For those people looking for the bells and whistles of a large ship, do not look here. However if your looking to see parts of the world that are on your bucket list, then come on this cruise! Yes, ship is small, little older, but for the price and what's included it was definitely worth it, despite what was going on in the world. We were the last ship to go to most ports due to the Corona Virus. Actually couldn't land in Israel as they had closed their borders. But despite the craziness of the world, I had one of the best times.
Cruise starts in Athens, so was there prior to sailing. The first night I booked a food walking tour, ended up private as most people had canceled due to the Corona Virus. Next day I went to the Archeological Museum. Unbelievable! And headed to the "Athens Flea Market". Tons of great shopping and food. Then took the hop on hop off bus. Make sure you travel up to the Parthenon. It is a hike. Also, keep an eye on all valuables as one of our party had their phone stolen.
Included in the cruise are 3 excursions, (1) in Cairo, (1) Rhodes, (1) Ephesus. All 3 were fantastic. The tour guides were extremely knowledgeable and were great to listen to. Also included are all your gratuities and most all your liquor, unless you want premium, and you have to pay for that separately. They do not have a premium package you can upgrade to. That includes paying for water, however, buying water on this ship is not as expensive as on a large cruise ship.
Included Excursion - Cairo - Bucket list to see the Pyramids and the Sphynx! The tour is very long, as it's a 3 1/2 hour journey each way. We left around 6am and got back to the ship around 10pm. Plan for a long but very rewarding day. Pack something to bring to eat for snacks, as they only give you a granola bar. However, you do stop for a fantastic buffet lunch. Pay the extra 8 Euros to walk inside Pyramid #2! Not for the faint hearted, but definitely worth it! Also, you go to the National Museum, which was being moved at the time we were there. And the papyrus museum.
Instead of Israel, we stayed in Alexandria. I went on an excursion that went to the Catacombs. Really interesting.
Incuded Excursion - Rhodes - Greece - They take you to Lindos, where there is a Citadel. I physically couldn't climb up it. 300 stairs up, with no railings; unlike going to the Parthenon. Pretty little town. Only opened for us, so not all stores were opened and not all stores took charges. May begins their season, so we were there off season. Then back near the ship to go to the old city, to the street of the Knights. Really interesting place. You can walk back to the ship or take the bus back. Again, there are other excursions that you can upgrade to as well.
Included Excursion - Ephesus - Turkey - I've been here before 10 years ago and it still was exciting to walk down the marble road! There are a number of other excursions you can pay extra for on the ship. They also take you to a Co-op where they teach the old ways on weaving rugs. It's now a dying profession. They tell you all about how they are made and show you what they have to sell. We had a number of people who bought some beautiful rugs. There are also other vendors there as well. And we were also given drinks, and appetizers.
You also go to Cyprus. I opted to walk off the ship with a couple of people. We wandered around the waterfront, found the castle and the monestary. Wish we had gone to the winery but we did have a good time. We lucked out with the weather, no rain at all!
As for the ship itself. The casino is tiny. Never really ventured in it. Lots of different bars. We loved the Thalassus bar located at the back of deck 5. Got some great sunset shots there. That's also where the only jacuzzi is. Small pool located on deck 9, Helos. Spa is there. Had a great leg message. Also, this is where the buffet is located. Good food. Need to change where the coffee machines are as they are right at the end of the buffett, so the line backs up during breakfast.
Very small, specialty dining, on Deck 8 outside one of the main dining rooms. You can get most of what they offer, but it is an extra charge (steak, lobster). Food all together is pretty good. There were some meals that weren't great, but the waitstaff was accommodating and would get you something else if you chose. We didn't have much of an issue with ordering drinks. Since our cruise there were only 380 passengers on board.
Only went to one of the shows on board. It was all about Greece. Was pretty good. However, I did go to the lecturer they brought on board to talk about Egypt and what you would see. He was fantastic! We spent most of our nights in the disco signing Karaoke.
All in all this was a great cruise. I would definitely recommend it to people.
Most people hate inside cabins, as there is no light. However, on this ship, your not in it too much except to sleep. This cabin has a mural of a beautiful beach on the far wall with a picture of a rocky shore above the bed. Bright and cheery. Standard size, small bathroom. Shower is on an angle with glass door. Shower does have bath gel along with shampoo. Nothing too fancy. Cabin is located AFT. But close to the elevators.
Included excursion with cruise line. Must see by all!View All 257 Ephesus Reviews
walked off ship. pretty waterfront, nice little town to walk around
Did trips on my own. Parthenon, Flea market, Archeological museum, Plakos.