Our original intent was to leave Athens, drive to Patras and board a ferry to Trieste, Italy. The ferry had numerous amenities; pool, hot tub, disco, dining room with white table clothes, etc. We would have passed the coasts of Albania, Montenegro, and Croatia on the starboard side of the boat. That was the plan until we received the below email.
From: Elisa Zoccolan
Date: May 6, 2016 at 6:11:39 PM GMT+3
To: Marcia J. Campbell
Subject: RE: J7974 – booking confirmation Patras – Trieste – STRIKE – CANCELLATION – URGENT !
Dear Mrs Campbell,
We feel sorry to inform you that the hellenic seamen´s announce initially for 08.05. only has been extended to 06.-10.05. Therefore, your ferry on 09.05. won´t depart. You can travel on 16.05. to Trieste.
Please inform me asap which possibility you prefer.
Of course, also a cancellation with full refund is possible. I apologize for the inconvenience and look forward to your soon reply!
Hence, Plan B. Since we could not delay a week due to reservations, we decided to drive. We knew there was a Hyatt in the northeastern part of Greece. It was a little over a five hour drive, so Marcia called Hyatt reservations three times. The first two times the reservation specialist said sorry, no availability. Since Marcia is persistent and saw availability on Travelocity, she called for the third time. The third time was a charm, Marcia booked two adjoining rooms for four nights.
The Thessaloniki Hyatt Regency turned out to be an exquisite Plan B. Since we had received free breakfast at a high-end Park Hyatt in Paris, Marcia asked whether as Premier members we would have that benefit. The clerk said she would check with the manager and let us know. An hour later a typed letter arrived and said they would provide breakfasts. Hurray for Marcia! The pool was a bit chilly, no downright cold, but the kids were game. Without the strong encouragement from the kids, I would have never considered taking the plunge. Notice all the others in the pool!
Plan B turned out to be a wonderful respite from the hussle and bussle of Athens. We arrived on Monday. It was immediately after the last weekend of two week Greek holiday. Hence we shared the large resort with very few others.