If you're going in early, before the cruise, you will need to get one. Either get it before you leave thru a passport/visa document service or directly from the Turkish Consulate in your area. OR You can get one at the Point-of-Entry (the airport). The fee is $45 for the visa. If you're using the Celebrity "Air Plan" I'd call them to be sure. It's kind of a secret handshake to get a straight answer from them. I understand that some airlines have you fill out a form before landing in Turkey, then you get a visa when you enter the country. I've taken care of mine thru a visa service. Even though I live within 15 miles of their Embassy (in the Washington, DC area) the trip was not worth it. Traffic, tourists (cherry blossoms), accidents, and road construction. It is the 2nd most congested city in America. Double check with your T/A. Good luck.
The critical question on visa's--are you taking the cruise tours--no visa required
Are you planning to stay "on your own" either before or after the cruise-a visa
is then required. In spite of traffic, crowds etc. I would always get my visa
BEFORE departure--then you know you have it and have no worries about the
availability of one upon arrival. Just a thought!!
I am on the 5/19 cruise from Barcelona to Istanbul and have spoken to MANY celebrity representives this week as well as someone at the Turkish embassy in Washington. They all say that I MUST have a visa before boarding the ship in Istanbul and cannot wait until Kusadasi to get it. So to avoid any problems at boarding I will be mailing my passport off on Monday and crossing my fingers until it is returned with a visa. Hope this helps.
TOURIST/BUSINESS VISAS FOR US CITIZENS
U.S. Citizens traveling on ordinary passports can obtain their visas either at the entry points upon their arrival or from the Turkish Consulate Generals prior to arrival in Turkey.
Tourist/Business entry visas for US citizens are valid for up to one year (from the issuance date to the expiration date) and allow the person to enter the country and stay for a period of up to three months. During this time, the person may enter and exit the country on more than one occasion, as long as the combined visits fall within the dates specified on the visa and do not exceed the designated three months.
REQUIREMENTS FOR A TURKISH VISA (FOR U.S. CITIZENS ONLY)
1 - Original Passport (Photocopies of the passport are not accepted for processing visas)
2 - Visa fee. Effective February 1, 1998 the visa fee for US citizens is is 45.- Dollars. All payments should be cash or by money order only.
3 - A petition , briefly mentioning your purpose of your trip.
4- A prepaid and addresses envelope (If the applicant requests that the passport and visa be returned by mail. Express or Priority Mail is recommended)
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Please contact the Consular Section of the Turkish Embassy at:
2525 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
The above was taken from the Turkish Government site. We plan to get our visas at Kusadasi. I believe it may be too late to obtain from the Turkish Embassy.
We will be flying into Istanbul for our May 31 Cruise a few days early. We will purchase the Visas at the airport. We may have to stay in line to get them but I really don't want to mail my passport off so close to our travel time.
We are leaving this coming Sunday on a cruise that ends in Istanbul. When we learned that we needed a visa for Turkey I asked our travel agent about it and she said that the cruise line would send some forms to take care of it. The forms that arrived were for a courier service and the carrying charges were outrageous. I just contacted the Turkish Embassy in Washington, DC by email and got a response from them within two hours with detailed info on how to take care of it on our own without using the courier service. I sent the required info and our passports on a Tuesday to the embassy and all necessary documents were returned on Saturday of the same week. It was all very efficient and saved over $100. by not using the courier service. I plan to do the same thing if we should ever need a special visa for future travel. Why pay the courier service all that money when you can do it on your own without any worries?