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Wilba - Answered a Question by Pearson (26 Jul 08 11:03)

Limousinesystem.com is a company we have used a few times. Good vehicles, plenty of options on size as we have needed 6, 8 & 10 seaters + luggage, always been on time, respond quickly to any email questions we've had, pay in cash on the day. As for your ports of call Messina has very little to offer other than the astronomical chiming clock in the main square, the real gem is Taormina about 40 mins drive via cab. Your other ports all need transport to the historical sights, the ship docks virtually in the town at Kusadasi, be prepared for hassle from every shopkeeper to buy everything you've never needed. Good luck.

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Jones - Answered a Question by Pearson (26 Jul 08 13:54)

Hi, we're going on the same cruise next weekend so I've been doing a little bit of investigating myself!! The Port at Piraeus is meant to be quite large but the Metro in the Port is meant to be the quickest way to travel into Athens. Line 1 which goes from the Port stops at a number of places including the Olympic Stadium and Monastiraki. From the Metro website it looks like a line change will take you to the Acropolis. I've also been looking around for deals on transfers and I'm awaiting response. There's only 4 of us so quotes will be different. I've been advised to go for a per group price rather than individual. Will let you know as I found out more.

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Jones - Answered a Question by Pearson (26 Jul 08 14:05)

Within Kusadasi, apparently the best way to travel is to take the "dolmus" (minibuses). They take you to most places - beaches (there are quite a few of them to choose from) and neighboring villages. They are allowed to take up to 15 passengers and their prices are set by each municipality. A more private way to tour in the village are taxis that are all yellow-painted cars, equipped with taximeters and recognizable to their sign "Taksi". Prices are also fixed by each municipality.

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Pearson - Answered a Question by Pearson (26 Jul 08 21:19)

Dear Jones and Wilba. Thank you so much for your replies. I will certainly looking into those info. I hope you have a great cruise next week and if possible, please let me know your finding as we won't go until mid August. Do you know if we can use dollars instead of local currencies in Turkey or Greek?

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Ida and Neil Down - replied to Pearson (26 Jul 08 21:59)

You can but the rate of exchange is not great and often they will not except it in some places. Far better you take Euros as it's the Greek currency and readily excepted in Turkey. Do watch out for the "taxi driver switch" in Turkey where when you proffer a Euro note with a flick of the wrist the note turns into a very low value Lira and you are asked for more. Tell them to get knotted and if they object get out and shout "Police" they get the message very quickly. ... Ida.

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Neil and Ida Down - Answered a Question by Pearson (26 Jul 08 21:34)

You don't say when you are going but we found that many of the airport to Rome taxi companies actually close down for the whole of August so if you are going during or after that it would be as well to book before August. Sounds crazy but it's true. Piraeus to Athens is great by train, you go to Monastirion station which is right in the middle of the Plaka district, which is lovely in itself and from there it is a good walk up hill to the Acropolis. The difficult bit is getting to the station in Piraeus and avoiding the hoards of taxi drivers touting for business. I would suggest that in Kusadasi you negotiate with a taxi to take you to the entrance of Ephesus and then collect you at the other end which is a l;ong walk downhill through the whole site and past the amphitheatre to a flat area where, in fact the ships used to dock. nowadays the harbour is at least seven miles away. I say this because it will be a long hot walk for the children and trying to get a dolmus can be an awkward exercise. I can't remember the price of a taxi but it wasn't extortionate but you must bargain with them. I was in Messina on a Sunday which made it an even more uninteresting place. I must admit that most of the places we have described will be hard work for young children and if would be a little circumspect with the tours you intend to take and as you say be aware that you may have to cut some short or carry them, I hope I'm not teaching you to suck eggs. Good Luck .... Ida .

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Stanbury - replied to Neil and Ida Down (27 Jul 08 18:19)

At Piraeus, there should be a free shuttle bus to take you to the port entrance. It is then about a mile to walk to the metro (turn left and follow coastline) but several buses run there - ask one of the helpful police at the port for the numbers and stop location. Buy the bus ticket (only 0.8 euro single) before boarding; it also covers the speedy metro journey into Athens. Alternatively, a bus (440 if I recall) from a bit further inland into Piraeus town will take you almost to the Acropolis. Any tobacco kiosk will sell tickets and give directions/bus numbers. A taxi is really quite unnecessary, quite apart from the expense.

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Neil and Ida Down - replied to Stanbury (28 Jul 08 00:22)

Piraeus is a large port but the last two occasions I have been there the ship docked right next to the exit of the port. As they are going with RCI the chances are high that this will be the case. Some other cruise lines are placed further away,no names no pack drill. I don't disagree with what you say though. ... Ida.

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