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SANTORINI CRUISES REVIEWS

  • DVORA WAYSMAN
  • Tel Aviv
  • The stuff dreams are made of
    Date : 2010-10-12 01:22:05  
    Rating : Excellent

    he cruise I took around the Greek Islands some years ago was the stuff dreams are made of. The ship was luxurious, the service of the kind you no longer believe exists after three decades in Israel. Lazy days, fabulous food, exotic ports, calm seas and cosmopolitan fellow-passengers. Each morning, a leaflet detailing the day activities was slid under our cabin door �� where we would be docking; entertainment; meal times; happy hour, talent quests, movies, the captain cocktail party, Greek dancing �� endless choices. You could don the party dresses you seldom wore at home and be photographed with the handsome young man in pirate costume hired to make folks back home speculate on what was (sadly) just a fantasy. Each sheet began with a "thought for the day" and information about ports we would visit �� Mykonos, Kusadasi, Patmos, Rhodes, Crete and breathtaking Santorini.

  • Dianne Herschelman
  • Phoenix
  • Cruise saves best for last - Santorini
    Date : 2005-11-07 10:56:28  
    Rating : Excellent

    Although each port on our cruise was spectacular, I was looking forward to Santorini, our last Greek island, and I wasn't disappointed. If you've seen the movie The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, this jewel is where one of the girls visited her family. The scenery is so spectacular that you could hear a gasp of wonder throughout the theater when we saw it.

    The blue of the water defies description. Whitewashed buildings, some with blue roofs, cling to cliffs that plunge from the blue sky to the turquoise Mediterranean. There is no dock for ships, so this was the only destination to which we had to use tenders.

    Our daughter had thoroughly researched the island on the Internet and had planned the day for the five of us. We waited for the first rush of tours to leave the ship while we had a leisurely breakfast. Then, armed with water, sunscreen, cameras, our ship's card and some money, we went ashore. There are three ways to climb the 850-foot or so cliff: on foot, by donkey or in a funicular (cable car). We opted for the last and weren't sorry.

    The town at the top of the zigzag path is Fira, which was crowded. We took a bus to Oia (pronounced Eeya) for one euro each (about $1.20 U.S.). This delightful village at the northernmost point of Santorini is lined with homes and shops with friendly shopkeepers and restaurants. Oia wasn't crowded because most people didn't know about it and because the ship tours already had been there. The lack of tourists added to its charm.

    A whitewashed church with blue domes and a cross on top is familiar to people throughout the world because of its use on calendars and paintings. We walked the narrow cobblestone streets of this quiet, friendly, picturesque village. Many of the homes are built into niches of rock. Views of the sea drew us to take pictures from every angle.

    We chose a restaurant called Lotza. Our table on the patio overlooked the azure water and the church. After a delightful lunch, during which the waiter took our pictures for us, we reluctantly left the breathtaking view over a sea (Aegean) that covers a volcano.

    We visited more shops, bought souvenirs (including a small painting of the church), and took the bus back to Fira. It turned out to be a great sightseeing trip around this dramatic island on the city bus. We went to Oia on the high road on the cliff, but we returned to Fira on the beach road on the other side of the island.

    When we reached the funicular, there was a long line. About an hour later, we boarded our five-person car to go down the mountain. At the bottom, we walked to the tender and were whisked back to the cruise ship.


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