“I arrived at the island of Kea at around dinnertime, where I was given leisure time to investigate the different areas of the island. I decided to end the day with a few drinks, so off I went to a nearby bar, spending the remainder of the evening sipping champagne and admiring the breathtaking views from the harbour terrace in which I was seated. Others spread to close by restaurants to devour typical Greek meals and get a feel of the island’s culture. Of course, lunches and dinners were sometimes provided on the cruise ship, however, this depended on what time of day we were docking. We departed Kea in the early hours and sailed to the next island overnight.
“We continued along to Mykonos. Excursions were available to us at the different islands throughout our cruise, although you do have to pay for these independently. I think this all depends on what kind of traveller you are; some like to experience every single excursion there is, and some don’t. I personally would rather enjoy destinations at my own pace, which lead me to walk around the island for the day, experiencing the many different little shops, bars and restaurants. Mykonos was one of my favourite islands to visit during the cruise, closely followed by Santorini, with beautiful streets and white washed buildings; it’s a very liberal and exciting place. Santorini is just as beautiful a place, and the approach to the island is even more stunning. As you pull in to the huge bay, the island towers over you. It was like something from a romance novel – like nothing I had ever seen-before and posed the perfect photo opportunity.
“From Santorini, we sailed overnight to Crete, arriving in the morning and from here, to Kithira and Monemvasia. By Thursday, we had reached Hydra, which was to be our final stop before setting off back to Marina Zea in Athens. I explored each island on foot, spending my days strolling in front of the sizzling Greek sun and touring the old cobbled lanes. Some of the evenings we had back on the ship were filled with celebration. The final evening, which was by far the best, was a typical Greek party with an outstanding seafood spread. Local university students also joined us, providing us with entertainment for the evening in the form of traditional Greek dancing. It was a great way to end a fabulous week.
“As well as making good friends with the on-board staff members, I became very close with one of the couples I met during the trip. A German couple; he was a plastic surgeon and she was a dentist, which I found to be fascinating and we had a lot to talk about all week long.
When in such confined spaces, you get to know people’s personalities, likes and dislikes very quickly. I’m still in contact with this couple now, months after my trip and have likely made friends for life.
Lee concluded: “My cruise around the Greek islands has to be one of the best travel experiences I’ve had to date. With what can only be described as outstanding service from the attentive staff, experiences of the beauty hosted on each of the islands, a ship full of interesting and friendly fellow cruisers and an overall relaxing and comfortable trip on the calm, blue waters. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough!”