Thursday, 18 September 2008

Introduction

This September (2008), my wife and I took a 2 week holiday to Greece and her islands. The second week of that holiday was centred in a hotel in Tolon on the mainland in the Peloponnese (for which my musings can be found at greedygreen-tolon.blogspot.com when I get around to publishing that one) but the first week was spent on a trip from Athens to Bodrum in Turkey and back visiting the five Greek islands of Kalymnos, Kos, Paros, Mykonos and Syros on the way. We had chosen EasyCruise to do this and at the time of booking was pretty much a bargain getting a 7 night cruise in a "superior double" cabin (i.e. it contained a sofa in addition to the bed, and you get a bit more room to move about, but hardly a "suite" as the lady checking us in was firm to call it) all for £342 for both of us. Before you think this too amazing, bear in mind this is the cruise accommodation (including port taxes etc) only and does not include flights transfers, and food or drink on board, or any excursions etc. Even so I still think the price remarkably good.Now, as I write this introduction, we are at our first port of call out from Athens, Kalymnos. Already I can say that it's been money well spent, but before I get anyone's hopes up, please bear in mind that prices for this cruise have rocketed since we booked and the same week next year is currently on sale for the rather heaftier price of £1,165! And although you now have no choice but to go Half board, this price also includes and early booking 30% discount. So unless the following observations in this blog have you yearning with desire to do exactly the trip as described, I can sadly no longer recommend the trip unless Stelios has a serious rethink on his pricing structure.The major plus point of the cruise is that unlike most other big cruise lines, the EasyCruise itinerary aims to get into port late morning to lunchtime, but not leave again until the early hours of the following morning, so rather than sailing away from each island at tea time you have the evenings to enjoy there too, which to be frank is normally when the Greek culture wakes up. Of course the new regime which forces you to take half board somewhat detracts from this as evening meals in the vast variety of local tavernas that you would come across on this trip is one of the selling points for me.Anyway to complete the introductory blurb, we flew from Teesside Airport (or Durham Tees Valley, if you really must use the crap new name) with KLM on a 06:00 flight with an hour switch over at Schipol, Amsterdam to the Athens flight which landed at about 13:30 local time. We then made out way via the Athens Metro to Piraeus where we stayed for one night before going to board the ship on the Saturday afternoon a little after 1pm. We had decided to fly out the day before for safety in case flights or baggage got delayed at all, as the following day, times would have been a bit tight. A good decision really as we watched passengers getting on the boat at Kalymnos having missed the sailing from Athens due to flight delays from Manchester, and had had to fly on to catch the boat up.So, if I haven't bored you already dear reader, please continue with the further adventures of a would-be middle-aged beach-bum, trogging round the Aegean for a week...

2 comments:

Davis said...

thank you so much. We depart Oct 4 and the info is just what we wanted. I didn't have time to read in depth before going to work today, but cut and pasted the bits that fit with each day's Island.

GreedyGreen said...

Thanks for looking at the blog and I hope you have a great time on the cruise.