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Guest Review:  Windstar’s Greek Isles & Turkish Delights Cruise

Guest Review: Windstar’s Greek Isles & Turkish Delights Cruise

Avid cruise enthusiasts, Bob and Amy Sharak celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary onboard Wind Star’s September 8, 2012 Greek Isles and Turkish Delights cruise.

As avid cruise enthusiasts, my husband Bob and I thought cruising on Windstar would be a wonderful way to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. So, we headed to Istanbul with our good friends and traveling buddies Nancy and Paul.

To say my friend Nancy and I are ardent and enthusiastic shoppers is an understatement. Between seeing the more historical sites such as the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace, we shopped the Grand Bazaar and the lesser known Ortakoy and Beyoglu districts. While the shopping in Istanbul was fantastic, we knew we had to leave room in our suitcases for any treasures we might acquire on the rest of our trip!

Grand Bazaar
Amy at the Bazaar

After spending a few whirlwind days in Istanbul we boarded MSY Wind Star. Right away we could tell that the staff was dedicated to making our time on board relaxing and stress free. They were attentive to our every need. Our waiters Miko and Ram were the best on the ship!

Our first destination was Kusadasi where we toured the ancient ruins of Ephesus. We opted for the excursion which included the Ancient Houses, a great addition to the tour. We found time to do a bit of shopping on the way back to the ship, naturally.

Ephesus
Amy and Nancy at Ephesus

The next morning found us in Rhodes where we took in the sights, toured the Archaeological Museum, and did some more shopping!

That night on board the ship, the guests were presented with a Greek folk dancing demonstration. Many of the guests joined in, including my husband. I can barely remember the last time my husband danced on land, so I was surprised to see him up there joining in on Wind Star!

After the Greek dancing episode, we all agreed we needed a day of rest and relaxation. We chose the Bodrum excursion to the beautiful Kempinski Hotel and Beach resort. This property is really lovely and the lunch provided started with fabulous mezzes and was truly exceptional. While we were there, Paul got a massage (he is a big connoisseur of massages) which he said was the finest he’s ever had.

Kempinski Pool
Kempinski Pool

While the trip so far had been amazing, the best was yet to come. And it came that evening in the form of more local entertainment aboard the ship. A gorgeous Turkish belly dancer was in the lounge showing appreciative guests how to belly dance. She then chose my husband (the one who never seems to want to dance with me) to join her. He didn’t hesitate! I never whipped out my iphone so quickly. I had to record this! I’d like to take a minute to note that my husband, who works in the cruise industry, usually does not like to draw attention to himself while on a cruise. So, we all found it particularly hilarious that after that evening, wherever we went, other guests recognized him and told him just how entertaining he was. So much for keeping a low profile!

Wind Star
Wind Star

The following day we took a tour of Santorini. We found the Village of Oia especially scenic (with lots of cute shops) and had a fabulous meal at the Sphinx Restaurant there, which offered incredible views and phenomenal food. While we were eating, the folks at the next table recognized my husband and, as others had done, thanked him for providing so much enjoyment the previous night!

Oia Santorini
View from Sphinx in Oia

Our last day was spent on the quaint island of Mykonos, just walking around and taking in the sights, stopping into the shops (I especially liked the clothing at Jorjy), trying to breathe in those last vacation moments.

This cruise was a combination of great on board experiences mixed with incredible destinations. A perfect blend for a perfect cruise!

Bob and Amy Sharak
Parkland, Florida

Interested in sharing your cruise vacation story with our readers? We’re interested in receiving short cruise and/or shore excursion reviews; an anecdote (something special that may have happened on your cruise); or perhaps something off the beaten path you found interesting in port (good restaurant, market, shop, etc…). Send your story along with any photos you may have depicting your cruise to socialmedia@windstarcruises.com.

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  • fujue

    wow, so beautiful. i like travel, but i don’t have enough time to enjoy my journey! i will go to Maldives nest stop, to be a fashion girl

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  • Bob Blankemeyer

    Can you tell me what is appropriate dress in Istanbul, including mosques?

    • Bob, Istanbul will welcome your typical dress code; however, it changes when you visit mosques. Please see below:

      When visiting a mosque, wear modest, conservative clothing which exposes a minimum of flesh. No shorts or sleeveless shirts on either men or women. At the most popular mosques in Istanbul (such as the Blue Mosque), attendants may provide robes to wear during your visit if your normal sightseeing clothing is too informal. (No charge for use of the robe.)

      Women should wear slacks or a dress or blouse and skirt (at least below the knees), preferably with elbow-length or longer sleeves (no bare shoulders or upper arms), and a headscarf.

      A handy garment for women is a light-weight, long-sleeved jacket-shirt or jacket with a built-in hood (“hoodie”). Wearing slacks, just raise the hood when you enter the mosque, and you don’t need a headscarf!

      Men should wear long trousers and a sleeved shirt.

      Footwear is not important as you’ll be removing it before entering the mosque in any case.

      Information is gathered here: http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/Religion/mosque_etiquette.html

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