Our Greek Island cruise adventure

The Greek islands have always been one of my favourite places to visit.  They have everything you need – sunshine, lovely hotels, gorgeous views, tasty food, nightlife and relatively short flights from the UK.  Mr ATWWAH and I decided for our next holiday instead of just visiting one Greek island we should go to a few.  You never sit still for too long with Master ATWWAH so we figured why not use this to our advantage and go to different places, that way we won’t be too bored wandering around the same place either each day.

So Mr ATWWAH sent through a proposed Greek island hopping itinerary using the many daily ferries that go around the islands.  I looked online to find the safety records a bit dubious but even more worrying was on every review I read of Greek island hopping it warned it wasn’t for people who like things to run to time.  I LOVE things to run to time.   I deliberately give Mr ATWWAH the wrong departure time so we arrive places on time rather than with seconds to spare, I like to be early for journeys, not on time, early.  With this in mind and the fact that Master ATWWAH can’t carry his own luggage yet we apprehensively started looking at cruises.

We’ve been on a cruise before and I vowed never again.  But when we looked at the itinerary for NCL’s Norwegian Jade we decided to go for it.  We booked a seven night cruise which left Venice and then headed to Corfu Town, Santorini, Mykonos and Katakolon before returning to Venice.  I’ve always wanted to visit Santorini and I love Mykonos.  I spent two weeks in my younger days in Kavos and despite booking on a shopping trip to Corfu Town myself and the three girls I went with slept through the bus departing at 5pm.  And, neither of us had visited the Greek mainland so Katakolon sounded interesting.

ship in port

Norwegian Jade in port at Santorini

As the day of departure drew closer we started to get nervous.  What if it was full of oldies like the previous cruise was?  And, what if it rained, what would we do?  I’m also always convinced the ship will sink and it didn’t help the news started to cover the recovery of the Costa Concordia just as we were going.  But, we reassured ourselves accidents were rare and we had deliberately booked an NCL cruise as their whole USP is ‘freestyle’ cruising with no set dining times and so on.  We’d also booked a Deluxe Owners Suite so we knew that we would have our own space and two balconies.

We needn’t have worried, we had a brilliant time.  The ship wasn’t full and there was tons of space.  The other guests were mainly middle aged but there were also some young families and a good mix of nationalities.  The suite was amazing, the décor was a bit garish but the space was brilliant and we were right at the front which literally meant our balcony was leading the way.  We had amazing views on our very own sun trap.  We even had a ‘butler’ called Jeffery, who was lovely, and really helpful.  Master ATWWAH was spoilt rotten by the staff and regularly high fived around the ship.

view

‘Are We There Yet?’ balcony view

As with most cruises there were some typical people there including an American man who jumped a queue to drop his bags off telling the lady ‘this is my 30th cruise’ with such a know-it-all look on his face.  As you can imagine us Brits in the queue tutted and muttered quietly about how rude he was.  If you wanted to eat all day you could, and I’m sure some people did.  The freestyle dining made you didn’t  have to commit to a set meal time every day like you have to on some other cruise lines and there were loads of choices as to where to eat.  Toddlers were welcome in all the restaurants and there was a kids menu available in all restaurants although we tried to order off the specific restaurant menu.

There were lots of activities for children of all ages and under 3’s, or Guppies, had their own little playroom and pool as well as classes each day to help keep them entertained.  Kids aged over 3 could be left without a parent in the kids clubs.  The jogging track on the top deck was one of our regular haunts.  Five laps equalled one mile and most mornings we took Master ATWWAH for a ‘jog’ so we could guarantee he would need a lunchtime nap.

We even took advantage of the entertainment on board in the evenings as there were two shows, one at 7.30pm and one at 9.30pm.  The acrobats, a married couple from Poland, were fantastic and Master ATWWAH was very excited to meet them the next day in the kids section of the restaurant with their little girl.  And during a performance from a male quartet singing the Power of Love in Italian he declared to Mr ATWWAH that ‘we sing this at nursery’

We’d definitely go on another NCL cruise, it was perfect for families with kids, and upgrading to a suite just meant you had more space, a lovely butler and you got priority when leaving the ship on port days which is always nice with a toddler.

7 Comments
  1. I am actually going on this exact cruise with my 6 and 9 year old boys the end of July!! Do you have any packing tips? Thoughts on walkie talkies for us to keep in touch?? Greatly appreciated!

    • You will have a great time. I have never seen anyone with walkie talkies on a cruise, other than staff members I think you will be fine without.
      The ship is pretty small and if your boys are going in the kids club they will be having too much fun anyway.
      You shouldn’t need to pack anything specific for your cruise, just the usual holiday clothes and essentials. The onboard shop isn’t cheap so don’t forget your essentials. Have a brilliant time.

  2. We’re going on The Jade from Venice to Greece etc in August. I’m not remotely worried about our 8 year old, she’ll love it, but have just read on ‘cruise critic’, that our baby (10 months old), won’t be allowed in any pools! Does this include the little pool in the kids area? The guppies, I think it’s called, please let me know, as I’m really concerned
    Thank you
    Kathryn

    • Hi Kathryn,
      Most cruise lines have a no kids in swimming nappies rule for their pools. Although on both the NCL ships I have been on this has never been a problem in the kids pools or even the main pool on the Jade. Most swimming nappies are pretty secure.
      There is a very small pool in Guppies on the Jade, it is literally a small slide with a bit of water at the bottom rather than a pool. And then there is a bigger pool which we took Master ATWWAH in when he was still in swimming nappies. I wouldn’t worry as nobody said a thing when we were there. Just take swimming nappies and then a swimsuit or shorts to go over them and you should be fine.
      Have fun, it is a great cruise.

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