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Day Three: Piraeus, Greece

Posted on Monday, May 7th, 2007

Dave!I am not much of a "cruise guy." I prefer to travel on my own and not be trapped on a ship awaiting the next port of call. But given that Greece has something like 4000 islands, a cruise is probably the easiest way to see a little bit of Greek life outside the mainland, and so here I am.

In many ways, cruising is a surreal experience. Despite the fact that you are in foreign waters visiting foreign ports of call, the ship itself is devoid of place and could be said to exist anywhere. I find this to be disorienting, and a rather detached way of exploring other cultures, but there are some plusses to be had. For one thing, you aren't packing and unpacking from place to place because your room travels with you. For another, all your food is included in the cost of the cruise. This wouldn't be so bad if the food sucks, but I've found cruise ship food is almost always exceptional, which means I spend most of my day eating. Gluttony, as it turns out, is not such a terrible way to spend your time (even if it is considered to be a deadly sin).

The first day of a cruise is relatively boring, as most of the crew is dedicated to getting everybody settled on the ship. The only excitement to be had is the mandatory Emergency Drill, where everybody gets to put on their lifejackets and head to a muster station so they can learn what to do if the ship hits an iceberg or whatever. At least, they might learn what to do in an emergency situation if you could actually hear the instructions. With everybody talking, the room is so noisy that I couldn't hear a dang thing. So, I suppose if our ship does end up hitting an iceberg, I'll just put on my lifejacket and run screaming down the halls in the hopes that it all works out...

Emergency Drill

The most bizarre sight of the day would have to be the couple who brought along their baby on the Emergency Drill. Who the f#@% cruises with a baby? With my luck, the baby will end up being a screamer, and end up in the stateroom next door.

Cruiser babies suck ass.

They suck almost as bad as the cost for internet.

Now, don't get me wrong, I am beyond thankful that the ship even has internet in the first place, but 50¢ a minute is pretty harsh. That's $30 an hour! I could get blown by a crack-whore for that!! Understandably, blog reading for the next two weeks will be at a minimum. Sure I love everybody, but I wouldn't pay $30 an hour to read my own blog.

I am, however, willing to spend $30 and hour to write in it. Lucky you.

Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time for "lunner" - that magical meal between lunch and dinner, and one of seven free meals I'll be eating every day.

Hey, it beats playing shuffleboard.


Categories: Travel 2007Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. Tina says:

    I’ve always wanted to go to Greece. I was named after the Greek Goddess, Athena. Take a picture of her for me!

  2. ssp says:

    Just make sure you put the bad monkey in his life-west first.

    And don’t miss any meals!

  3. webmiztris says:

    lol, I know – paying 50 cents/minute for internet access on a ship is ridiculous… we never logged on to the internet when we cruised. we’re cheap bastards. :)

    have fun, dave!

  4. Sounds like you’re living like a hobbit abroad as it pertains to meals: breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, lunch, second lunch, dinner, supper… Maybe you’ll come back with hairy feet!

  5. Avitable says:

    Your dedication to blogging is, as always, outstanding.

    I always found cruises to be horrible, and the food mediocre. That is, unless you want to dress up and go sit at dinner at an assigned time and an assigned table. I’m sorry, but I don’t do that shit as an adult.

  6. Suzanne says:

    Two WEEKS cruising the Greek Isles? TWO WEEKS??

    Sweet tooth-brushing Jesus, I am beyond jealous.

  7. Hilly says:

    The important question is…how much is the booze? Because that is what will make the screamer baby seem less heinous (I had to laugh cause that is so something I would say!).

    Have fun cruising, seeing lovely sites and um…don’t worry about those of us here on terra firma. If you miss a million dollar day of net usage, we shall cry but survive!

  8. Perhaps 2 weeks in the Greek Isles would help me knock-up my wife, but alas, our new condo budget will not permit the frivolity.

    As for 7 meals each day – I’m jealous beyond belief at the riches upon which you’re feasting. Just beware the shellfish.

  9. Firda says:

    For some reason, when I hear cruise, I think senior citizens…

  10. Laurence says:

    Have fun ! :-)

    You are amazing ! ;-)

  11. diane says:

    Yeah, sorry, not a whole lot of sympathy on the 18 hrs of travel when this is the end result. ;)
    I am SO glad to hear I am not the only one who is a bit weirded out by the cruise concept. For me, though, it’s more about being on a ship with no control over when I can leave it. I suppose it is no different than an airplane, but at least in that case I have a finite destination, whereas on a cruise I’m floating around on a boat BEING on vacation and then going from place to place. It’s all a little too weird for me.
    I’d be into the dining experience, but after contracting the Norwalk Virus (the one usually responsible for the stomach bugs that spread like wildfire on cruise ships and then get a whole bunch of news coverage) without ever even setting foot on a cruiseship, I have to confess to being a wee bit reluctant. (I’m sure you and Bad Monkey will be fine, I just have a propensity to contract the weirdest and most obscure illnesses ouit there!)

  12. ChicagoDave says:

    Hey Dave – we’ve got good news and bad news to share from the States:

    First the good news: LOST is coming to an end!

    Now the bad news: it’s going to take three more seasons (albeit shortened 16 episode seasons) before it comes screeching to a “highly anticipated and shocking finale” in the 2009-10 season.

    Enjoy the cruise.

  13. Rick says:

    How/where did you book the cruise? And how do you avoid being stuck with a bunch of geriatrics and/or spring break bunch?

  14. Anonymous says:

    what the f#@% is wrong with babies on cruises. what they meant to do, throw it overboard if they don’t have a sitter. anyways you’re the biggest baby goin! lol have a ball, fucker.

  15. Michelle says:

    I’m sooo envious. It’s great that you get to do this. Enjoy your cruise.

  16. Karl says:

    $30 an hour?! Now THAT’S commitment. Rock on, dude.

  17. bogup says:

    Fun, fun Dave! The sights will be stupendous and I just know you will meet some interesting people. That is a lotomoney for internet access. So much for cruising the net, eh?

    Let us know if you see Mt. Vesuvius erupting.

    Hey, your uploading this message just cost you 45 cents!!!

  18. Mist 1 says:

    Crack whores are really expensive where you are. They’re much more reasonable here.

  19. Bre says:

    Dang it! I was jealous enough that you were in Greece, but now that I know you’re on a cruise in Greece the jealousy has quadrupled! If you buy a pair of shoes there it might … tenthify?

  20. Chag says:

    We went on a cruise for our honeymoon. The food was exceptional. Midnight chocolate buffets, etc. I get hungry just thinking about it.

    And tell the Cruiser Baby to take the Disney Cruise next time!

  21. sfchick74 says:

    Children should not be taken on vacation before the age of 6. It’s just WAY too much headache.

  22. Mooselet says:

    I got married on a cruise in the Caribbean. Loved being able to eat pretty much nonstop and when it all got too much we retreated to our cabin and its balcony. Had a blast, hope you do too.

  23. Dave2 says:

    Tina… Athena doesn’t like having her picture taken. Take her picture, and she’ll smite your ass! :-)

    SSP… Hey, on this ship, it’s every monkey for himself! But don’t worry about Bad Monkey, he’s talented enough to counterfeit money, so I’m pretty sure he can get into a life vest. :-)

    Webmiztris… Hah! A REAL “webmiztris” would laugh at the 50¢ a minute and hack her way onto the internet! Or at least teach me how to hack in… :-D

    Atomic… I’d think of myself to be more of a Gollum, but a Hobbit os okay. :-)

    Avitable… Really? I have yet to experience a bad meal, no matter where I eat. Norwegian dispenses with all the “assigned seating and times” stuff for their “Freestyle Cruising” which is pretty sweet, because I’m with you on not wanting to be stapled to a timetable.

    Suzanne… Yeah, it’s a pretty nifty cruise alright! Even though I don’t much like the confines of the cruising lifestyle, this one has plenty of stops at port, so I think I’ll be okay with it.

    Hilly… Booze is outrageously expensive, and they make you hand over any bottles you buy in port until the end of the cruise! :-(

    Matthew… I’m a vegetarian, so the shellfish will go untouched! There’s plenty of other great foods to gorge myself on. :-)

    Firda… That’s probably because they comprise %80 of the people onboard. It’s definitely the recreation of choice for older travelers!

    Laurence… I will try to have fun. It will be very difficult, as I am eating and seeing beautiful sights all the time, but I will try!

    Diane… Cruising means putting your itinerary completely in the hands of the ship, which is why I spent days researching all the ships I could find to get the schedule I was most happy with. Most important for me was to get a cruise that had as many ports of call as possible.

    ChicagoDave… Oh my… well, perhaps now that there is an actual ENDING in site, the writers will stop spinning their wheels and actually DO something! Maybe I should start watching again?

    Rick… I visited a bunch of cruise review sites, then wrote down all the lines that service the Mediterranean, then visited each website for the lines, then found an itinerary I liked on a ship I was okay with. I then booked directly with the company… and had them take care of the airfare, transfers, hotels, excursions, and everything else. It’s more expensive than getting it through a discount site, but I didn’t want to trust any outside companies. I suppose an easier (and possibly cheaper?) route would have been to use a reputable site like Expedia?

    Anonymous… Well, if the ship sinks, they would pretty much HAVE to throw it overboard. I cannot imagine any parent taking a new baby on a cruise when the possibility of sinking exists and health problems are known to happen. I would tend to think of my baby before myself, but that’s just me. When you choose to have a baby, you are making a commitment to sacrifice certain things in life, and if means you can’t go on a cruise to best care for it, then so be it. Not only would it be a nightmare for the parents, but it’s pretty fucking inconsiderate to make people paying $10,000 for a vacation to have to listen to your crying baby day and night. And I will enjoy myself, you anonymous asshole pussy. How lame to call somebody a “fucker” and not have the balls to sign your name to it.

    Michelle… Well, it took nearly two years of saving my money to do this, so I am certainly going to try, thanks!

    Karl… Yeah, well, that’s the way I roll. :-)

    Bogup… Mt. Vesuvius is in Italy, isn’t it? I can’t afford to surf over to Wikipedia to find out!

    Mist1… Dang. I need to be more careful where I shop for my crack whores then!

    Bre… Uhhh… don’t worry about that. Unless I lose my shoes overboard, I won’t be buying another pair! :-)

    Chag… The food is, by far, the best part of a cruise. I hope I don’t end up gaining 20 lbs. by the time it’s over!

    SFchick74… Not to mention potentially dangerous for the kid. :-(

    Mooselet… This time I was sure to get a balcony for just that reason! :-)

  24. bogup says:

    To correct myself:
    Perhaps you will see Mt. Etna which is more likely to be erupting and is located the east coast of Sicily, close to Messina and Catania. It is the largest active volcano in Europe.

  25. Michael says:

    Wow, have a good time. Was able to take a one-day cruise to three of the islands, and even that rocked. Yours will surely be fantastic!

  26. kapgar says:

    Be prepared to diet afterwards, my friend. Cruises do that to you.

    You’re getting screwed on the Web connection. On my cruise, it was $20/hr and that was four years ago.

  27. Avitable says:

    Having no assigned time and no assigned table would be nice. We never once took advantage of the assigned dinner because I had no interest at sitting at a table with random fuckers. I like to eat my dinner alone, with my wife, not with people who are going to try to make conversation.

  28. Tracy Lynn says:

    I salivate just thinking about cruise meals. AND they carve food into shapes, which makes it interesting as well as delicious.

    I believe I may very well be getting jealous, Dave.

  29. Andre says:

    i hope your cruise includes Malta , just to add another HRC to your tally ;-)

  30. sandra says:

    I went on a cruise once. My good friend worked for Princess, so we got a 7-day cruise for $105. Really. The problem? The movement of the boat, subtle as it was, made me sleep THE ENTIRE TIME. Literally, I’d sit down and fall asleep.

  31. iddly says:

    Make sure that you, the monkey *and* the toys (computer, camera etc) have a life jacket each. We’d miss ALL of you if the ship went down.

  32. How funny! Your trip to Greece, overlapped my trip to Cyprus – we were in the same time-zone!

    The world *is* small.

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