Piraeus to Athens Airport Transfer Dilemma

Apr 10th, 2013, 10:34 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 528
Piraeus to Athens Airport Transfer Dilemma

We're taking the Istanbul to Athens Windstar Cruise at the end of August abord the Windstar Spirit. After the cruise my friend and I are headed to Paris where we're meeting my husband. According to my paperwork our cruise ends at 7am on September 7th. I phoned Windstar to ask what should be the earlest flight that we should consider taking and I was told 11am. The problem is, there are VERY FEW non stop flights from Athens to Paris and we were hoping to take the Easy Jet Flight which is one of the latest to depart but, it departs at 10:45am. Windstar tells me they will not guarantee anything prior to 11am.

It's been a long time since I last cruised but, I remember cruise lines giving priority to those with early flights. I'm hoping they still do that. Can anyone advise? I'll get up at 5am and be first in line to get off the ship if we have to! I would be willing to take a taxi, bus or whatever will get us to the airport by the fastest method. I've read a bit that taxi's are unreliable so that might not be the best option. I'm willing to take the transfers that Windstar provides but, we'd want to be on the first bus. Is there anyway to make sure that happens?

If we miss this flight we're really screwed. Connections that depart after 11am are super costly $700 & up + they take a very long time and we wouldn't get to Paris until the evening. I'd love to avoid that if possible.

Another crazy option that I thought of is to depart the cruise ship in Mykonos, which is our last port prior to the end of the cruise. We could take a cheap flight and stay at the airport which is where we need to be. I'm not even sure Windstar would allow us to do such a thing. Has anyone ever done this before?

Any ideas or thoughts?
ILUVPARIS is offline  
Apr 10th, 2013, 07:09 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Don't think Windstar would let you off..manifests, passport control etc. but you could ask. If you get your own transfer you might get a quote from George's taxi/transfers. Very reliable and I think about $50 to $60. He has a website. Worth a look see!! Another thing , Windstar lets the ship's transfers off first unless they have changed that. Again, check it out with the cruise line directly and get it in writing. You might get you TA involved also for more leverage if needed. Cruise lines are very sensitive to public controversy, especially in these highly competative times.
amer_can is offline  
Apr 11th, 2013, 06:50 AM
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We've left ships a day early a couple of times for similar reasons. It was not a problem. Don't know if it can be done in Mykonos. Can't hurt to ask. They have to know ahead of time.
Sassafrass is online now  
Apr 11th, 2013, 03:33 PM
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I called Windstar and asked if we could depart the ship in Mykonos in order to fly to Athens so we could make our flight. I talked to a really nice CS rep who was very helpful. He told me it could be done so long as the captain signs off. Then he went on to say that because we're U.S. citizens that would work in our favor. (Not sure why that is but, I wasn't about to argue). He put me on hold to ask a question and when he came back ---I got the bad news. He said an issue we *could* face is that often the water is shallow around Mykonos in late August /early September so they sometimes have to deviate to another island at the last minute if the water is too low. He didn't want me to book a flight out of Mykonos only to find that our ship ends up someplace else for the day.

I know if we end up on Paros, Naxos or wherever---we could take a ferry to Mykonos but, I didn't want to turn our short 7 day cruise into an even shorter cruise because we're spending our last day figuring out how to get to Mykonos.

I never thought this would be so complicated! I will look into George's taxi/transfer service because I'm thinking a private transfer is the way to go. I know I'll be up at 5am because I want to be the first in line to disembark! Something tells me it's going to feel like an episode of the Amazing Race!
ILUVPARIS is offline  
Apr 11th, 2013, 05:12 PM
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If you kept the name of the CS rep perhaps you can get him to get you off the ship first and have him email you the result of your request...Nice to know WS will allow eary disembarkment however. I only thought it was in dire emergencies!!
amer_can is offline  
Apr 11th, 2013, 05:37 PM
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If it was me . . . I'd just eat the cost and book one of the later flights. Expensive lesson. But anything else is just as iffy and could end up costing MORE than the $700.

If the ship is diverted, or you can't disembark for some reason, or ??? You'd be stuck in Greece having to buy a very expensive walk-up fare flight.
janisj is online now  
Apr 11th, 2013, 06:07 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 10,163
Why don't you just take a later flight? You can have a nice day in Athens and then fly on Aegean at 6pm for something like $100. Air France has two afternoon lights starting around noon for $566. Then they get expensive. Ironically, most flights are in the evening to accommodate cruise passengers. I can't believe it would be cheaper to fly from Mykonos. The nice thing is that it's a small ship, so disembarkation will be quick, and I'd arrange a taxi to save some time. I would not rely on a bus. But checking in at Athens Airport is usually fast, so you have that working in your favor.
doug_stallings is offline  
Apr 12th, 2013, 08:53 AM
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How does that work? I had no idea a CS agent would have any say in who disembarks first. I guess I never gave much thought into how that gets figured out. Can some one tell me how the whole disembarkation process works?

I booked our flight on EasyJet last night and we've hired George's taxi service to take us to the Athens Airport.

I figure even if it takes until 8am to get disembarked, that leaves us 1 hour for the transfer and we're still at the aiport at 9am. I'm hoping there won't be that much traffic early on a Saturday morning.

I looked on Kayak and I see that if I book a last minute flight from Mykonos to Athens it's not really expensive. It's $100 to fly tomorrow for instance. If I start getting nervous about it I was thinking that maybe I'd check on our last day and we could possibly do a flight to Athens last minute.
ILUVPARIS is offline  
Apr 15th, 2013, 11:38 AM
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Don't know if a cs agent can help or not but it would be worth a try to see if it helps. Double check George when the time is nearer "just in case" I am always cautious of the "just in case" scenarios. When on the ship check out the status of your request for early/first call disembarkation. Still "just in case"!! Have you been on windstar before? The Spirit is lovely as is the Star but the Surf out classes them all. Small ships are such a great way to cruise..laid back, lux, personal and so wecloming. Happy Sails rather than trails!!
amer_can is offline  
Apr 18th, 2013, 10:33 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Why would you want to put yourself under such pressure? Just spend the night in Athens and fly out the next day. I'm sure your husband can handle being alone in Paris for an evening. Athens is a great city to enjoy, have a good meal and then fly. What a stressful way to end a vacation if you plan doesn't go smoothly or just the stress of doing it.
southeastern is offline  
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