Day 3: Marseilles, France – Harmony of the Seas
Our day in Marseilles began with a very tasty breakfast at Johnny Rockets (complimentary). Since it was not crowded, our food was brought to us in a timely fashion.
Upon disembarkation there was a group of citizens dressed in native garb to greet us with festive music.
Our special greeting was due to this being the 1st time the Harmony had docked in Marseilles. On the maiden voyage the week before, the ship had to skip Marseilles because of labor strikes in the city.
In Marseilles, we were unable to find an excursion that peaked our interests so we created our own tour of the city. We took advantage of the shuttle service arranged by Royal Caribbean. It ran from the port to the marina area every 30 minutes between 9 am and 4:30 pm. The cost was $18 per person round-trip and it was charged to our onboard account, very convenient.
We toured the area by foot while some of our friends took a train up to Notre-Dame de la Garde.
As we strolled down the marina, we began to notice several soldiers carrying machine guns. Typical day in Marseilles?
At this moment around 11 am, we also began to notice dozens of drunken fans wearing “Polska” jerseys singing and chanting throughout the area.
We learned later that evening Marseilles was hosting the Euro 2016 group stage match featuring Poland vs. Ukraine.
Since the area near the marina was becoming crowded, we decided to leave the area and look for souvenirs. Les Terrasses du Port the top mall in Marseille was nearby so we looked for souvenirs there.
The mall was very well-appointed and elegant. By the mall being highly recommended, I hoped it would carry the Provencal delicacy the calisson. .
The calisson is made from a paste of ground almonds, candied melon and orange peel on a thin layer of wafer covered with bright royal icing. Fortunately, we were able to purchase calissons at a shop in the mall. They were pretty tasty though not very sweet. Since they were so delicate, we decided they would not travel well so we HAD to eat them! (hehehe)
As we left Les Terrasses du Port, the military presence had increased in the streets and the soccer fans began congregating in larger groups.
The drunken fans did not bother us because they were too busy trying to hold each other up. However, the fans reputation for wild drunken riots precedes them. It was now time to head back to the Harmony!
Note: After we left port, we learned that a wild riot broke out that evening in Marseilles. The authorities had to use water cannons to disperse the fans.
When we returned to the Harmony, we were notified that our scheduled 5 pm showing of the musical Grease was cancelled due to an unspecified illness of one of the main female cast members. We were automatically rebooked for the new Grease showing at 5 pm on Day 7.
With our showing of Grease cancelled, we decided to tour some of the other areas of the ship. Here are a few pics from the Boardwalk.
Since we no longer had evening plans we decided to try the Windjammer instead of waiting for our scheduled 8:45 pm seating in the main dining room. The variety was very diverse and I didn’t have a bad dish. I really enjoyed the many options at the Windjammer.
I am really looking forward to our 1st planned excursion tomorrow. We will dock in La Spezia, Italy and experience the Florence / Pisa tour. Can’t wait!
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