I enjoyed Istanbul though, like most cruise stops, our tour was limited. It is a fascinating city with a rich history. The markets are fascinating, and the sights impressive. We had only time to see the outside of the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, not time to tour inside. We did tour inside another mosque, and spent time in the Grand Bazaar.
We walked from the ship to the sights, giving us less time to do the touristy stuff but more time to see, smell, and taste the city: the Spice Market, the Fish Markets, the bazaars and other places the tour buses pass by but do not stop for.
The peddlers are a hassle, but that is typical of the region. If you take the time to look at their wares, they'll chase you for a dozen blocks trying to haggle. Everybody there sells carpets, or has a brother that does. The carpet sellers are the most persistent.
I hope to have some photos pasted of facebook soon. I'll link to them from the bulletin board once I do.
Quod scripsi, scripsi.