“Men cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to loose sight of the shore”
– Andre Gide
Cruising is such a wonderful way to see Greece, but why? Before traveling on a ship it was not on the top of my list, but because a great sale got the best of me, how could I say no? There are a huge list of pluses and minuses to cruising but when looking at traveling a place like the Greek Islands I have to say, it is probably the best option.
The islands are a bit challenging to get to and from, especially via ferry. The locals have a tendency to strike at a moments notice and when you have only a day or two booked per island, it may prove to be frustrating. Especially as most hotels have a strict cancelation policy. When the ferry is running, you still spend several hours of your peak visiting time on a boat which is not great.
The other option is flying which is pretty good. It is quick and generally much more reliable but still, flights can cancel and can strike as well. You also have to think about arriving early to the airport, flight delays, waiting for baggage, missing baggage etc. The number one thing that I find frustrates most people is the luggage allowance for the smaller, sometimes budget, local airlines. More often than not, budget airlines have different weight and size restrictions than the commercial airlines. So the internal airline that you may have gotten a great deal with, will often nail you with fees upon check in. Don’t get caught out!
Cruising is spectacular and has its place in travel for sure. I can’t vouch for this travel style to all destinations but I defiantly can when it comes to the Greek Islands. The perks are of plenty:
- only unpacking once
- sailing at night to make the most of your day
- all meals on the ship included (as everything on the islands are $$$$)
- they use local food and produce for the meals as well as make you local dishes for dinner so you get a taste of the destination
- they can avoid poor weather making the most of your time
- the cruise ships have much more reliable itineraries
- the crew are able to provide you with some great tips and tricks for the destination as they have probably been several times
- transportation is usually provided for free to and from the ship to the city centre
- you pay for most of the trip up front so it is easier to budget for the holiday
By the end of my holiday I was sold on cruises. How could I not be with such convinces? And I learned a thing or two on that trip as well which I am always happy to share…
10 General Cruising tips!
- Did you know that if you book a day trip with the cruise line, they are required to wait for you if you get lost and miss your embarkation time? If you book with a local they will leave you behind and it is at your cost that you find a way to the next port to meet up with the ship.
- A very small amount of booze is allowed abroad a ship, as they have bar that they prefer you to use. So I MAY have filled a giant mouthwash bottle with vodka and coloured it green. MAY have. It MAY have worked very well to get on the ship and tasted totally normal.
- You can remove the automatic tipping from your room and tip the staff yourself but please note that the tips that you are charged automatically go to many staff behind the scenes you may not always see!
- If you book your trip early you are often treated to included drink packages and free upgrades to balcony cabins!!
- If you get a room with a balcony (which I very much recommend) you can usually have your breakfast (at little to no charge) delivered to your room to enjoy on the balcony! (And for those of you who say that “I am never in the room, I don’t need a balcony” I can assure you, when you have a balcony you make sure to enjoy and appreciate it and breakfast is a GREAT time to do so.)
- Spa services often go on sale for spots later on in the evening. What is better then a massage at 10:00pm then heading to bed for 11:00?
- If you get a bottle of wine at dinner, it can be saved for you to have the following day no matter what restaurant you dine in.
- The concierge often knows the full menu for the specialty restaurants a week ahead, so before booking see what meal you prefer best, in which restaurant.
- If you are feeling sick, Room Service will provide you with a bunch of remedies at no charge!
- Ask your cabin steward for a tour of your room. They are often quite smartly designed and there is probably more space for all your things to be hidden away quite smartly.
** for more on this trip, take a look at THE VIDEO HERE or check out the TO EXPERIENCE tab for La Dolce Vita **