32 Barcelona Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

First time cruising with Costa, enjoyed it very much. We found the staff very accommodating and helpful. However if you are expecting a formal night with ambience then forget it. Anyone thinking of going to the expense of buying Dinner ... Read More
First time cruising with Costa, enjoyed it very much. We found the staff very accommodating and helpful. However if you are expecting a formal night with ambience then forget it. Anyone thinking of going to the expense of buying Dinner suit or special dress then save your money! We arrived in the dining room on the 'Gala night' all done up to the nines with suits and black tie to be seated at our normal table,and next to us were our fellow diners dressed in casual attire. It would seem that formal on the Diadema is that Men wear a jacket. We and our friends were very disappointed. The all inclusive package is a must. If you are a light sleeper then avoid cabin 9244 as the staff start cleaning on deck 10, the outside eating area from about 5.30/6am each morning dragging tables & chairs about! Our friends were in this cabin, and to give Costa their due our friends were moved that same day to a much quieter area. Holly, the English rep on the ship was very helpful. Will we cruise with Costa again? Not sure as we were looking forward to a more formal way of cruising. Cannot understand why hot food was not available in th dining room on deck 10 for breakfast as it was served in the same place as hot food was served at lunch! Our friend is disabled and nothing was too much trouble to assist by all members of staff. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Flew direct from Toronto on Air Canada Rouge Sat. , August 23. Arrived in Barcelona on schedule Sun., Aug. 24 at 10 AM. Husband is partially disabled. We travel with a scooter as he cannot walk too far & his balance is not good at all. ... Read More
Flew direct from Toronto on Air Canada Rouge Sat. , August 23. Arrived in Barcelona on schedule Sun., Aug. 24 at 10 AM. Husband is partially disabled. We travel with a scooter as he cannot walk too far & his balance is not good at all. On arrival in Barcelona as usual a big headache as we had to wait until the entire plane was emptied & for the scooter to arrive. It always amazes us how this happens as it is the last to be put into the cargo hold of the plane!!!! & even the pilot said it should be the first thing off. NOT!!!! We collected our luggage, found the RC reps & were directed to our accessible transfer to the ship. The ramp to the ship had a number of dips where my husband's scooter got stuck & subsequently would not run again for at least 24 hours. Luckily we had reserved a 4 wheeled walker for the week so he was at least able to get around. We had a wonderful young fella who pushed him & the scooter onto the ship. Thanks again..... Why are they unable to make the ramp absolutely flat with no dips?? The 1st stop was Marseilles. We did an accessible tour through RC with Jeanne & a driver in a van with a ramp for the scooter. It was an amazing excursion as she was very knowledgeable as well as being a very nice person. Very enjoyable day... Next stop was Villefranche for Nice. We tendered in so my husband stayed on the ship while I did a tour to Monaco / Monte Carlo. Was also an amazing tour. Had a great time, met a family from New York who let me accompany them around so I wouldn't get lost. Lots of steep sidewalks & stairs. Only hurt for a few days.... wouldn't have missed it for the world.. Next stop was LaSpezia for Florence - it was to be a wheelchair accessible tour through RC BUT the only part accessible was the lift on the bus. Jon the guide after a long drive led us to square in Florence where my husband sat on his scooter for 3 hours until the guide returned to take us back to the bus. The large cobblestones were not accessible because they were not even at all. An absolute waste of $$$$ & time. Next stop was Civitavecchia for Rome. We did a private tour with Driver In Rome. Our driver/guide was Giancarlo. Really nice guy. Took us to all the required sites & some. Very knowledgeable. We had a guide also for the Vatican, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's. Her name was Stefania. She was a walking encyclopedia of all Vatican, etc. Went above & beyond - even pushed husband's wheelchair so I could take pics. Thank you again to Driver in Rome & Giancarlo & Stefania for making this day so unforgettable. If ever we return to Rome, they will be our first choice... Worth every $$$... Last stop was Naples. Again through RC - was to be wheelchair accessible but again only the lift was. Had an altercation with the bus driver at the pier. The RC shore excursion person Nik sorted it out & off we went. After seeing what the tour was, I would say that the entire bus wished they had stayed on the ship. All we did was drive up & down streets where basically all the buildings & statues, etc. were covered in graffiti. Apparently it is a big drop off area for the refugees from North Africa. Extremely dirty city. Have filed a complaint with RC regarding both Florence & Naples handicapped accessible shore excursions. It's been 6 days now & no reply.... apparently they don't care...... Nik the shore excursion guy indicated that he would suggest they cancel that particular Naples one. We had a handicapped accessible promenade stateroom #8315. Really nice room. Loads of room to turn the scooter around. Everything you would need. Missed having a balcony though.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Our trip started on Mother's Day and ended on our Anniversary (great way to not have to think up gifts). It was a "sandwich" trip with a land portion, the cruise and then more land travel. I should also mention my wife is ... Read More
Our trip started on Mother's Day and ended on our Anniversary (great way to not have to think up gifts). It was a "sandwich" trip with a land portion, the cruise and then more land travel. I should also mention my wife is totally blind since birth. Also, you should know we've cruised 19 times with 7 different cruise lines. We are mellow and don't get excited because something minor went wrong. To begin, I regret it is with a "bad". Since our very 1st cruise we've asked for Braille menus, not received one and wrote the cruise line afterward. We've suggested everytime we'd be happy to Braille their menu for other blind folk. We talked with a Carnival rep this time who sent us printed menus ahead of time but said "No" when we offered to Braille them. We've suggested putting the menu on a dedicated phone # onboard, same with the Daily Activity newsletter on our bed every night. Nope. Sadly, Carnival seem uninterested in meeting this need. Okay, the cruise itself was very nice. Food was good, service good, room steward good. Movie offerings were better than most ruises BUT good luck finding what time they started -nothing in the daily schedule. Opening show was the usual Cruise Director welcome but that was the only similarity to introdction night. Instead of introducing the Captain, Food Director, etc. John Heard, Cruise Director, was as good a stand up comedian as I've seen. He basically did a show while giving info. Later he did port talks in a comedic waythat was great. Great job BUT never saw John except at the theater. He did a TV show each day that was not impressive at all. The rest of the shows were the usual mixed - some god, some bad but one night it was just a movie! Tour organization was pretty good getting us off the ship. Tours were normal and good except our Venice "Gondola, Murano Island, etc." The boat captain that picked us up at the ship couldn't find a place to park his boat, wasted time looking for one, then we had to walk 25 minutes to get to the gondola. We were late and instead of 1st class gondolas with singers, we got 2nd class ones. It wasn't a good tour and felt like rookies all around. The boat itself is way too gaudy with a Roman urn theme repeated way too much. Cruise excursion staff helpful but hours are poor, Automatic tips - bad idea. Cabin service seems unaffected but all the rest, in general, has slipped. Waiters have too many tables now and it just isn't as good. The buffet is mixed good and not so good. Food is fine except desserts were ho-hum. The problem is pizza had one guy working, very slow going. Wrap/sandwich station great sandwiches but took too long. Design of the drink/dessert/pizza/salad area threw too many people in one area. Salads were very good. Ice cream machine is well hidden! First cruise we've been on that seemed to understand people like Trivia Games a lot. Several versions every day. Very good idea. Self-serve laundry is a great idea. Very clean and nice. $3 a pop is a bit much but easy to use with ship card instead of quarters -great idea. Small jogging track with miniture golphers constantly stepping in front of us. Best disembarkation ever in Venice. Great way to do it Carnival. Overal a good cruise that went smoothly except for power outage of about 40 minutes. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Been back a few days from a 9 night cruise on the Jade , Barcelona - Canaries . Going to try and be balanced , As i personally don't enjoy reading reviews either stating everything was shockingly bad , or everything thing was ... Read More
Been back a few days from a 9 night cruise on the Jade , Barcelona - Canaries . Going to try and be balanced , As i personally don't enjoy reading reviews either stating everything was shockingly bad , or everything thing was perfect .... find them hard to trust . Spend 2 night prior to cruise at the Hotel Grums - only paid £65 per night , including a great breakfast , hotel is only 1 year old and included a fab little spa , with pool , sauna , etc all in the price , located along side the port a 5 mins walk from the columbus monument on Las Ramblas. Excellent Value for money. Embarkation was as smooth as ever , barcelona is very well set up with a well built terminal. Only problem was it was pouring with Rain ! Eat at Blue lagoon as have learnt not to even try Garden Cafe , was peace and good food , rooms were ready at 1pm ( ish ) Overall a great Holiday - I still Champion that something has to be REALLY wrong not to have a good holiday , especially a cruise ! As we had sailed on the sister ship Jewel , almost everything was exactly the same , so had no problem finding our way around ( apart from the odd occasion where certain stairs don't go to certain floors ) The ship was in Good condition , however having recently been dry docked , I didn't really show . there were a few 'Worn' signs around , nothing major but noticeable . ( And as has been stated a number of times on here, surprised the didn't take the chance to change the old CRT Tv's for LCD in the rooms ) We cruise mainly for 2 reasons - Food and entertainment , and Both were very good . Entertainment was mixed , and although nowhere near as good as EPIC , it was still enjoyable and my DD loved showtime. My ONLY issue was that over the 9 night , 2 nights they only did 1 show , which meant you had to get the the theatre early for any kind of decent seat , you could see so many people being turned away with 15 mins until show time. Food was ate at the Main dinning rooms ( apart from 1 night ) I try to avoid the buffet as much as possible as I HATE the places at the best of time , however the few time we did go fro snacks , I could see what a lot of other have commented on as it was Busy almost all the time and very difficult to get a table. Food was still good in there , But just very loud and people racing around like ants , piling plates up with food . MDR were excellent quality food , service excellent apart from a few minor mistakes , but nothing to worry about . Weather was slightly hit and miss , Not terrible but although sunny , sometimes quite cold . This meant less time on top deck , especially sea days . I was a bit disappointed with the activities available during the day . Big ship , good staff , yet little to no family activities to get involved in ( if you ignore the art auction , bingo and port talks ) . Staff were overall Excellent , The Washy Washy Staff who have by far the most boring task for 12 hours a day are amazing , ALWAYS happy , always with a big smile , a credit to them ! For the first time ever since I started cruising I did come across a few miserable people , 1 Bar waiter from Jamaica ( I forgot his name ) , served mainly at the bar on deck 13 looking down to the pool around , never smiled or spoke for 9 days . also a waitress in the Tepenyakki , who argued with me a couple of times , rushed around and never offered us a drink ! But overall 99% were EXcellent , as you come to expect these days on a cruise. The cruise Director Gio and his staff tried - I actually felt sorry for them. The mix of passengers was almost all european ( ourselves included ) and are no where near as outgoing as the Americans ( both north and south ) that we have experienced on other cruises . From the sail away parties , to the mr and mrs shows , etc , they were hard work , no fault of the Cruise staff , but there was a definite need for some Latin passion mixed with some North american confidence to liven things up on this sailing. Pool area was Very crowded , we just accepted that to get some reasonable bed on a sea day , we had to be outside by 8.30/9am , not the end of the world to us , but could annoy some people. The worst thing about this ship was Medussa Lounge - On the sister ship Jewel , this bar was fantastic , every night karaoke , or some kind of find show with the cruise staff , really funny , lively place . On the Jade it has a group called Guys and Doll ..... O Dear , they are terrible , Sorry Guys but one of them MUST have a family member or friend in the recruitment office because this place was DEAD , EVERY single night , I never counted more than 14 people in there ........ such a waste of a great Bar area . We did pay for Tepenyakki 1 night , $25 cover charge , and to be honest it wasn't bad , but I wouldn't do it again . Waitress was poor , had to wait 50 mins before we had our starter , Chef Was Good , But Experience felt very unorganized. Food Quality was Excellent , however if your honest with yourself , It just meat and noodles , I would Personally recommend that anyone considering it , eat at the Jasmine ( only $15 ) , food is as good , more choice and you can watch the 'Show' from outside . WE did none of the NCL excursion , were not big fans of being 'cattled' around. Overview - Madeira - As it was good friday lots of things were shut , however the ship is close to the town , went up the cable car ( 15 euros ) nice views , watched the toboggans ( wait line were massive ) had a nice walk around and few drink along the front . Tenerife - Got taxi to south of the Island and went to Siam Park , Great Water park for families , the best in Europe. Lanzarote - Beach day - ( 20 euros in taxi to playa del carmen ) Malaga - Strolled around the city ( although wished we had gone to One of the many resort north or south as we were not impressed with Malaga at all ) The Casino was the quietist I have ever witnessed ( both on land and at sea , on every night apart from the last ) . To reiterate , we had a Great holiday , I know it may seem like quite a negative review , but as previously stated , if I write everything was Terrible / Fantastic I feel it looses credibility . 85% of everything I came across was impressive , NCL cant do a lot about the passengers on any particular ship , but there are a few thing that could massively improve the trip . Anyone thinking of going on the Ship should give it a try , but as for us , we going to try Disney and either Oasis / Allure before heading back to see what the new NCL ships have to offer. ( Sorry About spelling , Grammar , etc , Written on my Ipad while waiting for someone ) If anyone has any questions they need answering , feel free ...... Thanks Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
Embarkation Our flight didn't arrive until 2:00 p.m. so by the time we arrived at the dock most of the crowd had thinned out. We sailed through this very quickly and painlessly. The Ship To my husband and I this was a ... Read More
Embarkation Our flight didn't arrive until 2:00 p.m. so by the time we arrived at the dock most of the crowd had thinned out. We sailed through this very quickly and painlessly. The Ship To my husband and I this was a trip of a lifetime. Not only were we finally going to see part of Italy, the pyramids and much more, we were going to be cruising again. For us, one of the most exciting things about boarding a ship is when you first walk into the atrium and see the openness and grandeur of the atrium. There is something magical about it unless you are on the Jade. There is nothing grand about the ship especially the atrium area. What a disappointment. The whole theme of the ship is wrong. Originally it sailed in Hawaii so the theme was bright colors, flowers, etc. Not the theme I would expect for Europe. To me it appeared old and tired even though the ship is not that old. A. The Cabin - We had a category BA Balcony stateroom. If we hadn't had the mobility scooter it would have been a perfect size. Do not make the same mistake we did - make sure you have a cabin equipped to handle a scooter. The bathroom was a decent size with a roomy shower area. We had a lot of storage (drawers, shelves, closet and even under the beds). The balcony was perfect. We could not imagine being onboard for that long without it (21 days). The only issue we had with the cabin and the hallway for that matter was the smell of rotten eggs always being present. When you first turned the corner from the forward elevators into the hallway you were hit with a horrible smell of rotten eggs. B.. The Casino - Upon entering the casino you were hit with a musty "old" oder which would disappear once you were there for a while. It was very dark and dingy. On the few occasions I was there during the late night/early morning hours I did not see a staff member. C. Laundry Facilities - From what I have heard, the laundry room was removed to make the casino bigger. When you are on a cruise longer than 10 days I feel laundry facilities are essential. How many people want to spend $1.95 for one pair of under garments. They did have the "all you can fit in the bag" deal for $25.00 which was nice but it took almost two days to get your clothes back. We hung a clothesline out on the balcony for socks, under garments and an occasional shirt. I tried to make sure they were gone while we were in port. D. Dining - We loved the Freestyle Cruising aspect of NCL. It doesn't make sense that when on vacation you always have to dress for dinner. For this reason we usually ate dinner in the Alizar dining room (my husband could wear his shorts) or the Cafe buffet on ``deck 10. The dining room itself was very dark and somewhat drab. Not much glitz there. I don't remember having a bad meal there. I am a picky eater so there wasn't a lot of choices for me but my husband truly enjoyed all the different fish dishes, escargot and any other weird thing he could find on the menu. The staff in this dining room were all great. The buffet usually had a good variety of foods. There is not enough seating and at times the noise can be deafening. After we to be dished up by kitchen staffwho were very unfriendly and rude a lot of the time. Didn't make for a good dining experience. We also found the hours of operation a little confusing. Never knew when they would close down to start preparing for lunch and/or dinner. We also ate in the Blue Lagoon (for breakfast and lunch). The only trouble with this place was the menu never changed. It was supposed to be open 24 hours a day but we found that it closed from 4-6 a.m. to start preparing for room service. So for early risers like us we had no place to go (other than room service which also has a menu that never changes) to get a cup of coffee and a danish until 6 a.m. Entertainment The cruise director was great. He had a wonderful personality and really seemed to enjoy his job. The entertainment was marvelous. We have no complaints about any of the shows we saw. We are early to bed early risers so we did not partake in any of the evenings activities. We also did not visit any of the many bars throughout the ship. We did play bingo several times but found the cost to high and the bingo callers were somewhat annoying. We did not attend any of the art auctions. We did utilize the Internet Cafe and found the person in charge to be quite helpful. Photo Gallery We thought that the photo's taken on the ship were very expensive. It was very difficult to find your picture in the photo gallery because they were spread out every where and the headings were not very explicit. Staff Overall the services we received from staff was O.K. We had two room stewards, a young man and a young lady. Neither of them were as conscientious as they could have been. The only item we asked for repeatedly was ice and for some reason they just couldn't understand that we wanted ice everyday, all day. They were both very friendly but just didn't seem to want to go that extra mile to make us happy. As stated above the Cafe staff were very unfriendly and rude with the exception of a few. The young ladies at the door were always pleasant and cheerful making everyone feel special. The young man who usually made the fried eggs was exceptionally nice. All of the young ladies we had as servers in the Blue Lagoon were very sweet and did a good job. All of the servers in the dining room were excellent as were the greeters. Most of the staff in the customer service area were rude and acted like they were doing you a favor if they helped you. The shore excursion personnel were the exception - they made sure you left their counter happy. We had luggage that was lost for 3 days and had it not been for me calling the airlines to see if it had been found and being told it was delivered to the ship I might never had known. No one from the customer service desk called, left a message on the phone, left a message on the door or just brought it up to the room to let us know it had arrived. I had to call down and was told "yes it's here, come and get it". Not my idea of good customer relations. I hope this doesn't sound like we didn't have a good time. We had a wonderful time. Saw a lot of places we wanted to see, met a lot of nice people and just relaxed and had fun. I think we will cruise on NCL again but probably not the Jade. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
We found that this experience was both more and less than expected. Good stuff--Crew were fabulous!! Best ever Soda free- but not mixed correctly in fountains. Big shows were fabulous. Cold refridgerators in stateroom-no minibar stuff in ... Read More
We found that this experience was both more and less than expected. Good stuff--Crew were fabulous!! Best ever Soda free- but not mixed correctly in fountains. Big shows were fabulous. Cold refridgerators in stateroom-no minibar stuff in the way. Not so Good--- VERY noisy ship. Everything creeks and groans more than any ship we have been on. The officers do not seem to consider the comfort of the passengers when it sets it policies for maintenance. Every night loud banging and water spray noises from pressure washing etc. We were told they would not stop even though we could not sleep. We were moved to another part of the ship but there were other sounds there so we ended up with a separate inside sleeping room...Not the ship for those with sensitive hearing!!!Also, twice they had a loud get together in the central atrium area which you could hear all the way up the lift shaft at 11pm . We use a scooter and for the tour we couldnot take it so I asked for an electric cart to take my husband down the long pier to the snorkel boat in St. Maarteen. The shore staff person told me there was no help and that we were on our own. After we got to the boat we were told that there is a service by the port for $1.00! She should have known that, it is her job after all. That walk was a struggle and very exhausting for my spine damaged husband. We also found out that we could have borrowed a wheelchair so that I could push him! Food---The gourmet menu in the rotation dinning was basically the same stuff but with slightly different seasonings etc over and over. Also the waiters fuss over you way too much so we ate at the buffet most nights. Problem is it is not a buffet for dinner! It is also only open for two hours and if you want to see the early show and not eat late you have no choice but hot dogs or room service! At least that was good, though limited in choices. Deck 3 and 4 have narrow bottlenecks where there are bars and photo shops in the walkway. Daytime adult fun was limited. We had trivia and game shows but only a few days...TV in the room showed the same movies and comedies both weeks. A change on the second week would have been nice....   Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
We joined the Marina in Barcelona on 7th June 2010, our 5th Costa cruise out of about 30 in total. We have enjoyed all of them and Marina was no exception but it is, of course, one of their small, older ships, almost identical to the ... Read More
We joined the Marina in Barcelona on 7th June 2010, our 5th Costa cruise out of about 30 in total. We have enjoyed all of them and Marina was no exception but it is, of course, one of their small, older ships, almost identical to the Allegra. There were only about 30 English speakers on board, the majority Italian and French, with a few German & Spanish. Rather than having a 'beginning' and an 'end' there were people boarding and disembarking nearly every day. We picked this cruise because it had no sea days and we had a 600 euro voucher each from when the Europa sadly broke down in the Indian Ocean last year which covered the cost (except for about 50 euros each in tax and our Easyjet flights. We flew into Barcelona a day early and stayed at thed Hotel Coronado which was fine, if not luxurious, and was conveniently situated a short walk from the port. In fact we took the longer route, walkng through to Las Ramblas, up to Placa Catalunya then back down to the port, all quite doable with my husband's mobility scooter and me pulling our one small suitcase. Marina was docked at one of the big cruise terminals, not the World Trade Centre, so that necessitated the use of the 2 euro shuttle bus. Boarding was quick and easy. Our allocated inside cabin (V209) was a fixed twin bed cabin, and two very narrow single beds at that, and having requested a double we immediately asked to be moved. We had to sleep on our 'shelves' for the first night but the next day they offered us a larger outside cabin right in the middle of the ship. We were delighted with this, although the cabin was still somewhat dated and lacked the convenient layout and amenities of modern ships. It was nice to have a window for a change but (for us) is not something we would consider paying extra for. The food was as good as ever. Excellent pasta especially. The only complaint was that the buffet closes at 3.30pm (although there is tea and cakes until 4.30pm) so anyone arrriving back on ship after that has to wait until dinner, which is quite a wait if you are 9pm sitting. My husband did not need to use his scooter on the ship which was just as well as the Marina is not really wheelchair accessible, there are 'up and over' steps at several entrances to the main deck and the corridors are very narrow. Now a little about the ports: Monte Carlo, Monaco We had been here a couple of times before so decided not to go the the Monaco-Ville (old town around the palace) this time but to spend some time exploring the newer MOnte Carlo area. Walking out of the port we found an elevator and crossed the street towards La Condamine market, then walked down the pedestrianised 'Rue Princess Caroline' back towards the harbour. Following the harbour brought us to a pretty little church and statue dedicated to Sainte Devote. From there we walked up the hill to the Casino. The main Casino does not open until 2pm but the Casino de Paris (in the arcade next to the Cafe de Paris) was open, so we could rest for a while and waste a few euros on the slot machines. After wandering around the Casino district we headed off down the hill towards Larvotto beach, which was rather too far to walk but on the seafront we came across a beautiful Japanese Garden, a really lovely and peaceful oasis to sit for a while. We decided then to head back towards the ship, walking through the seafront tunnel that features in the Monaco Grand Prix, just missed a 'bateau bus' (little boat across the harbour) so decided to keep walking and admiring all the lovely yachts. It was a lovely day but we must have walked some miles, as my feet were killing me and for the first time ever the scooter ran out of power just before we got back to the ship ! Livorno, Italy This was about our 5th or 6th visit to Livorno so we had no intention of visiting Florence or Pisa again. It's a shame that Livorno is only seen as the gateway to these beautiful places as it is not too bad a place to spend a day in its own right. For the first time we did not dock at the horrible industrial port but at one of the berths at the bottom of the main street (Via Grande). It was still about half a mile into town, there were buses, but we saw a sign to the 'New American Market' just outside the port - on investigation nothing special - then crossed the main street and walked parallel to the seafront. our guess was right and we shortly came out behind the Piazza Grande (where the shuttle buses from the other cruise terminals drop off). One block up the Via Grande (going away from the port) is a nice market (fruit & veg, meat, shoes, lots of clothes,& just about everything else) that we had discovered on a previous visit. We spent the rest of the morning wandering around that. When the shops shut for siesta (about 1pm) we took bus no.1 from Piazza Grande (after buying tickets for 1 euro each from the tobacco kiosk) to the beaches of Antignano. This is the same bus as goes to the station but in the opposite directions (across the road from the cathedral). We passesd some nice looking 'bagni' - beach club establishments - but did not have too long to spend there so got off at 'Tre Ponti' stop to use the public beach. It is not a spectacular beach but was quite busy with local families and the water was warm (unlike Marina's pool which was like an ice bath all week). After a drink and 'gelato' at a nearby cafe we caught the bus back getting off at the bottom of 'Via Grande' and walking back along the seafront to the ship. Olbia, Sardinia The Marina docks at the ferry port 'Isolda Bianca' and there was a free shuttle bus every 10 minutes to the port end of the main street 'Corso Umberto 1'. This is a nice stret lined with shops and cafes and small piazzas off the street. We lingered at bit too long in the town, having intended to take a bus to the beach of Pittulongu, by the time we found the bus stop (turn left before the railway lines at the far end of the main street) it appeared that we had just missed the midday bus, and my timetable (2 years out of date but the best I could find either on the internet or in Olbia) indicated that they only run once an hour. The last shuttle leaves the town at 4pm so we decided it was not worth the effort to have probably less than an hour at the beach. We followed the street for a while, finding a few shops but nothing of particular interest, then took a left turning ('Via Roma') which led back towards the main street via a series of squares. It's quite a nice town but next time we will be a bit more lively and make sure we see some of Sardinia's beaches. Capri, Italy Local boats tendered into the harbour of 'Marina Grande' right opposite the funicular to Capri Town. It was only a short stay, last tender 12.30 for 1pm departure, so we opted out of visiting the town. There were quite a few shops and cafes at harbour level which kept us amused for an hour or so and a nice pebble beach. The water was lovely and warm and clear but a little inevitable surface polutioon from all the boats continuously in and out of the harbour, mainly ferries to Naples & Sorrento and tourist boats leaving for round island tours and the Blue Grotto - both of these looked easy to book on arrival. The water at the far end of the beach was much nicer and I enjoyed a nice swim. Tendering back was efficient with hardly any queue even though nearly everyone must have been returning to the ship about midday, and we left on time. Glad we did not take a round island boat tour as we had a lovely view from the ship as we sailed away, quite close to the island, past the famous rock arch and the 'Marina Picola' at the other side of the island. La Goulette (for Tunis), Tunisia It was our honour to be one of the first ships to call at the new cruise terminal and what an improvement ! On our last visit 2 years ago it had been absolute choas with almost unbearable hassle from hundreds of taxi drivers. We have holidayed in Tunisia and like the country but fully understand why this port of call has been reported as such a bad experience for many cruisers. However, the new terminal will make a huge difference. As this was another short visit, sailing at 2pm, we had no intention of going into Tunis this time, so spent the morning exploring La Goulette. Sadly we found little of interest. There is a lovely wide beach of beautiful soft golden sand about a mile from the cruise terminal but it was almost deserted, just a handful of local youths sitting around and nobody using the beach cafes. Perhaps it was empty because the weather was overcast (although still warm) - I don't know, as we have seen this beach packed with people on other visits. Walking back along what seemed to be the main street, one bloack back from the beach, we found a small indoor market selling fruit vand veg, meat, fish etc, lots of cafes and a few shop, some open and some closed on Saturday morning. There are some old town walls, a couple of gateways and a statue of a man on a horse in the middle of the street near the port, but little else. Wandering back to the port we deviated to check out the location of the station for trains to Tunis in the hope that we will return one day soon. In fact it is very easy, simply walk out of the port, across the street by the garage and follow the railway lines to the station. On returning we spent some time looking at the shops in the cruise terminal itself. It has been built to resemble an old medina with some attractive fountains and waterfalls and complete with camels, Roman soldiers & a snake charmer. There will be about 50 shops when it is all open but only about half seem to be occupied so far. We got chatting to a cashier in the duty free shop (sells cigarettes about 40 euros for 400 and a good variety of perfume but no alcohol) and asked about changing money. He proudly took us to see the new ATM - which as of last week (12th June 2010) stands on a pallet wrapped in packaging ! When it is installed and working ('very soon' I was told) it will be in a little alcove just to the left of the immigration area.It will then be dead easy to visit Tunis independently. Simply get some local currency out of the ATM, walk to the station and take the train into Tunis from there. I believe it is still a good walk to the medina (we did it some years ago when staying at a Tunisian beach resort) but much cheaper than a taxi. We will definitely do it next time. Walking out of the port now seems to be easy thanks to the advertised taxi fares and organised taxi rank, whereas before it was nearly impossible. Several drivers still called out as we walked by, and a few others were waiting at the port gate, but a form 'no thank you' sufficed and we walked by with no trouble. I hope they enforce the fixed fares and keep the hassle factor low and that Tunis becomes a deservedly popular port of call. My only criticism was that in building a new terminal you would expect it to be wheelchair friendly. In fact there were sevaral points when my husband had to get off his scotter and lift it up and down small steps into different areas of the building and into shops etc. Port Mahon, Menorca There is one advantage of travelling on a smaller ship and that is that it can get into hidden jewels like Mahon ! We sailed in at lunchtime down a long fjord-like bay (a bit like Malta's Grand Harbour) and docked right by a little market from where pretty little shops lined the quayside. Being Sunday we had wondered what to expect but most of these were open, selling typical tourist wares, local produce and especially the locally made leather sandals. The main town can be reached by 150 steps but we took the longer sloping route to the top and found a really charming old Spanish town. Most of the shops in the town were closed as, sadly, were all the churches and museums, but in a way it was better for us as had things been open it would no doubt have been busy and probabaly impassable with the scooter. We had a lovely couple of hours wandering around enjoying the scenery and would love to return here one day. Conclusion The Marina is not my favourite ship, it is just unfair to compare it to the big modern liners, and (knowing what the Allegra does in rough seas) it definitely needed to be a port-intensive itinerary for me. But the food is good and the crew bend over backward to be helpful - and the fact that they have to do everyting in 5 languages as well as their mother tongues never ceases to amaze me - so if the itinerary and price were right I would have no hestitation in booking it again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010

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