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  #1  
Old January 5th, 2013, 10:53 PM
roundthebend's Avatar
roundthebend roundthebend is offline
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Default Casablanca to Marrakech - DIY. Need help from those who have done it!!!

We will be arriving in Casablanca on MSC Divina on 13th Feb. We are in port from 8am to 10pm. Marrakech is the place I wish to visit, anything else can wait until I do a land trip in a couple of years.
I need specific information from those in the know!
Can you walk from the cruise port to Casa port railway station or are you better to catch a petit taxi to Casa Voyageurs?
If you can walk, how long would it take?
If better to take a taxi, what would the fare be?
Any responses greatly appreciated
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  #2  
Old January 6th, 2013, 01:32 AM
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roundthebend roundthebend is offline
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As an aside, I am not interested in doing ship tours ( way too expensive and the local guides take you to their çommission stores).
I was looking at renting a car, whch would give us more time (maybe!!) but concerned about traffic and parking in Marrakech.
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Carnival Spirit 4/12 Hawaii
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Cunard Vistafjord 12/88
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  #3  
Old January 10th, 2013, 12:09 PM
Pluto_fan Pluto_fan is offline
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I'm hoping you get some helpful answers, as I am trying to plan for our visit in April. If nothing else, please report back how your visit went!

Happy cruising!
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  #4  
Old January 10th, 2013, 10:26 PM
nna nna is offline
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Default casa to marrakesh

I would not do this as a private tour...it is a long ways along the highway, there and back. it is worth the ships' tour price to make sure you get back. we took a tour there..and all the buses were 2 hours late back to the ship, because we ran into soccer match traffic and there was no way around it. another bus was 2.5 hours late.

i just would not take the chance. do bring water along... our ship's tour was very very good.we walked through the souk...and there was no commission stuff going on. take water and toilet paper.
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  #5  
Old March 17th, 2013, 01:38 AM
koryisma koryisma is offline
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Holy crap! Casa to Kech and back in a day? NO THANK YOU!

I lived in Morocco for 4.5 years. If you are going to Casa, my suggestions are:

1. Get out of Casa. Seriously. Other than Morocco Mall (and who the hell goes to Morocco to see a mall?!?) and the mosque that, yes, is maybe worth walking around for 10-15 minutes or touring... Casa is the armpit of Morocco.

2. Think about going to Rabat. I lived there the last two years I was in Morocco and miss it horribly. You can probably hire a guide for the day in Rabat-- let me know if the ship doesn't offer anything and I can message privately some info once I check with friends.

If you do Rabat, I'd check out:

- The Chellah-- old Mereneid ruins next to Roman Ruins right outside the Rabat city gates! There's not a lot of information on the history, so I'd either hire a guide (there or if you have a city guide for your time there, great) or do some research beforehand. It's only 10 MAD to get in ($1.25ish) and a great place to visit.

- The old Medina. If you are a walker, I'd walk there from the train station: just continue down Avenue Mohammed V past the Parliament and hotel Balima: you'll run right into one of the two main drags. I recommend a map: the main streets of interest are Mohammed V, Souika (busy! bustling!) and Rue de Negotiants (artisanal goods/souvenirs). You could spend a whole day getting lost. It's not the same as Marrakesh-- not by a long shot!-- but it's fantastic. I recommend tasting the sugar cane juice as well as an avocado and ginger smoothie. There are also fantastic olives sold by the bucket on Souika-- DELICIOUS and affordable. Rue de Negotiants has excellent souvenir opportunities.


At the end of Rue de Negotiants, you'll exit the old Medina and find yourself right across the street from the Oudaya. Go there-- it's a fortified neighborhood that literally used to be a pirate fort and the capital of the rogue pirate nation founded by the Sale (Sallee) Rovers. Today, there are gardens, a museum with jewelry from around Morocco, a fantastic cafe that overlooks the river Bouregreg (skip the coffee, try a gazelle horn and tea!), houses painted in white and blue, a row of shops and galleries, a carpet "factory," and a viewing platform with stunning views of the ocean, river with its blue fluca boats, Sale (sister city across the river) and lighthouse.

As far as what else to do, I'd recommend a meal at Dar Neji for affordable authentic traditional Moroccan food. The roof is traditional, the prices are good, and there are a lot of options. Don't miss out on the salad plate with a trio of salads. I also recommend trying other people in your group's food: chicken tagine with preserved lemons, couscous, bastilla, and kefta with eggs should NOT be missed. Skip desert at Neji and get ice cream or gelato on the street.

Getting to Rabat is fairly easy... well. No. I don't know how seasoned of travelers you are. I'd either walk to Casa Port train station or take a red "petit taxi" (pay the price on the meter), depending on where exactly the ship docks. Trains run every hour during off times and every half hour during the day. It's about a 70 minute trip each way, 70 MAD round-trip for 2nd class, 105 MAD round-trip for first. (I don't mind second-class... but you are guaranteed an assigned seat in first, so it's up to whatever you are comfortable with).

If you have even a small working knowledge of French, you should be fine. You will most likely be perfectly fine with English as well-- if not, most Moroccans are friendly and open to helping-- if you need help, asking if someone speaks English at a store or restaurant will hopefully result in them finding someone to help. I'd be more wary in Casa of people than Rabat, but I'm also a bit biased.

From the train station in Rabat (the second one- Rabat Ville.... NOT Rabat Agdal), everything except the Chellah is within walking distance if you are comfortable walking a few miles. I recommend it-- you get to see so much more that way!

In any case-- if you (or anyone else in the future reading this board) has any other questions, let me know. I love Morocco. I miss it daily. I HATE that so many people only see a tiny sliver of it (especially when people just see Tangier or Casa which are dumpy and sketchy if you don't know what you are doing) and miss out... so I will do whatever I can to help with people having a good experience.

I also spent a few months in Kech, so I can answer a lot of questions about that as well.

Peace!
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  #6  
Old March 18th, 2013, 08:27 AM
Pluto_fan Pluto_fan is offline
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koryisma, thank you for your very helpful post. We'll be docked at Casablanca on April 5 and are planning to do exactly this, take the train to Rabat. Really looking forward to it! I'm printing out your post to take along with us.

Quick question, since we will be there on a Friday, will things be closed? I know that the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca will not be offering tours that day, but how about things in Rabat? Thanks.
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Last edited by Pluto_fan; March 18th, 2013 at 08:29 AM.
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  #7  
Old April 2nd, 2013, 09:54 PM
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dzcruisers dzcruisers is offline
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We will be on a Celebrity ship in late November. Do you know where we will dock? Thanks!
How would we set up a private tour to see Rabat?
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