Subscribe today
Get Cruise Critic in your inbox
Member Reviews
Home > Member Reviews > Artteacher's Port Reviews of Santorini, Istanbul, Athens (Piraeus), Crete (Heraklion), Naples

Artteacher's Port Reviews of Santorini, Istanbul, Athens (Piraeus), Crete (Heraklion), Naples
Celebrity Equinox cruise in June 2012
Member Name: Artteacher
Cruise Date: June 2012
Embarkation: other
Destination: Eastern Mediterranean
Member Review: Artteacher's Celebrity Equinox Review
Santorini
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Lots of ships hit the port city, be ready to wait for the tram up the mountain. We stood for almost an hour in the hot sun to board the sketchy tram (they have notched out a cinder-block retaining wall to allow for sag in the cable of the tram cars will clear it).

Once at the top there are crowded little streets not unlike villages in Mexico, and lots of kitch from China with the Greek flag on it. Museum visitors should note the relatively early closing times for the small boutique venues on the island, we were not able to reach the top of the mountain until nearly closing time. We thought after-the-fact that a short boat ride to the opposite side first might have been a better call.

Jaw dropping views from the small eateries at the top looking back at the bay.

More Santorini Reviews Santorini Port Profile Santorini Forum   
Istanbul
Blue Mosque Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Very pretty, the tile work (of course) is the reason to explore this site. Interesting perspective on the conversion from Christianity to Islam.


Bosphorus Cruise Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Something to do on the bucket list, it allows for a better look at big private residences that face the water. There was refreshment on the boat, and a hole in the floor of the "restroom" to use for a toilet.


City Tour Rating: Not Rated
By chance, or perhaps by design; we were paired with a superb guide for a two-day excursion. She had been a tour guide in Turkey for over twenty five years and spoke English with ease. She gave us a thumbnail of the tour agenda at the beginning of each day and remained with us throughout the times spent at each venue. All the locations typically attended by visitors were included on this tour for one price.


Grand Bazaar Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Do not venture off the main thoroughfare unless you have GPS navigation - and remember, even if you say 'no' you are actually opening a negotiaion - just walk away, they totally expect it and it's not rude.


Hagia Sofia Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Photo op. Interesting lighting inside, very typical of the historic Mosques in the area.


Spice Market Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Saffron seems to be the big seller here, but there is also lots of other things to choose from. Try the apple tea.


Hagia Sofia Rating: 5+ out of 5+
By chance, or perhaps by design; we were paired with a superb guide for a two-day excursion. She had been a tour guide in Turkey for over twenty five years and spoke English with ease. She gave us a thumbnail of the tour agenda at the beginning of each day and remained with us throughout the times spent at each venue. All the locations typically attended by visitors were included on this tour for one price. St. Sophia is a great example of Mosque architecture and Islamic culture - very photogenic.


Topkapi Walking Tour Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
A great look into the age of the Sultans. Check out the armory and the below-the-floor exhibit. Lots to see, get there early to avoid the crowds.


Underground Cistern Rating: 5+ out of 5+
Take your camera, dark and wondrous with live fish swimming in the water!


More Istanbul Reviews Istanbul Port Profile Istanbul Forum   
Athens (Piraeus)
City Tour Rating: 2.0 out of 5+
This tour was basically a bus ride in traffic through a densely urbanized sprawl. Occasionally we would pass a ruin (forget about getting a picture from the moving bus). We stopped at the base of the hill upon which the Acropolis was built - yes, you could see it - yes, you could get a photo - basically like trying to shoot the top floor of a thirty story building from the sidewalk. We stopped at the Archeological Museum and the "guide" took it upon himself to lead us by the nose around the place for about an hour before "letting" us have some free time. Unless you can't read or have never been to a museum before, this was kind of annoying. Probably will not take a tour of this type again.


More Athens (Piraeus) Reviews Athens (Piraeus) Port Profile Athens (Piraeus) Forum   
Crete (Heraklion)
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Beautiful port city, lots to see, do and eat. I will return.

More Crete (Heraklion) Reviews Crete (Heraklion) Port Profile Crete (Heraklion) Forum   
Naples
Herculaneum Rating: Not Rated
We hired a car to take us to Pompeii and then to Herculaneum because we did not see a tour offered through the cruise that went to both places. It cost about $400 for the whole day - split four ways, so not too bad. The driver navigated traffic and was attentive to our questions. He did take us to a hugely expensive restaurant (at our request), and joined us for lunch with out an invitation. The bill for five of us was $300! We were never advised of the cost in advance, but assumed it would be somewhat less. In hindsight, I think we should have been more clear as to what we were willing to pay - however the view was spectacular and the restaurant was opened exclusively for us (something that we were unaware of until we arrived) and enjoyed wine and local fish. Be careful if money is an issue, try to get costs up front.


Pompeii Walking Tour Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
We hired a car to take us to Pompeii and then to Herculaneum because we did not see a tour offered through the cruise that went to both places. It cost about $400 for the whole day - split four ways, so not too bad. The driver navigated traffic and was attentive to our questions. He did take us to a hugely expensive restaurant (at our request), and joined us for lunch with out an invitation. The bill for five of us was $300! We were never advised of the cost in advance, but assumed it would be somewhat less. In hindsight, I think we should have been more clear as to what we were willing to pay - however the view was spectacular and the restaurant was opened exclusively for us (something that we were unaware of until we arrived) and enjoyed wine and local fish. Be careful if money is an issue, try to get costs up front.


More Naples Reviews Naples Port Profile Naples Forum   
You may also like to:

Read more Eastern Mediterranean Ports Reviews

Find Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Deals

Find Eastern Mediterranean Cruises

Talk with other members in the Eastern Mediterranean Forum
Write a cruise review!
About UsAdvertisingEditorial DisclaimerPress
PrivacySite MapStoreSubscribe
X

Thank You For Signing Up!

Please Note: To ensure delivery of your free e-letters, please add news@cruisecritic.com to your address book.

We're committed to protecting your privacy and will not rent or sell your e-mail address. By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.