impressed on their ability to sing songs in different languages to accommodate the diversity of the passengers.
The dining on the ship is much different than the other ships we have been on. The first day at dinner we found out that no drink is free, not even water! Fortunately we had a special drink package that allowed for free water for US citizens. Coffee is free on the ship at the buffet up to 10 AM and then you have to pay for any coffee anywhere on the ship. There are only two choices for breakfast and lunch. You either eat in the formal dining room or you eat in the buffet area. At dinner the only choice is the main dining room unless you want to pay for their specialty restaurant or their low cost pizzeria. The buffet is not open for dinner and there are no other eating options. After coming off of the Oasis of the Seas that have so many different eating options, it is quite different! It seems like this ship charges for so many little things and we had a good laugh when we saw they charged for ping pong balls, if you wanted to play. There are probably less than 10% Americans on this ship and English is the 4th language spoken during any announcement. Although it has been a different experience, we have enjoyed it but probably not for a longer cruise.
Our first stop was Ibiza which is a small Spanish island Southwest of Barcelona. It is primarily an island for tourism with nice beaches and a very active night club life. We didn’t get a chance to
see any beaches but the city was really quite interesting. We walked from the ship to the city and it was amazing how many marinas and boats were everywhere that you could look. Ferries continuously came into and out of the harbor. We were also amazed at the airplanes that continuously seemed to land at the airport. It seemed like there was a plane landing every 15 minutes and we could not imagine that the island could hold all of the people that kept flying in on these planes. Like many Mediterranean cities there was an Old City which contained a church and
fort. The views from up in the fort were great and throughout the city there were bougainvilleas
everywhere. We enjoyed our first visit to this island and if we return on a future visit we will definitely visit other parts of the island.
The second stop on this cruise was Marseille which is a large city on the south coast of France.
It was one of the first cities built in France and is now a major Mediterranean port. Like most
cities on the coast there was a fort guarding the port (Lefort Saint-Jean). When we went to Lefort Saint-Jean to look around we were able to see a sailing regatta heading out of the port. There must have been over 100 sail boats of all sizes. This city though had a large cathedral that was really beautiful on the outside and very well maintained. Inside the cathedral though was very dark and not as well decorated as most cathedrals you see in Europe. We then headed out
to look for the famous French soap (LaSavonnerie Marsellaise). Along the way we stopped at LaCure Gourmande (local bakery) for some navettes (French biscuits) that were delicious. We always enjoy trying the local delicacies. Our last stop in the city was to check out Notre Dame De La Garde in Marseille. This beautiful church sits on top of the hill overlooking the port and
supposedly providing good luck to all citizens of the city and harbor. Marseille was another nice place to visit that we had never previously seen.
Our last stop on this cruise was at Savona, a medium sized city on the northwest coast of Italy. It is about an hour east of Genoa. The city was easy to walk around and visit. Once again this city had a large fort (Priamar Fortress) but it was not as easy to walk up to the top and take pictures. Much of the fort was blocked off to tourists and you could only see certain areas. We walked over to the beach area but it was not too busy because the weather was a little overcast. The city area itself had several nice churches, statues, fountains and a clock tower. When we were heading back we noticed a crafts fair at the port and spent a little time looking at it and trying a few local treats, we tried a little lemon and crème gelato that was really good. We then said good bye to Savona but once again enjoyed our visit to a new city we had never seen.
Greg & Sharon