Cruises R Fun! - Reviews of Cruise Lines, Cruise Ships, Destinations, Ports And More!
We had been in Istanbul for a couple of days at the end of our last cruise, and my wife fell in love with it. We spent the time checking out things we didn't see on the last trip, and shopping for underwear, pantyhose, shoes, and other things Kathy needed after the lost luggage fiasco. There we were, at the Grand Bazaar, Kathy in a pair of my boxer shorts and a T shirt the ship gave her. But we found some great bargains on knock-offs.
The Millennium set sail for Kusadasi (Ephesus) Turkey in the early afternoon. The next day we arrived in Kusadasi, known for its very extensive ruins at Ephesus. These are the most impressive ruins we have ever seen, be sure not to miss them when you are in Kusadasi. Cleopatra and Mark Anthony were tourists at Ephesus!
We toured a rug factory which was actually a rug store. However, they gave a very interesting presentation on how Turkish rugs are woven and how to determine the quality ofrugs. We saw a demonstration of a young girl weaving a rug.
While in Kusadasi we spotted an internet cafe sign and so we went on in. They were quite excited that we had come in; they uncovered their single computer, taped some cardboard to the window to reduce the glare on the screen, and brought us some cokes to drink. After we finished surfing the net we asked how much we owed. They said "nothing!" and they wouldn't let us pay for anything. Odd but interesting and nice.
The next day was a day at sea with no stops at any ports. We consider days at sea as our lazy kick-back and relax part of our cruises. So we "bagged some rays" by the pool and checked out the drink of the day.
The next day we arrived in Limasol, Cyprus. Originally we were supposed to go to Haifa Israel, but due to some Middle East unrest, the destination was changed to Limasol. There was an interesting castle that we toured, and then we went looking for an internet cafe. We found one and did a little updating of our website while we were there. Internet cafe's can be found in most cities and it is truly amazing to see the differences. There isn't really much in Limasol.
Our next port of call was Alexandria Egypt. The port was HUGE! There were quite a few sunken ships poking up out of the water as we entered the port...wonder what that was about? Our ship was greeted with a giant red carpet and a large band playing music.
We took the shore excursion to the Pyramids, about a three hour bus trip. The busses traveled in convoys with police escorts. I presume it's an anti terrorist thing. The Pyramids were awesome! We got to actually climb up on one of the pyramids. There were also cool tombs that we toured, and of course, shopping for jewelry and papyrus art.
Our next port of call was Athens Greece. Since we had been to Athens recently we opted not to take any of the excursions and just went to the Plaka. We found yet another Internet cafe where we could update our web site. Although it was about 3 flights of stairs to get to the cafe, were given the "Computer with a view" .. Just out the window was a spectacular view of the Acropolis. And we found another fabulous open air cafe.
We arrive next at Naples, Italy. The day was kind of a whirl wind of a day as we took a hydrofoil to the island of Capri where we toured the island, an interesting and beautiful island and playground for the rich. Then on to Sorrento where we had lunch and wandered around the scenic town, and finally we toured the amazing ruins at Pompeii. There are enough ruins at Pompeii to spend weeks there and still not see everything. Thousands of years ago and they had plumbing fixtures...running water in their homes, taverns, saunas, and all sorts of surprising things. A very busy day!
Next stop, Rome and the Vatican City including St. Peter's Basilica, and the Vatican museum. At the Vatican, we visited the Sistine chapel which was mind blowing. Following that we visited the Coliseum. The Coliseum was another amazing place. Kathy was really impressed with the Trevi Fountain in Rome (she threw in the required 3 coins so we could come back to Rome).
Our next port was Nice, France. We visited a famous flower market, had coffee at a little side walk cafe, and we took a shore excursion to Monaco. Monaco isn't very big! We could stand in one spot and see the whole country. There are lots of shops on the tiny narrow winding streets. We had lunch (at an open air cafe) and Kathy liked the Roquefort cheese so much she asked the waiter where should could get some, and he directed her to a market. We bought some and brought it home with us.
The following morning we disembarked in Barcelona and within hours we were on our way home! Another fantastic cruise ship adventure under our belts!