As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was taking some time off from blogging, writing, etc. Well, my husband and I just came back from a fabulous cruise on Holland America to the Greek Isles! Wow, what a wonderful vacation! (12-day Greek Odyssey) booked by our wonderful travel agent, Faye Sell, of Martinelli Travel in Londonderry, NH.
Our journey began on Tuesday, May 14 on an overnight flight. We arrived at our first destination, Rome, on Wednesday, May 15 where we boarded our floating home for the next twelve days.
It was a cold and rainy day in Rome. Therefore there was no dawdling. We just wanted to get on board and warm up.
We began our adventure with the fabulous staff of Holland America! They treated us like royalty! I can’t say enough about them all! I promised to mention them here in this post:
Our room stewards extraordinaire were: Dadang & Ari who left our room each day and night sparkling and pristine! Thank you, Dadang & Ari!
Here are some creative towel art by Dadang and Ari!
Our wait staff: Bagus (from Bali), Bobbie (from Indonesia) who were very solicitous of our needs and anticipated after only telling them one time what we wanted each night! I wanted to take them home with me! Thank you, Bagus, and Bobbie!
Wine Steward: Arnel (from Phillipines) who brought me my chosen glass of wine each night! Thank you, Arnel!
They also surprised my husband and I, celebrating an early anniversary, with a cake and serenaded us with a song! How sweet (the cake and the gesture)! Thank you, gentlemen!
We had lovely table mates – Karen & Randy and Stephan & Mary to talk to each night over our delicious dinners.
We arrived in Naples on Thursday, May 16. This was also a cool and rainy day. But since we had visited both Rome and Naples before we did not get off the ship and preferred to rest, relax and get the layout of the ship. Good idea!
Each day we were provided with an itinerary of the happenings on board. Here is a photo of one of the days as a sample.
Our itinerary: Each stop was a delight and a day of joyous discovery!
May 15 – Rome, Italy – Where we boarded our ship
May 16 – Naples, Italy – First stop -beautiful city
May 17 – At Sea – Lovely relaxing day at sea! I do love these days too!
May 18 – Santorini, Greece – Desert, little rainfall, beautiful views from shopping village on the side of the mountain. Learned my first Greek word – Calameta – Excursion – Best of Santorini (Guide: Gregorios)
May 19 – Kusadasi, Turkey – Green and lush, visited last home of Holy Mary, Mother of God in Ephesus and later stopped off a carpet factory with incredible hand-made carpets. Excursion – Ancient Ephesus & the Virgin Mary’s House (Guide: Joy)
May 20 – Iraklion, Crete – We went to a restaurant at the end of the excursion to have a delicious Greek meal and were entertained by four Greek dancers. I even got up and took part when they needed volunteers! What a fantastic time I had dancing to the Greek music and saying, ‘Oompa!’ Check out the photos below! Excursion: Best of Iraklion: Mind the Minotaur! (Guide: George)
May 21 – Piraeus, Greece – This day was extremely warm and the Parthenon was spectacular but too crowded to hang around and stopped by to snap photos of the stadium. Excursion: Athens & the Acropolis (Guide: Elen)
May 22 – Nafplion, Greece – We saw the ruins of ancient Corinth, the temple of Apollo, and a canal that connects the Ionean Sea to the Aegean Sea and where people go bungy jumping. Not me! We went to a large store afterwards where I bought earrings. Excursion: Ancient Corinth & Canal (Guide: Giorgios)
May 23, – Argostolion, Greece – This port was lovely! I could see myself living there! Almost! I did some shopping and met a lovely Greek woman. We exchanged niceties and hugs. I purchased hair bands that I love. Wish I had purchased more! After shopping we boarded buses and went to a cave made by a volcanic eruption that houses a gorgeous turquoise pool of water large enough to hold a few boats at a time as we entered the cave of colorful stalactites. Excursion: Cephalonia Highlights (Guide: Mariza)
May 24 – Corfu, Greece – We visited the Palace of Achillion (Achilles) and walked around a beautiful square with shopping and restaurants and a park with gorgeous flowers. Excursion: Achillion, Kanoni & Corfu (Guide: Sophia)
May 25 – Kotor, Montenegro – It rained this day but stopped during our walk. Lovely little square for shopping and seeing churches. Excursion: Kotor on Foot (Guide: Biljana Obradovic) She gave me her card so I could share her email: firstname.lastname@example.org) if you ever get to Kotor.
May 26 – Venice, Italy – We couldn’t resist taking another Gondola ride this trip. Loved it and being serenaded too! Venice had three cruise ships that day – too crowded to stay long. Excursion: Daytime Gondola Serenade (Guide: didn’t get his name)
We met some lovely people while we were here – Darryl & Donna and Karin & John who sat with us in a Gondola.
Here are some photos taken by the photographer at different ports.
We met some lovely people at dinner and on the excursions. Our table mates were Randy & Karen, Stephan and Mary. I promised to keep in touch with Karen. After many nights of dining together we became good friends.
Here is the Voyage Planner showing all Live Performances that we enjoyed.
Here are a few photos of me with three of the entertainers listed above.
My husband took over 1000 photos. Of course I will not bore you with all of them just, some highlights of our trip and some selfies.
These are some of the marvelous staff on Chocolate Surprise Night!
Food, glorious food! The presentation was eye appealing and all delicious! These plates will surely have you salivating as they did to me!
Thank you so much for stopping by to read about my trip. I hope you enjoyed my photos of this fantastic trip and will get to visit these beautiful countries on Holland America one day too. Please come back again real soon for more interesting posts.
Blessings & Hugs & Calameta (welcome in Greek) ? spelling?