Enjoying a wind down (and wine-down) in Marseille France

the-view-from-notre-dame-in-marseille-france-1It is hard to follow up a day in Barcelona so the only way to do it well is to offer something completely different so instead of the busy city pace, the quaint slower vibe of Marseille in Provence, France was the perfect complement.  At day 6 of a 7 day cruise I am all toured out and so I decide to hop off and just make the most of what I can.  This of course means a walking tour if you are me.  The ship offered a very convenient round trip bus to the port so you are dropped off right in the middle of town and ready to take on a little adventure.

an-open-market-in-marseille-france-8 marseille-france-9 marseille-france-7The Old Port area is a hot spot for shops and food in the city and easy way to start off or even enjoy your whole day.  I love local vendors and was able to find a great open air market with lots of souvenirs that felt very French (at least to me).  The seascape is also beautiful so as I passed a little train I decided to take off and find out where the train can take me.  There is where speaking a little of the language comes in handy.  After dragging my kids up and down the marina with no access to the castle that initially looked very close I decided a can would do as well.  Great decision!  The city is full of increasingly steep streets and hills so if you are going to take on the challenge of the on foot route make sure you are ready for the climb.


marseille-france-6 marseille-france-12 marseille-france-11 the-ceiling-in-notre-dame-in-marseille-france-3Once in the cab we head to the top of the hill to visit Norte Dame de la Garde.  While the church is beautiful the view is amazing.  You can see the whole city from the top and with the lovely sea breeze coming your way it is a great place for reflection and prayer.  Just note, however, getting a cab down is much harder than catching a cab up as you have to call a local company to send a cab your way.  Never fear, however, because you can take the land train down.  The ride is steep but lots of fun and a good way to spot some things you want to add to your visit list while in town.


desert-trio-in-the-old-port-area-of-marseille-france-16 lunch-in-the-old-port-area-in-marseille-france-13 lunch-in-the-old-port-area-in-marseille-france-15With that the tourist check was marked for me for Marseille and so next up was tackling my food cravings. With the old port surrounded by restaurants the choice was if but which.  A Tripadvisor recommendation caught my eye and we settled down at a lovely Italian restaurant right on the water.  It was some of the best food I had the whole trip and as I enjoyed my bottle of very French wine I reflected on what was undeniably a trip of a lifetime!

Sailing the Mediterranean with MSC Cruises

MSC Cruise Line (3)Although not a household name in America MSC Cruises is one of the world’s largest cruise lines and offers cruises to a wide variety of destinations from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean and even to the Orient. With my previous experience only being US cruise lines, however, my introduction to MSC came out of convenience.  Because I knew my goal for 2016 Spring Break was to take a cruise in the Mediterranean the options were limited. As the weather in the Mediterranean at this time is not the warmest in March I found many of the cruise lines I was familiar with did not offer the Mediterranean route at that time.  So MSC Cruises quickly became my first and only choice for my adventure.MSC Cruise Line (4)

MSC Cruises managed to deliver a mix of both comfort and luxury in a wealth of offerings that was honestly too much for me to explore on this first trip. Setting off on an adventure is normally invigorating, however the plane, train and automobile it took me to get on the boat wore me out!  Being Jet Lagged is a beast and with daily ports in some really amazing locations it is easy to get busy with the things there are too do off the boat.  Still in really taking the time to explore I was able to find a little bit of everything making it a spot on choice for family entertainment.  From shows to gambling to fantastic swimming pools there was always an option for how to spend your time while on the ship.  With a full list of activities on the daily rooster it almost becomes difficult to remind yourself that vacationing does require some rest and relaxation on the list.

MSC Cruise Line (1) MSC Cruise Line (2)








Here is the quick roundup of some of the most important components of MSC Cruises:

MSC Cruise Line (5)Dining: Throughout my seven days I had what felt like an authentic variety of Mediterranean and European options. Certainly there were days that were a little more of what I like to eat, like this delicioso lobster, but every day there were some basic staples that you could choose like salads and soups.  Each meal had a variety of courses so even if one missed the mark you still left the table feeling satisfied.

Entertainment: The full on theatre show I was only able to catch once but it was a full on dancing and singing spectacle. Each night offered two main stage professional shows as well as a kids dance competition that lasted throughout the sailing.  For me what was a little more accessible was the entertainment throughout the ship from singing to dance lessons.  This is a great way to hop in and be involved as you wander the ship and stay as long (or as little) as you like.  Of course the casino also had a big pull for me but what probably pulled me the quickest was the nightly BINGO games!  If shows are not your speed there was also dance parties in a couple of locations as well as a sports bar and small bowling alley.  In room entertainment was a little more limited as the channels were primarily not English and those that did show in English were all news channels.  After purchasing the Wi-Fi, however, I was able to master Netflix and Chill while finishing our cruise.

MSC Cruise Line (7)

Beauty: Time did not allow for a full spa visit but the sauna options on the cruise were right on point. I avoided the crowd with morning and evening visits to make sure I got a chance to unwind in between all the sightseeing.  I was able to get a pretty good product demonstration including facial while on the cruise and highly recommend it.  Not only did I love the products it is a great use of time during your sea day without breaking the bank.

MSC Cruise Line (6)Pools: When I was planning for a vacation where the temperatures did not even peak in the 70’s, swimming was pretty far from my mind. Once I got on board, however, and realized just how many of the pools were either indoor or offered a hot tub option I had to stop immediately and join in on the fun.  Although there was a pretty big demand at the indoor pools I am sure with the summer months the outdoor pools get a lot of action.  No matter the time of year however, the view of the water from the pools on the top decks is phenomenal.

Customer Service: Perhaps my favorite part of this cruise line was the staff. Everyone was friendly and willing to help.  As I celebrated my birthday on the ship the chocolate covered strawberries were a great night cap and ended an amazing day on a high note.  With the international staff I was able to hear a little about destinations all over the world and they made sure to point me in the right direction and keep a smile on my face.

All in all I really enjoyed my MSC experience!!!  The great attitudes and attention of the staff definitely would have me check out a MSC cruise all over again.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...