Holland America Line
Our itineray started in Athens, and went to Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Greece, Croatia and Albania. This was a continuation of a cruise that included Rome and other destinations.
The ship is the smallest in the HAL fleet, but the size was perfect for our itineray. Only 750 guests were on board, and after travelling on larger ships, I felt that the size and capacity fit our needs. There were, because of the length and timeof year, virtually no kids on this cruise, Our cabin was quite spacious, and we loved the walk in closet, which was fully used by my wife and I (mostly her!!).
We had A/C prblems for the first 4 days of the cruise, but we weren't alone--a whole section on our deck suffered similar problems, and by the time we got to Israel,the sauna like effect in our room had been solved.
With regards to service, we've been on 6 other HAL cruises, so we knew what to expect. our cabin steward was just OK, in that he couldn't figure out whe to do our turn downs since wwe liked to eat early for dinner. We lucked out in finding a great dining room team, but when we requested them on the 3rd night, somehow we got another team who had to start from sqare one to fin out about our likes and dislikes.
The evening's activities were varied, and we took advantage of some of them. We had two-2 day stops in Egypt and Israel, and would recommend them highly, even though they were expensive. The shore excursions were very thorough, except for the 1/2 day in Albania, which is not set up for tourists by any means.
The staff on the Lido cafeteria deck was very helpful, and we ate many meals there. The food quality was B+/A- and breakfast room service was prompt and very good. The captain kept us up to date wiht current weather and destination information, and was accessable during the cocktail party. Oursocial director did an outstanding job getting groups organized and off the ship in a timely manor as well as hosting evening events.
I now have crossed off my bucket list things like seeing the Pyrmids, going to Bethlehem, and and taking a cruise on the Nile. It was a trip of a lifetime, and even 2 months later, I'm still organizing my pictures on the computer. I think the staff on and off the ship does an outstanding job of making their guests feel like family, and that is a bar set very high.