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37 Greece Senior Cruise Reviews

I'll start by saying we travel a lot, but aren't "cruise people". We've only been on one other cruise. Most of our travel is self-booked, no groups, tours, etc. That said, we were looking to do something out of the ... Read More
I'll start by saying we travel a lot, but aren't "cruise people". We've only been on one other cruise. Most of our travel is self-booked, no groups, tours, etc. That said, we were looking to do something out of the ordinary and special for our 35th anniversary cruise, and had our sights set on exploring a few greek islands. After looking at options including cruises, flights, and water taxis, we decided on the 3-night Celestyal Olympia cruise. We figured that if it didn't agree with us, 3 nights would be OK. We liked the smattering taste-test of the islands, and we liked that two excursions were included. Embarkation was a breeze for us, but read the cabin details for possible explanation. Yes, the ship is old, but it's been refurbished quite nicely. It was perhaps a little nicer than expected. I think we had 1,000 passengers, so quite a bit under capacity. That may have helped with things for our cruise. Staff was exemplary! Every single staff member we interacted with was just so nice and helpful. There were no exceptions to this: from the Master (captain), who told us how to find our room (we didn't know who he was at the time), to the people who gave out towels as we came back aboard, 100% of them were just great. The food was better than expected. We like greek food, but were certainly not limited to that. The Texas BBQ night was superbly executed and very popular. Entertainment was OK, but we didn't really pursue that at all. We really enjoyed both of the included excursions in Turkey and Crete! A lot. Really added value for us. We did not book any other excursions. Yes, some of the island stays are very brief, but we knew that going in. They were long enough to learn where we might want to return some day. Getting off the boat for island visits seemed very organized to us, and went smoothly. Again, some of this was due to our cabin selection. We learned that people who booked excursions got off first (!), then cabins by rank/number, then people who were staying at the location (not getting back on the boat). We didn't even look at any other excursions, so I don't know what the options or cost were, but worth considering if you want to get off the boat first. Lastly, I should mention I was fighting a nasty kidney stone the entire cruise, and it really compromised my ability to enjoy food, drink, and a couple of the excursions. This is no reflection on Celestyal at all; on the contrary, the staff were very understanding and supportive of my situation. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I was really looking forward for this vacation, but it became terrible after booking this cruise. The ship was small, old and there was really nothing to do onboard. They didn’t even have the pools available to swim. I have been in ... Read More
I was really looking forward for this vacation, but it became terrible after booking this cruise. The ship was small, old and there was really nothing to do onboard. They didn’t even have the pools available to swim. I have been in different cruises before and I figured it was alright since the port destinations would make up for it. I was wrong, the excursions available were very unorganized. Staff was rude and unfriendly. There was no planned activities. Staff was not knowledgeable on instructions. They would announce meeting points at a certain time and they would be late. Food was terrible. Not much to do in she ship. I was traveling with 7 family members and we all felt the same way. I tried expressing my concerns to the cruise staff, but it was a waste of time. They simply didn't care. Never traveling in this cruise line again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Choose this cruise to experience Greece and its food, drink and culture. The good is that Princess did an awesome job on embarkment (no wait) and disembarkment. Excursion organization and cleanliness, and great staff. It couldn’t have ... Read More
Choose this cruise to experience Greece and its food, drink and culture. The good is that Princess did an awesome job on embarkment (no wait) and disembarkment. Excursion organization and cleanliness, and great staff. It couldn’t have been any better. I rated 4 stars because I wouldn’t take this cruise again. It was boring. Entertainment was for older people ( we were a party of 8 in our late 50s and early 60s). Pool parties and piano bar weren’t what we had on other cruise lines. After dinner we struggled to find things to do. We were looking for dancing or comedy. There was one great band with a woman singer that we found 2 nights and that was the entertainment highlight. We had people in our party fall asleep and leave during auditorium shows. We did trivia a few times and that was fun. Food and drink were awesome. Service was exemplary. Shore excursions ... mostly good, organized, good guides and clean bus on all with no waits. Crete we did a beach excursion and when we got there there weren’t enough lounge chairs for our party to be together, stained cushions on loungers and you couldn’t swim cause of the rocks .. not what we expected. Now Corfus excursion was awesome town and cooking class. Highlight of the trip. We booked wanting to see white beaches and bluest water with the white buildings and saw none:(. Too windy to go to Mykonos (which we booked for) and princess did nothing for us that day ie, free drinks, more entertainment so that felt like a wasted day. One more thing, we were on a Greek cruise and the nightly dining had no Italian or Greek food or appetizers. Would highly recommend they change this to have 2 or 3 options for the area every night. Also the wine and beer of that region would be a plus. Would recommend this cruise for older people. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
20+cruises with thomson,1st on discovery great ship ,staff,and entertainment, one gripe Broadway lounge next to live room the noise could be heard in the atrium we're a singer was trying to perform right next door to the live room ,3 ... Read More
20+cruises with thomson,1st on discovery great ship ,staff,and entertainment, one gripe Broadway lounge next to live room the noise could be heard in the atrium we're a singer was trying to perform right next door to the live room ,3 venues right next to each other crazy!.the slug and lettuce pub was only used for quizzes and sometimes a group, good bar to meet and have a talk with people instead of daft quizzes and noise,perfect for background music and relax. Plus disappointed with no group or singer on stage in the afternoons when people get back on the ship ,we used to look forward to hear them on deck before the afternoon trivia questions. All in all great time had by all nearly!we must mention our room cleaners Rhea and Eddi very polite and always smiling made everyday a happy one thanks to them and all the bar staff and waiters for there hard work .corfu airport is a joke,waiting outside in a queue about 100 yards long in the heat waiting to put our cases in to the check out,sorry but not much help or info from tui staff.the much liked crew show was pathetic the backgroud pictures of the singer/artist took longer than the person singing,we are all for a bit of background on their lives but come on! maybe thats why there was only 4 crew members chose to sing,usually they put on a great show and receive the loadest cheers of the night.i hope this is a fair review and we will pick marella cruises again, thanks again to all the staff for a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We have been on 31 cruises but this was our first time on a Pullmantur ship. We liked the idea that it is a Spanish cruise line since my husband speaks Spanish fluently. The cruise price included gratuities and all beverages so it was a ... Read More
We have been on 31 cruises but this was our first time on a Pullmantur ship. We liked the idea that it is a Spanish cruise line since my husband speaks Spanish fluently. The cruise price included gratuities and all beverages so it was a better value than a hotel. The itinerary included two Greek Islands that we had not been to before. Pullmantur's Horizon is an older ship but the maintenance was good. Our deluxe balcony cabin was very comfortable with more closet space than many newer ship. The room steward was exceptionally good to the point where we tipped him even though the gratuities were inclusive in the cruise price. We found the food to be quite good. The first day we walked into the buffet for lunch and I went to the hand sanitizer machine and put my hands under it, pushed a button, and felt really stupid when a pat of butter fell into my hands from the automatic butter dispenser (clever machine). Other reviewers have commented that there was no butter served but I found it the first day. In the dining room each table had a bottle of virgin olive oil which was perfect for dipping the rolls and delicious breads that were served. My husband is not an adventurous eater, but he always found something on the menu that he liked. The entertainment was good. One night the production staff did a Mama Mia/Abba show that was so good that we skipped dinner and sat thought the second (repeat) show. We went to most of the musical shows and found them to be delightful. Even with my minimal understanding of Spanish, I understood the humor. It was Easter Week and the ship was loaded with young students. The morning music poolside was more upbeat than we preferred with our first cup of coffee, but other than that, it was fun to see the future cruise addicts enjoying themselves. The bar staff at the pool bar we kept very busy, but the students were well behaved and respectful. It was a treat for us to be able to go to any bar and get a soda, beer or cocktail without a charge. I liked the Cava and house red wines. We met interesting people from Europe as well as from South America and the Caribbean. It was a relaxing with no pressure to buy things or to tip. We would definitely cruise with Pullmantur again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
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
Sail Date September 2018
Bucket list item was the Greek isles and since we prefer the smaller ships, opted for a Windstar cruise. Only 135 or so guests so no crowds or lines. Ship is a little old but well maintained and except for the air conditioning and the ... Read More
Bucket list item was the Greek isles and since we prefer the smaller ships, opted for a Windstar cruise. Only 135 or so guests so no crowds or lines. Ship is a little old but well maintained and except for the air conditioning and the internet, very comfortable and enjoyable. Except for Monemvassia, there were no big buses for the tours which was nice but that may be dependent on the number of folks that signed up. All vehicles were comfortable.Crew was hospitable except for one wine steward and when brought to the attention of management, things changed promptly. Ports were all very enjoyable though I was pretty tired of ruins once everything was over. Stayed in the Electra Hotel for a few nights in Athens and it was nice with a rooftop dining area with views of the Acropolis. Just avoid room 211 which had a toilet so close to the wall and shower one had to be a contortionist to use. Last night we moved to the Grand Bretagne and it was a beautiful old hotel but probably not worth the extra money. Tried to get reservations for our group of 8 several weeks before for dinner on the rooftop but they were full. Could not even find space to have a cocktail that evening as most of the space was closed off for some reason. Went next door to King George hotel and had a wonderful meal on the top floor with even better views of the Acropolis. Highly recommend this! Crew was polite and accommodating but not as nice as Crystal Esprit. Food in the dining room was good but not exceptional. Candles was better and especially the on-deck barbecue...that was amazing. Dinner at the Celsus Library was also amazing. Went to the opera afterwards in the old theatre and sitting on stone, even for an hour, was awful. Delos and Turkey were wonderful stops but all were excellent. Chartered a private catamaran in Santorini instead of the ships cat tour and it was fantastic. Breakfasts were nice with a wide selection of food on the buffet with the opportunity to order off the menu if desired. Bridge tour was nice and informative. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We went on this cruise because we had been on the Marella Dream in June, we had such a good time on the Dream we decided to go on the Discovery, so we could compare the two. we enjoyed both to be honest, although the Dream is smaller and ... Read More
We went on this cruise because we had been on the Marella Dream in June, we had such a good time on the Dream we decided to go on the Discovery, so we could compare the two. we enjoyed both to be honest, although the Dream is smaller and older ship than the Discovery I'd say the Dream just piped the Discovery for us. We thought the Dream managed the people it had on board better than the Discovery, it just seemed to us that there were to many people for them to cope with comfortably. Don't get me wrong the staff were fantastic and worked very hard to make our stay as good as they could, we just thought the management had packed to many people on the ship. To give you an example if you were out and about at night there didn't seem to be enough seating for all the customers, I'm not sure if some parts of the Discovery were more popular than others but it did look odd that there were a lots of people having to stand because there were no seats available. Food on the Discovery was good and plentiful, we did have an issue with the bacon on the breakfast buffet which I have written to them about but that was all, just going back to the subject of room, we went as a couple and when we went to the 47 gallery or the 47 restaurant we wanted a table for two which we did get, but the tables were only separated by a few inches so there was no chance of a intermate or private conversation because you were so close to the next table. Now again don't get me wrong we are not loners and can mix with the best of them, but if I wanted to make eyes at my wife I don't want the women on the next table getting the wrong idea because we so close together. The cabins were nice and the staff kept them clean, the places we stopped were good, except Santorini which was a disappointment the place would be lovely if it wasn't for the vast amount of people, we expected it to be busy but goodness me it was packed to the rafters. My wife has a disability and walking is a problem so it was even harder for her to get around because the crowds, there were no places to rest for her because all the places were full, so we decided to go back to the ship, but even this was a big problem because the queue for the cable car back down the mountain was so long its was a long hot wait of 20 minutes before we got back down. So if you go on this cruise been warned its busy and hot at the top the crowds are mad and in our minds Santorini has that far away look, it looks better far away. All the other destinations on the trip were better and we enjoyed them. Over all we had a good time we will go again with TUI next year on a different ship and see how they do, look out for my review. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I got on the discovery 2 at Corfu and got of there as well. I was on the ship for a week and the destinations are lovely Santorini and Rhodes have to be my favourite. The cruise is really good the activity's for kids are a ... Read More
I got on the discovery 2 at Corfu and got of there as well. I was on the ship for a week and the destinations are lovely Santorini and Rhodes have to be my favourite. The cruise is really good the activity's for kids are a climbing wall a mini golf 9 holes 2 swimming pools one inside and one outside also there is a games room called hideout for the children to chill out and play on the Xbox and the football table. The entertainment is fantastic with 4 different venues to choose from and they have a casino. the bars were clean and sold a verity of alcohols from shots to beer to cocktails. the crew are so friendly saying hello and always ready to help really good custom. The sail away party was absolutely fantastic with live performances from DJ Tomas and a band that I cant remember there name and a flag parade to see were parts of the crew come from. definitely arrange with TUI they are stars amazing job Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This sailing was incredible from start to finish! The staff were all friendly, helpful, and couldn't do enough for you. The ship was an older classic style yacht, very comfortable but definitely a dated look to it. The cabins were ... Read More
This sailing was incredible from start to finish! The staff were all friendly, helpful, and couldn't do enough for you. The ship was an older classic style yacht, very comfortable but definitely a dated look to it. The cabins were small but comfortable, the beds were a little on the hard side for my taste but were still cozy enough to get a good night's sleep. The food on board was wonderful! The kitchen staff outdid themselves at every meal. I swear we barely ever stopped eating on board, as soon as breakfast was cleared, someone was out offering fresh slices of watermelon, then lunch, then a dish of sorbet on the sun deck, then an amazing dinner and cocktails, definitely overdid it but everything was impeccable. The cruise director was always knowledgeable about our ports, giving us plenty of insight on what to do while in each country (Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece). I do think the excursions could be improved upon though, they only offered a couple excursions in each port, and they were participation based, so if the one you wanted didn't have enough guests, it didn't happen. That being said, the only port I think an excursion is truly necessary is Albania. My favorite stops were Korcula, Kotor, Anti-Paxos and Paxos (Anti-Paxos had the best beach and bluest waters I've ever seen in my life!). I would gladly travel with Variety in the future, and look forward to the day I get to sail with them again! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I decided to book the Greek Mystique cruise as my wife has had surgery recently and really needed to recuperate and recover. After check in at Gatwick we didn't see our luggage again until delivered to our cabin I can not tell you ... Read More
I decided to book the Greek Mystique cruise as my wife has had surgery recently and really needed to recuperate and recover. After check in at Gatwick we didn't see our luggage again until delivered to our cabin I can not tell you how amazing that was not to have to face the hustle and bustle of the airport baggage carousels! I rater enjoyed the main resturaunt as they operate an open seating dining plan so we were able to dine with new people every evening, which when we usually cruise on Seabourn and Azamara we have a fixed table and dining companions for the duration of the cruise -so Marella has hit on a good idea on the occasions where one may be sitted on a dining table with 'cruise snobs'.Which in the past we have had to endure! We are retired although a young 59 and 61, we tend to book 4 cruises per year one for each season. We have one Seabourn and one Azamrara then 2 cheaper options which this year is Marella and Cruise & Maritime to try the other end of the market. The ship Celebration was old as described on CC.reviews,but it was perfectly clean and comfortable. We prefer to have waiter service at meals as my wife isn't always able to stand and queue for periods of time and apart from the very last morning when there was literally not a seat to be had this worked perfectly for us. Our cabin steward was superb so although tips are included we left him cash in an envelope cabin was cleaned and towels replenished twice daily. My wife purchased two Radley handbags which she said were great value. we are not drinkers so didn't opt for the AI Drinks package(due to my wife's medication). We did take excursions which although costly were not exhorbitant but much more importantly safe for my wife's comfort. We ate in Mistrals which was a delight -highly recommended especially drunken prawns delicious! The Ports of call were delightful especially KOTORin Mo ntenegro and sailing out of Dubrovnik at night ! STUNNING. keeping the best till last- just has to be the entertainment. THE showteam were leaving and a new team and Cruise Director was starting the week after we disembarked. They were amazing and the show Africa was wonderful. We really thought it couldn't get any better until Monday when the Guest Act came on to do his show. His name was Christopher Gee and he was superb, my wife laughed so much it was sheer joy to behold.And his comedy impressions were stunning-the thing we could't work out was how can every voice he did be so accurate and yet he even manages to look like each person he takes on. His Tommy Cooper had everyone in stiches, and his Eric Morecambe had us all fighting off a tear at the much loved comedian but the absolute hIghlight was his one man tribute to Dave Allen it was so perfect even down to him holding a whiskey glass with only half a forefinger, his attention to detail was astounding. He recieved a richly deserved standing ovation! The neXt night was his second show and there simply wasn't a seat to be had and extra chairs from the bars were brought in, but the show was totally different Alan Carr/Michael Macintyre/Ozzy/he also did an hilarious BORIS AND Donald Trump had us ill with laughter very up to date you could hear a pin drop and that was after midnight. He was very personable young man and told us he will be on Marella Dream later in the year so we are booking that one too! We love the shows and we don't watch a lot of comedians to be fair- but I just had to post this review as everyone is quick to complain but not always ready to say a big well done Marella for booking a comedian impressionist that did nor offend one single person no un PC material or smut involved just FUNNY!!! The entire ship was talking about him the next day. in all one has to commend Marella ,especially at their price point as I assure you we have got much less from paying 4 times more!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
My wife and I were on the first sailing of the Discovery 2, in 2017, when it was under the TUI flag has anything changed in a year? – Please read on. We booked for two weeks taking the Aegean Shores and Adriatic Explorer Cruises We ... Read More
My wife and I were on the first sailing of the Discovery 2, in 2017, when it was under the TUI flag has anything changed in a year? – Please read on. We booked for two weeks taking the Aegean Shores and Adriatic Explorer Cruises We decided to upgrade our cabin to deck 7 “inside plus” but hadn’t realised the affect that no natural light would have and definitely would not recommend this so-called upgrade. The food was good albeit repetitious in both the 47 Degrees and Gallery 47 Restaurants however both restaurants served a very good Merlot which was part of the all-inclusive package. In order to get to the evening entertainment a few times we had dinner in the Island buffet restaurant which offered a good range of well cooked dishes. The Islands restaurant is buffet service only. At breakfast and lunch times it is very overcrowded with people wandering around attempting to find somewhere to sit. At dinner time it is much less busy. Draught wine and beer is available at lunch and dinner times. The beer is good John Smiths bitter and Foster’s lager the wine is best left alone. On deck 9 there is the Snack Shack offering excellent fish and chips at lunch time and other items throughout the day. The all-inclusive package has degraded since our first trip. Bombay Sapphire Gin is now a supplement as are a number of the cocktails and I cannot understand why you have to pay for the bottle of temperate bottled water in the cabin. Most of the shows in the Broadway Show Lounge we had seen before with the exception of a very good comedian and a dance show that was choreographed by Anton Du Beke. In the evening entertainment in the Atrium area is very poor. There is either a singer – guitarist, with a limited repertoire who seems to suffer with laryngitis and what his voice lacks in quality is compensated for in terms of volume. Then there is the saxophonist loud, boring and if I hear Baker Street again I will not be responsible for my actions. And finally, a singer with a selection of songs from Oklahoma – simply awful. There is nowhere on Discovery 2 where, in the evening, you can sit and talk quietly without having you ears blown away – if there is we never found it. I did hear a fellow passenger raise this issue at reception however I never heard the reply. If I haven’t raised enough negative points here is the best one. As previously mentioned we were on the Discovery 2 first sailing so by coincidence we were on Discovery 2 for its first birthday. There was a birthday party around the pool with a cake and drinks the large video screen showed a continuous video of the ship being refitted. At the time we were moored in Venice where we had been for the day. The video screen then showed a singer who was on stage and she was singing “Time to say Goodbye” when the screen flickered and eventually went blank. At this time we were heading up the Grand Canal to the sea. We had been travelling for less than 30 minutes when the ship came to a stop. We were subsequently told that there had been a breakdown of the “propulsion system” and that we were going to be towed back to the berth we had just left. As a consequence we were berthed overnight in Venice whereas we should have been on our way to Split a town my wife and I had never visited and was one reason we booked this cruise. Therefore once the ship was repaired we spent yet another day at sea and the next port was Dubrovnik. As compensation for an extra day at sea and missing our visit to Split we were given a £25 credit each to our cabin bill which we consider to be a despicable gesture on the part of Marella. One positive note on which to finish. We were invited to a reception for previous cruise travellers, something Thomson or Tui had never bothered with before and hopefully is an indication that Marella feel that they should acknowledge customer loyalty. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise because we had been on the Dream twice before and we were quite happy with it so we thought it a good prospect to go with the Dream again. Two people in our party of four needed assistance with walking any distance ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had been on the Dream twice before and we were quite happy with it so we thought it a good prospect to go with the Dream again. Two people in our party of four needed assistance with walking any distance or standing for long periods especially through airport security or standing in queues. My wife (rods and screws in her back) and the other person in our party with a disability (Parkinsons) requested well in advance when the holiday was booked that some assistance would be needed at the airport for reasons mentioned. I won't go into details but in Aberdeen going out and in Corfu on arrival the assistance was not there with both people abandoned at the airport. On arrival back in Aberdeen we waited one hour at the carousel to collect our luggage. There were good points and not so good points about the trip as far as the cruise was concerned. Our cabin was on deck 5. We had booked a cabin with a window. It looked like areas of the cabin had not been dusted for weeks. The shower leaked at the spray head where the washer had perished and a poor attempt had been made with plumber's tape to fix it. The main shower head didn't spray properly and water went everywhere. I gave up and just strip washed instead. However our cabin steward was very friendly and helpful and tidied the room twice daily apart from the dust. Dirty towels were replaced every day with clean towels. There was dust in many areas of the ship which was not there on previous cruises. I only once saw a crewman with a spray and a duster whereas previously the ship was continually cleaned. The entertainment each evening was a bit of a let down since some of the male singers couldn't pitch their notes or keep their keys. The female singers and dancers were excellent but this only made the males appear to be tone deaf. On a happier note the four of us dined morning and evening in the Orion restaurant where the food was freshly cooked and served with great enthusiasm by the waiters. There was plenty of coffee or tea and cold water at any time of the day. My wife and I went on two excursions and the prices had gone up a bit from last year. However the excursions were very interesting and informative with excellent tour guides who knew their subject very well. Greek people are very welcoming and don't hassle you in the streets like the Turkish people do where every few yards there is a hawker who can't take no for an answer. WiFi in cafes are free but £50 per week on the ship. The shops in the ship are cheaper than the shops ashore - watch for special prices and bargains. We noticed some changes since last year. The crew all wore smart uniforms instead of the Bahama shirts as previously. There seemed to be less crew and they didn't sing or joke this year but went through a process but the joy seemed to have gone. We noticed that there were no more trays to carry your food to the table and the water glasses were a fraction of the size. At the end of the cruise the process of transfers went smoothly and the assistance was better to help the disabled onto the plane and also on return to Aberdeen. Would we go on Marella Dream again? No! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
After having travelled on other ships we were persuaded by friends to try the Thomson Dream, we are pleased we did. From embarking at Corfu we found the staff to be very attentive as my husband struggled to carry our bags a young man ... Read More
After having travelled on other ships we were persuaded by friends to try the Thomson Dream, we are pleased we did. From embarking at Corfu we found the staff to be very attentive as my husband struggled to carry our bags a young man helped us and we found our bags outside our cabin door. That night we ate in the buffet style dining room as we could not be bothered to get dressed up on our first night. After eating we sat and had a quiet drink and then walked to the theatre named the Broadway Lounge. This theatre looked grand compared to some we have visited in the past. Myself and my husband do have a passion for shows and like to travel to the West End at least once a month to watch professional shows. However, after reading recent reports on here of how 'low' the entertainment team perform I must say I completely disagree. The dancers, particularly the three small female dancers were exceptional and their performance skills were excellent. The only 'low' point for myself was that the show was not long enough. We did not attend the sail away party as we were so tired from our traveling. On return to our cabin our steward had already been in and pulled the sheets back and placed chocolates on each pillow. Our cabin was on the 8th deck and was an outside plus. It was spacious and clean but we had been in bigger cabins with previous ships. Over the next few days we explored some beautiful ports such as Rhodes, Santorini and Kefalonia but we did struggle with the heat but we shouldn't really complain of this. Rhodes was my favourite as it had some glorious buildings in the Old Town and we both felt that Thomsons gave us enough time to explore off the ship. The food was excellent and we spent the majority of the time eating breakfast in Sirons and the waiter served dining room each night. The foods each time were hot, creative and devine with the portions being small but adequate. The waiters were very kind and helpful and we got to know a few and they welcomed us each night to our table. Again we watched the entertainment all week in the theatre and although I said earlier the three girls were exceptional I did feel that the singers were too, the only weakness for me were the male dancers who could not lift the girls correctly or had the technique needed throughout the dances. My favourite shows were Africa and Moulon Rouge as I loved watching these three small girls dance especially the little blond girl who danced Roxanne, splendid!!!! However, my husband preferred the singing shows such as the cabaret ones. One of the boy singers we got speaking to during our stay and he was telling us how many weeks of rehearsing goes into these shows and how many shows they have to learn, when listening to them they sound very professional and need applauding. When he was speaking of the team it was interesting to know that two of the girls are sisters which when he pointed them out to me I would never have guessed!! We watched a group of them singing one night in the big lounge and again we were impressed. Although we are elderly many of the guests got up to dance and looked like they were having an amazing time. Again we evidence this on another night when a very small dark girl sang by herself, she may be tiny but she had a powerful voice and the guests were again dancing on the dance floor in front of her. With the food, the cabins and the entertainment excelling through our stay we have decided to rebook on this lovely ship for New Year and I cannot contain my excitement. Thank you everyone for allowing me to make some special memories with my dearest husband. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this cruise,because we have always been happy with Thomsons and have travelled with them about eight times.We always look at the itineries,to find one that is calling at ports we haven't visited yet,obviously this becomes ... Read More
We chose this cruise,because we have always been happy with Thomsons and have travelled with them about eight times.We always look at the itineries,to find one that is calling at ports we haven't visited yet,obviously this becomes more difficult as time passes.The Greek islands have been on our to do list and we certainly were not disappointed.Our flight out and service at Corfu to join the ship ran very smoothly,our cabin was very well presented and staff were on hand to answer any queries.The restaurants are always fun with the staff being so kind and always smiling.The food and choice of menu were posted every day and we enjoyed the choices provided. The excursions were well organised,but we prefer to explore each destination ourselves,Santorini was very pretty and the cablecar was fun.Syros was very unexpected,no one seems to have visited or even heard of it before,we found a very beautiful place to visit,the locals were very helpful andeverywhere was so clean.We found a quiet little café where we could people watch and see the world sail by at the quay side.We would definitely visit again.The other destinations were Zante,Chania on Crete...very busy place with lots of character...and friendly people,we also called in at Marmaris too.The weather stayed fantastic all week which is always a bonus. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We just returned from a week on the Athena leaving from Athens to 6 of the Greek islands and Ephesus Turkey. Before leaving I read the Cruise Critic review of the Athena, fairly positive, and the reviews of two who had sailed on the ... Read More
We just returned from a week on the Athena leaving from Athens to 6 of the Greek islands and Ephesus Turkey. Before leaving I read the Cruise Critic review of the Athena, fairly positive, and the reviews of two who had sailed on the Athena, quite negative. So having done many Crystal Cruises it was with mixed emotions and low expectations that we ventured forth. The embarkation process was set the tone for the whole cruise. We were greeted warmly by the staff who efficiently handled our paper work and guided us and our luggage to our room. Subsequent disembarking/re-embarking was similarly handled - smooth and efficient. After the week we, and our 18 travel companions, are hard pressed to find fault with the Athena and find those reviews are not the least bit representative of what we experienced. Our travel companions were all American with an average age of late 50s or early 60s; all of them were seasoned travelers and most had traveled with GCT many times - one had 26 trips with GCT/OAT. One guest fell and broke her nose and arm, but she got immediate and good medical attention and was able to complete the cruise with her arm in a sling. On one of the small islands another guest needed an emergency prescription, but the pharmacy was closed - until the tour director got involved and arranged for the prescription to be filled. First, this is a small boat and the entertainment, medical facilities, exercise facilities and amenities are not going to compare to a large cruise ship. This is like a small private yacht where you spend little time in your room - most of it is spent in the common areas visiting with other guests. The overall condition of the boat was very good to excellent - there was no evidence of significant damage or wear. Our room was modest in size with a small veranda. It was quiet, well organized with plenty of storage space and had a very nice bathroom/shower for a small boat. The lounge area had a very nice ambiance and the availability of free house wines, beer and many non-alcoholic drinks was a nice feature. The house wines were very drinkable and there was really no reason to pay for the more upscale ones. We had great weather and were also able to enjoy being outdoors on the upper deck. The onboard ambiance was very nice and very casual - shorts and golf shirts were perfectly acceptable dinner dress. The Captain and Hotel Manager and their staffs were Croatian, Ukrainian or Indian and were first rate. They were friendly, engaging, very competent doing their jobs and blended in as if they were one of the passengers - they quickly learned our names and personal preferences. While weather conditions can create schedule variances for cruises, all of our schedules were communicated in advance and met. Our tour director, Maria Charalampidou, was excellent and ensured we got comfortably early starts to avoid crowds - however, when 3 or more big cruise ships arrive in Santorini at the same time there crowd avoidance is brief and there is little they can do as the crowds become oppressive. The food was very good - great quality, nicely presented and reasonable portion sizes for most people; special requests, such as my salmon omelettes, were cheerfully received and honored. All in all it was a great tour of the islands and Ephesus on a very nice boat with an excellent crew - I would sail on the Athena again with this crew without reservation. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I personally loved this cruise! The crew were excellent, the entertainment was great, the excursions were great too. I loved everything about the cruise. We had an Olive Oil thematic. This meant a few interesting presentations by an ... Read More
I personally loved this cruise! The crew were excellent, the entertainment was great, the excursions were great too. I loved everything about the cruise. We had an Olive Oil thematic. This meant a few interesting presentations by an olive oil expert (GAEA) , a food blogger (https://www.facebook.com/cookandfeel.gr/?pnref=lhc) and an archaeologist that worked on olives too. All three were amazing at what they did and it made for an interesting and informative. Of course that also meant food tastings that were excellent. Then every night we had a dance troupe (Cirque Fantastic) that always gave an amazing show, with a different theme every night. I'm not even a fan of these shows but they kept me coming back every night. The excursions were great too. You have a few that you can do without the cruise excursions, and a few that you really need the guide to get the full experience. The crew were very helpful in showing us what what on each excursion so we could make our minds about which to take. The animation crew were just phenomenal, and less obvious but the entire support staff did a wonderful job. The ship is smaller and older that a luxury cruise would offer, but I didn't care much for that, what I remember are the great experiences we had on board and at all the stops. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We were looking for a small ship cruise tour in the Greek islands to celebrate my mothers birthday plus my wedding anniversary. We were referred to Variety Cruises by american friends who cruised in Costa Rica with the company two years ... Read More
We were looking for a small ship cruise tour in the Greek islands to celebrate my mothers birthday plus my wedding anniversary. We were referred to Variety Cruises by american friends who cruised in Costa Rica with the company two years ago, so we knew where to look at. The number of our "group" counted almost 35 family members, friends, extended family, so we ended up looking at chartering a whole yacht owned by Variety Cruises, called Harmony G. It instantly seemed like a good fit, a boutique ship with 20 cabins, modern interiors, and great exterior areas including a large sundeck, and a swimming platform. We were proposed a classical greece route, a good combination of famous islands and of some tiny ones too. Crew onboard felt like family after day 2, and all of us enjoyed being treated like royalty, and we often visited the bridge during navigation hours and chatted with the captain and officers. Food was delicious, BBQ lunches and dinners were the highlight of the cruise. All meals were served outdoors as we like, some of us also enjoyed some meals at the indoor dining room which also provided great views of the islands we were docked at every day. I couldnt fault any area of the ship, cabins were spacious and had ample storage space. Would travel on this ship again and again. our home away from home for a whole week! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
The poor reviews that I read were totally unfounded. Boarding was professional and not too time consuming. Orion restaurant had great service and excellent food at any of the three meals served daily. Tides bar for an evening drink had two ... Read More
The poor reviews that I read were totally unfounded. Boarding was professional and not too time consuming. Orion restaurant had great service and excellent food at any of the three meals served daily. Tides bar for an evening drink had two of the best bar staff, Carlos and Daniel, both funny, witty and professional. Entertainment throughout the ship was good. The all inclusive drinks package is well worth the money. The cabin was faultless and special mention must go to Jerome for his friendship, hard work and towel sculptures. The shore excursions are a bit expensive but well organised. However in most ports there are open top buses for hop on hop off stations and audio head phones to inform you of the major sites for a fraction of the cost. Athens and Santorini excursions are a must but on the downside there was not enough time in Kalamata and Heraklion a disappointment hot and overcrowded. This is my second cruise on the Dream and I found it very well run and professional. I am a seasoned traveller and have no complaints regarding the ship or crew. The treatment at Corfu airport by the Thomson reps making customers stand in the blazing heat and issue wrong information as well as being an airport that would have been ok 30 years ago catering for the minority took the edge off an otherwise excellent holiday. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We chose the cruise for the destinations. Which on 50% of the time was as expected. The others were not as advertised. We had to pay extra to get into the local towns, even when using their shuttle services. In Dubrovnik, they charged $12 ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the destinations. Which on 50% of the time was as expected. The others were not as advertised. We had to pay extra to get into the local towns, even when using their shuttle services. In Dubrovnik, they charged $12 per person, they told passengers they needed to purchase tickets before they left the ship, so passengers panicked and purchased. When in Dubrovnik you could get a taxi, seating 5 people for 13 euros, to the town. Something they didn't tell you. They did this on 3 destinations throughout the cruise. Drinks - When booking there cruise at Thomas Cook we were asked and agreed to pay all gratuities before embarking the ship. On arrival we found out we had to pay an 18% gratuity charge for every drink purchased, which they call a service charge, but is on the receipt as a gratuity. When sitting on the open decks not one bar member came around to offer drinks. We always had to go and get our own drink from the bar. Entertainment - In 11 days, we received 2 very poor shows from the show team. We never saw them around the ship socialising with other passengers and when asking about them was told they were rehearsing. If this was the case the show would have been a lot better than it was. On Thomson cruises, the show team do a show every day and a live cabaret or deck party. Even with that amount of shows, the quality is far superior to royal caribbean. The headliners weren't even that good either, the opening night consisted of a woman twirling a hoolar hoop and ribbons for 45 minutes, not entertaining. They also put on a mime act, that looked like he was stuck in an oversized condom for 45 minutes, this was also very poor. To top it off their farewell show consisted of the same lady who opened the cruise. They did have 2 headliners acts in the 11 days that were good, Four ever and a Motown group. Food and Dining - The service was good in both restaurants, but the food was far from adequate. I had to result eating the indian selection every evening and my mother, who can't eat cream or creamy food, was eating salad and the rubbery chicken breast as everything else was masked in sauces. They didn't cater from the British clientele onboard the ship. Crew and Staff - On 90% of the time the crew were rude and very unapproachable, when approached for a complaint about the bar service they were very invasive. We did approach the issue of the gratuities and they say it was down to royal caribbean who set the prices on the bar and this couldn't be changed. We are taking it further. The only people that were approachable and nice were Janette and Maria in the Windjammer restaurant and Roberta in the Schooner Bar. Disembarking - We were thrown off the ship at 9am and sent to the airport, even though our checkin wasn't open until 11.45 and we couldn't board the plane until 1.10pm. There were limited seating and way too many passengers in the airport for the size of it. If you wanted to stop on the ship, you had to pay $35 per person and then you could only sit in one place and couldn't get food or drink. When you pay over £1500 per person you expect more. Cabin - The Cabin and cabin steward was excellent, could not find any issues. Adult areas - Even though the solarium was advertised as adult only, children were still using the facilities and nothing was done by the crew. I think royal caribbean need areas, especially bar areas, where children aren't allowed. E.g the schooner bar. I have travelled with them now 3 times and it has got worse every time. They are adding costs on everything you do. I would not go with Royal Caribbean again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We choose this cruise as I had done the same cruise on the Crystal eight years ago and wanted to share the experience again with my partner as it was the most amazing experience. We have both cruised many time with other companies in the ... Read More
We choose this cruise as I had done the same cruise on the Crystal eight years ago and wanted to share the experience again with my partner as it was the most amazing experience. We have both cruised many time with other companies in the last eight years. We were very disappointed!!! The ship is quite shabby now, the entertainment in the evenings is very poor and never starts on time.there is no place for non smokers to relax without getting poisoned by the smoke, it is every where. No problem at all with the Itinerary as all the ports are really worth visiting. The cabin staff and the waiters at dinner could not be faulted! Perfect manners and decorum with friendly engaging personalities. Dinner in the evenings was an absolute high light for us. Our initial allocated cabin was definitely not for us. The reception did help us to upgrade though at a cost of another 500 euro (possibly our travel agents fault rather than Celestyal) Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This cruise was part of a guided tour with a large international tour company. We started in Istanbul for a few days before joining the cruise when it arrived in Istanbul from Athens. As part of a larger group our on-shore excursions ... Read More
This cruise was part of a guided tour with a large international tour company. We started in Istanbul for a few days before joining the cruise when it arrived in Istanbul from Athens. As part of a larger group our on-shore excursions were organised by our tour director and we had no problems at all. I was pleasantly surprised by the size of our outside cabin with window. It was larger than I had expected and the bathroom was a decent size too. We had plenty of storage in the way of wardrobe and cupboards. The only issue we had was the the bed was too low to store our empty suitcases underneath. We were on deck 5 which has an outside walkway that goes around the entire ship so we did have people walking past our window from early in the morning but the windows are mirrored so the room is still very private with the curtains drawn. There were two choices for eating; the buffet or the dining room. The buffet food was decent and plentiful if you ate early though it was never hot only warm. The al a carte in the restaurant was tasty though there is a limited menu choice. You could have breakfast in either the buffet or restaurant. I didn't attend any of the shows but was told that they were entertaining though not very professional. There are plenty of bar areas to enjoy; around the pool, indoors or at the rear of the ship on deck 5. As a smoker I spent most of my time at the deck 5 bar as it was one of the few places I could drink and smoke. The staff were all absolutely wonderful and very helpful with any requests we had. Our room stewards kept our room clean and neat. As the crew come from all over the world there are many new friends to be made if you enjoy learning about other countries. Watching the ship dock in the early morning was one of my regular highlights and the other was the sunsets. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
this was my least enjoyable cruise,I have gone with several companies with different ammenities and attractions but royalcaribbean international not the cheapest but very poor value ,no toiletieries very basic entertainment karaoka ... Read More
this was my least enjoyable cruise,I have gone with several companies with different ammenities and attractions but royalcaribbean international not the cheapest but very poor value ,no toiletieries very basic entertainment karaoka bingo.nd afteramy luugage was lost at the port and after three weeks of phone calls and paying one hundred and forty six euros to have my luggage returned I have not had my luggage. I have spent a fortune on phone calls which have not been returned. emails from myself and my son have been ignored. Iam71 years of age and recently uder gone major surgery this has been very stressfull for me and my family.the prices to have hair styled or to buy bottle of wine was very expensive,the staff in all the bars and resurants were all very polite and helpful las in most ships are.,the cabin was very small and getting out of bed you had to be carefull to mind your head on the tv Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Have been on 3 prior cruises with Thomson around the Med, Adriatic and Aegean but this was the first on Dream. This cruise was to have taken in Istanbul, but that destination was cancelled by Thomsons by email 2 weeks before departure, ... Read More
Have been on 3 prior cruises with Thomson around the Med, Adriatic and Aegean but this was the first on Dream. This cruise was to have taken in Istanbul, but that destination was cancelled by Thomsons by email 2 weeks before departure, which was half expected due to the fear of terrorism. The first day was spoiled by the lack of credible waiter service in the Tides lounge. We waited 20 minutes to be served our first drink at approx 4pm although there were at least 3 waiters and the room was only quarter full. Despite catching the eye of a waiter for a second drink 20 minutes later, we were still waiting one hour later and left the area in disgust. Our experience in Tides consequently varied throughout the week, sometimes being acceptable at other times poor. Other passengers were heard to echo similar problems. On all the other Thomson ships we sailed on the waiter service was very good. In general the majority of the waiting staff out with the Orion Restaurant went about their duties with a smile, but there were a small minority who could be seen by their faces that they were less than happy. The Lido restaurant was a disaster at mealtimes with massive queues out to the door most of the times. The problem appeared to be that the cold buffet and the hot food buffet were not separated instead they were joined to each other so that the person wishing to have hot food had to pass along the cold buffet before reaching the hot. Many passengers complained about this. After two attempts at using the Lido we used the Orion restaurant each day subsequently for breakfast and dinner. Sirens buffet was used for lunches. Entertainment in the lounges was good although many passengers would have preferred that the volume be reduced in order that conversations could continue. The lack of a quiet lounge with a view was also missed. That in the stern of Thomson Majesty was sorely missed. It seemed a waste of space to have so much lower open deck areas in the stern of the ship that were little used except for smokers. On the good side our cabin was spotless and kept so throughout the trip, the service in the Orion Restaurant on deck 4 was great. All the food provided through out the ship was also good. A sore point with me is always having to pay for a safety deposit box at £15 per week. Surely such a fitment is as essential as a closet for your clothes and it is time this practice of paying for equipment that is already part of the furniture ceases. Finally - it should be noted that the chaos at Corfu Airport continues. It is far too small to handle the passengers passing through, although the Thomson Reps were very good at helping people get through the ruckus. The overcrowding in the road outside, the departure desks, Security inside and finally the actual departure lounge has to be seen to be believed. The crazy process of weighing and labelling bags at individual departure desks then passengers having to take them off and manhandle them to the security scanner in the corner of the room is also chaotic as it involves passengers carrying bags through the lines of people queuing for the departure desk. The airport has only one runway but does not have a service road to enable planes to travel to each end of the runway to prepare for take off. Instead each plane when signalled has to join the runway direct from the Parkway on to the middle of the runway and then trundle to the end of the runway, turn around and take off when directed. Highly inefficient both for take offs and landings, yet there is ample room to make a service road. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
I chose this cruise because of the included Brandenburg Sing-at -sea choral experience, which was very enjoyable. I hope it will be repeated. The two days in Athens, the departure city! got us off to an excellent start being ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the included Brandenburg Sing-at -sea choral experience, which was very enjoyable. I hope it will be repeated. The two days in Athens, the departure city! got us off to an excellent start being interesting and educational. From first boarding the the ship to disembarkation in Venice at the end, I l enjoyed it greatly. I have nothing but praise for the dining and its superb cuisine, the service, the helpfulness and friendliness of the crew and the excellent maintain and of the cabin accommodation and public areas. In general, I found the air conditioning colder than comfortable however and, along with others, reported it. It was often colder than outdoors and jackets were needed. The excursions were well chosen and carried out though the local guides overwhelmed us with continuous talk. There's only so much information one can absorb. I will certainly repeat the experience and will most certainly book with Voyages to Antiquity again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016

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