Daytripping to Athens on Royal Caribbean's 7 Night Eastern Mediterranean Cruise
You'll find information on preparing for your trip on Royal Caribbean's 7 Night Eastern Mediterranean Cruise: How, What, Why from Home to Cruise Port.
The itinerary on Royal Caribbean's 7 Night Eastern Mediterranean cruise is:
- Day 1 - Cruise Port (Civitavecchia)
- Day 2 - Messina or Taormina, Sicily
- Day 3 - Cruising
- Day 4 - Athens, Greece
- Day 5 - Ephesus, Turkey
- Day 6 - Crete
- Day 7 - Cruising
- Day 8 - Cruise Port (Civitavecchia)
We also extended our vacation with a week in Rome.
Do you have bottled water? You need it. The most important tip I can give you is that there is very, very, very slick marble jutting out of the ground on the Acropolis. You need to consider your footwear. Sunscreen and chapstick, plus a hat, are extremely important if you don't want to bake. A crossbody bag is a good idea.
The cruise ship will dock in Piraeus. This is one of the busiest ports in the world, and it will be crowded with other passengers hurrying to the same transportation that you want to take. I found that most people were opting for the Metro, but for about 20 euros, you can take a taxi to the Acropolis. That's the fare for the ride, not per person. The taxis are right outside the exit from the port. You may find that the taxi drivers want to take you on a tour, but just keep repeating your destination and don't overpay.
It's much cheaper to take the Metro, less than one euro, but to get to the station you'll need to make a 20 minute walk. That's not bad, unless it is summer, and then the average temperature is 90 degrees F. I remember feeling baked in the sun and I'm used to hot weather. It might be worthwhile to consider a taxi just so you don't start out your one day in Athens hot and sweaty from your twenty minute hike to the Metro station. If you decide to take the bus or train, there are plenty of sites to help you manuever the transit systems.
The Acropolis of Athens
The Acropolis has four main monuments:
- the Parthenon, which we all remember from history class,
- the Temple of Athena Nike,
- Propylaia, which is the entrance building to the Acropolis,
- and the Erechtheon, which is famous for the Porch of the Caryatids.
There are also a few other monuments on the Acropolis. You will get a nice brochure when you buy your tickets, which were 12 euros when I visited in 2011. The brochure will map out all the monuments. The ticket office is right at the bottom of the entrance to the Acropolis and you won't miss it.
Don't forget to go to the wall and gaze out at the white buildings of the city with the sea in the background.
Shopping in the Plaka
It's about a twenty minute walk from the Acropolis to the Plaka, down a fairly steep slope on Mnisikleous Street. The shopping area encompasses many streets, so you can take a right as shown in this map to end up in the Plaka.
We enjoyed sitting at a outdoor cafe and eating souvlaki after shopping for leather sandals, jewelry and artwork. From the Plaka, we took a taxi to the National Archaelogical Museum.
National Achaelogical Museum of Athens
I don't know about you, but for me the Antikythera mechanism is one of the great wonders of the world. You might want to see it. Along with statues and reliefs of the Greek gods, Egyptian sarcophaghi, and other wonders, you'll find the located Antikthera mechanism in the National Archaelogical Museum in Athens.
The museum is located at 28is Oktovriou 44. We took a taxi there from the Plaka, because I was unfamiliar with the public transportation and didn't want to take a chance on taking the wrong bus or train and wasting time during the only day I will ever spend in Athens.
Your Next Daytrip
Royal Caribbean's day trip to Athens is a full day of activities. Tomorrow is also a full day if you travel to Ephesus. We had an alternative plan, as you can read about in Daytripping in Turkey on Royal Caribbean's 7 Night Eastern Mediterranean Cruise.
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