Ship docked in Messina - took a ship excursions - paid $89.75 each. Bus took us to Mt Etna spent too much free time there - they could have cut the time in half - then drove to Taormina and again had too much free time. The guide was very informative - did it once - will not do that again, but glad we did it. It was a very long day
We did not book the ship tour or any other. We got off the ship and walked to town (hiked up the mountain) - it is very steep. Once we got to the town, we looked for the different sites that the ship had on the places of interest. We went to the National Museum of Archaeology (very small) saw the St Johns Co-Cathedral and went to the Palace of Grand Masters - did some souvenir shopping. Spent about 3 hours walking around. Very clean and nice town
this was a very confusing stop. We got off the ship and started walking - unaware that we were in Souda Bay not Chania - so we are looking at a map of Chania and not finding the streets - after two hours we returned to the ship - went to the city bus booth (which was not open when we left originally) and bought a ticket for Chania - 3 euros round trip each. The bus ride was 20 minutes and probably about 6- 8 miles. We never would have walked that. We walked around and decided to have an authentic Greek lunch - so we ate at a restaurant near the Kloutsouk Hassan Mosque - and watched all the tourists. We were not impressed with this stop
This was another stop that we did not book a tour. We got off the ship and walked around. We were not impressed with this place. We walked around "old town" bought some souvenirs and returned to the ship.
We had booked our own tour for just under the price of the ship excursions, but it was just the two of us, with a driver, and guide - Gizem Aka. She was waiting for us outside the port entrance with a sign and we headed out for Ephesus. We stopped at the final home of the Virgin Mary and then to Ephesus. This is worth seeing. This was a wonderful tour. We enjoyed this stop so much, that we want to go back to Turkey and see more. We paid $112 total (tipped $28) this is usa money - they don't take euros
Reading info on the internet was misleading on this stop. We thought we could catch a taxi to Acropolis - but as we found out from others - not so easy. We got off the ship and asked a taxi guy what it would cost to take us to Acropolis - he was not interested and quoted us $140 euros to give us a four hour tour. We said no and decided to try to take the bus. Another taxi guy approached us and asked us where we wanted to go and we told him what the other guy had said and this guy said he would do four hours for $80 euros. We said okay and off we went. We got the Acropolis and spent one hour walking up and around. Our driver then took us to a souvenir place with "very good prices" and we bought stuff. We then went to the Hadrian's Arch, a drive through the old town and then to the Parliament Building where we watched the changing of the guard. (they knocked over a guy that was in their way - he never saw it coming). He then dropped us near the port so that we could go shopping. Except for the Acropolis we were not impressed.
We chose to do the ship excursion and it was a good thing - it was nine hours. We got on the bus - drove to Sorrento, got on a small boat that cruised the Amalfi Coast - we spend one hour in Amalfi and then cruised back to Sorrento. We got back on the bus, drove to Pompeii. We had lunch (included in the tour) and then went into the ruins of Pompeii. We had a very good guide and it was a lot of walking on uneven stones. We left and got back to the ship in time to shower and make it to dinner - our finally night.