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Home > Member Reviews > mbleacher's Port Reviews of Rome (Civitavecchia), Katakolon (Olympia), Athens (Piraeus), Izmir, Alexandria

mbleacher's Port Reviews of Rome (Civitavecchia), Katakolon (Olympia), Athens (Piraeus), Izmir, Alexandria
Norwegian Jade cruise in October 2011
Member Name: mbleacher
Cruise Date: October 2011
Embarkation: other
Destination: Eastern Mediterranean
Member Review: mbleacher's Norwegian Jade Review
Rome (Civitavecchia)
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
Rome is awesome. After you see the ruins elsewhere, get amazed here. Besides Pompeii, Rome has the best ancient ruins. Not the biggest, but the scale is amazing. Take the train, which is a short 1/2 mile walk we did even in light rain pretty easily, from the port entrance. There is a free shuttle from your ship to the port entrance. Then the train is 5 euros to Termini Station. From there, go to the very front of ALL the trains near Track 15. Go straight outside where the train would crash through the mall if it didn't stop. Trust me, it's a big station. Yes, keep walking. You probably came in on track 24.

Once outside, there is a small stand to the left that sells the open top tour busses. They wanted 15 euros for an all-day, hop-on, hop off bus tour. Just remember where you stopped and don't miss the last train. I negotiated down to 12 euros for just 3 people. Maybe make friends with some people on the ship and save some dough.

The busses go to all the big stops, the colleseum, the government buildings, the forum, The Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the circus maximus, the Vatican. Get off if something interests you. If you miss the last bus back to Termini, you can take the metro train. It's only a couple of euros for a one-day pass. We had 3 day passes for 10 euros. They don't take American Credit Cards in the machines, so have euro cash. Don't trade your cash at Termini Station. IT's a total rip-off. We went to a bank and got a much better rate. MUCH better. Hotels are a total ripoff and the train ride to the airport is 14 euros. They really get you there. Take the bus from Termini for only 6 euros. It's on the opposite side from where you get the open bus tickets, out the door by McDonalds.

Rome is not to be missed. Just bring Euros and do your homework!

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Katakolon (Olympia)
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
Cute little town with a tiny beach right by the dock. The train (5 euros round trip) is just about 200 meters from the dock. Just don't miss it! It will take you right to the ruins of Olympia. Great little tourist spot there with Ouzzo and cute shops with cheap olive oil and silver jewlery. The souvinirs are cheap and the museum and ruins are very serious and well-presented like you'd find at the Met. Plus, you can go right out to the original stadium and race where the first marathoners did. I came in second out of 2. LOL. You can stand on the original medal stand, but you must have clothes on.
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Athens (Piraeus)
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
There are shops in Athens, but very little direction or help to get to them. You can get a cab up to the Acropolis for 10 euros, but some of these banditos try to gouge per person out of you. There are lots of businesses right outside the gate, but you have to walk at least a mile to get to any good ones. There is a quaint liquor store there and lots of ATMs for euros. We met a guy there who had 2 friends with him he'd known since WWII. They were in grade school together, and still hang out. Plus, he's a nice guy who emptied out a water bottle so we could smuggle some vodka aboard.

I can't believe they charge 4 euros to walk into the olympic stadium that you can photograph from outside for free. LAME. The government buildings are a mess and the people are suffering from 60% unemployment, so it's pretty depressing at the moment. If you go to the Acropolis, be sure to walk down to Mars Hill where Paul preached against the evils of Rome.

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Izmir
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Turkey was surprisingly the best stop this time. No civil unrest. Turkey isn't really feeling the economic woes due to its non-participation with the euro. On this stop, I recommend the official tour if you go to Ephesus. We ran into a few people who took a cab and lost a lot of time.

The port is nice, the shops and restaurants are right across the street and when they're open, they face the sea like Battery Park in Manhattan. Very pretty. Nobody speaks English though, and it is kinda creepy for women without male escort. Wifi is in all the restaurants though if you want to upload some photos and it's free and fast.

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Alexandria
Port Rating: 1.0 out of 5+
What a disgusting pit. There's been no trash collection since January's revolution. (10 months). Since you have to pay taxes when you finish your building, none of the buildings are finished. DUH! Civil unrest is still a daily occurrence. I say skip Egypt and stay on the ship. It's dangerous. Really. I've been in combat and I don't ever want to go back here unless they get a non-corrupt government in place. Seriously.

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