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Old 02-01-2013, 11:37 AM   #16
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There was a bombing at the US Embassy in Turkey yesterday with 3 killed...wonder if this will alter any of the Turkey excursions?

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I was wondering that too . . . kind of scary!!
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:52 AM   #17
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Kusadasi is not near Ankara. If it changes the excursions it will be because they're worried about something else besides just this attack.
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:40 PM   #18
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we booked a tour with Ekol in Turkey, so that is one port done
for Athens and Mykonos I think we are going on our own, but I got lots of researhing to do!
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:17 PM   #19
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I went to the Athens By Taxi site, but couldn't find this tour. Sounds good to me! How did you find it and how much was it, if you don't mind my asking.
It is the full day Athens and Cape Sounion tour, but we are modifying the itinerary. On Mondays, the New Acropolis Museum is closed and they do the Panathenaic Stadium, Tomb of the Unknown Solider, the Temple of Zeus, the Old Palace and Changing of the Guard instead of the museum. We are visiting on a Wednesday, but they said it was no problem to do that itinerary on our date.

The full day tour for four people is 240 euros. We are adding a guide for the Acropolis portion for 90 euros (2 hours). If we wanted a guide for the Acropolis and the Museum, it would be 150 euros for the guide (for about four hours).

Larger groups have to use a minibus - the sedans only seat four plus the driver. The minibus seats 12 (I think) and is 550 euros for the full day tour with an all day guide. The full day tour with a half day guide is 420 euros. That would be cheaper per person if you have a large group, but we like the flexibility of a private tour for the four of us. If the kids are getting antsy, we can change it up.

I'm not sure what the full day tour in a minibus without a guide would cost. The half day Athens tour in a sedan was 150 euros and the full was 220 euros (Athens only, not Cape Sounion).

Here is the link - it is tour 2 on this page:

https://www.athensbytaxi.com/private...rsfullday.html
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:29 PM   #20
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Yes, it is true that it is easy to use the subway system to get to the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum (Closed Mondays). It is about a 20 minute walk from the cruise port to the train station (Get off the boat early and wear a hat and copious amounts of sunscreen, you are probably not used to the heat here). From there, you will take the train (You don't have to worry about which train, the port is the terminal station so all trains leaving go in the same direction) up to Monastiraki station (All stations labeled in Greek as well as English). At Monastiraki you will switch to the Red Line towards Ag. Dimitrios and get off at the Acropolis stop. It really is very easy.

What isn't true is that Athenians do not pay. The truth is, most of us have a monthly pass. I recommend getting a daily pass for 4 Euro. This will cover all trains and busses for the day. It pays for itself from the third time you use it. Both a one-time use ticket and a Daily pass ticket need to be validated before you enter the platform area. You really cannot miss the validation machines. Just put the ticket in and it comes back out. You only have to validate the daily pass once, it is good for the rest of the day.

Have fun in Athens! I may come and oogle at the ship when she comes in!
Maybe you should have a talk with the kids from the American Community School about paying! My daughter did have a pass when she was there but reports many regular students did not and still rode. Of course no one from the Disboards is ever going to even consider not paying, I just thought it was a funny thing to hear.
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:48 PM   #21
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We did a Greece/Turkey cruise last year, not DCL, and had stops in Mykonos and Ephesus/Kudasai. Ephesus is amazing, a highlight of the whole trip. IMO if you hit that port but don't see the ruins site you are really missing out. It's so grand, even the kids will really get something out of it. Mykonos is fun to just walk around the winding streets, shop, etc... It will give a good taste of a greek village.
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:07 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by StitchandPooh'sMom View Post
It is the full day Athens and Cape Sounion tour, but we are modifying the itinerary. On Mondays, the New Acropolis Museum is closed and they do the Panathenaic Stadium, Tomb of the Unknown Solider, the Temple of Zeus, the Old Palace and Changing of the Guard instead of the museum. We are visiting on a Wednesday, but they said it was no problem to do that itinerary on our date.

The full day tour for four people is 240 euros. We are adding a guide for the Acropolis portion for 90 euros (2 hours). If we wanted a guide for the Acropolis and the Museum, it would be 150 euros for the guide (for about four hours).

Larger groups have to use a minibus - the sedans only seat four plus the driver. The minibus seats 12 (I think) and is 550 euros for the full day tour with an all day guide. The full day tour with a half day guide is 420 euros. That would be cheaper per person if you have a large group, but we like the flexibility of a private tour for the four of us. If the kids are getting antsy, we can change it up.

I'm not sure what the full day tour in a minibus without a guide would cost. The half day Athens tour in a sedan was 150 euros and the full was 220 euros (Athens only, not Cape Sounion).

Here is the link - it is tour 2 on this page:

https://www.athensbytaxi.com/private...rsfullday.html
Thank you so much for the information! I can't wait to start planning this port!
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:40 PM   #23
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There isn't a whole lot to 'see' at the Olympic Stadium. It is really easy to do on your own, time willing. The Acropolis will not take up much of your time but the museum will

To get to the Olympic Stadium, you take the 'Green Line" trains (Metro Line 1) towards Kiffisia and get off at the Eirini stop. It is right there in front of you. To get back to the port from there, get on the same train line going towards Pireas and take it to the end. This train is a little slow, though, because it is the old line. Figure on it taking an hour. I am not sure about that time, though. I may try to time it one day, but I won't have time to do so until June (I work 7 days a week).

Perhaps more interesting is the old Olympic Stadium? I would look them up on the Internet and see what looks more interesting.

Something else that might be fun and is VERY easy with the metro system is the guards at Parliament. The Metro lets you out right outside. The Syntagma metro station is itself a 'sight' because there is a cross section of the wall that shows one of the skeletons they found as they were digging.

Monastiraki station also has some ancient dig sites, I believe.
Thanks for the info! I did mean the Panathenaic stadium, couldn't think of the name at the time. We might consider doing this port on our own if I feel brave enough. More likely will go for a private driver and guide.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:41 PM   #24
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It is the full day Athens and Cape Sounion tour, but we are modifying the itinerary. On Mondays, the New Acropolis Museum is closed and they do the Panathenaic Stadium, Tomb of the Unknown Solider, the Temple of Zeus, the Old Palace and Changing of the Guard instead of the museum. We are visiting on a Wednesday, but they said it was no problem to do that itinerary on our date.

https://www.athensbytaxi.com/private...rsfullday.html
This sounds fantastic. Mind if we copy?
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:46 PM   #25
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This sounds fantastic. Mind if we copy?
Of course not! But now I am having second thoughts. A few people have posted on Cruise Critic that they really like the tour company, but they didn't like Cape Sounion (not worth the drive out there). I thought it might be a low key afternoon in an air-conditioned car, taking a pretty drive, but now I wonder if we should just stay in Athens all day. I know we can't possibly see everything, but I also don't want ruins overload so early in the trip. Athens By Taxi also has a full day Athens tour and a half day Athens tour, so I am wondering if I should switch.

I think Athens is easy enough to do on your own, but with two kids and a husband who likes to take pictures before crowds and with the early morning light, a private car should get us there ahead of the cruise excursion buses. If DH and I were travelling alone, we would do it on our own.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:37 PM   #26
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Of course not! But now I am having second thoughts. A few people have posted on Cruise Critic that they really like the tour company, but they didn't like Cape Sounion (not worth the drive out there). I thought it might be a low key afternoon in an air-conditioned car, taking a pretty drive, but now I wonder if we should just stay in Athens all day. I know we can't possibly see everything, but I also don't want ruins overload so early in the trip. Athens By Taxi also has a full day Athens tour and a half day Athens tour, so I am wondering if I should switch.

I think Athens is easy enough to do on your own, but with two kids and a husband who likes to take pictures before crowds and with the early morning light, a private car should get us there ahead of the cruise excursion buses. If DH and I were travelling alone, we would do it on our own.
I've been going thru the same thought process as you.

originally thought about doing full day athens/cape souvion. showed pictures to DD and she liked it but then saw comments on cruise critic and thought there is not much to do at cape sounion. then we were thinking about full day in athens. she liked that. then i saw many people on cruise critic recommend corinth. so now looking at full day tour of athens/corinth. there seems to be more to do in corinth.

but the debate is still this: relaxing drive in car and kids can take nap but are we wasting time in car but would full day in athens be overload.

can't decide....can't decide.

ellen
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:47 PM   #27
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Interesting thoughts. I think I like the idea of a private car with guide meeting us at the port, getting us to the Panathenaic stadium, the Acropolis, doing the New Acropolis Museum. Then maybe giving us some time alone to wander before getting us back to port. Lots of things to think about...my overplanning tendencies have already got me starting a spreadsheet to compare the options...what a way to spend a Friday night, but DH is already in bed so he can go to work at 4:30 in the morning!
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:11 PM   #28
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but the debate is still this: relaxing drive in car and kids can take nap but are we wasting time in car but would full day in athens be overload.

can't decide....can't decide.

ellen
Which of us goes first so the rest of us will know what to do?

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Interesting thoughts. I think I like the idea of a private car with guide meeting us at the port, getting us to the Panathenaic stadium, the Acropolis, doing the New Acropolis Museum. Then maybe giving us some time alone to wander before getting us back to port. Lots of things to think about...my overplanning tendencies have already got me starting a spreadsheet to compare the options...what a way to spend a Friday night, but DH is already in bed so he can go to work at 4:30 in the morning!
I'm right there with you, clicking back and forth between Cruise Critic and DIS, while DH is on the couch watching something on TV. Oh, and I am trying to figure out how to send a fax to Turkey.
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:51 AM   #29
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Oh, and also, in case people did not know already, Athens is very "English" friendly, meaning that the language is spoken by a lot of people here. Especially in the tourist areas, there should be no problem whatsoever.

For 'wandering around' I second the idea that a pp offered of doing so in the "Plaka" area.

Do not forget about the heat in your plans. Last year we had a heat wave in July with temperatures well over 100 degrees. They actually closed the Acropolis around 12 noon.
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:06 AM   #30
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Right now

Athens - we are planning to do it by ourselves. Take the train to the National Archeological Museum, then head for some lunch and then on to the Acropolis. Evidently, giudes are easy to pick up at the sites. If the transit system continues to have intermittent strikes we may get a tour. The Rick Steeves book recommends going to the museum first as most cruise ship passengers go to the Acropolis first and the Acropolis tends to empty out after lunch.

Ephasus - going on an 8 hour tours with melitours who were recommended by Rick Steeves. They were incredibly accomodating in doing exactly what we wished to do and you get to go back to their ranch for lunch rather than eating in touristy areas. We are going to Ephasus ruins, terrace house, Ephasus Museum and the temple of Artemis.

Mykonos - we are going to go to a beach. Likely Agios Ioannis which is supposed to be quiet with good restaraunts.
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