Armchair travel: John and Karen Clark's cruise of the Greek isles
'We have had Greece on our bucket list for many years'
John and Karen Clark call themselves "a 50-ish-year-old couple" from Baltic, P.E.I., who've been bitten hard by the travel bug.
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The Clarks agreed to share their 10-night November 2016 cruise to Greece and Rome.
"We have had Greece on our bucket list for many years," the Clarks said in an e-mail.
They'd originally planned to do the trip in 2013 for their 25th anniversary, but the timing was bad — unrest in Greece was at a fever pitch. Even when they did book the trip in June 2015, they debated canceling it.
"In June 2015, the day after booking the cruise, there was news that Greece may be forced into bankruptcy by the European Union," the couple added. "Our dream vacation was in jeopardy once again."
Making a final decision — and payment for the approximately $8,000 vacation — three months before their November 2016 departure the couple said they were confident the cruise line wouldn't venture into any unsafe areas.
"We were somewhat apprehensive about visiting Athens and Turkey, but were pleasantly surprised at how safe we felt and how friendly the people were," according to the Clarks.
'The best combination'
The Clarks have used many different vacation methods, from hotels and all-inclusive resorts to bus tours and cruises.
"For us cruising gives the best combination of what we want out of a vacation — see several areas of the world while only having to unpack once," the couple said.
This Greek isles cruise was by Royal Caribbean International and began with one day in Rome, Italy, returning there for two days at the end.
The highlights of the Clarks' vacation were visiting the Colosseum in Rome, the Parthenon in Athens and the ancient ruins in Ephesus, Turkey, they said, and enjoying Italian pizza and gelato.
"Although the weather was not ideal, we would highly recommend this trip," they concluded, adding that September or early October might have been a better choice.
"You have to be cautious when visiting any area you don't know. Do your research & use common sense, but don't let fear prevent you from exploring this amazing world!" the Clarks advise fellow travellers.
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