Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > Cruise Lines "P - Z" > Windstar Cruises
 
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?


Notices

Windstar Cruises
Read Luxury Cruise Reviews written by cruisers just like you!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old March 19th, 2012, 09:13 AM
barneyandbarbara barneyandbarbara is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 16
Default Athens to istanbul

We are thinking of booking Athens to Istanbul , or vice versa ..any input on which port is the better one stay for a few days before the cruise ... Athens or Istanbul

Thanks
Barbara
Reply With Quote

  #2  
Old March 19th, 2012, 10:38 AM
r&rd r&rd is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 302
Default

In my opinion, Istanbul hands down. I will be doing the Istanbul to Athens cruise this summer for the third time - it is my favorite itinerary. There are still things I haven't seen or done in Istanbul. There is nothing in Athens I need to go back to see.
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old March 19th, 2012, 10:57 AM
6rugrats's Avatar
6rugrats 6rugrats is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Seattle
Posts: 12,366
Default

I also agree; no contest, it would be Istanbul.
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old March 19th, 2012, 01:22 PM
barneyandbarbara barneyandbarbara is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 16
Default

Thank you so much ....lookks like Istanbul to Athens ....

Barbara
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old March 21st, 2012, 07:28 PM
bakenbarb bakenbarb is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 27
Default

I would have thought Athens to Istanbul would be the best if you wanted to see more 0f Istanbul. You could schedule extra days if available or required if Istanbul was the final destination of your cruise.

My wife and I have
Reply With Quote

Ad Sponsored By
  #6  
Old March 22nd, 2012, 10:02 PM
artbcpa's Avatar
artbcpa artbcpa is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 399
Default

I wanted to give you a slightly different flavor about the two cities and the cruise. You can read my entire review under member reviews "A Comprehensive Review... form 10/11. I also have photos posted of the cruise which you will find on the forum.

While we loved our visit to Istanbul, we would not go back. The sites were incredibly interesting especially the Egyptian Bazaar and Spice Market. But I really don't enjoy a place where you have to be constantly checking your wallet and where nearly every place you go someone is trying to pull a fast one over on you. The Turks are famous for their Genuine fake watches. Well it doesn't stop there. Much of the jewelry is fake too and if your restaurateur offers to show you his most unique Turkish dishes "on him", don't be surprised if his definition of "on him" includes charging double the price.

Actually our favorite city in Turkey was Bodrum, a place far from the hubbub of Istanbul and one we probably never would have gone to if it weren't on the cruise itinerary.

As for Athens, we were there in the midst of all the problems. We actually didn't know if they would be able to stop there as the day before ships were turned away because of strikes. Yet we were sorry we didn't spend more time there. The sightseeing was fabulous and the hotel we stayed at was breathtaking. Because of the problems in Athens at the time, I chose to use my Hilton Honors points and stay at a US style hotel, something I rarely do overseas. Little did we know about the upstairs dicso/bar, perhaps the hottest spot in Athens. We also wandered around town at night without any concern. There are some really interesting sections of the city within walking distance of the hotel.

So while I don't disagree with the other posters that Istanbul is a fascinating city to visit, I wanted to give you a little more in-depth analysis at least from our perspective.
__________________




Hello from Art & Ellie
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old March 23rd, 2012, 01:50 PM
Lvwindstar007 Lvwindstar007 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Reno. NV
Posts: 46
Default Stay in Istanbul

For a first time visitor, I would recommend staying at a boutique hotel in the Sultanahmet area. You can walk to many historic and interesting sites. Athens is certainly historic and interesting but we enjoy Istanbul the most.
Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old March 24th, 2012, 03:34 PM
firststeps firststeps is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: palm coast, fl
Posts: 96
Default tour guides

We are doing this cruise Oct 2012... wondering ifyou would share your experiences with private guides...names, contact info, etc. for each of the destinations. Would really appreciate it.
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old March 24th, 2012, 09:18 PM
worldtraveler859 worldtraveler859 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 7
Default hotel in Sultanahmet, Istanbul?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lvwindstar007 View Post
For a first time visitor, I would recommend staying at a boutique hotel in the Sultanahmet area. You can walk to many historic and interesting sites. Athens is certainly historic and interesting but we enjoy Istanbul the most.
We're taking your advice and staying in Istanbul for 2 nights after the Windstar Athens to Istanbul cruise. Any recommendations for hotels in the Sultanahmet area? We look forward to any suggestions for our first visit.

Thanks much - worldtraveler 859
Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old March 25th, 2012, 03:29 PM
Lvwindstar007 Lvwindstar007 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Reno. NV
Posts: 46
Default Hotels in Istanbul

We stayed at the Erguvan Hotel Istanbul. On the web: www.erguvanhotelistanbul.com We also liked the Hotel Empress Zoe. On previous visits we have stayed at the Istanbul Hilton in the more modern European area as well as one I have forgotten the name of!
Reply With Quote

  #11  
Old March 26th, 2012, 04:05 PM
lovecruisingtoo lovecruisingtoo is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 708
Default

Another great hotel is the Hilton Doubletree. Just opened a year or so ago. Located in old town and right by the tram stop. Also within walking distance to most Sultanahmet attractions.

We have been to Istanbul twice. The first time for only a day or so and the second time we went for 4 nights. Agree with others that you need to watch what you are doing and the taxis will try and rip you off - so beware. But that is really no different than many cities in Europe. For example in Paris the gypsies will try and steal purses etc.

Just be careful and you will be fine.
Reply With Quote

  #12  
Old April 8th, 2012, 10:50 PM
screen-gem screen-gem is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 83
Default

Highly recommend a few days in Istanbul.
Don't miss the underground Cistern, the Istanbul Modern, Sadberk Hanim museum.
We stayed at Hotel Sari Konak in Sultanahmet which was very nice.
Reply With Quote

  #13  
Old April 30th, 2012, 08:16 PM
"Wandering Wino's"'s Avatar
"Wandering Wino's" "Wandering Wino's" is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Posts: 1,917
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lvwindstar007 View Post
For a first time visitor, I would recommend staying at a boutique hotel in the Sultanahmet area. You can walk to many historic and interesting sites. Athens is certainly historic and interesting but we enjoy Istanbul the most.
We just returned from a Istanbul Athens cruise aboard Seabourn and spent 3 days in Istanbul. Istanbul was wonderful, the sites, the people, the food etc. We stayed at the Neorion Hotel in the Sultanahmet area and I must tell you in all our travels around the world I don't think we have ever received just genuine outstanding service from a small boutique hotel. I have posted my review on trip advisor. Without exception all the people we met, from taxi drivers to waiters and tour guides were truly a cut a above and found a way to make our visit to their city one that we will remember for years to come.
__________________








Reply With Quote

  #14  
Old May 20th, 2012, 10:40 PM
worldtraveler859 worldtraveler859 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 7
Default Thanks!...

Thanks, everyone, for ideas for hotels for Istanbul. We're really looking forward to our June cruise from Athens to Istanbul and hope to have more info to add to the thread then.

Thanks again for your recommendations.
Reply With Quote

  #15  
Old May 21st, 2012, 10:55 AM
6rugrats's Avatar
6rugrats 6rugrats is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Seattle
Posts: 12,366
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by "Wandering Wino's" View Post
We stayed at the Neorion Hotal in the Sultanahmet area.
Agree that Sultanahmet area is convenient to all the sites, and a great place to stay. Go to Tripadvisor.com and you can read reviews on the hotels there. Take some reviews with a grain of salt.

Quote:
Without exception all the people we met from taxi drivers....

The worst experience I've had anywhere in the world with a taxi driver was in Istanbul. Highly recommend you know what the fare should be, and be totally out of the cab before you pay. If you want to read about some common rip-off techniques taxi drivers pull, do a search in the Istanbul forum on tripadvisor.com.

Quote:
Originally Posted by worldtraveler859 View Post
Thanks, everyone, for ideas for hotels for Istanbul. We're really looking forward to our June cruise from Athens to Istanbul and hope to have more info to add to the thread then.
Have a great trip.

Last edited by 6rugrats; May 21st, 2012 at 10:56 AM.
Reply With Quote

  #16  
Old May 21st, 2012, 01:42 PM
westchestermom westchestermom is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 32
Default

Wonder if anyone who has done this itinerary could comment. We would be doing the August 11 sailing from Athens to Istanbul. Unfortunately (well, not really unfortunately, you'll understand why) we would need to depart Istanbul on the day we arrive because our son will be graduating in Tel Aviv the next day. Does anyone have any experience with flights departing from Istanbul? Does the airport generally run on time? I totally get weather, incoming flights etc., but I also know there are some airports at which departure times are really only a suggestion! Since we have no leeway, want to know whether its reasonable to assume we will be able to depart as scheduled - or close to it!
Reply With Quote

  #17  
Old May 21st, 2012, 02:35 PM
6rugrats's Avatar
6rugrats 6rugrats is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Seattle
Posts: 12,366
Default

I have not had any problem with flights departing from IST. They've been on time.
Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks


Ad Sponsored By
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:47 PM.


© 1995 - 2014, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.