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Joann Tripi

Westbury, New York Travel Agent

The Greek Isles Aboard Azamara

For my daughter’s 30th birthday, I booked us on a cruise around the Greek Islands and Turkey with Azamara Club Cruises, sailing in and out of Athens (Piraeus). We loved hopping through the Greek isles, with their whitewashed, red-roofed little towns and beautiful beaches. Each one had something special to offer. We enjoyed tasting the Retsina on Paros, one of the oldest wine-making regions in the region, took the famous donkey ride to Fira, which sits on the rim of a former volcanic crater on Santorini, and were happy we had an overnight in Mykonos, with its beautiful beaches and lively seaside cafes. 

It was also thrilling to visit the site of Ephesus in Turkey, where we saw the House of Virgin Mary, where she is believed to have spent her last days, and the Great Theatre where the apostle Paul once preached. Azamara also planned a special “Azamara Evening for everyone there; they took us in the evening for a private event when it was closed and had an orchestra playing, and it felt incredibly special. And in near Kusadasi, where we were docked, we visited a workshop to see how the beautiful Turkish rugs are hand-woven.

We both enjoyed being on an intimate ship (under 700 passengers) where we never felt crowded or herded around. And it was relaxing not to have to worry about paying for meals, wine or gratuities on board. Best of all, it was nice to get away and be able to share some amazing experiences together!

Three lessons from my life in travel

  • Book in advance
  • Book hotels that offer upgrades and amenities
  • Use a travel agent who can help you plan the trip you really want

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