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The Royal Princess Cruise 7 days Greek Isles Interlud

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The Royal Princess Cruise 7 days Greek Isles Interlud

We are planning the above subject with a group of 15 people. Majority of them are booking the balcony staterooms but we are middle group travellers and could not want to spend lavishly. There are also land tours packages we have to pay besides the cruise package. Please let me know what stateroom is good enough for us. I am a motion sickness person and we are seniors.

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1. Re: The Royal Princess Cruise 7 days Greek Isles Interlud

Hi MAPSA

Which Princess ship ?? As far as I'm aware the Royal Princess is still being built and in fact, I asked my TA in the US just last week if any sailings have been listed for her and she said no they haven't as yet. My US TA told me that they are planning to launch her in May 2013.

When are you planning your cruise (Year / month)?

And can you please list the ports of call so that people with experience at those ports can post their views to help you have a great holiday ?

Re which stateroom to choose....

I suffer from motion sickness too so the best place to be is mid ships on a lower deck as you get the least amount of movement in the ship at that point.

Definitely do not select a cabin at the bow (front of the ship) as you'll feel the motion of the ship more there.

Balcony vs outside vs inside cabin. Inside cabins are the cheapest cabins and suites are the dearest.

For scenic cruising such as Alaska or Antarctica for example, I do like a balcony cabin (midships), otherwise an outside cabin - don't care if it is "obstructed view" or not. And personally, I don't mind an inside cabin for short cruises - eg 7 days or less - however my other half likes natural light.

My big tip for selecting a cabin is to look at the deck plans on the cruise line site and see what is above / below the cabin you are interested in booking. If there is a nightclub or something else above the cabin that could be potentially noisy when I want to sleep or rest, I would choose another cabin away from that area.

The other thing to bear in mind is how much time do you think you'll spend in your cabin apart from sleeping? If the answer is hardly at all and if you want to save a few dollars, then go for an inside cabin. There are plenty of places around the ship where you can see the ocean or get a good view of the port.

You mentioned land tours - are you doing additional pre or post-cruise land tours with Princess, independently or another tour company? Or are you thinking about the Shore Excursions that you do from the ship when you are in port?

Finally, if you kindly respond with the dates etc and details of your itinerary, I'm sure there are plenty of cruisers on this forum who will be happy to help. Having said that, there is another Forum - a sister site to TripAdvisor - called Cruise Critic where you can join up (free) then find the Roll Call for your sailing and say hi to people on the same sailing as you.

Here's a link to the CC site FYI - http://boards.cruisecritic.com/index.php

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2. Re: The Royal Princess Cruise 7 days Greek Isles Interlud

Dear Sydney

Thank you so much for a comprehensive reply.

1. 30th Sept 2012 7 D Greek Isles Interlude/Ocean Princess Depart from Athens. Arrive at Rome 06 Oct. 2012

Athens (Piraeus) Greece

Aghios Nikolaos, Greece - Arrive 9:00 am. Depart 6:00 pm

Ephesus (Kusadasi) Turkey - Arrive 9:00 am. Depart 6:00 pm

Sanorini, Greek Isle - Arrive 7:00 am. Depart 5:00 pm

Argostoli, Greek Isle - Arrive 12:00 pm. Depart 7:00 pm

Itea, Greek Isle - Arrive 7:00 am. Depart 3:00 pm

Rome (Civitavecchia) Italy

Please let me know which are the above ports we should do our own tour.

We might not afford to sign up for a conducted tour from the ship.

Thank you.

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3. Re: The Royal Princess Cruise 7 days Greek Isles Interlud

Hi Mapsa

Thanks for clarrifying the name of the ship and your ports of call.

The first thing I would like to say is that if you have no mobility issues and you're willing to download maps or informaiton about each port, then you shouldn't have too much trouble at Athens ... Fannish "knows" Greece and she can definitely give you some tips about that country.

Secondly, it's far too early for Princess to release their shore excursions as yet - usually they are released about 90 days prior to sailing so if you log onto the Princess web site and go to your Cruise Personaliser for this cruise, it will show you on the side if the shore excursions are available and if so, it will give you a description of each one as well as the cost.

Please note that if you book a shore excursion before going on the cruise, you will not be charged until around 24 hours prior to the shore excursion taking place. You can book a shore excursion and then cancel without cost - provided you cancel within the time frame stated by Princess.

Thirdly, a Roll Call has been started on Cruise Critic for your cruise - only one post so far but register on CC and say hi to your fellow passener - first names only and no personal details as it is on the internet - boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php…

Of the ports on your list, I've been to Athens twice, Kusadasi and Rome.

The ship will dock at Piraeus which is about 30 or so minutes by train from Athens where the monuments are. While I haven't taken the train from the ship to Athens, others I know have done so and they found it very easy to use and to get around to see places such as the Parthenon and Plaka which has lots of restaurants and shops.

If you are concerned about this, take the ship's City and Parthenon shore excursion as it will show you all the main sites and give you time to get out and take pictures, We've done this excursion and it was good.

Ephesus - a magical place and perhaps somewhere where you would benefit from a guide explaining all the ruins to you - the ruins are spectactular in my opinon and not to be missed.

The port of Kusadasi was quite lively when we were there with lots of shops and some people on the ship got some great bargains including beautiful leather goods.

Are you planning to spend some time in Rome prior to going home? The reason I ask is because Rome is an hour away from the port of Civitavecchia where the ship will dock.

If you are staying on in Rome, how much time will you have there?

The other thing to bear in mind is if you take Princess air (usually more expensive), if the ship is late in getting in to Civitavecchia and you have a flight booked in the morning, Princess must re-book the flight at their expense.

If you intend to book your own flights and leave from the dock in Civitavecchia to the Airport, then please allow plenty of time just in case there are unexpected hold ups - definitely do not book a morning flight.

Consider taking Princess transfer in a coach from the ship to the airport or the ship to Rome as it is very easy and probably more cost effective than a private transfer unless there is a group of you who can arrange your own transfers.

You can get to Rome by train from Civitavecchia but would probably need a taxi from the port to the railway station.

re Private Shore Excursions which you can arrange yourself or join with other passengers - eg through Cruise Critic Roll Call.

When we went to Sth America, a friend of ours organised private shore excursions through this company Port Compass. They were very professional and very good, generally cheaper than the ship's tours and you can tailor the tour to suit yourself. However there are a couple of things to note : They require payment ($US) in advance and their cancellation policies are quite stringent - I think. Have a look at this link as they do have a couple of excursions that may interest you for Kusadasi and Rome - www.portcompass.com/regionproducts.cfm…

Alternatively, there are many private guides available at various ports of call which can be arranged in advance - they will generally require payment on the day in Euro (cash). Again if you log onto Cruise Critic and meet up with others on your cruise you may arrnage some siteseeing between you.

If you go to the "BOARDS" page on Cruise Critic, scroll down to PORTS OF CALL and look up the relevant ones for you, read through the posts / threads to see what others recommend at various ports and also if there are any tour guides they recommend.

Hopefully this helps - I'm sure others will chime in to help you too.

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4. Re: The Royal Princess Cruise 7 days Greek Isles Interlud

Bump ...

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5. Re: The Royal Princess Cruise 7 days Greek Isles Interlud

Sorry I didn't post sooner. Just had hand surgery, which limited my typing.

Dougo is very flattering - but it's been a while since I've been back to Greece. And because I studied Greek art and architecture in university. the places I love may not suit you.

If any of you have ANY mobility issues at all, please come back and tell us about them. Another TripAdvisor poster, travellerjan, chimed in on this thread to give quite a bit of information about disabilities, and some of your ports:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1-i10703-k4344027…

I like to plan private excursions, and book ahead. With the size of group you have, you can save a lot of money this way. I would hire a private guide for Athens, Ephesus, and Itea-to-Delphi.

Other people disagree with me about Athens. They walk to the Piraeus Metro, take it to the Acropolis station, view the Acropolis early in the morning, then walk to the nearby scenic neighbourhood, the Plaka.

My reasons for recommending an Athens private guide:

* the walk to the Metro is do-able, but if anyone has walking problems, it can be tiring

*if anyone wants to use the wheelchair access to the Acropolis, this is hard to find on your own

*the Acropolis complex has quite a number of different structures, each with a distinct history. A guide can tell you what you're looking at. Guide books are helpful, but you can't ask them questions. If you decide to do this yourself, please consider the guides you can hire at the Acropolis entrance who will give you a tour of just this monument. Worthwhile, in my opinion.

*By hiring a guide for the day, you can see much, much more. There is so much to see in Athens, I hardly know where to start.

The 2 museums that stand out are

the National Archeological Museum -- which is enormous, and spans all of Greek history

the new Acropolis Museum, which has a superb collection dating to the period the Acropolis was built

There is vibrant street life, shopping, and more historic monuments than I can list. With only part of a day in Athens, a private guide can help you make the most of your time, go to the head of lines, etc.

Ephesus can be challenging on foot, and there are private guides who cater to the disabled. Simple things like toilets can be a problem in Turkey.

turkeyexplorers.com/tours/tourism_turkey_han…

While TripAdvisor has many helpful pages about Ephesus, I think this outside page summarizes nicely all there is to see:

http://www.ephesus.us/

Even if no one has walking problems, a private guide can customize a tour so you visit only what you want to see. Personally, I think Mary's House is a waste of time, but devout Roman Catholics might disagree with me.

Far, far too many ordinary tours waste time on shopping stops for rugs. These shops are almost always overpriced, with inferior rugs. I'd get a tour without a rug shopping stop.

Delphi can be visited from Itea. You will get a much better price from a private guide than through the ship.

Delphi is so beautiful and moving, it brings tears to my eyes. If anyone has walking problems, the path is a challenge. In my opinion, everyone in your party must at least visit the oracle level. Some may want to skip the stadium level, but it is absolutely worth the climb for anyone who can do it.

The museum is wonderful, and includes the amazing bronze, the Charioteer. The museum is accessible, even for those in wheelchairs.

I *might* hire a guide on Santorini, depending on what you want to do. Santorini may be the real island behind the story of Atlantis.

www.decadevolcano.net/santorini/atlantis.htm

If you are interested in this island's history, and its archeological sites, a tour guide could take you to the museum in Fira, and to Acrotiri.

A guide would meet you at the pier.

However, if you just want to tour on your own, it is perfectly possible here. You will need to use the cable car. Often there are lines. If you are on your own, allow plenty of time for those lines on your way back to the ship.

Many people just want to absorb the natural beauty here. A trip to Oia is scenic.

tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotos-g482941-Oia_S…

Please don't ride the donkeys up the steep path. Nasty, difficult, not all that safe, smelly.

Agios Nikolaos Crete is a pretty town, Many people just wander. However, I need to mention it's perfectly possible to visit Knossos and Heraklion from Agios Nikolaos. The Knossos palace, was discovered by Sir Arthur Evans and is somewhat colourfully restored. Some people regard a visit as a waste of time. For me, it is a "must see". However, I studied this complex for a year, and wrote a thesis on it. I am biased!

The Heraklion Archeological Museum has been closed since 2006 (!) for renovations. The small temporary exhibit nearby is still worthwhile.

So, if you want to see Knossos and Heraklion - again, your large group will make it possible to save money by hiring a guide.

For Argostoli, Kefalonia it's possible to hire a car, or tour guide/bus, and see many scenic views:

…webshots.com/photo/2475179260101391319cDGXHR

tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotos-g780715-w2-Ar…

The movie "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" with Nicholas Cage was filmed on this island.

As you can see, I love Greece, and think people get more out of their visits by hiring a private guide. If you don't want to do intense tours in every port, Argostoli is definitely a place to just relax. Depending on your interests, you might also choose to do less for Agios Nikolaos, and Santorini.

I haven't mentioned Rome - I'm definitely not an expert. There is so much to do there, I hope you're planning to stay a couple extra days. There are hundreds of possible tours and perhaps thousands of guides. You can hire private Vatican guides for tours there, and that lets you go to the front of the line. If the line at the Colosseum is long, you can get tickets nearby at the Forum.

It would also be wonderful to arrive early in Athens, and give yourself more time there as well.

Sorry this answer is so long!

Edited: 07 October 2011, 17:34
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6. Re: The Royal Princess Cruise 7 days Greek Isles Interlud

Another fabulous answer Fannish ... and I do agree with you about the tours with rug shops being a waste of time unless you want to pay a lot of money for a rug or want to feel pressured into staying there for the duration rather than seeing the sites that you came to see.

My method for coping with "rugs" was to tell the guide the truth - " I am absolutely not interested in buying a rug, and while I appreciate the beauty of it, I won't be buying anything as I cannot carry it with me as we are away from home for X months. "

You may be asked to have a look at a rug making demo but even then I felt the pressure to buy something from the shop of give the woman making the rug a tip.

7. Re: The Royal Princess Cruise 7 days Greek Isles Interlud

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