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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Flying from Australia to set sail from Tilbury (London) it was great to have two 'pre-cruise' days built into the itinerary to enable recovery from jet lag as well as exploration of the departure port. Our hotel was situated ... Read More
Flying from Australia to set sail from Tilbury (London) it was great to have two 'pre-cruise' days built into the itinerary to enable recovery from jet lag as well as exploration of the departure port. Our hotel was situated just beside the Tower of London which meant we could wander over the road to explore that historical site. The VTA organized London sightseeing tours were terrific - a quick 'taste' of all the major sites. Embarkation was quick and hassle-free - a feature of our re-embarkations at every port of call. Being on a smaller cruise ship, we moved quickly through security to re-board at the end of every day's shore excursions. The on-board staff were helpful and friendly and nothing was too much trouble for them. Cruise Director Richard did his job brilliantly. Entertainment was very appropriate for the passenger profile. The highlight of the on-board activities would have to be the series of lectures provided by various guest lecturers. These were informative, interesting and at times very amusing, and attended by virtually all passengers. The lectures brought the sites we visited to life, giving us a greater understanding of the history behind the areas visited, and the changes that have occurred in Europe over the ages, resulting in the modern day Europe we visited. A highlight of the trip (although it is hard to pick just one) was the evening visit to Alhambra Palace - cooler, better light for photography and fewer tourists around - just us!). In summary, this is a very convenient way to visit the coastal areas of these western European countries - no change of hotel each night! Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was our third cruise on Aegean Odyssey having cruised the Eastern Med and the Black Sea in 2012 and 2014. We have always loved this ship for its small size, focus on historical learning, and unique somewhat old fashioned ambiance. It ... Read More
This was our third cruise on Aegean Odyssey having cruised the Eastern Med and the Black Sea in 2012 and 2014. We have always loved this ship for its small size, focus on historical learning, and unique somewhat old fashioned ambiance. It is not for those who like a lot of luxury, glitz, climbing walls and water sports, though it's comfort, service, food and organization have always been top notch. It thus appeals to an older crowd who are curious life long learners. You will find most shipmates have had careers in the academic and professional world from the USA, Canada, Australia, and Britain. The ship is beautifully maintained and they have resolved previous minor problems such as soot from the stacks on the terrace deck with a permanent awning and we saw no sign of brown water coming from the faucets on this cruise. She merely showed signs of much use as she really has been almost everywhere in the eastern hemisphere over the last six years. Thus she is going in for renovation this winter. The excursions were beautifully organized by Zoey(cruise director) and her staff including for us great hotels in Rome (Parco dei Principi) next to Villa Borghese,(Sofitel Palais) in Marrakech, and the Gran Melia Colon in Seville. We also had a fantastic lunch overlooking Grenada and dinner in the Souks of Marrakech.The buses(tours) to the various locations were well staggered with each having a great tour guide. There was room and time to wander. Daily shore excursion meetings were extremely detailed and informative warning of walk distance and difficulty. Alll talks were very detailed with maps. Due to the ships small size we were able to go up the Quadalquivir River to Seville where we were towed in stern first to disembark at the river cruise dock in Seville. Wow! Good Show Aegean Odyssey for a fabulous cruise of a lifetime to places we thought we would never experience! Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Main reason for going on this cruiseline are for the destinations not for the regular cruise experience. No casino, no rock climbing walls, no art auctions. The ship was due for a re-fit so it's good to see that this is about to ... Read More
Main reason for going on this cruiseline are for the destinations not for the regular cruise experience. No casino, no rock climbing walls, no art auctions. The ship was due for a re-fit so it's good to see that this is about to happen. This was our second cruise on this ship and was very enjoyable. There have been a few changes since our last cruise with them and the adding of Richard the entertainer was the best of them. While no outstanding talent he was warm, friendly and very entertaining whether he was singing, playing the piano or taking the daily quiz. He is very quick with a joke and was always ready for a chat. Thankyou Richard. Shore excursions are very well organised and are included in the cruise fare as are all tips etc (except for the bar tab) Food was outstanding. Apart from a steak and a pasta dish every night has a changable menu, plus wine and beer are included with meals. Yes most passengers are older, my wife and I being in our mid 50's were among the youngest on this cruise, but everyone is fit and eager to enjoy the destinations on offer. The staff are outstanding and very helpful on the dealings we had with them. For us the Alhambra palace in Granada was the highlight closely followed by the Medina in Marrakesh ( wish we had more time here ) add Sicilly and Seville and wow what an itinerary for us. Internet was ok, and was included for us as repeat customers so that was a plus. Ther are plenty of places to sit and enjoy the cruise on the days that we cruised in daylight as most cruising is done at night to spend as much time in ports as possible. The cabin we had was an oceanview and whilst compact was suitable and comfortable. We will cruise with this line again and will be looking forward to the re-fit and hope that Richard is part of the experience. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Unlike massive liners, the Aegean Odyssey is just right for getting to know people and enjoying a peaceful voyage. We were among the few Americans and relished getting to know so many Australians, English, and Canadians, who are much ... Read More
Unlike massive liners, the Aegean Odyssey is just right for getting to know people and enjoying a peaceful voyage. We were among the few Americans and relished getting to know so many Australians, English, and Canadians, who are much quieter and more dignified than party seekers from the U.S. I loved the ambience of the buffet. Our one night in the Marco Polo was spoiled by an invitation to dine with the arrogant captain, who ignored all of us. Food was balanced--lots of fresh, raw fruit and vegetables, terrific cheese, pizza, and tea. My only complaints were the British style broths—watery and greasy—and the absence of a seafood chowder of any kind. Desserts were spectacular. I browsed the library, sunned by the pool, and enjoyed excursions in Spain and Sicily. The time wasted in Morocco did little more than introduce me to the inside of a bus. I'm not sure why we skipped Gibraltar. Housekeeping was punctilious. Beauty salon was only so-so. Laundry service was prompt. We loved it all and want to return. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
It was recommended for the quality of lectures and excursions, which I found excellent. Before the trip I was sent the wrong documents (for another passenger!) and had to wait for my e-ticket to arrive by post rather than by email which ... Read More
It was recommended for the quality of lectures and excursions, which I found excellent. Before the trip I was sent the wrong documents (for another passenger!) and had to wait for my e-ticket to arrive by post rather than by email which was frustrating and odd for this day and age. There was confusion at the airport and I spent a long time looking for the VTA rep who had mistakenly ticked off my name and the bus nearly left without me. The room was grubby and smelly which I discovered was caused by black mould in the shower and on the wall - even the dressing gown was stained by it. Fortunately, after some argument with the receptionist, I was moved to a better room but it was noisy at night. Sometimes the water turned brownish which left me feeling more dirty than clean. The constant soot on the Terrace restaurant was also bothersome. The staff worked very hard and the food was delicious. I particularly appreciated the convivial company of like-minded people. On the whole, I enjoyed my first experience with VTA and hope to go back provided the whole ship is refurbished. I understand this is scheduled for the end of this year. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Let me begin by saying this was our 5th cruise with Voyages to Antiquity, so obviously we like the cruise line. What do we like in general? We like the size of the ship (approx 350 passengers), we like the friendliness of both passengers ... Read More
Let me begin by saying this was our 5th cruise with Voyages to Antiquity, so obviously we like the cruise line. What do we like in general? We like the size of the ship (approx 350 passengers), we like the friendliness of both passengers and crew, we like the option of dining al fresco on the back deck, we like wine and beer included with dinner, we like the quality of the excursions and that they are included, we like the insight from guest lecturers, we like free wifi and free laundry (1 bag) as a perk for return passengers, we like the clear descriptions of what to expect on all excursions. we like the possibility of bumping into folks we have met on previous cruises, and we like the fact that this ship offers some different ports of call due to her smaller size. Overall, we love this small ship cruising experience! On our particular cruise we appreciated the great talent of Richard, the cruise director, the shift from visiting the Alhambra in the heat and the crowds of the day to an evening visit, the captain's efforts to make minor adjustments in departure and arrival times to keep us out of high winds and resulting rough seas, the shuttle buses which were arranged when our docking positions were not the most favorable, the excursion team's efforts to look after passengers when we were away from the ship (they went above and beyond), the mix of passengers (primarily from Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, the U.S., and Canada), and the lovely lunches at nice restaurants that were included when our excursions had us away from the ship at lunchtime. Was it perfect? No, nothing ever is. The ship's decor is showing wear (I understand a refitting is planned), some tours required too much walking and stair climbing for some passengers (though that is clearly explained in shore briefings) with no alternative offerings, and it is difficult on the back deck to find a table large enough for 4 or 6 people to dine together and tables for 6 are nonexistent inside at the Terrace Grill. None of those are major, and we are even now looking at the Voyages to Antiquity brochure to decide where we will go next! For us it was definitely a 5 star experience! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
I was attracted to this cruise by the range of excursions offered but I was concerned by some of the negative reviews. I need not have worried. The ship is certainly a little elderly, like most of her passengers, but, like them, she has ... Read More
I was attracted to this cruise by the range of excursions offered but I was concerned by some of the negative reviews. I need not have worried. The ship is certainly a little elderly, like most of her passengers, but, like them, she has aged gracefully and a little creaking here and there is to be expected. The range of included excursions was the best I have ever encountered in many years of cruising and all the different experiences will live in my memory. Others have praised the private visit to San Marco and it was wonderful to see the mosaics in the light of the setting sun and then beautifully illuminated, as they must have looked by candlelight. In the small ports of Croatia we experienced the Med that we had read about in old novels when you could smell the pines, hear the waves and enjoy the company of new friends in quiet bars. On an optional excursion we visited a palazzo in Palermo, and, although this was my third visit to Sicily I felt that I was seeing the city for the first time. I was lucky enough to take all bar two of my meals outside in the sunshine and the staff coped admirably with my gluten-free diet. There was an excellent programme of lectures to prepare us for the sights and I particularly enjoyed those of Gillian Hovell. When disembarking I felt very envious of those who were remaining on board for the next cruise.I was very impressed by some of the details, such as being welcomed back to the ship with cold towels and iced drinks. The staff always checked to see that each meal was good and the captain seemed to posses the ability to be everywhere at once. I would love to cruise on this ship again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2012
The fact that this ship is a converted car ferry says a lot. The owners have done their best with it but the ship was laid down in 1973 and things like engine noise suppression cannot be as good as with modern, specifically built, cruise ... Read More
The fact that this ship is a converted car ferry says a lot. The owners have done their best with it but the ship was laid down in 1973 and things like engine noise suppression cannot be as good as with modern, specifically built, cruise ships. Our cabin was on the Bridge deck and we experienced quite a lot of vibration which would have been a lot worse on the lower decks. On our cruise, passengers were 90 less than capacity which was good as we thought the public facilities would have been really stretched had the ship been full. The ship is shortly to have a refit and an extra 8% capacity added. We really don't see how this will work if the ship runs to capacity as the main dining room will not cope with a single sitting nor will the lounge have anywhere near enough space. With regard to food we can only describe this as average; it was certainly nothing memorable. Although wines were included with dinner, they were for the most part the same (probably cheap) Greek wines. We did enjoy our cruise as the trips were certainly outstanding - most memorable was a private viewing of St Marks Basilica in Venice - awesome! The crew on the ship and staff of VtoA were all excellent. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
We had taken a previous "Voyage to Antiquity" in June when the ship and itinerary were still quite new. There were several complaints from passengers on that cruise. Since then, however, the quality of the food,logistics in ... Read More
We had taken a previous "Voyage to Antiquity" in June when the ship and itinerary were still quite new. There were several complaints from passengers on that cruise. Since then, however, the quality of the food,logistics in getting on and off the boat, power problems, plumbing and air conditioning all seem to have improved a great deal. Embarkation was quick and easy with the luggage arriving promptly. The ship was very clean with no musty odors as had occurred in June. The ship's dining facilities were adequately staffed with extremely friendly waitstaff who kept our wine glasses full during dinner with very good quality wines (included in the price of the voyage). We preferred the casual Terrace Cafe to the Marco Polo dining room and ate all but 2 of our meals there. The weather was absolutely beautiful the whole time (until the last day when it rained), so we preferred to eat outside on the Terrace Cafe deck. The food, while better than last trip, was still inconsistent in quality. We had several soups and fish dishes that were excellent, however. The Marco Polo dining room is on the lower deck and has no windows, so seems dark and closed in to me. Plus, I didn't feel the quality of the food was any better than the Terrace Cafe the few times we ate there. The ship's library is outstanding with great selection of books appropriate to the theme of the voyage...history and archaeology of classical civilizations. There were several lectures geared to the sites we were visiting as well as general history and geography of the area. Most of the lectures were quite informative and interesting. The shore excursions (also included in the price), included (mostly) excellent local English-speaking guides. A couple included lunch at local restaurants, which were very nice. Our accommodations were spacious and included a balcony, great for viewing a smoking volcano (Stromboli) as we sailed on our way to the Amalfi Coast from Sicily. A mini fridge included water and soft drinks, plus a bottle of Epernay champagne (very good!). There is no clock in the staterooms, so be sure to bring your own or turn on the TV where the ship's channel has the time. In the bathroom, the shower seemed to leak as puddles of water soaked the bath mat just about every time a shower was taken. High quality, but not a luxury ship, we felt overall, this is great value for the experience gained. Though it does not have big show-style entertainment, casinos,children's facilities or big spa/gym facilities that other larger cruise lines have, it is a great trip for those who appreciate what it does offer: a caring crew, clean facilities and accommodations, and really great educational, interesting itineraries with lectures and shore excursions to match. We would definitely consider another "Voyage to Antiquity". Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2010
My eldest daughter, Sarah Saunders, a chef and lecturer on historical and contemporary food subjects, surprised me with her invitation to join her on the Aegean Odyssey cruise around the coast of Italy, Sicily and Croatia this August. I ... Read More
My eldest daughter, Sarah Saunders, a chef and lecturer on historical and contemporary food subjects, surprised me with her invitation to join her on the Aegean Odyssey cruise around the coast of Italy, Sicily and Croatia this August. I discovered the special pleasure of listening to Sarah and the other terrific lecturers which stretched both my brain and imagination. We visited classical sites early in the morning to beat the crowds led by well informed local guides and I met many interesting passengers from around the world. Delicious meals were both informal and formal, local wine was always plentiful and all the staff were incredibly attentive and charming. We even discovered mutual friends of Felice, the Italian chef on board, who ran the hotel we stayed in for many years near his home-town in Italy. As a result of his on-deck fish demonstration with Sarah, I can now prepare and cook a huge sea bass with complete confidence! Sunbathing with a book by the pool, daily swims in fresh sea water and a surprise birthday dinner on board with new friends all made this the best possible mother and daughter holiday. I will cherish late night chats in our cabin about our experiences at sea and my maiden voyage in the cruise world and I congratulate all those who worked so hard to make our trip such a total success! This small 21st century cruise ship which offers every creature comfort plus entertaining talks about the history and culture of classical sites, with occasional trips to food markets and practical demonstrations of local culinary arts, is in my view a most refreshing and important contribution to intelligent 21st century tourism! Read Less
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