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Marina Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
704 reviews
37 Awards

Lands of Time: Barcelona to Istanbul on Marina

Review for Marina to the Middle East
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Bashful3
10+ Cruises • Age 80s

Rating by category

Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
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Additional details

Sail Date: Sep 2012
Cabin: Verandah Stateroom

I can't believe I am the first to review this fabulous cruise! Been home four days, and am still glowing.

Background information: I am a mobility challenged traveler, but very adventurous. Being dissatisfied with Oceania shore tours on two previous cruises, I arranged private tours for us in most ports, but my husband did take 2 Oceania tours that I did not.

Getting to the port of embarkation, Barcelona from our lovely quiet Hotel Gaudi was a snap of a short taxi ride. Embarkation was handled smoothly, including getting our luggage to our room in good shape promptly. No fuss; no hassle, great lunch awaiting us 12 ish.

Cabin Review

Verandah Stateroom

Cabin B2

8125: close to rear elevator bank. Ideal for a handicapped traveler; close to

dining sites. Ample storage space, great balcony, quiet, great views,

Port Reviews

Barcelona

WE had been to Barcelona several times before; recommend Hotel Gaudi for location and great breakfast. Easy cab ride to port.

Ibiza

We just walked around briefly; saving our energies for the rest of the cruise.

Malta (Valletta)

This private tour was arranged to accommodate my walking difficulties, avoiding

stairs, museums, churches and palaces. Malta is a hilly place; I enjoyed

Rita's tour thoroughly, but others would wish to see the palace, museums and churches.

Crete (Heraklion)

Again, we had a private arrangement with a taxi company. While not guides, our

driver did an excellent job and I enjoyed the experience hugely. Would definitely recommend taxi touring in Crete.

Rhodes

Our taxi driver, Anthony was enthusiastic about Rhodes, fluent in English, knew

how to make the 4 1/2 hour tour zing while accomodating my mobility limitations. nick-ax@rho.forthnet.gr. While they are not permitted to

be described as 'guides' I sure couldn't tell that: Anthony was superb. We saw a lot, and it was an exciting experience. Many photo stops, but I didn't have to climb any stairs and it was a treat. Motivated us to want to revisit Rhodes. Jewish Rhodes was included, at my request.

Jerusalem (Ashdod)

Unfortunately our tour was scheduled for a Friday, and also during a festival, Succoth. This led to unusually crowded conditions with street closings at 4pm.

The large buses could not have access to the inner city as our small van did.

Would recommend info@guidedtoursisrael.com highly. Jerusalem is quite far from the port of Ashdod. Yad Vashem was difficult to take, but a must. I was not able to keep up with our group, and had to return to the bus with my husband, but our group had a wonderful experience in the inner city.

Haifa (Tel Aviv)

Wonderful tour of Safed; private tour made the whole difference here.

Sorry can't remember details, but it was great, other than the restaurant choice. Food tasty, but very expensive. May have been someone's relative!

Istanbul

The Best! By Far! Spent 4 days post cruise, and Ram_dreng@yahoo.com cannot

be highly recommended enough to you. He catered to my mobility limitations; was a gifted guide who helped us get to know Istanbul despite my inability to climb stairs or walk well with my walker on cobblestones.

We are where locals eat (example: $25 for exquisite lunch for 3); got to talk

with four young female college students, visited the Jewish Museum, a real gem,

relished the Janissary Concert at the Military Museum where the military history of Turkey was brought to life for us by Ram. He even picked the HOtel

Sura, which was an excellent choice for us: close to all the action, and with

one of the few disability access rooms at a reasonable cost in Istanbul.

He would help you do want you want to do, regardless of your interests, just as

he helped us. I consider him a friend, not just a guide. Truly caring.

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