Ready for a sea cruise

I love cruising. Who wouldn’t? Besides the onboard amenities, the ease of unpacking only once makes travelling a breeze. The pleasure of waking up every morning to a new destination without the usual travel hassles of getting there is just simply decadent. So when I was invited to host Voyage to Antiquity’s cruise on the 350 guest Aegean Odyssey through the Isles of Greece from Istanbul to Athens, I was thrilled to accept.

Confession: I have been to both Istanbul and Athens before. But that was more than (gasp!) 40 years ago and in very different circumstances: Imagine a young harried couple in a Volkswagen station wagon loaded down with a trunk of clothes for a family of four, a box of canned camping food, a red tent, baby bottles (glass at the time) and diapers for two small children. No staterooms for us! Just dusty campsites where the red tent took about two hours to erect, in between scurrying after a toddler who was curious about the hole-in-the ground toilets and the feral dog in the next campsite.

Despite the hassles of navigating unfamiliar, horn-blaring cities and worrying that the white slave market would scoop up my children, we did manage to be awed by the archaeological sites and drama of both cities. The children are now grown adults and I don’t have to take them anywhere anymore. Each lobbied (almost convincingly) for the opportunity to be my companion on this cruise though.

So I am really pleased to have the opportunity to see both Istanbul and Athens again particularly at this stage of my life. And, I have never been to Ephesus, Lemnos, Skiathos, Delos or Crete. As experienced as we can be as travellers, new destinations can make us feel as wide-eyed with the same awe we had in our youth.

I think 40-plus years have seasoned me with a new perspective and hopefully a more knowledgeable appreciation of history and the incredible impact the classical civilizations offered on this cruise have had on our current society. Being older has the distinct advantage of looking at the world through the much wider camera lens of our minds. This itinerary plays to that advantage in spades!

Besides revisiting impressive and historic sites and enjoying the aspect of skimming over the incomparable Aegean Sea, I am happy to share the experience with my like-minded sister as my companion. (She requires no bottles or diapers, unless there’s something she hasn’t told me.) And, I am really looking forward to meeting the other Zoomers enjoying this cruise. I hope we can share our daily impressions over dinner and a glass of wine in the evenings. There is nothing so fine as sharing life experiences and a good dose of laughter with like-minded peers.

And, as the grandparenting columnist for Zoomer, I hope other guests will also share anecdotes as besotted (most of the time) grandparents. I can always use new material for future columns.

Speaking of grandchildren, my grandson Jack lobbied to come on this cruise with me too, offering to stow himself (“up really small, Grammie”) in my suitcase. Definitely tempting. Do you think he’ll be mollified with the promise of a souvenir?

I hope you’ll join me on the Aegean Odyssey in April.

Bonnie to host you and Zoomer readers on a Voyage to Antiquity cruise of the Isles of Greece
Bonnie Baker Cowan is the grandparenting columnist for Zoomer magazine and author of The Joys of Grandparenting.  A writer and editor for more than 35 years, she spends her spare time doting on her three grandchildren, interfering in her grown children’s lives and dreaming about travel to exotic nooks and crannies around the world.

Bonnie would like to invite you to join her: April 12-25, 2013 to discover the natural beauty and outstanding archaeological sites of the Greek Islands and the coast of Turkey. After a two-night hotel stay in Istanbul, you will board Aegean Odyssey for a cruise visiting the most inspiring monuments of the ancient world: you will have the opportunity to stand on the stage of the Greek theater at Epidaurus; visit the excavation at Akrotiri on Santorini and visit the splendid monuments in Delos, the birthplace of Achilles. On the Turkish coast, you will visit some of the finest Hellenistic and Roman ruins to be found anywhere including Ephesus and Pergamon. It is then on to Athens where you will have an unforgettable time touring the Acropolis and other wonderful sites that bless this city.

EXTRAORDINARY VALUE – cruise fares include pre-cruise hotel stays, shore excursions, onboard gratuities, and wine with dinner on board. Featuring 26 dedicated single cabins, the 350-guest Aegean Odyssey has a choice of restaurants, open-seating dining, personal service and a renowned lecture program!

And airfares start at only $995 return, including tax. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE!

You could also win a cruise with Voyages To Antiquity – as offered by Exclusive Tours and Merit Travel Group. CLICK HERE TO ENTER.