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Old 08-23-2010, 03:53 AM
 
Location: USA
4 posts, read 4,062 times
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Hello everybody.

I am planning my next year (2011) holidays and I am thinking of travelling in Mediterranean countries like Spain, Italy, Egypt and Greece. My first thoughts were to book 5-6 days in each country but even though everything seems to be arrangable for Spain and Italy, I am really confused with Greece. First of all, I have read some reviws according to which I should definately go to the islands and at the same time I have seen amazing photos from the rest of the country (Athens and Peloponese) that I really have no idea which would be better to do. I would like to see as much as possible of each place yet I know that I have not plenty of time to do so. For this reason, I was thinking of joining a 3-4 day cruise to the greek islands and then stay 2-3 days in Athens and Peloponese. Has anybody of you taken any cruise to Greece? I would love some feedback. Do you think that a cruise like this one [url=http://www.greek-cruises.com/cheap-mediterranean-cruise/cheap-cruises.asp]Cruises Greece - Jewels of the Aegean cruise - Louis cruises[/url] would be a good idea instead of an island hopping? I am afraid that the second would need much more time and that it will be more tiring than a cruise. Any suggestions are welcome. Thank you all in advance.
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:44 AM
 
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Forget the cruise, you can't see a country from a cruise ship.

I would recommend a few days in Athens, a few more days in the interior of Greece if you have time, and then take the easily accessable local ferries to a one or two of the Greek islands of your choice (i.e. Santorini). Even that might be rushing it however. Athens and a few islands will easily occupy 10 days.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:37 AM
 
Location: San Diego
5,027 posts, read 13,440,779 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
Forget the cruise, you can't see a country from a cruise ship.
I couldn't agree more. I'm so sick of people saying they've been to 10 countries in 12 days, when in fact they only saw one port city in each, for 8 hours! My friend just went on a cruise out of Iceland and now tells everyone he's been to all these awesome countries. Yet when I asked him for specifics, he couldn't answer. We absolutely refuse to ever get on a cruise. Something about a floating tourist trap that makes me want to run the other way!

Book your trip and stay in the countries you want to see. Spend several days, not hours there. And when you get too old to fly and travel to all these places, bring your wheelchair aboard a cruiseline and enjoy it with the rest of the old timers. That's about the only time we'd consider a cruise!
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:41 PM
 
12,375 posts, read 18,472,442 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAK802 View Post
I couldn't agree more. I'm so sick of people saying they've been to 10 countries in 12 days, when in fact they only saw one port city in each, for 8 hours! My friend just went on a cruise out of Iceland and now tells everyone he's been to all these awesome countries. Yet when I asked him for specifics, he couldn't answer. We absolutely refuse to ever get on a cruise. Something about a floating tourist trap that makes me want to run the other way!

Book your trip and stay in the countries you want to see. Spend several days, not hours there. And when you get too old to fly and travel to all these places, bring your wheelchair aboard a cruiseline and enjoy it with the rest of the old timers. That's about the only time we'd consider a cruise!
Don't get me started - What amuses me is these port stops - the 2 or 3 block area that people visit when they get off the big ships. They are about as accurate a representation of a country as Disney Worlds "lion country safari" ride is of Africa. For that matter one could get as much an authentic cultural experience by staying home and riding the "It's a small world" ride. It's no much different from saying you visited a country when all you did was change planes in the countries international airport.

But, people like it, I've been on them, I probably will again. But it's not my thing.
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:56 PM
 
Location: San Diego
5,027 posts, read 13,440,779 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
They are about as accurate a representation of a country as Disney Worlds "lion country safari" ride is of Africa.
Wait a minute...are you telling me I should stop telling people I've been to Norway if the only Norway I've been to has been at Epcot? And, I've had Swedish meatballs from Ikea, that has to count for something!
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Seattle
1,744 posts, read 3,205,633 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepper.honey View Post
For this reason, I was thinking of joining a 3-4 day cruise to the greek islands and then stay 2-3 days in Athens and Peloponese. Has anybody of you taken any cruise to Greece?
I think this is a great idea. We backpacked for two weeks in Europe and then took a 2 week cruise. Both experiences were different but enjoyable. By what the other posters have written it would seem the intent of taking a cruise is just to say you've been in a particular country or town for bragging rights.

Our two week cruise portion went from Lisbon to Istanbul and included the a couple of Greek islands. There's no way we could have seen all we did on the cruise without the cost being double or triple. Just because we saw the Colosseum in Rome while on a cruise doesn't mean we weren't there. Guess I should quit saying I've been to Santorini since I was only there for 7 hours. I might as well throw away all those photos of the local family we had lunch with in Santorini since it doesn't count, eh?
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:37 AM
 
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Lets be honest here. You don't get to know a country much better in 10 days than you do in one. To really get to know a country you need to live and work in it and you need to speak the language. It really is that simple.

A cruise allows you to spend time in a city rather than a country and if you choose the itinerary wisely, it can be very enriching. But you also need to research the ports you visit so that you make the most of your 6-7 hours ashore rather than just hitting the usual tourist traps. For that, google is your friend.
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jaggy001 View Post
Lets be honest here. You don't get to know a country much better in 10 days than you do in one. To really get to know a country you need to live and work in it and you need to speak the language. It really is that simple.

A cruise allows you to spend time in a city rather than a country and if you choose the itinerary wisely, it can be very enriching. But you also need to research the ports you visit so that you make the most of your 6-7 hours ashore rather than just hitting the usual tourist traps. For that, google is your friend.
To really know a country you need a lifetime, but most of us only have one. But there is a learning curve - in 10 days you learn 10X as much, more or less, as a 1 day trip, depending on the quality of your visit (escorted vs. unescorted, 5 star hotels vs 2 star, etc). The quality of a cruise visit is at the lower realm of what I would call enriching travel - at best you have a tour guide and visit outside the port on a tour bus to one or two sites for 4 hours (and don't forget the obligatory yarn factory visit), then travel back. At worst, a person gets off the ship to have a drink and lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe 2 blocks from the ship, and calls it a day.

Ten days I would say is the least amount you need for a rewarding trip to one country. It gives you time to see the regular tourist stops (3 or 4 days), a few days to travel and just get lost at some of little visited remote areas of the country (3 or 4 days), and time to linger in one area that really interests you (2 to 3 days). And then of course you have to factor in travel time.
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:50 PM
 
12,375 posts, read 18,472,442 times
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Originally Posted by Chilkoot View Post
I Guess I should quit saying I've been to Santorini since I was only there for 7 hours. I might as well throw away all those photos of the local family we had lunch with in Santorini since it doesn't count, eh?

The most amazing thing I saw in my 4 days in Santorini was the excavations at Akrotiri. Probably some of the most amazingly preserved Bronze age settlement remains that I have seen in my life. Didn't see that? See what I mean?
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Seattle
1,744 posts, read 3,205,633 times
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Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
The most amazing thing I saw in my 4 days in Santorini was the excavations at Akrotiri. Probably some of the most amazingly preserved Bronze age settlement remains that I have seen in my life. Didn't see that? See what I mean?
No I didn't see that but I know I would have enjoyed it. What we saw in 3 days was The Colosseum and a extensive tour of Vatican City in Rome. Ephesus, The Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar in Turkey. These were just a few of the high lights of 3 days and not all that we experienced. This doesn't include our visit and lunch at Santorini. Tack on a 4th day for that.

Do YOU see what I mean? To each their own.
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