644 Kusadasi Cruise Reviews

Kusadasi, Turkey- Ephesus, Didyma & Miletus with Lunch - ****BEST PORT****Even with the sales pressure when you go into stores, this port was by far my favorite! You just have to keep moving, and just keep saying NO as you move through ... Read More
Kusadasi, Turkey- Ephesus, Didyma & Miletus with Lunch - ****BEST PORT****Even with the sales pressure when you go into stores, this port was by far my favorite! You just have to keep moving, and just keep saying NO as you move through the shops (exiting the port back to the ship is like a maze of shops!), unless you are just trying to walk away as a bargaining tactic. :) If you want to hone or test your bargaining skills, this is the place to do it!Ephesus feels like it still has a soul- and when you are there, you are sharing it with all of those who have lived there in the past. You see homes, store fronts, forums, and even bathrooms! They do a little cheesy show of Cleopatra and Mark Anthony too, but it doesn't take away from the place. We saw an amphitheater in Miletus that was also amazing.. and HUGE! I made friends with one of the local kitties there too. :) There's a stone chair smack in the middle of the upper deck, facing straight out the opening of the theater. Sitting there made me wonder, who sat here when this place first was built? Hmmm...The Temple of Apollo at Didyma blew our minds. It was like the temple was built for giants...and we were just little bugs visiting in comparison. The detail in the carvings, and the stories it all told... it was beyond words. It was better than the Acropolis, hands down. We had lunch near by, all good food again, and got some souvenirs before getting back on the bus to go back to port. I got a small onyx cat to remember the Turkish kitty I made friends with. :) Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We had already been to Kusadasi 2 years ago to visit Ephesus so this time around we stayed at the port , did some sightseeing , shopping and enjoyed the view
We had already been to Kusadasi 2 years ago to visit Ephesus so this time around we stayed at the port , did some sightseeing , shopping and enjoyed the view Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Toured to Ephesus by bus - wonderful ruins. Also at the end of the tour attended a Turkish Carpet demonstration - interesting but did not buy anything. Returning to the ship there was a few hours left for a wander around the lovely ... Read More
Toured to Ephesus by bus - wonderful ruins. Also at the end of the tour attended a Turkish Carpet demonstration - interesting but did not buy anything. Returning to the ship there was a few hours left for a wander around the lovely port of Kusadasi. Waterfront promenade with cafes and shops and an area of marketplace stalls and shops. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Here I booked a private tour. Fantastic. Personal guide and private car. First stop was Mary's House. It was shady and calm and no throngs of people. (10am) Then we went to Ephesus. This was a far more meaningful experience than ... Read More
Here I booked a private tour. Fantastic. Personal guide and private car. First stop was Mary's House. It was shady and calm and no throngs of people. (10am) Then we went to Ephesus. This was a far more meaningful experience than Athens. We did it at our own pace. There was no need to hurry or keep up with anybody, or worry about an ear piece falling out!!!! The guide was very knowledgeable and what he didn't know about Ephesus, would fit on a cent coin. I would encourage everybody to take the private tours, so much better than the organised bus tours. I used Ekol travel. There was the opportunity to go to a carpet factory and a leather factory. One carpet factory is the same as the next, just a hard sell. At the terminal building, I found the same set-up, with the girl knotting on a small loom. I didn't put myself under any further pressure by going to the leather factory. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We had already visited Ephesus 20 years ago and if a full day tour had been available we might have gone back but the half day tour included a trip to "Mary's House" which we had also seen and would have left virtually no ... Read More
We had already visited Ephesus 20 years ago and if a full day tour had been available we might have gone back but the half day tour included a trip to "Mary's House" which we had also seen and would have left virtually no free time in Ephesus to see what had changed. (This was later confirmed by those who did the trip) We considered DIY but in the end spotted another trip to the much less well known Miletus (also visited by St Paul, and famous as a seat of learning in antiquity, especially for geometry and trigonometry) and the Temple of Apollo at Didyma. There were only 12 of us in a very comfortable mini-bus. The guide was awful. He started by trying to give us his email address to buy a property in Kusadasi, he then took us to a café owned by a family friend. At Miletus we got a cursory and not too informative tour (although we were the only tour group there so no pressure) and eventually 10 minutes free time before meeting at a café where he "encouraged" us to have pancakes and coffee. As a result we got an overview but didn't get up close to more than about 10% of the site, which was a shame because what we could see looked very interesting as the guide book I bought, and read later, confirmed. The trip to the Temple of Apollo was slightly better although he appeared to be listening to the guide in front of us and merely repeating what she had said(in German) to us in English! (Maybe they all follow the same official script?) We were then again encouraged to have a coffee at another friend's café. On the way back we got a lecture on Turkish politics and the evils of the Kurdish "International Communist Terrorists" on their border. Finally, we were press ganged into visiting the Fabergé carpet and Jewellery shop where were were presented with carpets well beyond the means of the typical Thomson cruiser (a bargain at £10,000! or a 2x1 foot patch for £250) and fabulous jewellery at equally unrealistic prices (a beautiful diamond and topaz ring at £5000). Thankfully they didn't push when they saw nobody was interested in buying, but it just seemed such a waste of everyone's time! A potentially good trip spoiled by a bad guide! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We booked a tour with some Cruise Critic rollcallers and it was a hit. We used Hello Ephesus for it. Our guide was Serdar, and he was fun. We had 7 of us in our van and we went to the House of the Virgin Mary, Ephesus (including the ... Read More
We booked a tour with some Cruise Critic rollcallers and it was a hit. We used Hello Ephesus for it. Our guide was Serdar, and he was fun. We had 7 of us in our van and we went to the House of the Virgin Mary, Ephesus (including the Terrace Houses), St. John's Basilica, the Temple of Artemis, and had lunch for $65. It did include a carpet weaving demo, but I didn't feel that it was high pressure. I found it interesting, actually. I would recommend this tour group for the price. Lunch was delicious!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We went on the Ephesus & The Terrace Houses tour. Our guide was extremely knowledgable...great tour despite the rain! the only thing that was odd was that were taken to a rug dealer where we supposed to see weaving...we didn't ... Read More
We went on the Ephesus & The Terrace Houses tour. Our guide was extremely knowledgable...great tour despite the rain! the only thing that was odd was that were taken to a rug dealer where we supposed to see weaving...we didn't see weaving just lots of expensive rugs they wanted us to buy. our guide suggested a great place for lunch... fun port, good shopping Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We booked a private tour, (curiotravel.com ephesus shuttle.com) from the internet which included visiting the best preserved city in the eastern Med, Ephesus. Excavation of the Terrace houses a must see. Dinner at a wonderful local ... Read More
We booked a private tour, (curiotravel.com ephesus shuttle.com) from the internet which included visiting the best preserved city in the eastern Med, Ephesus. Excavation of the Terrace houses a must see. Dinner at a wonderful local restaurant in an old mountain town called Sirince. Excellent local cusine, wonderful way to savor the flavor of the Rural Turkish People. Plenty of time, no rushing and the guide went out of her way to accomodate us. 6 hours at a cost of $141.00, for two (2). Top Notch. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Ephesus is a MUST. We went to Mary's house and to Ephesus - then to a Turkish Rug place. We spent some time walking around town. You will be highly pressured to enter stores. Negotiate on everything you are interested in buying.
Ephesus is a MUST. We went to Mary's house and to Ephesus - then to a Turkish Rug place. We spent some time walking around town. You will be highly pressured to enter stores. Negotiate on everything you are interested in buying. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Kusadasi was a lovely port city and we wish we had more time to explore the area. We did a private tour to the House of the Virgin Mary and Ephesus. Although I am disabled, we muddled through Ephesus with a combination of difficult ... Read More
Kusadasi was a lovely port city and we wish we had more time to explore the area. We did a private tour to the House of the Virgin Mary and Ephesus. Although I am disabled, we muddled through Ephesus with a combination of difficult wheelchair pushing for my DH or my slow cane-assisted walking across slick and uneven marble surfaces. It was worth it, though; the treasures of this ancient city are phenomenal! It was incredibly crowded and hot that day, but I can't wait to go back someday. We also enjoyed our visit to the obligatory rug factory, had a great lunch and even bought a beautiful area rug that seemed to be a reasonable price. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We were pleasently surprised, had not heard much about it. Bargained for a taxi driver- 50 euros for the day . He took us to Epheses waited 2 hours for us then took us on a tour around the city and coastline. Good place to bargain in the ... Read More
We were pleasently surprised, had not heard much about it. Bargained for a taxi driver- 50 euros for the day . He took us to Epheses waited 2 hours for us then took us on a tour around the city and coastline. Good place to bargain in the marketplace. Felt quite safe. Epheses should not be missed it's one of the Seven wonders of the World. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Took the trip to Ephesus - just magnificent - interesting countryside, wonderul ruins. Only downside was the crowds - be ready to be one of the multitude. We visited the House of the Virgin Mary and St John's Basilica where he is ... Read More
Took the trip to Ephesus - just magnificent - interesting countryside, wonderul ruins. Only downside was the crowds - be ready to be one of the multitude. We visited the House of the Virgin Mary and St John's Basilica where he is buried - you really feel you are walking into history! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
What a fabulous day! Friends had scheduled us to tour the ruins at Ephesus with a guide through Ekol Tours. They picked us up from the dock and spent the bus time (for only 4 of us) trying to give an overview of the area and the morning ... Read More
What a fabulous day! Friends had scheduled us to tour the ruins at Ephesus with a guide through Ekol Tours. They picked us up from the dock and spent the bus time (for only 4 of us) trying to give an overview of the area and the morning ahead. We went early, which is good to avoid huge crowds and the heat. Guide was very knowledgeable, helped us take great photos and we were in awe of the ruins that are there. After the tour, we headed back to the ship for lunch and a quick regrouping to head into town to shop. Like everywhere we went in Turkey, shopkeepers were extremely bold---you have to ignore them or be prepared to buy something! It's amazing how many "Genuine Fake Watches" you can buy there! We did find nicer scarves there than in Istanbul and some pretty shops that had some "different" things than you see in most shops. We really enjoyed the day. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Booked a private tour with Ephesus Shuttle as recommended on Cruise Critic. Great experience. As a history buff, our local guide, a former history teacher, picked up on this and went out of his way to explain the rich history of a city ... Read More
Booked a private tour with Ephesus Shuttle as recommended on Cruise Critic. Great experience. As a history buff, our local guide, a former history teacher, picked up on this and went out of his way to explain the rich history of a city from antiquity that is germane to our modern existence. Yes we got the obligatory tour of the rug factory but didn't mind it as the demonstration of how the rugs were made was fascinating. Had a great lunch at the port. True Mediterrean cooking! Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We had booked a ships excursion to Ephesus with a visit to the terrace houses. The guide we had was the best of the holiday. We really enjoyed the visit especially being able to see the terrace houses. As part of the tour there was a ... Read More
We had booked a ships excursion to Ephesus with a visit to the terrace houses. The guide we had was the best of the holiday. We really enjoyed the visit especially being able to see the terrace houses. As part of the tour there was a carpet demonstration but you did not have to go to it. After the tour we had a look at some shops Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Our tour here was to Mary's house, Ephesus, and St. John's church. The ride up the mountain to Mary's house was breathtaking. The area around Kusadasi really is beautiful. We were one of the first to the top; therefore, we ... Read More
Our tour here was to Mary's house, Ephesus, and St. John's church. The ride up the mountain to Mary's house was breathtaking. The area around Kusadasi really is beautiful. We were one of the first to the top; therefore, we did not have to wait to go through the shire to Mary. It was nice, but it isn't the actually house. Next, we headed to Ephesus. This was amazing. I can't say enough about the sights we saw there. While our guide was not a Christian, she did a good job explaining some of the Christian parts of our tour. We spent most of our time in Ephesus. Lastly, we stopped at the ruins of a church where the apostle John is buried. This restoration has not been as good here as she mentioned money had run out. It was still cool to see. Our time in Kusadasi was short as it was only a 1/2 day port. We did not have time to look around the actual town of Kusadasi. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Kusadasi, Turkey This was our least favorite port of call. We took the RCCL Tour "Ultimate Ephesus - KD78". I would recommend this tour as the history involved is really interesting. The tour is described in detail on ... Read More
Kusadasi, Turkey This was our least favorite port of call. We took the RCCL Tour "Ultimate Ephesus - KD78". I would recommend this tour as the history involved is really interesting. The tour is described in detail on RCCL's site and is accurate. Particularly, the house tours are incredible. The final part of the excursion (as well as just about every excursion at this stop) is the Turkish rug demonstration. This is the worst part of any tour unless you are actually interested in getting a rug. And when the rugs start at $2,000 for a 6x10 foot rug, I'll pass. Yes, the quality is second to none, but like pretty much ALL the other cruisers in the room with our group, we weren't interested in buying. The Turks LOVE to haggle, it's pretty much expected. But, they are relentless and you will have to fight your way out of the store. BTW, RCCL uses the same store/company for all their tours. If you are interested in a rug, at least you can trust the place. Their prices did not seem to be higher than other shops. After the tour ended, we had 2-3 hrs before having to return to the ship. The shops are at the port, so you pretty much have that whole amount of time. We ate lunch at a local restaurant which was exceptional. All local food is the way to really experience the country. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011

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