Our family of four took a 12 day Mediterranean cruise June 15th, the second voyage on Carnival’s newest ship, the Breeze. This was our second cruise, and first time to Europe. We’ve fallen in love with cruising, and hope you find this information helpful.
We had a short day in Marseilles (7am-4pm). It’s the second largest city in France after Paris. From talking to friends and research, I knew that we wanted to visit Chateau d’If, and visit a French bakery. My requisite experience was definitely a chocolate croissant on French soil. Anything else was gravy.
The Carnival Breeze dropped us off by shuttle near the old port. Depending on the port you enter, there will either be free shuttles from the dock to the city, or taxis, or for fee shuttles.
As we walked through the streets in the old port to catch the ferry to Chateau d’If we experienced their fish market. All the fishmongers were there with their fresh catches. Yes, there was the pungent smell of seafood, but it was so refreshing, and exciting to see that happening as part of daily life.
The highlight was definitely the Chateau d’If. It was originally a fortress, turned prison, built in 1524-31. The location of the island where it’s built is an ideal vantage point in protecting a port like Marseille. The Chateau d’If was the setting for Alexander Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo.
Part of the fun of this castle is taking a ferry out to it. Once you get there, it’s surprising how peaceful, and uncrowded it is. Beyond the Chateau d’If island there are also the Frioul islands, a lot of the French head out there to sunbathe, picnic and enjoy the day.
This was a great spot to please everyone in our family, especially as it was our first port of call on our 12-day Mediterranean cruise. Our daughters thoroughly enjoyed climbing the stairs to different towers, and looking through the small “arrow” windows of the castle.
Our girls are natural explorers, and my husband is a lover of history, and he can paint history vividly to our daughters, who find it all terribly fascinating to imagine what it might have been like.
The views from the castle were breathtaking.
After our visit to the Chateau d’If we found an old fashioned carrousel back on the mainland.
We also found an adorable patisserie and purchased macarons and pain au chocolat. Let me just say, while the croissant was great, the macarons we found were divine. So glad we walked around a bit before settling on a patisserie.
We did find a small outdoor cafe to have lunch, and it was alright. We enjoyed our macarons the most. Oh my heavens!
ps. I am not being compensated in anyway to post about cruising. I like information, and am sharing information that I would want, if I were considering a Mediterranean cruise.