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Home > Member Reviews > TravelDreamer75's Port Reviews of Venice, Haifa, Alexandria, Kusadasi

TravelDreamer75's Port Reviews of Venice, Haifa, Alexandria, Kusadasi
Vision of the Seas cruise in October 2010
Member Name: TravelDreamer75
Cruise Date: October 2010
Embarkation: Venice
Destination: Middle East
Member Review: TravelDreamer75's Vision of the Seas Review
Venice
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
Spent 1 week in Venice prior to getting on- highly recommend this. I had spent the usual 2 days in Venice before, but by spending a longer time I had the ability to emphasize local culture, food instead of just the highlights. I do not recommend a tour- just a good map and guidebook- you can get anywhere by vaporetto- or from the port you can walk a great deal in a great neighborhood and take a gondola on this more romantic side of the island.



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Haifa
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
Used Guided Tours Israel Got off at Haifa, spent an overnight in Jerusalem, then back on at Ashdod. 2 of us with 1 guide Highly recommend this, though this made us standout in the security area and required a longer investigation. We told GTI what we wanted to do and they did great at this custom tour. We took a quick ride around Haifa up to the Bahia Gardens (great view!), then we drove to Tel Aviv- bad traffic so we had time to visit a local bakery, take our snacks to Jaffa and eat while overlooking the great view! Then to Jerusalem for a great walk in Old Jerusalem. We stayed at Harmony House in the new town (Great hotel! great part of time to stroll at night) The next day went to Mount of Olives for a great view, some pics, then drive to Dead Sea, float for a while, then Masada, then back to the boat! Obviously this was not a religion intensive tour, but a great variety of things that Israel has to offer. The overnight tour is not cheap (especially compared to Egypt), but considering we did not know when we would return, we wanted to do it all!


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Alexandria
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Used Ramses Tour- Overnight in Cairo Highly recommend an overnight tour, Ramses was great. We had a private guide and a separate driver which was nice for drop offs at the sites- saving time. I feel like the 2 days were a whirlwind of places - Egyptian Museum, Sound and Light tour, Citadel, Felluca Ride, Saccara, Mephis, Giza, Alexandria Library Drive by. I recommend it all. I really enjoyed the peace of a felluca ride. We enjoyed the sound and light show - if anything it requires you to sit and just admire the monuments for 45 min. We were disappointed in shopping- we were told we could not go to the famous Khan el Kahlili Market, but we had to go to a government place instead- which would be fine if it offered any of the products we were interested in. After 2 days of seeing cute scarves, little items of interested, and being told to not buy them becuause they were Chinese knock offs- we then got to the "good" place and we hated it. I wish we had more time for shopping, even in Alexandria which looked really fun. Maybe we had too much on our itinerary!



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Kusadasi
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Ekol Guides I used them last year and had a great time. This time our guide was very flat, not interested in us (maybe sexist as we were 2 ladies travelling alone). Went to Ephesus - my 2nd time, love the Terrace Houses (the best part!), our guide knew more than last guide, but yet he made it so boring and uninteresting! I decided on something different- a day in Sirence. Loved the drive there past olive groves, lots of great views. My friend asked them to stop so we could take a pic, and we were told the views were good in the village. We got to the village and found it overrun with tourists! not the quaint village I expected. Then, we were told we had 45 min to shop, see the town, and if we wanted that view- a steep climb to a church. After taking 20-30 minutes to haggle with the scarf shop, we barely had time to see the place. Since my friend did not want to go to a carpet shop, our guide told us our tour was over, and we were going back to port (90 min ahead of what we expected), so we agreed to go to the shops he wanted just to feel we got our moneys worth. We did enjoy the pottery place, and went to the rug store just to see what it was like, and watched others shop. Walking in Kusadasi feels safe, relaxing, lots of shopping! Great Food! What a beautiful port, but if you get a guide, I hope you get the right one!



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