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    #16
    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 .
    I made the bad mistake, in Agadir, of making accidental eye contact with a man getting off a bus. He rushed over and offered to take us on a tour of the city. He wasn't a guide, just a random stranger. Polite no thank yous had no effect. He proceeded to follow us and, despite our being fast walkers, we couldn't shake him off.

    We got rid of him only when we went in the museum, which at least was interesting. It was dedicated to the story of the earthquake and it was sad to see how nice the city once looked.

    We did continue walking round, but it isn't easy to sightsee when your eyes are focused on your own feet in an attempt to avoid pests. ​​​​​​

    Agree La Rochelle is lovely.

    Comment


      #17
      Originally posted by carol, welwyn garden city View Post
      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
      I don't think Rome is very good as a cruise destination because it takes ages to get there and you have to watch the clock if you're getting the train back.

      We like Tarquinia as a destination from Civitaveccia. It's easy to get to and we loved the attractive medieval streets, the museum and the UNESCO-protected burial chambers

      Love Iceland too!
      Last edited by sandraggg, Newcastle; 16th January 2021, 04:27 PM.

      Comment


        #18
        Originally posted by mags, cardiff View Post

        Loved it! We spent 2 days there and saw so much under our own steam.
        So did we Mags and loved every minute. When we got off the ship, there was a tram stop just outside the terminal. To our delight, travel within the city was free to us oldies.
        Our port lecturer hadn't done his homework , so didn't tell us. Fortunately, someone was at the tram stop saw us trying to buy a ticket and despite the language barrier, managed to explain that we didn't have to pay.

        We thought Rio was wonderful but to be fair, it was the year after the Olympics were held there and I think a great deal of work had been done to make it easy to get around..
        Jill

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          #19
          Originally posted by Smith7 View Post

          So did we Mags and loved every minute. When we got off the ship, there was a tram stop just outside the terminal. To our delight, travel within the city was free to us oldies.
          Our port lecturer hadn't done his homework , so didn't tell us. Fortunately, someone was at the tram stop saw us trying to buy a ticket and despite the language barrier, managed to explain that we didn't have to pay.

          We thought Rio was wonderful but to be fair, it was the year after the Olympics were held there and I think a great deal of work had been done to make it easy to get around..
          I didnt know about the free transport, perhaps it was after our visit and the Olympics. The parts of Rio are spread out and we got around successfully with local taxis. I always research thoroughly and it paid off here.

          One tip is to do the statue of Christ mid afternoon after the crowds and tour groups have gone, easy enough if you are there for more than a day. We walked straight onto the funicular up the mountain with no wait, bypassing fellow passengers on ships tours who had to wait for allocated transport.

          We visited the National Museum, full of interest in a beautiful old building. Sadly, some time after we saw on the news that it was destroyed in a major fire.

          We visited the winter before the summer Olympics 2016 when infrastructure was still under construction. We wondered however the games would take place a few months later, especially after our great experiences at various events in London 2012, but they did happen.

          One good impression is that I wanted to post some cards and also a letter home (this was a 4 month trip on a world cruise). At the end of one day we tried to buy stamps from a guy selling them in the terminal. He said he had sold out, we could see that, but that we could leave our post with him, pay him the postage and he would sort it out and post them. Obviously a scam we thought, we will hand over the cash and nothing will be done and stuff will never reach its destination. With little alternative at that stage we did pay up and left the post. How wrong, we should have had better judgement in human nature and honesty. Everything arrived safely.

          Comment


            #20
            Originally posted by carol, welwyn garden city View Post
            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
            We fell in love with Iceland too, although not on a cruise. We celebrated our Golden Wedding there courtesy of our sons and their families who rented a house that accommodated all ten of us. Six flew in from Canada and four from UK and we met up in the Blue Lagoon, which was a tourist trap but a fun way to start the holiday. The scenery around the Golden Circle and other areas was spectacular in so many different ways.

            I don’t think Rome is a good cruise port for distance and reasons already mentioned, but a longer stay there gives time to explore better parts of the city.

            Sheila

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              #21
              Seville was our destination after docking in Cadiz. Having looked forward to Seville-very disappointed and got lost making our own way back to the coach on the ship excursion.

              We loved Gdansk in Poland- another destination from the port.

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                #22
                Good job we’re not limited to one answer here!😉 It occurred to me that after 2 stops in Morocco on NCL Jade we decided to give La Goulette a miss the following year on OV. We had the ship to ourselves and we enjoyed just chilling out. Warnemunde in Germany is a surprisingly pleasant place to wander around. They have a gorgeous beach there that is very popular and it’s lovely to see all the boats going in out of the harbour.

                Take care and stay well. Helen 😀

                Comment


                  #23
                  One place that did not live up to my expectations was Cairo (from Alexandria), although quite a lot of that was because of the excursion we took.

                  Our children were beyond excited about the thought of seeing the pyramids, and I had always wanted to see the Tutenkhamun treasures at the Cairo museum , so we decided not to stay in Alexandria but to go on a ship's excursion instead - something we hardly ever do.

                  When we got to the pyramids, I realised I had had a totally romantised view of them, assuming they were in the middle of nowhere. Instead of my mental picture (like the image below), they were on the edge of the city, on a site that was packed out with sellers pushing camel rides, hats, sunglasses and other assorted tat. It was impossible to look round without being hassled. The sphinx was much smaller and more damaged than I had realised and it had scaffolding up, which ruined my photos. This was all before the days when port research was made easy by the internet! Still, at least we could all say we had seen them.

                  After a very, very protracted lunch at a nearby hotel, it was back on the coach to the museum... but before that, a stop at the papyrus and tee-shirt shop.

                  There was a papyrus-making demonstration we would have happily missed, plus the hard sell to buy products. Embroidered tee-shirts were personalised with your name in hieroglyphs and it seemed that almost everyone on the coach wanted one. Anyone with a common first name could get a shirt from the piles of ready-made garments, but passengers with unusual names waited while their garments were embroidered on the premises.

                  Back on the coach, and we were told that because the tee-shirts had taken so long, the time at the museum would have to be cut to just half an hour. When we arrived there was barely time to find out which rooms the most famous pieces were in, before rushing there for a quick glimpse.

                  To cap it all, on the way back to the ship we even had to listen to two passengers behind us, moaning that we shouldn't have gone to the boring museum at all, and should have spent more time in the shop....





                  Comment


                    #24
                    Originally posted by sandraggg, Newcastle View Post
                    One place that did not live up to my expectations was Cairo (from Alexandria), although quite a lot of that was because of the excursion we took.

                    Our children were beyond excited about the thought of seeing the pyramids, and I had always wanted to see the Tutenkhamun treasures at the Cairo museum , so we decided not to stay in Alexandria but to go on a ship's excursion instead - something we hardly ever do.

                    When we got to the pyramids, I realised I had had a totally romantised view of them, assuming they were in the middle of nowhere. Instead of my mental picture (like the image below), they were on the edge of the city, on a site that was packed out with sellers pushing camel rides, hats, sunglasses and other assorted tat. It was impossible to look round without being hassled. The sphinx was much smaller and more damaged than I had realised and it had scaffolding up, which ruined my photos. This was all before the days when port research was made easy by the internet! Still, at least we could all say we had seen them.

                    After a very, very protracted lunch at a nearby hotel, it was back on the coach to the museum... but before that, a stop at the papyrus and tee-shirt shop.

                    There was a papyrus-making demonstration we would have happily missed, plus the hard sell to buy products. Embroidered tee-shirts were personalised with your name in hieroglyphs and it seemed that almost everyone on the coach wanted one. Anyone with a common first name could get a shirt from the piles of ready-made garments, but passengers with unusual names waited while their garments were embroidered on the premises.

                    Back on the coach, and we were told that because the tee-shirts had taken so long, the time at the museum would have to be cut to just half an hour. When we arrived there was barely time to find out which rooms the most famous pieces were in, before rushing there for a quick glimpse.

                    To cap it all, on the way back to the ship we even had to listen to two passengers behind us, moaning that we shouldn't have gone to the boring museum at all, and should have spent more time in the shop....





                    Sounds very similar to our experience of the same trip. I was appalled at the filthy conditions I saw en route to the pyramids, and the souvenir sellers bordered on violent in their efforts to sell us things. Our guard was hit by one of them despite having a sub machine gun slung over his shoulder. I have no desire at all to set foot in Egypt again.

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Just for balance, I have enjoyed very good holidays in Egypt and I have very fond memories of Cairo. However it was decades ago and I did not visit the city from a cruise ship.

                      Reading some of the adverse comments about some cities visited - possibly cruise ship is not the best means of attempting to visit some locations - Rome is an outstanding example.

                      I was very pleasantly surprised by both Le Havre and Akaroa in NZ. That said I did not have high expectations of either port stop. I loved Istanbul too.

                      Annie

                      Comment


                        #26
                        I agree with you, Annie, that some places are best not visited by cruise ship, but by some other means.

                        I think the nicest ports are those that have something for everyone, without having to venture miles from the ship (unless you want to). The availability of good, reliable onward travel links is a welcome bonus.

                        One place we've visited just once, but loved, was Elba. Since we visited, we haven't seen it on any itineraries we've considered. It made a nice change from nearby Livorno.

                        Comment


                          #27
                          I also visited Egypt ages ago (25 years) but on a land based holiday. I enjoyed visiting Cairo and spent a happy hour in a T-Shirt emporium bartering for a number of T-shirts to take home. The Cairo museum was fascinating and our guide also took us to a mosque.

                          However, during our visits to the Valleys of the Kings & Queens and the pyramids, we were constantly pestered to buy the local tat. On one occasion, my ex went for a walk by the river whilst we were staying in Luxor and was verbally abused by a boatman for not accepting a boat ride.

                          On our cruise, I went ashore at Port Said but couldn't wait to get back onboard the ship. The pressure to buy something was intense, so much so that I bought a T-shirt just to escape. However, when I returned to the ship and looked at my purchase, the seller had fobbed me off with a much smaller size than the one I paid for. Needless to say, there was no way I was going ashore to confront him.

                          Egypt is definitely not on my list of places to visit again, either by ship or by air/land.
                          Jill

                          Comment


                            #28
                            Which port....

                            Taylor's of course..I have a 25 year old bottle that we'll savour at some point.

                            Garf

                            Comment


                              #29
                              Originally posted by Smith7 View Post
                              I also visited Egypt ages ago (25 years) but on a land based holiday. I enjoyed visiting Cairo and spent a happy hour in a T-Shirt emporium bartering for a number of T-shirts to take home. The Cairo museum was fascinating and our guide also took us to a mosque.

                              However, during our visits to the Valleys of the Kings & Queens and the pyramids, we were constantly pestered to buy the local tat. On one occasion, my ex went for a walk by the river whilst we were staying in Luxor and was verbally abused by a boatman for not accepting a boat ride.

                              On our cruise, I went ashore at Port Said but couldn't wait to get back onboard the ship. The pressure to buy something was intense, so much so that I bought a T-shirt just to escape. However, when I returned to the ship and looked at my purchase, the seller had fobbed me off with a much smaller size than the one I paid for. Needless to say, there was no way I was going ashore to confront him.

                              Egypt is definitely not on my list of places to visit again, either by ship or by air/land.
                              I confess to not experiencing any hassle whilst wandering around the souks/bazaars on my own in any Egyptian location. My trips were a decade apart - yes Luxor had expanded JMO horrendously during that period but no issues.

                              Yes these cities are not clinically clean but neither is any jungle.

                              Annie

                              PS For Sandra, I have only visited Livorno once but I liked it and would happily return. Naples is another Italian port which is like Marmite but I love it too.

                              Comment


                                #30
                                My experience of Cairo was from a river cruise. We arrive at night, so couldn't see anything. The next morning we got up and walked across a quadrangle to the hotel dining room. I could see the top of the Great Pyramid over the roofline, and was very excited. Our first excursion began at the Pyramids, and I was amazed by the sight of them. Of course, there was a KFC across the road, but I just looked towards the pyramids instead. We were taken to a viewpoint above the city, and could see the haze of pollution from there. I still think that it was one of the most interesting trips of my life.
                                2018-
                                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

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