Having cruised with Cunard before we had high expectations of this cruise.
Our flight to Athens was uneventful,and embarkation was fairly smooth.We were most impressed with the handling of our luggage which was taken off our hands at Heathrow and the next we saw of it was in our cabins! This was a lot better than other flight cruises we had.The cabin was pleasant with ample storage space but the bathroom and shower particularly was very small compared to Celebrities Solstice class ships.The towels also felt small and hard by comparison.Small touches such as binoculars and an umbrella were missing.
The ship looks well appointed with abundance of polished wood in the style of an English stately home the Royal court theadre and the Queens Ballroom were bothexcellent and roomy and in par with ships of equal status,
The Brittania Restaurant is very attractively designed on two floors and our request for a table for two was accommodated albeit in a rather claustrophobic corner.
The standards of food were very acceptable and a vegetarian course appeared every day although the choice could have been better. The stuff in the Restaurant were very polite and and friendly particularly our Goan waiter Glorio.The wines waiter was great and he knew our name from day one a good touch.
Now the not so nice part. The Lido buffet restaurant's choice was rather limited in choice and it certainly no much to Ships such as the Eclipse, or Solctise. Apart from the traditional English fare there was pasta and pizza and the occasional stir fry. The breakfasts excluded such stable items as prunes and figs which appeared after passengers complained.The toast was always cold. The stuff also appear to be the same and were mainly unsmiling. On sea days you were hard pushed to find a clean table I guess because people were congregating inside due to the weather
Things took a nose dive however after our call to Alexandria.Apart from the torrential ran,rather unexpected in Egypt, the place seemed to be riddled with piles of rubbish.We join an excursion to the Pyramids and after a two hour drive from hell we arrived there to be virtually assaulted by avery aggressive mob of vendors, camel owners and peddlers demanding money from us and even preventing us taking photos. Our guide conveniently stayed on the bus. On arrival back to the ship the captain announced that the port was shut due to inclement weather and consequently we spend an extra 24 hours stack in Alexandria. It was notable that Fred Olsen's 'Boudica' managed to sail!because of the delay we missed our next port of call at Katakolon in Greece. The next two ports were Corfu and Dubrovnik and were both pleasant experiences. But the biggest disappointment was to come when on arrival to Venice we were prevented to dock and after floating outside a port for the whole day the captain decided to sail to Trieste on the Croatian border so a day and a half spend in Venice was missed. From Trieste we were then bused to Marco Polo airport where most annoyingly the fog still persisted.All flights were considerably delayed and some passengers had to be taken to Pergamo (Milan) to fly.This left everyone seething particularly as Cunard was aware of the fog and made no provisions to provide passengers with any food coupons or guidance.
Our cabin was on deck eight like most cabins on the top accommodation deck has an overhang although was not as pronounced as on the Solctice ships.The cabin was very quite and the position was relatively midships,which somewhat reduces sway when the sea gets rough. The bed was comfortable but the sofa was rather small. The biggest criticism was the rather small shower enclosure with a curtain a bit below par with other modern ships we experienced.
Awful experience I think Egypt should be avoided under present climate.
A very pleasant port and Corfu town is a delight with a profussion of Venetian French and British cultural heritages and buildings.
The best preserved medieval City in Europe. Take a walk on the beutifully preserved walls and see the city roofscape. Prices very reasonable. Visit before the Euro.
On.e of the worlds most spectular destinations because of the location.We visited Aghia Sophia the Byzantine church which has one of the largest domes and was bullt 1500 years ago. The Dlue Mosque built some 1000 years later has some wonderful tiled walls and carpets.The grand bazaar was not the exotic fair we expected mailnly jewellry shops.
The town of Volos is mainly a pleasant modern city because the old on was destroyed in 1952 by an earthquake. WE visited Meteora some two hours drive away to visit thespectular monoliths on which there are some dozen monasteries. The landscape is spectacular and the views of the plain of Thessali is memorable.