May 29: Corfu, Greece
We decided to explore Corfu on our own without the assistance of the cruise ship. We took an open-air, hop-on hop-off bus in and around the charming town, most famously known as the birthplace of Queen Elizabeth’s husband, Duke Philip of Edinburgh. We enjoyed exploring the different shops and restaurants in the area. Crammed between a row of touristy souvenir shops, I found a diamond in the rough called Adriana’s Workshop. It was a tiny storefront where a woman named Adriana sold her handmade knitted goods. I bought a cute knitted layering tank for myself, and a versatile and stylish infinity shawl for my mom. It was so nice finding a place that sold authentic handmade goods to bring home to family!
May 30: Athens, Greece
When you think of Greece, you immediately think of Athens. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone, but history buffs fascinated by the Acropolis will enjoy it the most. The fact that the Parthenon was built by hand before modern machinery and is still standing thousands of years later (despite the explosion in the 1700s due to the Turks storing ammunitions there), is astonishing. Not to mention the views are truly breathtaking as you look down upon the expansive city of Athens. We then explored Plaka, a commercial area with local shops and delicious eateries. Our favorite meal there was at Tylixto Greekwrap, a gyro stand with spinning spits full of juicy meats ready for the taking. The pita bread was clearly homemade and all of the ingredients were light and fresh. Our gyros were so good, we had to get seconds!
May 31: Mykonos, Greece
Between the whitewashed buildings and the blue roofs complemented by the blue of the sea, Mykonos is a truly magical place. It was originally a fishing village that has evolved into one of the world’s greatest resort hideaways, filled with boutiques ranging from Chanel to Louis Vuitton and million-dollar beachside villas. We channeled our inner redneck and rented a 4-wheeler which we rode around the island for hours. Our first stop was atop a big hill where we found an old lighthouse with views that are to die for. We then meandered back down the mountainside, discovering amazing cliffsides overlooking gorgeous beaches (some of which we discovered were NUDE beaches, but that’s neither here nor there). where we ate a fantastic lunch at a roadside eatery called Oregano Cafe which was made even better by an inexpensive price tag. From the hummus and baba ghanoush to gyros and big platters of Mediterranean specialties, it was easily the most memorable meal we had on our vacation. We dropped off our 4-wheeler and walked through the town and discovered the famous pink pelican who roams the town and is easily the size of a small pony.
June 1: Argostoli, Greece
Similar to Mykonos, Argostoli is a beautiful beachside village with lots of places to relax by the sea. We decided to visit a beach that had a full-service restaurant and bar with chairside service and just read and chill on the beach. It was a great way to start winding down from our big trip.
June 2: At Sea
The last day of the cruise was spent cruising all day with no ports of call. On this day, we spent the morning relaxing by the pool. That afternoon, Justin rested while I visited the ship’s spa for a deep tissue massage. It was so relaxing and wonderful after an active trip. We ate dinner at the ship’s sushi restaurant that evening and it was delicious.
June 3: Back in Venice, Flying back to USA
We arrived back in Venice early in the morning on Saturday, June 3rd. We sulked off the ship and made our way to the airport, wishing we didn’t have to get back to the grind the following Monday morning. We flew home, stopping in Montreal and later landing at Dulles.
Our cruise from Venice to visit the Greek Isles was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We thoroughly enjoyed learning so much about Greece and its culture, and we especially loved our “mobile hotel room” aboard the Rhapsody of the Seas. It was a great way to see a variety of different people and places without the stress of unpacking, repacking, riding on a bus, and changing hotel rooms day after day. We enjoyed ourselves so much that we’re already looking into future cruises around Europe for next year! Until then, I hope you enjoyed reading about our European vacation!
Have you ever taken a cruise? Are you considering cruising with the family? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!