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I totally agree with Judy Morris, she has summed it up well. I would just add that if your confidence is up you can hire a taxi in Kusadasi and do the tour of Efes (Ephesus) with him, driving in Turkey is quite an experience. He will take you to the top gate and meet you at the bottom and if there are four of you the price difference is substantial. ( I haven't told you this but I understand that it is not unknown for individuals to latch on to a tour party and listen to their guide) All these ports can quite easily be done without an official tour but it is worth looking up the ports on the net to get further ideas and so that you don't miss something good. The only down comment is that the queue in Santorini for the cable cars can be enormous both to get up and back down. Hope that helps .... Lucy.
We have just done a similar itinerary to the same ports of call and the only one I would suggest you do is one to Ephesus from Kusadasi although you can just look around Kusadasi town if you want...all the other ports of call are easy to wander around yourself.
Rhodes has a shuttle to port gates (if you are not berthed next to it) then it is an easy walk into the old town which is lovely, lots to look at....Santorini if you haven't been before just get the cable car to the top of the cliff 4 euros and see the typical Greek town on the top and the beautiful views...either cable car down or walk (took us 45 mins)down the winding steps. Crete..it depends which port you berth ..Heraklion is about 20-30 mins walk to town and then up hill a bit..Aghios Nikolaos just walk off the ship into town (level walk) go left or right and there is something to see. We got a little train (from the quayside) up to the top of the hill on the right and had some wonderful views (7 euros). Mykanos we had a shuttle into town and wandered the lovely little streets before sitting on the harbour enjoying a coffee where we met Petros the Pelican and then saw two others sailing across the harbour to be fed by tourists on the other side.
If you don't want to go to Ephesus from Kusadasi there is quite a pleasant walk along the seafront to the right of the port and then turn right again out to Pigeon Island where you can get some shade under the trees with some nice views and cats to talk to!!
It depends really whether you have been to these ports of call before.. we like to explore the ports on our first visit and then travel further afield on the next visit. Hope this info helps a bit!
Thank you so much you have been the greatest help fom a nervous first timer think i will take your advice and discover for ourselves.my sister lost her husband 18months ago and i want to give her a really good time she so deserves it.may iask if we have chosen a decent ship for our first time once again thanks.
I would agree in general with the other comments but would advise that you don't try and over economise on trips if you are able to afford them, as some are really excellent and are made by having your own local guide who brings them to life. You also have the convenience of stepping straight into a coach and not having to worry about getting back to the ship on time. The two trips I would definitely do would be Ephesus which is absolutely magnificent (do ignore the taxi advise !!) and the trip to Oia on Santorini, which again is a wonderful experience. If you do not take the Oia trip you are restricted to Thira, which is nothing like as picturesque and you will not get a real feel of the island. On Rhodes and Mykonos you will be able to do your own thing and they are both excellent ports of call. As a suggestion in Rhodes, start by walking through what they call the New Town (ie the 15thC onwards)by the waters edge and come into the old town from the top, rather than just going syraight into the Old Town by the bottom gate. This is far more spectacular and a wonderful contrast.In Mykonos walk towards the churches, which are spectacular if you are there at sunset and then walk towards the old windmills through the old town shopping area - very atmospheric. I have to say I found Crete a little disappointing and the trip I took to Knossos not particularly interesting and nowhere near as wonderful as Ephesus. I am sure you and your sister will have a wonderful time and don't be over influenced by all the people whose only focus seems to be on how to do things the cheapest, as they often miss out on seeing and doing wonderful things which is the whole purpose of a great holiday in the first place.
Thank you for the advice which i certainly will use .we are not looking to economise on this trip far from it i just want us to have a truly memorable holiday.but as we are novices at tis cruising game its so nice to be pointed in the right direction once again thanks.