I wrapped up my cruise on the lovely Silver Whisper all too quickly, spent a night in Athens and boarded the Crystal Serenity from Crystal Cruises. I've never done back-to-back cruises before, but I'm willing to try almost anything in the line of duty. This is business, after all!
Six-star cruise lines like Silversea and Crystal usually change their itineraries from voyage to voyage, making it easy to stay onboard for multiple cruises without duplicating ports. Because I wanted to try two new ships on this trip, I used our Find A Bargain tool to create a list of all the Mediterranean cruises in June, then looked for ships overlapping at the same port within 2 days of each other. That led me to several possibilities, one of which was the Silver Whisper/Crystal Serenity combination.
I'll check in next week to report on my Crystal Serenity cruise, which is off to a fantastic start, but I wanted to cover another topic today.
In the past year, I have frequently been asked whether I thought it was "safe" for Americans to travel to Europe and the Mediterranean at this time. Beyond the threat of terrorism, if you've watched enough television in the U.S., you might have come to the conclusion that some countries in Europe no longer welcome Americans.
Unfortunately, no one can guarantee anyone's safety when they travel, not even on a drive to the local grocery store, and I can't promise every personal encounter will be a pleasant one. But in my opinion, the U.S. news media have blown threats to, and resentment of, American tourists far out of proportion. I wouldn't be here with three generations of my family if I did not believe that.
Since I left home two weeks ago, I've visited 12 cities in Spain, Malta, Italy, Greece, Turkey and France. Not once have I experienced anything other than kind treatment from the people I have met, and there were many American tourists everywhere I've been.
In fact, I've been fortunate to visit the British Isles and Europe for the past four summers, and my experiences and personal encounters have been as positive and rewarding this year as in any of the prior three.
As I write this, it's a warm and sunny late afternoon on the scenic and hospitable Greek island of Rhodes. From my stateroom, I can see the walled, medieval "Old Town", built by the Knights of St. John in the 14th century, and the mountains of southwest Turkey in the distance. Up on Lido deck, Crystal's legendary Cuisine of the Sun buffet is about to unfold, offering traditional recipes from 14 countries bordering the Mediterranean.
If the Mediterranean, Northern Europe or the British Isles are calling you, here's my advice: Don't let fear or the evening news stop you.
Vacations To Go
Back to Back on Silversea & Crystal, Part 1: Looking Forward to the Journey
Back to Back on Silversea & Crystal, Part 2: The Olympic Spirit Is Alive
Back to Back on Silversea & Crystal, Part 4: Benefits of Cruising with Crystal
Back to Back on Silversea & Crystal, Part 5: Dubrovnik, Croatia