I went on this cruise with my daughter and her two little boys, aged 4 and 6. We chose it because it matched the boy’s half term dates. The ship looked enormous, I really doubted it would be ‘for me’. With the corona virus our passports were examined, page by page, to ensure we hadn’t visited a China or Asia and our temperatures taken. We also had to answer health questions. The boarding process went smoothly and we boarded.
Wow. The Atrium and Promenade, with its double stories and LED ceiling was spectacular. Constantly changing, like the roof of the Sistine Chapel one moment, a rainforest the next. Very Italian, sparkly and over the top! It is a 21st Century destination in itself. To call one of the vast amount of lifts you tell it which floor you need, it tells you the correct lift, which arrives quickly.
The pools are fantastic, the children’s facilities are brilliant. The children’s water park, the massive water slides, also great for adults, and the Himalayan Mountain Track are spectacularly good. The staff running the kids clubs are ideal and seem to work 24 hours a day!
Huge sofa that turned into large bunks at night for our boys. Very comfortable bed, linen, pillows and towels. Great lighting, huge mirrors, clever and sensitive air con that knows when your door to the balcony is open! Mini bar, good hairdryer and great bathroom with large shower.
We stayed in port as the children were very tired. Interesting castle opened at the dock. Very simple to go to Rome from the nearby railway station for under €20 return. Make sure you validate your ticket in the machine before you board! Ticket also give you free metro in Rome, accessible from Station Termini. I recommend Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Colosseum and Forum, in that order. You can get off earlier at the Vatican, but it’s a lot to do in one day so I would do one or the other.
Little down at heel, with some beautiful buildings, such as old theatres, closed. Lovely Cathedral and Parliament buildings within walking distance. Get a map from the Tourist Information, just over the crossing outside the port.
We booked an electric buggy that included a sat nav for four people. It was great fun, didn’t go above 15 MPH, and had some hair raising manoeuvres in tight, steep, ancient cobbled streets! That was on the other side of Valetta Harbour. We then strolled round Valetta itself, as we had been previously.
Taxi to Metro station from ship, metro to cable car, cable car to the top of the mountain you see from he ship that has a huge fort at the summit. We then took Metro to Gaudi Park, get the entrance ticket on line before you go! You can then take Metro to Gaudi Cathedral and the top of La Rambla to walk back towards the cruise terminal. We then caught a taxi from the bottom of La Rambla to the ship as our boys were exhausted! You buy a one day metro pass for €11.20 for ten journeys. Children are free. More than one person can use the ticket, it’s the number of journeys that count. Amazing value.
Again we took a taxi into the centre, but if you walk out from the boat along the road there is a FREE shuttle into the centre of town. Marseille has had a great clean up! It’s sparkling and lovely to just stroll, either into the town or around the extensive harbour and boardwalk with great bars you can stop in to watch the world pass by.
It was our embarkation/leaving point but looked very Italian from the ship with lots of history. It is Italy’s busiest port, so no doubt has great maritime museums to visit.