I’m probably cruising too much – if there can be such a thing.
I still have reports to post from the Galapagos. Ditto for Cuba with Holland America Line. And I haven’t even touched my photos from my spectacular inaugural Mediterranean cruise aboard the brand-new Carnival Horizon.
In short, I’m falling behind.
Adding more to the pile, I just returned from a charming, wonderful cruise through the Greek Islands with Celestyal Cruises. It was a four-day journey from Piraeus, repeating a jaunt I last did as an 18-year old high school student. That was Cruise Number 2. This was Cruise Number 100-something. A long time has passed in between, but I finally made it to the island of Santorini, after two previous failed attempts. Third time’s the charm.
It’s hard to not fall in love with the Greek Islands, not when the scenery is jaw-dropping, the history rich, and the people warm and welcoming. Except for that one restaurant in Rhodes. They screwed me good. Who ever heard of a five Euro glass of tap water?
But the star that stole my heart was the charming Celestyal Olympia. She began life back in 1982, the same year as me. Built as Royal Caribbean’s Song of America, she was ahead of her time when she sailed into Miami that December, and she has aged well under the loving care of Celestyal Cruises, which has owned her since 2004. Carrying 1,664 passengers from all around the world, many of whom travelled as part of a larger tour package with companies like Trafalgar and Cosmos, there is no getting around the classic charm of this wonderful vessel.
Sure, it doesn’t have a go-kart track or a zipline or a rock-climbing wall, but it does something that newer ships don’t: it puts the focus solely on the people and the destination.
I didn’t realize how much I’d missed that.
Our full Voyage Report from onboard Celestyal Olympia is coming soon. In the meantime, here’s a quick look at a short but very memorable journey.