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greek island cruises

Ypsilanti, Michigan
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greek island cruises

interested in locating a good cruise of the Greek Islands for the beginning of November. Any recommendations? it is a celebration of our 50 anniversary. We have been to Greece and toured by car for a week. Now interested in our first cruise around the Islands.

Suggestions?

Marilyn

Chatham, Ontario
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1. Re: greek island cruises

First, welcome to TripAdvisor and the cruises forum, Marilyn! And second, congratulations on your special anniversary!

I do a lot of research at www.VacationsToGo.com. The search engine for that site is the best in the business for we North Americans.

November offers fewer choices than earlier in the year, But, there are still excellent options available.

I would suggest you eliminate both Costa and MSC cruises from consideration. Most U.S. residents find language a problem, since English is not the main one spoken aboard these European lines.

Instead, I'd look at Star Princess, leaving Rome November 2:

vacationstogo.com/fastdeal.cfm?deal=23998

Along with island Santorini, Rhodes, Mykonos (a side trip to Delos will be possible there) and Corfu, you'll get to revisit Athens and Katakolon (close to Olympia. Plus Rome, Naples, Dubrovnik, Ephesus and overnight in Venice. Great itinerary.

Second choice would be Cunard's Queen Victoria, leaving Athens November 8:

vacationstogo.com/fastdeal.cfm?deal=30314

Really, that itinerary just doesn't compare for Greek islands.

This is getting to be "last minute" for November in the cruise world. I urge you to get in contact with your travel agent and book ASAP. There are huge advantages to dealing with an agent when you're a first time cruiser, as the whole process and experience is quite different than land tours. An agent can let you know what to expect in much more detail than anyone here can provide online.

If for any reason Star Princess doesn't appeal, consider expanding your time window (perhaps to before the actual date of the anniversary). October offers cruises aboard upscale line Oceania on brand new ship Marina, with an amazing itinerary of small ports:

vacationstogo.com/fastdeal.cfm?deal=20273

While more expensive, Oceania is excellent value, with much smaller ships and peerless service for an unforgettable experience.

Also, consider Celebrity Equinox, a wonderful new-ish vessel:

vacationstogo.com/fastdeal.cfm?deal=18594

And Holland America's flagship Rotterdam, which includes amazing Crete:

vacationstogo.com/fastdeal.cfm?deal=17045

Please return and ask whatever questions you may have. While I love this section of the Med, there are many people here who have more extensive knowledge than I, and can give great advice.

England
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2. Re: greek island cruises

We're looking for a good Greek island itinerary for September 2012. Any suggestions please Fannish?

Chatham, Ontario
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3. Re: greek island cruises

Eyepye-7, I like Queen Elizabeth September 18, 2012 12 night cruise from Piraeus. Ports are Mykonos, Lesbos, Istanbul, Kusadasi for Ephesus, Rhodes, Santorini, Katakolon for Olympia, Corfu, Dubrovnik, ending in Venice with an overnight.

While you'll find that cruise at Vacations to Go, for English pricing, take a look at Iglu.com

iglucruise.com/queen-elizabeth/18th-septembe…

Crown Princess itinerary September 9, 2012 from Rome visits both Greek islands and some other pretty amazing places: Monte Carlo, Livorno for Florence, Sorrento for Capri/Amalfi Coast, Santorini, Athens, Mykonos, Katakolon for Olympia, Corfu, Split, and also ends with an overnight in Venice. Again, sample prices from Iglu:

iglucruise.com/crown-princess/9th-september-…

Then, on September 21, there's another voyage on Crown which might be even better for you, but it stretches into October: Venice overnight, Dubrovnik, Corfu, Katakolon/Olympia, Piraeus/Athens, Mykonos, Kusadasi/Ephesus, Rhodes, Santorini, Naples, ending in Rome.

iglucruise.com/crown-princess/21st-september…

Finally, take a look at Celebrity Equinox round trip Rome September 14: Messina, Piraeus/Athens, Kusadasi/Ephesus, Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos, Sorrento/Naples,

iglucruise.com/equinox/14th-september-2012_c…

Those are the best, IMO.

Edited: 4:46 pm, August 13, 2011
England
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4. Re: greek island cruises

Oh wow, thank you so much Fannish, lots of choices there.

San Diego...
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5. Re: greek island cruises

Based on our wonderful experience from Aug. 31 - Sept. 11, 2011, I would recommend the small ship experience with a travel group called Odysseys Unlimited. This year they have two choices for Greek Islands starting either Oct. 17 or Oct 18. They do not sail after that. One goes to Crete; the other goes to Ephesus. ( I understand that in 2012 they are omitting the one to Turkey.) Rest of the islands depend on the winds. Our itinerary was changed for that reason, but substitutions were fine.

We sailed on a mega yacht that could hold up to 44 passengers. There were only a total of 24 at the time we went. The boat was called the Harmony G. You can get detailed information by going to the website of Variety Cruises. I would never want to go on a big ship because of the time spent getting on and off the ship and the guides take groups of 25 or more to see the sites. You can't hear if you are in the back.

A plus for going with Odysseys Unlimited is that they include flight arrangements and reservations at luxury hotel in Athens. Their guide, Lia, was super nice and well informed. A reason for booking directly with Variety is that the cost is less (remember you get less). Their guide was also lots of fun. He briefed us on board and socialized during activities aboard ship .

The pictures on the website for the Harmony G are pretty accurate. At first the cabins are disappointing (but then I had never traveled on a ship at all) - small with dreary bedspreads. But being as we only slept there, that did not matter. If you are fussy, mattresses may seem a little hard. It is also better to get a room with twin beds. There is a little more room and if ship rocks a lot you are not bothering your partner. I heartily recommend that you upgrade to B class. Because the Aegean Sea is almost always rough (all a matter of degree), those in the lowest level were seasick at least three of the nights. One early morning was so rough that all the dishes and glassware that had been set for breakfast sailed onto the floor with a crash and broke to pieces. We ate late that day.

Quoting a reviewer on the Harmony ships I affirm "Oh, the food was fantastic. On board we had a generous breakfast buffet, including rich platters of fresh fruits. The second meal on board was either buffet style served on the upper open-air deck, with wide variety of dishes (many types of salads also), or a quite sophisticated 5-courses menu served in the main-deck restaurant." There was an extra charge for wine or drinks. I can't remember about beer. The servers were especially thoughtful - always carrying your food to the table after you made selections. They had nice smiles and yet were unobtrusive.

For others thinking of this tour for a different time of the year, I say be prepared for hot, hot weather. I chose early September because I thought there would be less chance of meltemia winds that occur in July and August, but it would still be warm enough for swimming. In spite of high interest walking around ancient sites of Delos and Ephesus, I felt the humid 88 - 92 degree weather. I have fair skin so sitting on sun deck was not wise, either.

Also, if you are used to the beaches of southern California, anywhere in Florida, or on Cape Hatteras, NC, don't expect much. The ones we were able to get to were small crescents of gravel-like land. The size is comparable to the public beach at Catalina Island, CA. The guests from Vermont and Illinois loved the swim times. I liked the day we swam and kayaked right off the boat. Setting was just like swimming at an isolated cove on Lake Mead.

In deciding what islands you want to see, remember that because Mykonos and Santorini are so popular, they are crowded and filled with shops. Amorgos looked perfect but winds changed the time we were there and we only had an hour or so at night. Samos was not pretty at all (if I remember correctly. After a while you lose track of which islands you saw when! I recommend keeping a journal. I thought my photos would help with recall. Unfortunately, my camera does not have the capability of labeling as I take and it was a lot of work with 694 at the end of the 13 days!)

In short, trip was wonderful! Will be glad to answer any questions readers my have.

6. Re: greek island cruises

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