Jump to content
rtread

10 Day Greek Isles cruise on Explorer?

Recommended Posts

Have you been on this cruise?  It leaves and returns to Civitavecchia and we are in with a group that is looking hard at it for May, 2020. 

I'm just looking for advice, impressions, warnings, anything you have to say about this cruise. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, not been on this cruise.  But since you asked twice, I will tell you we've been on the Explorer and we've been to two Greek ports, Santorini and the port for Athens.   We found Santorini beautiful and lots of fun. You can go to the beach, taste wine, climb a volcano, or shop til you drop.  Athens was hot and crowded -- next time we'll try the market or museum and skip the ruins.  Our tour guide talked way too much.  The Explorer is a fine ship, which we enjoyed.  Rome is very hot in the summer, and as other guests have posted, don't take anything valuable with you (lots of pick pockets).   My wife uses a purse with RFID protection and metal filaments in her strap.  She keeps it close to her stomach at all times.  I use an under-the-shirt neck wallet with RFID protection.  We leave documents in hotel or ship safe.  I'm told you can use small safety pins to secure zippers in any packs you take, but use the packs for water or sunscreen.  We generally took RCI excursions or just wandered near the port. That way, we don't get left behind.   Most souvenirs in Greece are marked way up for tourists, so expect to haggle, especially at local markets.    Have fun!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, ChessE4 said:

PS.  If you get to Naples, the Mt. Vesuvius climb gives a great view of the harbor, but the volcano is far from sexy.  On our next trip there, we'll try Capri instead.

Thanks for your points and advice! One of our ports will be Naples, so we might try Capri. This cruise will be early May.....wonder what to expect as far as temperature?

Our itinerary is:

THU, MAY 7 Civitavecchia, Italy (Rome)   5:00PM
FRI, MAY 8 Messina, Sicily 10:00AM 6:00PM
SAT, MAY 9 Valletta, Malta 7:00AM 7:00PM
SUN, MAY 10 At Sea    
MON, MAY 11 Santorini, Greece 7:00AM 7:00PM
TUE, MAY 12 Ephesus, Turkey 7:00AM 7:00PM
WED, MAY 13 Mykonos, Greece 7:00AM 7:00PM
THU, MAY 14 Athens, Greece 6:00AM 6:00PM
FRI, MAY 15 At Sea    
SAT, MAY 16 Naples, Italy 7:00AM 6:00PM
SUN, MAY 17 Civitavecchia, Italy (Rome) 5:00AM  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ephesus is incredible - not to be missed. You can see the foundations and last remaining column of the Temple of Artemis (one of the 7 wonders of the world) and the Library of Celsus. 

The weather at the beginning of May should be pretty pleasant but there is a possibility of showers and some overcast days if you're unlucky. Evenings are likely to be cool too but I don't usually find that a problem when cruising as I'm normally at sea with my beer jacket on by then!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OMG...what an itinerary! Between traveling to and back from the US and all those port stops I can't even imagine how exhausted I'd be. I'm sure it would be worth it, but for now it's just a dream. Plus, I'm pretty sure DW wants to do Hawaii (never been there either) before that. @hayley_bopp, I envy your travel energy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Skid said:

@hayley_bopp, I envy your travel energy!

Did I ever tell you about the time we went on a road trip from Ann Arbor, MI to Tennessee and Kentucky?:

Day 1 - Ann Arbor, MI to Knoxville, TN

Day 2 - Dollywood

Day 3 - Gatlinburg, TN

Day 4 - Nashville, TN

Day 5 - Louisville, KY and back to Ann Arbor

Now that was an exhausting trip but we made some great memories!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, great itinerary.  We enjoyed Ephesus immensely, as others have reported.  I do remember that fatigue crept in after so many days in port, and we had a teenager in tow.   So there is probably away to alternate long days with short ones -- don't make every excursion a marathon.  May is supposed to be a good month, everyone is envious...

2 hours ago, rtread said:

Thanks for your points and advice! One of our ports will be Naples, so we might try Capri. This cruise will be early May.....wonder what to expect as far as temperature?

       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually have this same cruise pencilled in for early October 2020.

Early May is a good time, especially if you're planning on doing a lot of touring. The weather should be reasonable  (think layers and bring either an umbrella or a rain cape) and the sites will be less crowded, since schools are in.

Messina doesn't have much in the actual town, other than the Astronomical Clock in the cathedral, which is worth seeing if you're staying in town. Make sure you're there in time for the show beginning at noon. http://www.messinarte.it/the-bell-tower-of-the-cathedral-of-messina/

Valetta is lovely just to wander around, if you feel like you want a relaxing day, but Saint John's Co-Cathedral is definitely worth visiting if you like that sort of thing. https://www.stjohnscocathedral.com/

In Athens, if you are planning on visiting the Parthenon, it's really, really, really important to get there early, otherwise, even in May, you'll be doing battle with hordes of other visitors. There is some good shopping to be had in the Plaka, which is the central square/bazaar area.

For Naples, another option is Pompey, which is striking and humbling. We have gone there twice and I would have no hesitation in going back again.

I have not been to Santorini, Mykonos or Ephesus so can't offer any suggestions for those ports.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to all for your good advice and input! 

As our plans started firming up, one in the group had a scheduling conflict and we had to "tweak" our itinerary. We will still be on Explorer, still embark and disembark from Rome, but the date changed about a month to June 5. And it's a 9 day instead of a 10 day cruise. The ports we will visit changed a bit, also.

Cruise Itinerary: Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy (05 Jun d1700); Chania, Crete (07 Jun 1100-2000);Mykonos, Greece (08 Jun 0700-1900); Santorini, Greece (09 Jun 0700-1900); Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey (10 Jun 0700-1730); Piraeus (Athens), Greece (11 Jun 0600-1800); Naples, Italy (13 Jun 0700-1800); Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy (14 Jun a0500)

I don't know much about any of these ports.....the comments about Ephesus, Turkey were noted and I'm glad it is on our itinerary.

Anyone who can offer advice on excursions at any of these ports would really be appreciated!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/24/2019 at 4:44 PM, FionaMG said:

In Athens, if you are planning on visiting the Parthenon, it's really, really, really important to get there early, otherwise, even in May, you'll be doing battle with hordes of other visitors. 

How do you avoid this when you are not scheduled to dock until 12pm and the Parthenon excursions don't start until 1pm? And how can you go to Athens for the first time and not go to the Parthenon? I guess you just deal with. Looking at this for next Oct Greek cruise.

We will also making stops in Kotor, Montenegro, as well as Corfu, Mykonos and Argostoli, Greece.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In 2008 we were on a cruise by the Greek Islands departing from Bari (Italy) and the ports were Katakolon (Olympia), Santorini/Mykonos (two ports in the same day), Athens, Corfú, Dubrovnik and Venice.

In Santorini we went to Oia, a village in one of the corners of the island, and we enjoyed it very much making pictures. In Oia you will find the best views of Santorini with the typical white and coloured buildings with blue roofs. If you take a taxi, in 10 minutes you will arrive to Oia from Thira.

In Mykonos there are a lot of places to be by your own in the Mykonos city (the windmills, the Little Venice area, the white buildings and the extremely clean streets with a lot of places for shopping or enjoying the Greek food.

In Athens we arrived at 6:30 a.m., and by the 7:00 my wife and me were out of the ship in the way to Piraeus underground for going to Athens by our own. At 8:00 we were inside the Acropolis and we saw the Parthenon, Erecteion, Propilae, etc. with no more than 20 people around. We had difficult to found someone to take us a picture with the Parthenon. This allowed us to make a quiet visit of Athens without crowds (there were 28 buses outside the ship for the Athens's excursions). Don't miss the Panathinaiko Stadium (where the first Olympic Games -in modern age- took place), the Parliament with its Guard Change and the beautiful Plaka neighbourhood.

At Naples, as in the other touristic places, be careful with your valuables. There are pick pockets, but without violence, so take care and don't wear your backpack  in your back and let your purse in the front pocket of your short, trousers... Enjoy the Castel Nuovo, and the beautiful views from Castel del Uovo with the Vesubius. Try the World's best pizza at Sorbillo's (they have various places in the city) or enjoy a typical Naples dessert , the sfogiatelle (try it at Pintauro in Via Toledo). Other possibility is take the excursion to Pompeii ruins, or as you have written trying Capri. In May the weather in this area may change in few minutes, alternating between sun or some rain.

I hope that these things maybe useful for you and enjoy this wonderful cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MDIAZ72 said:

 

I hope that these things maybe useful for you and enjoy this wonderful cruise.

Wow! They certainly are and will be useful! This is a treasure trove of useful information for us.

I commend you for knowing and remembering the names of all the locations! (Until very recently I didn't have a clue where Civitavecchia was)

Thank you very much!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are leaving September 27, 2020 on a similar 9 day Greek Isles cruise. Love all of the info offered about the ports and excursions. Any thoughts on the weather durin last of September and beginning of October.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are my suggestions:

Naples - Pompeii excursion. We also had time to get in a pizza meal.

Mykonos - walk around and explore on your own or join a walking tour, find a good restaurant and eat well. 

Corfu - beach. We didn't do it but, lots of people rented cars and drove to the beach. 

Athens - Parthenon. Hard to avoid the crowds being that its the capital.

Kushadashi, Turkey - do the ruins. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...