This summer we decided, for our vacation, to book a cruise that sailed from Venice, Italy to the Greek islands and back.
Leg 1 of our cruise brought us to Kotor in Montenegro. While there we took a guided bus excursion allowing us to see and visit the 5th century town of Budva still surrounded by the original city walls. Right away when walking in you get taken back in time. The ancient city is made up of narrow streets and many churches. Budva is one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic coast. After we visited Budva we returned back towards the port and the old city of Kotor. There we had a short guided tour within the fortified walls of the old city. Breathtaking and worth the visit.
The second leg of the cruise brought us to Mykonos. Our first time here and expectations were high. We booked 2 excursions. The first one was an island tour. Like most of the islands in the cyclades group of islands, most of the landscape of Mykonos is dry. Our bus and tour guide took us around the island giving us a chance to capture beguiling views of Mykonos town and the old port, before a scenic route brought us through the picturesque villages of Agios Ioannis and Kalafatis, eventually ending up at Ornos beach. Here we were able to relax and swim for a couple of hours before heading back to the ship.
In the evening we returned onto the island. A windmill-dotted landscape, friendly locals and a particularly lively night-time clubbing scene have all gone to make Mykonos the popular holiday destination it is today. For this tour will see you leave the ship, hopon a local, public seabus for a short trip to theold port to enjoy an evening of Greek hospitalityand a light dinner in a restaurant. In addition todelicious local specialities and wine, you willalso get to enjoy a folkloric show while at therestaurant. You can even join in yourself andshake a leg or, if you prefer, simply clap in timewith the music. The tour also includes a guidedwalk around the narrow lanes of Mykonos town, full of whitewashed houses and enclosed gardens.
The third leg of our cruise brought us to Santorini. A short tender boat ride from the ship brought us to Athinios port where we will boarded a bus to Oia, a typical Greek village characterized by narrow streets with traditional white churches with blue dome. A picture-postcard vision of the Mediterranean! This village offers a breathtaking viewover the Gulf of Santorini.
Following our visit to Oia our bus brought us to Perivolos Beach, a picturesque stretch of black pebbles giving onto the beautiful blue of the Aegean Sea. We stayed about an hour and a half to enjoy beach life. Before embarking back on the bus we had a typical Greek meal at the Kouzina restaurant located along the sea front. The service was great and the food was very tasty.
Once back at the port, a boat ride took us back to ou ship.
The fourth leg of our cruise took us to Corfu. In the days of ancient Greece, Corfu marked the final stage of the legendary trip made by the mythological Greek god, Odysseus, on hisjourney home to Ithaca. This tour give us a chance to enjoy Corfus lush landscape as we travelled around the island. The excursion included a visit to Achilleions Palace, a beautiful white mansion and the former residence of Queen Elizabeth of Austria who was also known as Sissi. The richly decorated palace is set in pretty gardens overlooking the sea and is dedicated to another hero from Greek mythology, Achilles. Before returning to the port we will also had a chanceto pay Corfu town a brief visit and spend a little free time strolling around. While in Corfu we also visited the Church of Saint Spyridon, a Greek Orthodox church. It was built in the 1580s and houses the relics of Saint Spyridon. Its bell tower is the highest in the Ionian Islands and it is the most famous church in Corfu.
The fifth and last leg of our cruise took us to Bari. Here we decided to to discover Bari on our own. We took a little road train tour around Bari’s historical quarter witch gave us a chance to view the local marvellous medieval architecture. We passed by the magnificent Baris old Norman castle for anexternal viewing after visiting the Basilica of St. Nicholas. This church was built in honour of Bari’s patron saint and founded towards the end of the 11th century A.D. The Basilica is an important religious pilgrimage site. Before returning to the ship we had a chance to roam through the little medieval streets where we had a chance to have a refreshment and to buy some souvenirs.
With that, we headed back to our ship for the last night of our cruise. We had a great time and would recommend this adventure to anyone. It was great waking up in a different place every day.
The MSC crew and staff was amazing. We would like to say a special thanks to Rowena D’Esposito, our guest relation manager, and to Mundir, our cabin attendant. Every one on the ship was great but these two really went out of their way to make sure that we had a great cruise.
The buffets and restaurants leave you wanting for nothing. Our cabin was cleaned twice a day, every day. Truly spoiled. There is always something going on all the time. There are numerous lounges with live music and drinks to satisfy all tastes and there is even a great disco for the young and the young at heart. If you like to try your hand at chance, there is also a casino onboard. Every night you can enjoy live shows at the ships theatre.
We had a great time and we would sail again with MSC.
Our cabin was cleaned twice a day, every day. Truly spoiled. The MSC crew and staff was amazing. We would like to say a special thanks to Rowena D’Esposito, our guest relation manager, and to Mundir, our cabin attendant.