Boarding Voyages To Antiquity’s Aegean Odyssey
12 Jul 2016
Day 1, Nice, 02 June 2016
My first day was very exciting, though lengthy. My first cruise was sailing from Nice (France) to Barcelona on board of Aegan Odysseyon a cultural cruise. I woke up at 3.30am to be able to get the bus at 4.30am from Southampton to Heathrow airport. Despite being sleepy at the airport everything ran quite smoothly, I liked my time at the airport as there are many high end shops to have a look in and there was a nice atmosphere in the cafés.
I gathered with the rest of the group, just before our departure. I was part of a group of travel agents so everyone had the same agenda; experiencing a cultural cruise by Voyages to Antiquity, a company which focuses on cultural experiences and tours and these are included in the price of the cruise.
Lunch at the Terrace Café
We arrived at Nice airport at lunchtime, then we were transferred to the port. It was such a nice experience to traverse Nice coast by bus. The welcome on board was very warm, crew members gave everyone a red rose. On the ship we had lunch at the Terrace café, a beautiful area that provides a sumptuous buffet.
There are inside seats and covered seats on deck with a fantastic ocean view. The food was classic and very tasty, the menu was specially designed for a late lunch and the variety was just incredible. The buffet is divided into different stations, below are the various dishes of the day and every day the menu is different.
- Salad bar: Ceasar salad, spicy pork salad, cucumber with yoghurt, Waldorf salad, Grilled vegetable salad with Pesto etc.
- Soup: French potato and leek soup etc.
- Pizza station: a variety of pizza and calzone prepared from fresh
- Live pasta station: one or two types of pasta
- Sandwiches and focaccia: fresh bread and mini paninis with various filling for a light bite
- Grill and hot dishes: fresh burger, beef minute steak with herb butter, golden breaded fish fingers with Tartar sauce, turkey a la king
- Vegetarian dish: spinach tart
- Side dish: French fries, mashed potato, mixed vegetable, turnips and green beans
- Desserts: fresh pastries, sliced fresh fruits, orange mouse with strawberry sauce (sugar free)
My cabin: Deluxe outside cabin
After I devoured my lunch I headed to my cabin to start my exploration. My cabin (number 522) was conveniently located on the Belvedere deck (where reception is) and is a double deluxe ocean view cabin. I must say I was really impressed with the size of my stateroom, and the attention to the details: let me say something, the pictures do not give enough justice to these fantastic staterooms. The bed was very large and nicely composed, I believe they were two single mattresses put together. There was a lot of space for storage, a wardrobe with mirror doors (three!), plus a side board, a leather stool, an armchair and of course two bedside tables with lamps. Despite the amount of furniture in the room there was still plenty of space to walk about. I was also impressed by the amount of natural light coming through the two windows despite not having the balcony cabin. The bathroom was also a surprise, a large Italian shower, a capacious sink, a big mirror over the cupboard and a small mirror perfect for the ladies’ to do their makeup. There were plenty of little touches which created an exclusive and caring atmosphere in the room such ass branded water bottles, slippers, a cotton bathrobe, high quality complimentary toiletries which came from the spa: shower gel, hair conditioner, shampoo and soap.
A busy evening on my first cruise
After my inspection was over, I was very tempted to take a nap but duty called: I had a meeting in the Observation lounge, a fantastic place used for private events and meetings. This place is also ideal for groups who want to hold a private party.
At 5.30pm I went to the Ambassodor lounge to assist with the shore excursion brief: Voyages to Antiquity provide a brief of the excursions of the following day at the end of every day. There is no obligation to attend these briefs but they can be very interesting as they provide you with information about the timing of the days and the type of activities to do. I was informed about my excursion in Grasse and St. Paul De Vence.
I decided to have a drink in the Charleston lounge with the rest of the group before dinner. The lounge is calm and relaxing so it is ideal to talk and socialise.
The programme of the evening featured also “Solos’ get-together” event at 6.30pm at the pool bar. I think this event is a great idea to get solo travellers to socialise.
The muster drill was also entertaining, everyone with their life jacket trying to do their best. I must say the organization of the drill was admirable as we were conveniently split into groups according to our cabin location.
In the evening we went to the Marco Polo restaurant for dinner, the restaurant is very different from the Terrace café, in fact, it provides a more formal style of dining. It is perfect if you want a lighter meal, because as we all know on the buffet you end up eating more the necessary.
To start I had a Seafood terrine with flavoured mustard sauce on a bouquet of salad. As a main I had a Broiled trout fillet accompanied with carrots, lemon butter and parsley potatoes. The fish was fresh and delicious, the main was classic but extremely tasty. The dessert was delightful, I had profiteroles filled with crème patissiere: delicious!
After dinner, we went back to the Charleston lounge for some cocktails, the selection of cocktails available is incredible and the prices are very reasonable. The more extravagant cocktails cost only $9 each. I had a pink lady, a cocktail slightly fruity that I never tried before. The evening was pleasantly accompanied by Deborah, she sang and played the piano divinely.
I was quite tired and the early start in the morning was going to be a struggle if I wanted to enjoy a sumptuous breakfast so I headed to bed. Next stop was the beautiful Cannes. When I came to my cabin I found all my clothes nicely folded and a nice chocolate branded Aegan Odyssey on my bed-side table: a little touch that made me smile before my head hit the pillow.
Life on board
- Terrace cafe and grill sample menus
- Breakfast sample menus
- Teatime sample menus
- Marco Polo restaurant sample menus
- Journal samples