Cruise port questions

Old Aug 30th, 2022, 08:58 AM
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Cruise port questions

Hi All,
We will be on a Celebrity Mediterranean cruise leaving Rome on September 26 for 11 days. I have not booked any excursions yet. We are going to Sicily, Mykonos, Santorini, Istanbul, Ephesus, Athens, Naples..

My questions :
we are not big into organized tours. Is it possible just to get transportation to the main city near the ports when we get there? Would you recommend just doing that or do we need to plan ahead for each port. We will only have about 10 hours at each port except Istanbul which we will be in port overnight.
Also, are there any of the ports you think would be better to have an organized tour?
TYIA for you help.
reginalindsey9754 is offline  
Old Aug 30th, 2022, 09:10 AM
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Recommend reading this: https://store.ricksteves.com/shop/p/...n-cruise-ports

You might also join https://boards.cruisecritic.com/ and see whether there is a roll call for your cruise with other people interested in planning their own excursions.
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Old Aug 30th, 2022, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by thursdaysd View Post
Recommend reading this: https://store.ricksteves.com/shop/p/...n-cruise-ports

You might also join https://boards.cruisecritic.com/ and see whether there is a roll call for your cruise with other people interested in planning their own excursions.
Good advice from thursdaysd, cruisecritic.com and your roll call are the best places to look for tips/info. Folks from your sailing will definitely be planning tours and excursions which you could join, at the very least youíll get viable suggestions about what to see and do. FB roll calls are popular nowadays, you may also want to check there.

In Europe cruise ships often dock far from the city, so you canít just walk off and go sightseeing. You can do this in Mykonos, in Santorini you have to take the cable car up and down, with long lines and waits, especially on the way down. In Istanbul you can take a tram to the Sultanahmet area where most of the important sights are located.

Piraeus is a distance from Athens. Kusadasi not a very interesting city and the magnificent Greco-Roman site at Ephesus is quite far away, a tour would definitely be the way to go. Where in Sicily does your ship go, oftentimes itís Messina. If you dock in Naples itself, you can take a taxi or bus to town. Pre-booking entrances to sites/museums would be a good idea.

Last edited by geetika; Aug 30th, 2022 at 09:54 AM.
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Old Aug 30th, 2022, 02:23 PM
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The cruisecritic roll calls don’t seem to be as active now as they once were. There’s usually a Facebook group for each cruise now, which seems to serve the same function the roll calls once did. The Mediterranean cruise we’re taking next spring has only about a dozen posts in the roll call while the Facebook group has over 300 members. Search Facebook for the ship name and the sailing date.

There is a cruisecritic sub-forum specifically for European ports that I’ve found helpful: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/foru...estern-europe/

I’ve also found https://www.whatsinport.com/index.html a good source.
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Old Aug 30th, 2022, 02:34 PM
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Yes, the Facebook group or roll call seems to be very popular nowadays. Weíre just back from a Norway fjords cruise and the FB group was much more active than the Cruise Critic Roll Call, especially 1-2 months from our sail
date.
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Old Aug 31st, 2022, 06:55 AM
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For Santorini: You will be tendered ashore below the main village of Fira to the cuise ship port named Skala. There is no road down to that port. You will either take the cable car up the cliff or walk up 600+ steps, each step being 4-5 strides deep. Please don't be tempted to ride the poor abused donkeys! There may also be a water taxi available there to take you to Amoudi Bay below Oia. That ticket also comes with a shuttle van service up into Oia.
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Old Aug 31st, 2022, 05:21 PM
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Sicily - I do not know if your ship will call on Naxos or Messina. If Naxos, you may take a taxi to Taormina to do your own sight-seeing. If Messina, there is little to see near the port.

Istanbul - cruise ship docks near the Istanbul Modern Museum. You may take a taxi to Sultanahmet and tour all the other sites near by. You may also take the slick and frequent tram from outside the cruise port to the Hippodrome and start your sight-seeing from there. But to take a tram you'll need Turkish coins (Turkey does not use Euro) to buy a tram token from the automatic machine. Walk to a bank to get some local currency (Lira) and ask to have some in coins to buy tram token.

Ephesus - the cruise port is Kuşadası. Google "Shore Excursion Kuşadası to Ephesus". Some local tour operators accept bookings of individual seats, and they will form a group to fill a van. Here is one such company, ( https://www.ephesusshuttle.com/categ...o-ephesus?id=1 ), but please double check their online reviews to make sure they are still good.



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Old Sep 1st, 2022, 04:18 AM
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Thanks for that cruise port website. Excellent resource!
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Old Sep 1st, 2022, 06:53 PM
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I would:
--check out the cruise line excusions, how long, how much.
--check out tripadvisor for private tours to the same places
--some private operators have ads as well
--there are ALWAYS cabs, tours, being advertised at the ports

I like planning ahead, so plan ahead, and head out while others dicker at the port or wait for the cruise tour buses. Finding a tour online and it would probably be a few people (4 people in a six people van) and much cheaper than cruiseline.
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