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21 April 2024
Alan Morris by the Notre-Dame de la Garde Cathedral in Marseille.

On day 2 of my cruise around the Mediterranean, I arrived in Marseille early in the morning aboard my cruise ship the Costa Toscana. I had originally had a short trip around Marseille booked but Costa Cruises cancelled the trip so I took myself ashore to have a look around.

Marseille, France.

I woke at about 7 am & had a shower, took my tablets & then went for breakfast. The buffet breakfast is very busy & getting a seat is difficult. I have cornflakes with strawberry yoghurt & raisins but it's too busy & not a good experience so I go for a walk. On my walk, I come across a different restaurant with a breakfast buffet & more seats. I get myself scrambled egg, bacon, sausages, beans & tomato. I wash it down with fresh fruit juice & I'm now ready for the day.

When we are docked in Marseille I go to the disembarkation door I will be leaving the ship from. I am 5 minutes early & am told I have to go back to deck 6 & wait there. I sit there watching people go down in the lift only to return a short time later. At about 1:15 pm I can leave the ship. Security is easy the only thing I have to take is my Costa Cruises door key, this is enough for me to leave the ship, pass through the port & go to Marseille. If only catching the coach into Marseille was as easy.

I got off the ship & found a Costa Cruise rep who pointed me to a building, telling me the coach was behind it. When I got there it was a free for all, with people pushing & shoving each other, all trying to find & board the correct coach. I climbed on board a coach & hoped it was the correct one.

I got lucky & the coach took me to Marseille but I hadn't seen any of my new friends. At the port, I bought some roasted cashews from a street vendor & walked to the small tourist train that ran trips up to the Notre Dame Cathedral in Marseille that overlooked the port. I worked out I had just enough time to get the train to the Cathedral on the hilltop, stop for some photos & get back to catch a coach back to the ship.

The train journey wound through the different parts of Marseille going past the port & many residential areas as well. I thought that Marseille was a very beautiful city & parts of it I recognised. I think I may have stopped here for 1 night when driving my mum, from Fareham to Los Alc√°zares for a stay with me years ago, but I can not remember anything about it.

When I get to the Cathedral I take some panoramic videos & photos before heading back down on the next tourist train. It was a lot quicker on the return trip. 

  Video of my ride through Marseille on the tourist train.

After being dropped off I walked back to the coach drop-off point & got the coach back to the ship. I had noticed the dress code was very casual so I walked into the bar wearing the Arsenal shirt I had on, & sat down. I was immediately approached by one of the Indian staff who told me he was an Arsenal fan & that he used to play football back in India & when he lived in both France & Italy. He had dreamt of playing in the Premier League but wasn't good enough. He was hopeful that his son who plays will one day play for Arsenal. He got me a Bahama Mamma cocktail whilst I relaxed after my day ashore. I had another Bahama Mamma cocktail just to check consistency, it was also very good. I then went back to my cabin to change clothes & get ready for the show tonight.

At around 7 pm I walked down to the Colosseum showroom bar, found a good view of the stage area & ordered a beer from the waiter.

The acrobatic show 'Lava' was excellent, it was comparable to the Cirque du Soleil show I had seen in Orlando when I lived there, just on a smaller scale. I did notice how professional one of the beautiful girls performing in the show was. Almost at the show's start, she had a costume malfunction but didn't stop or even look like she had noticed. This meant continuing the entire show, with her right butt cheek sticking out, it was a wonderful thing to see such professionalism & such a well-rounded performance.

After the show, I sat in a quiet area of the ship, relaxing with another pint until some performers turned up, dressed as the Pirates of the Caribbean characters. They sat opposite me & soon there were loads of horrible little kids running around, bumping into everyone & everything all unsupervised by their parents. As I got up to move myself & my beer to safety, Lynda & Michael walked past so I joined them & we walked to our allocated restaurant for dinner.

Dinner consisted of a beautiful four-course meal & was washed down by several glasses of white wine. At the end of the meal, we were joined by Susan & Bryan & we went to the Colosseum bar for some cocktails. My cocktail selection was a White Russian & when I finished I walked to the Leonardo Gran bar to listen to the group playing there finish their last few numbers, they were very good as was the Bahama Mamma cocktail I had before going to bed.

  Photos from my day in Marseille