It was 8AM. Casey was staring at an empty coffee cup, shaking his head, muttering something about it being “too early”. He was trying to play it cool, but the growing smile on his face was giving him away. We were embarking on our first cruise – in Greece, no less – and the kid couldn’t hide his excitement!
Celestyal Cruises y Discover Greece were sending us on a beautiful 4 day cruise to the wonderful islands of Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Crete and Santorini. Our port of embarkation was Piraeus in Athens, which is impressive in its own right, but more on that later (we would have the opportunity to explore the famous city on the last day of our trip).
We boarded Celestyal Olympia, which is an impressive 10-deck cruise ship with over 400 cabins and a crew of almost 550 members of countless nationalities. We were dying to see our cabin so we did not waste any time and headed straight to Deck 7, the Apollo Deck, where our junior suite with sea view and private bath was waiting for us with.
Once settled in, the cruise staff told us that the cruise manager wanted to meet and personally welcome us on board. It was then when an elegant and extremely charming gentleman in a white suit was waiting for us at the Horizons Bar. After the presentations, he told us about his exciting life and passion for his job. When we mentioned this was our first cruise, he gave us his best advice: “Relax, explore the boat, enjoy the food and forget about sleeping“. With this, and a third coffee for Casey, we headed to our first destination, the beautiful and famous island of Mykonos.
Mykonos, the island of winds
This beautiful island, the smallest of the Cyclades Islands, is an oasis in the middle of the Aegean Sea where life is simple and local traditions remain very present. Known as “the island of the wind”, due to the strong winds that blow from the north, especially in summer. Mykonos has one of the most impressive sunsets in Greece by the emblematic mills in Chora.
After our arrival at the port of Mykonos, around 5 pm, we disembarked in time to enjoy the last hours of sunshine of the day. We explored the narrow and labyrinthine streets of Chora, full of tourists, local craft shops, souvenirs, white houses with red roofs, restaurants and cafes, until we made our way for the church of Panagia Paraportiani, one of the oldest in the island. Continuing our walk we arrived at the famous 7 windmills of Mykonos, next to an impressive cliff, an emblem of the island from where you can have one of the best views of Little Venice. We ended the evening enjoying a spectacular typical Greek dinner overlooking the sea at Roca Restaurant.
Around 11 pm, it was time to get back on the boat. Although this was not nearly enough time to do Mykonos justice, it was just enough time to give us a taste of its magic and convince us to set aside a few days for exploring it on our next trip. For the time being, though, our sights were already set on the journey to our next destinations of Kusadasi, in Turkey, and Patmos!