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Odyssey of the Seas Review

5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
81 reviews

Great cruise on the brand new Odyssey of the Seas!

Review for Odyssey of the Seas to the Eastern Mediterranean
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vivace91
6-10 Cruises • Age 50s

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Additional details

Sail Date: Aug 2022
Cabin: Junior Suite with Balcony

My partner & I did this 12 night "Holy Land" cruise with our 3 adult children and our son's girlfriend. We had a really great vacation! We mostly liked this new ship, our first time on a quantum class, and our first post-shutdown cruise. We found the crew and service on-board to be excellent. This was a port-intensive cruise but we did have 3 seas days and a couple later morning arrivals, so we got to take advantage of most of what the ship had to offer.

Odyssey is a nice looking ship ( the outside areas all lit up at night are fantastic), with several nice pool areas, a large, quiet adult solarium area with great views. We give Odyssey top marks for impressive amenities all around the ship. This is a great ship for people of all ages; something for everyone. We did all the things: from bingo & trivia to bumper cars, rock-climbing, huge trampolines, the VR adventure, the North Star, and the spa where we enjoyed massages and manicures. The fitness area seems large enough to handle the passengers, with lots of equipment - never once had to wait for a treadmill. Our kids are all between 20 & 30 and no one was ever bored that's for sure!

Our cabins were nicely modern looking, very clean with good storage areas We had a jr spa suite and our kids were in 2 balcony cabins - all on deck 10, mid-ship. Very quiet (don't remember hearing even one door-slam!), great views and our room attendant (Michael Angelo) was awesome - such a nice guy!

Cabin Review

Junior Suite with Balcony

Jr suite on the "bump out" part of mid-ship ship deck 10 was well situated, quiet and had a nice balcony. We had the spa bathroom set up with a separate toilet and sink room on one side of cabin entrance door and a full tub, vanity/sink and separate glass & tile shower on the other. We liked this arrangement. We had an espresso machine in our room which we did use and was replenished every day. (also could do hot water for teas) Room had a small safe and mini-fridge.

Our kids had 2 separate balcony cabins on the same deck & side of ship. Very quiet. Decorated nearly the same as our jr suite. Glass shower in decent size bathroom. Nice balconies. Small safe & mini fridge. No coffee makers or kettles in the standard balcony rooms.

Port Reviews

Haifa (Tel Aviv)

The city itself was great and we docked right in Haifa so you could just walk off. We had an over-night here. Saw many areas and had booked well in advance with non-ship tour providers. Passengers needed to go through the full immigration process at first Israeli port, even if you weren't getting off the ship. You had to queue to get a ticket( early morning the day before) to get off the ship to do the process. ( like when you need to get tender tickets) Many passengers complained about this inconvenience, but it is the requirement of the country, not the ship. Once this was done, it was fairly smooth sailing for the Israel ports.

Jerusalem (Ashdod)

Ashdod is far from Jerusalem. You need to have pre-arranged your day here. There's nothing much in this industrial port area. We had arranged third-party tours for all days in Israel and they were excellent. From Ashdod we did Jerusalem, Old City with all the major sites and then went to the Dead Sea for a float. It was so good to have only the six of us in our group. We saw, did and tasted so much - great day! We were here in early Sept and it is indeed hot - temperature hit 40C at the Dead Sea!

Limassol

We did a third-party tour that also took us into the northern (Turkish) part of Nicosia, going though the checkpoint with our passports. There's quite a marked difference between the Greek & Turkish areas. This is a big island and you'd need to spend weeks here to enjoy all of Cyprus. What we saw, we liked. The meal of various local dishes was excellent!

Bodrum

Nice port area where you can just walk off the ship if you want, fairly close to centre of city. We had pre-arranged a private guide for our group for the day and it was great. Had a nice spread of Turkish meze for lunch - excellent!

Kusadasi

Kusadasi is a pretty, waterfront area where you can easily walk off the ship. Lots of shops and dining within the few kms along the waterfront. We did a private tour into Ephesus and a few other spots. After the tour, we walked the waterfront to see the sights and do some shopping. Closer to the port terminal as you walk back to the ship, there's a very entertaining Turkish ice cream vendor - a fun way to end our day and the ice cream was very good!

Santorini

Husband & I had been to Santorini once before, so we knew what to expect. On a previous cruise, we were in port with only one other ship and it was such a nice day. This time there were 5 !!! ships in port at once. We had no problem going UP on the cable cars as we had planned a private early morning tour at 7:45am. This was our kids' first visit so we wanted to do an all-around-the-island tour. We had a gorgeous day, yummy cafe freddos & Greek pastries, a nice stop for a wine tasting, a delicious sea food lunch and saw many sites. We saw and did a lot since we had our own driver and guide, who were excellent. Then came the return trip down to the ship - this is where it went to "Hades" in a hurry! There were mobs of irate, too-hot people trying to line up for the return trip on the cable cars. There are only 6 cars at a time and they hold 6 people each. When you allow 5 ships with many thousands of people on them, all at once in port.....you do the math. People (older, young kids and everyone) waited for hours and it got very tense as we heard later. When we saw the massive line that had formed already, before 4pm, we decided to walk down on the donkey path. We are all active, healthy and have no mobility issues and it was still a struggle! The steps/path down is extremely slippery in many places and even with good sneakers, people were still afraid of slipping and falling. It is downhill but don't be fooled - between trying not to slip and fall and the heat beating down - it was not easy. It was a definite workout for the quads and knees, We were so happy and sweaty-hot when finally we got off the "Donkey Mountain slip & slide" and back on the tender ship that we broke into a fit of hysterical laughter - I'm sure people must have thought we'd lost our minds! We'll never forget it - that's for sure LOL I don't know what the solution is for this tiny port, but be warned. There are some water taxis that sail from another part of the island and will drop you off at the tiny dock area where the ships tender out of, but still, if you've got over 10,000 people trying to get around all at once - it's going to be crazy!

Crete (Heraklion)

We had a very busy, port intensive itinerary on this cruise so we decided to do a beach day for our last port. We didn't spend any time in Limassol. We pre-booked a private driver/guide who drove us to an area where we did a short hike up to a spectacular view point over Balos beach and then we drove on to Falassarna beach. Guide had reserved our sun beds and shades right next to the water. It was a gorgeous day and the water was so clear and refreshing. Drinks and snacks were brought to our sun beads. We had lunch included in a shaded, open air restaurant right at the beach and they just kept bringing out platters of delicious greek dishes.

*Balos beach is beautiful but it has very limited facilities and is accessed best by ferry boat or you have a slow, rough drive along a winding, cliff-side dirt road to parking area and then about a half hour hike to the beach. Falassarna beach was very nice with great swimming, water activities and everything on sight that you need for a comfortable day. What a great way to spend our last port stop!

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