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19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
My wife and I were on a Globus tour of Greece and this 3-day cruise was included. Unfortunate thing is that neither cruise ship nor Globus told us what TIME we would arrive at each of the islands. This was a 'once in a ... Read More
My wife and I were on a Globus tour of Greece and this 3-day cruise was included. Unfortunate thing is that neither cruise ship nor Globus told us what TIME we would arrive at each of the islands. This was a 'once in a lifetime' trip for us, as we had always wanted to see Greece and some of the islands. The wonderful windmills of Mykonos - we arrived after 7:00PM (!!!!). My first photo on the island showed 7:12pm. Now, I ask you - how much of the island can you enjoy when you arrive at that hour. Our tour guide showed us where the windmills were - yep, there it was in the distance, barely discernible and if you stared hard long enough, you MIGHT be able to make out the shape. I mean, give me a break! THIS is how we were supposed to enjoy Mykonos? We did spend about 2 hours walking around Mykonos. Not my idea of spending time visiting Mykonos. The main church that we wanted to see, Church of Paraportiani (Our Lady of the Side Gate) was closed by the time we got there, and it would have been a far walk. We did see Church of St. George, an Orthodox church, and it was pretty inside, though small. Ephesus was great! We enjoyed it - our SECOND time since 2011. Daytime! Rug company taking up 1-2 hours of selling / twisting arms was totally unnecessary as it delayed cruise ship sailing on. Patmos - the ship made another stop at Samos at 2:30, picking up people via tender, causing us to be a bit later when we finally arrived at Patmos. There we took a tender to the port, arriving AFTER 6pm. First stop was the Grotto. To be honest, it was … nothing. A cave in which one thinks of everything very spiritual. This is where St. John of Patmos was said to have written the Book of Revelation. It is a fortresslike, 11th century monastery dedicated to the saint. 5 minutes there was more than enough. Next stop was the Monastery, a Greek Orthodox monastery founded in 1088. It had more displays and most interesting was the Museum. The details in … embroidery, jewelry, carvings were phenomenal, and you really need to look hard to see the tremendous details. It is named after St. John of Patmos. 1-2 hours is good for the Monastery. To be honest, I don’t think Patmos would be anything if it weren’t for these two sights. It’s dry and windy, and water is scarce. Tourism is needed for this island to survive. Tourist season is around Easter time to mid-October. Our ship was the only one at port the last two days. Crete: Knossos, center of the 300 BC Minoan civilization. This was a good tour, as we got to see a 4,000 year old palace, rumored to be that of King Minos. The bull if the symbol of Crete, so there are plenty of myths about Minotaurs, etc., including one of the 12 Labors of Hercules was to kill a Minotaur. There was quite a lot to see among the ruins, but unlike other ruins (Really - now I understand why many people say 'You've seen one ruin, you've seen them all."), many of these were still in relatively decent condition, considering their age. Afterwards, we went into the center of Knossos. We visited the Morosini Fountain. The place we spent the most time was at Church of Titus, and although there was a service going on, we did manage to take a few photos. The skull of St. Titus is preserved in a domed relic on the left of the entrance to the church. We walked down to the shores and saw the Venetian (they were here for 400+ years) fortress of Castello a Mare, built in 1541. It guards the inner harbor. Walking back to the bus, we took some photos of the Nike statue, symbolizing victory with help from many countries. Crete: Santorini. Our tour guide prepped us and told us what to do and got us set up, as the daylight time wouldn't be very long. The ship docked and we boarded the tender about 4:00. The tender was already starting out when it had to return, due to another group not being there on time to board! That took another 10 minutes, and the tender took 20 minutes to reach Santorini. Then we quickly boarded the bus and it took 45 minutes up a narrow 2-lane winding road all the way to the top. We can’t figure out WHY the tender takes us to the furthest part of the island on one side in order to reach the top at the other end of the island. Anyway, sun sets at 5:17 and we arrived at the bus parking area at 5:12. We had broken out into 2 groups: Speedy and slow. I was in the speedy one and we raced up to the top and I got my shots just about when the sun was setting. It's at that famous shot that everybody sees when they see photos of Santorini. Within 15 minutes, the sun was gone and it was fairly dark. We wandered around the town a bit until 7:15 when the bus left for the tender and back to the ship. When booking this Globus tour, no mention was made of the TIME that we would reach the islands. I don't blame Globus for us, but the cruise ship. If they KNOW when sunset is, wouldn't they PLAN to arrive at the island at least ONE hour before the sun sets? I don't mean, arrive and then have the tender take you to the island and/or then bus you to the appropriate site... I mean, actually BEING on the island and able to wander around at least ONE hour before dark. This should not be THAT hard for experienced cruise lines to figure out and plan accordingly. Cruise ships should be able to put scheduled arrival times at various ports. When we asked our Globus tour group if they would have taken this tour knowing the arrival times at the islands, not ONE person said they would. All 40 of us would NOT have taken this cruise. AND knowing that DST was going to happen ... really NO excuse from the cruise line at all. I am really ticked off at the cruise ship. I didn't plan to see the 3 islands in darkness, which is what all 3 islands wound up, except for about 15 minutes of daylight at Santorini. ----- Service personnel on board were VERY nice and helpful. That was not a problem with us. ----- Meals at the buffet line: Average Meals at the ala Carte restaurant: Very good ----- We had bought the Drinks package, so got bottled water as much as we needed. One item that stuck in my craw: There was a bottle of mineral water, clearly marked that it costs. There were 2 bottles of regular water, no sign that it costs. We took 2 of them one day - the rest of the time, we got the cold water from the bar -- AND we were charged for the 2 bottles from the cabin! When we protested this, and that we did have the Drinks package, it was shrugged off as "That's the way it is." It left us with another bad image and impression of the cruise line.... ALL in all, I would NEVER take this cruise line again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We boarded the ship in Piraeus after spending 2 nights in the King George Hotel in Athens, followed by a 2 night land tour to Delphi and Nauplia. This was a very popular cruise: we booked 6 months ahead and there were only 3 cabins left! ... Read More
We boarded the ship in Piraeus after spending 2 nights in the King George Hotel in Athens, followed by a 2 night land tour to Delphi and Nauplia. This was a very popular cruise: we booked 6 months ahead and there were only 3 cabins left! We had an outside cabin on Columbus deck, which was compact but had everything needed for a two week cruise. There are two restaurants on board: the Marco Polo which is open for lunch and dinner, and the Terrace Café, with an inside and outside seating area, which was open for all meals, plus afternoon tea and late night snacks. The food was good and we enjoyed sitting outside for meals when the weather permitted. We often used the Marco Polo restaurant in the evening. Service was professional but could be slow at busy times. The Head Waiter Danny deserves a special mention for keeping things running smoothly. Complimentary wine was served at dinner. We had the same Italian wine served to us every night though which became tedious. Some variety is needed! Most of the shore tours are included in the cost of the cruise, and these had good content and were generally interesting and well organised. We visited several Greek islands where tenders were needed, and this proved challenging for the less able passengers, some of whom chose to stay on board. There were two lecturers on this cruise. The archaeologist was interesting, but the other lecturer's presentation was monotonous, and he tended to overrun his time slots, which was frustrating. Entertainment was provided by the Odyssey Trio, a classical trio who were excellent, and the Cruise Director Richard Sykes, who is a very talented singer and pianist, and a real asset to the company. A jazz singer and pianist were also on board. There was a mix of nationalities on board, with British, Americans, Australians and we were informed that the average age was 72. We enjoyed the cruise apart from the chaos at the British Airways check-in at Athens airport on our return journey. A cruise rep. stationed here to assist passengers would have helped enormously. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
for the Itinerary - I never did the Greek Islands before, so this time I tried to "link-up" NINE Cruise Segments, starting on 1st October in ATHENS and finishing on 8th December in DUBAI. There were several "double" ... Read More
for the Itinerary - I never did the Greek Islands before, so this time I tried to "link-up" NINE Cruise Segments, starting on 1st October in ATHENS and finishing on 8th December in DUBAI. There were several "double" Segments through some of the Greek Islands, which gave me the opportunity to visit Ports twice or more = so that was a good experience. Unfortunately, this Ship caters mainly for the Spanish Package Deal Market, so everything is in Spanish - some Shows are (Only) in Spanish, and some of the English Announcements are hard to understand..... Whenever I book, I always opt for the cheapest INSIDE Cabin, so even though I had booked the 9 Cruise Segments on the same day - there were NO Upgrades - in fact I had to change Cabins after every Segment. What "riled" me, was one night when I wanted to eat in the Main Restaurant and ordered my Meal with the Waiter, I requested some GREEN Vegetables to go with the Meal, to which the Waiter flatly refused - NOT AVAILABLE!!! So after such a negative attitude, I took my meals at the Buffet Restaurant, where I could "help myself" to whatever Vegetables were available, even though many times only COLD Green Vegetables were there on offer. Another Negative point was, that the Dinner Plates were COLD, sand the food presented was also only "warm" or Cold - so I asked the Chef's there to re-heat the plate???? Which is not saying much for the quality of the Food or the Service. AND, the "COMPULSORY" Gratuity charge came to about 1000 EUROS!!!! With such a mediocre Service - this was a total RIP-OFF!!! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
In choosing this cruise we wanted to travel to the Greek Islands in a smaller ship, visit ancient sites and learn a little more of the history of the area. The brochures and itinerary met all our requirements as it was a combination of 3 ... Read More
In choosing this cruise we wanted to travel to the Greek Islands in a smaller ship, visit ancient sites and learn a little more of the history of the area. The brochures and itinerary met all our requirements as it was a combination of 3 back to back cruises. It indicated a reasonable level of fitness which also suited our requirements. On arrival in Venice we found that the cabin was as we expected. Not flash, but functional; however, had only one, poorly located powerpoint. The staff were generally helpful but some appeared that they would have been happier elsewhere. We found the food to be adequate but not to the standard we had experienced with some other companies. Food in the main eating area was cafeteria style, dishes were not labelled so everyone had to ask what each dish was. This created long slow lines at every meal. We asked the staff about adequate signage and were told that it was not Company Policy. Deserts and other hot foods were “serve yourself”, which provided huge opportunity for cross contamination and increased the risk of allergic reaction if staff did not understand or were not available to provide adequate answers. I am allergic to poultry and asked staff the ingredients. I was answered ‘meat sausage’. turned out is was chicken and as a consequence spent a very unpleasant few hours. There were not always staff to ask. There did not appear to be adequate staff to ensure appropriate hygiene was maintained by the passengers. We were served on a number of cracked cups and bowls which should have been removed from service. The more formal eating area was much better as the food was individually served. Since the cruise was focussed on Ancient Greek and Romanan ruins there were guest lecturers on each of the three legs. Most lecturers provided interesting insights but others just went through the motions. The AV facilities were as old as the ship, and provided many interruptions and failures. Most lecturers used laser pointers which were useless. Talk times were not at optimum times but when most passengers were not on board. As days went by it was obvious that the ship was extremely noisey. When our small ship was birthed next to one carrying 10x more passengers (3000) the only one you could hear was the Aegean Odyssey. Whilst cruising the noise level was greater than 75db in the cabin, which made sleeping difficult. The poor crew had to remove soot daily from the outside furniture and many passengers gained black oil stains on their clothing. Shore excursion staff lacked basic knowledge of the ports visited and could not tell passengers where pharmacies or banks were located, cost or location of buses or taxis. Nor could they tell us about some of the places of interest that were on the shore sheets. Manning of desk tardy. Not there on time. A little offhand and sometimes rude with responses. Water was only provided to guests who elected to do organised excursions. The excursions were usually run by local guides, some good some hopeless, who tried to accommodate all passengers. Unfortunately, with an average age of passengers in the middle to late 70s, the pace at which they were forced to go resulted in excruciatingly slow movement that then meant some of the highlights were not seen. This persisted for all three legs of our journey. It really should have been called Voyages of Antiquity! There appeared to be a policy of ensuring the passengers who had travelled before were always first off the ship. Unfortunately, due to their age and lack of mobility, this ensured everyone else was delayed. Tender safety was poor. The crew did not provide definitive instruction on where to sit, how to hold arms, slide along seats to move rather than walking and direction on where to sit and when to stand for exit. As many of the passengers no doubt had osteoporosis, it will only be a matter of time before bones are broken. Very poor! At the end of the first leg our cabin developed a water leak which soaked the carpet. The hotel manager offered us a move to a cabin on the upper deck which we readily accepted. It was slightly larger with one bed instead of two singles and slightly quieter (72db) Unfortunately the hot water was intermittent and often was filthy and both taps lacked acceptable pressure. The toilet would not flush so we resorted to a 10l bucket! When cruising, the room vibrated to such an extent that we were forced to put towels in the door to stop it rattling. There is no way this room was worth an extra $4000 pp! On our last day there was a significant water leak which resulted in a large area of one level being flooded. Since the ship had no downtime the oncoming passengers had a very wet and potentially mouldy trip ahead. Internet now is a must for travellers and unfortunately was exorbitant in cost and was of such poor quality that many passengers demanded refunds. In conclusion, Voyages to Antiquity have a great product but need to ensure guests’ capabilities are assessed and appropriate shore excursions are provided so that all passengers are provided with the experience they expect. The ship is in dire need of major refurbishment and maintenance. The crew have to endure more than most. I would not recommend this trip to anyone who has even a moderate level of fitness. It’s like travelling in a floating care facility! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We went around the eastern med. The ship was ok all staff were good , friendly and worked very hard. Food was good but always busy in the island restaurant in mornings and at linsh time. Snack shack food was good at lunch you could get ... Read More
We went around the eastern med. The ship was ok all staff were good , friendly and worked very hard. Food was good but always busy in the island restaurant in mornings and at linsh time. Snack shack food was good at lunch you could get small portions of fish & chips or chicken & chips Ect. Gallery 47 restaurant was ok and we only had to wait about 10 to 15 mins to be seated you get a buzzer so you can go and have a drink while you are waiting. Bar staff were good in live bar and around the pool also when watching the shows always asking if you need anymore drinks. We paid to upgrade to a delux cabin with a balcony on seventh deck which was very nice the only down side which spoiled our holiday was that this cabin has a VERY VERY Bad vibration through out the cabin from the balcony to the front door this happened every time the engines were running day and although the night the bed was shaking we later found out that cabin 7088 has the same problem. We also had a problem with the airconditioning it was freezing cold and although we turned it right on to the warmest setting it was still freezing we reported it but nothing changed we were told you could not turn it off, Our cabin steward Lino and his team were very good nothing was to much trouble for him Thank you LINO. BE WARNED DONOT BOOK CABIN 7090 OR 7088 Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Our group of 6 adults cruised the iconic isles cruise it was fantastic from start to finish apart from two nights of rough seas that prevented us docking in Zante but instead we docked in katakolon which was beautiful. Food and drink was ... Read More
Our group of 6 adults cruised the iconic isles cruise it was fantastic from start to finish apart from two nights of rough seas that prevented us docking in Zante but instead we docked in katakolon which was beautiful. Food and drink was excellent something to suit everyone bar staff gr8 and especially the waiter Nikola from serbea who was so good to us throughout the week. Inside cabin was compact but good for us and had everything we needed Reginald was our house keeper and always was so pleasent and friendly. Will definitely be booking again well done TUI.Embarkment and Disembarkment were exceptional smooth and as we were on an evening flight we were able to stay on book with full use of all inclusive facilities until our pick up time,luggage all colour coded and ready for our coach. Only downside was the entertainment got a bit repetitive and we didn't enjoy the comedian at all but still loads more to keep us entertained. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We could not have asked for a more seamless, fun, educational and entertaining time on the cruise. We boarded in Mykonos (we had been there 4 nights), spent 3 nights on the cruise, and disembarked in Santorini (where we stayed 4 ... Read More
We could not have asked for a more seamless, fun, educational and entertaining time on the cruise. We boarded in Mykonos (we had been there 4 nights), spent 3 nights on the cruise, and disembarked in Santorini (where we stayed 4 nights). The ports were AMAZING! Our first port was Kusadasi, Turkey. Had this not been on the itinerary, we would have never gone there. It was THE HIGHLIGHT of our entire trip. We are not history buffs, by any means. Ephasus was the most breathtaking and educational archaeological site we have ever seen. The marble streets were breathtaking, and words cannot describe how awe inspiring the excavations were. Our tour guide was superb! It is a must see. The port town of Patmos was great (food, shopping), and the Medieval City in Rhodes with the Street of the Knights were also excursions we would highly recommend! Life changing for sure! The part that made the entire time on the ship the most fun was time spent at the Argo bar with Ajit, Ernie, and another bartender who's name I can't remember (not because of the drinks, but because I couldn't pronounce his name). They were energetic, poured a mean cocktail, and overall made us feel like part of the family during our short 3 night stay. They also gave us tips on where to visit in the ports we visited. Without them, this cruise would have simply been a taxi from one port to another. Ajit and Ernie are the best! Because of them, we would go again in a heartbeat! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
From Sep 17 to 24, 2018, we took a 7-night, all-inclusive Greek Island cruise on Pullmantur Cruise Line's ship Horizon. We chose it for stellar itinerary, smaller ship, and price--and loved it. Pullmantur is based in Madrid; 90% ... Read More
From Sep 17 to 24, 2018, we took a 7-night, all-inclusive Greek Island cruise on Pullmantur Cruise Line's ship Horizon. We chose it for stellar itinerary, smaller ship, and price--and loved it. Pullmantur is based in Madrid; 90% of clients are Spanish. Horizon's an older ship; sun loungers, cabins, furniture could use an upgrade. But for the price we found it fine. We've been on Regent and other ultra-luxe venues and while they're glorious, trips like this cost 3 or 4 times as much--some for a lesser itinerary. [Photo 1: Pullmantur Horizon from dock] [Photo 2: Horizon Pool & Sunset We used the money saved to book a whole second week in Greece on land--in Naxos and Athens--plus two great private excursions from Athens, before and after sailing. Before sailing on Sep 17 we visited the Temple of Poseidon & Cape Sounio Beach, 45 minutes south of Athens, and on Sep 24 we saw the Corinth Canal. We boarded Horizon at 4 pm in Athens' port of Piraeus after a wonderful morning at Cape Sounio Sep 17. Check-in was a breeze. We walked out of our cabin 1058 and steps away found an ocean view aft lounge on Deck 10. Then, right upstairs on Deck 11, delicious snacks and drinks awaited in the ship's buffet and aft Ocean-view Grill. In fact, there were ocean-view rear decks on all four top decks 9 thru 12, with quiet sitting space, sunsets or moon rises--often empty except for us. [Photo 3: Deck 10 Aft Lounge] [Photo 4: Deck 11 Aft Ocean-view Grill] At 8 pm we sailed for Mykonos, Volos, Chania (on Crete), Santorini, Nafplio (aka Nauplion), and back to Piraeus. Kudos to Pullmantur for a great schedule: each port was more stunning than the last. We'd go ashore, say “We want to stay here a week, it's so gorgeous,” then at the next port, we'd say it again. By Day 4 we were in “beauty overwhelm.” On Horizon, with only 1,820 guests, we always found loungers. Maybe not at the pool Deck 11, but there was always both shade or sun on the large wrap-around Deck 12 (if starboard was in the sun, port was in the shade, etc.) With fewer cruisers, it was easy and relaxed to disembark and re-embark. Yes there's only one pool; I prefer that larger space. But yes, it's a European ship, so people smoke almost everywhere outdoors (never indoors). Yet with so much open deck, we always found loungers away from the smoke. Whatever seating you want, just keep walking around Deck 12 and you'll find it. European set dining room times are late: 7:30 and 9 pm. But from 5 to 7 pm, drinks at the pool bar and buffet bar flowed, and we always found food at the aft Ocean-view Grill, Deck 11. Did I mention “all-inclusive”? Our ocean-view cabin with large window (not a port hole), all-inclusive dining, unlimited beer, wine, cava (good dry Spanish champagne), well drinks, coffees and all gratuities, came to $3,000 grand total for two, as a special from Vacations to Go. So we sprang for the highest level of trip insurance, another $396, which also covered airfare. [Photo 5: Our cabin #1058, Deck 10, Superior Oceanview, Midship] No one ever asked for our drink cards or any payment, and no tips. We tipped anyway because the staff were so kind, helpful, and honestly friendly; 98% spoke good English. Most staff were from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Our cabin steward Dorian Gusman was terrific, and I loved our Mauritian waitress and Brazilian sommelier; I really regret losing my notes with their names Yes, Pullmantur announcements are in Spanish, and incomprehensible English. Yes, entertainment is in Spanish. No, excursions were not included, and no guarantee of English on any excursion–but we heard from English speakers that their guides happily translated for them. Anyway, we usually do our own excursions; more fun. And we just had no time for night life. We needed our sleep to rise early, visit the extensive breakfast buffet with all sorts of egg and cheese dishes—and love those chocolate croissants—and take it to the ocean-view Grill to eat (why stay inside?) Then get on with our day. Horizon had solid Spanish food in the formal restaurant and the identical fare at the buffet: lots of grilled meats and seafood. Plenty of veggie dishes, too. It's not haute cuisine; for that, one pays the luxe lines or specialty restaurants on larger ships. But we didn't care. We'd have a huge breakfast, never felt like lunch (busy running around port or sunning on deck), then enjoyed a large dinner with wine. Note: Horizon only had Greek food on the last night. So we bought "take out" dinners of moussaka in Mykonos and "lamb kleftiko ("stolen lamb”) in Chania, to take back to the ship. Destinations hopefully follow below. Tip: Before any Greek Island cruise, check each port's website and WhatsInPort to see how many ships will be in port, then do the advance homework to plan around any crowds or just stay on the ship at the pool. [Photo 6: Replica of Jason's Argo, Volos] [Photo 7: Fast Line to Oia, Santorini] Read Less

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