Posted December 3rd, 2004, 08:29 PM
KateKathy - Thanks for your kind words (we had a fantastic honeymoon!!!) and I hope you have an equally fantastic time on the Atlantica in a few weeks!
FrenchyPati - your English is wonderful...much better than I could do in a foreign language. Here are the answers to your questions:
In Naples we did not do the ship's excursion. Instead, we toured Capri on our own. Like you, we were in port from 1pm-7pm. I was also concerned about going to Capri on our own with so little time, but it worked out just fine! We docked a little before 1 pm and were among the first off the ship. We then headed through the cruise terminal (once you enter, go straight and head down the stairs to the outside), walked straight across a parking lot, and at the end of the parking lot, to the left, we saw the building where we bought our tickets to Capri. The hydrofoils to Capri leave approximately every 45 minutes and the trip to Capri takes about 45 minutes as well. The cost was around 14 euros per person. The cruise passengers who took thie ship's exursion arrived in Capri after us (we saw them getting off the hydrofoils) and, in fact, they take the same type of hydrofoils over as we did. I believe we took a 1:45pm hydrofoil (run by the Snav company) to Capri and a 5:45 hydrofoil back. That gave us plenty of time to walk around the main portion of Capri (we did not make it to Anacapri). We had a lovely, unrushed afternoon. I highly recommend doing this!
In Limassol we did the ship's excursion to the Kourion ruins, the temple of Apollo and shopping in Omodos. This excursion cost approximately 44 euros per person. From the ship, it was approximately a 1 hour bus ride to the ruins. The ruins are not the most spectacular ruins in existence, but the drive is very beautiful and Omodos was a wonderful mountain village. My only complaint was that I wish we had had more time to walk around Omodos. We only had about 30 minutes. Some of our dinner companions took a tour that involved driving jeeps through the mountains and stopping at scenic villages. This tour also involved a wine tasting. They loved it! I believe it was significantly more expensive than our tour, but perhaps worth the extra money. When you're in Cyprus, try the Commanderie desert wine...we bought a bottle back with us and wish we had brought more!
In Marmaris we did the Dalyan and Caunos Express tour. It was around 44 euros per person. There were only two tours offered here. The one we took, which was half a day, and the longer version of the same tour which was about 7 hours. Again, the bus ride to these attractions is about an hour. I recommend the shorter tour. Both take you to the cliff tombs in the Dalyan river delta, for a boat ride down the river, and then on to the ruins of Caunos. The shorter tour, however, gives you time in the morning to walk around Marmaris, which is a lovely town. We bought fantastic hand-painted Turkish pottery at ridiculously low prices.
In Alexandria we took the Pyramids of Giza, Saqqara, and Memphis tour for 99 euros per person. This was the highlight of our trip. The bus ride from Alexandria to Cairo is almost 3 hours long. During the trip, however, our tour guide explained some Egyptian history to us and told us about the sites we would be seeing. We went to Saqqara first to see the Step Pyramid. Amazing! Next was Memphis. This was not as good as I had hoped because almost nothing remains of the ancient city of Memphis. However, the few items still there were interesting nontheless. Our last stop was Giza. The bus drops you off at the base of the pyramids, where you have about 20-30 minutes to walk around. The bus then goes to a plateau above the pyramids where you can take pictures from a distance for about 5 minutes. Finally, you take the bus to the Sphinx where you have about 30 minutes to walk around. We were certainly rushed, but when you see so much, that is to be expected! Afterwards, the bus drops you off at a papyrus institute where you watch them make papyrus paper and have the opportunity to buy some painting. These paintings are very reasonably priced and we bought about a dozen to bring back as souvenirs for people. They're quite nice. Another excursion that some of our dinnermates took in Alexandria also went to Giza and Saqqara, but then allowed them to ride camels in the desert. It was more expensive than our tour again, but they enjoyed themselves and talked about almost nothing else for days. Just a warning...the vendors on camels at Giza are VERY pushy and you must be firm in saying no to them or you will end up with a great deal of unwanted merchandise just to get away from them (as my husband found out).
In Katakalon we took the excursion to Olympia for 44 euros. Almost all of the excursions in this port go to Olympia. It's about a 30-45 minute bus ride from the port. It was interesting to see where the Olympics began and the tour does permit you time to shop in the village of Olympia, but of the ports, this was probably our least favorite. This is not to say we didn't enjoy ourselves, because we did, but it didn't quite live up to the other ports. However, as your only other option here is to walk around Katakalon, which is a very, very small, but quaint, fishing village, I would recommend going to Olympia. It's worth seeing at least once.
As you can hopefully tell, we enjoyed ourselves very much on our excursions. You are so lucky to have chosen this cruise! Enjoy yourself, and if you have any other questions, please just ask! I'm more than happy to do what I can.