Originally Posted by Marc
Kuki, read the original post. The ship will just be in port 0700-1200. Given it takes a few mintues to get off, and you are usually requested to be onboard some minutes before leaving, taking a 4-5 hour private tour is really pushing the envelope.
With that short of time, I would either opt for a private tour that you can control your speed and plan on being back by 1100 or actually take a ship's excursion. Me, I would take the ships excursion to the Terrace Houses.
Well, you are right about time constraints. This is an ongoing balancing act between the safety of the ship's excursions and the freedom and efficiency of private excursions.
There are some excellent private operators in Ephesus who have outstanding reputations. Their first and foremost priority is getting passengers back to their ship on time because they know their reputation depends on it. We used one of them with excellent results. Check out our trip report and pictures at http://www.bully4.us/blacksea2.html
Honestly, it is inconceivable to me that a ship's excursion, even with limited time in port, would skip a visit to a carpet factory and sales room. While this is an interesting experience and many people like it, if it is NOT your cup of tea you are likely to be very resentful at enduring a one hour sales pitch during your limited excursion time. A private tour will also make a big effort to get you to a carpet factory but if you stand your ground and insist it is YOUR tour, you can avoid it.
Have a GREAT cruise!