This was a “bucket list” cruise for our 25th anniversary. We are so happy that we went! The tours we took were wonderful, informative, and frequently breathtaking. (The one exception was Jerusalem, where the guide was terrible, but still, Old Town Jerusalem was amazing).
The lectures on the boat were more than we could have hoped for. In particular, the comparative religion guy was great—even-handed and informative. He especially good about how the religions interrelated historically and what they had in common or differed. It was so important to have that through the Middle East through Southeast Asia. By the time he finished his lecture series, it was standing room only.
The dining was very good, particularly the special restaurants, which were great. The only two changes about the main restaurants that I’d make: 1) the “local” ethnic specialties (e.g., Indian curry while we were in India, etc.) were a little watered down, I guess so as not to scare us. This was not true of the extensions, where the food was truly authentic and amazing. 2) while the deserts were truly beautiful-looking and well-prepared, the flavor was a little bland. Overall though, the ingredients were top-notch, perfectly prepared. The rest of the food was terrific, and such a wide variety. Even with the two caveats, the food was better than other cruise lines.
The entertainment was fun, particularly the trivia contests. The two cruise directors were very funny. The onboard entertainers were young and enthusiastic, with good singing voices. Homusianswever, their selection was a little dinner-theater-y. The cellists and pianist were really good musicians.
The amenities couldn’t be better, and there were so many places to go on the ship, we never felt closed in.
Finally, the massage therapist I had on the ship, Priscillia, was the best one I’ve ever had. I had had hip problems since I was a teenager, but she adjusted one hip, and now the whole thing is about 90% fixed! I guess she was so great because she was a licensed physical therapist. Who would have thought, on a cruise ship?
Anyway, what a great cruise! We were happy the whole time.
Our guide was just wonderful, made us feel as if we were there in ancient times, with the gods all around us. She was the same guide we had with Viking all the way through Greece. The steps of the Acropolis had been upgraded so they were much easier and less slippery.View All 390 Acropolis Reviews
Our guide was just wonderful, made us feel as if we were there in ancient times, with the gods all around us. She was the same guide we had with Viking all the way through Greece.View All 164 City Tour Reviews
Our guide was just wonderful, made us feel as if we were there in ancient times, with the gods all around us. She was the same guide we had with Viking all the way through Greece. Weather beautiful.View All 14 Delphi Walking Tour Reviews
Loved the gardensView All 6 Baha'i Shrine Reviews
Good guide, interesting location.View All 8 Bethlehem Walking Tour Reviews
The guide was terrible—he didn’t know the material. (For instance, he didn’t know about the Garden of Gethsemane, just about the church there). And, he was rude.
But the city was great, very evocative. And, we were able to pick up the material from other guides along side us. I think he was new to Viking.View All 20 Jerusalem Old City Reviews
Really did not like Cairo—so dirty and depressed looking. And armed. This tour included the Egyptian Museum, which was the best part of the tour—a terrific selection. I’d given that 4 or 5 stars if it were on it’s own, but we only had half an hour to visit there. The tour guide was knowledgeable, but not super-organized.View All 8 City Tour Reviews
It’s almost unbelievable to see the pyramids. I was overwhelmed, they are so huge and so ancient. The Sphinx is small in comparison.
The only problem is the local vendors—I don’t mind negotiating with them, it was fun in other countries, it’s just that these guys were so aggressive. One grabbed my hand so I couldn’t go anywhere; another, laughing, took my husband’s hat and wouldn’t give it back. They acted as if they were joking but they weren’t. The tour guide was good in other situations, but did not help out here. Apparently the other tour guide had been good at chasing people off. Maybe because ours was a woman in a sexist country...? It didn’t spoil the excursion, but it left a bad taste.View All 20 Pyramids Reviews
Also great ruins, with same great tour guide.View All 12 Karnak Temple Reviews
Amazing ruins also. Same tour guide as the Valley of the Kings, so great.View All 5 Luxor Walking Tour Reviews
A lot of fun. I’d give this four and a half stars. The location was very good, beautiful coral, beautiful day. The snorkeling boat people were disorganized, but in a way that gave you an idea of the culture, and was pretty funny as well. Both the boat people and the folks from the cruise ship went out of their way to make sure that us out-of-shape folks would be safe, and were very nice about it. The lunch was meh, but that wasn’t super important. All in all, a very good day.View All 3 Red Sea Snorkeling Reviews
Amazing seeing the interior of the temples! The tour guide was great, really knowledgeable and likeable. He was very good at explaining the culture as well as the runs.View All 17 Valley of the Kings Reviews
One of the main highlights of the trip. It was one of the most amazing places that I’ve ever been. So many fabulous buildings carved out of the rock! The way it all fit together! The mysteriousness of it! And, our tour guide was one of the 2-3 best we had for the full seven weeks. He was extremely knowledgeable, personable, and the most well-organized. He really maximized the use of our time—a definite plus in such a large place. FYI, it’s very hot around there, but you’re in the shade most of the way walking to and from the city, so it’s not too bad.View All 92 Petra Walking Tour Reviews
Good, but not outstanding. The sights were not quite as interesting as some of the amazing places we’d just been to. The market at the end was very good.View All 5 Frankincense Trail Reviews
Good, but not outstanding. The sights were not quite as interesting as some of the amazing places we’d just been to.View All 31 City Tour Reviews
A terrific and fun tour. The tour guide lived in the area, and she told us about the markets from a personal point of view as well as just giving us facts. (E.g., “here’s where my grandmother goes to...” It was also really interesting to see the small temples and shrines interspersed throughout the markets without making a big deal of it. We also got enough shopping time without feeling we were funneled into a particular vendor. (Terrific shopping) My husband loved the tour too, and he wasn’t expecting to.
Also, the market area was not as crammed as I had expected. In fact, in the early part of the morning, the first market was half empty.View All undefined undefined Reviews