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Tips for Short GREECE CRUISE (Start/End in Messina Italy)

Tips for Short GREECE CRUISE (Start/End in Messina Italy)

Old Dec 6th, 2023, 12:48 PM
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Tips for Short GREECE CRUISE (Start/End in Messina Italy)

Hi! Totally unfamiliar with Greece. And never cruised Europe. , So i welcome tips on how to get a great experience for my 3 generation family of 5 without breaking the bank (or skimping)

Here's my parameters I'm trying to hit:
5 Travelers: Me & husband (40's), 2 sons (12,14), and my mom (70's, adventurous but needs to walk slow!)
Mom is starting dialysis in the next year or two and wants to visit Greece via cruise (it can be short like 3-5 nights & we can supplement with an extra day or two on land pre/post boarding)
+ Start/End in Messina, Italy to visit our family there for a couple days. (either before cruise or after)
++ Optional 1-3 days on land in Greece before or after the cruise to spend more in-depth time on Greece. (This is probably going to get scratched unless we find a very short 3 day cruise and we need the extra day or 2 in greece)

Advice Needed:
What's the Best Greece Port to recommend/priortize (or Top 2/3 Greek ports for family fun?)
We like the water, relaxed fun/dining, & some history/sights without intensive walking for my mom.
We dont care about seeing "Romantic stuff" in Greece, considering our diverse ages.
Could we skip either Santorini or Mykanos ports, or are Both a Must See? Which of the 2 is better?

FYI-
Time of Travel: Flexible (could be between April-August)
Length: Flexible 7-10 days about.
Budget: no idea yet because we dont know what this will cost. Not looking for a luxury or elaborate cruise, but not trying to skimp either. (In the past we've cruised Carnival/MSC/Princess along the caribbean)

Okay: SHOOT with your tips....THANKS!~

Last edited by dawn2duskb; Dec 6th, 2023 at 01:10 PM. Reason: narrowed trip preferences
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Old Dec 6th, 2023, 02:27 PM
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I know you are asking about a Greek cruise -- but there are several other issues including weather in Italy and Greece, linking Messina and Greece, Greek islands, etc -- you might get better overall advice if you post on the Europe forum . . .
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Old Dec 6th, 2023, 06:56 PM
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Your parameters of beginning/ending in Messina, Sicily, and a very short cruise to Greece are difficult, if not impossible. You may be trying to put together things that do not work in your time frame.
There are many, many cruises that stop in Messina, but only one that I see that begins and ends there, and that is MSC, which does not go to the Greek Islands.
The shorter cruises (6/7 nights) generally start in Athens. The cruises that go to Greece, but start in Italy are generally a bit longer.
Maybe you already use them, but if not, go to the vacationstogo.com web site. Plug in all the different options you can think of and keep searching. Maybe something will pop up. I looked for only a few minutes, but did not see anything that met your requirements, time and departure wise. You might have to fly to Athens or catch a cruise from mainland Italy - Venice, Rome, Naples, etc.
Ask on cruisecritic.com too. Maybe someone else will have an idea.
Consider flying into Athens, then flying or taking a ferry to a couple of islands.
You might also be able to fly into one of the islands from Sicily, then to Athens for a couple of nights.
I would try to do this trip in Spring or very early Summer before the hottest months. We did it once in late Summer (September) and that was nice too.
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Old Dec 6th, 2023, 08:32 PM
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excellent thought, I will do so. Thank you!!!
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Old Dec 6th, 2023, 08:39 PM
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Ah, Yes thank you for all those thoughts. I am trying to decide im what i'm "imagining" is possible.
I will look at those websites you suggested as maybe they will be resourceful too.
Im thinking it may just be best to Fly to Catania airport in Sicily, spend a few days in Sicily, then Fly from Catania Airport to Greece, and board a short Cruise around Greece, and Now, I'm thinking of the possibilty of spending a day in Albania after the Greece trip (becuase my son is becoming Fluent in Albanian so that would be a suprise for him. Thanks for the immense tips!
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Old Dec 7th, 2023, 08:33 AM
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https://commonsearches.net/index.php...CAAEgJucPD_BwE

I see there are local companies doing short cruises from Athens. I donít know anything about them, but they look like fun and might work for you.

Look on trip advisor too.
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Old Dec 9th, 2023, 07:40 PM
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SO.....We finally decided & booked the 7 Night Greek Isles Cruise out of Venice and then will be flying from Venice down to Catania Sicily for 3 days outside of Messina!

Now just having trouble working out the airfare!
I can get from Venice to Catania with co-operating flight times.
But I cannot find flight times that get me from Catania sicily to Venice early enough in the morning to hop on the second flight for Venice to New Jersey. .... working on that!
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Old Dec 9th, 2023, 09:36 PM
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Curious, which ship and cruise? I hope it is one of the Royal Caribbean ships out of Ravenna.
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Old Dec 9th, 2023, 09:44 PM
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Yep! In August...
royal Caribbean, explorer of the seas ship, 7 night Greek isles, seeing santorini, mykonos, athens, and split croatia
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Old Dec 10th, 2023, 10:00 AM
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That is great, so glad you are doing a Royal Caribbean. I like MSC ships a lot, but do not recommend them overall, and especially for a first cruise in Europe. Did you get balconies? August will be deathly hot, just take plenty of water, sunscreen and big hats (even sun umbrellas). I strongly suggest tours or taxis for your Mom when you can get them to help with walking. In Santorini, we just flagged a taxi and asked if he could give us a personal tour. We got so lucky. He talked about the history and a lot about products, food and plants, took us to two beaches, the towns, etc. and gave us time for short walks. it was one of the best tours ever. We could never have walked or done it on our own. However, I wish we had had time to do a little cruise around the island. It is so beautiful from the water too. Check now to see what will work best.
BTW, is your Mom on a very restrictive diet? It is hard and does not always work, but sometimes, if a person is nearly religious about it, they can avoid dialysis for years. Good luck and hope the trip is fabulous!
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