Haifa, Israel expert cruise advice
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Map of Haifa, Israel
Israel is a lively country full of tourists not full of terrorists as depicted in TV news
Visited: Jun 01, 2015
We had an overnight in Haifa after a port change from Ashdod. We were grateful for the change, as it allowed us to visit the Bah'AI Gardens and Shrine of the Bab. We used the Carmelit to get to the top at under 6 shekels each and save our legs (and my lungs!) The Gardens and the Shrine were stunning and you really can see from the top why Haifa is known as the San Francisco of the Middle East. We were also able to take an excursion to Jerusalem on our first day in port, but to be honest (despite not being Bah'AI) I found the gardens at Haifa a much more peaceful and spiritual experience, feeling less like a tourist being herded around. An experience I will treasure.
This was the star of the cruise but we were very disappointed because the people are very rude. We took the cruise for the reason to visit the holy land but the impoliteness of the Israelis soldiers and the long wait at the check points spoiled it. Our visit to Old Jerusalem and Natherth were very good and the people there were very nice
Visited: Nov 28, 2016
Visit Nazareth, The Church of the Annunciation (home of Virgin Mary) & the Church of St Joseph (Joseph's workshop). See Mary's well, too. Visit the Sea of Galilee and the beautiful Mont of the Beatitudes & its lovely gardens. Be sure to see Tabghaq (loaves & fishes) & Yardenit - the baptismal site
The port of Haifa reeks of petrol and exhaust which makes it difficult to spend anytime outside onboard while in port. Including verandas. The people of Haifa, imo, are not friendly. Service help can be dismissive and rude. The city of Haifa is very dirty. Garbage everywhere. Especially the German Colony. Went to Akko and did the Crusader tour. That was an informative excursion. A lot of fun. Be careful about being overcharged at the shops. The shop keepers can rush you which makes it difficult to do dollar/shekel conversions in your head. Take your time if you have a shekel comprehension issue as i did. The Bahai Gardens were beautiful. Especially at night while the ship is leaving port. This was my least favorite stop on the entire cruise. I’ll be back to Israel to visit Jerusalem and Tel Aviv but will avoid Haifa.
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