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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I had previous cruises on large ships and thought it would be a change to try a small ship cruise in parts of Asia I had not visited. The Aegean Odyssey cruise from Singapore to Colombo seemed to fit the bill. The 21 day cruise included 2 ... Read More
I had previous cruises on large ships and thought it would be a change to try a small ship cruise in parts of Asia I had not visited. The Aegean Odyssey cruise from Singapore to Colombo seemed to fit the bill. The 21 day cruise included 2 nights stay in a hotel at Singapore. Checking into the ship was complicated by the fact that we did not secure the Indian visa for the stopover at Port Blair but we were allowed to board after we signed a waiver to leave the ship at Yangon and make our own way to Colombo. I had phoned with the travel agency on whether it is permissible to remain on board the ship during the stopover at Port Blair without the costly visa and the reply was that it should be all right. Our ocean view cabin was comfortable. The bathroom was small but clean and functional. As noted by other reviewers, the water in the bathroom is frequently rust coloured enough to stain white clothes if you need to wash them. One night a water pipe burst and flooded the carpets on the fourth level so we were without a flushing toilet for close to 24 hours. Entertainment was limited to some lectures on the culture of the far east. During the cruise on the Strait of Malacca the captain warned that we were in pirate territory and as precaution to close the curtains at night to limit visibility of the ship. Food was acceptable and service in the dinning rooms was excellent.. Service was excellent all around. Shore excursions, aside from introductory tours of each stopover, involved long travel times in buses or boats to sites of interest. Enough said; there are better choices available for cruising in Asia. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Wanted to see and explore Iceland and some of Scotland. We have sailed with this company several times in the past, but I can assure you it will not happen again. From the time we left port there were problems. The water pressure in our ... Read More
Wanted to see and explore Iceland and some of Scotland. We have sailed with this company several times in the past, but I can assure you it will not happen again. From the time we left port there were problems. The water pressure in our cabin was so bad that it was a joke. A joke we tried to have rectified for EIGHT days before the issue was resolved. We were offered a remotely located smaller cabin with half the storage on day five but declined it secondary to the severe rolling experienced in the North Atlantic. Food was beautifully presented but lukewarm at best unless you ordered a la cart. The sewage smell was so overwhelming at times that we couldn’t sleep. That problem was rectified on day TWELVE. The excursions were pitiful compared to past experiences on this ship. They did not run on time, failed almost universally in attaining their stated destinations and resorted to instructions to watch as we drove by! The lectures were quite good as was the attention delivered by cabin stewards and the wait staff in restaurants. During the trip, I fell at night and suffered a massive hemaoma that involved my whole lower right leg. After notifying reception, my husband was told that medical opened at 7:30am. Eventually I was treated with cream and diuretics. MORAL of story don’t plan on adequate treatment if you suffer a life threatening event! Even after returning home my doctor could not get X-rays due to size of hematoma and swelling. She was horrified that I had flown home with my leg in that condition. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Iceland was the main attraction of this cruise and then the Islands of Great Britain. We traveled in the Owners Suite which was adequate but not anything special. Our cabin steward was excellent and nothing was too much trouble for him. ... Read More
Iceland was the main attraction of this cruise and then the Islands of Great Britain. We traveled in the Owners Suite which was adequate but not anything special. Our cabin steward was excellent and nothing was too much trouble for him. We found the food to be exceptionally boring and monotonous in its lack of variety and presentation. The staff were wonderful and couldn't do enough for you. The entertainment was very basic and repetitive. The itinerary which was the major reason for booking this particular cruise would have been amazing if they had adhered to it !!!!!!!! The Captain chose not to dock at times but anchor offshore which meant traveling by the slow , uncomfortable and ancient tenders to port . The organization of getting onto the tenders was slow and onerous. The Excursion Desk was not open often enough and the Excursion Staff were amateurish in their efforts to explain changes to the itinerary . On shore excursions were too short and rushed. When changes to sailing were made the time in Port was excessive and not what we expected or paid for or what the literature proposed. Lectures were held on at sea days and then extra lectures were added when Ports were cancelled . These were apparently quite informative at times. The ship was like a floating nursing home and despite the literature indicating that all passengers needed to be fit and able and sign a statement to say they were I have never seen so many elderly and unfit travelers. The ship was clean and well maintained but obviously very old. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Air Canada did what Air Canada does. Poor food, and a 3 hour delay on the tar mac, scrunched in a corner with a cricket team. Hotels: Edinburgh was the best part of the trip - mostly because of 3 interesting, but rushed tours. London ... Read More
Air Canada did what Air Canada does. Poor food, and a 3 hour delay on the tar mac, scrunched in a corner with a cricket team. Hotels: Edinburgh was the best part of the trip - mostly because of 3 interesting, but rushed tours. London was fancy and better maintained, but the excursions were optional and overpriced. (We were across the street from the British Museum)! The ship is dated, but might appeal to older passengers. New tenders are a must, if Northern ports are to be included. There is no wrap around deck for walking/talking. Due to inadequate tenders and inclement weather, my $10,000 cruise resulted in 5 missed ports, a cabin with thin walls, exposed rusty pipes (and little else). The ports offered in exchange were often travelled by myself and many of the guests so, of little interest or adventure. Shore excursions were generally included, but not all - (as advertised.) Entertainment was mainly covered by a few excellent speakers, and Richard's awesome cabaret. It saved the trip. The overworked Crew were amazing. Many thanks. Are they ever allowed off the ship? Visas should be provided for them. Would I sail with Voyages To Antiquity again? Do pigs fly? Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
I was part of Bernard Magee's bridge group. Both this and the fact that we arrived back into the UK rather than having to make another flight with all the airport hasssle involved persuaded me to take this voyage. The observation ... Read More
I was part of Bernard Magee's bridge group. Both this and the fact that we arrived back into the UK rather than having to make another flight with all the airport hasssle involved persuaded me to take this voyage. The observation lounge was a wonderful venue for the bridge, but it would have been even better if the air conditioning could have been controlled at a chosen level, rather than only on or off. I thought most of the excursions were good and appreciated that their cost was inclusive. Just one point regarding the Oporto port tasting and the vineyard visit from Bordeaux. At neither of these venues was there anywhere to sit whilst the guides gave their talks. I was unable to stand and often the quiet talk system didn't work and I had to find somewhere to sit and therefore missed the information. Yesterday I went with our U3A on a vineyard tour (Brightwell vineyard near Wallingford) and the owner guided us around the vines, imparting relevant information on the growing, pruning, watering and picking etc. en route, but the main part of the very informative talk took place inside the tasting area, where everyone was seated. Each wine and its production was explained as the tasting progressed. At the Bordeaux vineyard we were not even walked around the vines and all the talk took place without any seating. If at all possible I would suggest this way of conducting such tours would be appreciated far more if seating was available and in particular, if done in the way the Brightwell tour was. My cabin was very comfortable and my steward excellent. I enjoyed the food, mainly lunching on the promenade deck and dining in the Marco Polo and breakfasting on the Lido deck. The staff were delightful. I cannot comment on the lectures or entertainment, as I didn't attend any due to the amount of time I spent playing bridge. However I heard good reports about some of the lectures. I am not sure why the coaches were always a good step away from the ship, but thought this might have been due to security requirements. I found the ship's shop useful, especially as the weather from Bordeaux onwards was colder than many had anticipated. I note you don't give an option for comment on the disembarkation! I thought this was chaotic and Tilbury a nightmare of a port for the taxi to navigate. 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
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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
The officers and crew did a great job handling an onboard fire situation in the English channel. Our safety was assured and the company arranged repairs in Cherburg France. They also offered free drinks for days and rearranged our shore ... Read More
The officers and crew did a great job handling an onboard fire situation in the English channel. Our safety was assured and the company arranged repairs in Cherburg France. They also offered free drinks for days and rearranged our shore excursions so we had the opportunity to visit most scheduled sites. We missed an overnight to a French chateau (repairs delay) and the port of Oporto due to high seas. The company has just published a great schedule for 2017. My wife and will be back on board in October 2016 (third cruise this year on Aegean Odyssey) and plan another cruise in 2017. Voyages to Antiquity takes care of their customers both at the home offices and while on board. The onboard lectures are appropriate and match the ports of call, The service is great. Most shore excursions are included. The food is delicious and seating is open and casual. Lisbon Portugal was the highlight of this cruise for us. GO THERE! Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
I've been on several other cruises with this company and have enjoyed each one. The staff are very friendly and courteous. They remember you when you return and I see other passengers that have sailed with this company many times. ... Read More
I've been on several other cruises with this company and have enjoyed each one. The staff are very friendly and courteous. They remember you when you return and I see other passengers that have sailed with this company many times. The excursions and lectures are informative and academic. This last cruise we had an engine fire on the first night! We had our 2nd muster drill that evening but the 2nd one was very real! Because of that we had to put in to a port that wasn't on the itinerary. The excursion staff hustled to make some of the excursions happen and to come up with others while the ship was being repaired and certified to sail. We missed some of the highlights of the trip though such as visiting the chateaus. We also didn't have hot water for a day. We are still waiting to hear about a promised compensation...... This was really something that should have been decided and announced to everyone before we disembarked. Now everyone thinks that if we really do receive compensation it will be inequitable. But we did get an open bar several nights! Then, just as has happened on other cruises, we missed another port of call as the seas were very choppy and caused the small ship to change course. This is something people need to be aware of on this small ship. You don't always get to visit all the ports of call. Instead you get a choppy day at sea as they move on to the next port of call. Now they are moving to the North Sea for 2017 which is notorious for choppy waters! This ship really rocks. One day we were confined to our cabins because it was to dangerous to be out and about. We were told the ship was going to go into dock for 6 months after this season ends in November. I hope they refurbish the cabins. The carpets are stained and worn. The bed skirt was filthy as were the walls. The towels were stained. That being said, the attitude of the crew/staff and fellow passengers makes this a friendly travel experience. You can get into to port at cities the large cruise liners can't and the excursions are designed to be educational. The food is better than the standard cruise liners. The passengers are older and I've only seen 1-2 teenagers. There is a tiny workout room but no regular activities. This is probably due to the fact that most passengers are in the 60-80 year old range. The excursions are usually a half day which allows free time in the port city. I hope this cruise line can get it together as they really have a good thing going and a devoted, but dwindling following. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
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
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
My husband has always been interested in visiting South Africa and he discovered this holiday cruise from Cape Town to Richards Bay around the bottom of the horn and then returning to Cape Town via Namibia which included four safari day ... Read More
My husband has always been interested in visiting South Africa and he discovered this holiday cruise from Cape Town to Richards Bay around the bottom of the horn and then returning to Cape Town via Namibia which included four safari day trips with promises of viewing the Big 5. Unfortunately rough seas kept us in port for a couple of extra days mid-cruise, so we missed our chance at viewing lions & leopards. However we were able to experience a herd of African elephants at a watering hole for almost an hour and numerous rhinos on a river cruise that came almost close enough to touch. Also saw Cape buffalo at a distance as well giraffe, zebras, ostrich, African eagles, and many other small water fowl. The Aegean Odyssey itself is a unique vessel that caters to well traveled, primarily English speaking seniors and most of the passengers on this voyage were British, making afternoon tea a must do occasion on our days at sea. A buffet line option for breakfast and lunch with outdoor seating on deck 6 at the bow of the ship at the Terrace Cafe was our go to spot, although you can also take your meals in the adjoining dining area. The sit-down Marco Polo restaurant, available evenings on deck 3, offers a more formal dining venue with complimentary wine, beer, and soft drinks available evenings at both restaurants. The Charleston Lounge attracts the after dinner crowd with nightly entertainment offerings there as well as in the Ambassador Lounge most evenings. Port & shore excursions are assigned by cabin class which is another reason to consider booking a balcony category cabin. My only complaint involved our embarkation as our flight, which was booked by Voyages of Antiquity, did not arrive in Cape Town until nearly midnight. However, we did have a limo meet us at the gate and when we arrived at the dock and there were crew members waiting to welcome us onboard in the wee hours of the morning. Disembarkation went off without a hitch and as our flight did not take off until the following day, we were treated to a organized tour of Cape Town and surrounding areas including lunch at a winery and an overnight stay at The Culling including breakfast before being transported to the airport. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
This sailing I had no brown water. A/C was working. Excellent quality of lecturers. Top class opera group Opera Barcarola. Wonderful violinist in Odyssey Trio. Enjoyed Maritime Memories lecturers also. Internet was working (unlimited ... Read More
This sailing I had no brown water. A/C was working. Excellent quality of lecturers. Top class opera group Opera Barcarola. Wonderful violinist in Odyssey Trio. Enjoyed Maritime Memories lecturers also. Internet was working (unlimited minutes if you've sailed with them before) Odyssey Club - free laundry, free internet, bottled water in cabin, upgraded toiletries) Filipino staff continue to work tirelessly to make the cruise enjoyable. Had 7 days at sea and lots of activities. Wine tasting, watercolour art lessons, trivia night, passenger choir, yoga, Pilates, Zumba (all free!) Air fare and tipping included in cruise price. Excursions were included along with advice if touring independently in the port. Wine, beer or soft drinks included with dinner. Healthy food choices along with decadent desserts at tea time. Low single supplement. On disembarkation day, out of cabin by 8 am. But able to stay on the ship until 3 p.m. Docked at V&A Waterfront in Cape Town so it was ideal. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Excellent lecturers. Top class opera group Barcarola was just amazing. Enjoyed the violinist in the Odessey Trio her playing was magic. The service, food was very good, lots of choices. A great cruise for singles, or couples, good ... Read More
Excellent lecturers. Top class opera group Barcarola was just amazing. Enjoyed the violinist in the Odessey Trio her playing was magic. The service, food was very good, lots of choices. A great cruise for singles, or couples, good friends. Tours and tour guides, assistants were great. Lots to see and do. You can relax or listen to a lecture. Would recommend this size of vessel. More personal and the tour director Paul was fantastic. The staff on board were so helpful and took care of us. Dining room staff were very good. All the phlipinoes working for this cruise line deserve a big hug for their great personalities and general care of us. The ship was great, clean and easy to get around. I enjoyed the shore excursions and the tours provided. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
I booked this cruise last year and then worried after reading the reviews below so went fearing the worst. However my concerns were un necessary. The ship is great. It is beautifully clean and the crew worked tirelessly to keep everything ... Read More
I booked this cruise last year and then worried after reading the reviews below so went fearing the worst. However my concerns were un necessary. The ship is great. It is beautifully clean and the crew worked tirelessly to keep everything spick and span. The cabin was comfortable, the beds (twin) were quite narrow, although the single cabins had huge beds!! No the cabins were not huge but having seen those with balconies i would say these were a great size. The bathrooms were great, huge walk in shower. We were on the lido deck cabin 820. The food was very good. Lots of choice and very good spaghetti bolognaise. I cannot praise the staff enough, the cabin lady Loretta was great. The Terrace Cafe staff were superb,friendly and helpful but not sycophantic in an attempt to get a good tip (these are inc in the price) they take your tray of food to your table!! The pool area was great and beautifully kept. The bar staff were also great. I cannot say anything negative about them. The excursions were brilliantly planned and managed, please note when they say it is an half day trip this includes traveling time and they include leisure time, invariably not enough!!! The main criticism is the local tour guides, some were fantastic, Nicola in Dubrovnik was one of those. Others i would say knew their stuff but didnt have the skills and ability to impart this knowledge on a basic level, it became so much information that my brain just switched off (and i was not alone here) we did not attend any lectures, i suppose because although i wanted to learn about our destinations i am a typical tourist not a history buff. The entertainment was ok, jazz or trio, but neither were my cup of tea. The spa was good, i had a massage following a fall and it definitely helped negate damage and aches and pains. The average age of passenger was older than expected, however the fellow passengers were a great group and we thoroughly enjoyed their company. Please dont let the negative reviews stop you booking a cruise. Yes the funnel does emit soot but if the person below was covered i can only assume they were static for hours on end!! The bigger cabins are more comfortable but you get what you pay for, food isnt michelin star but is plentiful, tasty and very good. Any faults i may note are minor criticisms and i would book another cruise with this company without any hesitation, and the amount of passengers that do that is testimony to how good the overall experience was. You wont be disappointed unless you have unreasonable expectations!! Go for it. 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2011
Having only experienced mid sized cruise ships before, this was an entirely different experience that we initially had mixed feelings about. However having just done Sicily is the Key to Everything on VTA's Aegean Odyssey, we were ... Read More
Having only experienced mid sized cruise ships before, this was an entirely different experience that we initially had mixed feelings about. However having just done Sicily is the Key to Everything on VTA's Aegean Odyssey, we were surprised just how much we really enjoyed the feel of being on a much smaller ship. We found the ship positively charming, yes she's an old girl, no getting away from that and at times a little noisy, but she's been tastefully refurbished and the staff are absolutely fantastic. We started off with 2 nights pre-cruise stay at the Atheneum Intercontinental in Athens,loverly modern room, hotel is a bit out from City Centre, but having done the main sites in the included excursion we were more than happy to flop out by the hotel pool and just enjoy the sun. The age group on this cruise was predominantly retirees, although there was the occasional younger person (am including ourselves in that even though we are sixties children). The representatives acting for the cruise line in Athens were perhaps a bit too how shall I put it? "mothering" for our tastes, but I suppose they have got rather accustomed to behaving like that, although younger passengers may find this rather irritating. The thing I really noticed about Athens was how much graffiti there was, the greeks like scrawling on anything and everything apparently. The transfer and embarkation in Piraeus was very swift and we were soon in our cabin. We had asked for a Double bedded cabin and the G grade cabins were supposed to have convertible beds, however the one were were allocated didn't and as the twin beds were fixed, we had to change cabin. The ship wasn't full so we were able to secure a balcony cabin instead. Size wise the extra space in this type of cabin was comparable with the standard balcony cabins you get on RCI, although the balcony was more spacious and better appointed on this ship and was a great place to watch from as the ship sailed through Malta's Grand Harbour. Welcoming touches were my favourite Molten Brown toiletries, a chilled bottle of Champagne and a mini bar full of complimentary soft drink cans. The wallhung LCD tv was very tiny but we adjusted to it's smallness. We loved eating breakfast and lunch al fresco out on deck in the Terrace Restaurant and there was always a good choice. For dinner we always ate in the Marco Polo Restaurant purely as we enjoy being waited on for this meal and the chance to share a table with other passengers. What a welcome surprise that was too,not sure what we were expecting but we met some extremely interesting people and some real characteurs, it was genuinely a pleasure to cruise with. The food was enjoyable,they even had Brussel Sprouts in August! Entertainment wise this was very, very low key,the trio were very accomplished musicians and were very well received everytime they played. Not too keen on the duo, the vocals weren't too good. A Michael Bubble CD went down far better. Can't say too much about the evening lectures, we did the first one then snook off to the bar instead on other evenings, but we were told afterwards that people did drop off in them. There really is a lot of walking on these itineries, so if you are less able in getting around, it's not perhaps best suited for you and you might be better on a bigger ship that offers more "scenic driven" excursions and less tendering. This was quite an experience when the sea swell got a bit choppy. One of my favourite ports was Taormina, loved the Greek Theatre and its views of Etna. The lemon ice cream here is to die for, do try some. Great also for shopping, would have liked 2 days here, to have had the time to go further up Etna by cable car/4x4 as we didn't feel the optional excursion we took went sufficiently high enough for us. Mycenae and it's ancient beehive tombs was interesting, Nauplia good for buying cheap italian leather shoes. Syracuse has a great market to walk round, only on in the morning so skip the morning excursion if you want to do this. The excursion tour guides were good, very knowledgeable and easy to understand. Red group are always the first group on excursions, the other 5 groups take it in turns to go with them. Also was surprised that contary to what I had antisipated,I actually prefered Sicily over Greece and will definately revisit Taormina one day. We found the staff exceptional,always smiling and so willing to help you. Special mentions to Sidi our cabin boy,Edgar and Victoria in the bar, Vanessa and Lesley on reception and Matthew the Hotel Manager onboard. Would we cruise with VTA again? Most definately, the new Indian and Asian intineries for 2012 soun very promising. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
An interesting itinerary, combining cruising with some hotel stays. We flew to Cairo and due to a delayed flight spent a short night in the Fairmont Nile Hotel before beginning our tour of the Museum, Pyramids and Sphinx. Our guide for ... Read More
An interesting itinerary, combining cruising with some hotel stays. We flew to Cairo and due to a delayed flight spent a short night in the Fairmont Nile Hotel before beginning our tour of the Museum, Pyramids and Sphinx. Our guide for these visits and the following day was excellent but unfortunately this was the highlight and the subsequent guides varied from average to poor. This hotel was good apart from the dining arrangements for dinner which took place on an open veranda with a strong wind blowing. Not a place to linger over one's meal. The following day we flew to Luxor and a further overnight stay visiting the Temples and Valley of the Kings before travelling to Safaga to embark. A further overnight was spent in Palmyra whilst visiting the large site. At many of the ports we were late leaving for our tours, clearance seemed to take longer than planned and as a result we arrived at St Catherine's Monastery just 30 minutes before it was due to close. We had tendered at Sharm El Sheikh which added to the time to get ashore, although a similar sized ship was berthed alongside the quay and there appeared room for our own ship. Organization for the tours was not good, our cabin level (concierge class)gave us priority for disembarkation but in reality this didn't happen all the time. The size of the groups were large but the whisper devices were good. At St Anthony's Monastery the local monk acted as guide which was good except that the size of the party meant that those at the rear of the group seldom knew to what he was referring. Food on board was reasonable but not to the standard I have experienced on other ships. The cabin was fine and the beds comfortable. The air conditioning seemed to work well but the temperatures were never too high to test it. Speakers on board were good but it would have been nice if they had been introduced by the cruise staff and facilities made to catch up on the On board TV for any missed. TV facilities were very limited throughout the cruise and only came back as we approached Athens at the end of the cruise. I believe the idea is good but the organisation must be improved. The young staff who acted as assistants to the cruise director were very willing but one felt they lacked direction and were not sure what their responsibilities were. The cruise director was lacking in personality and failed to make announcements interesting. Read Less
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