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aring75

LIVE - VISION Med and Greek Isles - 6/11-23

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Option 2 was right in downtown Fira. The Ouzari has tons of outdoor seating, but it overlooks the opposite side of the island than where the ships are anchored. 

 

Our view at lunch. 

 

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We had to try the locally brewed beer. 

 

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Then we shared the fried calamari with fresh squeezed lemon. 

 

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And the Greek style meatballs in ouzo sauce. These were delicious!

 

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1 hour ago, aring75 said:

Maybe it’s a regional thing.

You could be right.

I'm an ex-pat Brit and the other poster who loves them is also from the UK.

 

Your photos of Santorini are simply stunning, by the way. :classic_smile:

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3 minutes ago, FionaMG said:

Your photos of Santorini are simply stunning, by the way. :classic_smile:

 

Thank you! I’d like to think it’s because I’m a great photographer, but that’s not it at all. I’m very mediocre. It’s just impossible to take a bad shot anywhere on this island. And just look at the clear blue skies we had today! We couldn’t ask for better. 

 

Also, Snapseed is my 2nd best friend. 

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3 hours ago, bobmacliberty said:

How long was the wait for the cable car going up once you were off the ship?  I'm guessing we'll be walking down but definitely not up.

First time we only waited 10 minutes as we went straight to the cable car from the tender.

It can take an hour with the queues being long if you arrive later.

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2 hours ago, aring75 said:

 

Thank you! I’d like to think it’s because I’m a great photographer, but that’s not it at all. I’m very mediocre. It’s just impossible to take a bad shot anywhere on this island. And just look at the clear blue skies we had today! We couldn’t ask for better. 

 

Also, Snapseed is my 2nd best friend. 

They are fantastic photos of Santorini.

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, aring75 said:

Cruise Compass - Day 5 - Santorini 

 

 

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Are you docking or tendering in Mykonos? We have done both.

Lots of narrow streets with shops and the famous Pelican in the harbour area.

This is where the Shirley Valentine film was made 

Hope you both love tomorrow in Mykonos.

Great review and pictures.

 

Edited by grapau27

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19 hours ago, grapau27 said:

Are you docking or tendering in Mykonos? We have done both.

Lots of narrow streets with shops and the famous Pelican in the harbour area.

This is where the Shirley Valentine film was made 

Hope you both love tomorrow in Mykonos.

Great review and pictures.

 

 

We originally were supposed to tender in Mykonos, but instead we docked at Tourlos Harbor (the New Port) and took the Sea Bus / Shuttle Boat to the downtown area. 

 

Working on my pictures now. It was another great day!

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25 minutes ago, aring75 said:

 

We originally were supposed to tender in Mykonos, but instead we docked at Tourlos Harbor (the New Port) and took the Sea Bus / Shuttle Boat to the downtown area. 

 

Working on my pictures now. It was another great day!

That's what we did last time.

Looking forward to the photos.

I knew you would have a great day.

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Another very slow issue with internet service while traveling from Mykonos to Piraeus. We are docked now and back from our tour. Things seem to be normal (which means slow but workable) so I’m going to try to catch up a little bit. 

 

To start, here is the Cruise Compass from Day 6 - Mykonos 

 

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We were originally supposed to tender in Mykonos, but we docked at the new port at Tourlos instead. Here, you can take the Sea Bus, which is a water taxi, to the old port - the downtown area. The sea bus is 2€ per person each way, and we thought it was well worth it. (Be aware, the line on the way back can get long though. So get to the return location in plenty of time.)

 

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We met our guide at the bus station at the old port area. This meant walking about 15 minutes from the sea bus drop-off. Later in the day, the sea bus can sometimes use the stop by the bus station, but we were not lucky enough for this to happen. We got to walk. That was okay, as we were able to take pictures along the way. 

 

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This would be a “small group” tour. And we ended up with 13 people, plus our guide and driver. Not terrible. 

 

We would spend a half-day seeing mostly the central and northern part of the island. Ending in a downtown walking tour (Little Venice and the Old Town area). 

 

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After the tour, we still had time to find a spot for lunch along the harbor watching the boats and people come and go. 

 

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After lunch, we wandered the criss-crossing streets of Old Town in our own for some pictures and light shopping. 

 

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We made it back to the Sea Bus return station around 3:30 pm (all-aboard time was at 5:30 pm) and THIS was the line. 

 

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We had to stand, but we made it on the first boat! So don’t be too discouraged when you see the long lines. If you are okay to stand, the boats hold a lot of people.

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We had dinner that night in the main dining room. Someone had asked if we had seen anyone wearing shorts to the main dining room. No, no we haven’t. But I think part of that may be due to the itinerary of this cruise. There’s a much higher number of European passengers. It seems that they just tend to dress a little differently than what we see on cruises we’ve sailed originating from the US. For instance, pants instead of jeans, a skirt or a casual dress instead of shorts. Things like that. Not overly dressed up. More like smart casual.

 

Last night’s menu. 

 

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The French Onion soup and the seafood risotto. They were recommending the seafood risotto. I can’t for the life of me understand why. It was terrible. Mark said the soup was great. 

 

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The cilantro-crusted barramundi. This was nice. But a huge portion!

 

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No room for dessert. So sorry. Will try harder tonight. 

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Everyone told us it would be very hot in Athens. They were not lying. 

 

I received an email the night before our scheduled tour saying our guide would be at the cruise terminal exit holding a sign with the tour company name (The Travel Insiders) and my name underneath. They even sent me a copy of their company logo to look for. Great! I like it when things are very clear. 

 

When we got to the terminal exit this morning there were quite a few guides holding signs, but no Travel Insiders. And none of them had my name. Okay. We were a few minutes early. We would wait for a while. No worries!

 

So a little while later, a man walks up with a hand-written sign with a name similar to my husband’s on it. Misspelled. Hmm. Mark looked at me. I looked at Mark. Maybe there’s a Marc on our cruise with the same last name, you think? Probably not. No company logo, wrong name on the sign. Things were not starting off very well. 

 

We we got it sorted out (yep, this was our guide) and we were on our way with Niklas. He had a very nice, top-of-the-line Mercedes van, so we would definitely be comfortable. 

 

As we left the port and the town of Piraeus, he stopped for some pictures and gave us some comparisons between Piraeus and Athens. 

 

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In Athens, we started things at the Acropolis. Niklas said it only gets busier and busier as the day goes on. And I think we had five cruise ships in port today. When we arrived, there were already. So. Many. Tour. Buses. 

 

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And after climbing up to the entrance and finally making it to the Parthenon area. You could really start to see the crowds. 

 

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We had to wend our way through tour groups with at least 50-60 people each. Some of them were fortunate enough to have those headsets to be able to hear what their guides were saying. But some of the guides were just yelling out. And you couldn’t really hear them very well. If you do a group tour here instead of going on your own, see if you can get one that specifies the headsets. I think it would make a difference for you. You can also pay to walk with one of the “certified guides” but I didn’t check the cost. 

 

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We visited the Panathenaic Stadium, where the first modern Olympic Games were held.

 

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And headed to the Parliament Building to watch the changing of the guard. I can tell you, this is one place where people will NOT care if they are 6 ft 2 and standing in front of you with an iPad wide open, blocking the view of all the shorties behind them. There were no fewer than ten very tall men who ran to the front to get video so I’ve got squat. Mark was too nice to push his way forward. 😀

 

I did get some still pictures before all the action started though!

 

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Just be aware, if there is a crowd during the changing of the guard, you might need to be assertive. Or having a VERY tall person in your group would be helpful!!

 

We also took a stroll through the Plaka. I found some leather sandals that were much more reasonably priced than some I almost bought in Santorini. They were similar, but not exact. They were 49€ in Santorini. I got them for 29€ in Athens. As I said, not exactly the same, but close enough in quality that I am glad I didn’t buy the ones in Santorini. 

 

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We headed back to the ship and our guide says, “It will rain soon, I think.”

 

We stopped for one more photo opportunity on our way out of the city and you can definitely see the clouds building in the sky behind us. 

 

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We got back to the port around 2 pm and were through security, dropped all our stuff in our stateroom, washed up, and we were having a small snack in the Windjammer by about 2:30-2:45. As we were sitting at the table, we heard the thunder starting. Niklas was right. The sky opened up. We sat out on the covered area of the pool deck and felt the air cool down. 

 

Dinner tonight is in the Main Dining Room again. Service has been very good. I have been able to use my diamond vouchers in the dining room and in the specialty restaurants with no problems at all. 

 

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@aring75 Your pics are stunning!  Brings back so many memories.  Thank you for your excellent review.  Looking forward to more!

 

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We watched the changing of the guard at the Presidential Palace. No crowd, I assume same show. 

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3 minutes ago, voyager70 said:

@aring75 Your pics are stunning!  Brings back so many memories.  Thank you for your excellent review.  Looking forward to more!

 

 

Thank you for saying so! And I’m really glad you are enjoying them. This is such an amazing part of the world.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Seville2Cabo said:

We watched the changing of the guard at the Presidential Palace. No crowd, I assume same show. 

 

Ooh! I’m jealous. You were very lucky. Or maybe we were very unlucky, lol. There were at least 150-200 people. We were there at the 11:00 am change. 

 

And you’re right. It was the Presidential Palace. I said Parliament in my original post. But that was wrong. 

Edited by aring75
Correction

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1 hour ago, aring75 said:

 

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No room for dessert. So sorry. Will try harder tonight. 

 

Oh no! You missed the chocolate soufflé. That is one of my all-time favourite desserts on Royal.

 

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21 minutes ago, FionaMG said:

 

Oh no! You missed the chocolate soufflé. That is one of my all-time favourite desserts on Royal.

 

 

I did have the Grand Marnier soufflé! Lol. That was the night before last. 

 

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Can I get a few points for second place, maybe? 😁

 

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Here is the Cruise Compass for Day 7 - Athens

 

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20 minutes ago, aring75 said:

Here is the Cruise Compass for Day 7 - Athens

 

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This is one of the best reviews I have read with fantastic photos.

I recognised most of the places you photographed and it makes us feel like we are back there.

Thank you.

Graham & Pauline.

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