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Just returned, we did our own thing so cant comment on value of tours. Palma, got shuttle bus went to Cathedral and Palace, Cagliari free shuttle bus to town, walked up to top of Basilica fantastic cafe, hammocks, huge leather beds fanatastic all in the sun shine, fantastic views! Athens Beware... if you think you can catch a Taxi, dont bother they will refuse to take you anywhere, only interested in ripping you off with a tour. Wouldnt even take a passenger to hospital without much pleading by RC. Nasty lot. Walk to train station, RC walks you there if you want to tag along, get off at Monastraki station, walk through old town to Pantheon, stay until evening to see lit up. Istanbul, be prepared to be ripped off by taxis, was even taken to a place 5 km from port and told to get out or police will be called although we showed him map directions etc. Walk to old town, Blue Mosque best seen before closing, a fantastic moment when nearly empty. Dont forget to visit cafes/restaurants in the grave yards.
Valletta very easy to walk, steps up to bus station opposite port, or walk down to signs for quickest way to Valletta, up the hill and you are there. Cathedral a must as was Palace. M&S there too, save time to get to the port early to rest in the cafes and the great duty free shops. Stayed at Hotel Petit Opera Palace before cruise, on La Ramblas and so central, really unique hotel, garden courtyard great even have family rooms for 4 with exercise bike and expensive power shower even stored our bags for free at end of cruise before airport transfer. Hope this helps .
Hate to be cynical but the words 'value' & cruise tours don't go together. If you want value, use the cruise tours brochure/website as a guide, & if your not confident in using local transport, trains, buses etc., then be advised that every taxi driver knows the cruise tours by heart. Just haggle away....work on 25-30% of the cruise companies price.
Suggest you check out a website with many useful tips of what to do in each port - not allowed to post it here but if you look hard enough you may see it..
I also suggest you join up for the Meet and mingle for this cruise - good way to interact with fellow cruisers and perhaps arrange to share shore excursions. I too am cruising on NV this autumn. In Istanbul I catch the tram to the sights from right by the port, in Athens I catch the metro to the sights, in Valetta I arrange a private tour with a local agent.
Hi I am from Malta and I am giving you an idea of what is the best to do. Well, at the port of Malta it is only 10 minutes walking to Valletta the capital city and so I suggest that you can do Valletta on your own if you would like. Alsoat the terminal there is a shuttle bus at a minimal charge to take you to Valletta. Do not miss St. John's Cathedral in Valletta. I do not know the number of hours which you will stay in Valletta so I think that it wouldbe ideal to stay in Valletta if you have only a couple of hours. enjoy your holiday and your stay in our country Malta.