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Home > Member Reviews > dkayrenick's Port Reviews of Tunis (La Goulette), Malta (Valletta), Genoa

dkayrenick's Port Reviews of Tunis (La Goulette), Malta (Valletta), Genoa
MSC Splendida cruise in September 2012
Member Name: dkayrenick
Cruise Date: September 2012
Embarkation: Barcelona
Destination: Western Mediterranean
Member Review: dkayrenick's MSC Splendida Review
Tunis (La Goulette)
Bardo Museum Rating: Not Rated
Our arrival into the port of La Goulette was heralded by a band parading the length of our ship along the dock, fully costumed, with falcons on their arms. I recommend the all day tour of historic Carthage port, which includes the medina and souks of Tunis, and the Borda museum, which has the best Roman mosaic collection in Africa. The excursion included lunch at the Phoenix restaurant which served a buffet of couscous, which is the national dish, roast vegetables, lamb, chicken, fresh tomatoes and a Tunisian rose wine. The tour also includes the Roman baths, the third largest outside of Rome. Shopping was good at the blue and white town of Sidi Bou Said. Our guide spoke excellent English and was very informative. Tip: Show up early for the tours. We were late and ended up on a tour that was half English and half German, so the guide said everything in two languages. This excursion was a bargain for all that was included and didn't cost much more than the half day tour.


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Malta (Valletta)
La Valletta Walking Tour Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
We found Malta beautifully strange. With 400,000 residents on the island, there must be one monumental building per person. Baroque decorations coated the cathedral which had recently been re-gilted. Major work projects were under way, such as restoration of the opera theater damaged in WW II. The port has massive sea walls and forts, gardens carved out of rock, and decorative arches. Mdina, the silent city, has only 250 residents but lots of palaces and churches, all tidy and well maintained. The half day tour gave you an overview of the city and the Mdina. On our visit, the tour was a little rushed and very crowded in the churches, but our guide spoke excellent English and was knowledgeable. We had ample time in port from 9 until 5:30, but it is a steep, long walk back into town, so we hung out at the port shops and outdoor restaurants with a view of the ship.


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Genoa
Port Rating: Not Rated
Save the expense of booking an excursion for Genoa. Pass through the lovingly restored ferry building and find a desk offering city bus tours. For less than $20, you get a great bus tour with information provided by headsets with a choice of several languages. Your bus ride ends at the aquarium. The bus passes by the main piazzas, Columbus' birth place, and the opera. Our dining mates had opted for the aquarium excursion. They went by boat to the aquarium, and got a bus ride back, so they didn't get to see much of this beautiful historic city. We had time to walk into the city center and tackle the awesome museums in Palazzo Rosso and Bianco, before walking back by monumental buildings and churches to the bus stop for our ride back to the ship.

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