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A Greek Islands Honeymoon
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By: Balki Bartokamus
After the headache of planning a wedding, there’s still one final detail to be smoothed out before setting sail on the great – the honeymoon. If you’ve ever thought about Greece (or day-dreamed to snapshots of 70s bohemians clad in YSL on the beach at Korfu), now’s the time to experience Greece and the Greek Islands like it was meant to be, young (or young at heart!) and in love!

Planning
Planning your Greek island holiday together is the best route. Unless you’re newly acquired spouse is a junior Jeeves, possessing supernatural organizational powers, and prescient to a fault, there are too many variables in the Greek Islands for your dearly beloved Ralph Kramden to take care of, especially in the midst of wedding preparations. That’s where an Alice steps in!
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The best thing you can do with limited time and high expectations is to consult a travel agent. Save the well-plotted out and perfectly executed holiday to learn authentic Greek cooking for another year, when Kramden and you have more time to plan carefully. The agent’s fee will soon pay for itself after you arrive at your destination, on time, with everything taken care of.

Start thinking about your honeymoon as soon as you’ve set the wedding date! It doesn’t have to be set in stone, but make a list of your most desired islands to visit (is it Mykonos, the party island; Crete, Rhodes; Kefalonia, or maybe Samos?), and prioritize. Make sure the list is as large as possible, with as many destinations. Planning far ahead will let you take advantage of advance promotions and discounts, as well as give your agent the best opportunities to make your money work for you, and ensure that you’ll be able to get the accommodations you want.

Cruises in the Greek Islands
Cruising has evolved – from a last century leisure activity and mating ritual for the idle rich (think of “An Affair to Remember,” “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” “A Countess From Hong Kong,” “The Lady Eve,”) to the middle class two-week escapades of “The Love Boat” to the present day, where a variety of cruise lines exist to make any nautical fantasy voyage a reality.
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Avoid mega-cruise lines and cruisers. Mega-cruise ships, packed with senior citizens, families with wailing children, and bored staff, bring with them their own series of problems. The convenience you think you’re gaining and headaches you’ll be avoiding will be lost once you wait in line for three hours to go ashore. The large hulls of the mega-cruise ships prohibit their passengers from being able to visit some of the wonders that the Greek Islands offer, such as the villages in the white cliffs of Santorini, or the island of Rhodes.

Booking through small Greek cuisines will give you more variety, and you can benefit from the operator’s local knowledge.

Greek Island Resorts
From larger resorts with group activities and luxurious suites, to intimate inns in rustic settings, the choice is yours, but why not split your honeymoon between two? Doing so, you’ll get the comfort and pampering of a five-star resort on Crete, as well as an authentic Greek Island experience.

The Cost
If you’re planning on having children, this might be one of the last times you’ll truly be alone with your spouse, and it’s the honeymoon! Factor that into your planning, and don’t be afraid to splurge, if you can. When you’re budgeting, factor in that you’ll probably be spending more, as it’s your honeymoon and the enthusiasm you’ll both have isn’t conducive to penny-pinching.

Insurance
Get travel insurance. You might have heard the horror stories and never believed them, or at the least thought they were isolated cases, and truly, they might be. Greece is a lovely country, and the Greek Islands are full of safe and wonderful people, but you can never be too safe, and you wouldn’t want to mar this beautiful moment, which you’ve invested so much in financially and emotionally, by having to cancel your trip, or finding yourself in sub-par accommodations.

The honeymoon will be, barring a life-plan based on the Zza-Zza Gabor approach to matrimony, the most important trip you’ll ever take. A poorly planned honeymoon can be pure agony – two people with dashed hopes in a seedy motel during the rainy season, staring at each other across the itchy polyester bed-spread, silently smoldering over the reception antics of drunken relatives, slowly coming to the realization that there are 60 more years to go. Ouch. But a well-planned honeymoon on the Greek Islands can provide memories that last a life-time, and that nourish you for the rest of your marriage.
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