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10 Cunard Greece Cruise Reviews

We had previously done 2 Cunard cruises, both from Southampton and were a little nervous about embarking on a fly cruise. We chose to pay extra to go from Manchester (£50 pp) and rather than flying via BA from Heathrow we ended up with ... Read More
We had previously done 2 Cunard cruises, both from Southampton and were a little nervous about embarking on a fly cruise. We chose to pay extra to go from Manchester (£50 pp) and rather than flying via BA from Heathrow we ended up with Titan Airways. This proved to be the most problematic element on our trip. Firstly there is no allocated seating and we arrived last (still 2 and 1/2 hours before flight) and were therefore in 2 seats with the aisle between us, sitting with strangers - Not an ideal start but I guess with the majority of guest being in couples and the cabin configured as 3 - 3 this will happen to some. The flight was uneventful with sandwiches (£4 a box) and drinks available (£2 bottle water, £5 spirit + mixer). Coming back however was a completely different picture. The Victoria is a lovely ship, spotlessly clean, professional and organised and we really enjoyed the cruise - Unfortunately my wife fell ill with the "Cunard Cough" which developed into a chest infection. As a result we didn't do much at the ports and did not partake of any excursions. I don't believe my wife's illness was a reflection of Cunard as their hygiene protocols throughout the ship were exemplary. We did visit areas of the ship we have never seen before i.e. the medical centre! The staff there were fantastic. The entertainment was disappointing with a "comedy" juggler who in the 7 minutes we tolerated was not funny and couldn't catch! The Mentalist was good however as were the musicians dotted around the lounges throughout. We do not attend the entertainment team shows as previous experience indicates these are not our cup of tea. We enjoyed the food in the Britannia and the Lido and have no complaints about either. We took advantage of the free drinks package, which I understand was a limited offer and something Cunard haven't done before. This was very beneficial and would look out for this offering again. My wife had some Spa treatments which were as you would expect. I indulged in a whisky tasting session which to be honest was disappointing - All the whiskies were your standard malts that you can buy in any bar on-board (or in any pub on land) and whilst the presenter was knowledgeable with no rare brands it was a bit "meh". Finally the time came to disembark and for many this meant arriving at the airport at around 10am for a flight at 4pm! We organised a private tour of Athens via taxi so arrived at the airport around 1.30pm. As before there were no allocated seating so at the desk it was first come first served. However as Titan are a charter company they do not have a permanent desk and "share" with other airlines, this lead to utter confusion with no one able to queue until the desk number was announced. As a result at 2pm all passengers "rushed" the newly opened desk and given some had been sat since 10am, tempers flared, tears were shed and some passengers got very upset (as almost all were British this manifested itself in the main as evil looks and tutting). Once on-board the plane, it was apparent that the AC was not working properly as it was stifling hot and no air to speak of coming out of the vents. This resulted in a very uncomfortable 4 hour journey with some passengers needing use of an oxygen bottle as they developed breathing difficulties! This took the shine off what had been for the most part a very enjoyable relaxed cruise. In summary - would we cruise again? Definitely but would seriously think twice about a fly cruise and would avoid Titan Airways at all costs. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
I chose the Queen Elizabeth because the cruise included ports that we had not been to. The embarkation procedure went smoothly and we were pleasantly surprised to find that we had been upgraded to the Brittania Club. The stateroom was ... Read More
I chose the Queen Elizabeth because the cruise included ports that we had not been to. The embarkation procedure went smoothly and we were pleasantly surprised to find that we had been upgraded to the Brittania Club. The stateroom was clean and tidy but the shower in the bathroom was a disappointment. Having travelled on both Celebrity and Oceania the immediate reaction was that it lacked that little touch such as room fresheners and refreshments. The food in the Britannia Grill was very good and the somewhat small portions could be supplemented with the help of the friendly waiters. However the Lido Restaurant was a disappointment. The food is acceptable and it is obvious that the chefs have to work with the quality of ingredients supplied. On a Mediterranean cruise you don't expect to get supermarket quality greenhouse tomatoes. As on most ships the number of desserts that can be made from a common base is amazing! At times the staff were clearly unsupervised with individuals running around appearing to be busy whilst ignoring the empty dishes. There also seems not to be enough crockery as, at busy times, it comes straight out of the dishwasher back to the restaurant. Salad and cold drinks with hot plates and glasses is not really acceptable. When this was pointed out to a supervisor the attitude was "so what" The prices for all services and beverages are extremely expensive. As on most ships, service charges are added to the account but here a drink incurs an extra service charge on top. The cost of excursions are the most expensive that I have encountered and do not appear good value. Having been on other cruises we know to steer clear of these and organise trips independently. A first time cruiser could spend a lot of money. In summary it's Carnival in disguise or "a VW Golf with a Rolls-Royce Badge. Cunard is a rather poor third behind Celebrity and Oceania. We won't be going back.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was our second cruise on the Queen Elizabeth in the September month, each sailing from Venice. We stayed for 3 nights at the Hilton Garden Hotel, Mestre, a five minute bus ride into the centre of Venice. This was a great location for ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Queen Elizabeth in the September month, each sailing from Venice. We stayed for 3 nights at the Hilton Garden Hotel, Mestre, a five minute bus ride into the centre of Venice. This was a great location for a pre-cruise say and is highly recommended. We normally travel with Celebrity but the QE cruise visited the ports that we wanted to visit. We booked the same ocean view stateroom as the previous year because of its location, a short walk to the theatre, the Golden Lion pub and the central lobby. It must be said that the QE is more suitable for the older cruiser because its programme is geared to interests common to the more senior citizens of us. The ballroom is the centre of the ship and home to most of the functions as well as the nightly dances. We don't like the idea of the Princess grill passengers being physically separated from us - it smacks of the Titanic. By all means pay for a higher grade of suite or stateroom but don't then behave like it's Downton Abbey. The general rule is that gentlemen must wear a jacket on the ship after 6pm, except in the Lido Buffet and Garden Lounge. I don't mind getting dressed up for the formal nights, after all it's the only time my Tux gets an outing, but the jackets rule is getting out of date now. The entertainment on the ship was first class and the cruise director, Leon de Saint Croix, was fantastic. He was the best that we have seen in 20 years of cruising. He arranged a sailaway party for the departure from Kusadasi on our last port of call. We were berthed next to the P & O Aurora and he managed to get not only the Queen Elizabeth passengers up and dancing but also those on the Aurora and the coup de grace was as the ship was slipping out its berth, he played Rule Britannia at full blast and with the QE sounding its horn, it brought a tear to my crusty eye! The food was good but we found the menu in the Britannia restaurant a bit bland compared to other cruises on the Celebrity but still very acceptable. However the buffet on the Lido let the side down. The English bacon was undercooked and the American bacon overcooked. Dishes were left empty and the service was sloppy. For some reason the plates/knives and forks etc. were placed at the wrong end of the Lido so there was a constant stream of people jostling. There was also a serious lack of imagination on the menu although I was happy with what I got. Korcula was the first call where we tendered in. Tender service was quick and efficient and it was a nice call although there is not a great deal to do but it's a pleasant place for a relaxing drink amidst beautiful scenery. A bit of imagination by the Captain ensured a trouble free call at Rhodes where the days were switched to avoid docking with four other ships at Crete. Rhodes was very touristy with the usual shops lining the streets. We called for a drink at one of the many bars and I made the mistake of ordering a large beer, which came in the shape of a large boot containing 1 litre. Good job there were loos between there and the ship. Heraklion in Crete didn't have much to offer apart from Knossos, which we have already seen but we took the hop on / hop off bus which was good value in seeing the town and it calls at Knossos. The final call was a Kusadasi and if you like haggling with shop owners, then this is the place for you. Many people went to Ephesus but again we had already been there. The sailaway as described was fantastic and was a fitting end to the Cruise. Finally it was a good cruise on a super ship but the staff could learn to smile a bit more. Many did but there were some very po-faced individuals who could learn from the Celebrity staff. They were ok but there wasn't the warmth there. Our room steward Joenil was an exception and was a shining example of how to be cabin staff. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Just returned from a 7 night cruise from Athens calling at Istanbul, Volos and Mykonos. Usually sail with Seabourn, friends suggested Queens Grill as a comparison. Big mistake. Cabin nice (Queens suite at back of vessel) but suffered from ... Read More
Just returned from a 7 night cruise from Athens calling at Istanbul, Volos and Mykonos. Usually sail with Seabourn, friends suggested Queens Grill as a comparison. Big mistake. Cabin nice (Queens suite at back of vessel) but suffered from vibration, very surprising. Our butler multi tasked, yellow gloves for the toilet cleaning one minute, white gloves to deliver the caviar next minute - overworked. Restaurant disappointing, Queens Grill. On youtube the MD boasts 'you can have whatever you desire', well Turbot, Brill, and a prawn cocktail with American Relish is a NO for a start!... gave up asking in the end. Lunch was particularly disappointing, with cottage pie and veg & coronation chicken baguettes offered one day- this is not fine dining. Dinner was slightly better, and the service was good, but a certain 'aloofness' was apparent. Once again though, you can't really go off menu unless you give them plenty of notice, and then you are made to feel it is a major problem - the Maitre d virtually gave us a dressing down one day when we asked for a tuna nicoise for lunch, explaining the fish had to be taken from the freezer, then defrosted, then brought in the lift, then put in the kitchen, then the chef would have to prepare..it was pathetic and embarrasing. He was going on holiday the next day so probably worn out, but still. The nicoise arrived though - tinned tuna - fine dining? The Queens terrace is a waste of time (private sunbathing area), very poor bar service the guy walked past once or twice a day, and then offered a plate of rolls very close to lunchtime when you don't want them. Water and orange juice available just inside the door (not fresh juice, but watered down concentrate). Princess Grill use the deck too, so all beds taken under the shade on sea days. If you want a swim you have to galavant down 3 large flights of stairs and walk around the top deck to get to the pool, and only a shower on Queens terrace. Tried the Verandah restaurant one night, excellent food and service, this is how Queens Grill should be, begrudged having to pay a high supplement though when we had already paid for the best supposedly. To top it all off Mykonos was cancelled (reading other reviews this looks like a common occurrence) we just raced back to Athens and spent the night there - wonderful. Please don't book Queens Grill, Seabourn is out there, and they are amazing. Cabins superior, food superior, ambiance superior, and much better value for money overall. Sorry Cunard, we won't be back.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
It was the second time after many years that me and my family chose the cruise as a way of passing our holidays. We are Greeks and what attracted us was the ship itself and the itinerary which contained three interesting ports (Istanbul, ... Read More
It was the second time after many years that me and my family chose the cruise as a way of passing our holidays. We are Greeks and what attracted us was the ship itself and the itinerary which contained three interesting ports (Istanbul, Volos and Mykonos). High level voting given to the luxury, the cabins, the cleanliness, the crew politeness and the nice people we met on the board. Medium level voting given to the poor variety of food in the buffet "Lido" compared to the cruise value, the too strict protocol in formal dressing, the lack of creativity in the entertainment programme which was fit only for British people, without taking into account that the passengers were coming from 50 different nationalities. And all the above could be overlooked, but the date of embarkation to Mykonos (last port before disembarkation) the captain decided not to approach the port and disembark with the small boats, because of the wind! The wind at that time (09:00 a.m. on 14/08/14) based on the weather forecast was 4-5 Beaufort Wind Force Scale, a very common situation for the area. The ship changed the route and announced the return to Piraeus accelerating its speed!! The official explanation was "the security reasons", quite difficult to believe for the specific ship and the info the Myconians gave us. But it was captain's decision...What else could we do? After the big disappointment we felt, our mood changed at all when we realized that the representatives of Cunard on the ship were not willing to refund us the losing date of the already prepaid cruise (2 ports instead of 3 ) taking as granted that this is not foreseen and we have to deal it with the tourist office we booked the cruise. And of course the request was not coming only from us, but from all the greek passengers who were obliged to come back one day earlier. I can write many details about the difficulty we faced to meet the captain and his attitude when we finally achieved to meet him, the non existing customer satisfaction policy of the company for such kinds of cases, the lack of respect mostly to the passengers who were coming from very far (USA, Australia), especially the old aged ones who expected to visit one of the most famous islands of the world. All the people affected (around 150) we have already started the process of claim with Cunard through our local tourist office. Sorry to admit that the last taste of the voyage was very bitter indeed and surely we will not select again the specific line. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
The biggest issue was the captains decision to skip Mykonos , though windy , my question is why did Cunards not book a berth on the dock , being a major part of the itinery , many of us booked this particular cruise for Mykonos & ... Read More
The biggest issue was the captains decision to skip Mykonos , though windy , my question is why did Cunards not book a berth on the dock , being a major part of the itinery , many of us booked this particular cruise for Mykonos & Santorini , the handling of the situation pursers desk was deplorable The entertainment is set for elderly cruisers & Brits, the shows singers was so out of sink with each other , the TV was preferable I had to call after 7 days for.my sheets to be changed My husband & I were placed on a table with families, families should be sat with other age appropriate families, it was almost an argument to be moved to a table with adults only Ball room dancing every night i, how about mixing it up with say rock & roll , the floor was basically empty every night Staff seemed to be tired & at times sullen Only 2 washing machines & dryers per level , many disputes I would nit be rushing to get on this cruise liner Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We had cruised on this ship to Norway , late in the year, and found it cool on the ship and cold in the fjords. Still it was easily the best and most economical way to see them, We researched flight and ferry options as well as hotels and ... Read More
We had cruised on this ship to Norway , late in the year, and found it cool on the ship and cold in the fjords. Still it was easily the best and most economical way to see them, We researched flight and ferry options as well as hotels and all worked out at least twice as costly and without the views from the 10th deck of QE. We knew the Med - from Venice via Dubrovnik, Piraeus, Kusadasi, Greek Islands and Sicily to Civitavecchia would be different. And it was. Knowing the ship already was helpful as we paid a bit extra for a balcony cabin so that we could open a window and avoid being blown away by the aircon. The drawback was that the few smokers on Cunard are now addicts and chain-smoke on their balcony from before dawn untikl midnight or later. When they do, the smoke is sucked straight into your cabin and there is nothing for it but to close the window. From May 2014 QE balconies will be smoke-free and the problem should evaporate. The QE aircon seems to circulate germs and if you sit for long in a cabin with the windiows shut , you are likely soon to be sneezing and coughing. We noted many of the Japanese passengers wearing face masks, which is what they do when they have an infection. Perhaps a more upsetting problem was the stomach upsets. We were ill four times, usually just a couple of hours after eating breakfast in the Lido. We eventually narowed this down to the salads, prepared in the Lido kitchens, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and such. Of course, I would never, ever eat this anywhere in the Third World as I know the likely outcome. But we were misled by the ubiquitous alcohol hand washing which confronts you, whenever you enter a restaurand, into thinking that Cunard had the bugs under control. Not so it seems. This was not Norovirus or anything like it, but a vicious little bug which sent you running to find a toilet in some strange port. My reward for reporting this to the medical staff was to be confined to my cabin, for the remainder of the trip Feeling unwell obviously detracts from a holiday and colours your recollections. But I will set that aside. An advantage of the Med compared to Norway is that all the ports have cheap cafes, bars and drink shops. In fact at Venice and Dubrovinik entrepreneurs who obviously knew something of Cunard`s drink prices had set up stalls at the entry to the ship. They did a great trade and you can pay in eouros rather than US dollars. It is possible at each port - aside from the Italian Civitavechia and Messina - which are ugly dumps - to walk off the ship and take a local bus, train, taxi or Dolmus to whereever you may want to go. Thus you can avoid the high-price excursions. Our favourites were Corfu and Santorini - where we found that we could avoid the worst crowds by taking a €30 boat trip to the end of the island. Venice and Athens even in November are packed out in the rourist spots - I did not even try Rome - but it is possible to wander around the back streets and find places of interest if you are not determined to tick off the Parthenon and the Colosseum. On board meakls and service were generally excelent and we found that paying $10 extra for the serviced sector of the Lido, where Asian and Indian food is served at your table is always a good investment. One of the chefs is from Goa so he knows Indian cuisine. The Verandah, a considerably larger investment never disappopints, although one night we had a waiter from South America who was the split image of Manuel. We left for Heathrow Terminal 5 early on the morning of the hurricane, expecting the flight to be cancelled. In fact everything went very smootly right through to the coach to the cruise terminal. Boarding was not to Southampton standards but we will not complain after Fiumcino. Four queues and three hours - the first half a mile long as the airport tried to load two 767s=500pax through a single desk. Nowhere to eat that was not already booked out by Japanese waiting for their charter to Tokyo- who had been bussed in before us. Goodbye Fiumcino - never again. There were a lot of Japanes on the ship - sometiomes it seemed over 500. And though invariably quiet and polite - they contrived to converge on the buffets in a swarm. There they would beetle around, heads down, collecting plates and mugs and building large, but orderly queues everywhere. Collisions were inevitable as they rushed from the omelette hot plate to the waffles. The English - older, quieter, more reserved than in Norwayand it proved hard to strike up many aquantainceships, either with the Japanese or the English..   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We flew into Rome a couple of days prior to embarkation. This vacation was comprised of my mom, my dad, my sister & myself (Unfortunately, my brother wastherwise occupied with his university studies). This was to be my 9th cruise, but ... Read More
We flew into Rome a couple of days prior to embarkation. This vacation was comprised of my mom, my dad, my sister & myself (Unfortunately, my brother wastherwise occupied with his university studies). This was to be my 9th cruise, but my first with Cunard. This was also my first European cruise. The name of this cruise was "Greek Isles and Holy Land Explorer", as the ports included were: - Olympia (Katakolon), Greece- Santorini, Greece - Haifa, Isreal (2 days, overnight) - Limassol, Cyprus - Rhodes, Greece (my personal favourite port. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Castles and old architecture everywhere) - Crete (Heraklion), Greece - Naples/Capri (Sorrento), Italy Embarkation: It was smooth and painless, quite efficient actually. They handed out slips of paper which had a number printed on it, showing which group number you were to check in with. Priority boarding cruisers were given smaller numbers so that they would be let on first. Once you had finished checking in, they led you to a mandatory photo op (It was apparently to also get an identification image too). Crew members distributed squirts of hand sanitizer to everyone (get used to it), and you were let on in a jiffy. You were led to the escalator area and directed to your room (which was surprisingly ready already!). After setting down your things, you would continue to eat your embarkation lunch in the Lido. Public Rooms: I found they classical and gorgeous. It gave off a very elegant, high class feeling. The rooms were always kept very clean, and nicely maintained. The atrium is absolutely beautiful by the way. There is often live music played around the area in the evening. Fitness & Recreation: My sister and I hit the gym every afternoon for about 2/3rds of our cruise and found the facilities to be wonderful. There was an abundance of treadmills and work out equipment. There was also an area in which you could do yoga (& there were yoga mats) or dance/stretch. My personal favourite was the punching bag & boxing gloves. There were also weights and whatnot in the corner. The gym was connected to the spa, which was nice for those who wanted to get pampered after working out. Enrichment Activities: Almost everyday, we had a guest speaker (Harvey something?) who had lectures on different subjects in the theater. He discussed and presented things such as "Who killed JFK?" and other interesting subjects. There were also port lectures on the upcoming ports we were to soon dock at. They provided interesting and good information as to where the sweet spots of the city lay, and how to get there. Dining: We had had quite high expectations for the dining, as we heard heard very much about it. To be honest, we were not all that impressed. It wasn't that it was bad, it was just that.. there weren't too many dishes that I would consider ordering for a second time. To put it simply, out of 10 dishes, I would say 3 would be gross, 4 would be okay, 2 would be good, and 1 would be REALLY good. I felt the hit and miss rate was too high. I personally am not picky, but if our family of 4 can reach the same verdict, I think we have a pretty solid consensus. Their soups were often too salty (to my parents at least, my sister and I usually thought they were alright), and their entrées did not have enough salt. (My mom once commented that the soup and entrée chef should switch for a day ^^). The steaks for the most part were quite well done, but the lobster was just disappointing. I recall quite a few lunch options were very good, lunch had a higher chance of having a delicious dish than dinner did. All in all, I wouldn't say bad, I'd just say .. too many "eh"s. We dined in the Britannia by the way. The lido buffet was actually pretty good. It's kind of sad when we sometimes liked dinner in the Lido better than in the restaurant. Entertainment: I thought the entertainment was quite good, the acts brought on were all very good, and some quite impressive. I left the theater many times, absolutely delighted. There was a trend though, there was a very obvious British theme. I frequently missed jokes and didn't recognize songs because I am from Canada, but it never put a damper on my enjoyment. Service: We were very disappointed by our dinner service this time. We had a team of servers that did not click at all. Our head server would run around frantically, while our assistant server IGNORED US for over half of the trip. I literally had no idea that we even had an assistant server until day 5!! We found that completely outrageous. This was just our bad luck, because every other lunch team we got (lunch = random set of servers) were absolutely wonderful! It was kind of ridiculous. The other people in our section complained about how our servers were working. We decided to give them a chance before saying anything. That turned out to be our mistake. Our assistant server simply served those who had complained. Seriously? Anyhow, all of the other staff around the ship were great, very professional, helpful and polite. Shore Excursions: We only did one shore excursion, in Haifa. This was a Jerusalem and Bethlehem tour that went into the city. We enjoyed it very much. Our tour guide was absolutely fantastic. He seriously went out of his way to accommodate us. He even pushed to have us tour the trove in which Jesus was born, even though it wasn't part of the tour! He really deserved the tip he got. Value for Money: We got the cruise on a great deal, so how can I complain? The ship was gorgeous, the service (for the most part) was excellent, the food was alright, the the ports were plentiful! I'd say it was pretty worth it. Overall: Not bad. Yes, I would cruise with them again, but pray to God that I get a better serving team next time. They seriously make a huge impact on the enjoyment of your cruise! If you enjoyed my review or found it at all helpful, please hop over to my extremely-in-depth trip report over on the Cruise Critic Message Board Forums. It covers my trip from the point I left my house, to my time spent in Rome, all the way to my cruise and back! It is full of (extremely HD) pictures and it depicts the story of my vacation! http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1947801   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
A wonderful cruise that exceeded our expectations in every way! The ship is beautifully maintained by a very solicitous crew, and our steward, the dining staff, and entertainment crew were wonderful. Cunard offered a good variety of ... Read More
A wonderful cruise that exceeded our expectations in every way! The ship is beautifully maintained by a very solicitous crew, and our steward, the dining staff, and entertainment crew were wonderful. Cunard offered a good variety of excursions for each stop, ranging from energetic hikes through ancient ruins to pastoral scenic bus rides, meaning there was something for everyone. We booked our roundtrip airfare from Newark, NJ with the cruise line as well, providing us with a price not attainable elsewhere, and full pick- up/drop- off service at both ends by courteous and knowledgeable Cunard hosts. We were very impressed by how knowledgeable the Greek tour guides were and asked one about what her training was. She explained they have a very comprehensive study curriculum for three years, followed by 9 months of travel throughout Greece and the Islands. However, the Greek government recently lowered the requirement for the same tour license, now requiring only a 2-month study course, clearly a loss to unknowing tourists. It might be wise to verify tour guide training in advance, although I'm not sure if this can be done since the tour companies will not care about individuals' training, just the fact that they are licensed! We booked a balcony cabin, but were bumped up to a suite at the last minute. This meant not only additional space via a sitting room with bar, but also a bump up to dining in the Princess Grill. That was the best part of the bump up, with over-the-top meals and service, plus the opportunity to meet interesting, well-seasoned travelers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
First, how brilliant the Elizabeth was - service, food, entertainment - various reviews said entertainment was not up to scratch - it was. Steaks were superb not tough and the fish and seafood good. A great time. Room service was excellent ... Read More
First, how brilliant the Elizabeth was - service, food, entertainment - various reviews said entertainment was not up to scratch - it was. Steaks were superb not tough and the fish and seafood good. A great time. Room service was excellent for teas and snacks. Cabin (aka stateroom) was very comfortable, clean and well equipped. Some ports of destination were dreadful - Heraklion and Messina to name two - others were OK if you liked classical antiquity - Katakolon (for Olympia) and Kusadasi (for Ephesus) but otherwise a little boring. How Naples gets such a poor reputation in English press is amazing - vibrant and busy place with lots of shops etc and excursions to diy to Vesuvius, Herculaneum and Pompeii. Other super places were Santorini (once crowds avoided), Rhodes (outstanding), Corfu, Mykonos. Ramblings of a first time cruiser and previous independent traveller. Would I go again - jury out - there is one problem the whole thing seems to be run for the benefit of the cruise line rather than the customer. You fly to Athens with plenty of time to spare - why can the coach at least not go past some antiquities on way to port as the road to Piraeus passes Athens (they want to get you on board as quickly as possible to spend money??). Timescales in port - 5.30 or 6pm departure - get you back in time for first dinner sitting at 6pm if I was being cynical?? You arrive early in the morning (8-830am) but you are on holiday so don't necessarily want to be up with the lark to make best use of a day given the very early departure times. and they are desperately keen to get rid of you on departure day (7.15 am departure for an 1145 flight with excuse of 1 1/4 hour trip to the airport (took 45 minutes and none of the check-in desks for 250 passengers) were open so huge queues. There is something vaguely schoolike about cruising and being organised...... The cost of excursions was outrageous as was the cost of wine but perversely spirits were quite reasonable and the cocktail of the day and the liqueur coffee of the day very well priced. Spa and internet were also excessively priced - no doubt they would get more business and possibly more profit if they priced a tad more competitively (ie two large g&t/s before dinner and drink water with dinner and have pint of beer afterwards - same price as half a bottle of their cheapest wine). Almost everywhere in Greece had reasonably priced cafes with free internet access. Whatever the price (unless I was going somewhere chilly in winter) the balcony was so worthwhile - would always pay the extra - as it happened only bought a balcony cabin by accident as they could not guarantee uninterrupted view from the non-balcony cabin - extra money was worth every penny and more. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
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