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Adonia D520 7/9/15 to 7/10/15

Adonia D520 7/9/15 to 7/10/15

Postby avidcruiser » 13 Oct 2015 16:18

A Greek Odyssey, (with a slice of Turkey and a touch of Spain and Portugal).

Our 30 nights on Adonia was chosen for the itinerary. Who could not be tempted by a plethora of Greek islands!

A trouble free journey to Southampton, courtesy of our lovely local driver who we now use each time, and we were on board enjoying our nibbles and drinks in the Curzon Lounge by 12.30pm.

Our balcony cabin was just 2 doors away from where we were in May this year so we immediately felt at home. A table for 6 in the Pacific Restaurant on 2nd sitting with table companions that were great company.

After 3 days at sea we arrived in Almeria and set off on a tour to lovely Mojacar as this was one of the few places that we hadn’t visited on our previous holidays in Andalucia. It was the start of a run of ports of call that bettered each other each time.

Our first port of call in Greece was Gythion, a delightful little place and memorable for the octopus tentacles drying in the sun! Next was Piraeus where we did very little having spent a holiday in Athens so just enjoyed a peaceful ship.

Kusadasi was the gateway for Ephesus but as the tours were mainly high activity over uneven ground and, having done a classical Greece tour some years ago, we opted out and just wandered around Kusadasi’s Grand Bazaar, running the gauntlet of the shop owners requests to, ‘please look, please come see my friend.’

We were due to call next at Lesvos but the captain had been advised that due to the migrant problem there, and our close proximity to the ferry terminal, we would instead call at Lemnos, (also known as Limnos). Unspoiled and picture postcard pretty with P&O passengers the only tourists in sight, this was one of the favourite ports for many passengers.

Onward to an overnight stay in Istanbul, the highlight port of call for many. We had spent a holiday here so just took the tram to the Sultanahmet area for lunch and revisited Hagia Sophia. In the evening we enjoyed a cruise up the Bosphorus which included dinner. We had done this previously in daylight but the illuminated buildings were spectacular at night.

The only rainy day was when we called at Samos. Despite the rain many agreed this was another favourite port. The sun reappeared for our call to Mykonos and we tendered right into Mykonos town. It was just as we had expected, very picturesque, but the shopping here was disappointing, mostly touristy stuff. People who had visited before commented on how much it had changed.

Rhodes was next and we took a short trip on the HOHO bus, explored the walled town, and chose a restaurant for the evening as we were not departing until quite late. We couldn’t avoid one couple from our table in the MDR as they too had spotted the same very good restaurant, the golden-olympiade, earlier in the day so it was home from home!!

Santorini was eagerly awaited by most passengers and it did not disappoint. Approaching, and sailing through the vast caldera, the town of Fira was slightly covered in early morning mist and the little cubed houses, clinging to the cliff top and so close together, looked just like snow or icing sugar sprinkled on the top of the cliffs. We had a great day here with some research beforehand.
None of the tours provided exactly what we wanted to do in Mykonos and we also dislike being herded and clock watching to regroup.
Straight off the tender to the local tours desks and a boat to Ammoundi Bay which lies below Oia. Oia is the town that is featured in so many holiday brochures for Greece with its white buildings and blue painted domes. A coach, included in the cost, then took us up to Oia town and we were fortunate to arrive before the crowds so enjoyed the magnificent views. The shopping here was fantastic; lots of little shops which specialised in local crafts and some very good clothes shops!!

The coach was then available at various departure times for the return to Fira. This gave us a view of the other side of the island. Fira town was very commercialised so the only option was lunch and then back down to the tender point via the cable car. The other option to get down was walking or a donkey. The latter was a no no.

Crete, and a return for us to lovely Aghios Nikolaos. Docked right in the town we had a walk and a drink and then headed straight for Faros Taverna right on the edge of a small beach, family run with papa manning the charcoal grill. The swordfish was delicious and enough for 2 people but our other order was sardines, I stopped counting at 24 sardines.

Monemvasia- just Google it, words cannot describe this fascinating, timewarp of a place.

Another visit to Malta and we took a tour took to Vittoriosa, just the other side of the Grand Harbour, one of 3 walled cities on this side of the harbour and then to the fishing village of Marsaxlokk. All this sightseeing still left us with time for lunch in Valetta via a quick ride on the new lift which we hadn’t used before as we were fortunate to travel up to the city on one of the old buses; sadly there now none left operating.

We had visited many of the places around Cadiz some years ago, so yes, it was another lunch!!

Our final port of call was Lisbon… again.

Apart from some rain one day and a very lively sea 6 days before Southampton the weather was magnificent throughout, often topping 30 degrees. We made all 5 scheduled tender ports which was a bonus. The tender in Santorini was provided very efficiently by the ‘Union of Boatmen of Santorini’ and their boats were splendid.
The entertainment on board was better than the usual P&O offerings. We enjoyed some classical musicians- piano, flute, guitar, a few tribute acts which were good, a trio of comedians, a ventriloquist, a mind reader and many more.

Of course The Conservatory on Adonia is not open every night but the themed buffet evenings, were always well attended, probably due to such a port intensive cruise and the opportunity to eat on the open back deck on the many warm evenings we had. One could eat around 7pm, catch the early show and still have time to relax to some music in Andersons or the Crows Nest.
We also ate in Sorrento and Ocean Grill a few times and on sea days the freshly cooked fish in the Lido Café was always a temptation that was hard to resist.

It was evident many times that Adonia was being measured up as we had lots of people with clip boards and fabric samples who came on at some ports of call.

We were notified on board that the water would be turned off every port day between 2 and 4pm for essential renewal of the system. That is water to all areas of the ship!!! Many passengers made their opinions known as to the health issue of using toilets and lack of water to wash their hands- the solution- to fill the sink before you went ashore in the morning!!!! Our solution was to stay ashore and enjoy a long lunch. The timing was the main issue, just when people were arriving back from being ashore and wanted a shower. Thankfully the work was completed before schedule.

We received no emergency notification beforehand about the water being off but we did receive a letter 3 days before sailing informing us of an additional 2 formal evenings!!! WHAT!!! :roll:
I enjoyed a few treatments in the spa due to my first treatment being excellent. I haven’t rated previous experiences in the spa as great and I don’t usually use the spa very much as I enjoy treatments at home regularly.

To top it all the ship managed to get a satellite signal for all the home games of the Rugby World Cup. However, this was rather biased as the England games were scheduled in the Curzon Lounge with flags and balloons whereas other home nation matches were relegated to the card room. All I will say is, just desserts!! I assume that the cruise director was rooting for the All Blacks!

I have described the cabin and the public rooms in a previous review and I am not getting muddled with our cruise on Adonia this May when I say that once again ,during the first night, we were woken by a bridge announcement to all cabins informing us of, 'complete engine failure.' Another announcement from Captain David Box some time later informed us that all was now OK and a third announcement apologising for disturbing our rest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :roll: He loves the PA system. ;)

We had 6 formal, 5 jacket required and 19 casual evenings and although it sounds a busy itinerary the 16 port days were nicely interspersed with 14 sea days with no more than 3 ports on consecutive days; very well planned we thought.

For those who may be going on Adonia soon they may not have the 'Brodies' Bombay Cooler' cocktail on the drinks card but it is still on the tills so it is available. :D :D :D
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Adonia D520 7/9/15 to 7/10/15

Postby Dave » 13 Oct 2015 16:38

Thanks for the review Avid. It sounds like a fabulous itinerary accompanied by much warmer weather than we've had!
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Adonia D520 7/9/15 to 7/10/15

Postby JollyJill » 13 Oct 2015 17:11

I read your review with interest Avid. Thanks for taking the time to post it. :)

As Dave said, it was an interesting itinerary being a mixture of new ports of call and some of the regular haunts.

I did look up Monemvasia which looked lovely, as are many of the small Greek ports of call.

I don't think P would have been too happy with the dress code. Formal nights he can cope with although 6 for a 4 week cruise seems a bit excessive. Having to wear a jacket on 5 other occasions as well would have put him off I think.

The water issue was not great either if you were not going to be ashore on every port day. As you say, with hygiene being a big issue on cruise ships in order to avoid the dreaded Norovirus; having no running water for 2 hours a day was not good.

That apart, it sounds as though you had lovely weather for the most part and had a very enjoyable cruise. :)
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Re: Adonia D520 7/9/15 to 7/10/15

Postby sevenseascoaster » 13 Oct 2015 17:40

Great review Avid, that sounded such a lovely and different itinerary. Makes a change from the 'same ole' same ole' itineraries you normally see. Glad you enjoyed it.
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Re: Adonia D520 7/9/15 to 7/10/15

Postby Meg50 » 13 Oct 2015 17:44

sounds like you had a wonderful time.

Monemvasia and Samos were highlights on 2 different cruises...

In Istanbul you took the tram to Sultanahmet..... where did you dock?
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Adonia D520 7/9/15 to 7/10/15

Postby adogap » 13 Oct 2015 17:50

Excellent review Avid and a very enjoyable read, many of the places you visited were well off the beaten track. Unusual to hear of a ship remaining in port until well into the evening allowing everyone to experience dusk and dine in a local taverna. We are visiting Lisbon for the fourth time next month and not sure how we would spend the day, you have now supplied the solution. We will find a good restaurant and enjoy lunch :D
Thank you for sharing

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Adonia D520 7/9/15 to 7/10/15

Postby judgegeoff » 13 Oct 2015 17:58

An excellent review Avid, many thanks for posting it. It was of great interest to me as we have just returned from visiting a couple of those ports of the ports you visited - Istanbul and Kusadasi - and we visited Malta and Cadiz earlier this year.

Your comments about the Kusadasi shop keepers made me smile. One put me in a wrestling hold, dragged me protesting into his shop and proudly showed me a sign in English advising 'No hasstling'! :lol:
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Adonia D520 7/9/15 to 7/10/15

Postby Trace » 13 Oct 2015 20:18

Fab review, and really well written, so pleased all was ok for you and hubby on this long cruise, I know how worried you were.

Thankyou for sharing :D
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Re: Adonia D520 7/9/15 to 7/10/15

Postby avidcruiser » 13 Oct 2015 20:46

Meg50 wrote:sounds like you had a wonderful time.

Monemvasia and Samos were highlights on 2 different cruises...

In Istanbul you took the tram to Sultanahmet..... where did you dock?


The tram stop may have been Tiphane or Karakoy but the tram direction was Kabalos. We had a bit of a laugh on getting back to the ship when we got on a tram headed in the Kabalos direction and then it stopped at Eminou and most of the passengers got off. We were then encouraged to get off by some young lads who I tried to engage in conversation. I wanted to know if we could get the next tram from that platform in the direction of Kabalos, but, bless them, they kept telling me I was at Eminou......I knew that. We got on the next tram in the right direction and were assisted by a very helpful local lady who assured we were going where we wanted to go. Blue line for anyone going from the port to the centre. It's not that far and some did walk but it was too far for us to do so.
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Re: Adonia D520 7/9/15 to 7/10/15

Postby tomvet » 13 Oct 2015 21:08

Loved every word of it Avid. Delighted you had such a good time/
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