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Home > Member Reviews > CarolinaCruiser85's Port Reviews of Taormina (Messina), Athens (Piraeus), Kusadasi, Crete (Heraklion)

CarolinaCruiser85's Port Reviews of Taormina (Messina), Athens (Piraeus), Kusadasi, Crete (Heraklion)
Navigator of the Seas cruise in August 2013
Member Name: CarolinaCruiser85
Cruise Date: August 2013
Embarkation: other
Destination: Eastern Mediterranean
Member Review: CarolinaCruiser85's Navigator of the Seas Review
Taormina (Messina)
City Tour Rating: 4.0 out of 5+

Port stop was actually at Messina. Upon arrival, I booked this tour 10 minutes prior to its departure. We were put in large, air conditioned busses. After a half hour ride through some windy roads we arrived at Taormina. This city is amazing and beautiful. It is one of the nicest cities that I have visited on a cruise. The city is easily toured and could be done without the excursion if you knew you would be back on time. Messina and mountain traffic can be congested. Great food and snack. The city is basically a walled old city with one or two main cobble stone streets. Try the Brioche ice cream sandwiches and the arancini. Our guide was knowledgeable but the city is very straight forward.




Teatro Greco Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

Royal Caribbean bus took us to Taormina. After a short walk, we paid for admission to the theatre. Great views from the theatre.




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Athens (Piraeus)
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

We decided to walk to the metro station and head to Athens on our own. Unfortunately the ship berth was one of the farthest and the port bus was not running yet. We turned down a couple of taxis which was dumb. Make sure you know where the ship is going to be at the port if you decide to do the Athens trip on your own. After the poor start, we made it to the metro and simply bought all day metro passes and went 6 stops to Thessio and made the beautiful walk to the Acropolis. It is a hike so you should be in decent shape. We were easily able to see the Acropolis, the changing of the Greek guards, Olympic Zeus, Agora, and Platka on our own. We had a great lunch at a location recommend in our Frommers book. Athens exceeded all expectations. Metro and city bus (included on the transport pass) and we were back to the ship with plenty of time to spare.


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Kusadasi
Basilica of St. John Rating: 4.0 out of 5+

Awesome




Carpet Weaving Rating: 2.0 out of 5+

I enjoyed learning about silk weaving and carpet weaving. I am in sales but I still thought the owner was too pushy with the carpets. They are beautiful but I would have like more time at the ruins.




Celsus Library Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

Amazing historical site.




Ephesus Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

Ephesus is an amazing city. Not to be missed if you like ancient history or Christian history.




House of the Virgin Mary Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

Awesome site especially if you are a Christian.




Temple of Artemis Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

Pre booked this excursion on line through Viator and it worked out great. Covered all the major sites in Turkey.




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Crete (Heraklion)
Port Rating: Not Rated

Took city bus into the port city of Chania. Beautiful Venice like city with nice shops and good restaurants. I would have liked more time to spend in the city. Our ship arrived early but many of the shops and restaurant don't open until mid day. Our restaurant food was great but because it took a while to cook we almost missed the last bus to the cruise port.



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