Posted March 29th, 2018, 06:15 PM
STOP THE PRESS! I skipped our second port! Genoa, Italy!
I realize now how I did that - my brain was pushing me to move on to Marseille as Genoa wasn't my favourite port, actually it was probably the least interesting.
In Genoa we did the MSC excursion GOA16T called "Genoa and the Palazzo del Principe". Here's my firm advice - don't do this MSC excursion. You will be disappointed mainly because the Palazzo del Principe is a run-down "palace" within a few steps of the port entrance and it is surrounded by highways and other buildings. The palace should not be open to visitors in it's current shabby state. They do not allow you to take photos unless you pay an additional 4 Euros and then their staff basically followed our groups every step to ensure those who did not pay the 4 Euros were not attempting to take photos. I have never seen more unprofessional visitor services staff. They made you feel uncomfortable and one of the gentleman in our group who was not taking photos but was chastised by the staff actually told the staff member he was "sick" and "something was wrong with him". Our guide even told us she didn't feel the 4 Euros was worth it because the only thing really to see is tapestries on the walls. We only got to see the small garden area which other than the fountain of Neptune was not much of a garden and inside we saw about 3 or 4 rooms out of the entire palace. The family of the prince who owned the palace still reside there and they are not providing a positive visitor experience. Our well informed tour guide tried to keep us interested with a lengthy (way too much detail) historical lecture but it really bored us and I'm a history sponge so what does that tell you? the guide was dull and didn't seem to know how to make history interesting. It was a shame because she knew her history but looking at our group of English speaking, Italian and Japanese tourists, we couldn't have looked less interested in what she was telling us.
After walking to the palace from the port entrance for the short tour there we then got on the coach for a tour of Genoa by coach until we were dropped off in the city at the waterfront by the Aquarium (PS if your doing the aquarium tour don't expect much because the aquarium is really small and not impressive). On the coach tour we went through the city streets and saw places of interest. Once at the Aquarium for a pit stop for bathroom and snacks (at your expense of course) we had two choices: walk with the guide over to see the cathedral from the outside and some of the other incredibly narrow historical streets (we actually enjoyed this portion of the tour the most, the streets were crowded but it felt loosely like you were in the Harry Potter films on the cobbled streets at the shop where he buys his wand) or you could sit on the waterfront until the rest of us returned. Finally we boarded a small tour ferry vessel for our very quick return to the ship. I can only assume the return to the ship by this small ferry was faster than the coach weaving itself back to the ship on one directional streets.
Again - please don't waste your money on this excursion. Worst excursion of all the ones we purchased. Have I made myself clear enough?
MSC Orchestra - Mediterranean - 14/03/2018
Holland America Koningsdam - Eastern Caribbean - 01/08/2017
Carnival Glory - Eastern Caribbean - 01/23/2016
Carnival Conquest - Eastern Caribbean - 06/22/2014
Royal Caribbean Monarch of the Seas - Bahamas - 04/02/2013
Celebrity Constellation - Southern Caribbean -
Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean - 02/04/2006
Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas - Western Caribbean - 02/14/2004
Celebrity Horizon - Bermuda - 05/18/2002
Holland America Maasdam - Western Caribbean - 08/19/2001
Crystal Symphony - Mexican Riviera - 01/05/2001