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We did this cruise in September. If you want to see Santorini take an excursion unless you want to wait 2 hours for the cable car, or wade through donkey manure!!! Get your duty free in Kusadasi, the Ephesus excursion is good but do not go into the carpet shop at the end of the tour and definitely do not buy a carpet. Corfu explore alone. Ship fine, staff good, cruise director wooden.
In Dubrovnik you may have a shuttle bus provided (may be a charge) to take you up to the old walled town. You can pay to walk the walls but you will need local currency which we drew from the ATM with our debit card. We then walked around the town, visited the church,bought an icecream and a shirt in a very posh shop. In Kusadasi we went for a Turkish bath booked from a shop in the main street that arranged bus trips. Only one place out of town was open as this was in December. In August you will find many places as you walk around. In Venice we bought a day card for the vaporettos and went across to Murano to wander the little shops that sell the beautiful glass. There is also St Marks and the Doges palace if the queues are not too long. Don't attempt to visit Harry's bar in shorts. They won't serve you. The gondolas are approx 100 euros for about an hour if I remeber correctly. In Santorini you will be tendered ashore and you have to take the cable car to the town at the top of the cliff. The alternative is to walk uphill for 45 mins or take a donkey ride. The town is pretty to wander or you can take a taxi tour of the island or just to the villages in the north. We paired up with another couple and did that. Taxi driver waits for you to have a little wander and then brings you back. Queues for the cable car can take a lot of time out of your day. In Corfu we caught the little train that takes you around the main streets and up to the hotel where Prince Philip was born. Can't remeber much about that port, sorry.
At Dubrovnik, you should find plenty of licensed taxis at the quayside. Fares are strictly regulated, and there is a fixed tariff to the old walled city. You can pay in Euros and if you can get together with another couple, a taxi might be cheaper than the shuttle bus. If you want to go farther afield, I recommend a taxi ride from the ship to Cavtat (and spend an hour at Cavtat). You could ask the taxi driver to wait - or you could take a boat across the bay to Dubrovnik. You will require sufficient time to explore Dubrovnik, particularly if you want to walk round the walls (unmissable, provided you are mobile and reasonably fit). At Kusadasi, most visitors want to visit Ephesus. Don't risk travelling in a local shared taxi or dolmus. If you can share with at least two other passngers, I recommend booking a personalised tour with a local agency, Meander Travel. You will find full details at www.meandertravel.com. We have enjoyed two different tours with Meander and on both occasions, we travelled in a minibus with a driver and english-speaking guide. Their highly qualified professional guides were truly excellent.
In Dubrovnik there is a local bus station about 5 min walk from the ship Buy a day pass and you can hop on and of the busses all day and it is not expencive.
We did this cruise in october 2007 and really enjoyed it - Dubrovnik you can do yourself - the walled city is easy to work around and lots to see; the same goes for corfu- the old town is easy to walk to and lots to do in the city. Santorini we did a trip but really wished we hadnt as the area where you dock has a lot of shops and the cable car and views are out of this world - we sat at a restaurant over looking the bay wiht a bottle of wine and a greek salad - great! The only place you really need to do a trip is Kusidasi - ephaseus is a must. Have a great time and dont forget the sun screen - it should be very hot in August.
We did some off these places on the royal clipper cruise last september do your own trips hire a cab for a few hours or so they will take you to places that tourists dont no about.
We used to book trips but now we do our own thing. At most ports you can usually find an amicable taxi driver who will take you where you want to go. First before you disembark decide where you want to go by using the trip information supplied on board. Look at the price in sterling. You should be able to negotiate half to two thirds of this price with a taxi driver. Next either team up with another couple who also want to do the same thing so you bring the price down even further or look out on the dockside for a couple who would share with you.This adds to a safety factor in a strange port. Always check the price first with the driver and walk away if they quote too much. They will often come down to your price. Make sure the driver speaks good English! One other point in Santorini you should not need to get a taxi as a cable car or donkey takes you up to the village which you can walk round. Watch the prices of drinks and food,as some can be exhorbitant. In Venice just use the public water buses, only 11 euros from cruise terminal to St. Marks Square. Enjoy your trip!
Hi, doing our first cruise on Splendour in June - we arrive in Venice at about 10.30 so hopefully on ship/quay by midday'ish - unfortunately we have not booked any extra nights in Venice so do you think it would be possible to do a whistle stop visit, even just to St Marks Sq - how long would it take to get to St marks sq from the quay? ship leaves at 5pm - Thanks.
My husband and me just get of and find a taxi. thay will tack you round place the ships do not we have seen some wonderfully places this way and a lot cheeper but get price of them be for you get in taxi .there is taxis trying to beat each other .we did the doun river folis in the caribbean with rci and it cost us much less then on the ship enjoy your holis . michelle .
At Dubrovnik we shared a taxi with another couple at quayside to the walled city, pleased we did as it was quite a walk uphill. Once there we paid to walk the walls round the city, very impressive. they took payment in euro's. We were going to catch the bus back but needed local currency so we walked (all downhill) took about 20 min. Kusadasi we were straight in the centre but must admit got fed up of being pulled into shops by the locals so found a nice little bar and watched the world go by. Corfu, we walked into the town and wandered round the narrow streets. Santorini was beautiful. We took the lift to the top, from there we caught a bus to Oia. We wandered round for a couple of hours there and talked to many different nationalites who wanted pictures taking. It really is beautiful. We caught the bus back hen had a look rounf Fira. Much better than trips.