Archeological cruise in the Greek Islands the Mainland: Grandeur of the Seas Cruise Review by Robert Upshall

Grandeur of the Seas 5
Robert Upshall

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Archeological cruise in the Greek Islands the Mainland

Sail Date: June 2012
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Venice
We took this cruise primarily for the itinerary. I particularly wanted to visit Santorini and the Palace of Knossos on Crete. We were not on the cruise for the Belly Flop competition or the Karaoke or the other game shows (or the Casino). Nor were we there to see how many Martinis we could drink or because we expected Cordon Bleu cooking. There are only two days when you are sailing all day and as we had a Junior suite with a balcony I spent most of that time on the Balcony reading my Kindle. I only used the Wi-Fi to download the daily newspaper onto the Kindle (hey you're on holiday - why take a laptop with you). But it was slow and it cost about two to three dollars of computer time each day. I did use the computers in the business centre on two occasions to conduct some essential business and because of the slow speed it did work out expensive.
I think we got more or less exactly what we expected but I would say that the Dining Room staff and our Cabin Attendant were attentive More and seemed caring. I certainly didn't begrudge them their tips.
The guides (provided through the Greek Company 'Navigator' varied from quite good to excellent). I would single out two guides for special mention. The guide on Crete that took us around Knossos (and later as an extra in his and our free time a wonderful tour of the local archeological museum for those particularly interested). If everyone in Greece is as conscientious as he then they will be out of their economic woes in no time - I suspect that might not be true. The other guide I would single out is the guide on the tour to Corinth (which we took instead of going to Athens where we had already been). He had some idiosyncratic theories but this was entertaining to listen to.
The shows on the boat were good. Not up to the standard of the Allure, of course, but one suspects that on a ship more than twice as big they can pay artists at least twice as much and getting stronger acts - but I thought what we got was at least as good as my expectations. Less

Published 07/07/12

Cabin review: JS8536 Junior Suite

Generous sized cabin with a sizeable balcony. Adequate storage space but short of electric sockets. It was kept clean and tidy by the attendant who was very pleasant - my wife was a bit 'under the weather' on the first couple of days and she took time to ask after her on several occasions after that. There was some noise from the deck above but it wasn't too intrusive and didn't interfere with sleeping.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Corinth Canal by Boat

Interesting. Could have given it a miss though.

Corinth Museum

The museum and the site of Ancient Corinth were fascinating and the guide was good. It was mostly new to me so I learnt something.

Achilleion Palace

Wonderful view from the Achilleon Palace and it's interesting but less so, to me, than the ancient sites we saw elsewhere on the cruise and paled in comparison to the places we had just visited in Venice before departing on the cruise.

Knossos is fascinating. Archeological museum tour with our excellent guide wonderful. We docked in Chania but just drove through it.

We went to Olympia and the site of the ancient games. I found the guide a bit difficult to understand but the site was interesting. The museum repeated what I'd seen elsewhere to some extent but did have some large exhibits that I hadn't seen elsewhere. Quite a bit of time to shop after which, for me, was too long.

Island tour

Very picturesque. Took some classic Greek Island shots.

Prehistoric Museum

Absolutely fascinating. A unique and wonderful place - a snapshot in time from nearly three thousand years ago. The guide was good but frankly it would have be excellent without a guide.

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Robert Upshall
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