This cruise from Istanbul to Venice was my first time cruising on Regent, and I loved that it was all-inclusive. It was a 10-day cruise to Greece, Istanbul, Italy and Croatia, and I had actually been to Italy, Greece and Croatia just last, but was excited to go again because Regent gave me a different perspective. Last year I didn’t end up on many tours or shore excursions, but since they are all included with Regent I toured a lot and learned so much!
My favorite part of the cruise was definitely Dubrovnik in Croatia. Dubrovnik is this amazing walled city, and you can climb up all these steps and when you get to the top you are walking on top of the wall that surrounds the city. The beautiful coast is just right there. I heard from many guests that the guides for the tours were top notch, and had interesting first hand stories from their lives growing up during the war.
The weather during the cruise was very warm. I never felt uncomfortable, but many of the other passengers discussed how hot they were. Spring or early fall is really the best time to go if you want to avoid the heat. One advantage of the heat that I noticed is that it made for a much more relaxed atmosphere. On the shore excursions everyone was casual in shorts. I took lots of tours, which really allowed me to see the best of places like Montenegro and Kusadasi. The ruins of Ephesus are fabulous, and en route you pass through rural villages and countryside full of orchards of fig trees. The ancient shrines and temples are amazing; the Temple of Ephesus is among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World! The Celsus Library and the Grand Theater are also beautifully restored.
It’s really difficult to decide which port I like the best, they were all really great! The library at Ephesus and the terrace houses were definitely among my favorites, and Santorini was just beautiful. I really loved this itinerary and would recommend all of these destinations without hesitation.
Katie’s Tips for this Trip
I want to remind people that it is always a good idea to fly in a day early because things happen like delayed flights, weather issues or mix ups with luggage. In fact, my luggage ended up getting lost on the flight in and thankfully I got in a day early and was able to pick up some essentials at a nearby mall. If I hadn’t come in early I would have been out of luck!
I really don’t mind the heat having lived so long in Arizona, but I would caution traveling to areas like Greece, Turkey and Italy in the months of July and August if you don’t care for hot weather. At this time the cities themselves are also very crowded, so going later means you can escape the heat and the crowds.