We normally travel independently but this cruise was the cheapest way to get to Israel, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt and Dubai in one trip. We were prepared for some last minute changes but luckily we made it to all of the scheduled ports. The staff were great, always quick to provide help and say hello. My favourites were Rose Marie, the washy washy girl in the buffet, always smiling despite working 24/7. The Captain was also great, loved his sense of humour and looked forward to his announcements.
We took private tours or shared taxis at the
Ports, the shore excursions are overpriced and I'd only take one if I was worried about making it back to the ship in time.
Quiet floor, nice dark inside cabin, perfect for sleeping. Optimum for getting off the ship at the ports, we would walk past the line ups to our room and once the announcement was made we could walk up the hall to the exit.
Took the Hoho bus, right by the ship and simple to use
Private tour to Ephesus, very interesting, great stop.
Beautiful walled city, just walk from the ship and explore the city. Lots of shopping and restaurants.
Pretty little Island, hired a taxi to take us around for a few hours
Israel is interesting but if you have no religious background you may not appreciate it. Jerusalem was crazy, jammed full of people, if you don't love shuffling slowly forward to look at some relic you may want to skip it. The Dead Sea was the highlight at this port.
Would have been nice to go to Cairo but maybe next time. Luxor was great, security was extremely tight. Armed guard in our small bus, checkpoints everywhere.
Jordan was my favourite port, did both Petra and Wadi rum on a private tour. We saw as much of Petra as most of the people I spoke to did on their Petra only tours. The only issue was the temperature, the Freestyle listed 23 or 24 as the expected temperature. When we stopped at the viewpoint on the way to Petra it was 8 degrees. Freezing !
Would have preferred Muscat as there isn't much to see there
expected more, the mosque was beautiful but jam packed full of tourists.