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Exploring the Mediterranean on Aegean Odyssey

Mon 25 Jul 2016

Joanne, our Sales Team Leader, spent a few days on board Voyages to Antiquity's stylish ship, Aegean Odyssey, cruising from the beautiful city of Barcelona to historic Malaga. Read her exclusive review below.

Having experienced many river cruises, I was very excited to board my first ever ocean cruising vessel, Aegean Odyssey, to take in a short section of a 14 day itinerary from Nice to Seville.

Holding just 350 passengers and standing 7 decks high, the Aegean Odyssey looked like a drop in the ocean compared to the sky scraping cruise liners that surrounded her in the port of Barcelona. She looked elegant and graceful, and we were welcomed on board with a cold flannel and glass of iced tea, as the temperatures hit 30 degrees!

Whilst cooling down and settling into my cabin I was very impressed. Occupying a category E stateroom on the Belvedere Deck, I was amazed by the floor and wardrobe space, the huge double bed, dressing table and chair, two windows and large bathroom with walk in shower. It felt so spacious. This feeling of spaciousness was apparent throughout the ship, from the bright and airy Charleston Lounge where guests met for pre and post dinner drinks and light musical entertainment, to the peaceful and secluded Observation Lounge on the very top deck of the ship where you could stare out to the blue horizon. Although the vessel was built in 1973, it had undergone a huge refurbishment and felt immaculately clean and comfortable, with an understated relaxed sophistication about it.

After a day at leisure in the bustling city of Barcelona, where many guests enjoyed interesting and historical shore excursions, we set sail for Valencia over dinner. We dined in the Marco Polo Restaurant and although the atmosphere was great and the food fabulous, my favourite dining venue was The Terrace. The Terrace is located at the aft of the Promenade deck and perfect for an al fresco dining experience, not just at dinner but breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. Entertainment on board was very low key yet enjoyable, with pre and post dinner music from Deborah the pianist, or the string Odyssey Trio. There was just enough entertainment to be able to socialise and enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail after dinner. Alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages were included with dinner and any beverages outside of this time were charged to your room to settle at the end (the Aegean Odyssey is US dollars on board but guests can choose to settle their accounts in Pound Sterling if preferred).

Aegean Odyssey The modern Charleston Lounge Enjoy a drink at the bar in the Charleston Lounge Enjoy superb cuisine in the Marco Polo Restaurant Relax with a book in the Library Dine al fresco at the Terrace Cafe The spacious Ambassador Lounge Enjoy lectures with fellow guests in the Ambassador Lounge Enjoy live music on board Double cabin on Aegean Odyssey Twin cabin on Aegean Odyssey Parc Guell, Barcelona Admire impressive architecture in Barcelona The Valencia Gardens St Mary Square, Valencia Malaga Cathedral

Waking up on the next sunny day, we had arrived in Valencia, the third largest and one of the most historic cities in Spain. Voyages to Antiquity offer a very comprehensive programme of shore excursions (included in the holiday cost), where guests really get the most out of each destination in an enriching and educational way. I did a wonderful morning walking tour of the Valencia gardens, viewing the beautiful flora and fauna and learning about the fascinating history of the gardens, located on the old bed of the Turia river that used to flow through the centre of the city before it was diverted due to a devastating flood.

Running alongside the shore excursion programme, and a big focus of the itinerary, were a series of lectures held in the Ambassador Lounge. They were conducted by expert guest speakers and tailored to reflect the destinations visited. These lectures really added to the cultural and educational aspect of the cruise and were extremely popular among the guests.

The stretch of coastline from Valencia to Barcelona meant a full day at sea. The Lido Deck was the place to be when the sun was shining and you were calmly cruising the ocean. There were sunbeds and comfy sofas, a refreshing swimming pool, outside bar, tea and coffee station, as well as lots of general deck space. I was able to sunbath at the aft of the ship on my own for a couple of hours before seeing another soul, which really shows how spacious the ship was. A series of lectures and activities also ran throughout the day for when the sun got too much, such as cocktail making, card games, and even napkin folding!

Malaga was my last port of call. After the last few days I wanted nothing more than to stay and enjoy the rest of the itinerary on board this beautiful vessel. All in all a cruise onboard Aegean Odyssey offers a very unique ocean and coastal cruising experience, tailored around education, exploration and enrichment, where like minded passengers can come together to enjoy their interests and love for travel in a relaxed and unpretentious environment.

Blue Water Holidays Blog