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Is Hellenic Seaways really that bad?

Boston, MA
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Is Hellenic Seaways really that bad?

I'll be traveling from Santorini to Athens on a high speed Hellenic Seaways ferry next week, but I just read all of the awful reviews and I'm getting nervous about this part of our trip now. I was thinking it wouldn't take much more time compared to flying (once you consider the checking in and waiting around for the flight) and it was cheaper and might be a little scenic, but the stories about lots of people getting sick, getting separated from your travel companions, luggage being stolen, etc. are making me think we have a nightmare of a day ahead of us!!

Does anyone know if there's an area of the boat where we can go outside to get fresh air if we're not feeling well? I purchased some Dramomine to help with seasickness also. We already have these tickets booked so I guess I'm just looking for someone to calm my nerves, but if it's really that bad maybe we will just cancel our tickets to get back whatever money we can and fly. Any advice is much appreciated!!

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Santorini
Santorini
Cyclades, Greece
Athens
Athens
Attica, Greece
Hellenic Seaways
Hellenic Seaways
605 Reviews
Piraeus, Greece
Warsaw, Poland
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3,483 posts
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11. Re: Is Hellenic Seaways really that bad?

I have never had anything stolen or know anyone whose luggage was stolen on a ferry but luggage storage on ferries is indeed a weak point IMO. I absolutely agree, in the commotion that follows when a ferry arrives at a port, there is no way ferry staff can stop anyone walking off the ferry with luggage that is not theirs. I get round the whole luggage dilemma by taking large ferries and travelling light so I can take everything upstairs. BTW, I do not know if it is still the case (things may have changed since I last took them) but there are ferries around that offer a luggage ticket system but they run on less popular routes.

Leeds, United...
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12. Re: Is Hellenic Seaways really that bad?

A few years ago my bag went missing as I was getting off the flying cat (Hellenic seaways), it was nowhere to be seen. However I was told to return later to meet the vessel on its return journey which I did and there was my bag waiting for me. That's the only time I have had a problem with luggage on any ferry.

Newmarket, United...
Destination Expert
for Antiparos
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13. Re: Is Hellenic Seaways really that bad?

I've never had a problem with stolen luggage on ferries either, nor do I know anyone who has. I marvel at how quickly ferries can turnaround at each port, unloading and loading passengers, cars, and heavy goods vehicles in about 20 minutes, or even less in the case of small catamarans.

If ferries introduced a "ticket system like at the airport", turnaround times would be greatly increased, probably taking an hour or two at each port. Can you imagine how long it would take to check luggage in high season, when several hundred passengers get off and on at ports like Paros?

The solution is simple: if you are worried about your luggage, take it with you to the seat. I hope there won't be too many passengers doing that, though, or there wouldn't be any room to sit down. ;-)

Athens, Greece
Destination Expert
for Athens
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10 reviews
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14. Re: Is Hellenic Seaways really that bad?

Hellenic Seaways is a good company, among the two best in the country.

I have travelled many times with them and i had absolutely no problem.

The rare bad incident should not tar a carrier that carries hundreds of thousands of passengers every year.

Nausea can be a problem in any ferry in the world. This is not specific company related, for God's sake.

Hellenic Seaways and Blue Star have exceptionally good vessels, among the best in the world and tremendously better from ferries i used in many other countries.

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Hellenic Seaways
Hellenic Seaways
605 Reviews
Piraeus, Greece
Devizes, United...
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40,216 posts
338 reviews
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15. Re: Is Hellenic Seaways really that bad?

What a load of alarmist rubbish and on a thread that's been dead now for three months.

Fuerteventura
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for Fuerteventura, Paros, Sifnos
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1,001 reviews
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16. Re: Is Hellenic Seaways really that bad?

A few years ago you would have been incredibly lucky if the ferry was only 1 and a half hours late. Large ferries like the Blue Star Ferries are normally quite punctual. High Speed, SeaJets and Flying Cats can be delayed by the weather and the chaos of embarking and disembarking and this compounds over 10 to 12 stops.

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Blue Star Ferries
Blue Star Ferries
343 Reviews
Piraeus, Greece
SeaJets
SeaJets
38 Reviews
Piraeus, Greece
Oslo, Norway
Destination Expert
for Oslo, Naxos, Norway
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43 reviews
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17. Re: Is Hellenic Seaways really that bad?

The poster did a review of Piraeus saying exactly the same words two years ago:

tripadvisor.co.uk/members-reviews/Bujub123

Warsaw, Poland
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3,483 posts
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18. Re: Is Hellenic Seaways really that bad?

Yes, it's a first time poster and his/her post is full of hyperbole but it is unfair to dismiss what he/she says out of hand because the fact remains that anyone can walk off the ferry with your luggage. It is perfectly possible, anyone I talked to, admitted it. And wherever something is possible, it happens. Just because not many people get on TA to report the problem, it does not mean it does not exist. Perhaps it is time the Greek ferries stopped being complacent and at least those that can (ie large ones) offer luggage solutions seen on ferries in other countries, especially that these solutions also mean extra income for the ferry companies.

Oslo, Norway
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for Oslo, Naxos, Norway
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19. Re: Is Hellenic Seaways really that bad?

There are storage facilities on the Blue Star ferries:

http://tinyurl.com/ngtndcx

Warsaw, Poland
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3,483 posts
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20. Re: Is Hellenic Seaways really that bad?

There are storage facilities on all ferries. But with a couple of exceptions, they are not secure and the only way you can prevent your luggage being carried off the ferry by someone else is to chain it to one of these racks with a chain lock, the same as used for bicycles. Obviously you can only do that if you have such a chain with you. Most first time ferry travellers are caught unawares by the storage policies.

Edited: 06 December 2013, 11:24