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Neil & Ida Down - Answered a Question by Brown (23 Nov 08 14:52)

I pass on PALERMO it is not hugely interesting ATHENS….. If you are taking a taxi tour, Hill of Pnyx, The Monument on top of Philippapos, The Acropolis /Parthenon, Roman Agora & Tower of Winds, The Plaka, Temple of Zeus, Lykavittos Hill and that will take all day Or Take the train from Piraeus to Monastirion station and walk through and around the Plaka district the up to the Acropolis /Parthenon. This will take five hours. Remember that European Citizens over 65 (you must have proof with you) can get big reductions in admittance prices, to places like the Acropolis or the Colliseum, in many EEC countries RHODES ….The old town right by the docks is well worth spending all day walking around and includes places like The Palace of the Knights, and you can walk on top of the walls in parts but mainly wander and enjoy. LIMASSOL…. Taxi tour to ancients highlights of Kourion, also known as Curium, The Sanctuary of Apollo and the Kolossi Castle There are some superb beaches if that is what you prefer or in town you have the Municipal Gardens, the Castle and Harbour area, The Sculpture Park and of course shopping. There is also a thing called “The Time Machine” which some have liked but I have not experienced it. ALEXANDRIA….Most people go with the ship to Cairo etc but tours for many sights in that area are available on the net and many are well spoken of. If you haven’t seen the Pyramids then you should but if you are staying in Alexandria the go outside the gates of the port and bargain for a cab for the day a go first, before the crowds get there, to the Catacomb of Kom El Shokafa, then go to Quiat bay fort, then Alexandria library, then Pompeii's Pillar and the Montazah Palace. The roof top bar of the Cecil Hotel is a pleasant stop and we allowed the driver to find us an Egyptian restaurant/ café where we had a very good, unusual and cheap lunch with I might add no repercussions at all. I pass on Malta. My advice is to look everything up on the net before you go. ….Neil .

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Rae - replied to Neil & Ida Down (23 Nov 08 16:56)

Just to say, don't bother looking for the 'Time Machine' in Limassol. We did and were told it has closed down!

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Wilba - Answered a Question by Brown (23 Nov 08 14:35)

Palermo is a waste of time IMO. Athens is easily achieved by bus very cheaply. Rhodes is easy as the ship docks a few hundred yards from the entrance to the old town & is well worth a walk around/shop. Valletta Harbour is impressive as you enter but personally I think the place is a dump. Others may offer a different aspect. Alexandria 'must see/do' is the pyramids & this is not as difficult DIY as is sometimes reported. Can't help with Limassol but overall it's a great itinerary you've got there. Regards Wilba.

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morris - Answered a Question by Brown (23 Nov 08 16:21)

We are also doing this itinerary on this ship in February ...mostly second visits for us...on our last visit to Alexandria we went to the War Graves at El Alamein where there is also a museum for those interested in the history of the place.. it was a ships excursion and well worth the money. Malta is very easy ...there is a bus stop outside the dock gate where buses take you to Valetta centre ....there is a bus station there for buses to go further afield if you want but on our first visit we just did the town centre and shops. On Sicily we took an excursion to Taormina which was a lovely place to see a bit of history to it and lovely shops to browse, we could also see Mount Etna...we went from Messina though rather than Palermo.

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Wilba - replied to morris (23 Nov 08 16:41)

Hello Morris, how are you, Taormina is lovely but unfortunately it's too far from Palermo, on a cruise stop. Brilliance is a nice ship if you've not already sailed on her, all the best Wilba & B.

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morris - replied to Wilba (23 Nov 08 18:26)

Hi there Wilba...we're fine just returned from transatlantic on Ventura!!! thanks for the info on Taormina we had thought we'd like to do again but obviously not now i know its too far...I haven't started my research for this cruise yet...

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Aldrich - Answered a Question by Brown (23 Nov 08 16:30)

No need to do any shoreexcursions - all it needs is a bit of research. If you use a browser and type in the words 'message and cruise and europe' (no need to put in the 'and') - of the results returned you need approx 3rd link down that begins with the word Europe.

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Aldrich - Answered a Question by Brown (23 Nov 08 16:35)

Athens is easy to do by yourself - walk to the metro, which was a pleasant walk taking 25 minutes. There is a good, safe sidewalk, and as long as you keep the water on your left and keep walking past all the ferry piers, you can’t miss seeing the escalator and overhead walkway that lead across the main street to the metro stop. Fare was 0.80 €, and the metro was very efficient since it is not affected by traffic. It takes about 20 minutes to get to Monasterion (Monasteraki) stop which is near Acropolis. 12€ combo ticket gets you into Roman Forum and acropolis. At 7 €, the National Archaeological Museum of Athens is an amazing bargain and this is at Viktoria metro stop.

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Aldrich - Answered a Question by Brown (23 Nov 08 16:37)

Valetta - don't miss the sail in - then walk up the hill to the big roundabout outside the famous Phoenician Hotel, and this is the bus station - catch a bus to the beautiful walled city of Mdina - it is about 20 mins away - and have a day there walking - don't forget to go to the Fontanella cake shop for tea and the best chocolate cake in the world. I agree with Wilba that Valetta is a dump.

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Aldrich - Answered a Question by Brown (23 Nov 08 16:53)

Palermo - I would recommend the Cappuchin monks - morbidly fascinating. Also don't forget to sign up for the meet'n'mingle - go to royalcaribbean.co.uk >contact us> FAQs > and then under the On Board section it tells you how. You will have to register (it is free), but a good way to converse with your fellow travellers before you go .

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