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6 Kusadasi to Greece Cruise Reviews

I was really looking forward for this vacation, but it became terrible after booking this cruise. The ship was small, old and there was really nothing to do onboard. They didn’t even have the pools available to swim. I have been in ... Read More
I was really looking forward for this vacation, but it became terrible after booking this cruise. The ship was small, old and there was really nothing to do onboard. They didn’t even have the pools available to swim. I have been in different cruises before and I figured it was alright since the port destinations would make up for it. I was wrong, the excursions available were very unorganized. Staff was rude and unfriendly. There was no planned activities. Staff was not knowledgeable on instructions. They would announce meeting points at a certain time and they would be late. Food was terrible. Not much to do in she ship. I was traveling with 7 family members and we all felt the same way. I tried expressing my concerns to the cruise staff, but it was a waste of time. They simply didn't care. Never traveling in this cruise line again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this trip by chance, and I had the most wonderful 3.5 days in the cruise. Before the trip begins I know there will be little time on the islands and Athens, but this was what I've chosen and approved before payment. ... Read More
We chose this trip by chance, and I had the most wonderful 3.5 days in the cruise. Before the trip begins I know there will be little time on the islands and Athens, but this was what I've chosen and approved before payment. Everything was just perfect. We've stayed in juniour suite, which was quite big room for a cruise, everything was clean, and whenever we stop at the islands and come back, we found our room cleaned just perfectly. Dining was much better than I've expected, service was very rapid and kind in the restaurants. All the staff was friendly, kind and with smiling faces.Night shows were excellent, and luckily among 1600 people, around 700 of them from World Cruise Party and it was very entartaining to watch them partying around the pool. Pool was very small but who wants to swim in a pool when you are in endless seas!.. I adored our ship, the rescue boats hanging near the sides make the ship a bit nostalgic and cute. You may take your time while crusing, in your cabin to rest, in different lounges to listen to music or drink something, eating, sunbathing at the pool side, gambling in casino, walking at the deck, watching the waves from the deck and etc. In Patmos, Santorini and Mykonos boats got us from the ship to the ports which was very fun since to watch our ship from a boat was very exciting. Our turkish guide was excellent. I'll remember this cruise with very lovely memories. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The Celestyal Crystal ain't no Queen Mary or Queen Elizabeth (but nor are you paying their fares!), not of their ilk is the CC. It is however an old girl pretty efficiently run with a seemingly happy and friendly crew who all work ... Read More
The Celestyal Crystal ain't no Queen Mary or Queen Elizabeth (but nor are you paying their fares!), not of their ilk is the CC. It is however an old girl pretty efficiently run with a seemingly happy and friendly crew who all work damn hard and probably get little sleep. The ship itself has been on the water for many a year and the fabric and finish is showing signs of wear and tear and is not quite leading edge from a designers perspective. Despite this the hard working staff keep everything shiny and polished and persevere with its short comings; cupboard door half off a hinge in the Amalthia restaurant, the main dining room, drawers that don't close properly in our cabin. A seven day cruise around the Aegean is a Greek Island taster and no more, with Istanbul and Kusadasi thrown in for some Turkish delights - Hagia Sofia, the Blue Mosque and Ephesus being on offer. Excursions available at all ports and so the chance to get a flavour of Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, Rhodes, Chios and Lavrio (Athens). The excursion process is always good and bad. Highlights you would never see independently are delivered in bite sizes with tour guides who mainly avoid sounding rote and inject some enthusiasm for their subject matter. Organisationally there is the marshalling and checking of the excursioneers, with inevitable waiting and the usual stragglers who are always holding up the show. Back on board Celestyal Crystal gets everyone well fed and with some tasty interpretations of various Greek and Turkish fare. The ship carries a lot of large tour groups and they tend to dominate in all departments. Individual passengers, independently booked, are a bit crowded out. Even a nine month old booking and promised waiting list failed to get an upgrade from an inside cabin to an outside cabin. One suspects that the tour companies have all the outside cabins permanently booked. It's a shame that Celestyal Cruises can't free up some for travellers like us who book independently. The drinks package represents a good deal if you like your wine, beer and cocktails. Strangely this doesn't cover everything and a few items attract a discounted price. Wait staff both in restaurants and bars do a stirling job and the team in the restaurants are friendly and fun at times. The Bali waiters typify the smiling island they hail from. Apparently they sometimes perform their Kechak dance in the crew quarters and the ship should unleash that on the passengers for some wonderful alternative entertainment. The entertainment is very good with exceptionally good dancers with great choreography. A couple of male singers worked hard on their programmes but need a little help to keep them on the note. The Greek ensemble are superb and very popular with their traditional music and song. It must be hard to perform constantly and maintain the enthusiasm - some obvious tedium evident with a few performers. But overall bravo for their efforts. Celestyal Crystal gets an 8 out of 10 from us. November sees it off to the Caribbean but no doubt it will be back for the 2016 season. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was a cruise booked for a group of 42 of us. The ship was smaller than most cruise ships and therefore, much more movement than expected (6 floors). Our cabin was located above the motor, 5th from the back, and all items were ... Read More
This was a cruise booked for a group of 42 of us. The ship was smaller than most cruise ships and therefore, much more movement than expected (6 floors). Our cabin was located above the motor, 5th from the back, and all items were vibrating on the table as we sailed. I had to sleep with my head at the foot of the bed. The food was so sub par, there were times when the food would actually run out and the "cattle drive" was complete with pushing and shoving. One "nice" meal in which my husband opted for the extra $13 euro for Surf and Turf, resulted in an inedible lobster that was colored brown and unknown time residing in the freezer. The service was sub-par as it appeared that all staff was new, as they did not know much about what they were serving or what options were available. The staff appeared to be unhappy and although some of them made an effort, it appeared that they had been treated so poorly, they were afraid to ask a manager any question, proposed by a customer. We were told that it was a converted German Battle ship and therefore, if required could move faster in the water to reach a destination before other cruise ships. Based on this statement, I should have expected a "military boot camp" experience. The prior month, I had travelled on a Missionary Trip to the jungles in Peru, these accommodations were similar without the joy that accompanies serving. Of our pretty large group, this was a first cruise for many and for those, it was their last cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We were "cruse virgins" until 2013 when we had our first experience of Variety Cruising on the sister ship Panorama (Adriatic Odyssey) We enjoyed that cruise so much, we decided to do the Aegean Odyssey on Panorama 2. From the ... Read More
We were "cruse virgins" until 2013 when we had our first experience of Variety Cruising on the sister ship Panorama (Adriatic Odyssey) We enjoyed that cruise so much, we decided to do the Aegean Odyssey on Panorama 2. From the moment of boarding, we were treated royally by all the friendly and attentive staff and cruise director Natalia. As our cruise was during shoulder season, there were only 24 passengers on a ship which can take up to 48 passengers. Exclusivity Indeed! Nothing was too much trouble for the staff. Our cabin was on the top deck, right next to the Captain's. It was quite roomy, with a double bed, sofa, bathroom etc. We really only used our cabin for sleeping, because we could relax in the lounge area or on deck chairs on the front deck. It was wonderful to lounge on the deck area when the ship was under sail. The sound of the wind in the sails was exhilarating. With so few passengers ( all of whom were friendly and interesting) it almost felt like we were on our own private yacht. We really loved the exclusivity of small ship cruising. We never felt like part of a herd ( something we certainly observed when huge passenger liners docked in larger ports) Ours was a round trip from Kusadasi (Turkey ) to Athens and some beautiful Greek Islands. While we did stop at the popular tourist islands of Mykonos and Santorini (both magnificent) we were also able to visit other ports where the huge passenger liners don't stop. For us, this was one of the major attractions of being on a small ship. As it was too windy to moor at Tinos, we visited the elegant island of Syros, capital of the Cyclades and joined the fascinating walking tour led by Natalia. We also loved Patmos and Samos because, unlike Santorini, they were not overrun by tourists. We enjoyed hiring a car and visiting the beaches and sites recommended by Natalia. Many other passengers enjoyed the shore excursion to the mediaeval town of Chora. I would also recommend the shore trip to Ephesus, the magnificent Greco-Roman city near Kusadasi. For me, one of the most simple pleasures was being able to enjoy swimming from the back of the boat on scheduled swim stops in magnificent coves. Swimming from the boat to the beach at Kythnos and also to beautiful Manganari Beach on Ios were highlights. ( certainly not something I could have experienced on a huge passenger liner.) We really enjoyed the meals onboard. I am coeliac (gluten-free) and my needs were catered for beautifully. The waiters and chef would ensure that everything I chose from the copious and delicious buffet was indeed gluten-free. The Captain's cocktail party and formal dinner ( we were seated next to the captain) and the Greek night ( with visiting performers who had us on our feet dancing) were most enjoyable. My husband and I would heartily recommend Variety's Aegean Odyssey on the Panorama 2 for travellers who prefer a more intimate, private and exclusive sailing cruise experience. We also recommend joining the Variety Club after the first cruise. This gives you access to special offers and discounts ( we received a discount on our second Variety Cruise when we booked directly with Malvinas Vonta, the co-ordinator) We are planning another Variety Cruise on the Caribbean in the future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
The ship was called Louis Olympia by then and was mainly doing Greek Islands and Aegean Sea cruises. I think the new owners are using it on the same route. Service and crew related review might be out dated since ship has changed hands ... Read More
The ship was called Louis Olympia by then and was mainly doing Greek Islands and Aegean Sea cruises. I think the new owners are using it on the same route. Service and crew related review might be out dated since ship has changed hands so I will focus on the vessel itself. This is an aging ship and it shows. But in a cute nostalgic way. The ship was renovated once or twice since it first sailed but its classic cruise lines are still prominent. Mind you this is a medium sized ship with 770 something cabins and as far as it goes with cruise ships size DOES matter. You should not expect a huge casino, 20+ restaurants and 11 stages and movie theaters on this boat. But what you get is served with good taste and quality. Under Louis some of the Island stays were too short to be practical. Mykonos and Pathmos stays were 4-5 hours and believe me 4 hours is not enough for Mykonos. Depending on the cruise Athens stay is also very limited. Just enough time to briefly see the agora and that's it. I did not even bother to leave the port and had a coffee in a nearby cafe instead. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013

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