Updated: Oct 23, 2022
I am sailing, I am sailing
Home again, across the sea. I am sailing We both woke up feeling just a little bit dehydrated as a consequence of not drinking enough water the day before. We were also still quite full from our large evening meal. So instead of heading to the buffet for breakfast where we tend to fill up, we went down to the posher restaurant where breakfast is served to you. We both had the Eggs Benedict and some yoghurt with fruit. With 3 cups of tea each we were ready to face the day.
For some reason we had both been thinking we would be in Corfu today but were in fact in Crete. It didn’t matter as it was all Greek to us.
The boat docked in a port a few miles from Chania. Aside from the official tours, the port laid on a shuttle bus to the town for the some of 3 Euros return which we were happy to pay. The shuttle was full when we got in it and by chance, we were standing on the bus next to the Kiwi couple we had befriended previously.
Once we arrived in what was a bustling little town. We were very impressed. Lots of very pretty little alleyways and streets. There were some cheap tourist shops, but also there were a few chain stores and upmarket stores as well. There were lots of shops selling handmade leather goods that we browsed.
Then we came across something that made Karen jump for joy, an actual proper Starbucks. Once seen she was like a homing pigeon and was straight for it. I found a table outside. It was a most unlike Starbucks store we had ever seen. Inside it was the same but outside it looked and felt like a typical Greek taverna. It was rather lovely. We sat for a while using the free Wifi and then the Kiwi couple joined us for a while to do the same thing.
After a while I thought we should explore further and we set off for the Old Venetian harbour which turned out to be just around the corner. It was stunningly beautiful. It looked and felt like it had been created by Disney with the picture-perfect coloured buildings, lovely tavernas and shops. It was picture postcard perfect all with the sun and sea as well horses giving carriage rides around the bay. This was definitely the best place we had visited this trip.
We walked around both sides of the harbour/bay admiring the view from all angles. What a treasure and I was surprised that I had never heard of or seen photos of the place before.
After a while we started to meander back finding other very pretty alleyways to walk along back to the central square to get on the shuttle back. This time we found a seat which was thankful as Karen’s arm was starting to throb and she needed a rest.
Back at the ship we walked straight on. Getting off and on the ship on a daily basis had been one of my fears for the trip. I imagined large queues and lots of hassle. Instead, it has been extremely well organised and very orderly. Of course, the cruise companies have lots of practice with this. The key cards to our room cover everything. They act as ID for when we exit or enter the ship. They act as currency on board with a credit card attached to it (no cash is used on board). For us with our package they act as a free drinks card as well as opening the door to our cabin. A good use of technology. Although we are advised to take our passports when going on shore, we have never had to use them.
We headed for the buffet lunch and sat chilling for a while before heading to the middle pool area to sit in the sun and get some drinks. I went back to the cabin to get Karen’s flip flops and her kindle for her and by the time I had returned our Kiwi chums had been walking past and joined her for a chat.
We passed a good hour talking about Golf and different places in New Zealand. I may have accidentally drank 3 Bohemians during that period, but we did remember today to use some of our daily drinks allowance to get cans of water to take back with us.
Whilst sitting there the captain announced over the tannoy that we would not be heading to Mykonos overnight as planned as the winds were predicted to be too high for us to safely dock there. There was a collective groan from everyone around. This was changed to a cheer when he said we would be going to Kefalonia instead. It made no difference to us as we had never visited either.
Back in the cabin we actually sat on our balcony for an hour as Karen deemed it had the right amount of sun and shade. It was all very lovely.
We headed to The Dining Rooms for our meal. We both had the Crab & Shrimp crostini as a starter which was small but perfectly formed. I then had the top sirloin whilst Karen had a large chicken dish. We both followed this with the no sugar cheesecake. All of which was delicious as usual.
Then we went to the Main Stage Theatre for a show called Musicology. It was an interpretive dance show. I am sure it was very good – but. Interpretative dance for 45 minutes? I can put up with it for perhaps one piece of music. I remember at infant school having to ‘be the wind’ standing there as a child thinking what utter nonsense that it all was. I was right then and I was right today. It was also not helped by a couple of Dutch ladies sitting behind us who were chatting all the way through it. When Karen eventually allowed us to leave after about 20 minutes, I stood up looked at them and just said how rude in a very British unconfrontational way as I left.
We ended up back at the Piano bar drinking Bellini’s which were very nice. The best part of their show is when they take requests. There was lots of singing. There was a country song they played about retirement that made me laugh a lot. Karen was happy with the Coldplay track they did, although the highlight was Paradise by the Dashboard light.
This brought the end to another good day. We are still not certain about cruise life. I cannot say we really love it and I cannot say we absolute hate it so far. We are told that Holland America is one of the better cruise lines. It has big enough ships without being too massive. It doesn’t cater for the party set or for children. We have been told it is only ¾ full and there are only 3 children on board. There are more than enough bars and sit-down areas to find and it doesn’t ever feel crowded. Whether we rush back to do this again we don’t know. I think it may 5 – 10 years too early for us. At the moment the itinerary would have to where we wouldn’t visit by other means, which this is certainly the case for us as we had never visited the Greek Islands before and would not have booked to have been stuck on one for any length of time.