We sleep soundly and awake shortly before we dock in Marseille. The sun has just risen and casts a golden light over the dramatic limestone coastline just north of the city. We berth just ahead of MSC Poesia which has followed us up from Barcelona. Also with us in port are Grand Holiday (an ex Carnival cruise ship) and Costa Mediterraneo. We breakfast in the Rembrant Dining Room. As usual I have my Eggs Benedict and Peter his classic breakfast.
The port is a good 30/40 minute drive from the centre of Marseille and so we opt for the boat transfer to the old port which will take about 30 mins. I had devised a walking tour of the Panier or the Old Town before we left the UK. The boat drop off is at a point mid way through the walk but as it's a circular walk we just start at that point. First stop is the magnificent Cathedral for some photos before heading into the narrow winding streets of the Panier. It's very steep and hilly which is something you don't realise when looking at googlemaps of the area. Luckily the really steep hills are all downward for us. We stop at a shop selling soaps and purchase some different scented ones which are neatly packaged and labelled for us. We emerge near Vieux Port and wander past all the fishing boats and yachts that are moored there.
From there we rejoin my walking route and head to Fort St Jean which has a really good photo point looking back down at Vieux Port and over to the impressive Notre Dame de la Garde which stands atop a hill in the distance and is reminiscent of the Sacre Cour in Paris. By now we are feeling a little tired. The forecast in the Cruise Compass today was mostly cloudy but it was mostly sunny and hot. We head back to the shuttle boat which is soon heading out across the bay to our ship. Everyone seems in good spirits and when the captain plays some music over the speakers a couple of ladies get up and dance in the aisle. A game old chap even gets up to join them and what he lacks in rhythm he makes up for with enthusiasm. Back on board we head to the Solarium to relax by the pool for an hour or so after which Peter heads to the gym and I go back to the cabin to blog.
Tonight is formal night and so we dress accordingly. After the debacle of the hired tuxes on Adventure earlier this year we are relieved to find everything fits perfectly. We meet up with Joyce, Jerry, Gail & Dennis and head to the Diamond Lounge. Eric & Tom are also there so we drag chairs over and sit outside as the evening is warm and balmy. We catch up on what each of us did that day. The automatic door from the lounge to the outside seating area causes much mirth as it turns out to be very tempermental and doesn't always open leaving people stranded either side.
We all split up at 8.30 as we have a reservation at Chops Grille. Margaret our server from Jamaica is excellent. We order a bottle of our favourite Chardonnay, Mer Soliel, before I order the Colossal Shrimp Cocktail and the 9oz Filet Mignon (medium rare). Peter orders the Crab Cakes and the same steak as me but medium. The shrimp are colossal and delicious. The steak is gorgeous as always. I have the Huckleberry Cheesecake for dessert and Peter orders the Red Velvet Cake which he finds a little disappointing.
We don't do much else that evening as we managed two bottles of wine with dinner and Peter feels a little sozzled and I am not far behind. We retire at 10.30 commenting that we don't go to bed that early at home. Still a nice long sleep is very inviting when you are stuffed.