Help please with "best" cruise itinerary

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Greece Ports
Athens, Corfu, Crete, Katakolon, Limassol, Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini, Volos
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#1
714 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Hello, we will be traveling for the first time to Florence and Venice and then taking a 7 day cruise from there.
There are 3 cruise options we have focused on and I know this is like asking 'what is the best restaurant in New York and what should I order', but we really would appreciate any insight comments on these cruise Itineraries. My initial thought is that they are all good and that (hopefully) we will make many more trips to this part of the world in the future. That said, having never been to these places maybe one itinerary stands out for experienced travelers to this region.

The first two are Costa (we would book a suite) and the last is RCCL (aft balsony). We are really looking hard at Costa and the Oct 6 (first) itinerary is most cost 'effective'.

So help us (please) make our decision!

THANKS

Saturday, October 6
Venice, Italy
5:00pm
Sunday, October 7
Bari, Italy
2:00pm
8:00pm
Monday, October 8
At Sea
Tuesday, October 9
Athens (Piraeus), Greece
8:00am
5:00pm
Wednesday, October 10
Olympia (Katakolon), Greece
8:00am
2:00pm
Thursday, October 11
Kotor, Montenegro
2:00pm
9:00pm
Friday, October 12
Split, Croatia
9:00am
5:00pm
Saturday, October 13
Venice, Italy
9:00am



Sunday, October 7
Venice, Italy
5:00pm
Monday, October 8
Bari, Italy
2:00pm
8:00pm
Tuesday, October 9
Corfu, Greece
9:00am
2:00pm
Wednesday, October 10
Santorini, Greece
Noon
7:00pm
Thursday, October 11
Athens (Piraeus), Greece
7:30am
2:00pm
Friday, October 12
At Sea
Saturday, October 13
Dubrovnik, Croatia
8:00am
1:00pm
Sunday, October 14
Venice, Italy
9:00am



Date
Port
Arrive
Depart
Saturday, October 6
Venice, Italy
5:00pm
Sunday, October 7
Kotor, Montenegro
1:00pm
8:00pm
Monday, October 8
Corfu, Greece
9:00am
3:00pm
Tuesday, October 9
Athens (Piraeus), Greece
Noon
8:30pm
Wednesday, October 10
Mykonos, Greece
7:00am
4:00pm
Thursday, October 11
Argostoli, Greece
11:00am
7:00pm
Friday, October 12
At Sea
Saturday, October 13
Venice, Italy
7:00am
#2
Heart of Texas
2,347 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
I have been researching itineraries also. My choice would be the 2nd one because I can't imagine seeing Greece without seeing Santorini. I am trying to find one from Venice that includes Athens, Mykonos and Santorini but all are a combo of them and not all 3.
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#4
714 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Thank you sincerely for your input.

I am probably looking now at option 3 since it is a RCCL cruise and the other two are Costa. When I posted I was really interested in the Costa offering but further research has pretty much soured me on this line.
#5
Heart of Texas
2,347 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
I will be booking with NCL
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#6
New Cumberland,PA, USA
28,156 Posts
Joined May 2000
!I do not like any of the Costa itineraries Like many Costa itineraries, they offer limited time in the ports..which is a huge issue when in Europe. Instead of trying to hit a port nearly every day, you are much better off being in ports for a full day (such as 8-5). For example, Dubrovnik is a fabulous place to visit, but now 8-1! You would need to be back on board by 12:30 and would have to leave town by noon. And consider that nothing really opens until after 9... This has long been an issue with Costa and some NCL itineraries.

So my advice to the OP is look for a cruise that gives you enough time to enjoy ports and venture further away from the ship. Also consider that in parts of Europe (especially Italy and Spain) many shops/boutiques are closed during much of the afternoon such as from 1-4!

And that last itinerary is not much better. Arriving in Pireaus at noon is a crime! You likely would not able to get into Athens until 1....by which you have lost half the day. Most cruise lines will give you a long day in Athens. And leaving Corfu at 3 means you need to be back at the port by 2:30! We have explored Corfu (on several trips) with rental cars. It is actually a pretty large island. If you have a full day there is time to explore parts of the island and still have time to enjoy Corfu Town.

So, I would not feel comfortable recommending any of these itineraries. For what its worth (and to estabilish our bona fides) we have been cruising and traveling throughout Europe for nearly forty years.

Hank
#7
714 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Originally posted by Hlitner
!I do not like any of the Costa itineraries Like many Costa itineraries, they offer limited time in the ports..which is a huge issue when in Europe. Instead of trying to hit a port nearly every day, you are much better off being in ports for a full day (such as 8-5). For example, Dubrovnik is a fabulous place to visit, but now 8-1! You would need to be back on board by 12:30 and would have to leave town by noon. And consider that nothing really opens until after 9... This has long been an issue with Costa and some NCL itineraries.

So my advice to the OP is look for a cruise that gives you enough time to enjoy ports and venture further away from the ship. Also consider that in parts of Europe (especially Italy and Spain) many shops/boutiques are closed during much of the afternoon such as from 1-4!

And that last itinerary is not much better. Arriving in Pireaus at noon is a crime! You likely would not able to get into Athens until 1....by which you have lost half the day. Most cruise lines will give you a long day in Athens. And leaving Corfu at 3 means you need to be back at the port by 2:30! We have explored Corfu (on several trips) with rental cars. It is actually a pretty large island. If you have a full day there is time to explore parts of the island and still have time to enjoy Corfu Town.

So, I would not feel comfortable recommending any of these itineraries. For what its worth (and to estabilish our bona fides) we have been cruising and traveling throughout Europe for nearly forty years.

Hank
Hank,
Have seen you as a frequent poster and appreciate your comments. Unfortunately, we know any one week itinerary will be a compromise. We do hope to enjoy five nights in Florence, Two in Milan, and at least two in Venice so as a working stiff, that is the best we can do. I am not sure of any cruises that allow long times in the Greek Island ports.
Hoping to get a taste and if providence allows we will have the opportunity to revisit when retired.
#8
Columbia, MD USA
2,951 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Originally posted by chisoxfan
Thank you sincerely for your input.

I am probably looking now at option 3 since it is a RCCL cruise and the other two are Costa. When I posted I was really interested in the Costa offering but further research has pretty much soured me on this line.

Based on this I would also go with option 3. I agree with Hank.
#9
Northbrook, illinois
2,390 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
While I like option #2 itinerary best, from all I've heard from prior pax and read about Costa, it caters more to Europeans and the food is cheaper than the other lines . You'll get a lot of pasta, etc. Also, while I think Santorini is one of the best islands to visit, Hank's comments about time in ports leads me to recommend #3.
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#10
714 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Thanks for for comments. Feeling confident in decision to stick with RCCL and their itinerary (3).
Now if I can book some return flights using points on AA.........
Happy Thanksgiving.
#11
DFW,Texas
193 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
I think you will be pleased with the RCCL choice. Since I believe this is the Rhapsody of the Seas you are talking about, you may want to look at the following week's sailing too. Whichever one you decide to do should be an excellent choice. Enjoy your trip chisoxfan!