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Cruise Critic member in Israel, happy to answer questions

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Hi everyone,

 

I wanted to introduce myself and let you know I'd be happy to answer questions you have about Israel and visiting Israel. (I'm not a travel agent nor am I associated with any agent, I'm just a smiling resident happy to help out.)

 

I moved to Israel from New Jersey almost 10 years ago, and live in a Jerusalem suburb. [i'm about to take my first cruise- to the Mexican Riviera :-).]

 

I'll try to check this board a couple of times a week, and while I'm sure I don't have the answers to all your questions, I'll be happy to answer those I can.

 

Israel is a beautiful country, and I'm sure you're going to love every moment of it!

Edited by CC Help Michell

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Hi Ruth,

We were wondering if you knew of a licensed tour guide who will not take any $ upfront. We don't want to give a deposit incase we have to cancel out the trip for various reasons. Any suggestions you could give us about a guide or suggestions of what to see in those 2 days would be appreciated.

 

Thanks in Advance.Ellen

 

 

Hi Ellen and Colleen,

 

I'm sorry but I don't have the names of any tour guides- I occasionally take walking tours here, but have never dealt with an English speaking licensed tour guide.

 

As to what to see in the 2 days you'll be in Israel-

 

From the port in Haifa, you can focus on the north, from the Mediterranean thru the Kinneret (sea of Galilee). A 'see as much as you can' tour would probably include the city of Safed (a great place to buy art, btw),Tiberias (for the Kinneret), a quick tour of Haifa, and maybe getting into the Golan Heights. For something a little bit different, you can include the grottos at Rosh Hanikra, which is on the border with Lebanon, a visit to a kibbutz, to the town of Zichron Yaakov where the Rothchilds established a winery, and going as far south as Ceasaria. The ride thru the Galil (Galilee) is beautiful, very lush and green, and you might be able to stop in a Druze village along the way. There's also a small town in the Galil called Klil, where Israelis live a 'back to nature' life without electricity- there's a small artist's colony and a restaurant.

 

For a fun day that is not so tour intensive, you can go to one of a number of beaches from Haifa to Tel Aviv for rest and relaxation, or go horseback riding or ATV riding in the Galil.

 

From Ashdod you can tour Jerusalem, of course (if you haven't been to the Old City, then I highly recommend giving yourself 2-3 hours to walk around, preferably with a guide), and also include a trip to the Dead Sea and/or Masada. We're from the Jerusalem area and spend our free time exploring the area, so I have a long list of things to do:

 

- Herodian: Herod's fortress, south of Bethlehem in the Judean desert.

- Mitzpe Jericho: a town on the way to the Dead Sea, overlooking the city of Jericho, with incredible views of the desert.

- Ein Gedi: a kibbutz at the Dead Sea

- Kibbutz Ramat Rachel, and also Ammunition Hill: both were important sites from the '67 war, with bunkers built and used by the Jordanian army. From Kibbutz Ramat Rachel you also have views of Bethlehem and Herodian, and also a panoramic view of Jerusalem.

- Ein Kerem: a lovely 'village' that is actually part of Jerusalem; it's an important site in Christianity with stunning churches, but it's also a pleasure to walk around. It's also down the road from both Yad V'Shem (the Holocaust Museum) and also Har Herzl, our national cemetary where you will find the graves of Herzl, Golda Meir, and others as well as a very well done and informative multi-media presentation on Theordor Herzl and foundations of Zionism.

- There are jeep tours available in the Judean desert, south of Jerusalem.

- You can also take a Segway tour in Jerusalem, btw.

 

For something very different, you can take a drive along the Jordan Valley Road. It starts just north of the Dead Sea and goes to the Kinneret, and runs along the border with Jordan. The scenery is breathtaking.

 

I also highly recommend visiting Mini Israel, which is between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. It's exactly what it sounds like - Israel in miniature (not tiny). Here's a link to their website: http://www.minisrael.co.il/home_en.html

I went with a group of Israeli friends, and we all had a surprisingly great time 'walking around the country'.

 

As to timing, much of Jerusalem closes down from Friday afternoon until after sundown on Saturday evening (many, but not all restaurants are closed, just about all stores are closed, and buses do not run), but some museums and tourist sites will be open. Haifa is more secular, as is much of the Galil (but not Safed), so most restaurants and tourist sites will be open.

 

Please feel free to ask me any more questions, I'm happy to answer :)

 

Ruth

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Ruth,

 

Thank you so much for your suggestions. We will write again if we have any questions. Do you know what the weather would be like in mid Nov? Will it be very cold? By the way, where are you from in N.J.? See, I already had questions.HaHa.

 

Thanks

 

Ellen

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Hi Ellen,

 

Mid-November should be in the 60's during the day and the 50's at night, but depending on how sunny it is, it can feel a bit warmer or colder. While the rainy season will have officially begun, the rain doesn't usually start until December, but you could hit a rainy day. I'm not very familiar with the weather in Haifa, but Jerusalem can get chilly at night, even in the summer.

 

I was born and raised in Paterson, and except for about 5 years in NYC, lived in the area until moving to Israel.

 

Keep those questions coming :)

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Hi Judy

 

Thanks for all the information. We will be in Israel in October off the Rotterdam VI.

 

We are in Haifa from 8 am to 11 pm and then Ashdod from 6 am to 8 pm. Is there enough time to see both Old Jerusalem and the Dead Sea on the one day? How long a drive is it from Ashdod to Jerusalem? I'm quite confused about distances.

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Thanks for all the information. We will be in Israel in October off the Rotterdam VI.

 

We are in Haifa from 8 am to 11 pm and then Ashdod from 6 am to 8 pm. Is there enough time to see both Old Jerusalem and the Dead Sea on the one day? How long a drive is it from Ashdod to Jerusalem? I'm quite confused about distances.

 

Depending on traffic, it will take about 90 minutes (or longer) to get from Ashdod to the Old City; then it's at least another 60 minutes from the Old City to the Dead Sea. (There may be a shortcut to get from the Dead Sea to Ashdod so that you don't have to go back via Jerusalem, but I'm not sure.)

 

[The driving distance from Ashdod to Jerusalem is less than 50 miles, but that's just to the entrance of Jerusalem- you'll have to drive thru downtown traffic to get to the Old City (in addition to any rush hour traffic you'll hit on the way to Jerusalem).]

 

You'll want to take 2-3 hours to tour the Old City- I'm not sure if you have a particular religious slant that you'll want to take, but in any case between the 4 quarters of the Old City, and the souk, there is a lot to see and absorb.

 

You could fit in a trip to the Dead Sea as well, but it will be an exhausting and somewhat hurried day. Figure if the ship docks on time, the earliest you could be in Jerusalem would be 8AM, and maybe a bit later because of rush hour. 3 hours in the Old City, then 60 minutes to the Dead Sea is already approaching 1PM, and you have to be back at the ship by 7PM, so you'd have to start heading back to Ashdod by 5PM. Do you want to see Masada? Float in the Dead Sea (it's a lot of fun!)? Stop for a camel ride along the way? The drive from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea is breathtaking, and you'll want to stop for photo ops along the way as well.

 

Just out of curiosity- is your ship offering any shore excursions that include both the Old City and the Dead Sea? That might give you a clue as to whether it's really doable. They are both 'must see' places, but I've never taken any visiting friends to both on the same day. Personally, I'd lean toward skipping the Dead Sea and focusing on both old and new Jerusalem, but I can understand why you'd want to squeeze in both if you were able.

 

HTH!

 

Ruth

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Hi Ruth

 

We will be visiting Israel in October. I have been trying to find out how to travel from the port of Ashdod to Jerusalem without using an organised tour. Depending on who wants to go with us we could be any number from 2 to 10. What sort of price would a taxi be? Is Sheroot a possibility? Is there a bus or train service?

 

We like to 'do our own thing' so generally don't take tours. My rough idea once we get to Jerusalem to to take the hop on hop off bus and explore what we want. May also book a tunnel tours.

 

Really looking forward to our visit. Last time we were in Israel was 26 years ago for our honeymoon. Shame on us for taking so long to come back!

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Hi Ruth,

 

We cruised to Israel last summer and loved it so much that we a comming back this September for 3 weeks. We docked in Haifa over night and hired a private guide to show us around we stated at the Dan Panaroma after touring Jeruselem and then went to Masada and the Dead Sea. We could use so halp on this years trip. Can you help?

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Hi Ruth

 

We will be visiting Israel in October. I have been trying to find out how to travel from the port of Ashdod to Jerusalem without using an organised tour. Depending on who wants to go with us we could be any number from 2 to 10. What sort of price would a taxi be? Is Sheroot a possibility? Is there a bus or train service?

 

We like to 'do our own thing' so generally don't take tours. My rough idea once we get to Jerusalem to to take the hop on hop off bus and explore what we want. May also book a tunnel tours.

 

Really looking forward to our visit. Last time we were in Israel was 26 years ago for our honeymoon. Shame on us for taking so long to come back!

 

I think doing the 'hop on/off bus' is a great idea, as are the tunnel tours. I finally did the tunnel tours last year with visiting friends, and it was fantastic. The on/off bus has a stop by the central bus station, so if you take a bus in from Ashdod you'll be all set.

 

I've only gone to Ashdod by car, but there certainly are buses that run to Jerusalem. I would imagine there will be cabs at the port, and they can take you to the bus station in Ashdod. There might be a sherut that runs from Ashdod to Jerusalem as well; either the cab driver can tell you about it and take you to a stop, or there might even be one waiting at the port. Sorry I can't be of more help, but I'm not even sure where the cruise ships dock in Ashdod- I've only been to the cargo terminal.

 

Because of the distance and traffic from Ashdod to Jerusalem, you might want to check the shore excursions offered, so that you don't have to worry about racing back to the ship after the day of touring.

 

(I know I've mentioned that to others, and I want to assure you that I don't work for the cruise line!)

 

BTW- for anyone who is reading this who doesn't know what a 'sherut' is:

it's a shared van. They are very popular in Israel; some follow the regular bus routes, others offer alternate transport between cities. I use them all the time to get to/from the airport.

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Hi Ruth,

 

We cruised to Israel last summer and loved it so much that we a comming back this September for 3 weeks. We docked in Haifa over night and hired a private guide to show us around we stated at the Dan Panaroma after touring Jeruselem and then went to Masada and the Dead Sea. We could use so halp on this years trip. Can you help?

 

Hi Steve,

 

3 weeks in Israel- great for you! I'm not sure what sort of help you are looking for; give me an idea and I'll be happy to give some advice.

 

BTW- if you are going to be here mid-September, keep in mind that the High Holy Days (Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur) are at that time, so there will be a few days when tourist sites are closed.

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I think doing the 'hop on/off bus' is a great idea, as are the tunnel tours. I finally did the tunnel tours last year with visiting friends, and it was fantastic. The on/off bus has a stop by the central bus station, so if you take a bus in from Ashdod you'll be all set.

 

I've only gone to Ashdod by car, but there certainly are buses that run to Jerusalem. I would imagine there will be cabs at the port, and they can take you to the bus station in Ashdod. There might be a sherut that runs from Ashdod to Jerusalem as well; either the cab driver can tell you about it and take you to a stop, or there might even be one waiting at the port. Sorry I can't be of more help, but I'm not even sure where the cruise ships dock in Ashdod- I've only been to the cargo terminal.

 

Because of the distance and traffic from Ashdod to Jerusalem, you might want to check the shore excursions offered, so that you don't have to worry about racing back to the ship after the day of touring.

 

(I know I've mentioned that to others, and I want to assure you that I don't work for the cruise line!)

 

BTW- for anyone who is reading this who doesn't know what a 'sherut' is:

it's a shared van. They are very popular in Israel; some follow the regular bus routes, others offer alternate transport between cities. I use them all the time to get to/from the airport.

Thanks Ruth.

That was very helpful. I'll check out the cruise tours but they do usually work out considerably more expensive than do it yourself. We have done a few cruises now and normally find public transport is a good option although I always do as much advanced research as possible hence my question

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I am looking at a cruise to Israel in July as I can only travel in July and August. Will the heat be unbearable?

 

It depends on where you're from, and what sort of weather you are used to.

 

I'm originally from northern New Jersey, where we had hot, humid summers, and now, living in the Jerusalem hills, I don't have a need for air conditioning in my home (don't worry, everything all over Israel is air conditioned in the summer!). But, I find summers in Tel Aviv unbearable- very hot and very, very,very humid. Then again, a few hundred thousand people live in Tel Aviv and they manage!

 

As long as you wear a hat, use lots of sunscreen and DRINK WATER ALL THE TIME (I can't emphasis that enough!), you should be able to tour with little or no problem. You can plan your sightseeing around avoiding the outdoors during the hottest hours of the afternoon.

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Thank you for all your wonderful information. We will be on the Equinox and docking in Haifa October 29th and Ashdod on Friday October 30th. I have been in touch with a tour group, Gama tours and they suggested doing on Thursday Bahai Gardens, Massada, Dead Sea and Ein Gedi and back to the ship. Then on Friday doing Yad Vashem Western wall tunnels, old city, Kotel and the Jewish Quater and the Davidson Center. Is all this possible on a Friday? I have never been to Israel and am so excited I can hardly wait till October rolls around. Thank you for your help.

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Thank you for all your wonderful information. We will be on the Equinox and docking in Haifa October 29th and Ashdod on Friday October 30th. I have been in touch with a tour group, Gama tours and they suggested doing on Thursday Bahai Gardens, Massada, Dead Sea and Ein Gedi and back to the ship. Then on Friday doing Yad Vashem Western wall tunnels, old city, Kotel and the Jewish Quater and the Davidson Center. Is all this possible on a Friday? I have never been to Israel and am so excited I can hardly wait till October rolls around. Thank you for your help.

 

That's a VERY ambitious schedule (although I think there is someone on the 'tour companies in Israel' thread that said they had done something similar a couple of years ago).

 

That first day, you'll be spending several hours traveling, as Masada is about a 4 hour drive from Haifa.

 

To be honest, if you can swing it, I'd suggest you plan to spend the night in Jerusalem- you could easily fill a few hours in the evening/night walking around, touring, eating a great dinner, shopping, and then people-watching in a cafe.

 

The first day go to the Bahai Gardens, which are lovely, and then Masada/Dead Sea/Ein Gedi as planned. Then, instead of traveling 4 hours back to Haifa, you'd spend the night in Jerusalem. [You might even be able to take the tunnel tour at night, depending on how they are scheuled; we did it at night last year with visiting friends; and the kotel is right there, so you would see that on Thursday night, too. And, if you still have the energy, then you could also walk thru the Jewish Quarter at that time, and also walk along the walls.]

 

By staying in Jerusalem Thursday night, you can take advantage of one of our favorite things to do- the shuk at Machane Yehuda, which is in full swing and chaos on Fridays (we're there every Friday; just got back home a short while ago :-))- you'll be gawking, tasting, and laughing your way thru the shuk as you fight the crowds. It's a lot of fun, and delicious!

 

If you were able to do the tunnel tours Thurday night, then on Friday you'd have time to do the shuk, Yad VaShem, the Davidson Center, and the Old City. That's still a very full day, but doable, especially if you don't have to get back to the ship until the evening. After 4 or 5pm on Friday, you'll hit little traffic, so the trip to Ashdod from Jerusalem might only take an hour.

 

[Just to give you an idea where I'm 'coming from', last spring I traveled around the US for a month. While I was in San Francisco, I took a day tour to Yosemite. It was a 12 hour day, about 10 of which were spent in the bus driving to Yosemite and back. While I certainly am happy I took that tour, and still have clear images of the beautiful scenery along the way, and of course of the Yosemite highlights, I was already kicking myself in the park, and I'm still kicking myself, for not choosing the overnight tour. When you only have a day to see a special place, you have no choice but to run and grab what you can, but if you have a chance to stay the night, it's an opportunity that shouldn't be missed.]

 

I'm not saying that returning to the ship the first night can't be done- it's that staying overnight in Jerusalem will give you a chance to get a taste of the modern city as well, and that instead of spending the hours in the van returning to ship in Haifa, and then commuting to Jerusalem from Ashdod the next morning, you could spend that time touring, relaxing, and really 'feeling' that you have been in Jerusalem.

 

HTH!

 

Ruth

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Hello, thankyou for starting this thread it is very informative. Due to family commitments, this cruise has been on, then off and now on again! I am hoping it stays that way!

 

We arrive in Ashdod on a Sunday at 10am and depart at 10pm and then on the Monday we arrive in Haifa 7am, depart 9pm.

 

My husband worked on a farm near Be'er Sheva one summer many years ago and afterwards travelled for a while. He talks of Masada, tractors and melons! I wondered if you could suggest an itinerary that would include Masada and Jerusalem... not bothered about the tractors or melons!

 

We willl have 3 children with us. Although budget is important (Egypt overnight to pay for also!), I don't want to miss this opportunity of visiting Israel so would stay in a hotel if necessary. We only have 2 days and I don't wan't to rush round trying to see everything, just the main tourist sights in Jerusalem and Masada/Dead Sea would be great!

 

Should we return to the ship or stay overnight in a hotel? Could you suggest ways of doing either option please? ie what places to visit from which port and public transport vs taxi or private tour.

 

Sorry for so many questions. Thankyou!!

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Thank you for your suggestions. We had thought about staying in Jerusalem and then starting our next day of touring right from there. It is a good idea and we are going to discuss it being that I heard that the traffic is horrible to Jerusalem and back to the port. Again thanks Marilyn

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Hello, thankyou for starting this thread it is very informative. Due to family commitments, this cruise has been on, then off and now on again! I am hoping it stays that way!

 

We arrive in Ashdod on a Sunday at 10am and depart at 10pm and then on the Monday we arrive in Haifa 7am, depart 9pm.

 

My husband worked on a farm near Be'er Sheva one summer many years ago and afterwards travelled for a while. He talks of Masada, tractors and melons! I wondered if you could suggest an itinerary that would include Masada and Jerusalem... not bothered about the tractors or melons!

 

We willl have 3 children with us. Although budget is important (Egypt overnight to pay for also!), I don't want to miss this opportunity of visiting Israel so would stay in a hotel if necessary. We only have 2 days and I don't wan't to rush round trying to see everything, just the main tourist sights in Jerusalem and Masada/Dead Sea would be great!

 

Should we return to the ship or stay overnight in a hotel? Could you suggest ways of doing either option please? ie what places to visit from which port and public transport vs taxi or private tour.

 

Sorry for so many questions. Thankyou!!

 

 

Hi! First, please read thru my previous responses (especially the one right before yours ;)), and you'll see lots of suggestions.

 

How old are your children? Do you want to gear your touring to them? There are several things you can add to your touring (some I have mentioned previously, too), including a short stimulator ride of Jerusalem history, a camel ride, and Mini Israel, which I highly recommend. Across from mini-Israel is the Latrun Tank Corp Museum, which kids (and adults) also enjoy. And they'll love floating in the Dead Sea!

 

I'm happy to answer questions, but it's easier for me if you're a bit more specific :)

 

Ruth

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I'm happy to answer questions, but it's easier for me if you're a bit more specific :)

 

Ruth

 

Thanks Ruth, sorry to be a bit vague!

 

I've re-read through the thread and it's a great help. No, no need to structure our visit round our children, they are happy to go where we decide. But I think they (and I) would love floating in the Dead Sea so we will definitely do that! I think now we will wait to see what excursions the ship offers before we decide.

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Hi Ruth,

Our daughter attended Hebrew U on Mt Scopus. I visited her there, but this will be my husband's first time. How long will it take to get from Haifa to Jerusalem by car? What are must see sights (Jewish) in Jerusalem and where else could we go for the day? I think we would want to return to the ship at night.

Marilyn

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Hi Ruth,

Our daughter attended Hebrew U on Mt Scopus. I visited her there, but this will be my husband's first time. How long will it take to get from Haifa to Jerusalem by car? What are must see sights (Jewish) in Jerusalem and where else could we go for the day? I think we would want to return to the ship at night.

Marilyn

 

Hi Marilyn,

 

With traffic, the drive from Haifa to downtown Jerusalem and the Old City is about 3 hours. With that long a drive, and only a day to tour, I'd suggest you limit yourself to the Old City. Going to the Western Wall (the Kotel), and walking around the Jewish Quarter, will take at least 2 hours and you could easily spend an entire day roaming around the Old City and still not see it all!

 

I also highly recommend Mini Israel, which is on the main highway (Rt 1), about a half hour from Jerusalem. [i'm concerned people are going to start thinking I work for Mini Israel, as I keep recommending people go see it, but I don't- I just was so impressed with it the time I was there, that I think everyone should see it!] Here's the link to their website: http://www.minisrael.co.il/home_en.html

 

If you'd rather not make the long trip to Jerusalem, there are plenty of other great sites to see within 90 minutes' drive, or less, of Haifa. You could go to Safed, or to the Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee), or up to Rosh HaNikra at the Lebanon border. The town of Zichron Yaakov, less than an hour from Haifa, was founded by Baron Rothschild, and is a lovely place, with restaurants, galleries, and a winery. Going a bit further south, you could go to Ceasaria, or even to Tel Aviv (a bit longer drive, but also a somewhat manageable day trip).

 

There's also plenty to see within the greater Haifa area itself- the Bahai Gardens, Druze villages, and museums.

 

HTH!

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Just wanted to mention that in a couple of weeks I'll be leaving on a 2 month trip :), so if you have any simmering questions, ask them now!

 

I'll check in here every couple of days until March 15; then not again until the end of May.

 

Enjoy your days, and your travels!

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Thank you Ruth. We live in NJ where as you know summers can get quite hot and humid and our friends traveling with us are from Arizona where it gets really hot! I have been to Palm Springs Ca when it was 116 Degrees and loved it. And found it comroftable Israel in Aug. on last years cruise. The reason we are spending a week in Elait at Club In is that I have a time share week to use and so it's almost free. And we love the beach and wanted to see Petra.

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Hi Ruth,

 

I'm going to be stopping in Haifa and Ashdod on a May cruise. If I just wanted to explore these port towns, what do you recommend for must-see activities? Also, are these walking cities, or would I need to hire a taxi or take a bus to get around? Thanks!

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We are doing the exact trip as the OP..I have a hotel in Jerusalem and am wondering if how much a taxi from Asdod and return to Haifa would be..we are perfectly capable of sightseeing on our own with the list I have from another board..or does someone have a very inexpensive guide for the 2 days..

Thanks,

Jancruz1

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Just wanted to mention that in a couple of weeks I'll be leaving on a 2 month trip :), so if you have any simmering questions, ask them now!

 

I'll check in here every couple of days until March 15; then not again until the end of May.

 

Enjoy your days, and your travels!

 

 

Hi all,

 

Just checking in for a few moments; sorry- no time to answer questions right now. Please keep in mind that I'm on the road for a couple of months :). I'll be happy to answer q's when I return home at the end of May.

 

Happy travels!

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Hi everyone,

 

I wanted to introduce myself and let you know I'd be happy to answer questions you have about Israel and visiting Israel. (I'm not a travel agent nor am I associated with any agent, I'm just a smiling resident happy to help out.)

 

I moved to Israel from New Jersey almost 10 years ago, and live in a Jerusalem suburb. [i'm about to take my first cruise- to the Mexican Riviera :-).]

 

I'll try to check this board a couple of times a week, and while I'm sure I don't have the answers to all your questions, I'll be happy to answer those I can.

 

Israel is a beautiful country, and I'm sure you're going to love every moment of it!

 

[That's a pic of my town in my signature- we live in the Jerusalem hills.]

 

 

Hi,

We will be in Ashdod and Haifa in November and are looking to rent cars in both cities. The problem we are having is that all car rental agencies that I can find close at 6pm and we need the car until 8:30. Do you have any ideas? To give you history, my entire family is Israeli and I speak fluent americanized Hebrew, and have been to Israel many times, so getting around will not be a problem.

 

Thanks for your help in advance.

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Hi Ruth,

 

I'm going to be stopping in Haifa and Ashdod on a May cruise. If I just wanted to explore these port towns, what do you recommend for must-see activities? Also, are these walking cities, or would I need to hire a taxi or take a bus to get around? Thanks!

 

As far as I know, there's not all that much to see or do in Ashdod, though the only part of Ashdod I've been to is the beach across from a shopping mall. The beach was lovely, the mall small and pleasant (and, btw, a great place to get Israeli food- such as falafel and shwarma) but, I haven't been there in a few years....

 

Haifa is another story altogether- it's a nice sized city built on hills (it's often called the Middle East 'San Francisco'). You should definitely plan on seeing the Bahai Gardens, and there's a lovely promenade high on the hilltop. I also haven't been to Haifa in a while, but if the 'Carmalit' is still running- it's sort of a subway that runs uphill, inside the mountain- it's a great way to get around, and a fun experience. Haifa also has lots of beaches, and some great museums, too, as well as a neighborhood of Templar homes. I always got around by bus and Carmelit, but taxis in Israel aren't terribly expensive.

 

Yikes! I just realized that you said you would be in Israel in May- have you come and gone already??!! If so, what did you wind up doing?

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We are doing the exact trip as the OP..I have a hotel in Jerusalem and am wondering if how much a taxi from Asdod and return to Haifa would be..we are perfectly capable of sightseeing on our own with the list I have from another board..or does someone have a very inexpensive guide for the 2 days..

Thanks,

Jancruz1

 

 

Hi,

 

Sorry, but I have absolutely no idea how much the taxi fare for your trips would be! There may be sherut (shared van) service from Ashdod to Jerusalem, and from Jerusalem to Haifa (I think that's what you are looking for, yes?), but again, I don't know the cost. I do know that the cost for a sherut from Jerusalem to Ben Gurion airport (near Tel Aviv) is 50-60 shekels (about $15). [From the airport, you can get a sherut to Haifa.] Your hotel in Jerusalem might have more information, and also be able to make the arrangements. (A cab ride from Jerusalem to the airport is about 200 shekels, btw.)

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Hi,

We will be in Ashdod and Haifa in November and are looking to rent cars in both cities. The problem we are having is that all car rental agencies that I can find close at 6pm and we need the car until 8:30. Do you have any ideas? To give you history, my entire family is Israeli and I speak fluent americanized Hebrew, and have been to Israel many times, so getting around will not be a problem.

 

Thanks for your help in advance.

 

You might want to see if the car rental agencies would let you drop off the car after regular hours. Sometimes they have a drop box for the keys. Or, you might try a smaller, local agency- I've heard they are usually more flexible. {Sorry, but I don't have the names of any of the smaller rental agencies, but you might try finding one online, or by posting to one of the Anglo listservs in Israel (you can find them with a Google search.}

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You might want to see if the car rental agencies would let you drop off the car after regular hours. Sometimes they have a drop box for the keys. Or, you might try a smaller, local agency- I've heard they are usually more flexible. {Sorry, but I don't have the names of any of the smaller rental agencies, but you might try finding one online, or by posting to one of the Anglo listservs in Israel (you can find them with a Google search.}

 

Thanks we have tried that, I tried Tamir, Shlomo, Eldan and a couple of others. None of them allow after hours drop offs. I think in Ashdod, we are going to rent a car at 8am and drive to the dead sea, float for a bit and then head over to Jerusalem. We will have about 4 hours to see as much of the Old City as we can and then head back to the ship.

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Welcome back Ruth! I hope you had a great trip.

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I think in Ashdod, we are going to rent a car at 8am and drive to the dead sea, float for a bit and then head over to Jerusalem. We will have about 4 hours to see as much of the Old City as we can and then head back to the ship.

 

Sounds like a good plan to me!

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Welcome back Ruth! I hope you had a great trip.

 

 

Thanks, Jan- it was terrific! Paris, NY, Los Angeles, the Mexican Riviera cruise, hiking north of San Francisco...and I got to spend loads of time with my grandchildren :)

 

I'm already planning my fall trip :D

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Rutherford NJ Here!

 

We're on the Equinox coming to Haifa on August 25th, out of Ashdod on the 26th. I'm looking at a private tour / driver to get us around. Is this what you'd recommend? Here is the itinerary:

 

Driving from Haifa you will go first to Nazareth where you will visit the Church of the Annunciation and from here you'll go to Cana where you will visit the Wedding Church. After seeing Cana, you will head next to the Mt. of Beatitudes and Capernaum. You'll visit the Baptismal Site on the Jordan River and go from there through the Jordan Valley, passing by Jericho on the way to Jerusalem. Once in Israel's beautiful capitol city you will drive to one of the panoramic viewpoints (either Mt. of Olives or Mt. Scopus) and then you'll head to your hotel where you'll check in and spend the night. After a good night's sleep, you will check out of your hotel and begin your second full day tour, beginning with a tour of the Old City of Jerusalem beginning with Mt. Zion, then on to the Jewish Quarter (the Cardo, the Western Wall), the Christian Quarter (the Via Dolorosa and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre), the Arab Quarter (with its terrific markets) and Jaffa Gate. Then you'll go on a driving sightseeing tour of the modern western side of the city, seeing during this part of your tour Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum; then you'll head out of Jerusalem and drive on to Ashdod.

This is a pricey 1300 USD! Is there a better value or group out there? This is avitours. Thanks so much -

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Rutherford NJ Here!

 

We're on the Equinox coming to Haifa on August 25th, out of Ashdod on the 26th. I'm looking at a private tour / driver to get us around. Is this what you'd recommend? Here is the itinerary:

Driving from Haifa you will go first to Nazareth where you will visit the Church of the Annunciation and from here you'll go to Cana where you will visit the Wedding Church. After seeing Cana, you will head next to the Mt. of Beatitudes and Capernaum. You'll visit the Baptismal Site on the Jordan River and go from there through the Jordan Valley, passing by Jericho on the way to Jerusalem. Once in Israel's beautiful capitol city you will drive to one of the panoramic viewpoints (either Mt. of Olives or Mt. Scopus) and then you'll head to your hotel where you'll check in and spend the night. After a good night's sleep, you will check out of your hotel and begin your second full day tour, beginning with a tour of the Old City of Jerusalem beginning with Mt. Zion, then on to the Jewish Quarter (the Cardo, the Western Wall), the Christian Quarter (the Via Dolorosa and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre), the Arab Quarter (with its terrific markets) and Jaffa Gate. Then you'll go on a driving sightseeing tour of the modern western side of the city, seeing during this part of your tour Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum; then you'll head out of Jerusalem and drive on to Ashdod.

This is a pricey 1300 USD! Is there a better value or group out there? This is avitours. Thanks so much -

 

Hi!

 

The itinerary of your tour sounds great to me. As to the cost, I really don't have an idea of what guides are charging. How many people are you booking the tour for? Do you need more than one hotel room? Do you know the name of the hotel where you'll staying overnight in Jerusalem? Is the cost of the hotel included in the price? [if it is, you can easily find what the rates are for that hotel for the night.]

 

I know there are a couple of threads on tour guides in Israel; I think you'll find someone there who can tell you if the price you've been quoted is reasonable.

 

Sorry I couldn't be more helpful! But, please don't hesitate to ask me more questions- I'm happy to help (whenever I can).

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Just thought I'd mention-

 

If you're going to be traveling from Jerusalem to Ashdod, you'll be traveling right past the town where I live.

 

I live in Mevaseret Zion, which is the first town outside Jerusalem. You'll see it on your right, after the first few turns as you leave the city. You'll see red-roofed homes cascading down a green mountainside (although the first glimpse will be of our newest neighborhood, which is more densly built).

 

[The first town you see on the right as you leave Jerusalem is actually part of Jerusalem itself. It's called Ramot, and spreads across several hilltops. Then you'll see a Palestinian town, and then, around the next bend, Mevaseret comes into view.]

 

That's a photo of my town in my signature, and you can read about it here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mevaseret_Zion

 

Quick note: the article refers to Mevaseret as a 'settlement'- that seems to be the term the article uses for 'town'.

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