I just got back from the three day cruise and am nearly dead, so no emails after this one for a few days of flying to get home to Maine. But after I left the Ledra Friday for the cruise ship, I told them I'd be getting back to the hotel around 7am.
When I duly arrived at 7am, they were so, so nice (as all of the staff here are). They had reserved a suite for me, but said I could get in a corner room of the Exec Lounge floor that moment. Since I am leaving at 2:30am local time tonight, I opted for the latter. I had yet another letter from the GM (besides the welcome gift), offering me a bottle of wine if I had lunch or dinner at Zephyros. Like last time, I did and they recorked the bottle and let me take it to my room. There is unending wine in the EL, but since I need to get to sleep nearly immediately this is a much better option.
All the associates here, the very modern rooms with balconies, shuttle to downtown are the best. As I said before, only the Ghent Marriott compares in my experience.
And lest you think I just got lazy after the cruise I took the 9:15 shuttle to near the Acropolis. I climbed the Acropolis two years ago, so this time I started through the Roman Forum, Hadrian's Library, Athenian Agora, Temple of Hephaistus, the Areopagus and Pnyx, the Odeon of Agrippa, theatre of Dionysius, and ROman Gate and Temple of Zeus near Syntagma. I missed the bus by about 10 minutes, but having had bad experiences with cabs and despite 4 days of sunburn, I decided to walk the rest of the way back to the Ledra. Probably 10-12 miles all told... But all worth it!
And BTW, I DID go to the casino on the ship. After the Palace of Knossos in Crete in the morning followed by lunch, I had an hour before the disembarkation at Santorini. Rather than sit and drink wine I went to the casino and chalked up 60 euros to my account. I haven't been to a casino since Atlantic City in the 80s but had heard to look for machines that had had a number of users, avoid ones with high payouts, and keep playing one machine as long as you're losing. Strangely (since way back when I lost all of my $300 in AC) I started ringing modest jackpots right away then moved to other machines. Then after I suddenly seemed to have more than twice as many buckets as I started with I cashed them in for a $150 gain. Not bad - paid for lunch and a cab to the airport tonight plus some.
Anyway, I will post photos of the islands and Athens when I have recovered (probably Thursday).
PS -- Curiously everything today was free -- it was a bank holiday! I found it strange and amusing that with all the strikes (including bank strikes) that they were observing such a holiday. I also expected chaos - NOT. Short of those few lines the first day of arrival, today is quiet and the streets are cleaner than I have ever seen them.
Professor, the Athens Ledra hotel is a gem, as you've said. I have a good friend who was the manager of that hotel for over seven years and who made sure that it was the best it could be for every guest. I am so glad that you enjoyed your stay!
Can't wait to see your photos.