I Just Cruised The Greek Islands, Here’s What It Was Like (2021)

Penni Schewe

At the finish of June 2021, I was lucky to receive an assignment to sail aboard Celebrity Cruises’ newest ship, the Superstar APEX for its Greek Islands and Cyprus cruise as a paid visitor speaker for their onboard Enrichment Software. 

It was Superstar Cruises’ maiden voyage for this itinerary and an interesting time for both the crew and travellers, but in these new vacation times, strict processes experienced to be adhered to to assure clean sailing and an pleasing time for all.

Here’s what I figured out about cruising the Greek islands in these situations with Celeb Cruises onboard the APEX.

Dragana Gordic / Shutterstock.com

Entry Needs For U.S. Citizens To Greece

I am a Uk citizen who life in Greece and have been here due to the fact the outbreak of COVID-19.

Greece has taken care of the COVID-19 condition really perfectly and due to the fact its inception, has recorded just around 512,000 cases and roughly 13,000 fatalities (Resource) in a country with a population of practically 11 million.

Since Greece opened up for travel all over again in 2021, the subsequent guidelines utilize to U.S. citizens coming into the nation:

  • A PCR test taken no a lot more than 72 several hours prior to arriving into Greece.
  • A PLF (Passenger Locator Form) loaded out no much more than 48 several hours on arrival in Greece.
  • Masks to be worn when within a creating these types of as the airport, grocery store, etc., with the exception of sitting down to try to eat. But to sit within a restaurant, proof of vaccine will have to be provided.

More specific information can be uncovered from the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Greece and should be consulted as the policies are pretty fluid due to the character of this virus, and are continually becoming up to date.

Cruise Boarding Methods

To board a Movie star Cruises ship in Greece there are very similar necessities, but also further types to abide by. Superstar maintains it will sail with a totally vaccinated crew and at the very least 95 per cent vaccinated passengers.

Superstar Cruises has a really smooth boarding treatment at the cruise port in Piraeus and it is advisable to download the Celeb Cruises application to your smartphone so you can test into your cruise and acquire the QR code to clearly show the workers after you get there at the port.
Right after staying dropped off by my taxi, my baggage was helpfully whisked absent and would be obtainable for me in my cabin — Movie star supplies you with printable baggage tags pre-vacation for this intent.
I was required to go to an outdoor tented location initial exactly where my QR Scheduling Code was scanned and vaccination certification checked. Then I was essential to head further into the tent exactly where we waited for our complimentary antigen test to be administered and provided a ticket with a selection to wait for the success.

As I waited for my ticket selection to look on the screen, I was delivered with water and cooling towels — it was unusually scorching at this time of yr and they ended up undoubtedly welcomed!
Inside 10 minutes, my amount was named and, thankfully my antigen exam was negative so I could board the ship and seem forward to the days in advance.

 
In true Superstar style, as I boarded, I was given a spherical of applause from the crew waiting around to greet passengers — an extra contact that proved to me the times forward with this ship and crew would be eventful.

Top view of Celebrity Apex cruise ship with pool.
Wayleebird / Shutterstock.com

Each day Lifestyle On Board

Movie star APEX, as with several of its ships, sailed at much less than 50 percent potential to be certain ample cabins had been offered as “quarantine cabins,” should any person turn out to be sick on board.

With 16 visitor decks, even though a certainly spacious ship in any case, this sailing at considerably less than comprehensive potential meant I experienced the possibility to escape for additional privacy — whether or not that would be in 1 of its 29 dining places, bars, and lounges or by the pool. I appreciated mingling when I desired to, or acquiring a tranquil location relatively than feeling I had to confine myself to my cabin for privateness.

On that note, in these unprecedented situations, it’s important to use your mask on board the ship at all moments and maintain a superior 6 feet distance from other visitors. Superstar helpfully gives you with hand sanitizer and masks for this objective — it’s often excellent to convey your individual, too.

Value knowing is that the forex on board is the U.S dollar and if you sign-up your credit card on the app in advance of touring, no funds needs to portion palms although onboard — but do enjoy your expending by way of your on the internet account!

Entertainment On Board And Enrichment Program

A person thing’s for positive, you will by no means get bored on a Celeb Cruise! All cruise ships are recognized as floating resorts and the Superstar APEX was no exception. Exclusive displays these as the rock background Rockumentary,  Tree of Life — an uplifting journey by means of the seasons of daily life and Crystallize — electrifying pop violin audio, took put in the point out-of-the-artwork and most technologically innovative theater of all of their ships.

With the quite a few bars and scaled-down assembly rooms with various quiz displays, or a trip to the on line casino – Celebrity APEX and the cruise all over the Greek islands in no way left you short of one thing to do.

I was honored to be asked to arrive aboard and just take section in its Enrichment Program, which entailed supplying two talks and a Q&A session about daily life in Greece and exclusively for me, talking about my novel since it has a Greek topic.

I was also thrilled to be requested to look on the ship’s tv in advance of each individual port to assistance introduce the desired destination and give some insider understanding to the Greek islands and ports of phone. As I love this place, it was a enjoyment to tell guests and support them see Greece by way of my eyes.

Cliffside with harbor and buildings in amazing Santorini with deep blue sky and water.
Santorini, Greece (Photo Credit score: leoks / Shutterstock.com)

Excursions

My Greek islands cruise with Movie star APEX went from the Athens port of Piraeus to the port of Limassol in Cyprus, then back by means of Rhodes, Santorini, and Mykonos. With a quick time in each and every port, Celeb designed the most effective of this by offering a collection of truly condensed Tours and Sightseeing visits primarily for its passengers, bookable on board and to support them get the most out of the time onshore.

For me, because I am familiar with the destinations and simply because the weather was so incredibly hot I made a decision to use my time to just chill out on board and enjoy the facilities this kind of as the spa or the pool. If you are unfamiliar with a place though, I would urge you to ebook at least a limited tour to get the highlights.

Finest Time Of Calendar year

Chatting of reserving excursions, as I outlined, the time of calendar year I went — the finish of June 2021 was unusually sizzling and humid, hence I did not want to consider much too several excursions ashore. This could impact when you decide on to get your cruise. I’d check the Movie star web-site to see when they operate.
For me, the finest year is spring or fall up until finally the end of September, even into Oct if the cruise is operating around the islands since it’s cooler and less active.

Pro Idea

Owning in no way been on a Celebrity Cruise right before, I have to say I was amazed with Celebrity’s professionalism, COVID-19 protocols, and capacity to make travellers come to feel genuinely welcome. 

There is, however, much much more to Greece than Santorini and Mykonos — for instance, these 7 Ideal Island Day Excursions from Athens present you some of the lesser-known Greek islands and prove you really do not need to vacation far from the funds to enjoy a Greek island.
Why not devote some time acquiring a city crack in the capital and handle you to a single of these 7 Extraordinary Boutique Inns to Keep In Athens just before heading off on your Greek island cruise?

Greece has many stunning islands and metropolitan areas to explore:

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