Would you stay at an all-inclusive in Greece or go on a European cruise?

Every once in a while I like to raid a website and check out what kind of vacation ideas they have. Today I raid Travel Supermarket for discussion purposes. Cool name. As I was there, I came up with these questions:

1. Is it better to visit a Greek island and stay at an all-inclusive resort or a hotel that doesn’t include meals / drinks?

2. Is it better to visit one European city for two weeks, visit a few cities traveling via train in the same time, or take a cruise around Europe?

If you check out Travel Supermarket’s all inclusive holidays you can find a good number of resorts in the Greek islands (Sharon was kind enough to write about some of them for us). This got me thinking about the best way to see Rhodes, Crete, Zante, Mykonos, Corfu or any of the other islands in Greece. Staying at an all-inclusive might help you save money, especially for heavy eaters / drinkers, but you might be less likely to explore the island (particularly the local restaurants). I suppose the key is to make sure you don’t limit yourself to resort food only but that can be tough when you’re as cheap as I am.

Being a travel supermarket, they of course have some cruise deals as well. And one thing I plan to do at some point is cruise around Europe and/or northern Africa. Come to think of it, a cruise around the Greek islands would be nice but a more typical European cruise itinerary might be this one:

Day 1: Depart Southampton, England

Days 2 – 3: At sea

Day 4: Malaga, Spain

Days 5 – 7: At sea

Day 8: Cairo

Day 9: Port Said (Cairo)

Day 10: At sea

Day 11: Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey

Day 12: Athens (piraeus), Greece

Day 13: Katakolon (Olympia), Greece

Day 14: Valletta, Malta

Days 15 – 17: At Sea

Day 18: Porto (Oporto), Portugal

Day 19: Back where you started from

Something like this might be good for me because I’ve never been to any of those places. The disadvantage is that you don’t get a ton of time in any one place but you get to see several places and can always plan a return trip to ones you prefer and not be stuck in a place you don’t like for too long.

For example when I was flying back from Istanbul, I started a conversation with one Korean guy to get a little practice. Of course, his English ended up being better than my Korean so I didn’t get much practice but I did learn that he had spent his vacation in Cairo. However, he didn’t like it much at all and had the feeling that everyone he met was out to rip him off. Most people say they love Egypt though. Anyway a cruise is good for that sort of thing – you see it but you don’t commit the way you do when you fly and make hotel reservations and all that stuff.

But there are places I’m fairly confident I would want more time in, probably all of them actually, but I’m especially sure I’d want more time in Malaga.

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  1. Sharon says:

    The cruise idea is good if you don’t want to spend much time at each place, but going ashore, back on ship, on to another port is only going to give you a glimpse of the different stops. But, if you like being at sea and not having to worry about unpacking, meals, a place to stay, etc., then a cruise. I wouldn’t choose all-inclusive because it does limit your choices of places to eat. To me, that’s half the fun, to explore and find the local hangouts and meet local people. Once you pay for all inclusive, you feel limited budget wise to spend more money away from the resort. I wrote a travel plan too for you on Santorini, which gives an idea of how much there is to just one island. I would skip or spend less time in larger cities, and choose several islands instead. You may be trying to crowd too much into one trip, which gets pretty hectic and not so much fun. Malaga and Portugal might be another trip…

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