After embarkation a Cittivichia, we visited Cairo/Alexandria, Israel, Turkey, Crete, Olympus Greece, and 4 other greek ports. The Holy Land experience was great, and all tours in all ports were exceptionally good, although Israel and Egypt were long, long tours, approx 9-11 hours each day. but WELL WORTH THE GRIND. All food ashore on the tours was very good.
Food on the ship was not up to our expectations, compared to 9 other different HAL shipes we have sailed on. The Lido is small, has a terrible floor plan for serving line, and the entire Lido Pool Deck was unused by anyone, day or night. The Lido snack bar was sub standard. And offerings were limited, and not good at all. We saw almost zero usage of the snack bar by anyone the entire cruise, just the opposite of other HAL ships which usually have a big line at the snack bar. Hamburger Buns were cold, no tacos or pizza. Inside the Lido pizza was available, but was the cheap frozen pizzas you find in a discount supermarket. Desserts on the Lido were generally old and unappetizing...ie jello with cracked surface been there so long. Anyway, not trying to beat up the staff, they all worked very hard. Just sad to see such cost cutting measures on HAL. The main dining room food was much better, and up to standards.
The Prinsendam took wonderful care of its passangers, and we were very appreciative. Dept heads would actually come out on the pier and greet you as you debarked the tour bus, offering hot towels and a smile. It was wonderful after a long day touring. The ship need some repairs, sand blasting, and overhaul. A tired ship, we were expecting this "special" HAL ship to be exceptional, but it was below average. Yes, I would sail it again, next time will eat solely in the dining room. Lido is really a poor excuse for a Cruise Ship Lido.
Cabon F 304 was great. Large Cedar walk in closet w/ shelves,shelves, shelves. Window ledge 5 ft x 5 ft !! Great for souvineers, suitcases, etc. Marble shower & bath, no tub. Room is very large with 2 large port holes. Approx 20 x 10 ft room, far larger than average for economy room. On stormy night can hear sea pounding hull, so migh keep you awake !! We liked it.
Interesting, good museum, however no cameras allowed anywhere in Egppt Antiquities Museum. King Tut's floor is a must see. At Pyramids beware of Camel Rides. They will get you up on a camel, then not let you down unless you pay additional. Egyptian Hotels served very good food. Egyptian people were very friendly and loving to all tourists. They are really hurting economically since the reveloution due to less tourism. We tipped them well to help out !!
Jerusalem and Sea of Galalie/Nazareth Tous take one full day each. Both are a MUST SEE. Absolutely terrific, very informative, and a life fulling experience.
Lots and lots of ruins, Roman and Greek. More ruins here than in Greece or Italy !! Better to take a Van Tour (sold on pier) for 20 Euros per person with private guide. That way you can avoid the cruise ship crowds. Appros 25 busses full of cruise tourists per day at Ephesus, and it is difficult to see what you want with such huge crowds. Also good shopping downtown !! Real fake Rolexes !! Ha Ha