The New Cruising Era
Join Tulsa Leisure Agent, Diane Henderson, as she cruises on NCL’s 1st cruise in 18 months to the Greek Isles.
I recently returned from Norwegian Cruise Line’s first cruise in 18 months. We boarded the Norwegian Jade in the port of Piraeus – about 30 minutes from our Athens hotel, sailing to a different Greek island each day. NCL requires all passengers to be vaccinated 14 days prior to boarding. Cruisers must take a COVID test (administered by NCL) prior to embarkation and again prior to leaving the ship. NCL streamlined the embarkation process by offering staggered times to arrive at Piraeus. It was wonderful not to stand in line and board the ship relatively quickly! Masks were required on board, in line with Greece’s COVID policy. We also had to carry our vaccine card with us at all times. It was needed to enter museums and churches when visiting the island or if on a shore excursion. Most shops, taxis and restaurants required you to wear a mask (except when eating/drinking).
The crew was so happy to finally sail with passengers! They took extra good care of everyone with a genuine smile. We were gently reminded to wash our hands before visiting the buffet and sanitizing stations were located everywhere. The ship sailed at 60
percent capacity which made for a pleasant cruise with almost no waiting in line for anything.
Traveling to Athens is a bit of long trip. The time difference was 8 hours ahead for me – making the jet lag a little difficult to get through. It was absolutely worth it and I’m so glad I checked this destination off my bucket list. There is something about the weather, blue Aegean sea, the food, wine & Mediterranean lifestyle that made this trip so memorable.
Our favorite day was spent at a resort on Crete where we swam, dozed in the sun & ate a wonderful lunch by the sea. The most beautiful island was Corfu – it was scenic, green & mountainous. It was a little bit Italy, a little bit Greece. Our favorite island was Santorini where we had a beautiful lunch in Fira after a day roaming and shopping in Oia. The view of the caldera from high atop the volcano is breathtaking! We were lucky to stay in port until 9:00 pm and got to experience the gorgeous Santorini sunset. Also worth mentioning were the days spent in Olympia, Rhodes & Mykonos – all of the ports were unique and interesting.
Greece should definitely be in your future travel plans. Ancient ruins, delicious cuisine, gorgeous beaches – it has something for everyone and all in all just a perfect vacation! Contact me to plan your Greek getaway: (918)524-5249 or Diane@JourneyHouse.com.