I am a new member, like you, and looking at the posts I saw your message. I agree that the one advantage of cruise ship tours is that they will wait for you if you are late. After extensive research organizing our tour, I realized that serious private tour providers work a lot with cruise passengers. If you tell them when you want to be back, they organize your tour so as to see the most without any risk of being late.
On the other hand, cruise ship’s itineraries usually are so common, inflexible and crowded that they become tiring. Not to mention, that there will always be someone who will be late and make the whole group wait for him because he knows that they can’t leave him behind!
My family and I were in Athens in April 2009 (3 adults and 3 children.) We chose a private tour and greatly enjoyed it. We used a van and avoided the crowds, and we saw extraordinary cultural sites that we wouldn’t have seen with big tour buses. Sometimes we were even dropped off at the entrance of the sites. As we had our kids and my mother-in-law with us, we were able to make changes in our itinerary according to our needs. Although some say that private tours are very costly, for the six of us it was less expensive than the ship’s tour.
So, if you are still looking for a private tour in Athens, you might want to check out the following website: www.privategreecetours.com
. We had Nikos Loukas as our private driver guide. He was deeply knowledgeable, very informative and always eager to help. We strongly recommend him.
I wish you a great time and I hope that I was helpful.