13 Athens (Piraeus) Singles Cruise Reviews

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
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
After cruising with other lines we learned what we didn't like and what to look for in our next cruise. And trust me it was hard to convince my husband to take another cruise after our last disaster on another cruise line..Royal ###, ... Read More
After cruising with other lines we learned what we didn't like and what to look for in our next cruise. And trust me it was hard to convince my husband to take another cruise after our last disaster on another cruise line..Royal ###, I did my research and we settled on Seabourn. It was the perfect time of the year and where we and our friends wanted to travel. Upon checking in we were greeted with champagne, walked right up to the service desk, everyone was so helpful and friendly. There were 2 gentlemen checking in the same time we were, and they shared "how much they look forward to the this cruise every year". Upon entering the ship, our room was not ready we had the Spa Penthhouse Suite 1093, so we decided to have some lunch and drinks. During this time we got to the know staff and they us, the food at lunch was excellent. By the time we were able to check in to our room my husband Mike and Big Mike knew every staff member working the poolside...whIch I'm grateful because my husband had the darnest time finding our room and luckily 2 staff members knew where to take him. But that is another hilarious story. Our room was right on the back of the ship, the best view of all! It was spacious and contemporary design. The bathroom was enormous..and a walk in closet! Hello my friend! We did have small issue, one of our suitcases was damaged during the transfer, we shared this with our steward and right away Zonett took care of the issue and we were issued an onboard credit that afternoon. Our trip was amazing, personalized and the staff was amazing! The food was excellent, onboard live entertainment was marginal but I would rather be sitting on my back patio with my husband and friends having a very nice glass of wine discussing the day we had or what tomorrow will bring. We also met so many new friends, whom we still in contact with even today. Due to the excursions and activities on the ship you get to know everyone and by the final night we were sitting in the pool area for the open dance party, I think we pushed all the tables together to accommodate 26 people...we had so much fun that night! It was truly memorable. All the men went out dancing ...some sort of man dance like they were driving a car...not sure but it certainly had all the other guests laughing. It was so nice not to have worry about upcharges, or buying beverage packages or paying for specialty restaurants. I want to enjoy my trip not constantly think about pricing. With Seabourn, if you want Steak and Lobster, you get Steak and Lobster no extra charge. If you want 5 scoops of ice you can have 5 scoops of ice cream no question asked and never a bill! Plus the best part is no cheesy formal night photos. Our room steward, Zonett, was amazing, Every day she left little notes for us, and it truly made our trip extra special. By the end of the trip, we knew everyone and they became family. I was so sad to say goodbye to her. We and all of our friends were completely spoiled by Seabourn! And my husband has required we only cruise with Seabourn which I am booking now. If I could give Seabourn10 stars I would. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I had an enjoyable Cruise from Athens to Sydney. Personnel outstanding, Food of a higher Level than thought. Wines of very good quality, but offered at higher temperatures than would be appropriate, a pity. This new ship has somme ... Read More
I had an enjoyable Cruise from Athens to Sydney. Personnel outstanding, Food of a higher Level than thought. Wines of very good quality, but offered at higher temperatures than would be appropriate, a pity. This new ship has somme deficiencies: No teak decks on Verandas, in tropic climate with sun, it is impossible to stand barefoot on your terrace, too hot! Plastic! Also on Deck 7 forward area no teak at all, same problems in sunny weather. In a ship of this renommé, teak is mandatory! Veranda suites (more cabins than suites..) are too small and give a cramped feeling. The serving person has problems to get into the cabin with a tray. The walk in wardrobe is not worth its name, to small and hangers must be positioned diagonally to get arranged... Ceilings are very low, in cabin and elsewhere. There is a Grillroom under the name of Thomas Keller, completely useless. A Grill is the simplest cuisine possible, also under a famous name. All is Show there, the food not outstanding, and for Europeans just not adequate. Better is The Restaurant which is nicely decorated and for once no disturbing sound/noise because of the layout of this room. The Internet on board is still a mess, no capacity, too expensive for speed, and position of the ship is not adjusted automatically by the server. So at the end of your cruise, you have to adjust the position of all Fotos taken with iPad/iPhone. Thanks for work at home... One thing is great in this ship, the public space. You never feel crowded. But you miss that space in your room! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
I try to go to Europe every year, especially to the Mediterranean. Carnival Vista is a new ship and wanted to sail on her. It is laid out like any other Carnival ship but with beautiful new colors and exciting décor ( see the lobby, ... Read More
I try to go to Europe every year, especially to the Mediterranean. Carnival Vista is a new ship and wanted to sail on her. It is laid out like any other Carnival ship but with beautiful new colors and exciting décor ( see the lobby, wow!). Cabin was an interior with picture window and walkway view, very comfortable for a solo guest and great view from the walkway since it was located at the very front of the ship on deck 7. TV was a 50" mounted on the wall, but due to a broken antenna, CNN was sporadic to say the least. Cabin steward Michael was exceptional, friendly, efficient, always smiling. His assistant Hassan was just as pleasant. Dining was much improved on this cruise. Lido had lovely choices every day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Your time dining was great, never had to wait for a table. My last meal in the Horizon dining room however was not up to par, sorry to say, the prime rib was tasteless. The production shows, Playlist Productions, were the best I have even seen on a ship, colorful, professional, exciting and the performers were top notch. The cruise director Jaime was wonderful, full of life and seems to be everywhere on the ship, she loves talking with the guests and took the time to make you feel special. My favorite place after visiting the various ports of call was the Serenity deck way up at the top of the ship. So pleasant and quiet. Dian and Johny made it very special for me, always attentive, helpful and cater to your needs - they were truly interested in making one feel comfortable - real assets. Embarkation was a little slow due to computers that were not working, half the check-in Agents were standing around and waiting for computers to come back online. Due to a technical issue with one of the engines, we were late coming into Barcelona at the end of the cruise, about 1 hour. Carnival handled it beautifully. Anyone with an early flight had re-booked flights waiting for them, there were free express transfers to the airport and if you had to stay overnight in Barcelona due to the late arrival, Carnival paid for the hotel. I am sure the affected guests appreciated the efforts by Carnival. I booked a 2 day pre cruise stay in Athens through Carnival. Picked up promptly at the airport and taken to the Crowne Plaza hotel. Very nice room, very helpful staff, clean and refreshing. The ground rep that represented Carnival was also very nice with great suggestions. He gave me the address of an American jeweler who has a shop in Athens very close to Syntagma Square. She designs her own jewellery. Her name is Michelle. Such a nice lady, full of personality. Her prices were also very good. All in all, its was a very pleasant cruise, had beautiful weather every day, enjoyed each port of call and the staff on the ship made the difference. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This is my first review. I am a first time British cruiser, 36 years old professional chap, who was, as I suspect many are, a little bemused by the number of alarmingly poor reviews on this site. It does make me wonder why some people go ... Read More
This is my first review. I am a first time British cruiser, 36 years old professional chap, who was, as I suspect many are, a little bemused by the number of alarmingly poor reviews on this site. It does make me wonder why some people go cruising in the first place if they hate everything. I have just come off Royal Princess for a seven night itinerary in the eastern Med and was not sure what to expect given the poor reviews this ship has had. Nonetheless I went with an open mind and wanted to make my own judgements. The consensus is/was, according to the poorer reviews on here, that the food on Royal Princess is average to middling and not as good as other Princess vessels, the cabins are minute and the balconies so tiny as to not be worth bothering with. The lifts are so poorly placed as to make moving deck to deck a real traumatic nightmare and overall the ship is a huge seventeen deck disappointment. I must say I think all of those things are inaccurate. The food I found to be good throughout and occasionally very, very good indeed depending on what you order. I’ve not been on any other Princess vessels so cannot compare, mind you. The cabins are smaller when you walk in but are absolutely fine size wise and extremely comfortable and well-appointed. Everything is well-designed and I had no issue at all. The balcony was also fine and I do wonder what people are doing on their balconies if not sitting and chilling with a book and some drinks/breakfast to state so categorically that they are unacceptably small. Granted, a game of touch rugby or perhaps a spot of rounders might be a bit difficult I accept but there is most definitely room to swing even a moderately large cat to your heart’s content. The lifts are busy but never over-crowded even on this fully booked 100% occupied sailing and waiting times never exceeded a couple of minutes, even with one of the lifts out of service for maintenance. Respectfully to all concerned, if you cannot handle a couple of minutes wait for a lift at busy times pre or post dinner/tender then perhaps cruising with 4000 other people on a giant cruise ship isn’t for you. Let me first go through the things I found very good or especially impressive by bullet points for clarity. • Royal Princess is a magnificent ship. As mentioned above she was fully booked and 100% occupied for the seven days I was aboard and at no time ever felt busy or crowded. She is a fabulously well-designed vessel, complaints over lifts/stairs notwithstanding. I was hugely impressed the moment I boarded and this only increased as I took the week to explore her. • We encountered some long 5-6m swells on the last sea day inbound to Barcelona and the vessel handled them superbly. There was astonishingly little movement. It was very comfortable and there was no sickness from my fellow passengers that I saw. I’ve worked on ships when I was younger, and 6m metre swells are very much in the “sit down, hold onto something” territory in my past experience even on some big ships, so to feel so little pitching and rolling (even on a beam sea at one point off Corsica) was very impressive. • The food in the Allegro/Concerto was uniformly good – the bread was fresh, the pasta was nicely done, the steak/meats were cooked well and to order, and the sauces seasoned very well. The menu was imaginative and held enough to keep my family and I interested. There were a few dishes that were just good, but a few that were very good indeed and a real highlight. The veal ravioli with cep mushroom sauce and truffle was a delight, for example. I recall also very much enjoying a fresh gnocchi and a hulking great bit of aged New York skirt steak that melted in the mouth. The wines were decent and service save for one night was good and unproblematic. • The Retreat adults-only area was lovely and a real tonic to the occasionally frenetic deck 16 outdoor area. • The cabin and balcony was a lovely and restful place to have a GnT. Probably my favourite aspect of cruising and the reason I cannot wait to cruise again. • The staff were a generally good mixed bunch. When they were bad they were still ok (the Russian/Ukrainian waiters and bar staff could do with cracking a smile and saying please or thank you now and again and some of the junior waiting staff in the upscale restaurants might find knowing the food and drinks menu better might be helpful), but when they were good they were absolutely terrific. Ariel and the rest of the guys on the Vines bar on Deck 5 were fabulous. The two charming Mexican ladies who looked after us in the Allegro were also top professionals and nice to deal with. Doooouglas my cabin steward was extremely efficient and personable as well. The cruise director and his very beautiful Australian second-in-command were charming throughout. Everyone was smart, well-turned out, very professional and approachable. • The Horizon buffet was well done generally and had a great choice of food with plenty going on to keep you interested. I had a braised/slow cooked beef in a dark peanut curry sauce with sticky rice one night after a few drinks that will linger long in the memory. Also the beef hash and potatoes for breakfast – really delicious. • The unlimited drinks package was excellent value and a lot of fun to explore. Recommended. The frozen margaritas are worth it on their own. • The TV on demand thing in the cabins is very good when you want an early night or some downtime before dinner. • Movies Under The Stars is a great idea but Watching Andy Murray Win Wimbledon Again Under The Sun With A Glass Of Wine is an even better one. A great way to watch sport, loved it. • One thing I was worried about was that I’d heard of cruising’s reputation for the constant upselling and hassling you to buy stuff or pose for photos or souvenirs etc or hard-selling trips/excursions etc. Whilst there was a little bit of the photo thing on Royal Princess it never felt intrusive and overall I was pleasantly surprised. • The excursions were fine – there was loads to choose from and I didn’t hear any complaints. • All the ports of call were fabulous. Kotor and Santorini especially were just stunning. The things I wasn’t that impressed with and thought could do with sharpening up. • The wifi is incredibly expensive. I want to access my emails not buy a townhouse in Marbella. • We had poor service one of the nights in the Allegro where everything that could go wrong did so in epic, rather Fawlty Towers style. To use the parlance of my home city – “They had a ‘mare”. We complained and after that the restaurant manager came over to apologise and then the head Maitre’D for the ship (charming and hugely impressive Italian chap called Genneroso, a real top pro) came over and couldn’t do enough for us after that. We were incredibly well-looked after, but the first formal night was pretty much a washout sadly. • Whilst the food in the Horizon is decent and very good in parts, why on earth do they insist on serving cheap (not Heinz! Sacrilege!) baked beans almost raw? Who does that? • The entertainment was a massive let-down. The Jersey Boys tribute act was marred by the fact that the singers couldn’t actually sing which is a drawback for someone making their living as a singer. The comedian chap does do a very impressive Tom Jones and Elvis impression. My advice would be to stick to that. The rest of it wasn’t funny and the Freddie Mercury and David Bowie impressions just downright karaoke. He absolutely died on stage the night we went to see him – I was cringing for the bloke, it was toe-curling to watch. Absolute rubbish. What is the point of having such a huge and well equipped theatre if you don’t put acts on that are worth watching? The string quartet in the Piazza was nice in an inoffensive way, the young lady with a guitar who popped up at times on the ship was also good, and the scatty house cover band that played in the Piazza was the decent side of average but beyond that it was poor. I’d heard glowing reports of the glittering entertainment on cruise ships and was shocked and a bit embarrassed at how bad it was in the main theatre on Royal Princess. I can only assume we had a dodgy sailing where (probably) the usual theatre entertainment were all struck down with botulism before sailing and we got unlucky with the stand-ins. A comfort for anyone reading this – I very much doubt the comedian chap or the Jersey Boys act will be invited back so you’re safe there! • The shops are nice but not selling i-Phone lightning / android phone charge wires or plug adapters was a real miss for me. I am an idiot who leaves these things in hotel rooms with boring and expensive monotony and the shop missed out on a lot of captive dollars from me by not selling them. • I only found out Alfredo’s is a zero surcharge restaurant after the cruise had finished. I’d certainly have visited otherwise. Need to make that clearer. • Formal nights. We got dressed up in full dinner jacket etc and felt a bit daft, especially on the second formal night. So many people wandering round in shorts and vest tops or polo shirts and jeans trying to get into the restaurants. What’s the point? Felt like half the ship couldn’t be bothered and weren’t pushed by the crew. Either do it or don’t do it. • Singles at 8 in the Wheelhouse Bar. I went and was the only one there. Either advertise it or drop it. Some suggestions for the company which other cruisers of this vessel may or may not agree with: • It would be great if there were screens in the lifts and in some of the public areas showing a moving map display like we get on the IFE on aircraft. Perhaps even an interactive one? That would be great to have. • A better selection of draft beers would be great. The US is at the vanguard of the world now (controversial!) in craft IPAs and small(er) batch lagers and ales that make my US business trips a real joy, in stark contrast to years gone by. With that in mind and the fact that Princess are an American cruise brand, I’d love to see them make more of their burgeoning craft beer culture. It’s something worth celebrating. • The drinks outlets are a bit samey. Crooners, Vines, Wheelhouse and Bellini’s are all much of a muchness. Royal Princess could do with a sports bar, a glitzy cocktail bar effort (Club 6 doesn’t quite get there I’m afraid) and certainly the Salty Dog gastropub will be a welcome addition at the next refit. The margaritas are super – why not make more of that into something a little more speciality themed? I recognise sports or margarita bars are more Carnival than Princess brand wise but with 4000 people on board and so many F&B outlets I do think there is scope/interest. • The Vista Lounge seems to be a massive space that never had anyone in it every time I stopped by. Could be half the size and be more intimate, and create the room for another bar/pub/sports lounge etc. Overall: Royal Princess is a fabulous ship to make my cruise debut on and on the whole I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was literally one meal service and some entertaining theatre entertainment away from perfection. I take the points of past reviewers but I think there is a tendency to over-criticise and slate for slating’s sake for some and I’m someone who prefers to focus on what I enjoyed instead of what wasn’t so great. Even the most ardent and committed of miseries would, I hope, concede that there is much more to enjoy and love about cruising on Royal Princess than there is that needs work. My whole family enjoyed the cruise very much as I did and it did exactly what we wanted it to – we had a stunning family holiday that we will all remember very fondly for the rest of our lives. They say great cruise ships age well and I suspect Royal Princess’ first big refit (coming soon and apparently to include Salty Dog gastropub and some other tweaks) will iron out some of the parts that need a little bit of work and thin out the complaint reviews for the terminally miserable. I’d happily pay the same again for the same cabin on her tomorrow, without blinking. I’d recommend Princess and Royal Princess to anyone. Just go, enjoy yourself and don’t stress about a very occasional few minutes waiting for a lift. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This is my 6th cruise with Azamara and I keep coming back so I must enjoy it! The staff of course is the reason, but a lot should be said for the Azamara clientele. I met so many nice people and enjoyed great company. I have cruised the ... Read More
This is my 6th cruise with Azamara and I keep coming back so I must enjoy it! The staff of course is the reason, but a lot should be said for the Azamara clientele. I met so many nice people and enjoyed great company. I have cruised the big lines but I will never go back, and the main reason I stick with Azamara is the solo-traveler price. That said, the prices have steadily increased over the last several years, so I don’t know the future for me. Accommodations: The recent refreshment is lighter, although I worry about how they will keep that carpet looking good. The cabin curtains and linens are much improved. I LOVE the Living Room refresh, and the availability of tea/coffee is a much-needed reprieve from the often-overcrowded Mosaic Café. Food: I ate in the MDR and the Buffet four nights each. The Patio was a very nice dinner option and I ate there two nights and also one night at Aqualina. I felt the new MDR menu is reduced in selections, but EVERYTHING I had was delicious. So perhaps quality is emphasized with less variety. The buffet was a bit stale. I tend to eat there because it is quick and I enjoy the view (Santorini at sunset for example), but there seemed a real lack of variety. The salads for instance were similar almost every day (tomatoes, cabbage based, mushrooms, and a pasta salad) and that became boring. Itinerary: The cruise was originally Istanbul to Rome, and later changed for an Athens departure, with Napfoli and Mykonos added. I have been to several of the ports (Mykonos, Santorini, Valetta, Sorrento and Florence. The new ports for me were Napfoli Greece, Trapani Sicily, Amalfi Italy, and Porto Vecchio Corsica. Due to the disembarkation port change I was given a $100 credit, that I planned to use on excursions, but both the ones I signed up for were canceled for lack of participants. Athens: I arrived the same day so did not go into Athens. As an aside, the Athens port workers were on strike, and the Azamara staff unloaded and loaded all luggage and supplies at the port. This was the quickest I ever got my luggage, truly exemplary in the face of adversity. This is what I love about Azamara. Nafoli: I had arranged a private tour with guide Patti Staikou who met us at the Mycenaean ruins. I really enjoyed her insights and learned a lot about the site and culture. The taxi dropped me off in town and I had a nice lunch (the best of the trip). I walked round the old town. Looking back this was the nicest and least touristy port. Thoroughly enjoyable town filled with flowers. Mykonos: I took it easy and went into port at 5 PM, after most people have left, walked around the town, had a wine and returned to the ship at 8 PM for dinner. Santorini: I did not get off the ship. Valletta, Malta: I had been to Malta twice so I used the HOHO bus to get to Mdina to look around. Lovely town then boarded the bus back to Valletta and walked around the town. The Azamazing evening was back to Mdina for a concert by the local choir. Trapani, Sicily: I played it easy and booked a 4 hour combo transport package right at the port. The RT bus/funicular to the old town Erice was €20. It was a lovely day walking around the old hill town. The views were incredible, and the ticket included a “free local pastry”. It was a fun exploration. Back at the port I walked around the city of Trapani and had a nice and very late lunch. Amalfi: I have previously visited most of the tourist sights on the Amalfi coast (Paestum, Sorrento, Vesuvius, Herculaneum, Pompeii, Ravello), but had never been to Amalfi proper. First, I arranged a tour to Ravello and Positano through Aldo tours, since I thought I would never make that drive again. The tour was great, and I appreciated the driver’s skill and patience. However, the best part of the day was just walking around Amalfi. It is a lovely town and less touristy than Positano. I spent time walking around, shopping, and watching a bride ascend the steps to the Duomo. Back on the ship as Amalfi was also “white night” and I had a very nice time. Sorrento: I first visited Sorrento about 30 years ago, and it has changed so much it makes me sad. I visited my favorite music box store “Gargiulo Inlaid” at 33 Via Fuoro and purchased two boxes including one puzzle box with a hidden key. I returned to the port via bus that had a circuitous route, so I got to see a bit more before going back to the ship. Ponte Vecchio, Corsica: We arrived just for an afternoon; since my planned excursion to Bonifacio cliffs was cancelled I took the shuttle bus into town and walked around. It was a nice pretty town. Others that took tours into the interior of Corsica raved about how beautiful the island was. Livorno/Florence overnight: On the first day, I took a taxi to the train station, and the train to Lucca. I really enjoyed the lovely walled town of Lucca. You can walk along the walls. I also visited the Cathedral, the Cathedral museum, and Santi Giovanni e Reparata (as a package ticket and mainly as relief from an unexpected rainy period). There is some interesting art in the cathedral, but the Church of St John was very interesting for the archeological excavations 6 feet under the floor of the modern church. There is a walkway exposing the five previous occupation levels going back to Roman times. It was quite interesting and well worth a visit. After the rain cleared, I explored more of the town, had a lunch, and took the train back to Livorno (45 minutes) and a taxi back to the port. A party of four (or more) could have easily arranged for a taxi to Luca (at the port) for only slightly more than the train/taxi price for the four combined. Something to consider. On the second day in Livorno my excursion to Florence was canceled (I was going to use it as a one way transit) so I packed up and headed into Florence by taxi. I spent three nights at the Hotel Degli Orafi. A lovely hotel on the Arno between the Ponto Vecchio and the Ufficci. I had booked a single room, and was upgraded to a single apartment. I highly recommend this hotel. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
I have sailed with princess since 1977 and I have sailed on Emerald Princess several times. My last trip was out of Athens on the 16th of May 2015 and from the embarkation it had lots of issues. On arrival at Athens Port no one to help ... Read More
I have sailed with princess since 1977 and I have sailed on Emerald Princess several times. My last trip was out of Athens on the 16th of May 2015 and from the embarkation it had lots of issues. On arrival at Athens Port no one to help with luggage. The staff were actually sitting on the Trolley's smoking great impression, did not rush to help at all. I was sent into a embark hall to wait with no one in the hall then moved into another embark hall. Being a Platinum member I did not even get welcome back, just can I have your cabin number and not even enjoy your cruise. What do they say first impressions really matter. My cabin was fine but my steward had absolutely no personality at all. He forgot to clean my stateroom twice, left all his cleaning products in my bathroom for a week and left rotten fruit in my cabin. No attention to detail at all. I had no complaints about the dining room my waiter and assistant waiter were superb and so was our Head Waiter. The food has certainly changed since the last time I was on board. The Crown Grill which I ate in twice was marvellous, but the experience at Sabatini 's Restaurant was less than memorable, if they are going to charge for an Italian Restaurant they need to have Italian Waiters. The entertainment was shocking and the stage shows were there four years ago If they flog that Love Boat Theme once more I would scream, this is 2015 not 1977 yes they are celebrating the 50 years but really when leaving a fabulous place like Istanbul at 10 pm in the evening don't play the Love Boat Theme, seriously. The Female Cruise Director was dreadful They really need to pay attention to their staff and the way they dress, some uniforms have been in since Princess started and you need to get rid of the white pursers uniform on woman it is not flattering. I recently went on a Costa Cruise and I have nothing but praise for how beautifully the staff were attired. The front Desk staff were rude, cold and unwelcoming The boutiques need a massive revamp they are still in the 1980's The rudest person on the ship was the guy in the Internet café you are honestly doing yourself no favours having him aboard. My biggest beef was the fact that I had prepaid my departure transfer and nd it took 11 goes to get it right. I have cruised with Princess for a long time, I still had a good time on board but to keep up with the newest ships in the market they need to change. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I travelled on Minerva first December then returned 12/05/2015. The quality of food was poor even since Christmas when chef replaced and obviously budget reduced. The speakers had not liased and there was overlapping of information, ... Read More
I travelled on Minerva first December then returned 12/05/2015. The quality of food was poor even since Christmas when chef replaced and obviously budget reduced. The speakers had not liased and there was overlapping of information, although all very good. The late evening entertainment was very poor and guaranteed to empty Orpheous. The opera and other entertainment was good. In my opinion Minerva are failing to look at their core cliental. Their previous clients have been replaced by baby boomers. Sixties night consisted of 3 dusty Springfield covers and jazz. However when crew jammed it was obvious there is plenty of talent already on board and Orpheous was packed. Come on Minerva move on and survive. On both cruises there was a large group of singles. On another note the shore stops were very poor. I know the problems in Ukraine forced changes. But 2 nights in Georgia, a beautiful country and two at Bulgaria would, it was generally agreed by all have been preferable option. The service was an attempt at fine dining not back up by the faire Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Our first experience with Seabourn was in 2009. Our Norwegian vessel was docked near a Seabourn ship. Seeing how the Seabourn guests were welcomed aboard was an eye opener. In 2014, we took a deep breath and book the Greek Islands ... Read More
Our first experience with Seabourn was in 2009. Our Norwegian vessel was docked near a Seabourn ship. Seeing how the Seabourn guests were welcomed aboard was an eye opener. In 2014, we took a deep breath and book the Greek Islands cruise on the Sojourn. A big step for us, but we wanted the all inclusive experience. i don't have the time or patience to attempt a complete review, but I confess to being a true believer in the Seabourn experience. I will never forget the staff members standing in front of the gangway cheering and applauding us as we came on board! So cool. We loved our cabin! It was big, luxurious, had a walk in closet and a bathtub. The veranda was big and private, and there was a table and chairs for in room dining in style. The staff were amazing. The first day I stopped by the Pool deck bar for a cocktail. The next day as I walked by the same bar, the bartender asked if I wanted the same cocktail I had previously ordered. Every one seemed to know our names. All the facilities were first rate, and the food was fabulous. The chef hosted an event where he made a fabulous paella in front of us while he chatted away about Seabourn, food, and his life experiences. We got to attend a shore event in the ruins of Ephesus where we were seated outside the coliseum and fed wine and snacks while being entertained by a string quartet...on the house. Seabourn gave us the cruise experience of a lifetime. Worth every penny. If you are considering stepping up from the more popular big ship cruises, we encourage you to consider going all the way to the finest...Seabourn. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Just got back yesterday from my 26 day med/transatlantic cruise. Overall it was great cruise except for a few rough nights coming across the Atlantic. Was disappointed with the activities onboard during days at sea. Can see why some name ... Read More
Just got back yesterday from my 26 day med/transatlantic cruise. Overall it was great cruise except for a few rough nights coming across the Atlantic. Was disappointed with the activities onboard during days at sea. Can see why some name this ship the BoringDam. The food was just average. Did eat several times at the Pinnacle grill and it was well worth the extra money that it costs. Highly recommend it to future passengers. The ship was in excellent condition, the staff was friendly. The entertainment was below par and did improve once we departed for the transatlantic crossing. Embarkation and transfers from the Marriott Ledra, in Athens went well. The entire embarkation process went quickly and baggage was delivered to the room I think in record time. The itinerary and ports were interesting though I limited my excursion travels due to the costs involved. Even with the 10% discount that HAL offered the excursion prices were on the high side. Ephesus the first port of call was beautiful and was able to book my own tour off the ship at a much cheaper rate with another couple. In town Kusadasi, the atmosphere was lets rip off the tourists with all the counterfeit merchandise and overpriced carpets. Definitely need to know your prices before you go on rugs and leather products. The next stop was Haifa, Israel. A wonderful place to go, just wish HAL would overnight there as there is so much to see and so little time. Shore excursion prices were pricey. If you can plan well ahead, book your own tours. Going to the ports of Limassol Cyprus was a little disappointing as a port of call. Took the bus into town and walk around a bit. Good place to buy linens and buy a cold beer to drink. Nothing really stands out. On to Katakolon, Greece. What can I say, the ancient grounds of Olympia was a great tour. The town of Katakolon is a small quaint town with a little bit of shopping. Highly recommend going to the Greek Art Gallery there if you want a nice piece of art work. Virginia the owner is from the states and will make you a honest deal on a nice piece of art. Not a rip-off like Christos across the street, where I bought something and I am still waiting to see if it gets delivered. If you want cheap internet, go to the back street as there is a great place for internet at a cheap price as well as a nice little café. And the Gelato Yum! Messina, Italy was disappointing. Should have taken a tour to Toramina, but the tour price was too high. In Naples for the day took the hop-on hop-of bus. Great way to see Naples and feel safe in doing it. Recommend taking the both routes that are offered. If you want to do shopping take the red line and get off at stop 3. If you want excellent pizza, take the red line to stop 9 and try Lombardi, or onto stop 10 and go to Toraminos. Excellent Pizza. Once you eat pizza in Naples and you will not be able to stand the crap they serve here in the states. Also, don't forget to get the Gelato. The next stop I wish to mention in my review is the port for Rome. Have a hard time saying it as well as spelling it. Civitavecchia??? In lieu of going to Rome, I decided to explore this little city. I was surprise by it. If you decided to see the port, make sure you take in the open air market and explore some of the back streets. For internet service at very cheap price go to a little hole in the wall place called SeaMen. From the place where the port bus drops you off, you will see McDonalds then go to the right about 2 blocks and cut in towards town on the narrow street. SeaMens is on the right and is a grocery store up front but a has in internet service in the back along with a little café off to the side. Show them your ship card and then get on their computers. It was just a little over 1 euro for about 45 minutes. Beats the ships rates. Besides the internet, the wine and beer prices there are cheap. The crossing of the Atlantic was a long journey especially with the seas being choppy for many days and the port of calls Allicante, Malaga, and Cadiz were just ok to me. Recommend doing the hop-on- Hop-off buses. Nothing really stood out. Nothing like going like going to Barcelona or Lisbon. If I had to do it all over again, I would skip the transatlantic portion, especially in the fall. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
This was my fourth cruise and first on Azamara. After reading reviews for months, finally adding my own. Was a really good trip overall but in many ways I just don't understand the hype that surrounds this brand. Not a complaint just ... Read More
This was my fourth cruise and first on Azamara. After reading reviews for months, finally adding my own. Was a really good trip overall but in many ways I just don't understand the hype that surrounds this brand. Not a complaint just my thoughts. Saved my gripes for the end. Cruise was round trip departing out of Athens from Oct 19 thru Oct 26th: Pre cruise Hilton Athens: Gorgeous wide open bright lobby, lots of glass and marble. Quick check in and I got a room with an Acropolis view. Very cool! Room was large and spotlessly clean. I'd like to have the shower and bathtub in my home! Rooftop bar/restaurant had stunning nighttime views of the Acropolis. Hotel bars and restaurant good but not great food and very pricey. 55 euros for two glasses of wine and a skewer of chicken souvalaki for dinner. Included breakfast was adequate, standard stuff. Transfer to Pier: Letter at check-in at Hilton indicated what time to meet the bus in lobby. Pretty large group of about 75 people went in two buses at 12:00 and 12:30. Azamara rep was on site at the hotel in the morning for questions and directing people to the bus. Call me a privacy freak but I was not really cool with the bulletin board by the Azamara table with everybody's name on it. Saw no need for that at all. Aprox. 30 mins to pier, lot of Azamara people directing where to go inside. Check in was pretty quick, aprox. 15-20 mins in line and I had my cabin card and was on the ship at about 1:30. Greeted with champagne/juice. Able to get in cabins at about 2:00. Luggage showed up within about an hour which was nice (well it was in the hall being lined up ready to be delivered and I took it in my self), poor guy working there was mortified! Ship: Interiors were spotless everywhere. Looks pretty much just like the pictures in the brochure/online. Very elegant, lots of marble/granite, metal scrollwork, lots of cream, green and gold colors with an old world vibe. Good signage everywhere. Bars and pool grill and buffet restaurant were open at time of boarding. Modest effort made to upsell people on the drinks package but nothing annoying on first day. Cabin: Small but fairly standard size with balcony compared to prior cruises. Spotless, nice touches with fresh flowers and a fruit plate and included drinks section in minibar which was replenished throughout the week. Complimentary tote bag in room at check in (pretty nice bag actually). Bathroom, spotless and small. Standard stuff. Cabin attendant very efficient all week. Food/Beverages: Breakfast buffet was pretty average overall. The omelet station was disappointing both times I tried it. Sit down restaurant was "closing" 20 mins before posted hours both times I went so I never got to try that for breakfast. With early starts for most of the excursions I needed to be in and out quickly. Never went hungry but never impressed. Pool Grill/lunch buffet was a bit mixed. Some of the offerings in the buffet were quite good such as the made to order sandwiches and salads. (Nice that only staff vs a couple hundred people with likely grubby hands touching the serving utensils). Buffet is not my favorite to say the least. The bright spot at lunch was really the Pool Grill. They had a menu, it was all cooked to order and they would find you where ever you were seating. Wings, burgers, grilled sausages, 4 or 5 different kinds of kebobs, club sandwiches, ribs, tacos etc. Dinners. Discoveries and Prime C Restaurant Ate in main restaurant Discoveries all but one night when I went the "specialty" restaurant Prime C. Overall my thoughts on dinners were again, mixed. The main dining room was gorgeous in its interior, although stiflingly hot every evening. Discoveries menu had the "always available" section and then the "daily specials". Many nights the two were not that different. Can't complain about the quality but portions were small and in some cases really tiny. Some of their food descriptions left a lot to be desired, for example "cheese and onion soup" was really French onion soup and "rack of lamb" was a tiny lamb chop. Many of the meat portion size descriptors on the meat cuts were way way off in terms of what the menu stated vs what showed up on the plate. Frankly the menu was pretty basic, was hoping for something a bit more. Again, never went hungry but was never wowed either. Prime C was also gorgeous in its interior and looked out over the bow of the ship with floor to ceiling windows. Menu a bit more mixed but in my opinion still pretty basic. I ordered the filet rare and it came to the table medium. I sent it back and the re-fire was perfect like it should have been the first time. Was actually the best dinner I had all week. Overall service in both restaurants Have mixed thoughts on the service. While the service received was always good, it was frequently slow and drawn out. Dinner easily took two+ hours most nights. While tables for 2-6 were frequently empty in the dining room, they definitely pushed you to sit with other people at the large tables which I truly resented. (Luckily I met some really cool people to share with but if I had not I would have had a real issue with that) Bar staff were uniformly great everywhere throughout the ship the entire cruise. All the included alcohol and wines worked well for me. Good to very good quality on the wines. Excursions: With the exception of the ungodly early start times (8:30AM) for most of them, all of the excursions I booked thru the ship were great. Shuttle buses right by the pier, extremely knowledgeable guides and nicely paced. Ultimate Ephesus and Rhodes walking tour in particular were superb. Ports: With the exception of Kos they were all very enjoyable. Not sure what the draw was on Kos. Santorini, Rhodes and Ephesus were all outstanding in very different ways each of them. Mykonos and Marmaris both very pretty and enjoyable as well. My gripes: My poor thoughts on ChoiceAir have been further amplified. Finding a suitable flight home on Sat was made impossible due to the direction of "absolutely no flights before 1:00PM" causing me to have to stay over another night in Athens. Imagine my surprise when the captain announces that "due the volume of early flight departures they will be anchoring at 4:30AM with initial disembarking beginning at 5:30AM". Could have easily made a 12:30 flight that I had found that ChoiceAir refused to book and saved myself a couple hundred bucks! Transfer to post cruise Hilton from ship This falls into the it's never too late to make a bad impression category. There were two buses at the 8:30 disembarkation one for the Hilton and one for the Bretagne Hotel and Hilton hotels. I am sitting on the first Hilton bus when a man and a woman approaches and says "we'll need you to come with us". I asked what was wrong and they just herded me off the bus. They then hustle a couple onto the bus to sit where I was sitting. When I asked what was going on they said as I was alone they wanted to get the couple onto the other bus first. Excuse me but that was a huge WTF moment for me. It was seriously more important for a couple to get on a bus that was going to the same place arriving maybe 15 mins apart?? And the driver had attitude when I insisted they take my luggage off the first bus and put it on the second. He made a snotty comment about "keeping people waiting". What were they going to do with my luggage leave it at the curb?? I really had to restrain myself from saying something. I made it almost a whole trip without experiencing solo discrimination but as I pointed out earlier it is never to late to leave a really bad impression. Post cruise Hilton From prior travel I had a vague memory of Europe ending daylight savings time a week earlier than the USA. (This did not occur to me prior to leaving to check out myself, go figure!) When I asked two different people at the desk they knew nothing about it. Bought a newspaper and didn't see anything either and thought I was mistaken. Next morning sure enough there was a flyer at the desk alerting people to change clocks back, would have been nice to know the day before when you are getting up at 3:30AM the next morning! And no "included breakfast " that early either. Random thoughts: Did I have a great time, absolutely! Did it live up to some of the hype I have read, some ways yes and others sadly no. Loved the size of the ship and the service was really good albeit slow overall. I was impressed by the number of repeat cruisers and the fact that in many cases the crew recognized people. Saw many instances of smiles/handshakes and hugs all around. That transfer experience really left me on a very flat note though. Will I cruise Azamara again, for a great itinerary and pricing absolutely would.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013

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