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Greece: Is it better to take a cruise, or go on your own?

Greece: Is it better to take a cruise, or go on your own?

Old Aug 14th, 2004, 09:36 AM
  #1  
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Greece: Is it better to take a cruise, or go on your own?

We're considering a trip to Greece next spring. Is taking a cruise a good option? Do you get enough time in the ports?

Or is it better to just fly to Athens, stay there a few days, and travel on our own to a few islands.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Jim_Tardio is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2004, 09:41 AM
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I think going on your own is a much better way to travel. Cruises limit your time in port and you mostly only see what's been set up for the tourists unless you take it upon yourself to skip the shopping opportunities and go off inland to explore. Also your itinerary is decided for you and there's no chance for you to improvise. Greece is such a beautiful with diverse attractions. Choose a few islands and do your research. You'll have such a great time. Don't go too early in the spring or you'll find that nothing is open for the season yet. It might be too quiet for you, not to mention cloudy and cold. If you stick to the Cyclades you'll have many islands close to each other for exploration and easy transit by ferry.
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Old Aug 14th, 2004, 09:47 AM
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There are arguments to be made for both ways of seeing the Greek islands.

A cruise is the easiest and best way to see the largest number of islands, and many of them also include visits to Ephesus and Istanbul. Shore visits are organized where there are sites of interest; while they are not very profound, they do give a good overall view. On some islands, it is mostly free time, which is fine on an island like Mykonos and generally long enough to get a general impression of the island.

Travelling independently to the islands requires a considerably greater investment of time and generally involves spending at least one night on an island. If there are only a few that interest you and that you want to explore in depth, travelling independently is probably the better way to go.

And then there are the one-day cruises to Hydra, Aegina and one other island whose name I've forgotten that are a nice break from too many days in Athens.
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Old Aug 14th, 2004, 10:00 AM
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I have been contemplating this same question. I have noticed on some of the cruise itinerary you are at in island at 2 p.m. and then leave at 9 p.m. this seems hardley enough time so see very much of an island. I think if a cruise is the preferred way, then the cruise choice should be one that docks early a.m. and leaves in the late p.m.
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Old Aug 14th, 2004, 10:17 AM
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Thanks for the thoughts so far. Possibly a combination of both...a weeklong cruise to some of the smaller islands, coupled with several days in Athens with some side trips.

So many options!
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Old Aug 14th, 2004, 10:34 AM
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Have you looked at this website. www.cruise.gr Check it out if only for the music. Makes you want to book today!! Some people have said these cruise ships are not very good. Yes a must would be to spend additional time in Athens. A must.
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Old Aug 14th, 2004, 11:06 AM
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No a cruise is not a good option, you simply miss just about every experience of travelling in Greece
 
Old Aug 14th, 2004, 11:07 AM
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Jim, we did the 3 days in Athens, then the one week cruise to the smaller islands. There are pros & cons.

Pro - some islands only required one day to explore.

Con - a couple of the islands we wished we had a couple of days to explore/relax.

Pro - the cruise ship only held 25-30 people -- very close, friendly, and we had a great time.

Con - Not a lot of dining options/selections you would have on a larger cruise line.

I would certianly do it again.
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Old Aug 14th, 2004, 06:13 PM
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Jim, We spent 19 days in Greece in 1997 and did 3 scenarios. We had a private charter for a week, but that was with 7 other couples--friends of ours. But, then we flew from Athens back to Santorini for 3 nites--that was the highlight. You would love the photo ops there. Then, we got a van and 2 couples of us spent a week driving in the Peloponese. You could easily fly from Athens to Santorini and then take the extensive ferry system back to Athens with 2 nite stays at Mykonos and Paros--or wherever. Email me if you want more details.
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Old Aug 15th, 2004, 01:25 PM
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Bob, I'll be sure to contact you should these plans become reality.
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