We were already in Athens overnight on 30th April/1st May, so visited on our own. Being Labour Day the usual Strikes were in evidence, which was really interesting as the Athenians come from every corner of the city all singing different songs and with their bands or music different but played simultaneously. An enjoyable day for us anyway. The changing of the guard at the Parliament building was of course the main feature of the visit, particularly as they had to march to so many different tunes at the same time!
Only visited this port last year for the first time, but it's splendid - very clean, wide roads and pedestrian areas, excellent shops and very friendly people. There is a small attempt to pressure sell - it's in the blood - but in the real shops one can browse without hassle. Easy to walk back to the ship, and lots of pavement things to see.
I personally love Istanbul, but my husband finds gthe pressure to buy a nuuisance. Love the Grand Bazaar, which embodies all the sights and smells and noise of what I hope for in a typical Turkish rfegion. We also had an extensive tour of the Haigh Sofia, Blue Mosque, Emperor's Palace, and a very good lunch in a restaurant adjacent to the latter. Celebrity had thoughfully provided a well-supplied and furnished Portacabin restroom facility for it's guests, which meant no long queues with all the other thouosands of tourists.
At the last mninute decided to take a wine and cheese tasting tour, which proved to be marvellous. Drove up really winding and typically southern italian countryside with glorious views of the bay of Naples, until we reached a splendid new hotel and restaurant which had evolved from a winery. They obviously had believed the coach was going to be fuller than it was, as the spread was extensive. There were three wines in each category, excellent cheeses and local breads. Fantastic views from all sides and a visit and talk about the cellars and their particular wines. All very informative and satisfying. Later we were delivered to the town of Sorrento which is charming, very regional and authentic although loads of tourists, and an excellent place to visit. However it should be realised that if one is choosing to actually stay there it is not advisable to select a hillside hotel, however luxurious, because there is no transport uphill and no pavements - and the hills are very very steep. Walked back to the harbour as we had to tender this one. The way to the harbour is down 156 steep steps, so not for anyone who finds walking a problem.