Questions for first time cruising

Old Aug 21st, 2011, 07:17 AM
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Questions for first time cruising

We are going on Vision of the Seas for the Holy Land tour in Oct/Nov this year.

Does anyone know if tender boats are used in Istanbul, Ephesus, Haifa, Ashdod and Athens ports - or are they all walk on-walk off?

If you have "any-time dining" do you still make a reservation or can you just pitch up at the restaurant? And, if you have to make reservation, can you do it on a per-day basis?

Does anyone know anything about the Adventure club - travelling with two teenagers and interested to know what they offer.

Any other advise would be great.
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Old Aug 21st, 2011, 08:19 AM
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All are docked. Can't help with the other questions.
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Old Aug 21st, 2011, 03:12 PM
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When I did "any-time dining on Radiance of the Seas this spring, I got online and made reservations for every night before our cruise. You can make reservations daily. Those who came to dinner without reservations were usually not seated right away. I have heard that it depends on how many teenagers are on board as to what activities are offered.
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Old Aug 21st, 2011, 04:05 PM
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One more thing. Just be aware if you are touring privately in Greece that by law the driver can't also be a guide so if you need a guide are are using a private car then that is an extra fee. We will be on the Connie in Oct/Nov. for the Holy land as well. I have some private guides lined up for the port stops and though they are $$ the private excursions from the ship are $$$!! Be happy to make a rec if you like. Cheers, Larry
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Old Aug 21st, 2011, 11:48 PM
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Thanks Larry. Could you provide the name of the private guides you have lined up for Israel? The ship excursions are very expensive! Do the guides pick you up from port and return you to port? We are going to self-tour in Greece, and just catch a cab to Acropolis. We only have a few hours there. Appreciate the guidance.
Thanks Annie. I think I will try to make reservations on a daily basis as we are not sure what plans we have each day just yet. It's all very new!
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Old Aug 22nd, 2011, 05:56 AM
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Sure. I will get them to you this afternoon or evening. Cheers, Larry :-0
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Old Aug 23rd, 2011, 04:24 AM
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Well I worked late so I couldn't get back as mentioned but here are the tour guides i am using. For Ashdod: www.avitours.co.il
ForHaifa: www.Guidedtoursisrael.com
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Old Aug 23rd, 2011, 04:35 AM
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Thanks - that's great. I will check those out. Enjoy your upcoming cruise
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Old Aug 23rd, 2011, 04:57 AM
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Thanks! You too.
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Old Aug 25th, 2011, 01:13 AM
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Jacketwatch - your advice was great - I have now booked three tours with guidedtours for a much cheaper price than the ship excusion, and with a smaller group. We are very pleased. Able to see and do more within our budget now than we originally thought. Very Excited
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Old Aug 25th, 2011, 06:12 AM
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I am glad it worked out for you. Private tours are usually a lot cheaper. We will be on Celebrity and their private car tour for Ashdod is staggering! Have fun and I hope you will do a TR here. Larry
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Old Aug 31st, 2011, 12:44 PM
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Re: Acropolis. Make sure you have comforatble non slip walking shoes. Smoth line stone surace is slippery at best yet teh terrain is rocky. Don't miss the modern museum.

Plaka is walking distance and is just a hop and a skip away. Cheap food and souevnir, most shop keepers can speak some English. I would say Plaka is a tourist gatehring spot.

Within walking distance of Plaka are a number of old churches and Zeus Pillars.

If you have LOTS of time, you can look at going to Delphi, which is a couple hours further away. We stayed at Athens for a few days before we board the ship so we took a day trip to Delphi, and managed to spent a fair amount of time in Athens.

Oh, one last advsie for yoru trip. Make sure you always carry loose change, for the pay toilets. They pop up unexpectedly and you don't want to be "surprised".

You may wnat to check out Holyland trip reports at Cruise Critics or here. Good luck!
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Old Sep 3rd, 2011, 12:36 AM
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Thanks Eschew. We will make sure to pack comfy shoes. Looking forward to seeing Acropolis. I imagine the day will go by ar too quickly. I have booked holyland tours with guided israel and they seem to be great.

Great advice on the loos! Having teens,none of us would want to get caught short!
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Old Sep 6th, 2011, 01:58 PM
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Paddyzim, I am sure you will have a great trip. The comments regarding the pay toilet is throughout the entire trip and not specific to Athens. We actually did not come across any pay toilets in Athens. However, we did came across the infamous "TP in the basket" once on a small Greek island. Ours kids failed to see the humor or the "limited" sewage system they have.
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