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The ship stayed in Istanbul the first night. This made for a pleasant embarkation. I arrived at 2 pm (12 noon opening) and walked right on the ship. There were no lines and my luggage was in the room in an hour. We explored the ship and ate at the WindJammer. Please note that if you are talking the Metro (formally Tram-1), don't get off until the second to last stop. I got off just past the Golden Horn bridge and my poor wife about died pulling her luggage a mile through Istanbul. We enjoyed the first show and found the meals throughout the cruise enjoyable. Occasionally, we ordered the steak when nothing looked to appetizing. I like on the Texas coast where there is a shrimp fleet. I am used to fresh shrimp. The shrimp on the boat was not good IMO. I did not find the seafood on the ship (with the exception of the Scallops) up to par. However, I enjoyed lamb and duck and most of the fish dishes. Don't miss the salad bar at lunch (Brassiere 60) on sea days. The ship was a little dirty (carpet on stairs was stained) but the staff worked hard and was always cleaning. I was impressed with my room steward and the waiter/assistant waiter gave us good advise about ports and what to do. I enjoyed the rock wall and ran a few miles on the outdoor track. There was something in the swimming pool water that burned your eyes. The weather was good and the only shocking thing was I didn't gain more weight than I did.

Ancient Lands in Eastern Mediterranean

Vision of the Seas Cruise Review by AteErNok

Trip Details
The ship stayed in Istanbul the first night. This made for a pleasant embarkation. I arrived at 2 pm (12 noon opening) and walked right on the ship. There were no lines and my luggage was in the room in an hour. We explored the ship and ate at the WindJammer. Please note that if you are talking the Metro (formally Tram-1), don't get off until the second to last stop. I got off just past the Golden Horn bridge and my poor wife about died pulling her luggage a mile through Istanbul.

We enjoyed the first show and found the meals throughout the cruise enjoyable. Occasionally, we ordered the steak when nothing looked to appetizing. I like on the Texas coast where there is a shrimp fleet. I am used to fresh shrimp. The shrimp on the boat was not good IMO. I did not find the seafood on the ship (with the exception of the Scallops) up to par. However, I enjoyed lamb and duck and most of the fish dishes. Don't miss the salad bar at lunch (Brassiere 60) on sea days.

The ship was a little dirty (carpet on stairs was stained) but the staff worked hard and was always cleaning. I was impressed with my room steward and the waiter/assistant waiter gave us good advise about ports and what to do.

I enjoyed the rock wall and ran a few miles on the outdoor track. There was something in the swimming pool water that burned your eyes. The weather was good and the only shocking thing was I didn't gain more weight than I did.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 2081
On a few nights, there were loud noises (washing machine or ship propulsion system type sounds) that would keep light sleeper awake.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Athens (Piraeus)
    We made the 1 mile walk from the pief to the Metro and were on our own for the day. Spent the day in the Agora and then climbed the Acropolis and experienced the Parethon. Had a great lunch (tripadvisor is your friend) and enjoyed the Acropolysis Museum. Took the Metro back and hopped on the 483 bus all the way to the boat. Experienced more that the excursion for a fraction of the price.
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  • Haifa (Tel Aviv)
    Went sailing on the Sea of Galilee. Visited the Jordan River just below the Sea of Galilee. At the river there were these gigantic river rats that would swim right up to the individuals getting baptized. Cover the children's eyes, people were baptizing themselves with nothing on but a THIN sheet.
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  • Istanbul
    We flew to Istanbul 3 days early and explored the city. We stayed in the Hotel Adora and loved the location and the fantastic restaurants nearby. Although it rained lightly during our entire stay, we enjoyed Istanbul very much. Be prepared to get a strong sales pitch at the Spice Market and Grand Bazaar. We enjoyed Topkapi and Hagia Sophia very much. The mosques were fun (why do they destroy the beautiful interrior views by hanging a thousand wires???). There was plenty to do in our time there and we could have spend more time visiting the museums and other sites.
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  • Jerusalem (Ashdod)
    Spent two days walking in the footsteps of my Savior. Incredible experience. Was part of church group and was able to spend time in the Garden of Gethesame as a group. Bought a lot of olive wood carving at Jimmy's (best prices around). Eerie experience walking through the narrow alleys of Jerusalem at night. Visting the Western Wall (many call Wailing wall) on a Barmitzah (sp?) day - what an experience. All the singing, clapping, horn-blowing and candy throwing must be experienced!
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  • Kusadasi
    We took our first ship excursion in two cruises and were impressed. The day including a great buffet lunch at a Turkish resort. I loved the variety of foods. We spent time at Mary's Place, John's church, and a museum. But the highlight of the day, was the time spent at Ephesus - a truely remarkable place.
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  • Rhodes
    A very relaxed day. We visited the Fish Doctor, where for a few euros a school of fish sucks on your feet and eats away all the dead skin. My wife was quite nervous but the experience was great. We all felt like we were dancing on air as we left the place. Not a lot to do, as a general Greek strikes shut down the museums for the day. We walked and shopped and found an incredible Greek Restauran - Tanam.
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