Greece & Turkey-Rough Sailing?

Dec 16th, 2009, 12:52 PM
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Greece & Turkey-Rough Sailing?

To those who have taken the Windstar (Windstar or Windspirit) Greek Isles and Turkey cruise :
We haven't cruised before and are apprehensive about a smaller ship because of the possible rockiness/sea sickness. We have been told that the itinerary stays close to land which is less rocky than open seas. We have also been told to go during the summer rather than April or May because the seas are calmer.

We like the idea of less crowds and a more causal atmosphere.
We are open to other cruise lines, Oceania, Azamara, Regent and Princess (suggestions?).
Actually, we wouldn't be looking at a cruise at all if it wasn't the best way to see Greece & Turkey.

Opinions and suggestions welcome.
Anonymous123 is offline  
Dec 16th, 2009, 03:22 PM
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We have not done the very small ships as you are asking about. But our experience is that the Aegean Sea can be rougher because it is smaller and shallower which makes for better waves. But in three cruises in July/August/September we have encountered one really bad day (swear the ship was at 45 degree angle most of the day) and three or four days of rolling seas. Rest of the time was pretty smooth. Even though that is a very good time to be in the area, I think you would have to be prepared for at least one or two days of rolling seas. I do not see how staying close to land would be calmer. If on the lee side of an island, you would have protection from the wind but everything would have to line perfectly for that to be beneficial. If sea sickness is a major concern then you really need to stay away from small boats. Even big ships can have problems. The wing stabilizers will greatly reduce roll (left to right) but cannot do much with pitch (up and down). Don't want to be discouraging but would stay with a larger ship for your first cruise.

We think cruising has a lot of advantages. We have been on seven from Turkey to Russia but you are at sea and the sea does move.
fmpden is online now  
Dec 16th, 2009, 05:18 PM
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TY-we really want to see this region of the world.
So let me see if I've got this straight..Windstar/Windspirit are smaller ships, Oceania, Azamara and Regent are mid-sized, and Princess has the larger ships? Who else has the larger ships?
Anonymous123 is offline  
Dec 16th, 2009, 05:52 PM
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What area/cities do you want to see.
fmpden is online now  
Dec 16th, 2009, 06:33 PM
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Windstar/spirit are masted sailing ships. Ships with sails need wind, with wind come rolling seas. So if worried about sea sickness, these are probably not the ship for you. Not familiar with Azamara, but Oceania and Regent are middle size. At one time they were the large ships. Just about everyone has large ships -- Holland American, Celebrity, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, etc. etc. Just a matter of who goes in the Aegean.
fmpden is online now  
Dec 17th, 2009, 11:25 AM
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Ahh...I can see that i am in need of an education.
We are looking for an escorted trip that starts in Athens (see whatever there is to see in the surrounding area), then see some of the islands and then go on to Turkey (Ephesus and Istanbul).
We DONT want to go to Barcelona or Italy.
We would really prefer not to cruise but it seems to be the most efficient way to accomplish our itinerary. In fact the thought of either rolling seas or being on a ship with 3000 people and having to wait in lines just to disembark has me almost to the point of giving up on the trip altogether.
I would definitely appreciate suggestions for alternative tours.
Anonymous123 is offline  
Dec 17th, 2009, 02:26 PM
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I feel like I am going in circles. Why would you have to go to Barcelona or Italy -- they are a thousands of miles away. Don't understand that comment. First the island are surround by water (obvious, I know) so a boat is almost necessary. A couple of the islands are big enough for their own airport.

You seem to have a real bias against cruising. That fine ! That is your opinion. But you seem to be setting up an impossible situation. A large ship has greater stability (but not perfect) to min potential sea problems but you don't want to be on a large because of too many people. The lines to disembark are better than getting on an airplane. Cannot say we have ever waited in a line for more than a minute or two. I think of cruise ship like large floating hotels. It is a form of transportation.

You are correct in that a cruise ship would probably be the best way to see the islands and get to Istanbul. Another option would be for you to put together you own plan by flying to Athens, maybe Rhodes, Santorini, etc., and contact local tour companies for guide tours on those islands and the same for Ephesus and Istanbul. Aegean Air links that area pretty well and is a good airline. We seldom take the cruise ship excursions because they can be a lot of hurry up and wait. We almost always contact private guides or local tour companies. Generally cheaper with better service.
fmpden is online now  
Dec 17th, 2009, 03:04 PM
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Hey, its not me. YOU should look at some of the itineraries from these cruise lines...and what do you know, many include Barcelona, Italy and as a matter of fact OTHER places I dont want to go like the Middle East, Croatia, etc. Look at Regent and Oceania. Makes absolutely no sense to me but for someone who seems to know so much about cruisin' you seem to have missed this.
Anonymous123 is offline  
Dec 17th, 2009, 03:12 PM
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anonymous123: I know exactly how you're feeling. You echoed my exact thoughts. I very much want to travel to turkey in May/June 2010 and my preference is a land package. I'm not much into cruising with 600 other folks standing in line to get on/off buses. I've looked at most of the cruises in this area and of course, none give you ample time to get the flavor of the country. I've been reading this forum and several books and have narrowed down the areas to visit to:
Istanbul; Cappadocia(Goreme open-air museum; Uchisar and Rose Valley; Mustafapasa;Keslik Monastery; Sognali Valley; Kaymakli; Derinkuyu) and Ephesus region to include visits to Sirince village;
Pamukkale and Hierapolis; Priene, Miletus, and Didyma Tour. It's daunting trying to put this all together. Couldn't find one tour operator that would cover all areas. So, we would have to locate individual operators at each location and also find accomodations (4/5*). We considered driving as we have done this several times in NZ/Australia but don't think Turkey would be as easy. If you find anything good or anyone has suggestions, I'd love recommendations. We will have at least 3 weeks to spend in this region.
lovingretirement is offline  
Dec 17th, 2009, 03:31 PM
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Anonymous, maybe you need a tour, not a cruise?

I got a few tours from this company:

Just type Greece in Destinations, and you'll see all kind of tour companies, some do Greece-Turkey combined.

Affordabel tours is a travel agency that sell tours with a discount, and their website is easy to navigate, you can call and talk to them.
Dayenu is offline  
Dec 17th, 2009, 03:37 PM
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I didn't miss it. I didn't bother to look. Not doing you homework for you. We are about to book a Regent cruise that starts in Athens and ends in Istanbul, hits Ephesus but everything else is in the Black Sea. We have been in the Aegean twice on cruise ships that didn't stop in the Middle East, or Barcelona or Italy. You are right, you do need an education.
fmpden is online now  
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