Jump to content

Cruise Critic member in Israel, happy to answer questions


Recommended Posts

  • 3 months later...

I have moved my cancelled April 2020 Dubai to Venice cruise to April 2021.  I thought the hardest part was going to be respecting Ramadan, but the itinerary has us in Haifa on a Friday/Saturday  so public transport is going to be challenging to visit Jerusalem.  There is only me, so private taxi back to port on Saturday is pricey, and the local shared vans go to Tel Aviv then Haifa and wait until full - so a little risky.

At present, there is no ship tour to Jerusalem listed, though something might come up on the Roll Call, but as it is MSC, the roll call was pretty small for 2020's sailing.

I could live without Jerusalem, but with 2 days in port, it seems such a loss to not try to take advantage of the time.

I may just visit Haifa and arrange a bird guide for Saturday for the day, but open to suggestions or alternative.

Thanks.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bennybear said:

Just wondering how doable a trip to Masada is from either Haifa or Ashdod?  

I have been to Israel in 1985 and flew into Tel Aviv, then took land transport to Jerusalem.  That wasn't too bad.

However, Masada is a good distance farther South of Jerusalem.  I suspect that it might be difficult to do Masada from a cruise port.

 

Gate 1 has some great tours of Israel.  Check them out.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, 4774Papa said:

I have been to Israel in 1985 and flew into Tel Aviv, then took land transport to Jerusalem.  That wasn't too bad.

However, Masada is a good distance farther South of Jerusalem.  I suspect that it might be difficult to do Masada from a cruise port.

 

Gate 1 has some great tours of Israel.  Check them out.

Masada is a lot closer to Ashdod than to Haifa. Transportation would be the issue.

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, mef_57 said:

I have moved my cancelled April 2020 Dubai to Venice cruise to April 2021.  I thought the hardest part was going to be respecting Ramadan, but the itinerary has us in Haifa on a Friday/Saturday  so public transport is going to be challenging to visit Jerusalem.  There is only me, so private taxi back to port on Saturday is pricey, and the local shared vans go to Tel Aviv then Haifa and wait until full - so a little risky.

At present, there is no ship tour to Jerusalem listed, though something might come up on the Roll Call, but as it is MSC, the roll call was pretty small for 2020's sailing.

I could live without Jerusalem, but with 2 days in port, it seems such a loss to not try to take advantage of the time.

I may just visit Haifa and arrange a bird guide for Saturday for the day, but open to suggestions or alternative.

Thanks.

That's a tough one, mef_57. The first thought that came to my mind is renting a car, but I don't know if any rental car offices in Haifa are open on Saturdays. Maybe, just maybe, you could take the train to Ben-Gurion Airport on Friday, rent the car from and return it there, and then take a shared taxi from the airport back to Haifa on Saturday.
All in all, it might be easier and might not cost that much more to hire a guide/private/small group tour. Or, you might want to "nag" MSC into offering a tour to Jerusalem.

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, bennybear said:

Just wondering how doable a trip to Masada is from either Haifa or Ashdod?  

In one day, from either port would be difficult using public transportation; maybe renting a car would work. Over two days, depending on the ship's docking/departing schedule, you could look into Masada tours offered by, for example, Abraham Hostels/Tours or Egged Tours.
If trying to do it in one day, you would likely be at Masada in the middle of the day. There is very little shade on top of the mountain. During the summer, it could be uncomfortably hot for you. While there is a visitors center on the east side of the site - which could take longer to get to/from - sometimes they do close the trails and maybe the top of the mountain due to heat.

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, jlajr said:

That's a tough one, mef_57. The first thought that came to my mind is renting a car, but I don't know if any rental car offices in Haifa are open on Saturdays. Maybe, just maybe, you could take the train to Ben-Gurion Airport on Friday, rent the car from and return it there, and then take a shared taxi from the airport back to Haifa on Saturday.
All in all, it might be easier and might not cost that much more to hire a guide/private/small group tour. Or, you might want to "nag" MSC into offering a tour to Jerusalem.

As mentioned, other than the airport, rental car offices are closed Saturdays; but heading to the airport to rent one is an option.  It still is time consuming and given I need to wait for the shared taxi to be full before it leaves, that is a little more nerve wracking to catch a ship. 

MSC is not known for its North American customer service, or websites, but it seems during covid they focused on it and now the Canadian site actually looks efficient for a change.  Numerous tours listed; but it may not be complete.  I would be surprised if they never added Jerusalem.  

I think I just need patience, but I thought I would reach out to see if anyone had private driver recommendations, or some option I hadn't heard about.

Thanks.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 9 months later...

I have been to Israel (2019) and want to do something different on our day from the port of Haifa. I'd like to go to Caesarea Philippi and go back to some of the Galilee to explore a few of those sites more carefully. We don't want to drive ourselves.  Any recommendations. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is very good public transportation from the Port of Haifa, if you want to go that route. You could go up to Acre, for example, by train - although the station is not right next to the Old City. Similarly, there is a train station in Binyamina, about a 15-20 minute drive from Caesarea. The question then becomes, how to get there and back. Taxi or maybe bus. Google Maps is almost always accurate regarding public transportation, in my experience. Then, the question becomes, how much time do you have.
On the other hand, I can recommend a good friend of mine who is a tour guide - https://www.garytheguide.com/.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Haven't read all the posts, but is it feasible to get from the ship in Haifa to the Haifa/Akko ferry, do some sightseeing in Akko, (Crusader Fort, et al), and back to the ship in one day?  

 

(Perhaps ferry one way and public transport the other?)

 

Thanks..much appreciated.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Assuming the ship docks at the cruise ship terminal at the Port of Haifa, the Haifa-Akko ferry departs from the same gate (5) as the terminal. For more information, including the schedule, see http://www.malkatakko.co.il/קו-השייט-עכו-חיפה. It's in Hebrew, but if you are using Chrome, you should be able to use Google Translate. The Akko train station is about a 20-minute walk or a short bus / taxi ride away away from the Old City walls: https://goo.gl/maps/mkE3kaXPtzxYYujL7.

Untitled.png

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, jlajr said:

Assuming the ship docks at the cruise ship terminal at the Port of Haifa, the Haifa-Akko ferry departs from the same gate (5) as the terminal. For more information, including the schedule, see http://www.malkatakko.co.il/קו-השייט-עכו-חיפה. It's in Hebrew, but if you are using Chrome, you should be able to use Google Translate. The Akko train station is about a 20-minute walk or a short bus / taxi ride away away from the Old City walls: https://goo.gl/maps/mkE3kaXPtzxYYujL7.

Untitled.png

Thank you very much, greatly appreciated.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Happy trailer,

I am taking a cruyise next year which takes in Israel. A lunch in a hotel in Jerusalem is included in the excursion. I am totally unaware of what kind of food they have in Israel. I have a dickey stomach, very sensitive. Will I be able to have plain non-spicy food or even gluten free ?? 

 

Thank You, Flysail cool cruiser senior citizen

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, flysail said:

Hi Happy trailer,

I am taking a cruyise next year which takes in Israel. A lunch in a hotel in Jerusalem is included in the excursion. I am totally unaware of what kind of food they have in Israel. I have a dickey stomach, very sensitive. Will I be able to have plain non-spicy food or even gluten free ?? 

 

Thank You, Flysail cool cruiser senior citizen

I recommend notifying the cruise line / excursion operator. There's plenty of non-spicy and gluten-free food available in Israel - for example, plain humous and plain tehina - but that lunch might not include any without a special request.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

We are scheduled to spend 4 days in Jerusalem after a cruise in May of 2022. What is the situation there in terms of unrest? We have tried several times to do Holy Lands and always a problem. At age 76 hoping this time we can do this as on our bucket list. Staying at King David hotel and have a tour guide each day. They are meeting at port in Haifa . Tour Israel is the company. Fill us in on what is happening as far as Covid and will we need to be tested in order to leave country? Any info would be helpful.

 

Kandy and Ron from Texas

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, jhenry1 said:

We are scheduled to spend 4 days in Jerusalem after a cruise in May of 2022. What is the situation there in terms of unrest? We have tried several times to do Holy Lands and always a problem. At age 76 hoping this time we can do this as on our bucket list. Staying at King David hotel and have a tour guide each day. They are meeting at port in Haifa . Tour Israel is the company. Fill us in on what is happening as far as Covid and will we need to be tested in order to leave country? Any info would be helpful.

 

Kandy and Ron from Texas

I visited Israel in 1985 around Christmas time.   It was amazing, we were in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve.

 

Four days in Jerusalem is what I did back then and you can see a lot of Jerusalem in that time.   Did a trip to Bethlehem and Hebron (tensions were high there).

 

When we visited, it was after an Egypt trip that included a Nile Cruise.   We only had 30 passengers on the boat that held 100, due to the terrorist attack on a cruise ship in the Med.   Many cancelled because of that attack, we did the trip anyway.   We were fine.  Israel in my opinion is one of the safest countries due to a low crime rate.   Yes, there are times when HAMAS decides to fire rockets into Israel.   This does happen, but it doesn't go on all the time.   If you want to see Israel, you have to just do it and hope one of those rocket attacks doesn't happen while you are there.  Also, those attacks almost never hit Jerusalem.

 

In four days you can take in the amazing city with its centuries of history.  It is amazing.

 

My Wife hasn't been there, so we have a tour with Gate 1 in March 2022 for 14 days in Israel and Jordan.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/19/2021 at 3:21 PM, jhenry1 said:

We are scheduled to spend 4 days in Jerusalem after a cruise in May of 2022. What is the situation there in terms of unrest? We have tried several times to do Holy Lands and always a problem. At age 76 hoping this time we can do this as on our bucket list. Staying at King David hotel and have a tour guide each day. They are meeting at port in Haifa . Tour Israel is the company. Fill us in on what is happening as far as Covid and will we need to be tested in order to leave country? Any info would be helpful.

 

Kandy and Ron from Texas

The situation(s) in May 2022 could be very different than the situation(s) right now. I know that makes planning difficult.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Thank You for 25 Years - Click for Fun Stuff!
      • Forum Assistance
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: American Queen Steamboat Company - Celebrate Your Freedom
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com - June 2021
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...