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Home > Member Reviews > Mary O'Reilly's Port Reviews of Athens (Piraeus), Kusadasi, Crete (Heraklion)

Mary O'Reilly's Port Reviews of Athens (Piraeus), Kusadasi, Crete (Heraklion)
Navigator of the Seas cruise in September 2011
Member Name: Mary O'Reilly
Cruise Date: September 2011
Embarkation: Civitavecchia
Destination: Eastern Mediterranean
Member Review: Mary O'Reilly's Navigator of the Seas Review
Athens (Piraeus)
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Here I had booked the tour to the Acropolis and eagerly looked forward to it. I had hoped that there would be no strikes and so I was lucky. The guide had us warned about being sure-footed, telling us that the surfaces were extremely slippery, and that every day somebody fell etc etc. We were each given a little ear piece so that we could hear her no matter how far back we were. We arrived at the site, but there must have been 1000 people in front of me, dogs lying about in the heat, and I was in such a state, in case I would fall, that I didn't enjoy it at all. After encountering a few steps with no handrail, I made my way back down to street level and waited for the bus. Then we were taken on a tour of the city, which was great. So many beautiful buildings, it looks like a place to be enjoyed on foot.

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Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Here I booked a private tour. Fantastic. Personal guide and private car. First stop was Mary's House. It was shady and calm and no throngs of people. (10am) Then we went to Ephesus. This was a far more meaningful experience than Athens. We did it at our own pace. There was no need to hurry or keep up with anybody, or worry about an ear piece falling out!!!! The guide was very knowledgeable and what he didn't know about Ephesus, would fit on a cent coin. I would encourage everybody to take the private tours, so much better than the organised bus tours. I used Ekol travel. There was the opportunity to go to a carpet factory and a leather factory. One carpet factory is the same as the next, just a hard sell. At the terminal building, I found the same set-up, with the girl knotting on a small loom. I didn't put myself under any further pressure by going to the leather factory.

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Crete (Heraklion)
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Hadn't book anything here, so thought that I'd have a look at the Venetian harbour in Chanai. Got on the bus, paid 1.50E for one way ticket, and after 30 minutes we were in the town. I thought that I could just stroll from the harbour to the town, but no. Got directions from a man selling tickets for his open-top bus, and after 5 minutes was at the Venetian harbour. What can I say. It was beautiful, water crystal clear, pony cars for hire, plenty of bars and restaurants. No pressure to buy drinks or anything. So laid back and serene. Only place in the world where I've overpaid by mistake and the waiter to refund me..... Would have wished for more time here, but the visit was short, as there was the bus ride back to the ship, and factor in the fact that you may have to wait for 30 minutes for the next bus. Crete is definitely on my list of places to spend more time in.

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