Marseilles, France was our first stop on new Carnival Breeze and it was a special one for us. When I think “France” I first think “Paris” then right after that, “romantic” but hardly ever “Marseilles”. Still, we found it to be an eclectic mix of very old and very under-construction that made for a great day ashore.
We had no shore excursion planned so took a shuttle bus from the cruise pier ($12 per person round-trip) in to the center of Marseilles. Dropped off at what was probably a typical tourist stop, we wandered down the street past stores, café’s and a whole lot of tourists.
Going off the beaten path a bit, still within sight of the busier tourist areas we found a little café, sampled a local beer, bought some French bath products to take home and called it a day.
The story could end right there and be a win for a port we had never been to before and might not make it back to again. But in the process of that short trip we created a memory that will live on with us always.
It will probably be referred to as “the day we spent in France, just walking the streets, having a good time”, much like a couple much younger might have done in Paris, then recalled throughout their lives together with a great deal of fondness.
To be sure on the memory part, we bought things that might remind us of those we met and where we visited. Some French lavender lotion and spray essence recommended by a shopkeeper will surely take us back with just a spritz years from now. A tin advertising sign for the beer we shared, later pinned for all to see in our “Travel Beer” Pinterest board will bring memories of sitting on the sidewalk as merchants prepared their stores for a busy day.
It’s was all very much a simple, wonderful memory created because one of the cruise industries newest, largest ships brought us here, allowing that memory to happen. Rated among all such memories, though, it ranks in the top ten easy.
This, to us, is very much a big part of what cruise vacations are all about.
It’s all about memories. We know that from previous sailings and cherish those times to be recalled later; times that could never be repeated even if we wanted to.
First stop on this 12-day voyage: a win in anybody’s book.