Big city with lots of history. We are glad we saw what we did when we did as there is much civil unrest going on. We did not have problems while there. We booked a private tour on our own and were glad we did. We didn't want to fumble around with metro train and bus schedules with only one day to see Athens. We saw everything we wanted to see in that day. The new Acropolis Museum is incredible. Others we met on the cruise did their own thing and didn't have time to see it.
We booked our own tour here through a company called Ephesus Deluxe. Great value-had an English speaking tourguide, Ahu, that really made the tour special. We thought the ruins in Ephesus were as good or better that what we saw in Athens. Also, saw the Virgin Mary's home where she lived after the crucifixion of Jesus. Our guide gave us plenty of time to feel the spirituality of that place. It was very moving.
Bodrum was a small Turkish portside village. We took a ship excursion called the Blue Voyage. We went to Camel Beach on a Turkish boat called a gulet. The beach was very forgettable. Rocky beach with cheap plastic beach chairs-rattan umbrellas painted blue with paint chips all over the place. Second stop was more fun where we coved out and swam. The boat owner gave us a history lesson (rather lengthy) and politically pleaded to not hold Turkish Muslims responsible for 9/11 or other extremist occurrences. Turkish shopkeepers will drive you nuts. Shopping not enjoyable.
Did a ship's tour which was a complete waste of money. In other forums, we read it was best to take the first tender in Santorini or you could miss two hours trying to get off the ship. We did get off quickly and took a bus to Oia arriving at about 8:10am. The tourguide told us to meet back at the bus at 9:15 so we only had about one hour (TO SEE ONE OF THE MOST INCREDIBLE SIGHTS IN THE WORLD!!!!!!!!-NOT). Needless to say, we punted the rest of the tour (and our $144)and spent 5 hours in Oia, which was still not enough time. We would have done better on our own. Hint:the only advantage to getting off early would be if your ship arrives in port late in the morning or early afternoon. If you're in early, do your own thing as it's easy.