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Try EasyCruise For An Inexpensive Greek Island Vacation.
cwo3ward @ 10/ 21/ 2009

The original attraction I had for easyCruise was that it was a 7 night cruise for $367.00 (that's the cabin price for 2 people).  In fact, I booked the cruise in 2007 and when it came time to start preparing for the trip, my wife had some health issues and we had to cancel.  The first thing I found out was that no refund would be available.  The cancellation policy states that if you cancel, easyCruise will hold the money in your account so you can book another cruise in the future.  They had 600 Euros I had paid for the cruise and a package of excursions.  So, needless to say, I had to plan for another cruise.

 

We arranged for another vacation on October, 2009.  I booked the cruise again, only this time, the ship was no longer easyCruise One.  They had changed to a bigger ship, easyCruise Life.  The price also went up considerably and the 7 day cruise was no longer available.  And worst of all, the price of the cruise had gone WAY up.  Originally, we could go for $367.00 on a 7 night trip.  Now, the 3 day trip was 738.00 Euros.  More than they held in my account.  To get a window cabin, I paid the 738 Euros and 124 Euros for a half-day excursion for two.  The bare bones trips advertised in the past were no more.  We figured that with the three meals a day, transportation and hotel services, it was still worth it.  So we went!

 

The room was small, but better than I thought it would be.  We had four lockers with some hangers and small drawers at the bottom.  A small table under the window was just big enough to be functional.  The beds were fine and we slept well... better than at any of the hotels we stayed in during the trip.  The combination of the gentle rocking and the vibration of the ship's engines was relaxing and we both felt very well rested each morning.  The bathroom was tight, but the shower worked pretty well and there was plenty of hot water. 

 

After an excursion ashore, it was great to come back and get a shower and clean clothes. We ate in the dining area each day and sat in the same area.  A waiter there was a very nice, polite man from the Phillipines who called himself "Elvis Parsley".  He liked to sing Elvis songs and do impressions of him.  His good nature was appreciated and it was obvious that everyone liked him.  The food was served buffet-style.  It was OK for the most part.  Some of the main dishes were fine, but I kept thinking that it should have been better.  Since the meal hours were limited to 1 1/2 or 2 hours for each meal, I would have thought they could have had better quality items.  Most cruise ships have wonderful food available all day long.  We didn't go on the cruise to eat all the time, but I would have liked to have had some better choices (like good steak, prime rib, ham or turkey). I ordered beer on a number of occasions.  The Heineken 500 ml glass was good (it came in a frosted mug), but it also cost 5.5 Euros.  That comes to about $8 US.  Pretty steep for us American tourists.  I decided not to do that too often.  Instead, they were having a 50% off sale on a number of drinks that they had to get rid of, since this would be their last cruise of the season.  I drank McFarland red lager instead at 2.75 Euros per bottle.  Much more reasonable.  Coffee and Tea were included in the meal package, so we enjoyed some pretty good coffee for breakfast and finished off our dinner with coffee and cakes.

 

There was a pool, 3 hot tubs and an exercise room and a spa.  I didn't use any of these since I went on the cruise to see Greece and Turkey.  The itinerary kept us busy and we went on 3 excursions. 

 

Kusadasi (Turkey) - Ancient Ephesus & the House of the Virgin Mary

Patmos - The Monastery of St. John & Grotto

Santorini - Island Tour & Oia Village

 

All three of the excursions were great.  Although expensive, they got us to the sights and told us what they were so we could enjoy them.  I really hate seeing something without understanding what it is. All in all, the cruise was a fair value.  What made it great was the places we got to see.  I think easyCruise now compares in price with other cruises available in the Greek Islands.  It seemed to be about $300.00 per night on the other cruises I checked.  Compare for yourself, but don't expect much in the way of luxury (unless you pay for the higher-priced suites).  We looked in some of the suites and they looked nice, but hardly worth the price. Next season's sailing schedule (2010) might see some changes. 

 

Note: I understand that Stelios (the founder of the easyGroup companies) sold easyCruise to Hellenic Seaways in August, 2009.  Time will tell what changes that will bring!


Note again: easyCruise seems to have disappeared from view.  The ship was apparently re-branded by Hellenic Seaways.

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