"It is wonderful meeting a lot of Greek people and enjoying our culture!"
"Keep doing exactly what you're doing. Thank You!"
"Our favorite OPA events were Greek Family Fed ad Dr. Newton's lecture."
"Basile was excellent."
"Elena Kouros has a beautiful voice."
"The OPA experience was excellent."
"Everything was excellent."
"Dr. Newton's lecture was very interesting."
"Had an excellent time on the OPA 2019 Cruise. The OPA entertainment was excellent especially The Aegean Duo. The Greek dancing on the ships deck by the pool was perfect and we all enjoyed this very much...Basile was outstanding as usual and I can't say enough about his extremely hilarious show (both the Greek show and his American show in Comedy Live).....Your organizational and planning skills are exceptional and we all recognize this and appreciate it. We are already looking forward to our OPA 2020 Cruise." Penny, Anna, etc.
"The cruise was fantastic. Had a great time." Patricia
"Wanted to let you know we had a great time on the cruise." Rita
"We had a wonderful time." Elaine
"We had a fantastic time on OPA Cruise." George and Georgia
"My husband and I really enjoyed the structured events, live music of the A-Duo, they were terrific and the comedian fabulous." Barbara
"It was amazing fun." Catherine
"We both enjoyed the cruise very much! You did a great job!" Peter
"It was just beautiful. Been on 20 cruises and it was the best organized cruise I was ever on." Already booked for 2020 OPA Cruise (Anonymous)
"My parents just LOVED the Greek OPA Cruise and the entire Royal Caribbean experience...from their stateroom, to the food to all the entertainment and activities. They had such a wonderful time and enjoyed everything and everyone they met. Thanks again for making their 50th Golden Anniversary so memorable and special." Christine
"Vasile and the Aegean Duo were especially phenomenal." Thank you
"The people who put this together are AMAZING!"
"The cruise is the best of both worlds!! Love it! Entertainment was super. Very likely to go again in the future."
"The food at the Festival at Sea was very good. It is good to have a private room for our use and music/entertainment. The price is very good."
"Enjoyed the Super Bowl together"
"It was very enjoyable."
Peg wrote a poem!
"We were asked to write of our experiences of the cruise and being part of the OPA group. So, I wrote a poem:
We entered into the world of the Greeks
Two Celtic ladies are we
Cruised together as a group
Over the bright blue sea
Ate salad, humus and pita
Enjoying yummy Greek food
Gathered in the Star Lounge at night
The musicians set the mood
I took the Greek dancing lessons
Dignity, don't miss the beat
Tis a different rhythm
Don't step on anyone's feet
Attended the ship's entertainment
Fine singers, dancers performed
Always something happening
No one could be bored
Ah, the beautiful islands
Enjoyed swimming in the sea
Learned much about their culture
Living life like you and me
Father Nick offered Divine Liturgy and Prayer
There was Greek bingo and games
The hard working committee did prepare
The Super Bowl Party was a treat
Met wonderful people
Mary Mesner was our key
Thank you one and all
OPA to all of thee
It was a pleasure meeting you.
Wishing you a good year.
George and I started going on the OPA cruise a few years ago and have loved every one of them. Our first OPA cruise was at the urging of my father-in-law Stamatios, who had been telling us for years what a fabulous time he was having. A little apprehensive at first, George and I decided to give it a try and now we know this is our annual, winter get away trip. Relaxing poolside during the day and the various excursions can be found on any cruise, but it’s the Greek theme that keeps us coming back to the OPA cruise. The live Greek music, the comedy that only Greeks (or those married to Greeks) can understand, and the friends we have met are what keep us coming back year after year. I can’t think of a better way to spend the week and I think once you give it a try you will agree. Hope to see you on the dance floor in 2017 !!!
If you want to see smiling faces on happy people. Join us on this great cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's "Navigator of the Seas". The variety of great food, even some greek style, bingo with cute prizes, cocktail parties with dancing music and flowing cocktails kept us enjoying ourselves. Bet you never saw a cake designed as a Greek flag, as big as a table and delicious too. We did, at one of the private parties. Come join us if you like having good times with great folks!!
Paul & Barbara.
Jane and I are looking forward to our 5th OPA Cruise. I knew from the first OPA cruise that this will definately be our annual February cruise. Meeting wonderful people from across America and enjoying the Greek musical groups for dancing makes our culture the best. If you enjoy cruising, adventure, good food, sunshine , ship shows & programs and Greek dancing, then try the OPA Cruise, it's the best!
Jane and Chris
My husband Byron and I LOVE the Opa cruises and look forward to them every year! We have taken at least 3.
We especially like "Greek day" on the pool deck. Lots of good Greek food, dancing and laughter.
We like the fact you can join in, or just sit back, relax and enjoy!
Counting down till 2016!
Byron and AliceOhio
The several OPA CRUISES, that I have had the pleasure of attending with my late wife Victoria and of late, with my lady friend Jessica, have been remarkably enjoyable. Well planned by TRAVEL GROUP INTERNATIONAL ( Boca Raton, Florida ) in conjunction with the wonderful community of people from Ocala, Florida, this opportunity to cruise with fun-loving Greek people is in and of itself an entertainment experience that I anticipate doing annually.
If you want a memorable cruise that satisfies your personal interests of fine varieties of food ; qualitative shipboard service for all of your basic needs and interests; nightly and most wonderful evening ship shows of amazing performers gifted with talents likened to that of the entertainment presentations of “ NEW YORK BROADWAY “ ; then you really want to be a part of the OPA CRUISE happenings. Shipboard fun and games along with various physical daytime venues of interest to satisfy everyone’s quest for time well spent on ship.
Travel times off ship on the variety of islands scheduled for visitation offer considerable times to do numerous adventurous challenges and to visit places for the sheer enjoyment of seeing them as a tourist.
In my opinion, the OPA CRUISES annually offer so very much entertainment for reasonable pricing compared to similar types of Greek Cruises that really offer so very much less for much more monies.
ERNIE ( WILD GREEK DANCE MAN )Maryland
If you have always dreamed of taking a holiday in Greece, but could not afford the travel time and expenses, then the "OPA" Cruise is the next best thing. You can't beat the value for the money. I enjoyed meeting people from all over the United States and sharing the cultural experience as we traveled, ate, and danced together for seven magical, fun-filled days.
In addition to the ship's activities, the special entertainment reserved for "OPA" passengers was fantastic. The private entertainment included music from "The Aegean Duo" and "A Night in Athens Trio". Additionally, the world renown comedian, Basile, entertained us with endless laughter with reminders of growing up in America with our Greek roots. If you are considering a cruise, I highly recommend the "OPA" Cruise.
Fr. David C. Rucker
“The Lord reigns; He is robed in majesty. . . . The floods have lifted up, O God, the floods have lifted up their voice, the floods have lifted up their roaring. Mightier than the thunder of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty. Thy decrees are very sure; holiness befits Thy house, O Lord, forevermore.” (Ps 93:1-5)
It is one thing to recite this passage while preparing bread and wine for the Divine Liturgy standing on the firm ground of a church sanctuary. It is a different experience altogether to pray this Psalm while preparing bread and wine for a Liturgy on the stern of a cruise ship overlooking the dazzling Caribbean sea.
But I am getting ahead of myself. It all started a year ago when, with the blessing of Metropolitan ALEXIOS, Pres. Rozanne and I were invited to be “Chaplains” on the annual Opa! Cruise. Parishioners from St. Mark Greek Orthodox Church, in Belleview, Florida (serving the greater Ocala area) had dreamed up this cruise as a way for Orthodox Christians to enjoy fellowship, raise funds for a good cause, and have fun. Although I love fishing and playing in the water, cruises had never interested me. I equated “cruising” with lavish excess and self-indulgent luxury. When I found out my wife, Pres. Rozanne, would be unable to get time off work to accompany me, it was an easy decision. There was no way I would even consider going on a cruise alone.
Just when I was ready to give my polite regrets, my wife commented, “You know, your mother has always dreamed of going on a cruise.” Actually, I had no idea, but at Pres. Rozanne’s urging, I delayed turning down the invitation, and decided to float the idea with my mom. My mother, in her younger years, had been a well known speaker and world-traveler in the Protestant church, serving for many years in mission administration with my father. Normally, she would have jumped at an opportunity like this. But she had been ill in recent years and had let her passport expire. I really didn’t know if she would be up to the experience. But when I called her, Mom was enthusiastic. My wife had been right—going on a cruise would fulfill Mom’s life-long dream. So I decided to dive in!
From the time we boarded the ship until we walked off the gangplank for the last time, every day exceeded my expectations. Yes, the food was wonderful. Yes, the personal service on board was excellent, and the amenities luxurious. Yes, waking up at a different port was an exciting adventure. Yet those were not the things that got me hooked on the Opa! Cruise.
What made the voyage worthwhile was…
· the privilege of serving the Holy Eucharist to over 300 Orthodox Christians gathered together from all over the country to enjoy each other and celebrate God’s marvelous creation;
· beginning each morning with prayers at sea;
· anointing with holy oil those praying for loved ones back home;
· sitting and listening without having to think about the next appointment or commitment;
· spending time with my mother in a setting that allowed us to laugh and talk, during a stage of life that rarely allows for such moments;
· getting to share—with a captive audience!—what God is doing in Guatemala and Mexico through Orthodox missionaries.
I have been asked to serve as Priest and Chaplain again in 2014 and this time, Pres. Rozanne will get to come with me! Our new missionary assignment has us living and working in a remote mountain village in Guatemala among an indigenous people group who are among the tens of thousands of Central Americans “coming home” to the Orthodox Church. We look forward to telling stories, sharing music, and showing pictures to “take you there” during lecture sessions on board. We can’t wait to hang out with “old friends” again, and to meet all the new ones. See you aboard, God willing!