We'll be leaving from Istanbul on our cruise. We probably won't be in this area again for a long time. I know Israel is just a 2 hour flight away. I'm thinking of flying over 2 days in advance so we can spend a day or two in Israel. Here is my questions.
1. Is it a good idea to go?
2. Can we see enough in 1 or 2 days?
3. Would you do it?
Good idea about possibly visiting Israel before your cruise. However, you might just be biting off more than your kids can handle. Since you are already booked for a fairly long period (3 weeks) for kids to be on the road sightseeing, you may just burn them out before you even get half way through the cruise if you hop to Israel. Seems like Israel needs more than two days to see all that is noteworthy. Also, while I have Israel on my long list of places to visit, perhaps it's not the best time to travel there due to the political climate. (You really should contact the state department on any warnings they might have issued about travel to Israel.)
I have another suggestion: how about looking into booking a few relaxing days at one of the many beach resorts on the Turkish coast, since your ship departs from Istanbul? This would be a great way to give jet-lagged children time to adjust and unwind before you start your cruise and sightseeing. (Contact a travel agent -- there are many resorts along the coast. A plane ride probably is needed to get you from the beach areas back to Istanbul for your cruise.) Also, you could use the beach vacation as a bartering tool with your kids if need be for later on in the trip when they may not want to do all the sightseeing that you'd like them to!
I'm curious to see what you decide.