Fabulous Cruise to the Greek Isles on Holland America!

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.

John on the Bus to the Cruise Ship joking around
Rainy or not let’s get this trip started!

It was a cold and rainy day in Rome. Therefore there was no dawdling. We just wanted to get on board and warm up.

Our first photo beginning of trip

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!

Mouse Towel Art
Octopus Towel Art

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!

Bagus (Wait Staff and fellow diner, Karen and me)
Bobbie (Wait Staff and Karen, my new friend, and me)

Wine Steward: Arnel (from Phillipines) who brought me my chosen glass of wine each night! Thank you, Arnel!

Arnel (Wine Steward and Karen and me)

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!

Anniversary card and cupcake left in our room the first day!

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!

Our stateroom with Balcony

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.

Daily Planner! Boy, we sure needed this!

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

Port of Naples

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)

Santorini Shopping Area
Views of Santorini

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)

Port of Kusadasi
Home of Virgin Mary in Ephesus, Turkey

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)

Ruins in Crete
More Ruins
Delicious Luncheon in Crete – this was only part of it – plenty of appetizers before this!
Greek Dancers in Crete
Me Dancing in Crete (Blue top and white shorts second from left)
Me dancing again – behind the lady in red

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)

Stadium in Athens
Parthenon on the Acropolis (High Point)

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)

Ruins of Corinth
Canal in Corinth that connects Aegean Sea to Ionian Sea

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)

Cave in Argostolion

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)

Port and Fort of Corfu
Corfu Flower Gardens
Corfu Plaza

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: billy.kotor@gmail.com) if you ever get to Kotor.

Walkway in Kotor Shopping Area

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.

Entering Venice Grand Canal by Tugboat
Bridge in Venice
Gondolas going under Bridge of Sighs
Selfie on 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.

Several wonderful shows were scheduled on this cruise!

Here are a few photos of me with three of the entertainers listed above.

Entertainer – Singer John Philip
Pianist with the Hair, me, Juggler

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.

Special Dinner at Pinnacle Grill
View from our balcony of Santorini
View from our Balcony
Taking a break in Corfu
Another selfie in a port – can’t remember which one!
Another Selfie – John is getting proficient at these!
Our first Gala Night
Our Second Gala Night
Our table mates and new friends – Karen & Randy

These are some of the marvelous staff on Chocolate Surprise Night!

Our wait staff, Bagus, on the right with more chocolate!

Food, glorious food! The presentation was eye appealing and all delicious! These plates will surely have you salivating as they did to me!

Sirloin Steak – Delicious!
Prime Rib
Mixed Seafood
Brownie and Chocolate Mouse
Baked Alaska with cherries

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?



About jjspina

Janice is an multi-award-winning author with 42 books: 20 children's books for PS-Gr 4, 12 middle-grade/preteen, two young adult books, written under Janice Spina, and 7 novels, and a short story collection written under J.E. Spina. She is also a writer of poetry, blogger, avid reader, reviewer and a copy editor. Janice has always loved writing and started very young writing poetry, then stories. Her books have received 36 Book Awards and a few finalists awards. All Janice's books are available on Amazon.com, Kindle, B&N and other online book sites. One of her sports' poems was published in The Lawrence Eagle Tribune in October of 2008. She is currently working on book 3 of a YA fantasy series an and book 2 in an angel series. There will be six books in all in this series. She hopes to work on a series of four books in a crime/mystery genre that will be offsprings of her thriller, Hunting Mariah. There are books in the works about a dog for ages YA. Her hobbies are crocheting, sewing, walking to keep fit, hula hooping, tap dancing, going to the movies with her husband, and spending time with her five grandchildren. Janice loves to hear from readers and appreciates reviews. Sign up on her blog http://jemsbooks.blog for a copy of her newsletters under Contact Me. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband who is her illustrator and cover creator.
This entry was posted in Cruise to Greek Isle on Holland America, Travels & vacationing, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Fabulous Cruise to the Greek Isles on Holland America!

  1. Darlene says:

    Looks like a great time. We love cruising.

  2. Trip of a lifetime!

  3. tidalscribe says:

    I do like the thought of visiting lots of great places without having to keep moving hotels, add to that guaranteed good food and company, no wonder you had a great time.

  4. Mary Smith says:

    Fabulous trip. The food looked good, too. I’ve been mentioning cruising to the DH but he’s not keen. Not yet, anyway, but I’ll work on him.

  5. Jennie says:

    Wow! WOW!! What a fabulous cruise, Janice. I so enjoyed this virtual tour.

  6. Andrew Joyce says:

    Great pictures. Thanks. One observation and one question: Nice stateroom, and how the hell did they dig that canal? It’s solid rock!!!

  7. Oh so wonderful, Janice… Thanks for taking us along! ❤ xo

  8. This all looks brilliant, i’d love a Greek Island cruise.

  9. Quite a trip. Multiple countries and cultures. Now you have lots more to write about.

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