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mamaclark 04-24-2010 03:56 PM

We are cruising on Oceania for the first time this September - Athens to Istanbul. I have read many helpful reviews, but I am totally clueless about the logistics of excursions. Are most of the ports docks or do we require launches? I am trying to get a sense of whether we are stuck on shore all day (if not on an excursion), if launches run periodically in the smaller ports, etc. They do not seem to address that in any of the FAQs for the line or cruise review, critics line. Our ports are Nauplion, Zakinthos, Corfuu, Katakolon, Monemvasia, Aghios Nikolaos (Crete), Rhodes, Santorinia, Greece, Delos, Mykonos, Kusadasi (Turkey). If anyone out there has taken this tour, I would appreciate your help. This is a great forum!

Dave 04-24-2010 04:07 PM

Welcome to cruise-chat.

I can't speak to the ports but I can tell you that if it is a tendering port (launches), the tenders will go back and forth throughout the visit, typically every 20 minutes to half hour once the initial movement of passengers to shore is completed. Thus it is possible to go ashore, come back to the ship, and then return to shore again if you wish.

mamaclark 04-24-2010 04:09 PM

Thank you for such a prompt response. There are days we might want to jump back and forth as we have up to 12 hours in port. So excited, can't wait and hope Oceania Athens-Istanbul is as good as the reviews.

Dave 04-24-2010 04:32 PM

Oceania is a premium line and I have no doubt you will love cruising with them.

alexandra cruiser 04-25-2010 07:12 AM

I love Oceania,have been on a few cruises with them, the majority of ports have launches, think a few MAY be at dock,,,but do get down early for launch or wait till 1 after first,so not crowded and have to wait in line.Also, many of these ports can be seen on your own for less than ship excursions,but must get guidebook,like Rick Steves or Fodors, to see what to do and how to do it...many you can just walk to towns or take taxi around them,just negotiate ahead of time for price.Do book for top end ship restaurants early .You ll love it, great cruise, I envy you.Any specific questions, just ask....PS.the Library is fully stocked with NEW books..

mamaclark 04-25-2010 12:23 PM

I have Rick Steves and Timeout Guidebooks for Istanbul and Fodor's Greek Islands and Athens. The only excursion I have booked (for now) through Oceania is for Ephesus. Their prices seem awfully high for excursions, even compared to a driver/guide on one's own. BUT, I understand they have to make a living. I am sure I will have many more questions -- thanks for your reply.

LHT28 04-25-2010 02:19 PM

If you find other passengers you could book a private guide to share a private tour to Ephesus.
Do a search for ROLL CALLS & the name of the ship.
Someone posted about a shuttle might be worth looking at
I have not used them but maybe in 2011

penny3333 04-26-2010 08:44 AM

Hi mamaclark, welcome to Cruise-Chat! Congratulations on your up-coming cruise! What a fantastic itinerary. I can only dream

I am sure you will love Oceania. When are you sailing? Best wishes!

mamaclark 04-26-2010 08:46 AM

Athens to Istanbul - Sept. 10-22.

penny3333 04-26-2010 09:38 AM

How exciting. September will be here before you know it. It always seems to me that the time flies while your on board, but crawls until you do board.

A 7 day itinerary is like one day on shore, a 10 day is almost like 2, a 14 day almost like 3, and a 21 day almost like a week. Weekends are just as bad, you go to sleep Friday night and wake up it's Monday Even when I have a 3 day weekend, it just flies.

Please let us know what your favorite port was and how you enjoyed the ship when you return. I'll bet you'll book another before leaving the ship

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