405 Istanbul Cruise Reviews

An exciting place to visit.. Vibrant and full of life. Be careful of the taxi drivers and negotiate a rate rather than agree to the using the taxi meter. We paid 10 Euros out and 30 Euros on the meter for the return trip. Even so that ... Read More
An exciting place to visit.. Vibrant and full of life. Be careful of the taxi drivers and negotiate a rate rather than agree to the using the taxi meter. We paid 10 Euros out and 30 Euros on the meter for the return trip. Even so that was just £16 each to see the Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Water Systern, Topkapi Palace and much more besides. I think this worked out a few hundred pounds less than using a ship excursion despite the 2nd taxi overcharging. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Liked the city but we were kind of railroaded into taking a local minibus hire by one of the guys outside the port. This ended up being driven to the 'main sites' but also to the shops of their 'friends' to ensure we ... Read More
Liked the city but we were kind of railroaded into taking a local minibus hire by one of the guys outside the port. This ended up being driven to the 'main sites' but also to the shops of their 'friends' to ensure we spent money with them. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
I woke at 0700hrs and walked out on to my balcony to see us approach istanbul up the Bosphorous. We passed by the famous mosques and palace only 400 yards away on our port side. Absolutely a wow moment, i will never forget. We docked near ... Read More
I woke at 0700hrs and walked out on to my balcony to see us approach istanbul up the Bosphorous. We passed by the famous mosques and palace only 400 yards away on our port side. Absolutely a wow moment, i will never forget. We docked near everythin, so no ,need of a tour. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Beautiful. Inspiring. Guide was a little long winded and seemed to be stalling at this venue. Not sure why but he didn't seem to want us to spend time in the Bazaar. Amazing city and an incredible rooftop meal.
Beautiful. Inspiring. Guide was a little long winded and seemed to be stalling at this venue. Not sure why but he didn't seem to want us to spend time in the Bazaar. Amazing city and an incredible rooftop meal. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
The tour guide had his own plan and didn't seem to want us to spend any time in the market which was a highlight for us. What we saw was fascinating. Waterway is alive with traffic. So glad we were able to visit this vibrant city.
The tour guide had his own plan and didn't seem to want us to spend any time in the market which was a highlight for us. What we saw was fascinating. Waterway is alive with traffic. So glad we were able to visit this vibrant city. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Be sure to get some Turkish Lira from you bank before arrival although most places will accept dollars and Euros. Cash is king here.
Be sure to get some Turkish Lira from you bank before arrival although most places will accept dollars and Euros. Cash is king here. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Fantastic city, full of colors and tastes, so many things to do and see. Awesome historic sites. Go for tram which is efficient and cheap. Also staying in the city too short.
Fantastic city, full of colors and tastes, so many things to do and see. Awesome historic sites. Go for tram which is efficient and cheap. Also staying in the city too short. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Fascinating. Shopping in so many places, especially in the Grand Bazaar or the Spices Bazaar, or visiting the monuments of two great Empires (the Byzantine and the Ottoman) can keep one continuously occupied and delighted. Just be prepared ... Read More
Fascinating. Shopping in so many places, especially in the Grand Bazaar or the Spices Bazaar, or visiting the monuments of two great Empires (the Byzantine and the Ottoman) can keep one continuously occupied and delighted. Just be prepared for extended, Oriental bargaining. We had, for example, a taxi ride from port to the Sultanahmet historic centre for 5 euros, when the driver was initially asking 15. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We took a taxi to the Hagia Sofia (Blue Mosque and Cistern right there) but walked back. Walked though the old city as well. Great buys to be had ... We walked back to the ship. Felt very safe.
We took a taxi to the Hagia Sofia (Blue Mosque and Cistern right there) but walked back. Walked though the old city as well. Great buys to be had ... We walked back to the ship. Felt very safe. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This is carpetland...all excursions visit carpet factories and some also include leather goods factory and a few will go on to the china goods one...possible total of 3 in one excursion. So your visit to historical sites will be curtailed ... Read More
This is carpetland...all excursions visit carpet factories and some also include leather goods factory and a few will go on to the china goods one...possible total of 3 in one excursion. So your visit to historical sites will be curtailed accordingly as your guide will rate these less important than the former. Traffic is awful & taxis expensive if caught up in it. Remember: you are a walking dollar sign to these charming, generally friendly people. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
One of the most exciting ports in the world. Not to be missed. Have been there 5 times and would go back in a jiffy.
One of the most exciting ports in the world. Not to be missed. Have been there 5 times and would go back in a jiffy. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
took the tram into town and walked arpund the major sights. Following day had a turkish bat & massage at hamam- brilliant
took the tram into town and walked arpund the major sights. Following day had a turkish bat & massage at hamam- brilliant Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Istanbul is very easy to get to the older Sultamet district via trams. You can buy your tickets at the machines which have English directions also. Once there it is easy to walk between most attractions.
Istanbul is very easy to get to the older Sultamet district via trams. You can buy your tickets at the machines which have English directions also. Once there it is easy to walk between most attractions. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Istanbul: We used Daily Istanbul Tours for the first day which included a private van, driver and guide. It worked fine. We saw the Topkapi palace, Hagia Sophia, Cistern and walked through modern Istanbul. Felt very safe at all times. ... Read More
Istanbul: We used Daily Istanbul Tours for the first day which included a private van, driver and guide. It worked fine. We saw the Topkapi palace, Hagia Sophia, Cistern and walked through modern Istanbul. Felt very safe at all times. Istanbul has very young population, very busy city and port. I didn't care for the Turkish coffee. The second 1/2 day; 8 to 12 noon we used Tours by Liz, email guideguliz@gmail.com. My wife and kids really like Liz. She took us around by public train and ferry to Asia side of Istanbul, so it was very affordable. She also took us to many mosques and historical sites. You can look her up on TripAdvisor, Daily Private Tours by Liz, (something like that) My kids wanted to go to Asia, so we took a ferry across and walked thru some interesting streets with open markets where the everyday Istanbul folks live. Both companies will accept US dollars, euros or Lira. You really don't need a private van if you are seeing the historical area. We were there on a Friday, so all the Mosque are closed until about 2 pm and the lines are long, so we saw the Mosques on Sat and did other sites. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Istanbul: We used Daily Istanbul Tours for the first day which included a private van, driver and guide. It worked fine. We saw the Topkapi palace, Hagia Sophia, Cistern and walked through modern Istanbul. Felt very safe at all times. ... Read More
Istanbul: We used Daily Istanbul Tours for the first day which included a private van, driver and guide. It worked fine. We saw the Topkapi palace, Hagia Sophia, Cistern and walked through modern Istanbul. Felt very safe at all times. Istanbul has very young population, very busy city and port. I didn't care for the Turkish coffee. The second 1/2 day; 8 to 12 noon we used Tours by Liz, email guideguliz@gmail.com. My wife and kids really like Liz. She took us around by public train and ferry to Asia side of Istanbul, so it was very affordable. She also took us to many mosques and historical sites. You can look her up on TripAdvisor, Daily Private Tours by Liz, (something like that) My kids wanted to go to Asia, so we took a ferry across and walked thru some interesting streets with open markets where the everyday Istanbul folks live. Both companies will accept US dollars, euros or Lira. You really don't need a private van if you are seeing the historical area. We were there on a Friday, so all the Mosque are closed until about 2 pm and the lines are long, so we saw the Mosques on Sat and did other stops. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Walking from ship to the Galata Bridge I met Jodi from Missouri and her daughters Olivia, Sophia, and Emma. We walked across the upper deck thinking it will be cooler to walk the lower level in the heat of afternoon. Tried 1L sweet bread ... Read More
Walking from ship to the Galata Bridge I met Jodi from Missouri and her daughters Olivia, Sophia, and Emma. We walked across the upper deck thinking it will be cooler to walk the lower level in the heat of afternoon. Tried 1L sweet bread and and 4.50L/3 baklava at Spice Market outside shop area. One looked like bird nest with hazelnuts. I mistakenly bought ticket for Arch. Museum 15L, thinking it was Topkapi Palace. You enter into a courtyard and when I asked for directions into the palace they directed me out the exit. Later he wouldn't let me back in since ticket was already scanned. When I tried to enter the palace, he told me that ticket was not for palace. So I got into the long line for palace ticket 45L with harem. It started raining just before I got there. Inside Topkapi Palace there are lots of lines like Disneyland. I felt disappointed when I realized I waited in line for a bunch of knives and some guns. Luckily the harem had not much line due to extra ticket needed. I tend to like to move through sites and museums quickly and you were guided along moving only as fast as the crowds ahead of you move so I tired quickly. Also, I have some PBS tapes that seem to show it better than I was able to see it so don't think I would do it next time. Friday is a busy religious day and by the time I had walked to Blue Mosque was closed for a bit over an hour, with a wait line started. The rain is getting heavier so I take off my wet Danskos and put dry tennis shoes on. Thanks to Karen back home I put my umbrella in backpack on way out of cabin that morning. Heading downhill along tracks I stop at Basilica Cistern 20L and about a 15-minute line in rain. Bought a headband from a lady only because I appreciated the fact that she wasn't pushy. Very moist inside cistern with water dripping like a cave. By the time I got out rain was heavy and thunder was getting louder. Tried Blue Mosque one more time but now the line was incredibly long and I was getting tired. Decided to stop at Spice Market and head back to ship. Shop keepers were sweeping the rain and whatever garbage was flowing by into the street to keep their shops from flooding. Streets were flooding. Istanbul travel warning: If police block Spice Market exit during thunderstorm, might not be the lightning hazard. It may be that the sewer is overflowing into flooded street and they are helping you not walk through it! Oops! :) Overall I found Istanbul to be the most difficult port with the pushy vendors, long lines, very active thunderstorm, and the sewer experience (what trip memories are made of, right?). But I still very much enjoyed it and am happy that I got to see it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
A great, vibrant city. We had a private guide take us to the Hagia Sophia and on a tour of the Cisterns, followed by Topkapi Palace. This was our second visit to Istanbul and we want to go back again!
A great, vibrant city. We had a private guide take us to the Hagia Sophia and on a tour of the Cisterns, followed by Topkapi Palace. This was our second visit to Istanbul and we want to go back again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We had an overnight in Istanbul. We had visited before and wanted to see a couple of places we had missed on a previous visit and revisit a couple of old favourites. On the first day I booked a morning tour of Suleimaniye Mosque and ... Read More
We had an overnight in Istanbul. We had visited before and wanted to see a couple of places we had missed on a previous visit and revisit a couple of old favourites. On the first day I booked a morning tour of Suleimaniye Mosque and the Chora, and an afternoon walking tour of Sultanahammet that visited the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia and ended at the Grand Bazaar. We booked both tours with Effendi Travel who we had used before and they threw in a free lunch, which was fabulous. The first tour was good, but our second tour started an hour late because they were waiting for a few passengers who were stuck in traffic. The guide for this tour had a high squeaky voice and was hard to understand, and even though we started an hour late she didn't extend the tour an extra hour, so we felt a bit cheated. I remember the walking tour being better last time. We walked back to the ship from the Grand Bazaar, following the tramlines. At a leisurely pace downhill it took about an hour. The second day we didn't book a tour. We walked from the ship to Takshim square and back again. It was raining and the cobbled streets became very slick. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We were in Istanbul for 6 days before Coming in on Sunday at 200pm with the Grand Bazar closed, Mosques closed for prayer, the Hagia Sophia under restoration was unfortunate for a lot of cruisers. This was by far, one of my most favorite ... Read More
We were in Istanbul for 6 days before Coming in on Sunday at 200pm with the Grand Bazar closed, Mosques closed for prayer, the Hagia Sophia under restoration was unfortunate for a lot of cruisers. This was by far, one of my most favorite countries to visit. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Loved the city of Istanbul, visited Grand Bazarr, Hagia Sofia,Nderbround Sistern, unfortunately Blue Mosque closed. Took a cruise on Bosphorus independently next day, as ship stayed overnight, enjoyed seeing the different parts of ... Read More
Loved the city of Istanbul, visited Grand Bazarr, Hagia Sofia,Nderbround Sistern, unfortunately Blue Mosque closed. Took a cruise on Bosphorus independently next day, as ship stayed overnight, enjoyed seeing the different parts of Istanbul Read Less
Sail Date May 2015

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