Greece Preview

I MUST begin this post by mentioning that Greece has been quite prevalent in our social circles over the past month!

One of my closest friends just spent a week there, another friend is on a 2-week honeymoon as I type this, and finally, my old company is currently on their annual incentive trip in G-R-E-E-C-E! Crazy right? It is one of those scenarios where I wonder, would I have noticed all of these people going to Greece had I not known we too would be going soon?

We will never know!

This will be the first time to Greece for both of us. We LOVE history and architecture and are really looking forward to seeing the main landmarks! The itinerary allows us to visit Athens (2 days) Mykonos, Crete and Santorini (in that order). We will be overnighting in Athens, which as I mentioned previously, is a first for both of us!

We are doing a whirlwind tour our first day in Athens with 10 others from the ship. Thanks to the community on CruiseCritic we were able to join a small group. The tour is through Private Greece Tours and is an 8-hour excursion. We dock in Athens around 6am, we will meet with our tour at 8am. Joey and I plan to order room service for breakfast on our port days. We are hoping to be on the side of the ship with views of the coastline so we can sit on our deck and soak it in!

I plan to put together a post about our experience with the tour group, the sites we see and our overall experience. We plan to try and get off the ship for dinner and drinks while in Athens since we are overnighting. We are in the process of coordinating with other couples on the cruise. It will be nice to leisurely tour without worrying about the time constraints of returning to the ship. Our second day in Athens we are going to take it easy and walk the city using an audio tour provided by Rick Steves, if you are planning to visit Athens, you should check it out!

We will be in Athens Sunday, May 22nd-Monday May 23rd, 2016.

Our 2nd stop in Greece will be Mykonos. This is a tendering port, for those of you who may not know, tendering is when you take small boats from the ship to the port. They typically use the lifeboats, hopefully, it is the only time you have to ride on a lifeboat

 

Tendering to Cannes 10/2014

 

 

We will be on a 4-hour excursion in Mykonos with Mykonos Tours. We coordinated this tour and have 4 other couples joining us. The tour will consist of walking through the main points of Mykonos, Little Venice, Windmills, Petros the Pelican,  driving to the famous beaches, Ano Mera, Panagia Tourliani and Kalafatis Beach. Mykonos is known for its beaches. We arrive in port at 7am, our tour does not begin until 10:30am. We will have to coordinate our tender to make sure we arrive by the 10:15am pick up. We will wrap our tour up around 2:30 giving us plenty of time to check out Mykonos before our ship departs at 6pm.

We will be in Mykonos Tuesday, May 24th

 

Our 3rd stop in Greece will be Crete. Many on cruises choose to make Crete their beach day, it is the halfway point of our trip, so it makes sense. However, we have decided to do an offroading tour through the mountains and gorge with Safari Club. We are looking forward to this excursion since it is completely different than the others! It is also incredibly affordable! We dock in Crete at 7am and depart at 5pm. Our excursion is an all day event, departing at 7:30am and returning at 3:30pm. We like to have an hour to hour 1/2 of wiggle room to make it back to the ship. We will definitely utilize the GoPros on this excursion. This and Mt Etna (cruise day 10) will be our most adventurous.

Our final stop in Greece will be Santorini. We arrive in Santorini at 9am, our excursion begins at 10:30am, like Mykonos, Santorini is a tendering port. The other interesting feature is the cable car we have to take to the top of Santorini. The cable car puts you right in Fira (the capital of Santorini) Our excursion will go through Fira, Oia, we will see the FAMOUS Blue Dome (Firostefani) and visit a winery. This will be one of our relaxing excursions! There are 2 other couples on this trip with us and we are going through Santorini Tour Guides.

We are excited about our 5 days in Greece! I can’t wait to experience each of the islands, capture photos, videos etc. I am also looking forward to the jewelry! We leave in 5 days, and set sail in 6!

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The Amalfi Coast

Our first port of call on this trip will be Salerno, or for more familiarity the Amalfi Coast. When we were on our last Meditteranean cruise, aboard the Norwegian Epic, we stopped in Naples (north of Amalfi) Salerno is south.

On our last trip along the Amalfi coast, we visited ate pizza in Sorrento, took in the views of Positano, and ventured around Pompeii. This time, we will do a more in-depth visit to the Amalfi Coast, with visits to Positano, Ravello, and Amalfi.

Here are some photos from our trip previously:

 

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Sunrise over Vesuvius
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Pizza in Sorrento
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Walking through Sorrento
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Overlooking Positano
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View of Vesuvius from Pompeii ruins
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Pompeii Ruins

So the Amalfi Coast is the coastline on the southern coast of the Sorrentine Penninsula in the Provence of Salerno. Here is a map for reference:

It attracts HOARDS of tourists each year and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area is known for limoncello liqueur, and you will see lemon trees everywhere!

This time instead of focusing a large portion of our shore excursion on Pompeii, we are diving into the Amalfi Coast. We are touring with Joe Banana Limos, a company we used on our last cruise. This tour can be found on their web-site. We will visit Amalfi, Ravello, Praiano, Furore, Conca Dei Marini, and Positano. We modified the set itinerary a bit (perks of creating private tours). We will do a flip of the plan, and we are hoping to catch a ferry back to Salerno so we can view the Amalfi Coast up close from the water. If for some reason, we are unable to secure tickets or the ferry is not running (rough seas, etc) we will go back with our tour guide.

I will post either during our trip (depending on the wi-fi) or upon our return! So the follow-up post will be full of photos! We will be touring the Amalfi on May 20th, hopefully we are not too jet lagged! Wish us luck!

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