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WanderingTheWorld

NCL Tour = Imperial Rabat & Casablanca Overview

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In December, my husband and I will have a port stop in Casablanca. We usually venture out on our own, but we are very unfamiliar with this area. Looking at the NCL excursions, the one entitled "Imperial Rabat & Casablanca Overview" appeals to us the most. It is 9 hours long. (The drive to Rabat is 1.5 hours one way.) In Rabat, we would see the Royal Palace, Chellah, Mohamed V Mausoleum, Kasbah of Oudaya, and the Andalusian Gardens. In Casablanca, there is a photo stop at the Hassan II Mosque and a stop at United Nations Square.

 

 

Has anyone been on this excursion or one similar to it? Would you recommend it? Thanks!

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While I have not done this tour, speaking from the perspective of one who stayed in Casablanca for the day, I would definitely recommend getting out of town. I found these old threads with some questions I had and a report of our day, I hope it helps. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2283119 and https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1761865

 

Happy Sailing!:)

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On ‎9‎/‎24‎/‎2018 at 6:39 PM, WanderingTheWorld said:

In December, my husband and I will have a port stop in Casablanca. We usually venture out on our own, but we are very unfamiliar with this area. Looking at the NCL excursions, the one entitled "Imperial Rabat & Casablanca Overview" appeals to us the most. It is 9 hours long. (The drive to Rabat is 1.5 hours one way.) In Rabat, we would see the Royal Palace, Chellah, Mohamed V Mausoleum, Kasbah of Oudaya, and the Andalusian Gardens. In Casablanca, there is a photo stop at the Hassan II Mosque and a stop at United Nations Square.

 

 

Has anyone been on this excursion or one similar to it? Would you recommend it? Thanks!

So Wandering the World, did you end up taking this excursion and if so, what did you think of it. We are considering the same tour in March with NCL

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18 hours ago, Lance 55 said:

So Wandering the World, did you end up taking this excursion and if so, what did you think of it. We are considering the same tour in March with NCL

The short answer is no. The long answer is high swells prevented our ship from docking in Casablanca, so the port was changed to Tangier. Unfortunately, I can't comment on the excursion to Rabat. However, we did take an excursion with NCL in Tangier. It started out fine with stops at Cap Spartel (where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic) and a scenic spot with camel rides. The Caves of Hercules were overrated and crowded but still offered an open area to view the ocean. After that, everything went downhill. We visited the Kasbah and the Grand Souk. Our tour guide led us through all of this on foot, and an "assistant" showed up to help usher us around. Unlike our tour guide, this new helper did not wear anything official and never rode on the bus with us. Towards the end of the tour, my husband was briefly alone with him and felt pressured to tip him. The worst parts of this tour were the two shopping stops we made. We spent almost an hour in two different places, and I was itching to leave the entire time. For me, I enjoyed the natural beauty of Morocco, but I did not care for the pushiness of the market area. Also, NCL provided a warning for shore excursions in Morocco. Please see the attached for details. Do I regret taking an excursion in Tangier? No. I'm always open to new experiences, even if they don't go 100% smoothly. Do I plan to visit again? No. Once was enough for me.

20181215_184936_Film1.jpg

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Thanks for the quick reply and the NCL warning you received. Perhaps we may receive a similar caution when sailing into Casablanca. Interestingly, I read posts that Tangier was a preferred Moroccan port of call over Casablanca, which was considered more dirty and run down and not as touristy. Pushy street vendors and shopkeepers seem endemic in Islamist countries and entrenched in their culture IMO. It was certainly

our experience in the main market in Kusadasi,Turkey and to a lesser extent in the souks of the wealthier country of Dubai. A no thank-you is interpreted as the beginning of a negotiated sale!

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I did the Rabat tour you referred to several years ago with my young kids (18 months old at the time).  

 

Rabat was very nice and I enjoyed all the elements and sights. The palace is a working area so we were not allowed in, but the mosque and ruins we visited were beautiful.

 

The shopping stop in Casablanca was all the warnings say. Carpet shop people talk to you and try to lead you to their stores, when they talk about “practicing English” they are trying to sell you something.  This stop is one of those places where I wouldn’t be friendly and just say bye and no thank you.

 

My children are twins and very blonde ( so a novelty). I had a lot of problems here with people trying to hug and kiss my kids.  I ended up in a carpet retire to get away from it. Though most people don’t have that problem, I agree Rabat is a lot better than Casablanca. I am a huge fan of the movie, but I was not impressed with the tourist aspects of the town.

 

Though the lunch we had was better than basic style they describe here. Wine, meat, and tons more, plus some honey cookies for dessert my kids adored.

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