Rhapsody of the Seas Live Blog – Day 3 – Chania, Crete (Greece)

Today is the third day of my 7-night Greek and Adriatic cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas, and that brings us to our second port of call: Chania, Crete.

What is Crete?

Crete is the largest island in Greece and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean, with a population of around 636,000. The island is mostly mountainous, with jagged peaks rising dramatically out of the sea. Dotted along the landscape are valleys, gorges, lakes, rivers, beaches and caves.

Crete has been influenced by a variety of cultures throughout history, from the Venetians to the Ottomans, Arabs and Byzantines.

The island is also said to be home to the first major European civilization, the Minoans, who inhabited the island around 5,000 years ago.

First impressions of Chania, Crete

Cruise ships dock near the city of Chania in Crete, located on the northwest coast of the island. A free shuttle is available to bring passengers from the port to downtown Chania.

We didn’t have a plan for the day, but just hoped to wander around Chania to sample the local cuisine and relax amongst the history and culture of the city.

I had heard amazing things about the historic old Venetian port of Chania, built by the Venetians in the 14th century as a prominent trading center in the Mediterranean Sea, so we headed there as soon as we got off from shuttle.

The walk to the harbor was as scenic as it gets, with narrow cobbled streets filled with cafes, restaurants, flowers and cats.

It’s easy to see why this area of ​​Chania is called the “Old Venetian Port”. Charming buildings painted with a colorful palette of oranges, blues, reds, yellows and pinks dotted the town.

While I remembered Venice while walking around Mykonos yesterday, I actually felt like I was in Venice today in Crete!

We walked along the harbor which led us to the harbor lighthouse and a great view of the landscapes and towns of Crete.

afternoon in the sun

The temperature today was very hot. While the temperature yesterday in Mykonos was similar, the strong winds off the island created a nice breeze, keeping us relatively cool. Today, however, the sun was extremely strong.

Due to the heat, we stopped for freshly squeezed juices at a cafe before a delicious Italian meal at Laganon Fresh Pasta. With freshly made pasta and a tasty arrabbiata sauce, it was a fantastic and cheap (6 euros per dish) lunch choice in Chania!

After lunch we continued walking along the harbor which led to even cuter alleys and streets to explore. Just like yesterday in Mykonos, Chania was much more crowded in the afternoon than in the morning, but the crowds weren’t overwhelming.

Crete is a huge island compared to the other Greek islands on this itinerary. It is impossible to see the whole island in one day.

I would really like to come back for longer to hike, bike and climb the steep peaks of the island, but for a short day in port, it was nice to just walk around the Venetian harbour.

Other than walking, shopping, and sitting in local cafes and restaurants, there wasn’t a ton of activities to do in Chania town itself. Popular attractions like beaches, caves, and mountains were more remote and best done with an excursion through Royal Caribbean or an independent provider.

There were however several boat trips available to book directly at the port, with a price of 15 euros for a one hour trip to a nearby island. This is something to consider if you are hoping for a more adventure-filled day in Chania!

I’m perfectly content relaxing in a cafe while people watch and enjoy the ocean breeze, so I found the city to be exactly what I wanted. We enjoyed cocktails in a small bar overlooking the harbor to shade us from the sun for the rest of the afternoon.

Our last stop in Chania was at a local bakery to buy some snacks to take back to the ship with us. We were able to board the shuttle right away and return to Rhapsody of the Seas around 4pm.

Back on board

Today’s high heat left us quite tired, so a siesta was in order when we returned to our cabin. Napping in an inside cabin in complete darkness is the best!

We decided to dine at the Windjammer for dinner tonight as opposed to the main dining room. Having so many days of port in a row, plus all the traveling we did to get to Greece in the first place, left us a bit exhausted (in the best way possible). The idea of ​​a long seated meal didn’t appeal to me tonight, and I think dinner at the Windjammer has nothing to envy to the dining room!

Rhapsody of the Seas left Crete while we ate, and I was absolutely amazed by the scenery of the island as we began the journey out into the open Mediterranean Sea. We relaxed in the solarium while enjoying our last views of Crete.

Although we were quite tired at night from days spent exploring the port, we finally got out of our cabin tonight to explore the activities and entertainment available on Rhapsody of the Seas.

First, a trip to Schooner Bar for cocktails and piano entertainment, followed by a brief visit to Casino Royale. I also stopped briefly at the theater to watch a bit of “Ballroom Fever,” a signature production show on Rhapsody of the Seas combining various types of ballroom dancing with vocals.

It was finally time to go to bed and get ready for another stopover tomorrow: Zakynthos, Greece. With only one more day of port in Greece, I’m already sad to say goodbye to what has quickly become one of my favorite countries in the world!

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