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10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
In choosing this cruise we wanted to travel to the Greek Islands in a smaller ship, visit ancient sites and learn a little more of the history of the area. The brochures and itinerary met all our requirements as it was a combination of 3 ... Read More
In choosing this cruise we wanted to travel to the Greek Islands in a smaller ship, visit ancient sites and learn a little more of the history of the area. The brochures and itinerary met all our requirements as it was a combination of 3 back to back cruises. It indicated a reasonable level of fitness which also suited our requirements. On arrival in Venice we found that the cabin was as we expected. Not flash, but functional; however, had only one, poorly located powerpoint. The staff were generally helpful but some appeared that they would have been happier elsewhere. We found the food to be adequate but not to the standard we had experienced with some other companies. Food in the main eating area was cafeteria style, dishes were not labelled so everyone had to ask what each dish was. This created long slow lines at every meal. We asked the staff about adequate signage and were told that it was not Company Policy. Deserts and other hot foods were “serve yourself”, which provided huge opportunity for cross contamination and increased the risk of allergic reaction if staff did not understand or were not available to provide adequate answers. I am allergic to poultry and asked staff the ingredients. I was answered ‘meat sausage’. turned out is was chicken and as a consequence spent a very unpleasant few hours. There were not always staff to ask. There did not appear to be adequate staff to ensure appropriate hygiene was maintained by the passengers. We were served on a number of cracked cups and bowls which should have been removed from service. The more formal eating area was much better as the food was individually served. Since the cruise was focussed on Ancient Greek and Romanan ruins there were guest lecturers on each of the three legs. Most lecturers provided interesting insights but others just went through the motions. The AV facilities were as old as the ship, and provided many interruptions and failures. Most lecturers used laser pointers which were useless. Talk times were not at optimum times but when most passengers were not on board. As days went by it was obvious that the ship was extremely noisey. When our small ship was birthed next to one carrying 10x more passengers (3000) the only one you could hear was the Aegean Odyssey. Whilst cruising the noise level was greater than 75db in the cabin, which made sleeping difficult. The poor crew had to remove soot daily from the outside furniture and many passengers gained black oil stains on their clothing. Shore excursion staff lacked basic knowledge of the ports visited and could not tell passengers where pharmacies or banks were located, cost or location of buses or taxis. Nor could they tell us about some of the places of interest that were on the shore sheets. Manning of desk tardy. Not there on time. A little offhand and sometimes rude with responses. Water was only provided to guests who elected to do organised excursions. The excursions were usually run by local guides, some good some hopeless, who tried to accommodate all passengers. Unfortunately, with an average age of passengers in the middle to late 70s, the pace at which they were forced to go resulted in excruciatingly slow movement that then meant some of the highlights were not seen. This persisted for all three legs of our journey. It really should have been called Voyages of Antiquity! There appeared to be a policy of ensuring the passengers who had travelled before were always first off the ship. Unfortunately, due to their age and lack of mobility, this ensured everyone else was delayed. Tender safety was poor. The crew did not provide definitive instruction on where to sit, how to hold arms, slide along seats to move rather than walking and direction on where to sit and when to stand for exit. As many of the passengers no doubt had osteoporosis, it will only be a matter of time before bones are broken. Very poor! At the end of the first leg our cabin developed a water leak which soaked the carpet. The hotel manager offered us a move to a cabin on the upper deck which we readily accepted. It was slightly larger with one bed instead of two singles and slightly quieter (72db) Unfortunately the hot water was intermittent and often was filthy and both taps lacked acceptable pressure. The toilet would not flush so we resorted to a 10l bucket! When cruising, the room vibrated to such an extent that we were forced to put towels in the door to stop it rattling. There is no way this room was worth an extra $4000 pp! On our last day there was a significant water leak which resulted in a large area of one level being flooded. Since the ship had no downtime the oncoming passengers had a very wet and potentially mouldy trip ahead. Internet now is a must for travellers and unfortunately was exorbitant in cost and was of such poor quality that many passengers demanded refunds. In conclusion, Voyages to Antiquity have a great product but need to ensure guests’ capabilities are assessed and appropriate shore excursions are provided so that all passengers are provided with the experience they expect. The ship is in dire need of major refurbishment and maintenance. The crew have to endure more than most. I would not recommend this trip to anyone who has even a moderate level of fitness. It’s like travelling in a floating care facility! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Itinerary with expert speakers to give background was appealing. Dr Paul Roberts was particularly outstanding but Keats expert fascinating as was Mary Beard's husband! The Cruise Director Richard was wonderful - for his ... Read More
Itinerary with expert speakers to give background was appealing. Dr Paul Roberts was particularly outstanding but Keats expert fascinating as was Mary Beard's husband! The Cruise Director Richard was wonderful - for his entertaining cabarets and quizzes but also being the life and soul of the ship. Some of the places - such as Dubrovnik and Pompeii were very busy but the Shore team managed it well and transport back and fro to the ship was well managed. Paestum best for stunning temples and few people. Enjoyed eating outside and appreciated waiters carrying the trays. Very friendly crew in dining and cabin service. Range and quality of fresh food brilliant and pastry chef produced beautiful tarts,cakes and biscuits. I liked the Library and spent hours reading the travel books but also borrowed some good fiction. We all did the daily crossword. We booked through Mr Bridge so we had duplicate every evening organised by their great team. Captain was friendly and communicative - even attended our Bridge cocktall party as a courtesy. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We choose this cruise because the route from Venice to Rome covered so many areas that we wished to visit. Having been spoiled by a couple of Viking cruises this one didn't measure up in some regards. Much of the food in the buffet ... Read More
We choose this cruise because the route from Venice to Rome covered so many areas that we wished to visit. Having been spoiled by a couple of Viking cruises this one didn't measure up in some regards. Much of the food in the buffet was not hot enough and we quickly adopted the formal dining room. The educational lectures were well done and much enjoyed, we not not so keen on the entertainment. The shore excursions were very good but some of the local tour guides were much better than others. Can't believe the number of times we went back to the desk to have our card keys replaced. They cheerfully replaced and reprogrammed new cards but fixing the problem would have been better. Our final day was not a happy ending. We did the Ostia Antica tour in the morning and the Vatican tour in the afternoon. Between tours some of our people were dropped off at Rome hotels with their luggage and picked up again on the second circuit of the route. Some of us were kept on the bus without access to toilets, water, lunch etc. I mentioned this to the company and the response or waffle made it worse. "We should have asked to get off at one of the hotels." (We spoke to our guide, it wasn't possible.) "It was an external tour, we can not be responsible." (We paid Voyages to Antiquity and they arranged it.) I would recommend this company with a bunch of provisos. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was a wonderful cruise. The ship is small which meant we got to know many other passengers quite well and we plan to keep in touvh with some of them.. The service on this ship was second to none. The largely Asian staff were so ... Read More
This was a wonderful cruise. The ship is small which meant we got to know many other passengers quite well and we plan to keep in touvh with some of them.. The service on this ship was second to none. The largely Asian staff were so attentive and cheerful. The food was also excellent, fresh with lots of choice. The wine also flowed freely at dinner. We chose this ship largely for the destinations it was visiting and we were not disappointed. There was no "glitzy" entertainment but this is not what you go on this ship for. The cruise director, Richard, was so talented and we loved dancing to his music or just listening to the trio whilst we had a pre-dinner cocktail. My only suggestion for this company would be to, on days when you have all day tours planned, offer half day tours to those of us who are not getting any younger. The tours to Rome and Florence were quite exhausting. I have been on many cruises and I will certainly be returning to this ship! Thank you to all the staff at Voyages of Antiquity for making this such a wonderful experience. 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
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
I have just returned from my first experience of cruising on the Aegean Odyssey from Venice to Istanbul and I must say it was most enjoyable in all respects. Voyages to Antiquity is particularly geared towards a clientele with an interest ... Read More
I have just returned from my first experience of cruising on the Aegean Odyssey from Venice to Istanbul and I must say it was most enjoyable in all respects. Voyages to Antiquity is particularly geared towards a clientele with an interest in ancient sites and history and is definitely not suitable for young children. The ship itself seems to be very well maintained, with the public areas being spacious and visually very pleasant. The Charleston Lounge was the venue for enjoyable pre and post dinner cocktails and gatherings. I preferred to eat in the Marco Polo Restaurant for the evening meal and found the food to be very good - not excellent or 5 star, but very well presented and tasty. Wine was included with dinner and was plentiful and quite drinkable. I had breakfast and lunch in the Terrace Cafe (buffet) and rarely found it hard to find a seat. All excursions are included in the price and the cruise can become very tiring with one (and sometimes two) excursions every day. On this particular voyage there were no sea days to recover, however, excursions were not compulsory and could be skipped to allow for some personal time and physical recovery. The excursions are given a walking grade level of 1-3 and the Shore Excursion staff on board highlight this in their informative port information segments. I found the Lecturers on board very interesting and one in particular, Dr David Price-Williams, made his specialised topics very easy to understand and added a welcome touch of humour to his lectures. Staff on board from the cabin stewards, waiters and bar-staff are excellent and are very soon greeting you by name, with a friendly smile and a welcome back on board! The Aegean Odyssey caters very well for solo travellers with a number of single cabins available. A word of warning regarding cabin selection - I initially chose Cabin 554 on the starboard side on the Belvedere Deck (a single cabin with a small balcony, Category EE) which sounded perfect for my needs, but I had to request another cabin due the amount of noise/vibration generated from the engine room/air conditioning fan room (?) on the opposite side of the passageway. Having checked out this cabin prior to booking and noting the library above and Doctor's surgery below I didn't think there would be any noise problems but there were and, to their credit, the reception staff handled the situation extremely well and offered me another cabin. Fortunately for me, another cabin was available (as the cruise was not fully booked), or I am not sure if my review would have been as good! All in all, the Aegean Odyssey lived up to all of my expectations and I am very pleased to have made the journey on what was my "retirement from work" cruise and my 30th cruise overall. Perhaps in the future I may be able to repeat the experience on the Aegean Odyssey. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We are small boat travellers and picked the Aegean Odyssey in part for this reason. This is a clean ship with hospitable staff. The food is simple but good. The only criticism is the quality of the coffee in the morning. We would very much ... Read More
We are small boat travellers and picked the Aegean Odyssey in part for this reason. This is a clean ship with hospitable staff. The food is simple but good. The only criticism is the quality of the coffee in the morning. We would very much recommend that this be improved. A nice cup of Java in the morning sets you up for the day. Also since I wouldn't recommend drinking the water out of the tap there should be complimentary water in the cabins. The talks given on board were excellent. For the most part the on shore guides and buses were good. The journey between Venice and Nice and all points between was most pleasurable. This is a boat for adults who want a little education and aren't interested in chorus girls. The cabin although small was clean and comfortable. It was tended to each day by staff. Avoid a room above the engine room and stack-a little noisy. Getting on the boat and off to head home was easy. So if the coffee was good and the water plentiful this boat would move to excellent. We participated in all shore adventures which were quite educational. The staff was always happy and helpful. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2014
This is the second time we have cruised with this company and I have nothing bad to say about either trips except on the subject of the poor wi-fi available on the ship. The current trip started in Venice, went to Croatia and ended up in ... Read More
This is the second time we have cruised with this company and I have nothing bad to say about either trips except on the subject of the poor wi-fi available on the ship. The current trip started in Venice, went to Croatia and ended up in Athens. The ship is small, only 350 people, but nothing is lacking here, except for the crowds and children, that you wouldn't find on a bigger ship. The staff is always extremely helpful and friendly. The meals and varied, well presented, and tasty. Wine is included with dinner as are soft drinks. The choice of a sit down dinner with up to six other people allows you to make the acquaitance of other interesting people who are also on the cruise with you. Between the buffet lunch, tea time and dinner it is hard to not weight more at the end of the cruise than at the start. Almost all the excursions are included in the cost of the cruise. Single suplements on this line are practically the lowest in the industry. The lectures telling you about the places you are going to visit are presented by people extremely knowledgable and versed about the areas. Would recommend this cruise company to any discerning older traveler (40 and above) who wants to see the historical signts in the area but who doesn't want to be one of a crowd. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
This trip was magnificent. The food was superb at every single meal. the service was second to none. The ports and port excusrions, which are included in the fare,were interesting and well planned. the on-board lectures were very ... Read More
This trip was magnificent. The food was superb at every single meal. the service was second to none. The ports and port excusrions, which are included in the fare,were interesting and well planned. the on-board lectures were very informative and organised, and all the lecturers were only too happy to answer questions and ignite our passions in the various regions, history and culture. There is a gym,hair and beauty,swimming pool etc and not a tacky casino in sight. The cabins were clean, and very straightforward with no uneccessary trimmings.A welcome place to lay one's head after a busy day and evening; we only had one "sea day" the rest of the time we were in port. I had some personal requirements, and the staff were very helpful and went out of their way to accomodate me. the captain was happy to mix with voyagers, and was very approachable and also helpful. I would not hesitate cruising on MV Aegean Odyssey again.this is my second extended journey with them. 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2012
The room was very comfortable, and the ship seemed in good shape. The lounges were nice. Weather did not really permit us to spend a lot of time on deck while at sea. The exercise room was nice, with really up-to-date machines, although ... Read More
The room was very comfortable, and the ship seemed in good shape. The lounges were nice. Weather did not really permit us to spend a lot of time on deck while at sea. The exercise room was nice, with really up-to-date machines, although I would have preferred a few more of them, as several times there were none available. Staff were uniformly polite and professional. Our cabin steward was amazing and among the highlights of the trip. Restaurant staff were helpful and service was generally good, although sometimes they were a bit overwhelmed by the crush of guests. Excursions were excellent. The Shore Excursion staff held a briefing each day outlining the next day's activities, and rode herd on the local guides, although in an unobtrusive manner. The guest speakers each offered several lectures, which were generally very entertaining, although sometimes only tangentially related to the sites we were visiting. I also would have preferred if the lectures were timed better--related to sites we would be visiting the next day rather than places we had visited a few days ago or three days from now. Still, well done. Most of the local guides were well chosen also, or we were very lucky. Some of these guides really made the sites come to life (e.g., in Split, Crete, and Naxos). In general, I would have preferred a bit more time ashore, especially when guests could navigate to the ship on their own or via tenders (as opposed to ports where we used shuttle buses. The food was generally good, although arranged around the excursions in such a way that EVERYONE was usually trying to eat at the same time. I don't know how better to time it, however. We had some nice meals in the sit-down Marco Polo room, although the buffet upstairs offered nice options even at dinner. Post-cruise stops were managed awkwardly. The cruise line tried to crowd in as many things as possible in Istanbul after disembarkation, hitting all of the obvious stops. This resulted in a rushed morning, where we did in three hours what our local guide told us he would usually recommend doing in a day and a half. All in all, we learned a lot, enjoyed our trip, and felt positive about the cruise line. We would definitely cruise on the Aegean Odyssey again! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2011
We have cruised 13 times on both mainstream and upscale ships. Good: Lectures (good to very good); the value of the extra two-day program in Istanbul (accommodation in Ritz Carlton); no casino; efficient steward; polite crew; frequent ... Read More
We have cruised 13 times on both mainstream and upscale ships. Good: Lectures (good to very good); the value of the extra two-day program in Istanbul (accommodation in Ritz Carlton); no casino; efficient steward; polite crew; frequent dining al fresco. Problems: - FOOD! The (Polish) purchase manager did a great job but the chef (Italian) didn't. The food was depressing; after a few fatal misses in the Marco Polo restaurant we moved to the buffet that was a notch better but still below even the Carnival or Royal Caribbean standards. - Tendering: Despite the rotation schedule among various groups, the waiting time was substantial, up to two hours in Monemvasia (the tour there and in some other places there was effectively shortened by half). Tenders broke a few times (!), and the crew was clearly very inexperienced with handling the problems. This was the first time that we didn't feel safe in the tenders; - Cabin: very small - but with such an intensive excursion program, size was not a problem. Noise was: both the very clumsy air condition and the ship's machinery made the good night sleep quite difficult. Adequate but not great: the excursion program. Many guides were mediocre, and there were several logistical problems. The worst: crowding in visited places caused by our own ship due to the fact that all excursions followed the same itinerary. In a few cases it was very easy to de-congest, e.g., on Crete, all excursions went in the morning to Khania and in the afternoon to Heraklion. Overall, a slight disappointment comparing with the brochure. Negligible nuisances: ashes from the chimneys (we got reimbursed for dirty clothes), old decor, rather uncomfortable lecture hall. The bottom line: unless the food improves, we will consider other ships before we try Aegean Odyssey again. It is a relatively better option on itineraries with little tendering. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2010
Finally home at last and have time to let you all know how my cruise from Venice to Anthens was that departed Venice on 24 August. To summarize the whole experience: Simply fantastic! From the 'horror' stories that had been ... Read More
Finally home at last and have time to let you all know how my cruise from Venice to Anthens was that departed Venice on 24 August. To summarize the whole experience: Simply fantastic! From the 'horror' stories that had been submitted to this and other forums we expected the worst but were delighted by the charm and treatment given in the refurb of this old ship and the fantastic organisation of the staff and crew who all made our cruise on the Aegean Odyssey simply the best we have done. We travelled with many other well seasoned cruisers who all agreed this cruise to be one of their best trips ever also. Yes there are a few small issues on board that need to be sorted out particularly the soot emitted from the ship which is surely an environmental hazard but which we were told would be addressed and corrected when the ship goes in for maintenance at the end of the cruise season. None of these issues spoilt our experience and our odyssey continued with all of the great tours on our itinerary which all went to plan and organised with military precision. The only disappointment was that the ship was unable to traverse the Corinth Canal as planned due to debris still to be cleared from the rock falls in July but we were all treated to an alternative tour to Olympia which was extremely interesting to all. Our favorite ports of call were Zadar, Split, Korcula and Dubrovnik but our private viewing of St Mark's Basilica in Venice under lights was simply breathtaking and certainly a highlight. The food onboard was of a good standard and selections available were also very good. Service from all waiting and drinks staff was exceptional and we are missing being greeted by our name at every meal time now we are home. The room stewards also did a wonderful job and are worth their weight in gold! The cabins were on the smaller side compared to other industry standards but were exceptionally comfortable and if possible book on Deck 7 which was just so close to everything. The lectures were interesting to many of us who went on this cruise and our thirst for knowledge has been awoken particularly due to the often entertaining lectures by Thomas Mannack. Prices of drinks onboard also was very reasonable and the free house wines at dinner were all extremely nice and came from each of the countries we visited- Italy, Croatia and Greece! As we had late night departures out of Athens the company organises those travelling later in the day access to lounges at the Hotel Grand Bretagne which gave us a good base to continue our quest for more history by visiting the New Acropolis Museum and some more last minute shopping and some comfortable rest before our flights back to Oz. As stated above our experience was fantastic making many new friends from all over the world and enjoying simply the best cruise ever. To say we would recommend the Voyages to Antiquity cruises would be an understatement but we suggest you do book early as the secret is now out. Yes all fledgling company's in the cruise industry have had problems in the early stages and this includes some of the biggest cruise operators but it is obvious that this company has acted quickly to ensure your experience will be a positive one and one that you will remember with great fondness forever. Simply a fantastic experience! Read Less
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