My husband and I just returned from a two week cruise on the Ocean Princess in the Eastern Mediterranean and we loved it. Having cruised on the largest of Princess ships in the past, I was excited to see the difference a small ship would make. We did not have to deal with crowds anywhere. Embarkation was a breeze as was debarkation - no waiting or lines anywhere. We were always able to find a poolside lounge chair, a seat at the cabaret lounge and a table at the buffet. The waiters at the buffet brought drinks to the table and seemed more attentive than those on other ships. I felt I knew the crew when we disembarked. I saw and spoke with the Captain almost everyday on his "walkabout" and his welcome parties were nice and intimate.
I had thought that being on a small ship would allow us to pull into ports where larger ships would have more difficulty. However, there were times when larger ships were docked at port and we had to anchor and tender in. I'm not really More
fond of tenders but there was no problem and the crew handled it well.
I was a little stunned when I discovered our 14-day cruise was actually two 7-day cruises. This was a little confusing in that we were never told by Princess or anyone and we never saw it advertised as two different cruises - one starting in Venice and ending in Athens and the other starting in Athens and ending in Rome/Civitavecchia. At the end of the first 7 days, we received our billing statement for payment along with instructions for obtaining a new cruise card, too. Neither of these created a problem - just seemed strange. We were asked if we'd like to keep the same table for dining and we did. However, the strangest part was that all the announcements, including the muster station practice, were made as if everyone had just embarked. We were invited to attend our second Captain's Welcome Party - so that was a good thing! However, four formal nights were a bit much!
All in all, it turned out to be a wonderful cruise and the ports were amazing! Less
We really enjoyed our sightseeing in Athens. We had planned to take a train into Athens and on our way to the train, we were stopped by a taxi driver, Stombross. For 80 euros, for four passengers, he drove us to the Acropolis (where we stayed for 1 1/2 hours), the changing of the guards at the palace, the American Embassy, the Plaka, and many other scenic sights before returning us to our port.
We had planned to do a walking tour of Corfu but ended up taking a cab for 3 hours with a wonderful driver named Alex. He approached us at the port terminal and agreed to take the four of us for $100 euros. He was a great guide and drove us to see some amazing views of Corfu. He even took us to his home and picked figs and grapes for us. He took us to a lovely beach and encouraged us to put our feet in the Mediterranean for the first time. We also toured the Paleokastritsa Monastry before returning to town for shopping and walking around. Alex showed us where to catch the bus back to the terminal. It was a great decision to take the cab!
We took the Princess shuttle into the walled city of Dubrovnik. We were stunned that Princess would charge for this shuttle but hey, they charged for everything they could. It was around 4 euros each round trip so wasn't bad. We walked the entire wall of the city and found it to be lovely. There is a charge to walk the wall. Because they use a different currency, the kunas, we paid with our credit card. The views from the wall were amazing but if you have any walking problems, it might be best just to walk inside the walled city. We had a lemonade outside at a restaurant - no sugar in it but good! It was a nice day!