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Cruise stop in Athens - what should we see

Cruise stop in Athens - what should we see

Apr 20th, 2002, 08:59 AM
  #1  
Kitty
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Cruise stop in Athens - what should we see

We are in Athens for 12 hours in June - what shouldn't we miss - I realise it will be very hot and therefore want to take things at a leisurely pace. Help please?
 
Apr 20th, 2002, 01:01 PM
  #2  
Barry
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Hi Kitty -

Athens is a really HUGE city! If you are their for a cruise stop (and the 12 hours is from the time the ship docks till she leaves port) then honestly, just bite the "cost bullet" and take a full day tour on one of the cruise line shore excursions.... you'll be way happier and see more in that short space of time.

Barry
 
Apr 20th, 2002, 02:08 PM
  #3  
a
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It won't be REALLY hot, probably 75-80, I was there last year at that time. I would agree that you should do an exursion through the cruise, Athens is a complicated city & it's very easy to get lost. You don't have that kind of time.
 
Apr 21st, 2002, 06:21 AM
  #4  
Kitty
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Thanks - I think that's what we'll do - the cruise line offers several trips and I'm sure one will suit us fine.
 
Apr 21st, 2002, 06:49 AM
  #5  
Jim
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Kitty,
I would save a ton of money buy taking a cab from your port in Pireas, to the
Acropolis and Plaka(the old city of Athens).
The cab ride is about 6 miles.
From the Acropolis to Plaka is an easy walk. Then cab back to your ship.That's about all you would want to see within your time frame.
You could also save some money by sharing your cab with another couple from the ship.
Do a search on Acropolis and Plaka for more info.
 
Apr 21st, 2002, 07:51 AM
  #6  
fiona
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go with the shore excursion! Athens is a fascinating city and you will learn and see a lot with a guide. I have been to Athens several times but only for day trips.Believe me, a well organised tour can show you a lot!
 
Apr 21st, 2002, 09:04 AM
  #7  
jack
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I agree with Jim.
Why spend $150-$200 when you can do the same thing for $25?
I'll bet one of the tours is to the Acropolis and on to Platka.
You said you only have 12hrs. Why get ripped off by the ship's tour?
 
Apr 21st, 2002, 09:13 AM
  #8  
Jack
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Kitty,
The two websites below describe all you would want to know about Plaka and the Acropolis.
http://www.athensguide.com/plaka.html
http://www.culture.gr/2/21/211/21101a/e211aa01.html
 
Apr 21st, 2002, 02:03 PM
  #9  
rita
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Hey Jack and Jim, have either of you ever tried to get a taxi in Athens, in the middle of the day to take you back to the port? Trying to "hail" a taxi miday in Athens is next to impossible. Combine the heat of summer in Greece with all the taxi drivers rushing home for siesta and you have a recipe for frustration. Poor Kitty will expire from heat before a taxi stops to take her all the way out to Pireaus.

If you are going to suggest she take a taxi at LEAST tell her to mark a large airconditioned hotel on her map which she can walk to and have the doorman call or (desperately) hail a taxi. She can then sit in the lobby and drink a cool one, while she waits the . . . 15 . . . 30 . . . 45 minutes it will take for the taxi to come.

Kitty take note!
 
Apr 21st, 2002, 03:30 PM
  #10  
Barry
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Hey Guys -

Gotta also agree with Rita on the taxi thing... Athens is the only time we have really been nervous in a taxi (and we've been to 56 countries)...

Caught a cab down at the Plaka and the guy could'nt understand a word of english (din't know it till we were rolling!). We were staying at the Intercontinental and fortunately I had a letterhead notepad in my pocket. He still seemed confused and took us on a "wild mouse" back street taxi ride... going the wrong way down one way streets twice! So getting in one at Pireus and riding into town in the summer would not be my idea of fun!

We've done it both ways on cruises, ship's tours and opn our on. It depends on where in the world we are! Athens is great and we love it... but it is a REAL large and sprawled out city... and 12 hours... (really 10)... is only enough time to hit the highlights with a guide who knows the real deal! We were there 4 days on our last trip there (my wife had been before when working with the airlines but it was my first time), and while we can normally get a good "lay of the land" in a day or two... Athens is a lot like Istanbul... just too many people and too spread out to do it on your own without a lot of time!

Barry
 
Apr 22nd, 2002, 07:05 AM
  #11  
Jack
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Getting a cab from the pier into Athens is no problem. Returning to the ship, all one has to do is to take a short walk over to the Hotel Grande Bretagne and have the doorman (he speaks Greek) hail you a cab back to the ship.
I've done it in the past with no trouble. To those that need their hands held on every trip they make, take a tour. To those who are independent travelers-no problem.
I am also interested to know where one would go other than the Acropolis if one only had 10 hrs to spend?
 
Apr 22nd, 2002, 07:18 AM
  #12  
david
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Jack
strange question!!!! If you feel qualified to answer the question about taxis surely you know which sites to visit!! However perhaps you have spent too much time in the past arranging your own tour and taxis to see Athens.
Kitty
Jack,in his own way , has answered your query! Take a tour!!!!
 
Apr 22nd, 2002, 03:53 PM
  #13  
Jack
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To David- AKA-Barry
If I'd have known you were having a problem with my post-I would have typed slower.
p.s. When did you decide during your 65 countries that some people didn't speak English?
 
Apr 22nd, 2002, 04:23 PM
  #14  
David
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Jack
my name is not Barry! I see you can't answer my question. You can't even get the bit about Barry right! FYI he said he visited 56 countries! But then you were probably too confused after trying to DIY in Athens!!!
Kitty
sorry about the hilarity! Obviously you will make your own mind up but I strongly advise that you take the majority postings as your guide. Enjoy Athens. Its a fabulous city! Also remember that what you don't see this trip you can see the next time!!!
 
Apr 22nd, 2002, 07:47 PM
  #15  
c.fisher
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kitty, if you only have 12 hrs, your best bet probably is the cruise tour which will offer you the best overview in one day. If you're independent and want to go it-alone, decide on only a few places to see in Athens, because as others have already mentioned, it is a very large city. We spent a few days in Athens on our own there before we met our cruise ship and only managed to see the Acropolis, the Plaka, one museum and took a one-day tour of the 3 small islands of Hydra, Poros and Aegina which you can do in 1 day. Catching a cab near the port of Piraeus was also difficult-long lines! (and we're from N.Y and used to insane cabs!) Enjoy your trip!
 
Apr 22nd, 2002, 10:30 PM
  #16  
Harriette
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We'll also be there on a cruise stop the end of May. we compromised and hired a driver for the day. It was cheaper for the 4 of us than the ship's tour and is more personalized. email me for the info if you like.
 
Apr 23rd, 2002, 03:02 AM
  #17  
kathy
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Hi Kitty
It sounds like George, the famous taxi driver of Athens to the rescue. go into
www.greecetravel.com and read about George and then book him to give you a tour of Athens. I'm sure you won't be disappointed. I will be in Athens this year and intend going on George's day trips.
 
Apr 23rd, 2002, 04:11 AM
  #18  
honey
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I was going to mention greektravel.com, too, and hiring a taxi for the day. It's probably cheaper than the shore excursion and you can do what you want and still have the security of a car on demand. Can't you also take the metro to and from Piraeus?
 
Apr 23rd, 2002, 02:21 PM
  #19  
Sheila
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We got back yesterday and used George (or at least Paul, through George) to do a trip for the 6 hour layover we had.

I've never been on a cruise so I've no idea what the tour would cost, but if it's the sort of money mentioned above, I'd heartily recommend George. He charges by the hour and will tailor exactly to your needs. So if you want to see the Parthenon but not the Plaka, that's what you'll get. You'll get a good places to eat. If you want to go to Delphi instead (which I would have done if we'd had time)that's what you'll do.

He'll either sort it for you, or take you where you want, drop you and pick you up if he can't park; you're in an airconditoned cab so no heat issues and no hassle with non-English speaking drivers; and no rip offs either.

But it's not cheap.
 
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