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We are going to be stopping in Cascablanca on our transatlantic cruise this fall and are also interested in others opinions of what to do and how safe you felt. We are probably going to be taking a cruise sponsored shore excursion in this port for several reasons and are interested in what experiences others have had with Princess tours in this port.


Thanks and have a great next cruise.

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Has anyone been to Morocco? We have some ports there next year. I haven't seen much discussion about it. I am curious about any impressions you have had.


Not knowing what your ports are I do suggest you do ship's tours or line up a private tour,but no matter always go with a guide and not on your own...just an FYI.

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We stopped in Casablanca and Tangiers on a cruise last year. In both cities, we negotiated with a cab dirver to take us to the places we had researched and wanted to see.


In Casablanca, Hassan II Mosque, the Medina, the Museum of Moroccan Judiasm, and a driving tour of the city.


In Tangiers, the medina, the museum of the kasbah, a spice shop with an interesting talk. We didn't do very well in our selection of a guide there, and it felt like he just wanted to take us to a store to buy carpet--and I'm convinced he got a cut.


You may want to post this on the Africa & Middle East board.

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Several years ago, I was on a cruise that docked in Casablanca, but other than a very beautiful mosque, I was disappointed. Surprisingly, there was a large Roman Catholic church there that we toured, so evidently there is a great deal of religious tolerance at least in Casablanca. Guess my expectations for Casablanca were too high as I've always thought of it as a very exotic place. We also took a tour to Rabat that I was much more impressed with. We viewed the outside of the royal palace, toured a beautiful royal tomb, & toured the kasbah. A tablemate took a tour to Marakesh & the grand bazar which she enjoyed very much. These were all ship tours & none of us felt unsafe at any time. I would not hesitate to visit again, next time to Marakesh to check it out.

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I must be quite naive because I didn't think of a safety problem in Morocco. Is it a big issue?


I would not say that safety is an issue per se...it is just at certain ports it is easier to have a guide or at least be with a group and a guide...they can steer you away from the hawkers,the shop keepers and generally speaking will not take you to a rug or leather shop owned by a friend or relative...not that they will not stop at a rug shop.If someone wants to be on their own I would say it's ok,but when I was there(at least in Tangiers) it was better to be with a guide...I did wander away for a bit on my own and the guide came to find me and admonish me,but that was ok.It can also be a language thing.Just MHO.

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We stopped in Casablanca on our Grand Princess transatlantic this April. Most on the ship took various tours, but we went off on our own to explore the city. We actually did our entire day walking (probably walked about 5 miles total) and explored the Hassan II Mosque (one of the most amazing modern buildings in the world) and downtown including the outdoor market (lots of fun). I never felt there was any safety issue walking in Casablanca..and there were also plenty of taxis. On our next visit I think we will just grab a train and go to Rabat for a visit. Some of the tours go all the way to Marakesh,,,,but its a long trip and day.



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That is the kind of thing my DH and I like to do. Just going of on our own.:D


Thanks for reassuring me that being alert is good. But I don't have to be paranoid.:rolleyes:

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Celebrity is doing Morocco and Tangiers next fall in their trans-atlantic and I am very, very much interested in comments and references from anybody who goes..We do not like to do ship tours...and we had heard that Tangiers is very modern... and Casablanca...the old souks..etc.. would be right up our alley..

....I'm so excited to see people writing about this... Adventure is our middle name..lol evev though we are "Q-tips",,lol

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Celebrity is doing Morocco and Tangiers next fall in their trans-atlantic and I am very, very much interested in comments and references from anybody who goes..We do not like to do ship tours...and we had heard that Tangiers is very modern... and Casablanca...the old souks..etc.. would be right up our alley..

....I'm so excited to see people writing about this... Adventure is our middle name..lol evev though we are "Q-tips",,lol


First,let me say I was not on a cruise,but staying in Spain,and decided to go to Tangiers for the day.The hotel I was staying at told me to go with a group or guide which I did,and while in Tangiers I could understand why.Yes, it is fairly modern depending on where you are,but not the core of the city by any means.Wandering through the maze you learn that you can not take pictures of the people w/o asking their permission first.The camels and their keeper's are another matter re pictures.Some merchants don't like it either.It was much better being on a bus and seeing the city with the stops,but there were not that many of us and all was fine IMHO.We also did quite a walking tour.One thing I noted that being a tall blonde I was the center of some attention by some of the young kids and some women which cracked me up. I am assuming that has changed since i was there as they get that mauny tourist then since cruise ships did not stop and not many Americans went to Tangiers then.I know other port of calls are different and I can olnly speak from experience of Tangiers.I am sure you will all have an enjoyable visit to Morocco no matter how you do it.BTW,I am guessing it will be easier,and nicer to arrive by cruiseship as the ferry ride over from Spain is a whole different story...nasty and guys with guns.

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Hi Parrot Mom

We are also doing a TA next fall with Celebrity. That's why I posted the topic. Which ship will you be on?


There are two of the Celebrities .. the Century which is 17 days and we did and loved last year.. and the Millineum which is 14 days..the plus with the Milli is that there is a free Thalassa... pool...plus a covered pool I am wondering what the weather will be in Europe the beginning of December.. I've written to "my guide" Auriello, in Barcelona to find out.. I do know we had magificent weather last y ear.. mid-october in all the ports. Two other ships are offering an unusual itineary.. the NCL Jewel and the Carnival Liberty... but both are too big for us.. Right now I'm tending toward the Milli because of the free Thalassa and a covered pool..but we did love the crew of the Century. Both ships stop at Malaga which turned out to be a complete surprise and we loved it. Century is also doing many ports in the Canary Islands.. When we go to a travel show in Boston in January... and we can see directly from the cruise lines what they want to do for us...then we'll make a decision.. When I have the two itineraries side by side..the Century is offering more..lol

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It will be cold in Barcelona in December and probably a little rainy. Might be a little warmer in Málaga, but probably not sunning and bathing weather.


People on the other side of the Atlantic tend to have a misconception that the weather in Spain is like Mexico and the Caribbean. It is definitely not, so just bear that in mind when you travel here during that season.


Kind regards,


Gunther and Uta

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My contact in Barcelona just told me about the weather..lol.. Thanks.. but you know....anything is better weather than the unpredictable weather and possible snow or sleet in the Boston area.. No, I didn't think we would be swimming nor it would b e warm. Thank you Gunther

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Morocco is a wonderful place and should not present a major security concern (although as other posters have said, if you do go out on your own, you should remain alert and be aware that you may attract hordes of hawkers as you go along).


The only downside is that the two port cities of Casablanca and Tangiers are not the best parts of Morocco. Casablanca is basically a big modern city and the spectacular mosque there is the only real thing you need to visit, although the central market is good if you don't get to the souks in other cities. Tangiers is interesting, but you probably need to be safety-conscious there more than other places in Morocco.


If your ship tour offers trips to Rabat, Fez or Marrakech, those would be the places to go, although they are not on the water so the trip day would be long. All of those cities are older, have many more interesting things to see, great old winding souk areas for shopping and, of course, the requisite camel pictures. Marrakech, in fact, is one of my favorite places in the entire world (especially when the pink buildings are all glowing in the full moonlight), although it is probably too far from port for a decent ship excursion.

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We've done ship's tours to Rabat and Marrakech and preferred Rabat.


I agree with the advice previously given to visit Rabat for several reasons:


a) It's closer to Casablanca than Marrakech so you spend less time on the bus on a highway and more time seeing things. On the tour we took, this allowed time for a drive through Casablanca and a photo op stop at the incredible Hassan II Mosque.


b) Rabat is one of the old, Imperial cities - when you reseach Casablanca, you'll find that most of it grew up in the 20th century


c) Rabat is on the coast -> more scenic



Taking a ship's tour from Casablanca to Marrakech is like going to Paris from Le Havre or Berlin from Warnemunde - there's lots to see when you get there, but hardly any time and, IMHO too expensive for what you get.


Like Hlitner, we also wandered around on our own in Casablanca on a recent port call and did not feel unsafe. You just have to expect and accept that it's a very bustling place, traffic is wild, it looks shabby in places and it's not North America -> that's what makes it interesting!


People have different comfort levels re hustlers, navigating unfamiliar places and coping with other languages. I can't believe the hustlers are any more aggressive in Morocco than in Jamaica or Cartagena (Colombia) - the 2 worst places we've seen them. We will be in Tangier on a cruise in Oct and plan to explore on our own, so I guess I'll find out then ;-)


A final suggestion - try searching on the Africa board and you may find some helpful posts.

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As a matter of fact probably 20 years ago on our first cruise we went to Jamaica and I never felt so threatened in my life...yet, we spent a week in Cartegena many years ago and back twice by cruise ship... and felt pretty comfortable.. I guess whatever we do is going to make an interesting trip

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Celebrity is doing Morocco and Tangiers next fall in their trans-atlantic and I am very, very much interested in comments and references from anybody who goes..We do not like to do ship tours...and we had heard that Tangiers is very modern... and Casablanca...the old souks..etc.. would be right up our alley..

....I'm so excited to see people writing about this... Adventure is our middle name..lol evev though we are "Q-tips",,lol


We were in Tangier on a Windstar cruise this July. This is part of my review:


In Tangier, we had arranged for a guide to meet us a the dock. He drove us to the usual tourist spots: Cap Spartel, the Caves of Hercules, past the rich homes & palaces, through the modern part of the city. Then we headed to the Medina on foot. Fantastic! It was the highlight of our trip. Tangier is nothing like I had imagined (it's much better...) and so very different from anything I'd ever seen before. (Try to get a private guide so you won't have to travel around in a big pack.) He asked us if we wanted to ride a camel (yes),if we wanted to see a snake charmer (no), if we wanted to visit an herbalist (no), and he insisted on holding my packages so I could concentrate on taking pictures! No sales pressure, no sales pitches. (If we wanted to, fine; if not, we moved on.)


We used aziztour@hotmail.com. This was from his e-mail:

Gran tour is with an airconditioning minibus, a beautiful drive through richest area of Tangiers zone of villas and palaces passing via the king's palace and celebrities homes. VisitCape Spartel which is the northest western point of Africa , it is the exact point where the Mediterranean and the Atlantic ocean meet. Then visit the Caves of Hercules. Then a stop to take pictures of the camels and if you like to experience a ride on a camel. Then we go to the old city to visit the Kasbah, Medina, snake charmers, Berber markets, the souks for shopping, gran socco, petit socco, old American Legation and Mendoubia building + gardens and the markets for shopping etc...

This tour costs 35 euros per person.


And worth every cent....


It turned out Aziz was unavailable at the last minute; he did send a wonderful replacement, little Mr. Mouhammed, with his djellaba (robe) and taguia (hat). (Aziz called via cell phone while we were on the tour & expressed his regrets for not being able to guide us himself. He is very personable.)


The tour is structured, but if there's something you'd rather see, or rather NOT see, just let them know. We needed a phone & arrangements were made for us. We were offered to have lunch in Tangier, but we were feeling pretty much done & decided to eat back on the ship. They will direct you to a huge handicraft co-op, where there's the carpet pitch, but just one "no thank you, we don't want any carpets," and they say "no problem, have a nice day in Tangier." Of course, you end up buying other trinkets there anyway...


And one of the best part of a private tour: the guide will lead you through the medina. Sure you can wander throught the main market streets, but your guide will show you spots you would not know about, or maybe would be intimidated to venture into if you were alone. We made quick left turns, then right turns into alleys, then through some shops and out the other side. Open air meat stalls, the Berber market, spice shops, little alcoves where men spin thread & sew clothes, peeking into the houses...Plus we were never bothered by peddlers.


Here is a link I hope you enjoy:



And a map of the medina:


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I have pasted in an excerpt from my Brazil to Italy cruise on the Royal Princess for you. It was from 2004 so prices may be off. We made port stops in Agadir & Casablanca.


I would go back to Agadir & Merrakech for a land tour for sure. I loved Morocco. Casablanca is more of a financial centre and busy port city than the fairly tale image we grew up with. Merrakech has more of that Moroccan mystic I was looking for. It did not disappoint.




When we woke up we were already docked in Agadir Morocco and waiting for clearance. We were taking the Princess Tour ‘BERBER MARKET / TAROUDANT $36 that left at 8:15am and returned around 1:15pm.


Agadir is a wonderful seaside resort area. The history is, it was destroyed by an earthquake around 1960. It had to be completely re-built. Today it is very new and an affluent area made up of beautiful hotels and condos. It reminded me a lot of Cancun. I knew this prior to arriving in Agadir, this is why we decided to go to Toroudant to see the medina (old city) and Berber market.


We had a nice scenic drive to Taroudant through the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. The first stop was the casbah founded in 1050. A casbah is a walled city, this one was gorgeous with it’s ramparts and high stone walls. Of course, I have no previous casbah viewing experience but I really enjoyed this one.


The next stop was the souk. It was much more than the local market, even though it sold many household items, dry goods, spices and other food items. They also sold many items made from silver & leather. Of course they also had lamps and carpets.


After visiting the casbah and the souk we went to a beautiful small resort where we had freshly squeezed orange juice and/or Moroccan mint tea. The resort had extremely clean facilities, a beautiful pool area and manicured gardens.


On the bus ride our guide, Aziz answered questions and gave insight into Moroccan life. As on the bus ride in Dakar the customs regarding marriage was discussed. The Koran allows men to have four wives. So polygamy can not be made illegal. What we were told was that the first two wives must agree on the third wife – of course, this never happens so there usually only one or maybe two wives.


The next stop was for shopping at a Co-op in Agadir for most of our souvenir shopping. Here the prices were set and it wasn’t that cheap but they sold everything imaginable. If you couldn’t find it here, you weren’t going to find it. Of course, I still bargained even though the prices were supposed to be set. I started by just trying to get them to stop bothering me with their hard sell. Next thing I knew I was getting a deal on something completely different.


The people in Morocco were amazing. They were very civil, kind and very warm. If you were friendly to them especially when bargaining they were very friendly in return. I really enjoyed the people here. I wasn’t nearly as nervous as I was in Dakar, where people were much more pushy and had no qualms sticking their hands right into your pockets or touching you. This is not the case in Morocco at all.


You must go out of Agadir to see the real Morocco, but Agadir would be a great place to stay on vacation.


Again at dinner there were more jalabas out on display. The fashion started to become a real sight in the dining room everyone looked like they were going to a pajama party afterwards. “Not that there’s anything wrong with it”.


OTHER SHIP TOURS: Berber Market of Taroudant (our tour) $36

Agadir and Inezgane $29 see a Kasbah and landmarks, resort area, walk through old village (we heard there were camel rides up there). There only other choice was the above tour with a folklore show as well for an extra $5.




Casablanca is the busiest port in Northern Africa and has a population of 5 million people. It is the financial centre of Morocco so it is a bustling city. Not exactly the picture we would imagine from watching Hollywood movies.


We took the Pincess tour to ‘MARRAKECH’ for $115. It was from 8am to 8pm and I thought it was well worth it.


Many people were apprehensive about taking this tour because it was a 3 hour drive approximately to Marrakech. It is 225 km or 165 miles from Casablanca to Marrakech. I rather enjoyed the drive (but I love road trips), I felt we saw a lot of the countryside of a country I was very interested in seeing. Our tour guide Majid was also very knowledgeable and spoke almost the entire drive there on anything and everything Moroccan and Berber, such as; history, daily life, language, religion, economics and so on. On the drive, we went through two towns called Settat which was university town and Ben Guerir. The rest of the scenery was mostly driving past fields and rural areas.




Marrakech is known as the ‘Pearl of the South’ and it is said to the most beautiful city in North Africa. There has been a mystic about Marrakech that has peaked my curiosity my entire life. I have wanted to go there since I was little and I have no idea when or why, I just had to go there. Back to the list of things I have to do during my life. Marrakech was at the top of that list.


Just as we were approaching Marrakech, there were a lot of date palms encircling the city. It was truly an oasis, what an amazing site. Marrakech has been the ‘gateway to the Sahara’ and a jumping off point for Caravans to Timbuktu.


Once we entered the city limits of Marrakech is doesn’t take long to notice all the buildings are a salmon pink colour. It was very attractive. It actually reminded me a lot of Sedona Arizona.


Our first stop was the Bahia Palace a great example of Moorish architecture. Here we had a guided tour of many rooms and beautiful gardens that displayed excellent Moroccan wood carved wall and doors, tiled floors & mosaics and wonderful fountains. I must have taken a roll of film just on the décor.


Afterwards we had lunch in a Moroccan restaurant. The restaurant was close we walked to it from the Palace. It was really good and there was a spicy condiment they had that was spectacular on the chicken and rice.


All of the stops we made on the tour were within the walls of the old city or ‘Medina’ of Marrakech. We walked to each stop and everything seemed very close by, but within a myriad of paths and streets. Marrakech is the place to shop, but of course, we never seem to get enough time. They should give a alternate shopping schedule such as, those who want to stay longer in the market can meet at a certain time and those who don’t could go onto the visit to the mosque. I would forego the religious aspects of any tour to have more shopping time. Anyway, back to the available goods to shop for. There were the regular jewelry, leather products, clothes and shoes available, but there were also a great variety of things for the home that were of most interest, I thought. There were items such as; old leather suitcases and bags, old doors, beautiful woven carpets and Berber rugs, iron work, Berber pointy shoes or slippers, fabrics, scarves, clothes, paintings, antiques, coins, lamps, hanging lights, mosaic mirrors, different types and sizes of tassels, ceramics, Moroccan tiles, leather foot stools and furniture, dates, olives and other fruits.


Everything had the look of ‘Old Morocco’ and there was some fabulous finds. Of course, being the ship’s tour they always have to take you to a shop vs. the market. We went to a huge shop within the souk that sold everything. When there are time constraints on these types of outings, and I am in the shop where I need to do some fast browsing, I take advantage of the first person that says, ‘may I help you?’ I had this guy running ragged in the store, I described everything I wanted, he showed me the areas, I picked around, he picked around. He carried everything around for me. I need to have free hands to sort through everything and can’t be carrying a basket. I can never understand those people who send them away and say they are ‘just looking’.


Soon enough I had a little pile forming and I knew I would have to start the dance of the bargain. The way they worked it was you paid one price for the whole lot. I calculated what I thought things should cost back home and that was my high-end price and then I figured a fair price that I wanted to pay and we haggled back and forth and ‘voila’ I think I paid $80 for whole pile of stuff. The best part was how they packed everything for me to carry. They put everything inside each other and wrapped it all up and my pile fit in two shopping bags.


They then took us on a walk through the Souk (old Market) where there was everything to buy. However, the tour guides did seem to spend a lot more time in the shops they wanted you to shop in and moved through the market very quickly. Stay with the group or tell someone if you stop to buy something. We were lost for a few minutes and it was terrifying because it is a maze of alleyways and paths. Once out of the twisting and turning paths of the market you came out to the main square. I believe it was called ‘square if the dead’ and there were snake charmers around this area. It was bustling with people walking and riding motorbikes and scooters everywhere. It wouldn’t have been hard to get run over in this area. The snake charmers eyeballed me in the crowd right away (maybe it was because I was the only one getting right up to the cobra), they called me over and with in a second they had a snake around my neck. I loved them and we took some great pictures. I gave them $5 for the pictures and we moved on.


There were two hotels of note in Marrakech. La Mamounia is an incredible five star hotel that would be fabulous to stay for at least one night. It is supposed to be the best hotel in Morocco and is world famous. The Club Med in Marrkech is right around the corner off the main square of the market. An Excellent location, right there where you would want to be in the old city. Marrakech is definitely somewhere I would love to go for 5 or 7 days and just explore and take it all in.


As you can see, I thought this tour was well worth the money and the drive. Another great day!


We arrived back into Casablanca a little late but all the tour buses were together (I think there were three). We requested the bus driver to take us to see the Huge mosque at the waterfront. I believe this is the largest Mosque outside Saudi Arabia (Mecca) and Oman. You can tell the driver and Majid were very proud of it and wanted to take us to it, but they were worried about the time and being back to the ship. We were all yelling ‘this is a ship’s tour, they will wait for us’. Well after a bit of convincing we had the driver racing through downtown Casablanca and we came up to the mosque for a fast photo op. What an incredible sight it dominated the waterfront and parts are built right on top of the water.


When we arrived at the ship it was very close to 9pm and we had to go right into dinner. Of course, I had all my gear and purchases so we all compared what we did and what we bought during the day. Later on after dinner, when Casablanca was just a glimmer in the distance you could still see the bright lights of the mosque. It was now time to say ‘goodbye’ to Africa. Next up, Europe and the busiest part of our trip. It was going to be very port intensive for the rest of the itinerary.


Other Tours: Visit to Rabat or Casablanca City Tour for around $40 each.



We were in Morocco on a Tuesday & Wednesday so it was business as usual and we had no problems with anything not being open.

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You all are just making my decision on which cruise to take much more difficult.. It is a choice between the Celebrity Century or the Celebrity Millineum... The Century does go to Agadir also...choices,, choices, choices... Will take all your advice when we are ready to make a decision..

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Sooo glad I found this thread -- we, too, are trying to decide on the Century T/A next year. Just starting my research. Thanks for the great input!


Now trying to find information about the ports in the Canary Islands.. We did the Century last October and if you info about Barcelona (best guide and hotel), Malaga which we loved will be glad to pipe in...lol

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Having spent a couple of weeks traveling on a land based vacation in Morocco and loving every minute, I would have been most encouraging about touring there on a cruise vacation. However, there was an Associated Press report in this morning's news that there have been arrests related to a terrorist plot to bomb tourist sites and government buildings in several cities in Morocco. I would find it hard to enjoy my vacation if I had to worry about being in the wrong spot at the wrong time. I would hope cruise itineraries would be adjusted accordingly.

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