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swassbac
May 2nd, 2010, 11:58 AM
My wife and I will be sailing on the Sea Dream II from May 29 – June 5, and we will be in Kusadasi on May 31. We’re considering arranging a private tour of Ephesus, but we’ve read really mixed reviews of the tours. We’ve read several stories of people being forced to go to shopping for rugs, ceramics (and so on) after their tours, and we really don’t want to do that. Some tours get conflicting reviews online—for example, some people swear by Ekol, but others say Ekol forced them to sit through an hour-long rug presentation. So, we thought we’d ask people on the Sea Dream board for their recommendations. Can anyone recommend a tour company that did not make them go shopping? Are there any tour companies that you would especially recommend?

zqvol
May 2nd, 2010, 03:15 PM
Keep in mind if you are arranging a truely private tour that you decide where you go, not the guide. So if you don't want to shop then don't. If you read the Port of Call boards, as I'm sure you have, you will see that EKOL is highly regarded. We have them booked the week before for Ephesus.

swassbac
May 2nd, 2010, 04:11 PM
Thanks for the post. Our concern is that some people have reported booking private tours and still being pressured into shopping, visiting a relative's rug shop, et. EKOL does get fairly good reviews on this message board but we were concerned by some of the posts we have seen on other forums (http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g298005-i4948-k1512895-Tour_Guides_Ekol-Ephesus_Izmir_Province_Turkish_Aegean_Coast.html for example).

Dan

3M inMiami
May 3rd, 2010, 09:25 PM
You might try Kagan Kosagan. We are booked with him May 27. He's extremely professional to deal with. This is my first time using him, but there are a number of recommendations for him on the various boards, and he is very responsive to all kinds of questions.

swassbac
May 4th, 2010, 08:44 AM
You might try Kagan Kosagan. We are booked with him May 27. He's extremely professional to deal with. This is my first time using him, but there are a number of recommendations for him on the various boards, and he is very responsive to all kinds of questions.

Thanks - I e-mailed him last night and will check him out.

zqvol
May 4th, 2010, 10:54 AM
You might try Kagan Kosagan. We are booked with him May 27. He's extremely professional to deal with. This is my first time using him, but there are a number of recommendations for him on the various boards, and he is very responsive to all kinds of questions.

Welcome to the boards. Are you on SDII with us that week? If so we look forward to meeting you. If not please give us a report on your journeys when you get a chance.

swassbac
May 4th, 2010, 11:10 AM
Yes we are on SD II that week and my wife, Robyn, and I both look forward to meeting you.

Dan

3M inMiami
May 4th, 2010, 04:54 PM
Welcome to the boards. Are you on SDII with us that week? If so we look forward to meeting you. If not please give us a report on your journeys when you get a chance.

ZQVOL: Hello, yes...we are on the six day cruise departing May 23. I've been lurking here for nearly a year just soaking this in from time to time, and here we are...almost ready to go!

swassbac
May 4th, 2010, 05:07 PM
Likes like you will be leaving as we are boarding since we don't depart till the 29th.

zqvol
May 4th, 2010, 05:12 PM
Likes like you will be leaving as we are boarding since we don't depart till the 29th.

We are on both, first time doing a back to back!

swassbac
May 4th, 2010, 05:18 PM
That's great - I'm jealous. I look forwarding to hearing about your experiences on the way out when we meet you on the half way point of your trip.

3M inMiami
May 4th, 2010, 06:06 PM
BTW, We would not be averse to sharing our private tour with another SD couple on May 27, assuming there are some folks out there who still have not yet booked for Ephesus.