• Ahoy there! Why not join the UK’s largest cruising forum? The Cruise.co.uk forum is the perfect place to meet and interact with likeminded cruisers to have invaluable conversations. Whether you're a veteran cruiser or looking to set sail on the sea for the first time, everyone is welcome on our forum to participate in the hottest conversations in the cruising world. So, what are you waiting for? Join the forum today by clicking here to register!


No announcement yet.

Which port.....

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Which port.....

    ... surprised you most?

    Many cruisers will have a favourite port - or one they never want to return to. But which port has most surprised you?

    Maybe you were really looking forward to your visit, only to find the port was a massive let down.

    Or maybe you started out with low expectations, but ended up pleasantly surprised?

    I'm not sure what mine is - I'm thinking about it!

    (Sorry if this has been discussed before. I don't remember seeing it as a topic since I joined the forum. )

    Hi Sandra
    The worst....sailing through the Dardanelles we stopped at a place called Canakkale ,,horrible place.

    C P Scott,,,,,"Comment is Free,,but Facts are Sacred"
    "You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.


      Surprised good La Rochelle didn't know much about it. not often used when we first went, beautiful place.
      Surprised bad Agadir attacked by flies and pestered by pedlars,went back on board after 20 minutes .


        I would say that Toulon and Messina were the most disappointing ports we’ve ever been to although we bought an amazing Christmas tablecloth in Toulon that comes out every year and which is big enough to cover our table when fully extended. Chania in Crete was a really pleasant surprise as the local people were thrilled to see our ship (Mariner of the Seas) which was there for the first time. The people really pulled out all the stops at the market hall where we were bombarded with free samples of all sorts of goodies in food and drink (free bottle of Reki anyone?) La Spezia in Italy was also a lovely surprise on our 25th anniversary. We tendered in and had a wander around the town which was gorgeous. As it was siesta time in the Med not many shops were open but we enjoyed it nonetheless. That night as we sailed away we had dinner in the A la Carte restaurant on the Island Star where we were serenaded by the singing waiters (along with all the other couples celebrating their big anniversaries). By the time the waiters arrived at the last table they were singing “Please Release Me!” to the people dining there. It certainly was a night to remember!

        Take care and stay well. Helen🥂


          Think its been some while since we had a thread on this topic Sandra and perhaps have visited more ports since then....just not this year!

          One port we wouldn't get off the ship to visit again is Toulon. Rebuilt after the war it seemed a featureless urban area with non descript architecture. Compared that is to somewhere like the picturesque setting of La Rochelle with its old town and pretty harbour, further down the coast.


            The most surprising port was Dutch Harbour in the islands off Alaska. It was a last minute change on our Vancouver to Tokyo cruise and all we knew about it was that it was very small and American.

            When we arrived it looked as if the whole town hd turned out to greet us. There were no excursions, and the shuttle into town couldn't start until the buses had taken the children to school. Along with many others we decided to walk, after several days at sea we needed some exercise. Locals were out in force, welcoming us. In the parking lot of the one supermarket the police cars, fire engine and ambulance were on show. The local churches had a craft sale there too. Various people offered guided tours at no charge. We went on a whale watching walk and actually saw a whale quite close to shore.

            A big attraction for Americans was that it was the location of the show The Deadliest Catch, which we had never heard of and have still not seen.

            A highlight was on our walk back when level crossing gates closed because the airport runway crossed the street. there were only two flights a day, one to Anchorage and one back.

            We had a most enjoyable day there, completely unlike any other port we have visited.



              I remember being very disappointed with Mindelo, Cape Verde in 2013 when we first visited that port.

              We decided to just wander round by ourselves but walked in the wrong direction when we left the the port area. We saw nothing of interest and returned to the ship feeling very disappointed.

              However, we returned to Mindelo a few years later and took a tour of the island, which underlined how much we missed on our first visit. You live and learn.

              The port I would never want to see again is Port Said. I consider it to be the armpit of Egypt.


                Rio without a doubt. Dreadful place


                  Toss up between Ravenna & Marseille as the most disappointing. Probably Dominica was the most interesting.


                    One port that exceeded my expectations was Le Havre.

                    We had read numerous comments saying that it was ugly, had nothing to commend it and the best thing to do was to get a bus or taxi straight to Honfleur.

                    Well much of it wasn't pretty, but there was plenty to interest us!

                    The city was largely rebuilt after WW2, following the vision of Auguste Perret - an architectural pioneer famed for his work with concrete. The streets and buildings took on new interest for us once we'd learned a bit about the thinking behind their design. Its importance as a reconstructed city has earned it UNESCO World Heritage status. (I've included a link for anyone interested in reading more.) It is even possible to take a guided tour of a 1950s-style 'show flat', created to demonstrate how Perret designed the ideal interior living space for post-war Le Havre.

                    One of Perret's buildings is the extraordinary St Joseph's church with its eight-sided tower and skyscraper-like appearance. I found something moving in its stark design and the stunning, modernist stained glass. Whether you like the design or not, I don't think you'd ever forget it.

                    When we visited Le Havre in summer, we walked to the Jardins Suspendus - a large hilltop fortress transformed into lovely, peaceful gardens and offering great views of the city. Entry to the open air site is free, but for a couple of euros each we entered the huge greenhouses there, filled with plants from around the world.

                    We enjoyed the large museum of modern art, with its collection of late-19th and 20th-Century works and including many Impressionist paintings. As museum enthusiasts we also visited the Musee Maison de L'Armateur, housed in a 18th-Century building that was once the home of a wealthy shipowner.

                    The last time we visited Le Havre we did go outside the city to Harfleur - not to be confused with Honfleur! It was just a short train journey away and was a lovely town to walk around, with beautiful old buildings.

                    So I'm now perfectly happy to see Le Havre on cruise itineraries... and I have yet to try Honfleur, although hopefully I will at some point!


                      A port that surprised us was Gdynia in Poland, or to be more accurate the resort of Sopot a short distance away. We were there on a scorching day and the beach there is absolutely stunning. I'd never associated Poland with stunning beaches. I like 'off the beaten track' places so the Faroes and Azores are right up my street. Worst port? La Goulette by a distance.
                      Logic will get you from A to B.
                      Imagination will take you everywhere.


                        Originally posted by mike, lanarkshire View Post
                        Toss up between Ravenna & Marseille as the most disappointing. Probably Dominica was the most interesting.
                        I took a shuttle bus in Marseille, and wandered around the old port for a while. I wouldn't rate it as the worst port. Dominica was very interesting. I took a tour to a sugar plantation that was being refurbished, so was an interesting tour.

                        I didn't think much of Agadir, it felt like the excursion was put on for something to do. It wasn't very interesting at all.
                        Queen Victoria - Mediterranean Explorer

                        2019 -
                        NCL Getaway - Norway and Iceland
                        Adventure of the Seas - Fall Foliage

                        2020 -
                        Jewel of the Seas - Abu Dhabi & Dubai
                        Magellan - Panama Canal


                          Originally posted by philhar, wallasey View Post
                          Surprised good La Rochelle didn't know much about it. not often used when we first went, beautiful place.
                          Surprised bad Agadir attacked by flies and pestered by pedlars,went back on board after 20 minutes .
                          Hi philar
                          I was going to pick those two on first thoughts.
                          Didnt the ships dock next to the cement silos in Agadir,,,,choked on cement dust on deck,,,the worst filthiest Souk I have been to.
                          The drive into the city shows two sides of Agadir,,,,the Arab squalor on one side,,the westernised side with the nice hotels,golf courses etc on the other.

                          Last time in La Rochelle there was a Red Bull diving competition with boards out from the top of the tower at the entrance to the harbour.

                          The best Moules Frites along with those in the marina restaurants in Toulon I’ve ever had.
                          And the lovely Ile de Re just around the corner.

                          C P Scott,,,,,"Comment is Free,,but Facts are Sacred"
                          "You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.


                            My most surprising was Rome (but not for the right reasons) I had a Romantic, amazing place in my head, and in reality it was covered in scaffolding, graffiti, and rubbish, so disappointing.

                            Most surprising was Iceland, it was so lovely, really fell in love with the place .................................................. .....Carol


                              Originally posted by Cooke, Ashby View Post
                              Rio without a doubt. Dreadful place
                              Loved it! We spent 2 days there and saw so much under our own steam.


                              We use cookies to give you the
                              best experience possible.

                              By continuing to use our website you
                              agree to our cookie policy