Toni MacDonald, USA, December 2011
Good morning, Dennis.
First, I’d like to say Happy New Year!! I received your email, and appreciate you contacting us. The remainder of our trip was great, but we were happy to get home when we got here. We recently toured Athens on Christmas Day. We were a little worried about what we could see and do, since it was a holiday. However, we had reserved a tour with Dennis. He met us immediately outside the ship’s port entrance with a sign, and we were escorted to a Mercedes Limo (we were actually stared at like rock stars as we drove around the city!). Generally, the historical sites are open on the holidays, but given the economic situation, they were closed this year on Christmas. Despite many things being closed, we had a fabulous half day with Denis. He drove us around the city, including the historical sites such as the Acropolis, and other historical sites, as well as the more modern sites, giving us time to explore and plenty of commentary about the sites and neighborhoods.
Our day ended with time to watch the changing of the guard parade. He got us set up early enough to see the parade up close, and to enjoy the nearby King George Hotel. Since we wanted to enjoy lunch before returning to our ship, we asked Denis to drop us off at the Plaka. He provided us guidance as to different Tavernas and restaurants, and shops we could enjoy before heading back, and provided us instructions as to finding a cab to return to the ship when we were done.
One note: In Athens, you are either licensed as a driving guide or a tour guide, but not both. Dennis was a driving guide, so he was not allowed to escort us into “historical sites”. If you so desire, you can add a tour guide. For us, the driving guide was sufficient….he would just tell us what we needed to know, and if we entered an historic site, we went on our own. Given Dennis’ thorough knowledge of the city, the sites, and anything you need to know, as well as his ability to get you to the places you need, it is unlikely that you would need a tour guide to participate with him.
Please consider using this guide. Dennis was friendly, fun, affordable and very knowledgeable….they are wonderful, and you will enjoy them.