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Greece and Istanbul trip report with Gate I and Louis Cruise Lines

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Greece and Istanbul trip report with Gate I and Louis Cruise Lines

Old Apr 25th, 2008, 03:32 AM
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cd
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Greece and Istanbul trip report with Gate I and Louis Cruise Lines

I posted this on the Europe board but thought someone on the Cruise board might be interested.

This was the first we have travelled with Gate 1 and as budget travellers we will certainly do it again. They are efficient, timely and organized. The hotels they chose in Istanbul and Greece were clean, tourist hotels offering breakfast and well located to a Metro. The hotel in Istanbul was within walking distance to many
sites.

The package we purchased included Delta non-stop from JFK to Istanbul. It included tansportation from airport to hotel and a city tour with a knowledgeable tour guide to the Blus Mosque and Hagia Sophia. After 3 days on our own, and on the first day getting lost in the Grand Bazaar, they provided transportation to the Cristal, a Louis Hellenic cruise ship. An older ship with small rooms but well maintained and a great staff. We were using this ship as a means of transportion to taste some of the Greek Islands and it fit the bill perfectly. The food was not bad, not first class, but not bad at all.

The islands we visited were PATMOS, facinating if you're Christian as you see where St John was banished for 2 years and where, reportedly, he wrote the book of Revelation. EPHESUS, where we walked the same path as St John, St Paul, Mark Anthoney and Cleopatra. The ruins there are amazing. MYKONOS, where the small whitewashed shopping streets call you to walk, walk, walk. RHODES, the walled old medieval city also calls one to walk, look and shop. We were there the whole day. In the afternoon, we took a taxi to LINDOS. Lindos is beautiful and topped by an Acropolis that a resident said is older then the one at Athens. The last island we visited was SANTORINI with her white and blue homes setting on top of steep stone cliffs. We found out that everything there is up, up, up (we rode the cable car down)

Finally, we stayed two days in Athens. Included in our package was a tour to the Acropolis/Panthenon, that was so worth the climb! That evening, we had dinner at a rooftop restaurant located at the base of the Acropolis where after dark it is lighted and we had to pinch ourselves to realize we were really there. We ended our travel in Athens by walking, eating, and shopping in the Plaka.

A wonderful trip.



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Old Apr 25th, 2008, 05:32 AM
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Nice to hear you had a good trip.
Esp. nice to hear that Louis Cruise
Lines who seems to get a bad rep was
not bad at all.
I had a brief week-ender on one of her ships a while ago from Limasol
to Egypt & Israel & it was fine
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Old Apr 25th, 2008, 06:40 AM
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I know, I read negative reviews here on Louis Cruise lines also, but one poster stated that they were fine for transportion to the islands and that was what we wanted. If they offered an itinerary we wanted, we would sail with them again.
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Old Jun 8th, 2008, 04:54 AM
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Hello cd
Thank you for this report. I'm just now researching this area for a possible trip next year, and your information is very helpful.
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Old Jun 8th, 2008, 07:36 AM
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My sister went on Louis cruise lines recently to some of the Greek islands. She thought it was fine, the food wasn`t great but it was OK. She is glad she went.
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 08:54 AM
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I'm glad this worked out well for you. Thanks for the report
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Old Apr 6th, 2009, 01:27 PM
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We are thinking of doing the Athens/Istanbul/Greek Islands Louis cruise lines, with a stay on Santorini. We have cruised several times on the big ships and on a small ship to Alaska. I am wondering about formal nights on this line. Our last Mediterranean cruise (RCL) my husband rented a tux thru the cruise line to avoid packing a suit or sport coat. What are the formal nights like?
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Old Apr 6th, 2009, 02:08 PM
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Laurel
We gave no thought to dinner on the ship. What was important to us were the ports. We did not pack anything other than casual clothes. The ship to us was transportation. But, we were pleased with our small room (very clean) and the meals in the dining room were good. We ate amd then crashed because we had spent such a full day touring. For us it was not the cruise but where the cruise took us. Have a great time!
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Old Apr 6th, 2009, 03:30 PM
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Thanks so much for your quick reply. We see the cruise as basically our hotel room. Did you take any extra excursions? What would you recommend?
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Old Apr 7th, 2009, 06:23 AM
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Hi Laurel
In Mykonos we just walked the narrow white streets ,had drinks in 'Little Venice' shopped and had more drinks on the harbor.

On Patmos we took the tour to the cave/grotto where St John was exiled. Very intersting tour.

In Kusadasi, we took the tour into Ephesus which was one of the best. As you walk the ruins,in your mind, you can see Mark Antony and Cleopatra, St Paul and the apostle John walking the very same path.

We loved Rhodes and what I would recommend if you don't take the ships tour, is hire a taxi just as you depart the ship, (there will be many there) to take you to Lindos where you can explore the town and take a donkey to the Acropolis of Lindos (we did not take the donkey ride, we just walked around and then the taxi driver took us behind the Acropolis where there is a beautiful beach and where Guns of Navarrone was filmed. Then have the driver drop you off at the walled old town to explore there and then you can walk back to the ship. This is if you have a whole day in Rhodes. It was a favorite of ours.

We took a tour in Crete of the countryside where you view olive trees and how olive oil used to be made and ended with a lunch at a little cafe with Greek dancers who were very good and very fast!

We were only in Santorini 4hrs so we took the bus provided thru Thira into Oia where we spent most all our time just admiring the view. We lingered over drinks at a restaurant in awe of what was before us. We took the cable car back down to the ship.

We were in Istanbul 3 days and the only organized tour we took was of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, great tour and was part of our package.

One thing you will run into, on your tours they will stop at carpet stores. Just say no.

Have a great trip!
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