Maryhop On Cruise

Dear Diary…


The third day of our fantastic Iconic Cruise in the Aegean, found us on the beautiful island of Rhodes.


It was actually a full day stop, so we decided to stroll around the Old Town and enjoy a relaxing day, instead of joining a group tour around the island. We wandered around the Old Town, we visited the unique Castello and we also had an amazing lunch with the Press Team of the U.K., in a greek tavern, with Souvlaki and Greek salad – what else!


Activities on board continued throughout the whole day, but we joined them late in the evening, at the Captain’s Cocktail. After that, we had dinner with the Captain (second night in a row), we danced salsa with the Cubans at Eclipse Bar- and we closed our night at Selene Club, dancing Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, RnBs or actually a little bit of all.  Lots of drinks, lots of dancing, lots of lauphs. What a night!


To be more specific, here is the full schedule:




The wanderlust in the Old Town

First of all, let me tell you that we were incredibly lucky as the weather was fantastic, during the whole week.

On Wednesday morning, we left the ship on a sunny weather and headed to the Central Gate of the Old Town. And that was our first Card Postal from Rhodes!





Someone once said, that the Old Towns have a sense of melancholy.


Maybe it’s the historical fights inside the walls, which cause this melancholic feelings to the visitors. I don’t really know the source of this saying. I agreed neither then nor now. Rhodes has managed to take all the depression away, especially inside the walls. First of all, is an area extremely lively, active and supererogatory commercial, I would say.


The Old Town of Rhodes is a region of strong contrasts. Although it’s in the World Cultural Heritage list of Unesco, inside the walls live more than 5,000 inhabitants. A stroll around the narrow streets, quickly puts on the climate. On one hand you find the walls, the imposing gates, the impressive galleries, the loopholes, the cobbled narrow streets and the majestic Castello and on the other hand you are in front of the incredible commercial exploitation of the region, with countless souvenir shops all around.


You will not see a single picture of these commercial areas here. No sign, no souvenirs. I kept only those walks in quiet, romantic and touching historical aspects of the city and allow me to say, that for me, it was a big love.


The Old Town of Rhodes is love at first sight. You only need to look at the right direction. 


Once you look at the Palace of the Knights (Castello) or Palace of the Grand Masters, at the D’ Abouaz Gate, at the famous and glorious Street of the Knights or at the arcades, you realise how beautiful and unique that place is. Walking down at the Street of the Knights, which is the best preserved medieval road across Europe (did you know?), you will feel the medieval thing all around you. 



And just not to forget, Rhodes is a blessed island, where the sun is perfectly shining for more than 300 days a year!

Can you imagine?


The Street of the Knights

My Medieval Office! 

Lunch with the U.K. Press Team! Hi guys :))


Visiting the Palace of the Knights / Castello.


Before sharing my personal experience from this tour, let me give you some important information first, in order to feel its importance. Let me start with the basics: Castello is the most important monument of the period of the Knights. Constructed in the 14th century, it was the residence of the Grand Master as well as the financial and cultural center of that time. It has been restored by the Italians around 1930 and you can easily spot that influence, while wandering in the palace.


Nowadays, this Palace is a great museum.


With more than 80 rooms with unique style furniture and sculptures, from the 15th to the 19th century, it’s a great masterpiece! Here you can also find a copy of the famous statue of “Laocoön and His Sons”. This statue has been described as “the greatest of all the paintings and sculpture of all times.”

At this point, let me have a short chat with the Game Of Thrones Fans: Honestly, it could be the perfect King’s Landing location, no matter how much I love Dubrovnik. It so impressive that this place has not been included in the Game Of Thrones locations. End of Chat.

The Statue of Laocoön and His Sons 



The Captain’s Cocktail 


As you have already see, the crew of Celestyal Olympia, from the assistant waiter up to the Captain of the ship himself, was an integral part of my unique experience aboard. And although I did not have relevant experience in the past, now I admit it: A cruise experience is all about connecting with your fellow travelers and crew. It’s not a solo situation, not for me at least. 


The Captain’s Cocktail evening, was the official welcome to the passengers (although we had this “Welcome Moment” the night before). And not only that. It was a crew presentation – a presentation of those who take care of everything throughout the cruise, concerning safety, comfort, entertainment and of course the food on board. Just below these people, there are around 500 more, all extremely polite and well educated, who manage to give the best service on board, any time. 

I emphasize their courtesy, because for me, it’s the highest element of all – My long experience and strong backround in the customer service field, is talking.


I don’t really know what happens in other cruises, I am not aware if that’s a general rule, I don’t know if it has to do with Greek hospitality and service, but I strongly believe that this is an awesome achievement for Celestyal Cruises: Crews from 30 or 40 different nationalities, all of them following the same, incredibly excellent, line of customer service.




Dinner with the Captain. Once again.


I am not gonna write a long story here. I’ve already endorsed the unique personality of Mr. Romaios, the Captain of the ship. Please allow me to focus once again on the fantastic dinner, from the Chef onboard,  Mr. John Korologos.


Adding to this excellent tasteful experience the seating next to the captain, another 2 kilos have been added to my silhouette. He was insisted I should try this and that, to drink a bit more, then taste the greek desserts and Oh, my! I have to say a public Thank You to him. I am sure he is going to read this. 




The Shows and the non-stop dancing.


The Dinner with the Captain has been followed by the Greek Party and the fancy international show. Just after midnight we found ourselves upstairs, at Eclipse Bar, dancing what else? Salsa with the Cubans! And that’s a fact now: Nobody can say NO to Florentina and Ion, the Cruise Director and the Cruise Assistant Director. Especially Ion, the Soul of the ship, he accepts only “YES, LET’S DANCE” for an answer!  

Frankly I do not know the source of his continuous energy! He is a Non-Stop Dancer and we all loved him!


We finished up the night at Selene Club. No more words. It was all about dancing!


Florentina and Ion. We love you guys!

Dancing Queen Maryhop


That was the end of my 3rd day with Celestyal. Next stop: Heraklion and Santorini! Yeah!

Stay tuned!

Don’t miss the Sequel:

Maryhop On Cruise – Day 1: Mykonos

Maryhop On Cruise – Day 2: Kuşadası and Patmos



Maria Kalymnou

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