And just like that, today was our last port of call during this amazing 12 night sailing on Odyssey of the Seas!
Today we were docked on the island of Crete, Greece from 7am to 3pm. It was our shortest stopover and we hadn’t booked an excursion. Instead, we opted to get off the ship on our own in order to have some flexibility. We knew we would be tired today after all these long days and we didn’t want to go on a 7am excursion!
As it was 2:30 a.m. on board, we decided to get up at 8:30 a.m. to be able to explore Chania.
The last time I was in Crete was on my honeymoon cruise and the last time my parents were here was on our first Mediterranean cruise about a decade ago. Both times we went to the beach, so we decided today to spend some time in Chania, because I heard from another RCB writer, Jenna, that the city was very charming !
Shuttle to town
Angie and I had breakfast at Cafe @ 270, where we both enjoyed sandwiches and coffee to start the day. Mom and Dad had dinner at Solarium Bistro and ordered omelettes.
We were off the ship at 10am and opted to take the shuttle into town which was well supplied at the port. Jenna said this summer the shuttle was free but times must be tough because they were charging $6 per person round trip.
We didn’t mind paying the $6 for direct transportation into town, even though we saw a couple get on the bus and yell that they refused to pay. The driver looked like he didn’t want to fight so he just rolled his eyes. It makes me laugh that someone spends all that money on a cruise, but doesn’t care about spending $6 each to take the shuttle!
Driving through Crete we were a bit less than impressed. It felt more run down than other ports we visited.
The shuttle dropped us off at Chania in the city center. We started walking towards the Venetian port, passing many shops on the way.
As we have all done a little too much shopping, we were looking for cheap suitcases.
Normally, I bring a small duffel bag in my checked baggage to bring all my new treasures back on the trip without paying for overweight baggage. I hadn’t anticipated the shopping as much as I did on this cruise, so it’s pretty necessary for me to get another bag.
Lots of shopping
Oops – don’t tell my husband at home!
Since I had already accepted the fact that I would need another suitcase, I let myself go and did some more shopping.
Mom, Angie and I enjoyed shopping at a local leather store where we all bought matching pairs of sandals. Dad sat outside on a bench checking football scores while we tried on myriad shoes.
We enjoyed walking the side streets of the old town and taking in the sights. We also saw many other cruisers enjoying the old town.
This area was much nicer than the port area and the streets we walked through to get downtown. Based on the view from the ship in the morning, we didn’t have very high expectations – especially compared to Rhodes and Santorini, which were lovely port areas.
I also found many other lovely shops to support on our walk to the port. We have certainly helped the Greek economy in recent days with our purchases.
Old Venetian Port
Arriving at the port, I was amazed at how beautiful it was! I hadn’t done a ton of research for this port since most of our energy was spent planning for Israel, so I was really surprised by how beautiful it was.
We enjoyed walking all along the harbor and taking pictures while doing it. We decided to walk along the shore lined with shops and restaurants.
To no one’s surprise, I did some extra shopping to get all the latest gifts and souvenirs I had been waiting for. I grabbed a few small olive oil gifts for my friends and family back home, as well as my obligatory magnet for every place I travel.
I love coming home from big adventures and adding my new fridge magnets; seeing the collection grow warms my heart!
Walking along the harbor we found incredible views of the lighthouse across the bay. The waves were breaking along the harbor and even wet the gangway a few times.
The view was just too good not to take a ton of photos, especially since Dad spent about 15 minutes trying to find a bathroom nearby. The lighting was perfect with the lighthouse in the distance in the background. We even saw a fisherman catch his biggest fish of the day!
Get lost in town
When I first researched Chania (admittedly, this morning over breakfast), I typed “Venetian Harbor” into my Apple maps and marked the location so we could visit more late. I told the family we needed to get to my pinned location after wandering around the water and taking pictures with the lighthouse.
My lack of research showed itself, because we were without knowing it at the old Venetian port; yet my map said there was another place nearby with the same name. Since we don’t mind a bit of a walk, we headed to the pinned location I had on my phone.
Well, we ended up on some side streets away from the main attractions. Everyone was questioning my navigation skills, in which I insisted that the map showed another place of interest to see. We arrived at a corner of a side street with nothing resembling Venice but more of a residential area with no other tourists.
Anyway, I got us lost and in the side streets. A quick Google search of ‘Old Venetian Harbor Chania’ revealed that we had walked around the harbor just before – hence why it was so beautiful!
We were only a few blocks away, so we headed back to the harbor area and the shopping streets once more. It was our last chance to have memories!
Since we didn’t start too early in the morning, we opted to return to the ship so as not to feel rushed with all the time on board. We have reached an agreement on 2 hard suitcases so that my parents can have an extra suitcase and I will have one too.
The shuttle was packed with people heading back to the ship as we only had about an hour before the last shuttle left for the day.
Back on board
Back on the boat, we went to the Windjammer for a bite to eat. In fact, we haven’t had lunch in the Windjammer until today! There was a good choice of food, although it was busy as everyone must have had the same idea.
We opted to find an outdoor spot on the upper deck; there’s a nice set of hidden chairs on the upper deck near the SeaPlex. We had the sun shining while being in the shade so it was a nice place to sit.
Last night I got up very late to work on the live blog and had far too many photos of Santorini to sort and edit. We took advantage of the autumn breeze and watched the ship pull away and begin our journey back to Rome.
Angie, dad and our new friend Brice have decided to try their hand at bumper cars. They did 2 laps and Angie said she was much more careful this time! Mom and I had too much trauma from our first day when we left bruised, so we chose to go home and get ready for the formal night.
Getting ready for dinner, Angie was getting dressed and turned around in a black dress. I told her not to wear my dress tonight, as I was planning to wear it for a ceremony. She insisted it was her dress, but I knew I was planning on wearing the exact same dress.
Down and behold, we have the exact same dress we planned to wear tonight, so we’ve chosen to embrace the pairing moment. Mom smiled when she saw and said she hadn’t seen us in matching dresses since Christmas when we were little girls.
Dinner and the effectors
We entered the diner to find the ship rocking and rolling. We were all shocked at how big the waves looked from the table as the dining area is on deck 3. Luckily the movement subsided as the night went on.
Dinner tonight was excellent with beef tenderloin, lobster and baked Alaska. We enjoyed talking with the table next to us and Mum was convinced to join the kitchen tour tomorrow on our day at sea.
Mum and I wore our new Chania sandals for the evening – such a fun memory!
Our evening ended with an evening show at the Royal Theater called The Effectors. The superhero-themed show used some seriously impressive digital effects, including choreographed drones. I really liked the show as it had a nice variety of music which included recent pop songs.
We all agreed that the show was excellent, from the costumes to the music to the overall staging! It was the first time I saw this show. This show really leans into the use of technology in its entertainment performance – and I think that really elevates the experience.
Was there a clear script for us to follow? Not necessarily. Most of the show involved each member of The Effectors showing off their superpowers using stage technology.
Either way, it was quite entertaining and definitely showed off the technological capabilities of Odyssey of the Seas.
Tomorrow we have one last day at sea before returning to Rome. We will definitely need to spend some time packing since we have become very comfortable in our cabin by this point! I also have an appointment with NextCruise to potentially book an upcoming cruise next summer to Iceland from Amsterdam.
We are lucky to get 2 extra hours of sleep tonight as we are getting back the hour we lost last week AND we are getting an extra hour due to daylight savings time happening in Europe!