Fatest check-in of any cruise we have been on. Security photo taken at check-in, boarded the ship within about 30 minutes.Staterooms were not yet ready, as advised, but could avail ourselves of the public rooms and lunch.
The cabin slightly smaller than others,found the toilet section to be very cramped,even though we are both thin. Service in the main dining room was slow, food not the high standard we expected, so only ate there once. Rest of our meals we took in the Garden Cafe buffet, which had the widest variety of salads, hot dishes and vegetarian food on any cruise line so far. Food quality here was superb - fresh and plentiful, and more than that tastefully set out.Later at night the outdoor grill was plentiful. Bath towels as usual were small so used pool towels instead. No complaints about the soap and shower dispensers, but thought at least for balcony category we would have been given hair conditioner and complementary toiletries.The only real complaint were the frequent public announcements for art auctions, bingo etc etc. Nightly shows were the best and best variety that we have seen on board. Staff always friendly and helpful.Another complaint is that smoking is still allowed in cabins (some days we could not use our balcony because of smoke drifting, even though our cabin was right up front), the casino and on outer decks.
The ports of call, not a major factor for us, due short distance to our home country, were interesting. Twice we tendered, and the operation went smoothly and orderly.Bars and specialized restaurants are plentiful, with enough variety to suit everyones tastes. Shopping on board, like other lines, was interesting with the usual array of "specials" and sales.
Plenty closet space, more than we needed. Cabin supplied with coffee maker and coffee etc, safe and enough hangers. Flat TV with access to ones onboard account, and a few, but enough news channels.Had no noise from the passage, but were annoyed at the public announcements, an unwelcome intrusion on our privacy.Bathhroom fine, shower cubicle very spacious, with sliding door a washing line for wet garments.Toilet cubicle very cramped, for someone relatively small like myself.
Some days could not use balcony, nor even leave door open due smoke from others!
Comfortable bed, with enough combinations of covers etc, plentiful pillows. An extra couchbed for maybe an extra person. The two chairs and extra table used up some valuable space. My wife found the bath towels on the small side.
We like to do our own thing in ports, not taking organized tours.Here we tendered, and one arrives to the very bottom of the old town. Extremely interesting and different. We walked around for a couple of hours,visited the local synagogue, and generally took in the sights of this delightful port call. After a few hours tendered back to the ship.
We docked in Piraeus,which in itself is a big city, and took the local bus to the train station to go into Athens. The whole centre of Athens has free wi-fi, so could use our laptop to look up information. The interesting part of the city is the pedestrian area, which is huge and has the whole array of different shops. Had coffee at a local coffee shop on Constitution Square, and walked around for a while. After a taxi drive to visit a friend in one of the seaside suburbs, we took a taxi back to Piraeus which itself is a big city, and walked about for a while taking in the local atmosphere before walking back to the ship.
We docked in Izmir, at the bottom of this city that is much bigger than I thought. About 3.5 million inhabitants, and took a walk to the local synagogue, about 12 kms from the city center. Some locals stopped to offer directions and felt completely at ease.Visited the local market, quite something, and walked along the promenade for about a hour, on our way back to the ship. Found a coffee shop with wi-fi, and after checking the computer, and some refreshments, returned to the ship.