This was a two week cruise so my comments are the same as the previous week but I did wish to comment on the port visits, which in some cases were not as positive as the previous week. As I need to write more I would say that the ship was far more crowded this week, which wasn’t great. It was nice not to have wear masks this week, whether this was because the Covid cases on board had lessened or because they had given up because of recalcitrant passengers, I don’t know. I could add that all travel arrangements for embarkation and disembarkation worked smoothly which I gather wasn’t true of everyone. The insistence on a lateral flow test made the experience very anxiety inducing, specially as no one asked to see the result and P&O reneged on their promise to credit £15 to onboard credit. They were the ones insisting on it, not Malta, which I believe dropped the requirement some time ago.
I decided to visit the Parthenon. This was a disappointing experience due to the sheer volume of visitors. I think this trip should come with a warning. The guide was good but the conditions were not. There was no comfort stop before the tour and it took a long time to gain access to the site and again not enough time to find refreshment. I am only glad that I saw it unmarred by crowds fifty years ago. I would not go again.
I have always wanted to visit Ephesus and I was not disappointed. The site was hot and busy not appallingly so. We had an excellent guide who explained the history well. There is very little shade so be warned. The minor visits afterwards to St. John’s ruined church and the remaining column of an ancient temple were of less interest. Kuşadası itself was a fairly busy town but I found a nice restaurant near the port.
This was easy to access independently and enjoyable to walk around. The cathedral is worth a visit but there is an entrance charge.
Rhodes old town is a delightful place with historic buildings, nice shops and plenty of restaurants and bars. I managed to see it early in the morning. By lunch time it was very crowded. Too many cruise ships in port.
I have visited Santorini before and it is a beautiful place but it was not borne out by my experience. The actual tour I did of Akrotiri was interesting. But afterwards we were dropped in Fira to get the cable car down to the port whether we wanted to see it or not. The queue was ridiculously long. I queued for three quarters of an hour in the heat. Some people queued for an hour and a half. This could have been avoided if we had returned to the coach port and had a tender from there. There were four large cruise ships in the bay. I had thought that Santorini was limiting the number but obviously not. Everyone I spoke to was disappointed. Some mentioned hour long queues for the coach to get out of the car park in Oia. Would definitely not visit again.