Originally Posted by You
We are stopping in Turkey on our 10 day cruise. Hoping to be able to purchase a couple of area rugs while in Turkey. Wondering if anyone has any experience in having done that. Cost ? Access and ease of purchase ? Ease of transportation back to North America.
Any info would be appreciated...
I have been to both Istanbul and Kusadasi (pronounced "KUSH-ah-Dah-see" -- there's really a cedilla under the first "s" which, in Turkish, give it the "sh" sound) twice, and I can assure you that you will have no trouble finding a fabulous selection of rugs at reasonable prices in the bazaars in both ports of call. The ship offers a "shore excursion" to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, which spans several city blocks. The bazzar in Kusadasi is smaller than the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, but it's located right beyond the entrance to the piers where the cruise ships dock. The choice probably of where to shop probably will depend upon how much free time remains around whatever else you are doing in each port rather than on a preference for one location over the other. In this regard, there are three sets of "must see" attractions -- the Turkish evening (dinner and entertainment) in Istanbul (if your ship has an overnight stay there), a shore excursion that visits the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and Hagia Sophia
in Istanbul, and a shore excursion that visits the ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus from Kusadasi.
The only significant issue is how to get the rugs home. If you are buying small rugs, you can store them in your cabin and bring them home with you with no problem. If you are buying larger rugs, however, you might have trouble (1) storing them in your cabin and (2) getting them aboard your flights. If the merchant can't ship the rugs for you, you'll have to take them to a worldwise shipper such as Federal Express (expensive, but reliable), United Parcel Service, or DHL that can process the shipment through U. S. customs for you.
Have a great cruise, and good luck with your purchase!