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Recently, I’ve shared some potential itineraries and award flight strategies for another trip to Europe next year. My family is planning to explore a few cities before and after a European cruise. Since a few of you asked me about our cruise plans, here is more detail about how we picked our cruise.
Cruise vs. Land Vacation
This trip started with my desire to visit Greece. Before we had kids, my husband and I actually had plans to travel to Greece. Those plans never came to fruition for various reasons.
As I looked into planning a land vacation in Greece that included visiting a few islands, the cost and hassle started to add up. So, I pivoted to cruise ship itineraries.
Factors in Picking European Cruise
If it were just my husband and I going, I would have picked a small cruise ship with a port-heavy itinerary. But, we have three kids who will be 12, 15 and 18. This could be our last vacation as a family of five before my oldest son moves away, so the kids are definitely coming.
Ship: Because of our kids, we need a ship that has some bells and whistles. Water slides, teen clubs, shows, etc.
Itinerary: I really want to see Santorini and Mykonos.
Length: Since we want to add on some before and after sight-seeing, seven days is the ideal length for the cruise.
Cost: Over the last few years, we’ve enjoyed cruising with two connecting staterooms. Everyone is happier that way. I don’t see us going back to one room. Since college is looming on the horizon, we can’t spend an arm and a leg on this cruise. DCL is out of the question.
The Cruise that Checked all the Boxes
After looking at all of the options, we chose a 7-night cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas. The ship debuted in 2021, and a it shares a lot of the same features as Anthem of the Seas (which we enjoyed in 2019).
My kids are looking forward to iFLY, bumper cars, laser tag and Sky Pad bungee trampoline. I’m excited to ride on the North Star once again and seeing new shows The Effectors and The Book.
The itinerary includes three countries:
Day 1: Embarkation in Rome, Italy
Day 2: Day at Sea
Day 3: Santorini, Greece
Day 4: Ephesus, Turkey
Day 5: Mykonos, Greece
Day 6: Day at Sea
Day 7: Naples/Capri, Italy
Day 8: Debarkation in Rome
If you’ve been to any of those ports, I’m open to suggestions on your favorite activities.
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.