My Greek Odyssey

Suzanne Barney on 27 September 2022
Celebrating my 60th Birthday

I am used to booking special occasions for people . But when it came to my own trip after much deliberation I decided it had to be Greece

I worked in Greece for many years so felt it was time to return . I speak the language and understand the culture and history

Itinerary was important so I looked at the smaller ships as they can access some of the smaller ports like Corfu & Kefalonia

Normally I would travel on the larger more glamorous ships so this would be a different experience for me

Azamara Cruises are 5 * and they had the perfect itinerary with lots of stops in Greece to islands that had a special memory for me Ideally I would have travelled earlier as the weather can change in late September but took a chance which worked perfectly as the weather was fantastic i have never cruised with them before so this would be good for me to try .

Azamara only had just over 500 guests on board - Most ships carry over 2000 people so this was significantly less There were several restaurants on board with 2 speciality restaurants There was no set dining tables so you could eat when you wanted without having to queue No casino on board either

Azamara include drinks but not premium brands in the price - so we upgraded to premium drinks and internet onboard

What was great about being on a small ship was that there wasn't much queueing on board especially for excursions booked on board The sunbeds were really comfortable with big thick mattresses and there was never a problem finding one when we had the opportunity to Sunbathe

There wasn't long lists of activities that you normally would get on a larger ship. There was a gym & spa ( but we never used it) There were no formal nights on board and entertainment was very low key. When we departed Santorini we had a 'white night' on deck which was really nice with the twinkly lights of the island behind us A pianist in the 'living room' and 4 dancers and 2 singers who performed in the cabaret Lounge. With a band called the 'Lucky Boys' that played soft rock music in the evenings Staff were lovely and friendly and even the senior officers mucked in to serve customers when we had the White Night Food was good with plenty of seafood and local delicacies depending on which port we were in

The itinerary kept being moved about due to the weather ..which sometimes meant that we were leaving earlier than was on our itinerary to make the time up .

We chose this cruise for its ports we visited Santorini, Mykonos ,Rhodes, Crete ,Kefalonia , Corfu , Syros and Kusadasi ( Turkey) and I made the most at each stop using public transport and taking a few excursions too

Verdict - I guess I am more of a big ship girl - I missed the glitz of dressing up and the variety of entertainment that the big ships have ...though I did enjoy the variety of stops and not getting lost on board Majority of guests were American /Canadian with 25% from the UK . The age group I would say was 65+ I feel the entertainment was tailored to this age group so not really to my personal taste

How ever we did come back really chilled and relaxed . So it worked its magic -with lots of lovely memories