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Urgent help with Greece!

We were supposed to get on a 13-day cruise on the Norwegian Pearl on Friday. NCL has just canceled the cruise due to mechanical problems. Everyone is scrambling! Two highlights of the cruise for me was Greece (Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Corfu) and Dubrovnik and Kotor.

Unfortunately we are already in Europe so we need to come up with a plan ASAP. We are in Vienna now and will arrive in Rome on Friday morning. We have a place on Amalfi Cost starting 7/18 so we need plans between 7/5 and 7/18.

Thanks for any ideas!!!! This is awful!!!

Posted by
2764 posts

Oh no, so sorry for this unpleasant surprise. Hopefully you can turn it around and have an even more memorable trip (for good reasons).
A few things to help us help you:
1) What is your experience level? Do you think you can wing it with accommodations? (using something like if people throw out suggestions)
2) Are you open to car rental or looking for public transport-accessible ideas only?
3) Do you still want to try to get to Greece and/or Croatia, or are you considering staying in Italy now? Have you been anywhere in Italy before?
Add anything else you think we need to know to advise you. I'll throw out a couple ideas to get the ball rolling.

You could start by searching flights from Rome to Greece, but island hopping the way you intended will require research of ferry schedules. I just returned from a trip to the Greek mainland, and I can attest to the ease of travel by car in the Peloponnese.

You could take a train from Rome to Bari and explore Puglia--at least it has Greek influence (on the way to the Amalfi Coast, you could cap it off with a stop at Paestum, temples that rival those I saw in Greece). Throw in a bit of Basilicata and you could easily fill two weeks. Adjust slightly, and you can take a ferry from Bari to Dubrovnik and still see a bit of Croatia. Check for return flights to Naples.

Posted by
3246 posts

You could contact Fantasy Travel in Greece for help making reservations. I would limit my trip to Italy and Greece. Plenty to see in both places, although I think Venice has transportation connections to Dubrovnik. You could fly from Athens to Santorini and from Santorini back to Athens. Take a tour from Athens to Naufplio for a couple of days. Mykonos doesn't appeal to me. Santorini is just as beautiful as the photos, so I would put up with the tourists to see it.

Posted by
7990 posts

Contact Fantasy Travel in Athens ASAP. They will know how to create a trip for you within those timelines. I recommend,Athens, Napflion, Mykonos, Paros or Naxos, and Chania ,Crete as possible destinations. Perhaps choose one place and enjoy yourselves. We spent two full weeks in Chania, Crete as an example.
Or, relax, and rent a villa or apartment in Tuscany or Umbria for those cancelled cruise days. Look at Spello in Umbria.

Posted by
91 posts

We are well-traveled in Europe on our own and have been to many parts of Italy already. We are comfortable with trains - we even do overnight and have rented cars before. I spent so much time planning out all of the excursions- this is awful!

Posted by
2764 posts

Yeah I'd be strongly tempted to just fly to Crete for the entirety after this blow, but good luck!

Posted by
11450 posts

Have you looked at flights from Rome - EasyJet it air Olympic or Ageon air ? Fly to santorini spend a night or two ( it’s pricey island and last minute so look at staying in Kamari it’s more reasonable ) then take ferry to other islands - Mykonos is ok it has the major airport so we’ve stayed 2-4 nights before a flight ( 4 times ) but in itself I find it crowded and touristy and overpriced / so I’d take ferry to Naxos ( gorgeous not as pricey and lots to see and do ) then take ferry back to Mykonos to fly out .

Last minute like this it’s going to be hard to find reasonable prices on santorini or Mykonos and Naxos is just as lovely ( same white washed buildings and old town with little pedestrian streets etc ) ! You can make this a way better trip to Greece than a cruise stop trust me

Posted by
720 posts

IMO Skip Croatia for now.

Good luck in getting to Greece and back as others suggest - I hope it can work.

Or make lemonade - in this case Limoncello.

Idea # 1: Check out Agritourismos south of Florence and head there instead of Rome or come back from Rome to Florence.
We stayed at : but it may be more rustic than you had in mind.

I cannot recommend any other one place from the website but get online and see what is available - chill out with one that arranges local tours to wineries and foodie sites.

Idea # 2: Head back to Florence, rent a car and head down the spine of Italy: Montepulciano, Arezzo, Ovieto, Spoleto, past Rome, Naples, Pompeii, etc. to Amalfi.

Check for places that are still available in those towns at ratings of 9.0 and above.....

Idea #3: You have time to do both.... Chill at an agritourismo while you get your bearings for the rest of the time.

Posted by
5648 posts

If you’re not determined to make it around Greece this time, maybe salvage the time before the Amalfi Coast by going to Croatia anyway. Or head west from Vienna and see Austria and/or Switzerland? Or east into Hungary? Or north into Czech Republic?

Since the cruise line slammed a door on you, hopefully another one will open up, leading someplace fabulous! Hang in there, and roll with the challenges.

Posted by
3789 posts

Would you consider the Jade itinerary instead? Problematic if you can't alter you Amalfi Coast booking, but would get you Greece.

Posted by
91 posts

Jade would be okay only if Amalfi would let us move dates. I think the Jade is now booked up anyway. Everyone is scrambling!

Other suggestions good but we just finished seeing Prague, Budapest, Krakow, and are now in Vienna. We have seen a lot of Italy in a previous trip (not that I would mind!)

Posted by
2764 posts

If Greece, you just have to make some choices and get to work.
If Italy, I would think about all the places that get fewer mentions--le Marche and Umbria, southern Tuscany and its islands. Less of a chance of having to take lesser accommodations. Croatia is also a super easy country to travel in--you could book a flight to Zagreb, rent a car and explore, then probably fly from Dubrovnik to Naples. Skyscanner is good for searching low cost flights.

Posted by
1940 posts

Quickly see if you can book flights from Rome to Santorini , and then Athens back to Rome.

Then go to and look up hotels in Santorini (3 days?), Naxos (6 days? -- try for St. George Beach area), and Athens (3 days). From Naxos, you can take a day-trip ferry to visit Mykonos and nearby Delos.

Once you reach Santorini, you can book the ferry for Naxos. You could check for a flight from Naxos to Athens, but you will probably end up taking a ferry. It's not bad -- maybe 5 hours. You can book that ferry once you arrive on Naxos.

You could also do 3 nights Naxos- 3 nights Paros, but I think you might enjoy a bit of relaxation in the middle of what sounds like a busy trip.

Good luck! Let us know how you do.

Posted by
398 posts

I agree with the suggestions to immediately get in touch with a Greek travel agent and have them put together a last minute vacation package for you so that you can spend your time in Greece as you desired. We had a great experience working with Aegean Thesaurus, which someone gave you a link for.

Posted by
2327 posts

I don't want to sound like Pollyanna, but this is an opportunity, not a disaster - I assume that you will get your money for the cruise back.

1) Take another cruise - last minute cruises can be cheap - here's a link to a site that does cruise planning

2) Go to Croatia for 2 weeks - look at Rick's Croatia itinerary -PM me for my Zagreb sobe contact
3) Go to Romania - we were just in Timisuara and Oradea - really interesting and a part of Europe most do not go to.

Posted by
2162 posts

If you’re set on Greece, email Private Greece Tours. We used them for a private 6 day tour and they were fabulous. They’ll plan out anything you want and their prices were reasonable. You can get some ideas on their website but you’re not limited to their suggestions. We just used them in March and we talk about how much fun we had all the time. If you PM me or check my Bio on this site you can see my blog of our travels with them.