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BILKAT2355

Greek Isles Cruise or Greece and Croatia cruise

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Planning a 2019 cruise with Greece as the main goal, with a day or two in Italy. Want to go Royal Caribbean as we're almost diamond members :)

 

Can anyone recommend which itinerary is best?

 

7 days Greek Isles from Venice

or

7 day Greece and Croatia??

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Hi Billy & Kathy,

 

We need to know the ports, and ideally times in port, before we can give opinions.

 

Would also help to know the size & make-up of your party - for instance any kids? any mobility issues?

Useful to also know what you want from the cruise - ancient history? scenery? local life?

 

JB :)

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I am actually online searching for the same exact feedback. My family of three, me, husband and 16 year old, are wanting to do Greece next summer, June/July 2019 as well. We sail with Royal Caribbean often so that ship would be the Rhapsody of the Seas for all the cruises listed below. They range from 6 - 8 night cruises. All but one of them leaves from Venice. We've never been to Venice before but have gone to Rome. Wondering if the 6 night would be a good option and then we could arrive early and stay a day in Venice. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. We are interested in everything you listed above: History, scenery and learning about local life.

 

Croatia and Greece 6 night: Venice, Italy | Split, Croatia | Cruising | Athens (Piraeus), Greece | Katakolon, Greece |Cruising | Venice, Italy

Croatia and Greece 7 night: Venice, Italy | Dubrovnik, Croatia | Kotor, Montenegro | Cruising | Santorini,Greece | Katakolon, Greece | Cruising | Venice, Italy

7 Night Greek Isles: Venice, Italy | Kotor, Montenegro | Corfu, Greece | Athens (Piraeus), Greece |Mykonos, Greece | Argostoli, Greece | Cruising | Venice, Italy

7 Night Greek Isles: Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy | Cruising | Santorini, Greece | Mykonos, Greece | Athens (Piraeus), Greece | Katakolon, Greece | Cruising | Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy

8 Night Croatia and Greece: Venice, Italy | Dubrovnik, Croatia | Corfu, Greece | Santorini, Greece | Chania, Crete| Athens (Piraeus), Greece | Katakolon, Greece | Cruising | Venice, Italy

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A few words about each port, then add the comments of other CC members and whatever else you glean from the 'web to give each port a score, mebbe from 0 to 10.

 

In no particular order.....

 

Venice. Just one cruise that doesn't visit, the others start / end there. Not worth as much time as Rome, but certainly worth a full day plus. And it's a different place in the evening, after all the trippers have gone.

Has to be a 10.

 

Rome is worth several days, so if your visit was just a port-of-call it's worth a couple of full days pre-cruise.

Score it according to whether you've already done it justice.

 

Dubrovnik is a very attractive port-of-call. Most ships berth a couple of miles from the walled old city but transfers to & from are the only transport you need, it's compact. Take the cablecar to the hilltop overlooking the city (or taxi from ship to top, then cablecar down), walk the walls, meander the streets & harbour. Only snag is that it's too popular - pretty crowded.

Split. Ships berth within easy walking distance of the old city, half-a-dozen blocks square & centred on the Diocletian's Palace. If you're interested in ancient history you'll love it. But not a lot else to offer.

It'd be a shame not to visit one or other of those Croatian ports - lovely country, lovely people.

So give them both a 10, and see how the other ports pan out.

 

Athens is on most folks' bucket-list, even for those not interested in history.

Another 10?

 

Katakolon Is for Olympia, about a 30 minute drive -tour or transfer or rent a car. There's no other reason for porting at the one-street port of Katakolon - witness plenty of threads by folk who've visited Olympia before wanting ideas. I've never seen a worthwhile answer - I'm pretty certain there isn't one.

Score it 10 if you're keen to visit Olympia, score it 0 if Olympia is of no interest. I don't see any other score can be possible.

 

Santorini. Beautiful island which, with its neighbours, was an enormous volcano - the eruption in about 1500BC wiped -out the ancient Minoan civilisation and impacted on other eastern Mediterranean civilisations. Your ship moors in the caldera of that eruption, under high cliffs. If you've seen photos of blue-domed churches & chapels clinging to the cliff, you've seen photos of Santorini.

One big snag - long lines to use the cablecar from tender jetty to town - there are ways around that, but they're not perfect. Well worth a 10 if it weren't for those lines, and the number of tourists.

Check out that problem & deduct points to suit.

 

Kotor. Sorry, not been there.

 

Corfu. Pleasant town, just a short bus ride from the port. Shopping, a couple of rather average castles, people-watching from behind a tall cold beer. A restful day if you need a break, or if you research you'll probably find more of interest than we did.

But I'd score it low.

 

Chania. Spent a week on Corfu. but didn't visit the Chania area.

 

Mykonos. Super little town of twisty, tiny and immaculate alleys around the harbour (where the town's resident pelican is always on duty - google for his story), iconic line of windmills behind, "little Venice" of bars etc overlooking the rocky foreshore to one side. Or ancient sights on the neighbouring island of Delos, just a short ferry ride away. Or taxi to what I've heard is a wonderful beach - but I rate a beach day on a Med cruise as the waste of a day. Moored ships tender into the harbour, berthed ships about 1 to 2 miles away (boring & shadeless walk, well worth taxi or bus).

I score Mykonos 10 - but then I would, it's my favourite little island.

 

Tally your scores.

Adjust them according to cost.

Adjust again for season - late April to early June, and September mebbe into early October, are ideal weather. Summer is hot hot hot - especially for exploring dusty old sights. Rest of the year varies from iffy to poor, but that's when your ship will probably be somewhere on the other side of the Pond.

Finally, after all your research on all the ports, fudge the scores to go with the cruise that you'll know by then that you really want :rolleyes: :D

 

All just MHO as always.

 

JB :)

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Wow!!! I can't thank you enough for all the insight! I guess I'm trying to decide if the locations that are being offered in Croatia are worth doing the joint countries or if I should just stick with only Greece. Any thoughts on that?

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Wow!!! I can't thank you enough for all the insight! I guess I'm trying to decide if the locations that are being offered in Croatia are worth doing the joint countries or if I should just stick with only Greece. Any thoughts on that?

 

We've visited Dubrovnik a couple of times by cruise ship.

That was enough to persuade us to take a road-trip the length of Croatia's Dalmatian Coast last year - a brilliant trip.

And we wanted to include it in an up-coming road-trip of Austria & Italy but there are problems with taking rented cars into Croatia.

 

I'd highly recommend a Croatian road-trip. That way you could skip Split / Dubrovnik on your up-coming cruise. :D

If not - well, I think you know my answer. ;)

 

JB :)

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We've visited Dubrovnik a couple of times by cruise ship.

That was enough to persuade us to take a road-trip the length of Croatia's Dalmatian Coast last year - a brilliant trip.

And we wanted to include it in an up-coming road-trip of Austria & Italy but there are problems with taking rented cars into Croatia.

 

I'd highly recommend a Croatian road-trip. That way you could skip Split / Dubrovnik on your up-coming cruise. :D

If not - well, I think you know my answer. ;)

 

JB :)

 

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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Just a note to confirm that Chania is in Crete, not Corfu. It is 1 of the most beautiful cities in Greece, with a fabulous Venetian harbour & many tiny lanes behind it.

 

I almost find it shocking that they can badge those cruises as Greek, when the majority go to 2 or 3 Greek ports only.

1 of the big problems with Greek islands is that in the US at least, & to a lesser extent elsewhere, there has been so much publicity for Santorini & Mykonos that they are top of everyone's list & hence are very over-priced & over-crowded & no longer offer much of a genuine picture of Greek life.

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I'm from Argostoli Kefalonia and If you need any info about the island I can help you anytime. Kefalonia is the sixth largest island in Greece. Argostoli where you will dock is a modern town with many cafes, souvenir shops and markets for everything you need (there is a special road called Lithostroto where you can find all of these). Also near the harbour you can see the turtles that are swimming. But in my opinion you have to go on an excursion to see the rest of the island cause it offers many worh-visiting places such us Melissani Cave which has an underground lake with an opening from above so the lights that are flowing to the water gives you the impression that your boat is floating on the air (very clear waters). Also Drogkarati is an other beautiful cave on the island. Myrtos beach is one of the most famous beaches in Greece and even Europe with turquiose waters and spectacular view points (especially the sunset is breathtaking). Excursions also visit the Robola Winery where you can see how the Kefalonian wine is made. Also, they visit Saint Gerasimos & Saint Andrew Monasteries where you can get in touch with the Greek Orthodox Religion. Fiscardo (notable for it's greek cuisine) and Assos (little village with a castle) are two classic villages that were unaffected by the great 1953 earthquake who ruined almost all the island. Also, there is an excursion to Makris Gialos which is a beach very close to Argostoli and has beach bars and water activities. At last there are many taxis just outside the port that give you a ride all over the island (most economical choice if you are a group of people). Anything else you need you can message me if you decide to chose the cruise that offers Argostoli! :)

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Just a note to confirm that Chania is in Crete, not Corfu. It is 1 of the most beautiful cities in Greece, with a fabulous Venetian harbour & many tiny lanes behind it.

 

 

Yes, Chania is in Crete, but I have to disagree that it's one of the most beautiful cities in Greece. I wouldn't even put it as the most beautiful on Crete. Have you visited Aghios Nikolaos? Chania has a pretty harbor, yes, but other than that....

 

Monemvasia would have to top my own list of beautiful towns in Greece that are visited by cruise ships. (Google some photos if you haven't been.) And Oia, overcrowded as it often is, remains beautiful and iconic. I also think Navplion is a very pretty place.

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Seems like everyone has their favorite spots in Greece! Thank you to everyone for the feedback. After speaking to my husband, he said he definitely wants to see Athens along our travels. That has now narrowed our search to these three. Any thoughts? They are all very similar except the one includes a stop in Croatia as well :)

 

7 Night Greek Isles: Venice,Italy |Kotor,Montenegro |Corfu,Greece |Athens (Piraeus),Greece |Mykonos,Greece |Argostoli,Greece|Cruising|Venice,Italy

7 Night Greek Isles: Rome (Civitavecchia),Italy |Cruising|Santorini,Greece |Mykonos,Greece |Athens (Piraeus),Greece |Katakolon,Greece|Cruising|Rome (Civitavecchia),Italy

8 Night Croatia and Greece: Venice,Italy |Dubrovnik,Croatia |Corfu,Greece |Santorini,Greece |Chania,Crete|Athens (Piraeus),Greece|Katakolon,Greece |Cruising|Venice,Italy

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Just a note to confirm that Chania is in Crete, not Corfu. .

 

Ooops - thanks for correcting my typo. :o

 

Tiffany -

I've not been to Montenegro. Mebbe it's as worthwhile as its next-door neighbour.

Which for me would narrow it down to two. Both of which start / finish in Venice.:)

And by cruise ship Mykonos is much less hassle than Santorini, plus reading another post Argostoli (not been there) is less likely to be touristy.

Which for me narrows it down to one.

 

JB :)

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Ooops - thanks for correcting my typo. :o

 

Tiffany -

I've not been to Montenegro. Mebbe it's as worthwhile as its next-door neighbour.

Which for me would narrow it down to two. Both of which start / finish in Venice.:)

And by cruise ship Mykonos is much less hassle than Santorini, plus reading another post Argostoli (not been there) is less likely to be touristy.

Which for me narrows it down to one.

 

JB :)

This would be your choice?

7 Night Greek Isles: Venice,Italy |Kotor,Montenegro |Corfu,Greece |Athens (Piraeus),Greece |Mykonos,Greece|Argostoli,Greece|Cruising|Venice,Italy

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This would be your choice?

7 Night Greek Isles: Venice,Italy |Kotor,Montenegro |Corfu,Greece |Athens (Piraeus),Greece |Mykonos,Greece|Argostoli,Greece|Cruising|Venice,Italy

 

Two new ports for me

Very happy to repeat Venice.

And to repeat Mykonos.

No repeat of Katakolon.

Done Athens to death. But I'm not your hubby :D.

I'd suck up a lazy day on Corfu. Or mebbe actually do some research.:rolleyes:

 

So yes, that's my choice.

Whether it's yours is another matter ;)

 

JB :)

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I think the hubby would be really upset if he didn't get to see Athens! Thanks for the comments and help :) I really appreciate it.

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Kotor is beautiful. The sail in to the port is stunning and the town is very quaint. If you have the mobility and energy, the climb to the top of the fortress (1500 stone steps) is worth it for the view. The old town is fun to explore too, and the beer (when you come down from the fortress!) is delicious.

 

We stopped in Argostoli too and while it was pretty enough, we didn't find it to be very exciting. I think some of the places outside of this town are what make it a draw. We found the strip along the waterfront to be very touristy with shops that contained all the same stuff. There was a lovely cafe, however, which had delicious coffee and pastry.

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We toured the coast of Croatia via the local ferry system. We stopped for a few days at various ports. Far more enjoyable than the time we stopped in Dubrovnik on a cruise.

 

If you are considering the Croatian itinerary, check to see how many cruise ships are in town on the day you arrive. It is a far nice, and more attractive city if no or just one cruise ship is in port. Otherwise it is a zoo. Same for Santorini

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Just an idea. Would you consider a one-way tour? Say, Venice to Athens or Rome to Athens? It would offer you more ports because you don't need the sea days for the round trip. If possible, add a day or two at the beginning and end to visit those cities. The cost of a "multi-city" flight - flying into one city and out of another - is about the same as a round trip.

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I would pick the 8 night Greece and Croatia. We just got back from a cruise from Athens to Venice up the Dalmatian coast . Croatia is stunning. Loved walking the walls in Dubrovnik and Split is fascinating. And we have been to Greece a few times, and absolutely love it. And Athens is a wonderful city to wander around and enjoy good food. Here is a link to my photo travel blog. There are a few entries on Greece and also our last cruise. Just click on the photo to open that entry. ....it might help you decide. http://maryandnormtravel.blogspot.com/

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I've been doing a lot of the same research you are for next summer. This thread is really helpful. One thing to check for the OP - I think the cruise out of Rome is on the Jewel of the Seas not on the Rhapsody of the Seas. I like the Radiance class compared to Rhapsody. So something to consider.

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My wife and I just did back to back cruises on the Norwegian Star and stopped at most your the ports you mention.

First, since you haven't been to Venice, I'd take the cruise out of Venice. It is a neat, interesting and unique city.

We really liked Dubrovnik, Split and Kotor. All very neat towns. I agree with a lot of the descriptions given by John Bull above. We thought Corfu was the least interesting of the stops, but we used it to relax, did no tour and just walked around the town and had lunch. We did a full day tour in Athens and saw all the major sights (we used PK Travel). As mentioned, in Katakolon, we did a tour of ancient Olympia and the museum.

We found Santorini extremely crowded and difficult to get around because of the crowds. It is very pretty and scenic but stressful. Finally, Mykonos was less crowded than Santorini and easier to get around.

Of the two cruises we did, the one liked best is the one that stopped in Dubrovnik, Kotor, Katakolon, Athens and Split.

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On recent cruise:

Santorini was as beautiful as ever. (Helped that we were the only ship in the port although Norwegian messed up the tendering process)

Dubrovinik was stunning.

Kotor - sail into the port (starts about two hours before port arrival time) itself was worth this port. Underwhelmed by the old town but quick trip to Peraus was worth it.

Split - Bit disaapointed but port location is great especially the flat beach next to the port. Should have done Krka falls tour.

Agrostroli - New port. Poorly managed. Was not disappointed as did not have any expectations but most folks on the ship were unhappy with the port

Athens - is Athens. (pros/cons are well known)

 

RCL is a very good US centric non-luxury mainstream cruise company.

Avoid NCL which seems to have gone downhill in the last few years.

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A few words about each port, then add the comments of other CC members and whatever else you glean from the 'web to give each port a score, mebbe from 0 to 10.

 

In no particular order.....

 

Venice. Just one cruise that doesn't visit, the others start / end there. Not worth as much time as Rome, but certainly worth a full day plus. And it's a different place in the evening, after all the trippers have gone.

Has to be a 10.

 

Rome is worth several days, so if your visit was just a port-of-call it's worth a couple of full days pre-cruise.

Score it according to whether you've already done it justice.

 

Dubrovnik is a very attractive port-of-call. Most ships berth a couple of miles from the walled old city but transfers to & from are the only transport you need, it's compact. Take the cablecar to the hilltop overlooking the city (or taxi from ship to top, then cablecar down), walk the walls, meander the streets & harbour. Only snag is that it's too popular - pretty crowded.

Split. Ships berth within easy walking distance of the old city, half-a-dozen blocks square & centred on the Diocletian's Palace. If you're interested in ancient history you'll love it. But not a lot else to offer.

It'd be a shame not to visit one or other of those Croatian ports - lovely country, lovely people.

So give them both a 10, and see how the other ports pan out.

 

Athens is on most folks' bucket-list, even for those not interested in history.

Another 10?

 

Katakolon Is for Olympia, about a 30 minute drive -tour or transfer or rent a car. There's no other reason for porting at the one-street port of Katakolon - witness plenty of threads by folk who've visited Olympia before wanting ideas. I've never seen a worthwhile answer - I'm pretty certain there isn't one.

Score it 10 if you're keen to visit Olympia, score it 0 if Olympia is of no interest. I don't see any other score can be possible.

 

Santorini. Beautiful island which, with its neighbours, was an enormous volcano - the eruption in about 1500BC wiped -out the ancient Minoan civilisation and impacted on other eastern Mediterranean civilisations. Your ship moors in the caldera of that eruption, under high cliffs. If you've seen photos of blue-domed churches & chapels clinging to the cliff, you've seen photos of Santorini.

One big snag - long lines to use the cablecar from tender jetty to town - there are ways around that, but they're not perfect. Well worth a 10 if it weren't for those lines, and the number of tourists.

Check out that problem & deduct points to suit.

 

Kotor. Sorry, not been there.

 

Corfu. Pleasant town, just a short bus ride from the port. Shopping, a couple of rather average castles, people-watching from behind a tall cold beer. A restful day if you need a break, or if you research you'll probably find more of interest than we did.

But I'd score it low.

 

Chania. Spent a week on Corfu. but didn't visit the Chania area.

 

Mykonos. Super little town of twisty, tiny and immaculate alleys around the harbour (where the town's resident pelican is always on duty - google for his story), iconic line of windmills behind, "little Venice" of bars etc overlooking the rocky foreshore to one side. Or ancient sights on the neighbouring island of Delos, just a short ferry ride away. Or taxi to what I've heard is a wonderful beach - but I rate a beach day on a Med cruise as the waste of a day. Moored ships tender into the harbour, berthed ships about 1 to 2 miles away (boring & shadeless walk, well worth taxi or bus).

I score Mykonos 10 - but then I would, it's my favourite little island.

 

Tally your scores.

Adjust them according to cost.

Adjust again for season - late April to early June, and September mebbe into early October, are ideal weather. Summer is hot hot hot - especially for exploring dusty old sights. Rest of the year varies from iffy to poor, but that's when your ship will probably be somewhere on the other side of the Pond.

Finally, after all your research on all the ports, fudge the scores to go with the cruise that you'll know by then that you really want :rolleyes: :D

 

All just MHO as always.

 

JB :)

 

Thank you for your advice John.

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I am actually online searching for the same exact feedback. My family of three, me, husband and 16 year old, are wanting to do Greece next summer, June/July 2019 as well. We sail with Royal Caribbean often so that ship would be the Rhapsody of the Seas for all the cruises listed below. They range from 6 - 8 night cruises. All but one of them leaves from Venice. We've never been to Venice before but have gone to Rome. Wondering if the 6 night would be a good option and then we could arrive early and stay a day in Venice. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. We are interested in everything you listed above: History, scenery and learning about local life.

 

Croatia and Greece 6 night: Venice,Italy |Split,Croatia |Cruising|Athens (Piraeus),Greece |Katakolon,Greece |Cruising|Venice,Italy

Croatia and Greece 7 night: Venice,Italy |Dubrovnik,Croatia |Kotor,Montenegro |Cruising|Santorini,Greece |Katakolon,Greece |Cruising|Venice,Italy

7 Night Greek Isles: Venice,Italy |Kotor,Montenegro |Corfu,Greece |Athens (Piraeus),Greece |Mykonos,Greece |Argostoli,Greece |Cruising|Venice,Italy

7 Night Greek Isles: Rome (Civitavecchia),Italy |Cruising|Santorini,Greece |Mykonos,Greece |Athens (Piraeus),Greece |Katakolon,Greece |Cruising|Rome (Civitavecchia),Italy

8 Night Croatia and Greece: Venice,Italy |Dubrovnik,Croatia |Corfu,Greece |Santorini,Greece |Chania,Crete|Athens (Piraeus),Greece |Katakolon,Greece |Cruising|Venice,Italy

 

Hi Tiffany - I actually just booked the 8 Night Croatia and Greece for my family of 4 (kids will be 15 (daughter) and 12 (son) next summer) and we plan on spending time in Venice for a couple of days after. My husband and I have been to most of these ports before 6 years ago and we're really excited to share them with the kids! If you end up doing that one, you'll have to let me know! :)

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We've visited Dubrovnik a couple of times by cruise ship.

That was enough to persuade us to take a road-trip the length of Croatia's Dalmatian Coast last year - a brilliant trip.

And we wanted to include it in an up-coming road-trip of Austria & Italy but there are problems with taking rented cars into Croatia.

 

I'd highly recommend a Croatian road-trip. That way you could skip Split / Dubrovnik on your up-coming cruise. :D

If not - well, I think you know my answer. ;)

 

 

 

JB :)

 

JB can you give any more information about your road trip. I don't think I will do it this year. I am back to looking at MSC cruises in early May 2019 to celebrate my 60th. They are such a good price that I really do have to go on one and see if I am willing to do a few more. I really have to stop repeating the NCL Epic Western Med. I love it so much but it is time to look for new ports :'):'). I know that we are just here to discuss cruises so if you want to private message me I would be grateful. Just an idea of where you started, where you visited and the length of time to allow.

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