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We just completed a back to back cruise with the second segment picked up in Athens. This was definitely the very best cruise we ever had considering the itinerary. This was our 30th cruise so we have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Here is our analysis of the cruise The Prinsendam - For a ship built in 1988 she is in fantastic shape. This vessel is well built and took 4 years to complete compared with less then 12 months for the new ships. Everywhere you look you can see quality and a lot of the 450 crew is assigned to maintaining this ship. She is also scheduled in November for a major drydock to replace all bathrooms, gymnasium and some other areas. With 750 passengers you can get around very quickly and certainly should not take more then 5 minutes to your next activity. The rooms are spacious. Everyone gets a walk in closet which is a nice perk. My problems with the ship included a weak A/C system and some electrical problems. The ship was warm in most of the public areas and I had to leave off my dinner jacket on formal nights for dining. I found the rear dining room to be cooler then the mid dining area. It was strange not to be freezing on a cruise! I should also mention the exercise facility is outdated and does not have any TV's to watch on treadmills. This facility may be upgraded during the drydock. The itinerary - The very best we have ever seen. Everyday was spectacular with plenty of ruins. Our first port of call was dubrovnik which has a walled old city and was very charming. Seranda is not used to to cruise ships and this is a poorer place, but had some local charm and some historical sites. after this Katakolon was the stop for Olympia which was the site of the first olympics. Really neat, but and a small town by the port for shopping. Istanbul is everything you could want and more. We went to the tokapi palance and the blue mosque and finished up at the grand bazaar. Expect to do a lot of walking and the Turkish people are very friendly and helpful. Socchi is the site of Stalins summer home and you get to sit on the same chairs and couches that he used. Yalta was the site of the big three conference during WW2. Constanta is a nice port, but nothing special as was Varna. The final port was Pireaus and we spent the day in Athens. Their is a good underground system that takes you to the Parthenon, but be prepared for a lot of climbing. Their is no bus or other transportation to the top. Starting the next segment our first Port was Alexandria where we spent 12 hours driving to cairo and stopping at the Pyramids, King tut museum and then some shopping. The roads were terrible and this is strictly 3 rd world. We then went to Ashdod which took us into Jerusalem which was fascinating and finally Haifa took us to the northern parts and sea of galalia After this we went to Antalya which is a large city and has some of the best ruins and old structures in the world. From their we travelled to Santorini which I thought was a big tourist trap and unfortunately a big Costa ship came into POrt at the same time. The cable car had a very long line and the mules were not a good option. We wound up walking down. This entire trip is very tough if your not in good shape and a lot of the sites are not set up for handicapped people. We went to Rhodes was a nice city and finally Kusadasi for a trip to Ephesus. Fabulous old ruins and lots of walking. rom their we went to Valletta, Malta and Messina which were nice towns, but not much in the way of ruins. Messina has an interesting clock tower that chimes at 12 pm everyday with lot of mechanical movement. Odds and ends - The ship had some annoying problem due to its age. For example the public rooms were often small compared to todays ships. Some even good for just one person with locked doors. The entertainment was surprising good.\ They had 7 dancers & singers who did a great job with 10 shows over 28 days. We had the usual grouping of musicians, comedians, magicians, jugglers who put on a decent show. I also want to point out that their was an ample library and a great selection of movies on the TV or in the movie theatre. My only regret that we could not see more since the itinerary was so wonderful that we spent a lot of time going ashore.

Prinsendam - Eastern Mediterranean

Prinsendam Cruise Review by bsorge

Trip Details
We just completed a back to back cruise with the second segment picked up in Athens. This was definitely the very best cruise we ever had considering the itinerary. This was our 30th cruise so we have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Here is our analysis of the cruise
The Prinsendam - For a ship built in 1988 she is in fantastic shape. This vessel is well built and took 4 years to complete compared with less then 12 months for the new ships. Everywhere you look you can see quality and a lot of the 450 crew is assigned to maintaining this ship. She is also scheduled in November for a major drydock to replace all bathrooms, gymnasium and some other areas. With 750 passengers you can get around very quickly and certainly should not take more then 5 minutes to your next activity. The rooms are spacious. Everyone gets a walk in closet which is a nice perk. My problems with the ship included a weak A/C system and some electrical problems. The ship was warm in most of the public areas and I had to leave off my dinner jacket on formal nights for dining. I found the rear dining room to be cooler then the mid dining area. It was strange not to be freezing on a cruise! I should also mention the exercise facility is outdated and does not have any TV's to watch on treadmills. This facility may be upgraded during the drydock. The itinerary - The very best we have ever seen. Everyday was spectacular with plenty of ruins. Our first port of call was dubrovnik which has a walled old city and was very charming. Seranda is not used to to cruise ships and this is a poorer place, but had some local charm and some historical sites. after this Katakolon was the stop for Olympia which was the site of the first olympics. Really neat, but and a small town by the port for shopping. Istanbul is everything you could want and more. We went to the tokapi palance and the blue mosque and finished up at the grand bazaar. Expect to do a lot of walking and the Turkish people are very friendly and helpful. Socchi is the site of Stalins summer home and you get to sit on the same chairs and couches that he used. Yalta was the site of the big three conference during WW2. Constanta is a nice port, but nothing special as was Varna. The final port was Pireaus and we spent the day in Athens. Their is a good underground system that takes you to the Parthenon, but be prepared for a lot of climbing. Their is no bus or other transportation to the top. Starting the next segment our first Port was Alexandria where we spent 12 hours driving to cairo and stopping at the Pyramids, King tut museum and then some shopping. The roads were terrible and this is strictly 3 rd world. We then went to Ashdod which took us into Jerusalem which was fascinating and finally Haifa took us to the northern parts and sea of galalia After this we went to Antalya which is a large city and has some of the best ruins and old structures in the world. From their we travelled to Santorini which I thought was a big tourist trap and unfortunately a big Costa ship came into POrt at the same time. The cable car had a very long line and the mules were not a good option. We wound up walking down. This entire trip is very tough if your not in good shape and a lot of the sites are not set up for handicapped people. We went to Rhodes was a nice city and finally Kusadasi for a trip to Ephesus. Fabulous old ruins and lots of walking. rom their we went to Valletta, Malta and Messina which were nice towns, but not much in the way of ruins. Messina has an interesting clock tower that chimes at 12 pm everyday with lot of mechanical movement. Odds and ends - The ship had some annoying problem due to its age. For example the public rooms were often small compared to todays ships. Some even good for just one person with locked doors. The entertainment was surprising good.\ They had 7 dancers & singers who did a great job with 10 shows over 28 days. We had the usual grouping of musicians, comedians, magicians, jugglers who put on a decent show. I also want to point out that their was an ample library and a great selection of movies on the TV or in the movie theatre. My only regret that we could not see more since the itinerary was so wonderful that we spent a lot of time going ashore.
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