93 Jerusalem (Ashdod) Cruise Reviews

We stopped in Ashdod and took a bus to Jerusalem. Our tour included an overlook from the Mount of Olives, the Church of all nations at the garden of gethsemene, The church of the nativity in Bethlehem, The garden tomb, a walk through old ... Read More
We stopped in Ashdod and took a bus to Jerusalem. Our tour included an overlook from the Mount of Olives, the Church of all nations at the garden of gethsemene, The church of the nativity in Bethlehem, The garden tomb, a walk through old Jerusalem to the western wall. It was too short - but fascinating. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
We loved Jerusalem - the old walls, the fascinating Via Delarosa with its shops like Aladdin's caves and all the hustle and bustle of commercial life in a small space, the church of the Holy Sepulchre and the wailing wall. The most ... Read More
We loved Jerusalem - the old walls, the fascinating Via Delarosa with its shops like Aladdin's caves and all the hustle and bustle of commercial life in a small space, the church of the Holy Sepulchre and the wailing wall. The most interesting for me was the Via Delarosa - the sweet shop stalls, the food shops, the craft shops, jewelery etc etc - just so colourful and different to anything I have ever seen. We also saw a re-enactment of Christ's journey with the cross which gave pause for thought. The church unfortunately was jam-packed when we went but that is going to be inevitable on a cruise trip when travel is at peak times. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
This was a very disappointing port. For religious persons, don't get your hopes up too high. There were six ships in port at the same time and 180 bus loads of people all descended on the old city at the same time. Sardines have more ... Read More
This was a very disappointing port. For religious persons, don't get your hopes up too high. There were six ships in port at the same time and 180 bus loads of people all descended on the old city at the same time. Sardines have more breathing room... Because others on the tour were inconsiderate and didn't show up on time, we missed 2 of the intended sites. We arrived in Bethlehem with 5 minutes to spare, but we had to run from the parking lot, up a steep hill to the Church of the Nativity. Needless to say, the elderly did not make it. We just got inside and they told us to leave. The 2 1/2 hour drive back to the ship after stopping for far too long at the guide's favourite store, was grueling. The excursion staff actually refunded 30% of the cost because it was so disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
Very interesting. We took a side trip into Bethlehem and visited the Church of the Nativity. Because of construction and various church services, we were not able to see much of the Church and we were not able to enter the crypt. All ... Read More
Very interesting. We took a side trip into Bethlehem and visited the Church of the Nativity. Because of construction and various church services, we were not able to see much of the Church and we were not able to enter the crypt. All together we spent about 3 hours in Bethlehem between the "mandatory" shopping stop and the Church. So, it was disappointing not to have seen more. The Jerusalem side was better organized. It was totally amazing to see and well worth a visit. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
This takes about 1.5 hours on the ships tour.Fantastic trip and not to be missed if you haven't been there before.Lots of walking ,though,so be prepared especially as it's likely to be very hot.Bethlehem not quite as good as I ... Read More
This takes about 1.5 hours on the ships tour.Fantastic trip and not to be missed if you haven't been there before.Lots of walking ,though,so be prepared especially as it's likely to be very hot.Bethlehem not quite as good as I expected,but Jerusalem and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre were awe inspiring.Only annoying thing on the trip was that we didn't get lunch until 3.30 and it wasn't that good,but the people who had it earlier said it wasn't too bad.Also,Israeli immigration are a nightmare.They came aboard before we disembarked and insisted on inspecting everyone's passport and doing face recognition and that included the crew.That took at least an hour,so we didn't leave the ship until 9.30.Next year Thomson's were going to stop overnight in Haifa but as Israel said they would have to do two inspections,Thomson's are not going to stop for the two days now. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Ashdod - I decided to forgo the Bethlehem tour and from other travellers was advised that this was wise as they got to Palestine both driver and guide had to get off the bus and new driver and guide had to get on to continue the trip. I ... Read More
Ashdod - I decided to forgo the Bethlehem tour and from other travellers was advised that this was wise as they got to Palestine both driver and guide had to get off the bus and new driver and guide had to get on to continue the trip. I choose to go to sites of Jerusalem. Our guide was very good. He was actually from New York City and had since moved to a moshav in Israel. He was extremely informative on the way from Ashdod to Jerusalem. He explained the difference from a Kibbutz to a Moshav. He was now only knowledgeable in the Jewish faith and beliefs but Christianity and Islam (as it ties to the religious sites). I learned a lot and it was a great day. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Port was actually Ashdod, but Moti met us at the ship again, and we went to Jerusalem. The old city is beyond description. First stop an overlook and photo op. Then to the Mt of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, and the Church of All Nations. ... Read More
Port was actually Ashdod, but Moti met us at the ship again, and we went to Jerusalem. The old city is beyond description. First stop an overlook and photo op. Then to the Mt of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, and the Church of All Nations. The garden is much smaller than I had imagined, and of couse it is smaller now than 2000 years ago. We entered thru the Jaffe Gate, and sort of went backwards, starting at the Church of the Holy Seplechre, which is a conglomeration of churches, Greek Orthodox, the old Crusader church, Roman Catholic, and an Armenian ladder (it's a long story). A very long line waited to go into the tomb given to Christ by Joseph of Aramithea, but Moti pulled some strings, and we jumped the line - probably would have been murdered if it was not a church. Past by the stone where his body was prepared for burial, many very emotional people, sobbings, praying, etc. Saw where the cross may have been erected. We back-tracked the last five stations of the cross, and then went down the Via Delorosa which is now a market of seemingly never ending vendors, into the Muslim Quarter, turned onto Wadi St, and ate at a nice restaurant. Had hummus with pita bread, salads, and lots of water. Continued to the open area near the Western (Wailing) wall. An amazing place to "people watch". Then, thru security and up a "temporary ramp" (the original collapsed, and the temporary is being used while they sift thru artifacts before rebuilding the main ramp) to the Temple Mount. We could not go in the al Asqua Mosque or the Dome of the Rock (Muslims only, although it changes from time to time), but we walked around the entire Mount, taking loads of pictures, of course. Went out thru the Cotton market, back to the car. By this time of day, the dust in the air was getting bad - dust from sand storms in Eqypt of from the Negev, depending on whom you talked to. Drove back past Bethlehem, but did not go into the city, because it is in Palestinian controlled territory, and israeli guides cannot take you in. We could have transferred to a Palestinian gude / taxi, but they require you to go on a "shopping opportunity", and we would have lost 1/2 a day total, so it was way too late for that. We saw the famous walls / fences that Israel built to prevent terrorist attacks, and Moti pointed out that the settlemenbts in this area were built on land formerly owned by jordan until they foolishly joined in the attacks on Israel by most of the Arab nations. This land became part of israel, and was never Palestinian land when these settlements were built. So, they are not really settlements at all. Took a different route back to Ashdod along the old Roman road, and thru the valley where the armies of the Philistines stood across from the Israelites, and only two warriors met to settle the war, in lieu of great losses on both sides. David, of course, bested Goliath in that contest. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
The ship docks in Ashdod. We went to Old Jeruselum to spend the day and ended it with the Yad Veshem Museum. The city is fabulous. You are transported back in time.Touching the Wailing Wall was exciting and thrilling. Go see all the ... Read More
The ship docks in Ashdod. We went to Old Jeruselum to spend the day and ended it with the Yad Veshem Museum. The city is fabulous. You are transported back in time.Touching the Wailing Wall was exciting and thrilling. Go see all the Quarters. This was a very special port. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
You have to see the city and learn the history to appreciate what a unique city it is and so many different religions all fighting over the same holy ground. An experience that shouldn't be missed
You have to see the city and learn the history to appreciate what a unique city it is and so many different religions all fighting over the same holy ground. An experience that shouldn't be missed Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
If you are going to include Israel in your Itinerary because it is something you really want to do then do what we did & fork out the big bucks for a private guide. We had a great time, we were exhausted by the end. Moti showed us so ... Read More
If you are going to include Israel in your Itinerary because it is something you really want to do then do what we did & fork out the big bucks for a private guide. We had a great time, we were exhausted by the end. Moti showed us so much, told us so much. You won't see enough with a ship tour. You could be satisfied, but I know we spent our money well by using Moti. Thanks again Moti, it was awesome ;) Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
We actually went to the port of Ashdod and took the ship excursion to the fort of Masada and to the Dead Sea. It was well worth it. Good food, too.
We actually went to the port of Ashdod and took the ship excursion to the fort of Masada and to the Dead Sea. It was well worth it. Good food, too. Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
In Ashdod one must use the shuttle bus to get out of the port, and from there either a taxi or bus to one of the fabulous white sandy beaches or a trip to Jerusalem. Best though is to pre arrange a private tour to Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
In Ashdod one must use the shuttle bus to get out of the port, and from there either a taxi or bus to one of the fabulous white sandy beaches or a trip to Jerusalem. Best though is to pre arrange a private tour to Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
The port was Ashdod which was very much a commercial dock. We visited Jerusalem and Bethlehem (10.5). As in Haifa the previous day there were over 40 buses each with >40 passengers doing the same trip. All the sites were extremely ... Read More
The port was Ashdod which was very much a commercial dock. We visited Jerusalem and Bethlehem (10.5). As in Haifa the previous day there were over 40 buses each with >40 passengers doing the same trip. All the sites were extremely busy and the "walkie-talkie" system failed or was inadequate throught. The guide was extremey knowledgeable and enthusiastic, however, he did revert back to criticisms of arabs regularly and when in Bethlehem, with an Arab Christian guide, he was equally knowledgeable and equally critical of his Jewish naighbours. The trips and places visited were outstanding, how we could have done with more time at every site. The failure of the sound system in such busy sites meant unless you were next to the guide it was impossible. The other major problem, especially in Jerusalem, was that you are continually walking alongside bazaars, and the same people continually delayed the group by disappearing into bazaars with no-one able to discipline. How I would have appreciated them being left behind, told to meet at a specific meeting point at a given time at the end of the day for "the last bus back". Their selfishness spoiled it for the 95%. 40 is far too many for a guide in these sites. The purpose of these criticisms is such that you learn from our experince. Make sure you go in much smaller groups. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
In plain English...the guide was a moron! He was not knowledgeable, and talked about two pieces of sculpture for close to half an hour instead of touring the Holocaust Museum that we came to see. Eventually we needed roller skates to get ... Read More
In plain English...the guide was a moron! He was not knowledgeable, and talked about two pieces of sculpture for close to half an hour instead of touring the Holocaust Museum that we came to see. Eventually we needed roller skates to get through a venue that is so moving that you want to dwell for hours. He took us to "Rachel's Tomb", a very Holy place, where only Ultra Orthodox Jews come TO PRAY. WE intruded! Quite honestly this is not a place that tours should go. Go to pray YES, Go to intrude NO! Additionally, access is in an area that it not open to Israelis and you have to wait for access surrounded by twenty foot concrete walls, barbed wire, and lookout post with armed guards and machine guns. ( Now...don't YOU want to go?) Another waste of close to an hour. I would advise everyone to do some research and think about going with private tour guides. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
We were rally looking forward to Jerusalem and booked the Eternal Jerusalem tour through the ship. It was horrible. In fact afterwards we filed a complaint with the ship. The driver was the only one of the many buses that took the wrong ... Read More
We were rally looking forward to Jerusalem and booked the Eternal Jerusalem tour through the ship. It was horrible. In fact afterwards we filed a complaint with the ship. The driver was the only one of the many buses that took the wrong way out of the port and held us up for an extra 15 minutes. Our guide was Shalom from Patra tours. He was a very nice man but a terrible tour guide. First of all, he couldn't speak English well. The few words he got right were very hard to understand because of his thick accent. We went to Yad Vashem and he kept referring to the Avenue of the Writers and how Schindler was among the Writers. Finally someone figured out he meant the Righteous, and corrected him. He did not bother explaining who the Righteous were so my husband had to inform the group and from that point on became a substitute tour guide since he has been to Israel before. Shalom next spoke about the need to memorize the victims and again it took us a bit but we realized he meant memorialize. He just could not speak English well. We only had an hour at Yad Vashem, which although brief we knew about in advance. What we didn't know was that Shalom would make us wait outside looking at the statues and art for 30 minutes and only give us 30 minutes inside, which was the real part we came to see. We asked him if we could go inside early and just meet him at the assigned time but he refused for no reason. He spent 15 minutes outside trying to explain how when the faces of statutes are looking down they have no hope. If he had spoken English he could have explained that in 2 minutes, which would have allowed more time to tour the inside. He was not good at managing the groups time. A few of us had to go to the restroom and instead of giving us a five minute break he gave us 15 outside and made the group sit there. Everyone was back but he didn't want to have to do another count so made us wait the whole fifteen. He was not able to give us too many facts, and those that he did give were hard to understand. The buffet lunch was nice. We then went to Rachel's Tomb, which is a joke. Whoever designed this tour needs to take it off the itinerary. It is not where she's buried. It is just a white room with a lot of people praying and it is in a police zone of the country and getting the bus in and out ate up precious time. We were not left a lot of time to see the Western Wall. But it definitely was a highlight. We had to rush from there so we could see the Cardo for literally 5 minutes. I would have loved to spend more time there as well instead of Rachel's Tomb. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009

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