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How a Greek DIY expert ended up on a Greek Island Cruise

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Nov 23rd, 2015, 02:56 PM
  #1
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How a Greek DIY expert ended up on a Greek Island Cruise

My tale of woe. A brief Trip Report

Preamble Rome pre cruise
.
We have been to Greece 14 times over the past couple of decades and have traveled extensively. We book everything by ourselves and are very independent.

A year or so ago we began to think about places we have visited previously and where we wanted to return. We sat down and compiled a list of places which included; Rome, Israel, Ephesus in Turkey and Delos Greece. While several of these places are not Greek we combined them as part of a Greek trip as they are easily reached on the way to Greece.

It occurred to us that perhaps it was time to consider a cruise which included as many of these stop as possible. While we normally spend a minimum of 4 day to a week at each place we visit even a day stop on a cruise would give us an opportunity to revisit highlight places on our list.

After extensive research we found a Celebrity cruise that started in Rome and visited Naples ( a new stop for us) three nights total in 2 ports in Israel, ( it turned out that everyone we spoke to on the ship booked for those three nights) , Kushadasi Turkey for Ephesus, Mykonos for Delos, one day in Athens and a day in Malta (also a new place for us) This itinerary seemed like a home run.
We booked 10 months in advance and a second couple booked with us.

We arrived 5 nights early and spent a delightful 5 days in Rome. On our first trip we had done the major sites: Coliseum, Palatine hill and Forum, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, Trevi fountain, Campo de Fiori Pantheon and the Sistine Chapel. This time we went to the easily accessible sites with our friends but while they took in the Sistine Chapel and Coliseum, we took the opportunity to visit sites we had missed previously. These included,the Piazzo Farnese, Travestare, Villa Borghese, the excellent archaeological site at Ostia, the Jewish Ghetto. And Castel Sant’ Angelo. We stayed at Apartment Governo Vecchio which had two bedrooms and two baths, a large living room and kitchen. It was close to Campio Di Fiori and just steps away from Piazza Navona. It was a perfect location.

On our last day before the cruise was to begin we received an e mail from Celebrity. Because of the security issues in Israel the cruise had been diverted. It turned out that our Israel cruise was now a Greek Island Cruise.
Jeepers we specifically booked this cruise because it had so few Greek Island ports of call.

End of Part one.

Images of Rome
https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr...57661593187885

Next: the cruise to the Greek Islands
stanbr is offline  
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Nov 23rd, 2015, 03:17 PM
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We also took a cruise that included Israel, knowing cruising into Israel can be a little iffy once in awhile. During the night before we were to dock in the morning, the port of Ashdod was bombed, so of course, no docking there. Luckily, there was space at the dock in Haifa and the ship was able to change ports. I hate long day trips, so we opted out, and didn't go to Jerusalem, but most people did and got to see what they wanted one way or another.

I bet a lot of travelers to France and Belgium made changes this last week.

I hope you enjoyed the cruise anyway. Looking forward to the rest of your TR. BTW, isn't Ephesus amazing?
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Nov 24th, 2015, 02:18 AM
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What a disappointment that must have been! Notification of the change only a day before the cruise began didn't give you time to make alternate arrangements. Have you been offered compensation from Celebrity?

You must have been regarded as the resident "Greek expert" by other cruise ship passengers, and I'm sure they benefited from your knowledge.
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Nov 24th, 2015, 08:26 AM
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Indeed it was a disappointment to miss that stop. People were complaining about it throughout the cruise.
I did have opportunity to speak to several people who were complaining about the next Greek port saying there is nothing to do there. I was able to make suggestions that were low cost and provided maximum opportunities for sightseeing.
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Nov 24th, 2015, 09:29 AM
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I think this was nothing the cruise company could do anything about, so the only compensation I would expect would be for any excursions through the cruise line that had been paid for already.

Itineraries are always subject to change, so unless something goes wrong with the ship itself, or they knew weeks and weeks ahead, I do not think the company is liable. Maybe travelers' insurance would pay something.
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Nov 24th, 2015, 11:33 AM
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Indeed it was a disappointment to miss that stop. People were complaining about it throughout the cruise. >>

more years ago than I care to remember, I was on a "school cruise" round the Med that was due to put into Lisbon on its way back to Southampton. Sadly the Portuguese decided very inconsiderately to have a revolution so we went to Vigo instead which was nothing like as good.

or so I imagine, as I've still not made it to Lisbon, or Portugal.

I hope that you make it to Israel before another 40+ years have passed.
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Nov 24th, 2015, 12:49 PM
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Sassafrass and annhig thanks for your comments. Indeed the ship has the right to change ports without notice or compensation. I understand the cruise prior to ours did make the stops in Israel so we had high hopes. They did give us a refundable cabin credit to the value of the two tours we had booked with Celebrity. That was about it.

While the ship did take the decision about will we take the risk and go into Jerusalem and Galalee I think deep down we were somewhat relieved that we didn't have to make that decision.
Interestingly enough there was a large group on the ship who left at the first Greek port and flew to Jerusalem. We also met two Russian couples and the wives also left the ship and flew out. We met some of them later on and they all reported no problems. Subsequently things have gotten worse. That could easily have started when we were there.
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Nov 24th, 2015, 02:33 PM
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I too plan our trips months in advance. I can well imagine your disappointment. So much time, energy, and anticipation goes into those planning months.

I am glad you were at least able to advise other passengers on what they
could do at your unexpected port.


Looking forward to reading more!
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Nov 25th, 2015, 08:34 AM
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Looking forward to your take on the Greek island cruise as a well seasoned traveler to Greece.
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Nov 25th, 2015, 09:51 AM
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Our fist port of call was Naples which was an interesting experience.
Since this is the Greek forum I will post my thought on Naples in the Italian forum. I will provide details on the Greek ports of call here as soon as I get to that part of the trip.
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Nov 25th, 2015, 09:55 AM
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Stanbr,

I was referring to Heimdall's question about compensation from Celebrity. Certainly the tours should have been refunded.

I would have been relieved also, and glad the decision was made on the side of safety. Knowing how upset passengers will be to miss a port they were most looking forward to, it must be terribly difficult for pilots or the company to make such a decision.
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Nov 25th, 2015, 01:57 PM
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Our fist port of call was Naples which was an interesting experience.
Since this is the Greek forum I will post my thought on Naples in the Italian forum. >>

Stanbr - there are no Italian or Greek forums [or is it fora?] here, just a European one. You can select only to read threads relating to particular countries, but if you click on the list of forums, you'll find only a European one.

I would therefore respectfully suggest that you add in your Naples bit here, I'm sure that we would all be interested in reading it all, whether it's to do with Greece or Italy.
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Nov 27th, 2015, 07:33 PM
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I personally would enjoy reading Stanbr's account of a trip to Sioux Falls, or Jersey City, NJ. Lead on...
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Nov 29th, 2015, 08:35 AM
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ann thanks for your comments. Sometimes I get confused between Fodors and TA. I will try to do better on my Sioux Falls report.
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Nov 29th, 2015, 12:11 PM
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stanbr - you would not be the first one here to make that mistake.

please let us know when the sioux Falls TR is posted!
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Nov 29th, 2015, 07:54 PM
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Does anyone other than Jan know where sioux falls is?
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Nov 29th, 2015, 08:08 PM
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I actually am NOT that interested in Sioux Falls, that is why I am counting on you to go there and make it sound attractive.
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Nov 30th, 2015, 10:23 AM
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me too, Jan, ditto Jersey City!
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