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Land and cruise package- Nairobi to Singapore. 19th December 2014 to 24th January 2015. Our holiday started with 4 nights in Kenya with three being in game lodges. The hotels and game lodges here and in Singapore, at end of cruise, were of a high standard. The transfers to and from airports, hotels and ships were well organised. The safari started well but ended up a disorganised mess. The last full day was a drive from Amboseli to Tsavo. 5-6 hours became 11. Instead of driving to our lodge for a late lunch followed by a game drive we detoured an hour each way to another lodge. We then got lost. We arrived at dusk and that was the day. Salt Lick Lodge looked as if it would have been a great place to stay- built on stilts overlooking a waterhole. The animals had gone to bed when we got there. We left next day at 8am for a 3-4 hour drive to Mombasa airport where the company had chartered a plane to fly us to Zanzibar. The drive was nearly 6 hours. This was just one of those things. A massive traffic jam. However this meant the 4 flights of the chartered plane were delayed. The one ship representative we could see was just wondering around looking as lost as we did even though he was in communication with the ship! Fortunately we were the second group for a flight so arrived at the ship about 5.45. The 4th group arrived at 9pm and the restaurants had closed! These two days showed that the forward planning and organisation of the shore parts of the trip were just not up to any sort of acceptable standard. The ship advertises itself as a destination ship. This is why we travelled on her. Far too many times we were late arriving at our port of call. This meant the excursions were cut short and never did the captain extend the stay to accommodate the late arrivals. Overall the standard of the shore excursions were poor. Most of the guides were very inexperienced and their English was limited. Unfortunately the ship seems to operate a two class system. Balcony class and the rest. Now, this was the most expensive cruise we have ever been on and to be treated as not important and second rate was very poor. The "balcony "class always left the ship first on shore excursions. This wouldn't have mattered so much except that when you arrive late shore time is precious. It seemed to take the ship and age to disembark the small number of passengers on board ( 304 first leg and 279 second ). The balcony class got the best buses and the most experienced guides. We paid for one shore excursion that wasn't included and we were with mostly balcony class people. What a difference. A bus with air conditioning that worked and a very good guide. All this was so disappointing. If we had wanted to spend out time sitting in a deck chair looking at the sea we could have done it on a much more luxurious ship at a cheaper price. Our cabin was an outside one on deck 4. This was the smallest cabin we have ever been in. We adapted to the lack of wardrobe and drawer space ( we used under the beds).But the only flat surface we has to put anything on was the top of the chest of drawers between the beds. We became very tidy Kiwis! The TV was a very small one high on the wall above a bed. I don't think you could have watched it comfortably from any place but there was nothing to see anyway- a few very old films- they put on Christmas ones for the first leg and they stayed on until the end of that leg ( 7th Jan). The news was African for the whole trip or at least that was what they advertised. You could only see it for the first couple of days and none was in English. I think the ship was short staffed. Our cabin steward was not up to scratch. After 11 days I asked if we could have our linen changed. He said he had too much to do and couldn't do everything ( this latter was because I asked if he could vacuum the cabin as it hadn't been done for days).He changed the linen but people we were friendly with a few cabins down never got their's changed! On the second leg he changed it twice ( I think he had fewer) cabins. THE WATER I see from a review from someone who was on the second leg that they talked about the water. It wasn't just on that part of the cruise. It was a deep orange from the time we boarded in Zanzibar. ( This was the hot water). No logical explanation was ever given. In fact no official mention was ever made about it. They did no clothes washing for passengers for most of that leg. It was horrible water, stained everything and left your hair feeling like straw. From Colombo to Singapore it improved slightly in colour. Unless you travel balcony class you get poor toiletries ( and no body lotion), old discoloured towels and very dubious face cloths ( frayed and stained). Chocolate on pillows about one night out of three. Not the be all and end all but just another example of being treated as not worth bothering about. We enjoyed the meals and felt they were perfectly acceptable with plenty of changes of menu ( was that because everyone ate in the same restaurants?). The 24 hour tea and coffee on the Lido deck needs to be serviced more regularly. Being very hot weather the milk was often sour and there was often an awful smell of rotten milk.The urns of hot water and coffee were left too long and often there was only luke warm water/ coffee coming out. The lecturers were very good overall and some outstanding. The entertainment was quite good. We found Christmas day not what we had thought it would be. Nothing different from an ordinary day except for a very nice dinner with crackers ( The ship was nicely decorated). In our cabin we found 6 uninspiring small biscuits on a plate as a Christmas present! New Year's Eve they went to more of an effort and it was fun. Someone/people came on board in Colombo with a very bad coughing bug and it spread like wildfire round the ship. The ship was the slackest we have travelled on in regard to hygiene so no wonder it spread like it did. There were a lot of very sick people. The hand sanitisers were at the entrance to the restaurants and in a fairly out of the way position beside where your cards get swiped on return to the ship but there was no encouragement to use them and a lot of people didn't. Sometime afternoon tea was in the Charleston Lounge and there was never even a small bottle of sanitiser there. Overall we were very disappointed with this cruise. We travel to see different places and people and we were very let down with this ship and its organisation. Would we travel with her again? No we wouldn't

Not up to expectations

Aegean Odyssey Cruise Review by Parapara

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2014
  • Destination: Asia
Land and cruise package- Nairobi to Singapore. 19th December 2014 to 24th January 2015.
Our holiday started with 4 nights in Kenya with three being in game lodges. The hotels and game lodges here and in Singapore, at end of cruise, were of a high standard. The transfers to and from airports, hotels and ships were well organised.
The safari started well but ended up a disorganised mess. The last full day was a drive from Amboseli to Tsavo. 5-6 hours became 11. Instead of driving to our lodge for a late lunch followed by a game drive we detoured an hour each way to another lodge. We then got lost. We arrived at dusk and that was the day. Salt Lick Lodge looked as if it would have been a great place to stay- built on stilts overlooking a waterhole. The animals had gone to bed when we got there. We left next day at 8am for a 3-4 hour drive to Mombasa airport where the company had chartered a plane to fly us to Zanzibar. The drive was nearly 6 hours. This was just one of those things. A massive traffic jam. However this meant the 4 flights of the chartered plane were delayed. The one ship representative we could see was just wondering around looking as lost as we did even though he was in communication with the ship! Fortunately we were the second group for a flight so arrived at the ship about 5.45. The 4th group arrived at 9pm and the restaurants had closed!
These two days showed that the forward planning and organisation of the shore parts of the trip were just not up to any sort of acceptable standard. The ship advertises itself as a destination ship. This is why we travelled on her. Far too many times we were late arriving at our port of call. This meant the excursions were cut short and never did the captain extend the stay to accommodate the late arrivals. Overall the standard of the shore excursions were poor. Most of the guides were very inexperienced and their English was limited. Unfortunately the ship seems to operate a two class system. Balcony class and the rest. Now, this was the most expensive cruise we have ever been on and to be treated as not important and second rate was very poor. The "balcony "class always left the ship first on shore excursions. This wouldn't have mattered so much except that when you arrive late shore time is precious. It seemed to take the ship and age to disembark the small number of passengers on board ( 304 first leg and 279 second ). The balcony class got the best buses and the most experienced guides. We paid for one shore excursion that wasn't included and we were with mostly balcony class people. What a difference. A bus with air conditioning that worked and a very good guide. All this was so disappointing. If we had wanted to spend out time sitting in a deck chair looking at the sea we could have done it on a much more luxurious ship at a cheaper price.
Our cabin was an outside one on deck 4. This was the smallest cabin we have ever been in. We adapted to the lack of wardrobe and drawer space ( we used under the beds).But the only flat surface we has to put anything on was the top of the chest of drawers between the beds. We became very tidy Kiwis! The TV was a very small one high on the wall above a bed. I don't think you could have watched it comfortably from any place but there was nothing to see anyway- a few very old films- they put on Christmas ones for the first leg and they stayed on until the end of that leg ( 7th Jan). The news was African for the whole trip or at least that was what they advertised. You could only see it for the first couple of days and none was in English.
I think the ship was short staffed. Our cabin steward was not up to scratch. After 11 days I asked if we could have our linen changed. He said he had too much to do and couldn't do everything ( this latter was because I asked if he could vacuum the cabin as it hadn't been done for days).He changed the linen but people we were friendly with a few cabins down never got their's changed! On the second leg he changed it twice ( I think he had fewer) cabins.
THE WATER I see from a review from someone who was on the second leg that they talked about the water. It wasn't just on that part of the cruise. It was a deep orange from the time we boarded in Zanzibar. ( This was the hot water). No logical explanation was ever given. In fact no official mention was ever made about it. They did no clothes washing for passengers for most of that leg. It was horrible water, stained everything and left your hair feeling like straw. From Colombo to Singapore it improved slightly in colour.
Unless you travel balcony class you get poor toiletries ( and no body lotion), old discoloured towels and very dubious face cloths ( frayed and stained). Chocolate on pillows about one night out of three. Not the be all and end all but just another example of being treated as not worth bothering about.
We enjoyed the meals and felt they were perfectly acceptable with plenty of changes of menu ( was that because everyone ate in the same restaurants?).
The 24 hour tea and coffee on the Lido deck needs to be serviced more regularly. Being very hot weather the milk was often sour and there was often an awful smell of rotten milk.The urns of hot water and coffee were left too long and often there was only luke warm water/ coffee coming out.
The lecturers were very good overall and some outstanding. The entertainment was quite good. We found Christmas day not what we had thought it would be. Nothing different from an ordinary day except for a very nice dinner with crackers ( The ship was nicely decorated). In our cabin we found 6 uninspiring small biscuits on a plate as a Christmas present!
New Year's Eve they went to more of an effort and it was fun.
Someone/people came on board in Colombo with a very bad coughing bug and it spread like wildfire round the ship. The ship was the slackest we have travelled on in regard to hygiene so no wonder it spread like it did. There were a lot of very sick people. The hand sanitisers were at the entrance to the restaurants and in a fairly out of the way position beside where your cards get swiped on return to the ship but there was no encouragement to use them and a lot of people didn't. Sometime afternoon tea was in the Charleston Lounge and there was never even a small bottle of sanitiser there.
Overall we were very disappointed with this cruise. We travel to see different places and people and we were very let down with this ship and its organisation. Would we travel with her again? No we wouldn't
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Cabin Review

Cabin 456
Very small and cramped.