more for older people. Too much pushing of the anti-wrinkle, burn fat seminars at the spa. Also we would have liked more lounge chairs available in the shade around the pool. We liked that there was not too much loud music around the pool. Liked the band that played periodically at the pool in the evening. The shuttles to town should not have a cost attached. When you pay $8000 for a cruise, you expect that it will bring you to the actual place that is listed on the itinerary, not have to pay $15 pounds to get you there. My neighbor was so excited to see our pictures, she wants to go on the same cruise next spring. She indecisive on this or a Italy bus tour. Are there any incentives you can give to help her decide? Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
12 ports of call, a lot to see and do ashore.Shore excursions are expensive. Staff are very helpful and courteous. D J played latin music in Spanish or Italian all day, most annoying as most of the guests are from Western countries. Rock ... Read More
12 ports of call, a lot to see and do ashore.Shore excursions are expensive. Staff are very helpful and courteous. D J played latin music in Spanish or Italian all day, most annoying as most of the guests are from Western countries. Rock and Roll, country,ballads. more appropiate to the guests. Food was good. entertainment was largely good. Show dancers excellent. Large ship but easy to move around. Cost was reasonable for that cruise.Security staff are a bit over the top, I was sick of being physically searched every time I came back on the boat, felt like a criminal in the Watchhouse. Was disembarked at 7.15am even though our pick up was not till 9.30am.had to wait on the footpath for over 2 hours. I told them what our pick up time was, they only wanted us off the ship.Overall a good company to cruise with, I will travel with them again in spite of some issues. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this particular cruise to work with a trip to the UK that we were taking before the August 12th departure date. Celestial was the only one that worked. The Greek island stops were amazing. Santorini, Mykonos and Kusadaski were ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise to work with a trip to the UK that we were taking before the August 12th departure date. Celestial was the only one that worked. The Greek island stops were amazing. Santorini, Mykonos and Kusadaski were absolutely gorgeous. There are several stops that were two days and that was too long. You’ll be shopped out after one day. That said I would not repeat this cruise. The negatives were of the ship. Smaller ship with small areas to gather. The ship staff was very courteous and extremely friendly. The only pool is super tiny and this pool area also serves as one of the places to eat. The food on board was marginal at best. The quality of the two buffets and the two al a cart restaurants were bad. Selections and quality were not good. For the price of the cruise the food was not to what we expected or experienced on other cruise lines. The price includes drinks but the list is limited on what is free. The cocktails were poorly mixed and even buying top shelf did not help with the case of a margarita. The last thing I’ll mention is that we’re from the U.S. and the majority of passengers were from counties like Iran and Turkey so we did get several cold shoulder treatments from these passengers. Just one persons opinion. Hope this helps. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have done Viking River Cruises and they have been very nice. Thought we would like to try the ocean and weren't disappointed. The itinerary was also a draw as we hadn't been to these places. Hard to say what I liked best ... Read More
We have done Viking River Cruises and they have been very nice. Thought we would like to try the ocean and weren't disappointed. The itinerary was also a draw as we hadn't been to these places. Hard to say what I liked best so I will just leave it that the 'package' was marvelous. Food, service, décor, excursions were all outstanding. We didn't eat in one of the reservation only dining areas but the others were so good! I quickly found that three desserts with each meal was perfectly okay. I also did the afternoon tea and it was great. A room service breakfast started the day right. Our cabin steward was so nice and by the morning after we embarked knew our names. I enjoyed sitting in the public rooms listening to music and having a drink in the afternoon. Things were tasteful and not overdone and quiet. No bands blaring at the pool! We had very knowledgeable guides for all excursions and learned a lot. It was hot but that is normal for the area in August. Too bad there isn't a rating higher than 5. I can't wait to go on another Viking cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We like Viking because when we check out at the end of the cruise we don't have a huge bill to pay for wine, sodas, bottled water, spa, laundry and shore excursions. The ship is light and bright and cheery. We'll layed out ... Read More
We like Viking because when we check out at the end of the cruise we don't have a huge bill to pay for wine, sodas, bottled water, spa, laundry and shore excursions. The ship is light and bright and cheery. We'll layed out and functional. All cabins have a balcony and a shower instead of a bathtub... which we prefer. There is a laundry room on each level and soap and fabric softener is included and the machines are free. My only complaint is not being able to make reservations for the regular dining room. We have found it not as well organized as the Table and Manfreds. No one under 18 is allowed on the cruise. So adults can actually use the pool. Also the pre and post additions to the Viking cruises are very organized and well run. Otherwise everything is done well on the Viking cruises we have been on. We already have 3 more cruises book with Viking in the next 2 years. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
While we have done several Viking river cruises, this was our first ocean cruise. The ship is beautiful, love that everyone has a veranda cabin! The cabin was roomy, plenty of storage space, the bathroom is also a great size and has the ... Read More
While we have done several Viking river cruises, this was our first ocean cruise. The ship is beautiful, love that everyone has a veranda cabin! The cabin was roomy, plenty of storage space, the bathroom is also a great size and has the heated floor. Our friends were in the cabin next door, so our Housekeeper pushed the veranda separation panel back, giving the for of us one big veranda - nice! The public spaces are beautifully done, and we absolutely LOVED the Explorers Lounge! The views are floor to ceiling all the way around, and since we were sailing in November, the fireplace made a perfect place to end the day. While this ship is obviously larger than the river ships, it still manages to give you a small ship feel. The service was exceptional, as always, and everyone delivered excellence at every turn. Loved all the ports except Corfu. That stop did nothing for me, especially compared to all the other stops. We did the included shore excursion in every port and the were great. We still had plenty of time to play in that city afterwards. We went to a couple of the entertainment offerings and a couple of the enrichment offerings. They did not seem as good or relevant as on the river ships - that was a bit disappointing. Overall - an exceptional cruise experience, as compared to other lines I have used in the past. I will absolutely do a Viking ocean cruise again, and of course - more river cruises! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This Viking Ocean Cruise, Cities of Antiquity & Holy Land, went to the Greek Islands, Israel and Italy. We departed from Athens where we also toured Corinth. We stopped in Rhodes, Mykonos, Limassol, Cypress before heading to Haifa ... Read More
This Viking Ocean Cruise, Cities of Antiquity & Holy Land, went to the Greek Islands, Israel and Italy. We departed from Athens where we also toured Corinth. We stopped in Rhodes, Mykonos, Limassol, Cypress before heading to Haifa and Ashdod in Israel. This was truly a highlight of the trip, visiting the Wailing Wall, Old Jerusalem, getting to sail on the Sea of Galilee, float in the Dead Sea and be baptized in the Jordan River. In Italy we stopped at Naples and Rome where we enjoyed spending the day on the Isle of Capri, and we had a private tour of Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel followed by dinner at a local restaurant. All of the staff and crew onboard were fantastic. We had the best waiters, Ronald and Pumulani at the Restaurant and our Cabin steward, Clark, was beyond belief. Everyone on board greets the guests with a smile and courteous response. While there is not a Broadway production, the singers and others put on an evening of enjoyment. Spa, fitness center, evening trios, piano players were all fantastic. Food in all the restaurants is very good and service is excellent. I booked our trip through a Travel Agent so that we could be assured of getting a cabin because this particular destination sells out fast. We booked the day that it opened for booking which was 17 months before sailing. Three months later it was completely sold out. We were booked in the lowest price cabin a V2 which was concerning to me because we had previously sailed in a Delux Veranda cabin. Advantages are a lower price, which we applied to our excursions and what we missed out on from our DV cabin was no coffee maker, but used 24 hour room service for coffee when desired, mini frig was not refilled daily, which we didn't need, and no binoculars - again we did not use on our previous cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth and no problems. Can hardly wait to book our next cruise with Viking Ocean. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
The ports and shore excursions provided highlights of the area. The dining was excellent and the food choices were good. Embarkation was very organized and efficient. I enjoyed the smaller ship with fewer passengers aboard and ... Read More
The ports and shore excursions provided highlights of the area. The dining was excellent and the food choices were good. Embarkation was very organized and efficient. I enjoyed the smaller ship with fewer passengers aboard and there no children running around. Common areas were comfortable and felt more like a home living room. The fitness spa was very luxurious. Heard many good things about Viking River Cruises and wanted to try a Viking Ocean Cruise. Liked the amenities such as WI-FI, coffees and other drinks. I especially liked having access to a laundry room to do my own laundry whenever I needed to. I and already booked don another Viking Ocean Cruise in 2020. The porter assigned to my room did a very good job in keeping me supplied with clean towels and preparing the room each evening. Selection of movies on TV was excellent. The arrangements made for transfers from and to airports was flawless. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Picked the Cruise because of our many Viking River cruises and their fantastic service - and the itinerary that gets you to the Holy Land. Our first Viking Ocean was the Baltic in Summer of 2017 and Needless to say we were unimpressed with ... Read More
Picked the Cruise because of our many Viking River cruises and their fantastic service - and the itinerary that gets you to the Holy Land. Our first Viking Ocean was the Baltic in Summer of 2017 and Needless to say we were unimpressed with the service as we expected it to be equal to the River cruises - It is not - Many times had to get our own drinks, utensil etc - Food was spectacular, but restaurant serve slow at best and mediocre. It was exactly the same on this cruise 18 months later - So no improvement to speak of. More Comments - Room service for breakfast was punctual but quite often food was barely warm, but always a problem when so many to deliver in a small amount of time. Actually the fact that you could get room service though is a plus. As for their free wine/beer lat lunch/dinner has improved. Baltic one beer one wine - At least this time you had choice of beers - However having only a single wine at a meal - one white one red, if you did not like it you are paying then on for each glass. You should have all the wines available each night and let diners choose - OH and with the Crystal/Regent/Silver Seas/Seaborne providing most all drinks free and no mandatory tipping (30 per day per pax), certainly makes those four more attractive even in price. On Crystal, by the second visit to our favorite bar she remembered our drinks and on the third visit she was following us to a table with our drinks - You did have one male waiter do his best and eventually knew what we wanted but always had to ask first before bribing them. ON the PLUS PLUS side - Ship spectacular, crew very helpful, on/off as good as you can expect with 900 people, Staff taking care of rooms at the top of my list - Helpful and attentive. check in check out fantastic. Excursions - The freebies are just drive byes and a waste of time - We did were trying to fit two good ones in each day, but some were so long we could just not do it. The spa prices were ridiculous, more than the Crystal trip I went on and 3 times Holland America. The thermal pool reeked of chlorine so bad, (being chlorine sensitive) I could not even use the steam room, snow room, or thermal lounges. Huge disappointment. Will I go on another Viking Ocean, not sure. Right now they are a slight cut above Holland America but Holland is about 25% cheaper so their you have it - I have done 8 river cruises and will river cruise with Viking again. I feel like royalty on their River Cruises Next Ocean might be Seaborne or other top 4 or maybe go cheaper and hit Holland but book a suite and still be 1/2 of Vikings cheapest room. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I have been on different cruise lines but Viking Star and Viking Sky that I have experienced has offered a near perfect experience. The staff are very friendly and eager to please. They treat you like royalty no matter the time of the ... Read More
I have been on different cruise lines but Viking Star and Viking Sky that I have experienced has offered a near perfect experience. The staff are very friendly and eager to please. They treat you like royalty no matter the time of the day. The food in all restaurants is excellent and the fine dining experience is out of this world. The intineries were very well organized and ship staff were always around stationed at airports, cruise terminals and other areas to ensure no passenger felt tense that he/she were headed in a wrong direction. In Haifa we were disappointed that no excursion was offered for entering the Baha’i Gardens. That is why I have rated this tour as near perfect but not fully there. If there was a reason that the Gardens was not offered ought to have been made known to the guests. But barring this small disappointment, we had a most glorious 14 days on one of the finest there is on the seas. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We did our first cruise with Azamara Club Cruises with Azamara Journey from Sydney to Signapore (18 days) in March this year (2018) and was very satisfied with ship, itinieries, food, service and ambiance on board. When we found a good ... Read More
We did our first cruise with Azamara Club Cruises with Azamara Journey from Sydney to Signapore (18 days) in March this year (2018) and was very satisfied with ship, itinieries, food, service and ambiance on board. When we found a good deal on the newly refurbished Azamara Pursuit we booked this cruise from Athen to Rome. We were exicited and a bit anxious in advance as some reviews have been on the negative side in addition to the fact that we also had booked a 16 days cruise in february 2019 from Santiago Chile to Buenos Aires. We are happy to report that we were pleasantly supprised and very satisfied with our cruise and can sum up as follows: * ship is old but well refurbished and in better condition than Journey * embarkation and disembarkation was smoot despite a delay on disembarkment. This delay was however due to bad weather * cabin was fine and to expectations * food and service in discovery was already up to speed and prime C was better than Journey. * Windows cafe can be better on pastas and pizzas which is something both Azamara Journey and Azamara Pursuit are not as good at making Italien food. I think they have to hire some good Italien chef who can take all cooks on a special Italien cooking course. * entertainment was on average in the cabaret except from the cruisedirector Amanda Poulsson and one other english perfomer at the end of the ship. Pianist and group playing in bar areas was good and far better than on Journey *Interesting cruise with many fine places to visit * compared to Journey I must admit that captain Johannes from Norway together with cruisedirector Eric was special and was extremely good at informing and walking the floor among the guests. Antonio and Amanda should benefit from getting tips from Journey. To sum up it seems that Pursuit has managed in a short time to get the crew up to a very good standard and we are looking forward to joining Pursuit on the Santiago-Buenos Aires cruise in February. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Have enjoyed some great cruises with Celebrity many times, including one to the Galapagos, and one not so good with Oceania, but happily discovered Azamara a couple of years ago and this was our third sailing with them. Pleased to say the ... Read More
Have enjoyed some great cruises with Celebrity many times, including one to the Galapagos, and one not so good with Oceania, but happily discovered Azamara a couple of years ago and this was our third sailing with them. Pleased to say the cruise did not disappoint in any way. Azamara Officers and Staff are very personable and welcoming, the Master of the Vessel (Jose) is a real star/treasure and we enjoyed his input tremendously. The itinerary was great and, by utilising the ship’s own tours, we’ve now put more pins on our world map having been able to visit Jerusalem and Bethlehem, Petra, Luxor and the Valley of the Kings, plus two ports in the country of Oman. The cruise ended in Dubai and we flew home the following day, and delighted to report that Dubai had the cleanest airport we’d ever seen. Well done, Dubai! Suffice to say Egypt itself was none too clean and, one tip, you need to pack some hand sanitising wipes should you decide to do a tour. After what we saw floating in a tributary, we’ll never book a river cruise on the Nile - Ever! Azamara’s AzAmazing evening was held in Israel (Ashdod) and was well worth going to despite having been on the very tiring trip to Jerusalem and Bethlehem that same day. Also had a great time at the White Night Party, which displayed a wonderful variety of food, with excellent entertainment provided by the ship’s band,’Smooth Sensations’. The secret is to get seated in advance of the start time, oh heck, have I now given it away??? And, as for the Chocolate Buffet? So very gorgeous- and artistic! What’s not to like? Message to the Quest: See you again next Feb! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We were interested in visiting the ancient ruins in Athens, Petra, and Luxor. The Silversea pre and post cruise Hotels were were excellent. We enjoyed the Muse. There were things we really liked and a couple of things that need ... Read More
We were interested in visiting the ancient ruins in Athens, Petra, and Luxor. The Silversea pre and post cruise Hotels were were excellent. We enjoyed the Muse. There were things we really liked and a couple of things that need attention.We liked the room design. We did not like the black oily soot that came out of the smokestacks and covered the deck and furniture on the back outdoor seating. Soiled lots of cloths before we discovered it. I thought it strange that when my wife and I arrived to eat at the Indochine restaurant I was asked to go get a jacket before I could enter, I went back to room and returned to enter when I noticed eight men in the restaurant who hung their jackets on the chair and were wearing bluejeans and sneakers. Jason told me I only need the jacket to enter but then I could remove it. Quite a poor policy and not consistently applied. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
There was nothing to fault on this holiday. Very well organised indeed. Holiday comprised of flights from London Heathrow to Athens return, 1 night in Athens hotel, then 7-night cruise including 24 hours in Mykonos, 48 hours in ... Read More
There was nothing to fault on this holiday. Very well organised indeed. Holiday comprised of flights from London Heathrow to Athens return, 1 night in Athens hotel, then 7-night cruise including 24 hours in Mykonos, 48 hours in Santorini, a day in Milos, another in Herculaneum, Crete and concluding with a half day visit to Ephesus, Turkey. A really good itinerary on this cruise if you like the best of the Greek Islands. The flights, transfers and hotel accommodation were all fine (Stewart Travel, Glasgow). The cruise was exceptional. Mostly because of the crew. Small comfortable ship (800 passengers). Extremely friendly and attentive staff (nothing was too much trouble for them). This was probably the best cruise we have been on to date. We were given cards when we arrived which entitled us to free drinks (alcoholic and soft) which covered all but the luxury brands of drink (18-year-old whisky etc.). It was fine for us only requiring beer, baileys, wine and coffee. We did have a lobster dinner one night and paid extra for that, but it was well worth it! The food was excellent. Ranging from the ‘Al A Carte’ restaurants to the buffets and bars. There was a wide range of dishes and choices to suite everyone. We didn’t have one meal we were not impressed with. The staff are very attentive, we didn’t wait long to be served ever. The entertainment on the ship was constant culminating with the two shows every night. The shows were excellent and varied, the dancers and acrobats extremely talented. The ship photographers were also very helpful, and their work was memorable. The easy pace of the island visits meant you had plenty of time to explore each destination properly. We were lucky with the weather and had clear blue skies and 23-25c most of the week. I cannot stress the friendliness and helpfulness of the Captain and his crew enough! They were all charming, went to great lengths to ensure the passengers were always happy and content. The safety and efficiency of the way the ship was run was impressive for me as an ex-seaman. Everything was properly done (we felt safe at all times). We had a magical holiday and would recommend this company, ship and staff unreservedly, everything was perfectly organised. We would cruise again with Celestyal without hesitation. They are an outstanding company (extremely impressed). Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, the destinations were mostly good apart from a change to Nauplion instead of Spetses. Mykonos was supposed to be docked instead we were taken ashore on tenders. Igoumenitsa was a waste of ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, the destinations were mostly good apart from a change to Nauplion instead of Spetses. Mykonos was supposed to be docked instead we were taken ashore on tenders. Igoumenitsa was a waste of time nothing of note here .We had more tenders than was on itinerary which was disappointing. Training some of the staff to steer the tenders when passengers were on board was a bit worrying. The food on board was excellent in the Discoveries restaurant and lunch times in Windows. The entertainment on board was a bit disappointing and not up to the Quests. The decor in all the public rooms was tasteful and relaxing. The ship has been refurbished new carpets etc. The waiters in the restaurants were attentive and friendly. The living room was a comfortable relaxing place to be with attentive waiters and various snacks during the day. We had a balcony bedroom which had a table and chairs on the balcony. The bathroom was small and the only complaint from most travellers was the shower curtain clinging to their bodies when showering. We did not take any of the shore excursions as we felt they were very expensive and we could make our own arrangements. We had a group of Greek dancers onboard during an evening buffet who were excellent. The Azamazing evening was in Dubrovnik and Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment a rock Cellist Ana Rucnar, we had the central square cordoned off and it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Taken back to the ship by local boats which was interesting. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Bucket list item was the Greek isles and since we prefer the smaller ships, opted for a Windstar cruise. Only 135 or so guests so no crowds or lines. Ship is a little old but well maintained and except for the air conditioning and the ... Read More
Bucket list item was the Greek isles and since we prefer the smaller ships, opted for a Windstar cruise. Only 135 or so guests so no crowds or lines. Ship is a little old but well maintained and except for the air conditioning and the internet, very comfortable and enjoyable. Except for Monemvassia, there were no big buses for the tours which was nice but that may be dependent on the number of folks that signed up. All vehicles were comfortable.Crew was hospitable except for one wine steward and when brought to the attention of management, things changed promptly. Ports were all very enjoyable though I was pretty tired of ruins once everything was over. Stayed in the Electra Hotel for a few nights in Athens and it was nice with a rooftop dining area with views of the Acropolis. Just avoid room 211 which had a toilet so close to the wall and shower one had to be a contortionist to use. Last night we moved to the Grand Bretagne and it was a beautiful old hotel but probably not worth the extra money. Tried to get reservations for our group of 8 several weeks before for dinner on the rooftop but they were full. Could not even find space to have a cocktail that evening as most of the space was closed off for some reason. Went next door to King George hotel and had a wonderful meal on the top floor with even better views of the Acropolis. Highly recommend this! Crew was polite and accommodating but not as nice as Crystal Esprit. Food in the dining room was good but not exceptional. Candles was better and especially the on-deck barbecue...that was amazing. Dinner at the Celsus Library was also amazing. Went to the opera afterwards in the old theatre and sitting on stone, even for an hour, was awful. Delos and Turkey were wonderful stops but all were excellent. Chartered a private catamaran in Santorini instead of the ships cat tour and it was fantastic. Breakfasts were nice with a wide selection of food on the buffet with the opportunity to order off the menu if desired. Bridge tour was nice and informative. 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
I have sailed a lot, probably close to100 cruises. On Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, I have spent over 360 days. But I was so impressed with everything about this voyage, I’m not sure I ever will go back to any other line; I think I have ... Read More
I have sailed a lot, probably close to100 cruises. On Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, I have spent over 360 days. But I was so impressed with everything about this voyage, I’m not sure I ever will go back to any other line; I think I have found my new home on the seas. embarkation and disembarkation both went very smoothly, a benefit of sailing with only 900 other passengers. This was not only the first and last day of the cruise but also for every port we visited. We were in Suite 4000, a ES1 category. Before sailing, I looked at the diagram for the owner’s suite on deck 7. I wondered if I would have wanted or needed everything provided in that cabin. Once we boarded and were settled in our suite, I was perfectly happy and would not have wanted to move upstairs. Heck, even the lowest standard cabins on Vining Ocean are better than many higher-level cabins on other cruise lines. I have often been a Grills passenger on Cunard. The Queen’s Grill on QM2 is considered by some to be the best restaurant at sea. Although Wiking does not offer dishes prepared table side, the quality and presentation and variety is equal to the food on other ships. Open dining was a delight and we never had a wait, It was nice to have the alternative dining restaurants and not have to pay extra. The rotating menu at the Chef’s Table was a deal. We ate there five nights during the month we were on board. Wine (which was not bad) and beer (which I don’t drink) were free during meals and I never paid for non-alcoholic beverages and coffee away from the restaurants. I consider it a benefit not to have a casino on the ships, photographers always wanting to take your picture, and on the shops on board lining the hallways as they apply their wares. I loved not having announcements every hour. The lecturers were very good and well-versed to discuss their topics, especially the port talks. Evening stage shows were above-average and well attended, but not the glitzy performances produced on larger ships. At least one excursion is free in every port. I participated in some of those and they were fine. The optional, paid excursions were well run and educational. Good variety of options. The gym is good, plenty of machines. Never crowded. A great spa and - since the line is Norwegian - great sauna, jacuzzi, ice water buckets AND a snow grotto. Imagine a snowball fight in the Suez Canal, I can’t say enough to complement the Viking professionals who made this such an enjoyable adventure. I liked it so much that I already have booked a one month journey next summer. I am sold on Viking! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We had done 4 River Cruises with Viking and enjoyed them very much. The staff was friendly and had great Stewarts. We enjoyed most of the tours, except the Saint Catherine Monastery, which we felt it was not worth the time on the ... Read More
We had done 4 River Cruises with Viking and enjoyed them very much. The staff was friendly and had great Stewarts. We enjoyed most of the tours, except the Saint Catherine Monastery, which we felt it was not worth the time on the bus (7 hours) for a 30 minutes tours of the monastery. Waste of time and money. Enjoyed the tours in Greece and Jerusalem. Petra was wonderful, the pyramids was fabulous, Luxor was great and had a wonderful time the days at sea. The food was excellent through out the restaurant with a varaity of choices. we also enjoyed the scandinecvian restaurant, Mamsens, and trying those Norwegian delights made my wife very happy. She is Norwegian descendant. We also enjoyed the high tea, the spa and the specialty restaurants. Overall we were very impress with Viking Ocean cruises and have already reserve two additional trip for 2019 and 2020. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Background information This is our seventh cruise, and the first with Viking Ocean Cruises (VOC). We selected the voyage based on the itinerary, final destination, and time of year. This voyage allowed us to compare VOC with similar ... Read More
Background information This is our seventh cruise, and the first with Viking Ocean Cruises (VOC). We selected the voyage based on the itinerary, final destination, and time of year. This voyage allowed us to compare VOC with similar Azamara (AZ) and Oceania (OC), which we used previously. I retired a year ago and my wife wanted to visit Hong Kong again. Ship information Orion was put into service earlier in the summer, so anything is new. We liked that VOC includes everything except tips, drink package (we don’t), optional excursions, Kitchen Table, and spa service (no need). The VOC provides minimal computer support because most people are computer literate by now. The VOC WiFi (which is free) security meets the security requirements of financial institutions. Streaming movies from the internet most of the time was not a problem in our cabin possibly because we were close to a router, though we heard other people were having problems. The Library shows up on Deck 1, but is spread out over Deck 7 (swimming pool area, the Lanai, Explorers Lounge) and Deck 8 (upper Explorers Lounge). The spa has numerous restrictions on use with anyone with medical conditions, so its use was lost on us. Activities We used the gym almost every day except on the days with all day excursions. The gym was equipment was excellent. The aerobic machines were crowded from 0600 to 0700, especially on sea days. The rest of the day, the equipment is open. The other parts of the gym were not busy during the day. During the sea days, we used the enrichment program after the gym and stream movies using the VOC WiFi (most of the time very good), or just lie around the Explorers Lounge with a an ebook. Service In general, the service throughout the ship was mostly excellent. For Housekeeping, the cabins were available earlier than the VOC stated times. Our cabin attendant did not just stop by to say hi, but went through the entire cabin to explain everything. More closet hangers, bath towels, and bottled water were provided without question. The cabin was well attended throughout the cruise. Well done. For dining, service was generally good everywhere with a few lapses due to staff inexperience and language problems. The World Cafe could use more servers at lunch and dinner. We had only one service breakdown in The Restaurant that required speaking to a manager. What we really liked about the World Cafe was the ability to talk directly to the line cooks to prepare foods to our liking, especially vegetables. They all were very eager to please. We can not say enough about the VOC port agents. I had an old medical condition that flared up in Ho Chi Minh City. The port agent: got me and my wife to hospital, found a reasonably priced nearby hotel for my wife, on short notice got us airline tickets from Ho Chi Minh City to Haiphong, and took us from the Haiphong airport to Orion. Extremely pleased. Excursions Port and shore excursions used a mix of Included and Optional excursions. The excursions were in Athens (GRE); Haifa, Acre, and Caesarea (ISR); Cairo, Luxor, and Sharm El Sheik (EGP); Aqaba (JRD); Salalah and Muscat (OMN); Mumbai and Goa (IND), Colombo (SRL), Georgetown and Kuala Lumpur (MAL), Singapore, Koh Samoi and Bangkok (THD), Sihanoukville (CAM), Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Long Bay (VTM), and Haikou and Hong Kong (PRC). Only two problems with booking: we were warned at the time of booking to get on the My Viking Journey web page at 0000 PST at 67 days prior to departure to ensure we would get the excursions we wanted. I logged on at about 0400 PST and found some excursions were already sold out. In addition, the multi-day overnight excursion to Angkor Wat site via Vietnam was not available. We were satisfied with the excursions we took. While most of the Included excursions were satisfactory, one needs to check the Optional excursions because they had the more interesting and/or more significant locations/programs. One of the problems was the distance from port to destination (Cairo, Luxor, Bangkok, Phnom Penh; sometimes 3+ hours on a bus each way, which left relatively little time for the the destination after accounting for bathroom breaks and lunch). One of the problems with the demographics of the guests was that people are not really aware of their physical condition when signing up for even moderately exerting excursions in hot humid weather from India to Hong Kong. From a VOC port agent, for example, we learned that six guests were removed from the ship to hospital in Sri Lanka. Travel to Embarkation Port We used Viking Air (via Air Canada) without upgrades. We were satisfied with the connections from Dulles (IAD) through Toronto (YYZ) which put us in Athens (ATH) at 0920, and return from Hong Kong (HKG) through YYZ to IAD (2200). We found the local VOC representative easily and were loaded into a bus the ship. Not as nice as the personal van on VRC. Only a passport is necessary for ID so we were on Orion quickly. VOC eliminated the paper tickets for transfers and embarkation. Next time, I will look into Business or Premium Economy. Air Canada is not too comfortable. Cabin We were in Deluxe Veranda 3 (DV3) #4083. The cabin was mostly quiet. The only noise was from the lifeboats/tenders during crew training or tendering on the decks below. We still could feel the diesels. Anyone for gas turbines? We thought that the cabin was much better than the AZ and OC small ships reflecting a newer design. The bathroom was far better the any AZ or OC. Not cramped at all. We had no difficulty with the amount of drawers even with clothes for a 50 day cruise. If we had known how good the laundry was, we could have brought less clothes. The ability of storing even the large luggage under the bed (unlike AZ or OC) provided more room. The space between the bed and closet was tight, but not a problem given the great design of the rest of the cabin. We did not understand the logic behind two chairs instead of one sofa in DV cabins. The E-safe is also much bigger than AZ or OC. A minor annoyance was VOC canceling our E-safe PIN in Mumbai and Bangkok embarkation ports that required ship security to reset. Dining For breakfast and lunch, we exclusively used the World Cafe on Deck 7. It is open longer, self-serve, and more choice of food. Because the choice of food in the World Cafe is more than The Restaurant on Deck 2, the was no point going to The Restaurant for these meals. We liked the layout of World Cafe with the spread out food service stations and seating areas to eliminate crowding. Not as cramped as AZ or OC. We liked the food in the World Cafe except for a little to much salt used especially in the soups (the same for dinner). The outside kitchen on the Aquavit Terrace for regional foods was good. We tried the Pool Grill and Mamsen’s, which we thought were great, especially Mamsen’s with the waffles. We attended the Afternoon Tea for about two weeks but stopped in the interest of decreasing our food consumption. On Orion, you needed to get there about 15-30 minutes before 1600 or there were no more seats. To get around this, we would go later, ~1630. There would always be a place by then due to people leaving. We especially liked the live music provided. For dinner, we used The Restaurant, Manfredi’s, The Chef’s Table, and World Cafe. Dinner was not as pleasant an overall experience as we would have liked. We found ourselves eating at the World Cafe more than the other venues. If there were many dishes on a given night in The Restaurant that we really wanted to try, we would go to the World Cafe where we could get a smaller portion of each dish. You can also see the line cooks make final food preparations, make requested modifications, and present the food so you knew exactly what you were getting. No surprises to be sent back and another dishes ordered (AZ). The other food in The Restaurant was very good. Now for the really subjective opinions. We were not particularly impressed with The Chef’s Table; only five cuisines with the chefs interpretation. The food was not bad, but limited with a little too much salt. Manfredi’s was a big disappointment. Our first meal main dishes were somewhat dry with a little too much salt. The best part was the excellent custom chocolate cake prepared for my birthday. The second meal was awful. My pork dish was very salty and loaded with fat rending half inedible. My wife’s main dish was worse. Even though we were entitled to one more meal there, we would not go into Manfredi’s again without significant changes in cooking style. All the table breads, muffin, and bread sticks has a very cheesy flavor that was annoying; not the Italian bread that I remember from the Italian bakeries at home. We would not eat the bread again. In the end, we informed a manager of our problems. If you don’t tell them, they will not know. The OC Toscana and AZ Aqualina are far better restaurants. The OC was far more generous with some foods such as lobster. We had lobster for either lunch or dinner every day on OC Marina. Orion had boiled lobster in the The Restaurant only twice in 50 days and Lobster Thermidor once (not very good with too much filler sauce). The VOC fruits were great especially after Mumbai where the more unusual fruits to the USA [dragon fruit (white and red), star fruit, for example, and others we have never seen before but tasted great] from southeast Asia countries were available. The VOC should be commended for portion control for desserts in the World Cafe seeing that passengers are mostly 60+ and some not in the best of shape. Desserts were in small size pieces with many choices. When a cake or pie was provided, it was smaller in diameter and thickness than AZ or OC. This did not deter an obese couple from consuming half a chocolate cake. Odd crowd behavior: the port side World Cafe was more crowded than starboard side, so the the greeters at the entrances several times requested that we use the starboard side. The food is the same on both sides except for ice cream and gelato, and stir fry (port), and pizza and doughnuts (starboard). The VOC has aerosol hand sanitizers throughout Decks 1, 2, 7, and 8 that are built into the bulkheads. The entrances to the World Cafe also have sinks with liquid soap and hand towels. Unfortunately, there was an outbreak of GI problems on the way to Mumbai, which necessitated eliminating self service at the World Cafe and implementing other protective measures for a few days (not the majority of the cruise as claimed elsewhere). In summary, we think the food was better on OC, especially the Marina size with more diverse restaurants. However, itinerary, destination, and timing are more important, so we would not hesitate to use VOC. And the destination oriented foods was also a plus. Entertainment We did not attend much evening entertainment in the Theater due to a lack of interest in the programs offered. What we did see was very good. The VOC did not appear as big on entertainment as OC based on the programs offered. Enrichment We attended the astronomy movie series in the Explorers Lounge theater exclusively on the Orion Deck 8 (which does not show up on the generic deck layouts and virtual tour on the VOC web site). Be advised that the theater is very small (26 people) and very cold as is the entire Explorers Lounge on Decks 7 and 8. Be sure to book the theater ASAP at the start of a cruise to get a seat for the three separate movies, and ensure that you a blanket because the theater is so cold. I don’t know why the Explorers Lounge is also cold all the time. (It was nice of VOC to put thick furry animal skins and blankets on the sofas.) The astronomy was enhanced by a resident astronomer who lectured several times and also lead open ended discussions on astronomy in general, space exploration, black holes, etc, during each cruise segment. Very well done. There was star gazing lead by the astronomer on Deck 9 weather conditions permitting, In general, from Athens to Oman had good conditions. Mumbai to Hong Kong had more haze so it was limited. If you are on Orion and are interested in astronomy, be sure to download to your smart phone a star map app with GPS capabilities to find stars, planets, satellites, ISS more quickly. BTW, the darkest part of the ship at night outside for stargazing is the outside platform at the starboard exit from the Explorers Lounge Deck 8. The VOC also has a resident historian (or diplomat) to cover the diplomacy, history, economics, warfare, etc., of the regions visited in formal lectures that we attended and roundtable discussions on the same or different subjects later. Very well done. Disembarkation Disembarkation was very easy. We stayed over in Hong Kong (HK) handling our own arrangements. The benefit of this is we were the last group required to leave the ship at 0845 so you can have a more leisurely breakfast. Luggage was easy to find in the dock terminal being clearly marked in groups. In HK, the disembarkations started as early as 0400 to catch flights. Check your airline arrangements from VOC Air and revise if necessary. The HK airport is very efficient in moving people through security to catch flights. The VOC cruise and air fare includes the HK airport departure and expansion construction fees. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
When I was in high school, I read a lot geography around the suez canal, red sea, and indian ocean. It is very interesting and I am glad I get this one in my bucket list. The excursions is actually more than I expect traveling Egypt, ... Read More
When I was in high school, I read a lot geography around the suez canal, red sea, and indian ocean. It is very interesting and I am glad I get this one in my bucket list. The excursions is actually more than I expect traveling Egypt, Israel, Jorden, and Mumbai in one trip. Of course, the ship is the top of the class in service. This is better than other ships which I had travelled before. The quality of food is also above other ships except the Chef Table. I went three night in this dinner and I just like the french food only. The equipment in the exercise room are in good condition and also because it is max. 930 persons in the ship, therefore, it is not crowded in the exercise room and spa area. I used the spa every day at sea. the Scandinavian Bathing is highly recommended to utilize in the trip. I also love so many sea food in the menu in this ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We traveled with 3 other couples. We chose the cruise for its ports of call, areas we had not been to, and its lack of sea days. The service was excellent, from our cabin steward, Josephine, the destination manager Murat, the Director ... Read More
We traveled with 3 other couples. We chose the cruise for its ports of call, areas we had not been to, and its lack of sea days. The service was excellent, from our cabin steward, Josephine, the destination manager Murat, the Director of guest relations, Joanna, and the Asst Maitre'D Karim were exceptional. Everyone knew ours names, and fulfilled our every request. There were a few early hiccups, but the entire team jumped in and made the cruise wonderful. The food was excellent, and the service was superb. When our Virtuoso hosts left the pier in Dubrovnik, without the eight of us, Murat jumped in, got us a guide and saved the day. He was wonderful. The Virtuoso reps from California were not. When we confronted them, they denied everything, said they thought we were not going, and never apologized - very disappointing. Back to the cruise - Touring until 1-2 o'clock and back to the ship was wonderful. It gave us in-depth exposure, tired us out, brought wonderful relief when we got back to the ship for a late lunch. The entertainers were wonderful, talented performers, but on a smaller ship, you have to expect limited entertainment. However what was presented was wonderful. An example of the training and character of one entertainer Nathan Morgan, was exemplified on one tour, when a solo woman was way behind the tour group, Nathan unobtrusively hung back and waited for her so she wouldn't get lost. Our cruise Director was always full of energy and is an outstanding opera singer. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018

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