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Casablanca????????


cle1

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We will be in Casablanca in Nov., and from what I have been reading, we will be taking a ship's tour, and the only question is which one...Casablanca Highlights or Rabat. The other tours offered are HOURS on a bus to get there, and I would rather not. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

THANKS

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Casablanca is likely not what it seemed in that incredible movie, sad to say, but I'd be sure my tour included the older part of the city.

 

I understand much of it is somewhat cookie-cutter for that part of the world, but might still seem exotic to us.

 

Hope you have a great time.

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I'm booked on Marrakech tour in a few weeks. Did a lot of research & understand although busrides long, enjoyable scenery, etc. Check out "Africa" on ports page-- you'll see someone also notified me of a new road from Casablanca to Marrakech which cuts travel time apparently in 1/2. Apparently, this tour is not to be missed.

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The long bus rides don't take you to anywhere significantly better in terms of tourism than Casablanca. Do the highlights tour. Skip "rick's cafe" unless you also enjoy visiting all of the various "North Pole" 's around the US (and elsewhere). We prefer real sites to fictional ones...

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The long bus rides don't take you to anywhere significantly better in terms of tourism than Casablanca. Do the highlights tour. Skip "rick's cafe" unless you also enjoy visiting all of the various "North Pole" 's around the US (and elsewhere). We prefer real sites to fictional ones...

 

I think its possible to do Rick's and the highlights tour, there just aren't that many highlights of the "real" variety in Casablanca. In fact, I would call it mandatory.:)

 

Really though, depending on your age, your feelings about movies that aren't in color, and your thoughts on visiting venues like "Dracula's Castle" in Romania, 221B Baker Street in London and for that matter Loch Ness in Scotland, Rick's Cafe might just might be the thing.

 

Casablanca was cancelled on our itinerary and there were a lot of people wanting to see Ricks that were disappointed - including me.:mad:

 

http://www.rickscafe.ma

 

Smooth sailing always

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We were docked in Casablanca in November 2001. Our son and DIL had been there and to Rabat and Marrakech on their way home from their Peace Corps assigments in West Africa. They urged us to go to Marrakech because Casablanca and Rabat were "just " cities.

 

When we took HAL's excursion to Marrakech, we left the Rotterdam at 6:30 in the morning and watched the sun rise over the desert. We stopped after 2 hours for a break -- bathroom and drinks. We had our choice of juice or hot mint tea [in a glass]; we chose the tea which was wonderful [and I'm not a tea drinker]. We decided we could get orange juice anywhere, but the tea was "local"

 

After another 2 hours on the bus, we arrived in Marrakech where we met the guides who were going to show us the city. We also had time to haggle in shops in the medina, a rat's maze of "streets". Lunch was included -- a buffet of mostly Morrocan dishes served poolside at a luxury hotel just inside the ancient wall around Marrakech.

 

Before leaving, we also had time to wander through the souk, the open-air market place surrounded by more traditional store fronts. Most of the vendors in the souk had wagons of produce, especially oranges. We saw "writers', "readers", water sellers and snake charmers there. Mostly, though, we sat on a bar porch in the shade drinking orange juice.

 

On the trip back, we again stopped for the tea and bathrooms, saw the sun set on the desert, and stopped in Casablanca for a few minutes to wander ourside the Hassan II mosque. We were back at the ship around 7 or 7:30.

 

It was a long day and I hope we get the chance to do it again.

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I went to Morocco while on a cruise with a 4 year old, so I had a rule no tour longer than 3 hours. I stayed in Casablanca and it was great. One of the coolest McDonald's ever. They had separate men and women's entrances. I wish I could have gone to the more exotic, but Casablanca was great. The markets are fabulous and a drink at Rick's was fun.

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Normally, bus etiquette mandates that you take the same seat each time you board the bus, so you will see both sides of the desert. It looks pretty much the same in bothe directions.

 

I have been on shorex where some pushy. self-absorbed folks didn't take "their" seatsand it led to some angry words from the dispossessed passengers.

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I'm booked on Marrakech tour in a few weeks. Did a lot of research & understand although busrides long, enjoyable scenery, etc. Check out "Africa" on ports page-- you'll see someone also notified me of a new road from Casablanca to Marrakech which cuts travel time apparently in 1/2. Apparently, this tour is not to be missed.

 

We were extremely disappointed with our HAL tour to Marrakech last year. Bus ride took wayyyyyyyyyyy too long. Could have got there in half the time except that the bus sat at about 80kmh the whole way there then had a rest stop that took 45 mins and then a lunch that lasted nearly two hours. The lunch was great though, even included wine.

 

Excuse my french but the time wasted on stops was bloody ridiculous.

 

Marrakech itself was fantastic!!!!! What an experience, same goes for Dakar. Don't go expecting the sanitized Disney World version (green lawns, no dust, icecream vendors at every turn) and you will be truly amazed.

 

We (and everyone else) ended up getting a partial refund due to the number of complaints the shorex dept received. The highlight of any trip to Marrakech the El Fna market (I know I've got that spelt wrong) involved a quick run from the bus, 20 minutes on the square and a run back. We could have spent an hour but we had to have another extended rest stop on the way back.

 

We were the last tour back and the Rotterdam literally pulled away as soon as we boarded.

 

Lot more detail in our travelpod blog using link below. Are you on the Rio-Lisbon cruise in a couple of weeks?

 

Pete

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Would you recommend one side of the bus over the other for the HAL trip to Marrakech?

 

KC

 

 

would make no difference. the scenery was quite amazing. lots of irrigated agriculture but same on both sides pretty much. we had two buses that were just over half full each so we could move around. it was expensive so the people on the tour really wanted to do it, not just thought, ooh, that might be interesting.

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Hello newfarmers.

 

We visited Casablanca on the Prinsendam last year but our private tour to Fez did not work out.:( Note that ship's time & shore time are often different in Casablanca. Instead we toured Casablanca & Rabat. The Hassan II Mosque was the highlight & is not to be missed. These cities are newer & more 'sterile', therefore less interesting. For the 'real' Morocco, go to Fez or Marrakesh.

 

We find that HAL tours are not so good & that a lot of time is wasted on breaks, meals & tracking down lost passengers. We try to get independent tours or go alone but in some situations, have to resort to the ship tours. On this occasion, if we had taken the HAL tour, we would have seen Fez (you win some & you lose some!).

 

I spent some time in Marrakesh many years ago & it is an amazing place to visit.

 

Graham.

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Casablanca is likely not what it seemed in that incredible movie, sad to say, but I'd be sure my tour included the older part of the city.

 

I understand much of it is somewhat cookie-cutter for that part of the world, but might still seem exotic to us.

 

Hope you have a great time.

 

There is no "older part of the city". Nowadays it's a "modern" city, quite frankly, nondescript. The guide pointed to Ricks cafe being a hotel??!! The only noteworthy site was the Hassan II mosque. Quite grandiose in a tacky way. It's a modern mosque.

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Once again . . . I'm getting so tired of losing posts . . .

 

Casablanca is best described by Cruzluv as "nondescript" . . . and then some! Big, dirty, bustling, hot, "nondescript" . . . long walk from pier to just a big city. So definitely take a tour! We've been there several times on ROTTERDAM. Didn't take it, but heard good things about the Rabat tour. Part of the "price" of tours on cruises is the long bus rides. Take along a good book . . . or nap, but get off the ship.

 

I sometimes wonder why they call at Casablanca . . . I think the "romantic" name helps sell it, but my understanding is that the movie was shot entirely on sound stages in Hollywood and the "b roll" was shot in Tangier.

 

Someone mentioned Dakar. Big, dirty busy African city, but if you go with an open mind and a sense of adventure is a neat experience. We've been there several times, definitely not "Disneyesque". Last time we walked all over in areas where there wasn't another white cruise tourist in sight, and we loved it, I think because it was so totally different. In spite of our "whiteness" we try to "blend in" (right!) and not look too touristy and we only had one, brief "ify" moment . . . people were very accomodating and seemed interested in seeing tourists actually walking and not on a bus.

 

Regards, Richard

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When the Prinsendam visited Casablanca two years ago, we opted for the Rabat tour. We just loved it and still talk about how interesting it was to us. I know each tour depends on the tour guide you happen to get and ours was splendid. We just loved her and she appeared very pleased with our group too. At the end of that tour we did visit some sights in Casablanca, the Hasan II mosque was beautiful!

We both wanted to see Fez or Marrakech, but the long bus ride turned us off on that. We did not visit Ricks. I know you'll love it no matter which tour you take.

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Ahoy!

 

We took the 'highlights' tour and we're pleasently surpised at the hospitality of the good Moroocan folks and vibrancy of the city. The tour included a stop at the main market, touring around the city and various neighborhoods, a walking tour of the Law Courts and Royal palace and walking tour of the adjacent neighborhood, a stop at the Nortre Dame catholic church, a stop down by the beach that included refreshments and THE HIGHLIGHT of the tour, a visit to the awesome and beautiful Great Mosque ( Hassan II). A super 'wow' IMO.

 

I heard great things about the Rabat tour from various folks but since we're not long bus ride folks we opted out of that one. Perhaps next time. We'd like to visit Casablanca again someday. I think the counrty has rec'd to much bad press over the years & people's perceptions may be somewhat tainted.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Have a GREAT CRUISE!

Bob:)

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I think its possible to do Rick's and the highlights tour, there just aren't that many highlights of the "real" variety in Casablanca. In fact, I would call it mandatory.:)

 

Really though, depending on your age, your feelings about movies that aren't in color, and your thoughts on visiting venues like "Dracula's Castle" in Romania, 221B Baker Street in London and for that matter Loch Ness in Scotland, Rick's Cafe might just might be the thing.

 

Casablanca was cancelled on our itinerary and there were a lot of people wanting to see Ricks that were disappointed - including me.:mad:

 

www.rickscafe.ma

 

Smooth sailing always

 

You are of a different generation, I went to their website (thanks) and would buy a beer for someone who would keep me AWAY from there! :eek:

Roger

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Only if you consider Notre Dame in Paris, or St' Peter's in Rome, to be "tacky".

 

Frankly, I find it amusing you would compare this mosque to Notre Dame or St Peters. Yes, you can see a lot of money was spent on it and it's very lavish, but IMO, tasteless.

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Frankly, I find it amusing you would compare this mosque to Notre Dame or St Peters. Yes, you can see a lot of money was spent on it and it's very lavish, but IMO, tasteless.

 

Could you explain that, please? It has been called the most beautiful edifice in the Islamic world...

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You are of a different generation, I went to their website (thanks) and would buy a beer for someone who would keep me AWAY from there! :eek:

Roger

 

Its a matter of what interests you.

 

I would never criticize what for many people would represent an interesting and fun experience because it was not to my taste...:rolleyes:

 

For some, Marrakech would be interesting - even enriching, but the long bus ride daunting. With people like them in mind, I suggested Rick's.

 

As to "generation", I was simply referring to those born in a time when that famous motion picture resonated for people more than today, or perhaps for whom the whole genre of black and white motion pictures was appealing.

 

Perhaps they would not spend the money specifically to fly out to Casablanca to see Ricks, but seeing as they are in the neighborhood...

 

In whatever you choose to do should you find yourself in that neighborhood, I sincerely hope you enjoy it.

 

Smooth sailing to you.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Would you recommend one side of the bus over the other for the HAL trip to Marrakech?

 

KC

 

To answer my own question - Do not sit on the side behind the bus driver unless you want the sun shining in on you in both directions.

 

KC

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