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
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!