One more request PLEASE on Athens

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

** Please post your recommendations ONLY in response to request...do not start a new thread. Thanks!
Other Mediterranean Ports
Dubrovnik, Gibraltar, Istanbul, Kotor, Kusadasi, La Goulette (Tunis), Lisbon, Madeira (Funchal), Malta, Odessa, Sevastopol, Varna, Zadar
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
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 07:45 PM.
#1
CUT OFF, LA US
87 Posts
Joined May 2004
I have gotten very good advice from many. I am not quite aure about this one though. Should I visit the Acropolis, National Archaelogical Museum, see Old Olympic Stadium and shop at the Plaka OR see Acropolis, Temple of Poseidon, and then Plaka? Want to get all I can from Athens. Thanks All Iris
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

Cruising fool
#2
Bella Vista, Ar, USA
5,527 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
We did a cruise tour that sounds similar to your first choice except we couldn't do the National Archaelogical Museum because they were working on it in preperation for the upcoming Olympics and spend time in the Agora instead. Definitely try to pick the tour that spends the most time at the Acropolis as it is really worth seeing. From what we could tell the drive out to the Temple of Poseidon and back took up like 2 hours of our tour time and that was one of the reasons we decided against it. I suspect you will do like we did with the Old Olympic Stadium and that is do a drive by photo op. There really isn't much to see there anyway.

I'm not sure this helped but I have also read the National Archaelogical Museum has some great exhibits and is probably worth taking time to see. So my vote is for tour number one.

Have a great next cruise.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
HAL Noordam 3/97 West Carib
Hal Westerdam 12/97 East Carib
HAL Veendam 11/98 East Carib
Hal Zaandam 12/00 South Carib
HAL Veendam 10/01 Panama Canal
RCCL Enchantment 09/02 West Carib
Costa Atlantica 12/02 East Carib
HAL Noordam 03/03 Southern Carib
Golden Princess 07/03 Mediterranean
Celebrity Zenith 12/03 South-West Carib
HAL Maasdam 05/04 East Coast USA - Canada
Island Princess 10/04 Hawaii
RCCL Jewell of the Seas 05/05 Transatlantic Eastbound
RCCL Mariner of the Seas 06/07 East Carib
Carnival Legend 09/07 West Carib
Caribbean Princess 02/08 East Carib
Tahitian Princess 07/08 Alaska
HAL Eurodam 11/08 East Carib
HAL Zuiderdam 4/09 Panama Canal
Disney Magic 9/09 East Carib
Royal Princess 8/16/10 Alaska Last cruise with my wife Trisha
HAL Maasdam 3/4/11 South Carib Only Solo cruise Met Darlene
RCCL Mariner of the Seas 9/20/11 Eastern Mediterranean
Seabourn Odyssey 11/29/11 Transatlantic Westbound
Grand Princess 4/7/13 Transatlantic Eastbound
Seabourn Pride 7/25/12 Baltic cruise
RCL Oasis of the Seas 12/8/12 Caribbean cruise
RCL Navigator of the Seas 4/6/13 Transatlantic Eastbound
Coral Princess 8/14/13 Alaska Cruise tour
HAL Zuiderdam 10/1/13 Panama Canal SF to Ft Lauderdale
Emerald Princess 4/18/14 Transatlantic Eastbound
Viking River cruises 7/26/14 15 day Grand European Tour
Celebrity Summitt 9/20/15 14 day Canada East coast
HAL Maasdam 1/14/16 24 days Ft Lauderdale to Rio De Janeiro
Celebrity Equinox 4/15/2016 14 day Transatlantic
RCCL Vision of the Seas 4/30/2016 7 days Western Med to Venice
Celebrity Equinox 2/20/2017 11 day Mardi Gras in New Orleans
Next Celebrity Solstice 11/30/2017 12 Day Australia New Zealand
#3
CUT OFF, LA US
87 Posts
Joined May 2004
I reserved the first choice, but was going to change if anyone thought the second would be best. Yep, lots more time in the Acropolis seems lots better and I was not looking forward to the long long drive to the Poseiden. Thanks a Million Take Care
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

Cruising fool
#4
270 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
I have some Athens questions that I hope you can help with. We would like to do Athens on our own. Can we find a (reputable) guide at the Acropolis, or do I need to reserve someone ahead of time? If that answer is yes can we make our way back down to town on our own, stopping along the way, or is that a dumb idea? With only 1 day in Athens I think if I see the most famous site and get a good explanation of that I would like to spend the rest of the day just soaking up the city life, the Plaka and such. Will it be easy to get a taxi at the port, or do I need to walk somewhere else to hook up with some sort of transportation to get us to the acropolis? Thanks for any help you can provide.
#5
Bella Vista, Ar, USA
5,527 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
I did not see any independent guides at the Acropolis waiting to be hired. I did when we were in Italy at Pompeii but not in Greece. To be honest our guide with the ships tour got us together on the steps to point out a couple of things, then did it again in front of the Parthenon and then turned us loose to take pictures and see the museum there. If you are going by yourself be sure to also go to the Agora which is relatively close to the Acropolis and has a great temple as well as another museum. Then the Plaka isn't that far from either of these sites.

I know there is a train that goes from the port to the city but I don't know how hard it is to get to the train station from the dock your ship will be at. Because we took the ship tour they loaded us onto buses right by the port entrance but I believe there were taxis there that could be hired. Traffic in and around Athens is a real mess and you may spend time in a traffic both getting there and then getting back to the ship.

Have a great next cruise.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
HAL Noordam 3/97 West Carib
Hal Westerdam 12/97 East Carib
HAL Veendam 11/98 East Carib
Hal Zaandam 12/00 South Carib
HAL Veendam 10/01 Panama Canal
RCCL Enchantment 09/02 West Carib
Costa Atlantica 12/02 East Carib
HAL Noordam 03/03 Southern Carib
Golden Princess 07/03 Mediterranean
Celebrity Zenith 12/03 South-West Carib
HAL Maasdam 05/04 East Coast USA - Canada
Island Princess 10/04 Hawaii
RCCL Jewell of the Seas 05/05 Transatlantic Eastbound
RCCL Mariner of the Seas 06/07 East Carib
Carnival Legend 09/07 West Carib
Caribbean Princess 02/08 East Carib
Tahitian Princess 07/08 Alaska
HAL Eurodam 11/08 East Carib
HAL Zuiderdam 4/09 Panama Canal
Disney Magic 9/09 East Carib
Royal Princess 8/16/10 Alaska Last cruise with my wife Trisha
HAL Maasdam 3/4/11 South Carib Only Solo cruise Met Darlene
RCCL Mariner of the Seas 9/20/11 Eastern Mediterranean
Seabourn Odyssey 11/29/11 Transatlantic Westbound
Grand Princess 4/7/13 Transatlantic Eastbound
Seabourn Pride 7/25/12 Baltic cruise
RCL Oasis of the Seas 12/8/12 Caribbean cruise
RCL Navigator of the Seas 4/6/13 Transatlantic Eastbound
Coral Princess 8/14/13 Alaska Cruise tour
HAL Zuiderdam 10/1/13 Panama Canal SF to Ft Lauderdale
Emerald Princess 4/18/14 Transatlantic Eastbound
Viking River cruises 7/26/14 15 day Grand European Tour
Celebrity Summitt 9/20/15 14 day Canada East coast
HAL Maasdam 1/14/16 24 days Ft Lauderdale to Rio De Janeiro
Celebrity Equinox 4/15/2016 14 day Transatlantic
RCCL Vision of the Seas 4/30/2016 7 days Western Med to Venice
Celebrity Equinox 2/20/2017 11 day Mardi Gras in New Orleans
Next Celebrity Solstice 11/30/2017 12 Day Australia New Zealand
#6
81 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
Iris I believe you may like this itinerary.
First skip the Sounion drive for the temple of Poseidon. Even though it is a spectacular sight to visit, the drive going and coming is too long about 45+ miles each way and you don’t have that much time left to do other things. I believe you should visit the Acropolis first. You will probably need to spend at least 2 hours there. Then take a taxi to the National Archeological museum. The exhibits there are awesome. It is considered one of the best museums in the world. Then take a cab to the Plaka area and spend some time there probably has a nice lunch in one of those outdoor/indoor restaurants. If you are hungry try any type of fish. Go to the kitchen and pick one. The Greeks really know how to prepare fish. If not hungry have a nice Greek salad (Choriatiki Salata), and Saganaki(special fried cheese or an assortment of appetizers). After exploring and shopping in Plaka, walk down to Syntagma square and watch the guards in front of the Parliament building. There is change of the guard every hour on the hour. It will be nice if you can catch that event. You will really enjoy it. Before going back to the ship have the taxi driver to drive you in front of the all marble Pan Athenian Stadium (very close to Syntagma square). It was used during the 1896 Olympic Games and for the Marathon event finish for the Athens 2004 Olympics.

By the way Athens is my hometown

Yannis
#7
england
469 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
Hi Yannis, what is your schd this year? We are in Athens & Greek Is early Nov this year, do we need to take brollys? Before that we have 2 trips across the pond, Mercury for Mex Riv & car tour Nevada. See you around sometime. E
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
czar22
#8
Honolulu, HI, USA
1,268 Posts
Joined May 2003
Originally posted by IRIS FAYE
I have gotten very good advice from many. I am not quite aure about this one though. Should I visit the Acropolis, National Archaelogical Museum, see Old Olympic Stadium and shop at the Plaka OR see Acropolis, Temple of Poseidon, and then Plaka? Want to get all I can from Athens. Thanks All Iris
The first is probably the best bet.

We loved the picture of the Temple of Poseidon that every tourist sees - the lovely sunset and the shadows and the dying rays of the sun painting the ruins.

However, in reality, the tours seem to get there early or midafternoon and it is just another ruin!

The Plaka is not just old Athens - there is the agora, the various cafes and open air markets. Incidentally, if the Old Olympic Stadium is the one where the "modern Olympics" started, it is a fast photo stop.- five or ten minutes at best.

If you are interested in my photographs of the Temple of Poseidon and the Olympic Stadium, I'll be glad to send them to your e-mail address.
#9
81 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
Hello Eric

How are your gardens doing this year? We had over 100 inches of snow this year in New Hampshire. You will find the Greek Islands very peaceful in November. No tourists. You need to bring umbrellas but you will only use them very few times
We will be spending the month of May on the Med. That includes a week in Athens and 12 days on the Millennium. In October we will be taking the Infinity to Hawaii and in February 2006 the Infinity out of Buenos Aires. One of these days our paths will cross and meet again.

Yannis
#10
CUT OFF, LA US
87 Posts
Joined May 2004
Thanks so much for the tips. I will pick more time for the Acropolis. Again Thanks Happy Trips to all Iris
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

Cruising fool
#11
NJ now AZ
1,243 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
if we take a ship's tour of the Acropolis, we'll have a long walk uphill to the site; I was wondering if a private guide/driver can get us closer without that climb uphill? (DH has a medical problem which might make climbing VERY slow or impossible)

any recommendations for a private guide?
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
not taking vacations but collecting experiences - usavvy2
#12
tehachapi,ca, usa
3,691 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
Originally posted by usavvy2
if we take a ship's tour of the Acropolis, we'll have a long walk uphill to the site; I was wondering if a private guide/driver can get us closer without that climb uphill? (DH has a medical problem which might make climbing VERY slow or impossible)
any recommendations for a private guide?
We had a private tour and we parked in almost the same area. The walk isn't too strenuous, it's just hot. There is very limited shade, but once at the toll booths(?) they have a "disability elevator" to get you up to the "Parthenon level", for the sake of a better description. We had friends with us that used a wheel chair and they found that to be very helpful.
One advantage of a private tour is that you can get to view sites that the big tour buses can't. We got to drive over to the viewpoint where all the classic photos of the Acropolis are taken, not available to the larger coaches. http://community.webshots.com/photo/...06672709AaDpZV
Whatever you choose to do, take plenty of bottled water, it was hot.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
#13
NJ now AZ
1,243 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
thanks for the info. what time of year did you visit the Acropolis?
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
not taking vacations but collecting experiences - usavvy2
#14
tehachapi,ca, usa
3,691 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
We were in Athens on September 30th. I would guess the temperature was in the high 80's, very dry and very little shade.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
#15
Washington, DC
949 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
There's a direct subway connection between Piraeus and downtown Athens. The train station is about half-mile or so from the cruise ship terminal. Buy an all-day pass from the station agent, and then board a Green Line train into Athens. You can transfer to a Blue or Red line station which will get you closer to the Acropolis (the Red Line actually has an Acropolis Station, while the Blue Line lets you off in the midst of the open air market at the foot of the Acropolis).

From the Acropolis, you can jump back onto the Blue Line to Syntagma Square for photos of the changing-of-the-guard ceremony in front of Parliament House and see the famous Gran Bretagne Hotel across the street (and the Prime Minister's residence behind Parliament House) and then walk over to the Zeppilon, the old Olympic Stadium, and the head back to the subway and the port. It's all doable in a day. But then again, we're in our 30's and we enjoy seeing cities by foot.

You may have trouble finding guides waiting atop the Acropolis, depending on the season and the time of day. You might be able to latch onto an existing tour group (for an additional fee), or you can make arrangements in advance - we used Maria Skiniti at [email protected]. We were satisfied with her (excellent English - her daughter hopes to study in the States) and will probably use her again when we take the in-laws back this fall. If you want to cut your walking time, you can ask Maria to arrange for a car and driver so you can cover much more territory.
#16
Pittsburgh, PA
4,571 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Thanks for the information, Yannis. We are doing (Athens On Our Own), but are doing it through the ship, the Grand Princess. We will be driven by bus from the pier and dropped at the Plaka and will be picked up there. We have been to Athens, but have never seen the museum. How far is it from the Plaka? Any other ideas?
#17
Washington, DC
949 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
There was far too much to enjoy outdoors to spend hours in a museum, especially when you're only in port for a day! Unless it's rainy or swelteringly hot, enjoy the outdoor sights - buy a nice lace tablecloth to bring back home. If you've really got a hankering for a museum, there's one atop the Acropolis, and it's covered with the price of your admission ticket. On a good day, you should be able to see your cruise ship down in Piraeus from the Acropolis, and on an even better day, you should be able to see the Bay of Salamis (for you naval history buffs).