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Odyssey of the Seas Live Blog - Day 9 - Rhodes, Greece

In:
28 Oct 2022
By: 
Allie Hubers

Hello from the beautiful Odyssey of the Seas; it's Day 9 of our cruise, which means we only have 3 days left. The time has been flying by with our busy days exploring new ports (and countries!).

I am happy to report that I have a new favorite Greek island - Rhodes! After our busy days in Israel, we did not have an excursion planned for today so we could have freedom and flexibility to do what we wanted.

We woke up to a stunning view of Rhodes outside of our balcony!

Since we weren’t on a tight timeline, we enjoyed a slow morning with breakfast at Cafe 270. This was one of our favorite places when we cruised on Spectrum of the Seas back in 2019, and I am surprised we have yet to eat there on this cruise.

They have a wonderful selection of grab-and-go breakfast sandwiches and burritos, along with a bagel bar. There’s also a coffee cart located in 270, making it an easy place to grab breakfast.

Afternoon Shopping in Rhodes

With some quick research on Rhodes, everything online said the cruise port is located very conveniently in the old town.

Getting off the ship, we could immediately see the old town that was surrounded by a stone wall.

I found a few different locations within walking distance that I wanted us to check out starting with the Castle of the Old Town.

We walked through an old town entrance and found ourselves surrounded by lovely streets with tons of shopping and restaurants. Unfortunately, following the map on my phone to the Castle of the Old Town led us to a dead end on a side street. We looked around and saw nothing resembling a castle.

Fortunately, there was plenty to still see and lots of shopping that was close by so we went back to the main pedestrian

Mom and I were in heaven with all of the shops, especially the jewelry shops. We found a lovely shop owned by a Greek family who made unique bracelets, rings, earrings and necklaces. I think mom and I spent nearly an hour shopping inside this single shop with the owner helping us finding the perfect pieces.

The shop owners were so warm and welcoming! They said mom was their best customer of the day.

Dad roamed the streets by his lonesome self until we finished our shopping; of course, he wasn’t entirely pleased with how much time and money we spent.

Wandering Around Old Town

Back to our self-guided walk of the old town, we chose the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes. Say that 10 times fast!

We weaved through the streets, often getting distracted by how many photo opportunities presented themselves in this charming city!

At the Palace, we enjoyed taking some photos and ran into some friends from the ship that we spoke with for a little while. It was $10 to enter the Palace, so we opted just to enjoy the outside of what we could see from the castle.

We also met a nice family from Austria that told us how lovely the marina walk in Rhodes is, so we set that as our next destination.

After exiting the Palace, we walked through a really wonderful courtyard with greenery, flowers and views of the palace.

As we made our way to the sea, we walked out of the old city and into the newer area. We found an H&M and stopped in Starbucks for a quick resident and bathroom stop.

Marina and Rhode Windmills

We found ourselves strolling along the sea with incredible views of the ocean, Fort St. Nicholas and the Three Windmills of Rhodes. We could also see Odyssey of the Seas, along with 3 other small ships, in the port.

Fort St. Nicholas is located at the end of a short walkway-like pier that expands from the marina. It looked like a great spot to walk with sweeping views of the ocean.

This also gave us an up-close look at the Three Windmills of Rhodes. One of the windmills was missing its actual windmill, which was interesting.

I enjoyed taking some really fun pictures with the windmills and ocean views while dad climbed on the rocks with Angie and mom found some locals to strike up a conversation with. She enjoys talking to friendly locals and asking all about their city and economy.

The locals explained that Rhodes is one of the biggest Greek Islands and relies almost entirely on tourism for its economy. He also talked to us about the island’s problem with gypsies begging for money in the city, which have become more of a problem in recent years.

We didn’t walk to the end of the jetty but admired Fort St. Nicholas from afar and a display of European flags that lined the walkway.

Scammers at Saint Paul’s Gate

After mom finished conversing with the locals, we set our sites for the Temple of Aphrodite but stumbled upon the very charming St. Paul’s Gate!

Entering the gate, we found a staircase that allowed us to climb the ramparts and see sweeping views of the harbor. Angie, dad and I climbed the steps to walk around while mom admired from the safety of the ground level.

At one point, two gypsies started screaming at each other, disrupting our peaceful moment taking in the ocean views.

We continued to explore the area, in which we ran into more cruise friends who offered to take our family picture. We found cute little nooks to take pictures and enjoyed admiring the views.

Apparently, Saint Paul’s Gate is one of the most intricate gates in Rhodes and connects the old town to the harbor.

While I was snapping some pictures of Angie and Mom off in the distance, I turned around to see a gypsy yelling in my face. I was taken aback since I had not engaged in any sort of conversation or eye contact with the women. From years of traveling (and getting scammed before), I know it’s best to be persistent in not engaging with them.

She started to scream to NOT take her photo. I looked at her confused and showed her the picture of mom and Angie, I said to her that she wasn’t even in the photo and I wasn’t interested in photographing her.

She screamed even louder, “YOU LIE - YOU’RE A PSYCHO! I see you use your phone to take my picture!!!!” And I walked away insisting that I did not take her picture nor was I interested in taking her photo.

I was worried she was using this as an opportunity to pickpocket by creating a scene, but she didn’t take anything from me.

As we left the area, we saw the gypsies approach two men and place bracelets on their wrists - in which they proceeded to yell and expect the men to pay them for the bracelets. They prey on anyone who shows them compassion or makes eye contact!

As I was writing this blog, I found a few people noting online having the same experiences with these women. Some of the comments are from ten years ago - so these same women have been scamming people for almost a decade. It is too bad, as it does take away some of the beauty of the gate.

Souvlaki and Shopping in Old Town

Once we could decompress after the gypsy debacle, mom and I decided we had worked up an appetite for some gyros or souvlaki. When in Rome!

We walked by the Temple of Aphrodite as we looked to find something to eat near the port.

Back in the old town, we ran into our friends from earlier who recommended a spot that was right down the road. There was a quaint seating area with flowers and booths covered with colorful pillows.

We ordered 2 pitas for mom and I to enjoy while Dad tried baklava for the first time. Everyone enjoyed the chicken souvlakis and we appreciated a moment to sit down, refresh and rest after walking about 3 miles.

There was even a musician who came over to play the guitar - bringing a smile to all of us at the restaurant.

Following our souvlaki indulgence, Mom and I had more shopping to do in one of the leather stores before finding even more cruise friends in the old town. We love meeting so many kind people from the cruise and our rowdiness must make it easy to identify us in a crowd!

We decided to make our way back to the port since it was around 4:30.

Lime and Coconut

Once back onboard the ship, we dropped off our shopping bags in the room and spoke to our wonderful stateroom attendant, Waylan. We’ve been so impressed with the service we’ve received on this cruise. The entire staff onboard has been excellent and so attentive.

We decided to head up to the Lime and Coconut Bar to see our favorite bartender, Dwayne. Mom has been referring to him as ‘Dwa’ during this cruise; she met him on the first day and couldn’t see his entire name tag when he asked her to guess his name so she said ‘It must be DWA’!

‘Dwa’ whipped up four cocktails for us, including a mudslide for me, Miami Vice for dad and Bailey’s Banana Colada, which is Angie’s latest drink obsession. The cool drinks tasted so good after all the walking we did today.

The sun was starting to set over Rhodes as we enjoyed happy hour cocktails on the top deck. We reflected on another great day of our cruise and marveled at the perfect weather.

I concluded that Rhodes might be my new favorite Greek Island of all the islands I’ve visited (including Santorini, Crete, Corfu and Rhodes). The city was so charming and very clean. I’d love to return and visit the acropolis and other areas of the island.

Evening on Board

It was 6:00PM before we knew it, so we went to dinner in the main dining room. Tonight we tried a variety of appetizers, entrees and desserts but most of us found that it wasn’t our favorite meal of the cruise.

Angie was the only one who thoroughly enjoyed her entire meal tonight; she ordered the chicken wings, pork chop and berry crumble.

Dad and I found the Beef Trio to be a little tough while mom didn’t love her goat cheese tart or fisherman’s pie.

We mentioned to the server that we found the meat to be a little tough and shortly after, the head waiter came over to talk to us. We certainly aren’t picky or ones to complain, so we weren’t expecting to speak to the head waiter.

He was asking intently about the entree’s issues to ensure he understood the issue, although we emphasized that we have been happy with all of our food thus far. We were impressed by how concerned and quickly he came to address our comment.

After dinner, the rest of the family went to watch a magician performance in the Royal Theatre. Since I stayed up late (like 1 am) to finish yesterday’s blog after a busy evening with entertainment, I opted to come back and get some work done.

They greatly enjoyed the magician, so I will have to go watch his performance tomorrow night!

I enjoy having the quiet time to myself to go through photos and write today’s live blog.

Tomorrow’s Plans

Tomorrow, we are in Santorini, Greece! I’ve been to Santorini twice before. The first time I came to Santorini was during college when I did Semester at Sea; I flew to the island from Athens and spent a few days exploring.

The second time I visited Santorini was with my husband when we did a cruise from Venice for our honeymoon. During that visit, we did our own thing and took the speed boat and bus to Oia and walked down from Fira.

For this visit, we have a shore excursion through Royal Caribbean. I think this will be more relaxing for mom and dad not having to worry about logistics on our own.

I read that there will be a few other ships in port, so it could be busy. We also will need to tender to the island, so having the shore excursion should make that easy. Our tour includes visits to Oia (where the classic blue roofs are!!), a winery and Fira before returning to the ship.

I have never visited the wineries in Santorini, so I am excited to see what that’s all about!

The description of the tour makes it sound like we will be driven to Oia from the port and return to the port by bus; it does not mention the cable car or donkey walk down from Fira on the hilltop, so I am hoping that means returning to the port will not be an issue.

I am crossing my fingers that our good luck continues tomorrow! Mom, Dad and Angie have never visited Santorini and I know they are looking forward to it. This is an exciting port for many, as Santorini is an iconic Greek Island and a world-class destination for many.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s adventures! Until then, goodnight everyone!