All languages are complicated and there is no instant short cut to the learning process (believe me, I am a language teacher!) but, if you are willing to put in about 8 hours of hard work with the book and tape, Get by in Greek will certainly enable you to communicate all your basic needs and understand standard information when you get to Greece (so long as you avoid toothless crones with hare-lips etc.). I have just proved this by my own holiday experience.
Beware of the old editions of the BBC Get By....series. The new one is a vast improvement on the old and is now identical in format and content for all languages, which means that the books have a feeling of reassuring familiarity, even if you can't understand a word!
The Get By series has brilliantly boiled foreign languages down to their basic essentials for today's holiday-maker and presents the key questions, replies and statements in a logical series of situation-based units, beginning with a skeleton language survival unit called Bare Essentials. The 70 minute tape (plus transcript) is lively, clear, interactive and an excellent travelling companion, once you have spent time studying it together with the book.
It is superb value for money and is excellently presented. The colourful book contains loads of really useful tips, in English, about Greece, Greek life and what not to miss (this builds up your knowledge, enthusiasm and confidence even before you get there), plus colourful pictures of everyday notices, imitated pronunciation, a simple guide to grammar, an excellent menu guide and dictionary - all in a pocket-size pouch.
As an adult education tutor, I have often used Get by in French as the course book for an 8 hour French for Holiday Makers class - it has never failed to teach and inspire complete beginners and I have now proved its value by putting myself to the same test as a complete beginner in Greek. This is the kit that tourists and language teachers have been wanting for years.