Piraeus for Athens was the first port day on our first ever cruise holiday in September 2018. We sailed aboard P&O Oceana – you can read about Day 1 – Embarkation at Malta here and my review of our sea days too.
Port of Piraeus
The Port of Piraeus has a big modern cruise terminal. We awoke on Day 3 to find we were docked right next to the Terminal building. Chatting to some of the crew we discovered that this is one of their favourite stops. The terminal includes telephones, a bar and cafeteria, an air-conditioned lounge and free WiFi. The crew all try and hop off and take advantage of these.
Also after a short walk through the terminal you can find regular Hop on Hop off buses that take you into Athens for the Parthenon and The Acropolis.
Mr Fitz and I did not book any of the organised shore excursions. We were happy just to find our own way around and experience a taster of the ports we were visiting.
I mentioned the daily cruise bulletin Horizon. In here it informed us that tickets for the buses could be bought in The Atrium of Oceana on the day of the visit. This is what we did and used this method of travel to take us around.
The bus ride into Athens is quite scenic. We were given new sealed headphones to listen to a guided tour of the route. The dialogue pointed out many interesting landmarks which we would not have spotted or recognised. For a football fan like myself it passed the home Stadium of Olympiakos, one of Greece’s largest teams. I love a good football stadium!
The Acropolis and Parthenon
When the bus arrived at the Acropolis is was around 11 AM, however it was already busy and extremely hot. The Parthenon stands proudly atop the Acropolis with a steady stream of visitors snaking their way up. As it was very high and extremely hot – well over 30 degrees even at that time of the day we decided not to climb up. Mr Fitz could manage it easily but I’m not sure I could anyway! We enjoyed a nice stroll round the perimeter of the base and admired the views down in to the City of Athens. One highlight was enjoying a pleasant sit in the shade listening to a gentleman in Greek attire singing and playing an accordion.
After a short stay of around an hour we hopped back on the bus and returned to the port of Piraeus and our wonderful cruise ship. The image of her as you approach never failed to impress us.
There were quite a few other passengers doing the same.
On our return we enjoyed more time on deck with a lunchtime snack from the Horizon Grill. It really is wall to wall food and all great quality.
Then I was able to watch my football team Manchester City play their game screened live on the TV in the sports bar – Winners Bar. This was an unexpected surprise for us.
In the evening we discovered that there was a Tropical themed evening. All other passengers seemed to know this before boarding. We didn’t however, really unsure why. Luckily though we did have suitable clothing. Mr Fitz had a linen shirt with a subtle flamingo print that I had purchased for him and I had a dress with a large floral tropical print.
For our evening meal we had made a booking at The Beach House which has a slight cover charge. The food again was lovely. From the menu Ichose Coconut Crumb Tiger Prawns followed by a Tex Mex Ribs platter. Mr Fitz had a crispy bacon caesar salad and a hanging kebab. It was all delicious.
After dinner we enjoyed a balmy evening on deck with entertainment and music. The Entertainment team had a dance off, making the passengers sat on Port and Starboard compete against each other. All quite cheesy but surprisingly entertaining. The sight of passengers who work in Executive roles by day marching around to Tony Christie’s Amarillo, would bring a smile to anyone’s face.
A thoroughly enjoyable day. Our destination for Day 4 was Santorini. Please come back to read my review of our visit in a future blog post. I would love you to subscribe to my blog do that you don’t miss it.
Thanks for dropping in to read today – I really appreciate it.