A quick visit in Istanbul
Trip Start Nov 10, 2013
18Trip End Dec 04, 2013
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The Grand Bazaar is something else. Over 4000(yes, 4000) stores. What is surprising is how many of the same type there are-jewelry, lamps, rugs, candy, more jewelry...wonder how anyone makes any money.
They did take us to the local carpet store. Oh boy, I thought here we go. Surprisingly it was a very well done demonstration of how these rugs are made, the differences in designs and what they mean, and what impacts the cost. Along with the talk was the usual offer of tea, which turned out to be excellent
Impressions of Istanbul: BIG, very big. 15-18 million people in a city that straddles the European and Asian continents. Cleaner and more modern than I expected. Lots of upscale hotels and shopping. Over 2000 mosques in the city. Locals complained about the traffic problems-long commutes. A city worthy of a longer visit.
Impressions of the ship, Seven Seas Voyager: their ship was docked along side a Celebrity and Norwegian ship and it looked tiny by comparison. 700 passengers versus 2000+. Our suite(they don't call them cabins) are the largest we have had on a ship. Bath has tub and separate shower, a big walk-in closet, a couch and 2 barrel chairs and very nice deck chairs on the balcony.
Everything else is scaled down. Casino has 1 blackjack table, I roulette table, and maybe a dozen slots. There is only one shop for purchasing things rather than a whole floor of shops that you find on most ships. On the plus side is the quality of the furniture by the pool and lounges: big, cushy chairs and couches. And the main positive has been the food. So far it has been outstanding
We have all commented we can't believe there are 700 people on board as we rarely run into more than a few people, except when going on tours. Oh, that is another difference. Regent does not charge anything for most of the tours they offer. It is included in the cruise price. Granted, their prices are higher than other companies but people we have talked to say they like not being "nickeled and dimed" to death.
Onward to the Greek island of Lesbos, our first stop....