European Cruise

Istanbul-Turkey Varna-Bulgaria Odessa-Ukraine Sevastopol-Ukraine
Ephesus-Turkey Rhodes-Greece Limassol-Cyprus Cairo-Egypt
Athens-Greece Kusadasi-Turkey Santorini-Greece Messina-Sicily
Naples-Pompeii-Italy Rome-Italy Monte Carlo-Monaco Marseille-France
Barcelona-Spain Cadiz-Spain Lisbon-Portugal Paris-France
London-England People Ship General Items

General Items

Flew from Philadelphia to Frankfort, Germany.

For those who may want some additional information:

170MPH take-off speed

140MPH landing speed

594MPH cruising speed

39,000 cruising altitude

-76F outside temperature

At take-off, there were 61 tons of fuel on the plane (Airbus 340)

 There arenít enough gates for the planes. So our plane was parked on the tarmac in a line of planes. There were two portable stairways used to deplane the passengers. Buses then took us to the terminal. Our next plane was at another terminal, so there was a long walk, immigration, and then going through security again.  L

Flew from Frankfort, Germany, to Athens, Greece. Holland America Line (HAL) representatives met us (about 25 people from our cruise were on the plane), waited for our baggage, then took us on a bus to the pierís passenger terminal. We boarded the ship just in time for the life vest drill at the lifeboat stations. Some passengers were on a later flight and arrived at the ship one hour prior to leaving the pier. They did not receive their luggage until two days later, at Istanbul.

If people are on a HAL (Holland America Line) excursion tour, the ship will wait. If people are touring on their own, and are not back in time, the ship will leave. The HAL tours are good about getting back to the ship on time. Mom recalls only one time when a ship we were on had to wait for a tour getting back late to the ship.

So far we have not had to have a visa, even though a visa is normally required in Turkey and Egypt. At several countries, immigration officials from those countries came on board the ship and stamped all passports. Passports are retained by the ship unless they are (infrequently) required by a country, to be on the tourist. My perception is that passport and visa rules are relaxed for cruise ships, probably because the countries know that people are not going to be wandering far from the ship, or for several days when the ship is in port for one day.

I don't want the cruise to end, so it's wonderful that we still have so many ports remaining.

Slide show: