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Greek islands cruise: new updates from Seabourn?


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A friend who is considering the Greek island cruise in late August is worried at reading that there are new updates from Seabourn and that guests will not be allowed to discover the ports on their own but will be obliged to take a Seabourn excursion. I think she's getting confused with the Caribbean cruise. Has anyone heard anything?

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We embark in 4 days and have not heard anything from SB about a change in port status.  I would be very surprised if there would be any change in terms of being able to go ashore on one's own.  There has been an online rumor (and I emphasize rumor) that the Celebrity Apex folks were required to take an excursion on Mykonos but nobody has confirmed that rumor.  In fact, Mykonos just lifted (yesterday) its restrictions on live music and a late night 1am curfew.   There has also been nothing in the Greek news about any change in policy regarding the islands other then more enforcement for the requirement that those taking ferries to the islands must either be vaccinated or have proof of a recent COVID test.

 

I should mention that we are doing some island hopping (Naxos and Paros) after our cruise and the large ferries we have booked are actually sold out!  Apparently the islands are attracting big crowds of tourists as they are all open with some mask restrictions.

 

Hank

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Currently UK passport holders are not being accepted for cruising with Seabourn.

If you are on Ovation in the greek isles then there is no problem with getting off and exploring on your own.

We await any changes to UK travellers.

I'm off on Silversea Tomorrow instead

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We are in the middle of our 2nd week and have heard nothing regarding future restrictions.  We are in Rhodes this morning and the Celebrity Apex has also arrived.  I doubt I will hear anything specific to their ship, but will pass it on if we do.  The folks choosing to venture out early with travel on Seabourn are going to be surprised and very happy with their decision.  We had the sail away party on deck yesterday from Paphos and it was as normal, awesome.  Safe travels to everyone.

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If you are planning on taking a ferry, there might be another requirement for paperwork. It was unclear on Greek gov site, so I contacted the ferry company..Kamelialines, they sent me another form to complete.  No instructions, though on what to do with it when complete.  I’m going from Corfu to Paxos and back precruise. 
 

Probably would be wise to contact the ferry company you are traveling with just in case 

 

good news was I got my code and plf within 5 minutes in filing the form

 

only 5 more days before I start my European journey with an eventual cruise of Ovation starting August 14. 
 

Jan

 


 

 

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We have ferries booked with two different companies (Blue Star and Fast Ferries) and they each have similar info.  They both require the completion of a health form (which can be downloaded from their sites) which are a very basis healthcare form.  They also say if you do not have it completed when you arrive at the port you can complete it at that time.  The new rules also require you have proof of vaccination or a recent negative test (the rules are different for a PCR test vs Antigen test).  

 

For anyone who cares our worst nightmare is coming true.  Greece is about to have its worst heat wave in about thirty years (I think we were there during the one thirty years ago) and we are looking at temperatures in Athens of over 110 degrees in the next two weeks.  The islands will not be quite that bad but it will certainly be hot.  DW and I are already thinking about more beach time (which means staying in the water) and less time walking around the various islands.   The last time we were in Greece during one of these awful heat waves our professional guide (an Athenian) collapsed (from the heat) while we were on the Acropolis.  This trip we will not even bother going into Athens since that will likely be like purposely walking into a hot oven.

 

Many years ago we swore to not go to Greece in July-August because of the potential heat.  But COVID changed our attitude to a place where we are willing to go almost anywhere just to be on a ship.  Sounds like we will pay a price.  On the other hand, as long as the A/C is working on the Ovation, the booze is flowing, and they have an adequate supply of Caviar....Life is Good :).

 

Hank

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Yep, six years ago today, we were in Mykonos and it was brutal. I thought then that they said it was the worst year in many years, so it's worse than that...........

 

We were not on Seabourn on that cruise, but had a very nice suite on a larger ship in the same family and really enjoyed it, plus it kept us away for the many children who were enjoying their holiday rather vicariously!

 

The only reason we booked the cruise was because it was just after my DH finished his therapy after his second knee replacement and we needed the get away. Right now, we need one even WORSE!!

 

 

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1 hour ago, tjcox9 said:

Yep, six years ago today, we were in Mykonos and it was brutal. I thought then that they said it was the worst year in many years, so it's worse than that...........

 

We were not on Seabourn on that cruise, but had a very nice suite on a larger ship in the same family and really enjoyed it, plus it kept us away for the many children who were enjoying their holiday rather vicariously!

 

The only reason we booked the cruise was because it was just after my DH finished his therapy after his second knee replacement and we needed the get away. Right now, we need one even WORSE!!

 

 

My DW and I once went to Europe 3 months after she had a total knee replacement.  She managed to walk miles (with no cane) and the trip was one of our best.    I truly understand your comment about needing a trip.   Do I want to deal 100+ degree temps in Greece?  Yep.  It is a lot better then sitting around home living in constant fear of COVID.  Now I have a greater fear of a heat wave :).  The lesser of two evils.

 

Hank

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Sorry folks- going to southern Europe and/or the Mediterranean countries is a self-inflicted wound. Personally, I just would not do it but different strokes for different folks. I live in Tucson Az and with the dry heat, it is much more comfortable than southern Europe in the heat and humidity.

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8 hours ago, Hlitner said:

Many years ago we swore to not go to Greece in July-August because of the potential heat.  But COVID changed our attitude to a place where we are willing to go almost anywhere just to be on a ship.  Sounds like we will pay a price.  On the other hand, as long as the A/C is working on the Ovation, the booze is flowing, and they have an adequate supply of Caviar....Life is Good :).

 

Hank

 

Hi Hank, the temperature in Mykonos, Paros, Santorini, Tinos and other nearby islands is 6-9 degrees Celsius less than greek mainland. It is because these islands are overexposed to the constant north winds. During nighttime in Ovation cabin we switched off A-C and opened veranda door. Night breeze was perfect and the wave's sound so calming. (Seabourn's low speed cruising was another factor to keep door open)

The temperature is so hot for working or walking but perfect for a long day at the beach.

 

On 7/27/2021 at 2:21 PM, Hlitner said:

I should mention that we are doing some island hopping (Naxos and Paros) after our cruise and the large ferries we have booked are actually sold out!  Apparently the islands are attracting big crowds of tourists as they are all open with some mask restrictions.

 

Hank

This year there are so many U.S. tourists at Athens and at all well known islands of Aegean sea. Or they may seem so many as I have seen very few UK tourists, but you will feel like home.

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We are in Athens now and the heat is extreme, although very dry.  It is indeed like stepping into a furnace when one goes outdoors.  Pace yourself, go out after sundown.  And we did know what we were getting into when we planned this long Greek holiday.

 

We traveled by ferry to several islands and were always required to fill out the simple health form.  However on 3 ferry rides, it was collected only once, and then just tossed aside.  The information on it is fairly useless to the government.  For instance they ask which seat you are occupying on the ferry.  Boarding the ferry was usually chaotic what with the check for electronic tickets et. al., so to add a layer of complication with the health form seemed to be more than the staff could handle.

 

 

 

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We were just looking at the long range forecasts for Athens and the experts are predicting the worst heatwave in about 30 years with temps in the 45c range by Aug 8.  I hope they have it wrong :).  DW and I were thinking about taking the Green Line into Athens on Aug 7 but with forecasts for that day showing 42C we might avoid the city.  Those kind of temps make me dream about snow!  

 

Hank

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It has definitely been hot!  Suggest getting out early at the various ports and going back to the ship early.  We have not seen a cloud in the sky for nearly 2 weeks.  No regrets on going to Greece and finally traveling again.  Would definitely consider other itineraries in the future when they become available due the heat.  Pulling into Spetses this morning.

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2 hours ago, Neverlookback said:

It has definitely been hot!  Suggest getting out early at the various ports and going back to the ship early.  We have not seen a cloud in the sky for nearly 2 weeks.  No regrets on going to Greece and finally traveling again.  Would definitely consider other itineraries in the future when they become available due the heat.  Pulling into Spetses this morning.

The place where I live we rarely see Sun or get weather anything close to "summer weather". However, even when we get a chance to see the sun and have a tempreture just about summer average - we get very happy. Some people even go swimming even though the water in our place usualy stays cold for long 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Roger88 said:

The place where I live we rarely see Sun or get weather anything close to "summer weather".

For some reason I thought you were in NJ - isn’t the beach wonderful there?  Greece cruise sounds good from the weather perspective - Greece on land not as much!

Edited by johng75370
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22 hours ago, Neverlookback said:

It has definitely been hot!  Suggest getting out early at the various ports and going back to the ship early.  We have not seen a cloud in the sky for nearly 2 weeks.  No regrets on going to Greece and finally traveling again.  Would definitely consider other itineraries in the future when they become available due the heat.  Pulling into Spetses this morning.

Please tell us about your day in Spetses especially if you had a marina day.  It will be our first time there, and I’m still trying to figure out how we’ll spend our day.

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Spetses was nice, but just a typical stop in the Mediterranean.  It was extremely hot and therefore we did not stay long.  Nice walking, shopping area near the tender drop off.  It was not a marina day and I remember having one since we have been on, but don't remember where it was.  Sorry for the lack of info regarding Spetses.  Pleasant place, but nothing memorable.  

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We just boarded (today) the Ovation and thought we would keep this blog active.  As expected it is very hot in Greece with 102F probably about the truth.  For forecast for the next week has it getting much hotter in Athens (perhaps 112F) but it should be a little less hot in the islands.  Flying into Greece was relatively hassle-free.  We arrived at the port somewhat earlier then our assigned boarding time (we had no where else to go) but were warmly welcomed, given our COVID tests and on the ship within a half hour.  We have been told there will be about 280 on this week which is apparently more then they had last week.   Everyone we have met from the crew is very warm and welcoming as have been the ongoing passengers we met from the last cruise.    Nothing has changed from what we heard here on CC.  Passengers onboard do not need to wear masks, but the crew must still mask (a couple of crew members told us they hope that will change in the future).   Lunch in the Colonnade felt very normal with the usual buffet spread and amazing service.  It was the same at the Patio with a small buffet and the usual made to order items.  

 

Hank

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Thank you all for posting these updates from Greece.  We are sailing on the Ovation in late September when we expect temperatures to be considerably cooler than those you are experiencing but it all sounds good!

Did you feel any effects from the earthquake?

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On 7/31/2021 at 10:29 AM, Hlitner said:

We just boarded (today) the Ovation and thought we would keep this blog active.  As expected it is very hot in Greece with 102F probably about the truth.  For forecast for the next week has it getting much hotter in Athens (perhaps 112F) but it should be a little less hot in the islands.  Flying into Greece was relatively hassle-free.  We arrived at the port somewhat earlier then our assigned boarding time (we had no where else to go) but were warmly welcomed, given our COVID tests and on the ship within a half hour.  We have been told there will be about 280 on this week which is apparently more then they had last week.   Everyone we have met from the crew is very warm and welcoming as have been the ongoing passengers we met from the last cruise.    Nothing has changed from what we heard here on CC.  Passengers onboard do not need to wear masks, but the crew must still mask (a couple of crew members told us they hope that will change in the future).   Lunch in the Colonnade felt very normal with the usual buffet spread and amazing service.  It was the same at the Patio with a small buffet and the usual made to order items.  

 

Hank

Hank, were you on a Seabourn transfer from the airport to the pier or did you arrange private transportation?  We arrive very early and are hoping we don’t have to wait at the airport until closer to our assigned boarding time.  Have a great cruise and update us when you are able.

 

Susan

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