I’m probably cruising too much – if there can be such a thing.

I still have reports to post from the Galapagos. Ditto for Cuba with Holland America Line. And I haven’t even touched my photos from my spectacular inaugural Mediterranean cruise aboard the brand-new Carnival Horizon.

In short, I’m falling behind.

Adding more to the pile, I just returned from a charming, wonderful cruise through the Greek Islands with Celestyal Cruises. It was a four-day journey from Piraeus, repeating a jaunt I last did as an 18-year old high school student. That was Cruise Number 2. This was Cruise Number 100-something. A long time has passed in between, but I finally made it to the island of Santorini, after two previous failed attempts. Third time’s the charm.

Celestyal Olympia at anchor off Santorini, Greece on Thursday, May 3, 2018. Photo © 2018 Aaron Saunders

It’s hard to not fall in love with the Greek Islands, not when the scenery is jaw-dropping, the history rich, and the people warm and welcoming. Except for that one restaurant in Rhodes. They screwed me good. Who ever heard of a five Euro glass of tap water?

But the star that stole my heart was the charming Celestyal Olympia. She began life back in 1982, the same year as me. Built as Royal Caribbean’s Song of America, she was ahead of her time when she sailed into Miami that December, and she has aged well under the loving care of Celestyal Cruises, which has owned her since 2004. Carrying 1,664 passengers from all around the world, many of whom travelled as part of a larger tour package with companies like Trafalgar and Cosmos, there is no getting around the classic charm of this wonderful vessel.

Inside, Celestyal Olympia has been lovingly cared for. She’s a charming, classy ship. Photo © 2018 Aaron Saunders

Sure, it doesn’t have a go-kart track or a zipline or a rock-climbing wall, but it does something that newer ships don’t: it puts the focus solely on the people and the destination.

I didn’t realize how much I’d missed that.

Our full Voyage Report from onboard Celestyal Olympia is coming soon. In the meantime, here’s a quick look at a short but very memorable journey.

A Window to Santorini. Photo © 2018 Aaron Saunders

A magical (if windy!) evening in Mykonos. Photo © 2018 Aaron Saunders

A Taste of Greece onboard Celestyal Olympia. Photo © 2018 Aaron Saunders

Commanding views from the Horizon Bar on Deck 12. Photo © 2018 Aaron Saunders

Celestyal Olympia at anchor off Mykonos. Photo © 2018 Aaron Saunders

Underway on the Aegean…Photo © 2018 Aaron Saunders

…with relaxing afternoons at sea between ports of call. Photo © 2018 Aaron Saunders

Evenings on Oia (ee-ahh), Santorini. Photo © 2018 Aaron Saunders

The magical ruins of Ephesus, with the imposing Library of Celsus. Photo © 2018 Aaron Saunders

Kusadasi Kat. Photo © 2018 Aaron Saunders

Magical Mykonos. Photo © 2018 Aaron Saunders

Celestyal Cruises visits quiet Patmos, Greece…Photo © 2018 Aaron Saunders

…with some spectacular results at sunset. Photo © 2018 Aaron Saunders

There are plenty of opportunities to relax by one of Celestyal Olympia’s two swimming pools. Photo © 2018 Aaron Saunders

Our full Voyage Report from Celestyal Olympia will be online soon! Photo © 2018 Aaron Saunders

From the Deck Chair will return soon!

 

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