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Athens--looks like they will be SUPERBUSY this summer!


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WOW😃😲....with all the events of the last year, it looks like Greece (especially Athens) is going to be THE PLACE to sail from this summer.  With all the events of the past year, they will be overflowing with tourists!  So, how many of you have booked a cruise out of Greece (Athens) or are at least thinking about it? I am in the "thinking about it" group.

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  • Lois R changed the title to Athens--looks like they will be SUPERBUSY this summer!

Azamara Greece intensive for October, 12 nights with only Kusadasi as a non-Greece port. I originally  booked this but did Lift and Shift to 2022 when I booked a 2021 Africa cruise. Then Lift and Shift back when Africa cruise moved to 2022.

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Hi Lois -- so many are counting on Greece opening for tourism. So far I think they are the only country with one of the major facilities for embarking/disembarking that have made statements about opening for tourism this summer. 

 

I have my doubts about when and how soon they will be able to open (due to their recent uptick in COVID cases), but I am keeping an eye on the situation. It may be that by later Fall things will be in place...

 

My concerns are that cruise lines don't seem to be allowing cruises of longer than 7-8 days at the moment (for itineraries that have been announced recently -- longstanding cruises have not yet been altered), and also that they don't seem to be allowing BTB cruises. So if I were to look at options, it would probably be something like a one-week cruise followed by a week on land in Greece and then a second cruise. 

 

 

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Hi Cynthia, good morning🙂.  They better hope things open up before the fall!  From everything I have been reading, itineraries are being started early to mid JUNE........that is just about 2 months away.  I guess they can set it all up and then cancel at the last minute if the country says "no sailing".  SS is having 10 nighters with 2 alternating itineraries that are going to be released on April 15. I am waiting to see how much $$$ it is going to be......

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Just booked NCL Jade 7N back to back starting 10/10. Have never been to Greece so jumped on the opportunity to book a “highly likely” to sail cruise. 7 nights is short for us, plus the distance, so figured repeating it a 2nd week would give us some cruise ship time while

also allowing more options at each port call. We’ll spend a few days in Athens pre-cruise so our 1st return to cruising adventure is far exceeding my expectations. 

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1 hour ago, Lois R said:

Hi Cynthia, good morning🙂.  They better hope things open up before the fall!  From everything I have been reading, itineraries are being started early to mid JUNE........that is just about 2 months away.  I guess they can set it all up and then cancel at the last minute if the country says "no sailing".  SS is having 10 nighters with 2 alternating itineraries that are going to be released on April 15. I am waiting to see how much $$$ it is going to be......

 

I wonder what the itineraries will be -- I will stay tuned.

 

Just to throw another consideration in the works, I've also read that Greece can't just open up for tourism without agreement from the EU...

 

Everything is certainly in a muddle!

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3 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

I wonder what the itineraries will be -- I will stay tuned.

 

Just to throw another consideration in the works, I've also read that Greece can't just open up for tourism without agreement from the EU...

 

Everything is certainly in a muddle!

I know one of the itineraries has Israel on it. The other does not.

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A Greek friend told me the government is stepping up vaccinations for residents of the islands in an effort to open up the ports to cruises and tourism. 

With any luck we will get to visit them in September.  May or may not take a chance adding a cruise to the trip.

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Greece is beautiful.   There is so much to do and see. Hopefully things will improve so that Greece will be safe for tourists soon. We had planned to be in Greece this summer. Waiting for safer travel.  If things improve soon, you may find me on a Greek island.

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There is news this morning (posted on the Points Guy site) that Greece plans to reopen next week (ahead of the original May 14 plan) to tourists from 5 countries including the USA as well as folks from other EU countries.  They will apparently accept either proof of vaccination or a recent (72 hour) PCR test.   What I found interesting was that Canada is not included in the list of 5 counties.  Whether this information is accurate is still a question although the sourcing does sound reliable.  

 

I also found it fascinating that the Greek Tourist Minister insists that his entire country "is safe" despite parts of Greece being under some pretty tight COVID restrictions.  Folks might want to consider that if Greece is the only major EU tourist-popular country that opens up, the country may well be overrun with tourists from all over the EU, USA, and UK.  

 

Hank

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We have scheduled a Greece cruise. My only problem/concern is you are only allowed to leave the boat on an official NCL tour.   We enjoy getting off the boat and making a whole day of sightseeing. We are scheduled for September, so hoping this rule changes or we will need to cancel.   Also, seems restaurants are still closed for dining in Greece. 

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10 hours ago, ssbeard1 said:

We have scheduled a Greece cruise. My only problem/concern is you are only allowed to leave the boat on an official NCL tour.   We enjoy getting off the boat and making a whole day of sightseeing. We are scheduled for September, so hoping this rule changes or we will need to cancel.   Also, seems restaurants are still closed for dining in Greece. 

October is a long time from now, in Covid time. But NCL has indicated they intend to follow the CDC protocols (including the shore excursion rules) until the end of November.

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32 minutes ago, CruiserBruce said:

October is a long time from now, in Covid time. But NCL has indicated they intend to follow the CDC protocols (including the shore excursion rules) until the end of November.

We have an X cruise scheduled for late August (Baltic) - I'm not confident that it will sail. Mandated shore excursions through the ship are a deal breaker for us - will simply book a future cruise or a land visit.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, dogs4fun said:

We have an X cruise scheduled for late August (Baltic) - I'm not confident that it will sail. Mandated shore excursions through the ship are a deal breaker for us - will simply book a future cruise or a land visit.

 

1 hour ago, CruiserBruce said:

October is a long time from now, in Covid time. But NCL has indicated they intend to follow the CDC protocols (including the shore excursion rules) until the end of November.

As of now NCL is saying  this is through July and will re-evaluate at that time.   My understanding is the shore excursion rule was something the cruise lines did themselves, not mandated.  🤷‍♀️   But, I will cancel if it appears to be a longer term requirement.   

Edited by ssbeard1
Misspelled
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On 4/16/2021 at 9:06 AM, CruiserBruce said:

October is a long time from now, in Covid time. But NCL has indicated they intend to follow the CDC protocols (including the shore excursion rules) until the end of November.

There really are no CDC protocols other then their standing recommendation that nobody should go on any cruise be it Ocean or River.  The CDC has never weighed in on the shore excursion situation since they do not even allow cruising.  

 

Hank

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Hi folks🙂.......I booked a cruise out of Greece for July🙂 so now it is just a waiting game to see if we actually sail.  I know lots of people who think it is too soon but I am just so ready to get out of here!

I am fully vaxed and all guests/crew will be as well.  If it is ends up that the cruise cannot sail or the plane cannot fly? I won't lose anything......will just have a good size FCC to use up. 

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We are booked on a Sept. HAL cruise in the Eastern Med and I was communicating regularly with a private tour operator in Athens and we were talking about the COVID situation there. On April 18th, this was part of her assessment of the situation in Athens and I quote her here.

 

"to be honest none knows exactly when and how tourism will be this year. The government is talking about opening tourism on May 15th. Our covid Hospitals and intensive care centers are full with patients waiting in line and a total lockdown with restrictions which allows moving no further than 2 km from your house. I hope that this nightmare will be over soon and everything will get back to normal by next year.

Look forward to hearing from you.
 
Take care and stay healthy.
 
Warmest regards from Athens,"
 
In another email the 18th

"Unfortunately, vaccination is moving very slowly in Greece. People vaccinated with both shots are about 800,00 out of 11 million. When my turn comes, I will get the vaccine.

We have to wait and see how things will turn out.

Easter, which is on May 2nd this year, is one of our best celebrated Holidays in Greece but not this year 😞 Everyone has to stay home just like last year.

 

We will stay in touch!"

 

 I'm not too hopeful, based on this and and booked something similar for 2022.

  

 
 
 
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5 minutes ago, marazul said:

 

Greece just announced US citizens will be allowed in starting today. Tests will not be required if you have proof of vaccination. They are publishing a list of which vaccines are acceptable.

https://travel.gov.gr/#/

Thanks for the link🙂

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It sounds like Greek Prime Minister is determined to get Greece reopened despite their current COVID surge.  On May 3 they are planning to finally relax their restrictions and allow restaurants/cafes to open up their outdoor seating.  By mid May they are going to ease the current 9pm curfew until 11pm.  Shops will be able to open (with capacity restrictions).   As the other post said, earlier this week Greece also started allowing tourists from many countries (including the USA) to fly into Greece without any COVID testing as long as they have been fully vaccinated.

 

Hank

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We hope to go to Greece and Cyprus in the fall for six or seven weeks.    Land trip.  Not even considering a cruise at this point.  We will wait early Sept. to decide.  The book air and go.

 

The last thing we want to do is make a final cruise payment, then find out just prior to the cruise that some ports are closed, that others may have partial lockdowns, or cruise line excursions are mandatory due to a surge in covid.  We want more assurance other than Greece is 'open'.

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On 4/20/2021 at 5:46 AM, Lois R said:

Hi folks🙂.......I booked a cruise out of Greece for July🙂 so now it is just a waiting game to see if we actually sail.  I know lots of people who think it is too soon but I am just so ready to get out of here!

I am fully vaxed and all guests/crew will be as well.  If it is ends up that the cruise cannot sail or the plane cannot fly? I won't lose anything......will just have a good size FCC to use up. 

Hi, Lois, long time no speak! This is the first time I've been on CC for quite a long time so it was funny seeing you here! I booked Apex out of Athens the day it became available. I'm on the July 31 cruise with my cruising partner Bill.

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7 hours ago, Podie said:

Hi, Lois, long time no speak! This is the first time I've been on CC for quite a long time so it was funny seeing you here! I booked Apex out of Athens the day it became available. I'm on the July 31 cruise with my cruising partner Bill.

Hey stranger, good to see you again😃 hope you doing well!  Been a very long year (for all of us).

I think I recall you mentioning Bill a few years back.  Nice.  In touch with any of the old group?

I lost touch with all of them a long time ago.

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