Spectacular first-time cruise: 7 days Venice to Athens!: Seabourn Odyssey Cruise Review by rocketscientist1966

Seabourn Odyssey 5
Member Since 2010

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Spectacular first-time cruise: 7 days Venice to Athens!

Sail Date: May 2010
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Venice
My wife and I could not have been happier with our first-time cruising experience. We "maxed out" our waking hours: 7 fascinating shore excursions, meals in all 4 restaurants (including the exquisite "Restaurant 2" with its celebrity chef tasting menu), room service on our cabin's veranda for several breakfasts and 3 times for caviar & champagne in the afternoon, entertainment every night (musical reviews, amazing magician, clever/funny pianist/comedian), dancing every night past midnight, but only visit to the pool (no time!)....

The staff was excellent in all respects, always attentive but not overbearing & genuinely friendly. Comparable to our experience at the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman.

All arrangements were remarkably efficient: no waiting at any time; no more than 20 people on each day's luxury touring bus; tour guides who were engaging and informative with interesting side-stories.... We saw and learned a LOT!

Fellow passengers were very More diverse in their backgrounds and generally easy to chat with.

Easy arrangements at ports of embarkation (water taxi in Venice after 3 days @ Ca' Sagredo Hotel on the Grand Canal) and disembarkation (touring bus in Athens from the port to the Acropolis followed by a drop-off for one night @ King George Palace Hotel). Less

Published 06/10/10

Cabin review: Ver614

Our cabin was exquisite: 300 square feet plus a 65-square-foot, port-side veranda/balcony with a table, two chairs, and a chaise lounge. We greatly enjoyed several room service breakfasts on the veranda and three afternoons with caviar and champagne outdoors. Wonderful! Everything in the cabin was modern and tasteful in its design and details. The bathroom was mostly marble with both an ample shower and a large bathtub. The queen-sized bed was excellent. All five suitcases fit under the bed when emptied, and the walk-in closet plus numerous drawers were more than sufficient for all the clothes that we over-packed (never again!). The room was quite with negligible hall noise, far forward on the ship. The cabin was cleaned twice/day or upon request; the room maid was charming and extremely helpful. We were both surprised at the excellence of our cabin.

Port and Shore Excursions

For those visiting Athens for the first time, this was an excellent introduction to one of the great cities of the ancient world. During the drive to the Acropolis and museum, we drove by the Olympic Stadium where the Olympic Games were revived in 1896 and returned in 2004, and by the former Royal Palace (now the Parliament Building) which stands proudly on Constitution Square.

Your first stop was the new Acropolis Museum that opened to the public on 21 June 2009. This beautiful new archaeological museum is dedicated to housing artifacts discovered from the Acropolis of Athens. It has nearly 4,000 artifacts being exhibited in 14,000 square meters, covering the Greek Bronze Age to Roman and Byzantine Greece periods. Our tour guide did an outstanding job of taking us quickly thru the museum's highlights and setting the stage for the Acropolis.

After the visit to the museum we enjoyed a somewhat steep, we walk in a drizzling rain on the pedestrian street to the Acropolis, a symbol of the glory of ancient Greece. We climbed its smooth marble steps as visitors have for centuries. History opened before us as we reached one of the masterpieces of classical architecture, the Propylaea, which serves as the entrance to the complex. We saw the Temple of Athena Nike, or Wingless Victory, and the Erechtheum with its classical Porch of Maidens, the Caryatids. We stood in awe of what is considered to be the most perfect example of classical architecture in the world, the Parthenon, designed as a shrine to Athena and at one time housing a massive gold and ivory statue of the warrior goddess. Looking down from the Acropolis, we saw the two ancient theaters in its shadow: the Greek theater of Dionysus where the masterpieces of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes debuted to delighted audiences, and the grand Roman theater of Herod Atticus, restored and used for concerts and classical plays during the summer Athens Festival.

After a delay caused by protesters at the Parliament building, we walked to the King George Palace Hotel, where our bus arrived with our luggage. The hotel and accommodations were magnificent. We had dinner on the 4th floor terrace of Kuzina, watching the lights of the Acropolis turn on in phases - magical! We then walked back to the hotel and left for the US the next morning after a splendid buffet breakfast on the 7th floor, also directly facing the Acropolis!

We boarded the local ferry from the tender pier in Mykonos and crossed to the ancient island of Delos. Our excellent guided walking tour enabled us to see one of the most respected and revered sanctuaries of antiquity.

Delos (UNESCO Site) was the birthplace of Apollo and his twin sister Artemis - children of Zeus and Leto. The sacred island is uninhabited now, but its first settlements date to the 3rd millennium BC. The ruins on Delos are numerous and important to Greek history - the Sanctuary of Apollo complex, the area of the Sacred Lake (which dried up in 1926), the Terrace of Lions, the sanctuaries on Cynthus, the theater district, and the commercial harbor district. Absolutely fascinating!

After 3 hours we took the ferry back to Mykonos, returned to the Odyssey for lunch at the rail in the ship's open fantail restaurant (the Collonade) facing beautiful Mykonos in the afternoon sunshine, then went back to Mykonos for delightful sightseeing and window shopping.

Read 822 Mykonos Reviews

We traveled by luxury motorcoach to the village of Trogir (UNESCO Site), a city with 2300 years of tradition. Its rich culture was created under the influence of old Greeks, Romans, and Venetians. Trogir with its concentration of palaces, churches, towers, fortress on a small island in every way deserves its nickname "The Stone Beauty"

The streets are narrow and they truly gave a feel of how life might have been in medieval days. We visited the main attraction in Trogir - the Cathedral of St. Lawrence. This 13th century building is probably the finest example of ancient architecture in Croatia.

Read 292 Split Reviews

3 days & nights before the cruise @ 5-star Ca' Sagredo Hotel on the Grand Canal. Arrived and departed by water taxi from the hotel's own dock. Upgraded to a lovely room with two windows overlooking the Canal. Dinner the first night was at the hotel's wonderful, intimate L'Alcova Restaurant - an excellent gourmet meal, preceded by cocktails outside on the waterfront terrace. We toured Venice for the better part of 3 days. Our busiest day started with a private tour for 3 hours to St. Mark's Basilica & the Doge's Palace, followed by a gondola ride thru quiet, back-street canals, then lunch on the 4th floor terrace of the Danieli Hotel at the rail overlooking the water, then 4 hours of touring with a fascinating guide thru small neighborhoods (2 hours), concluding with bar-hopping (wine/beer w/appetizers for 2 hours). We spent the better part of another day in the Dorsoduro section touring 3 outstanding, provocative museums that spanned a remarkable spectrum from classic (Academia) to contemporary (Peggy Guggenheim) to modern (Punta della Dogana). Occasionally traveling by vaporetto was fun, although we were seldom able to get one of the limited outdoor seats at the stern. Small, outdoor restaurants along the Grand Canal were fun for people-watching with only OK food.

Read 1130 Venice Reviews

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