Cruisin. Frist stop – Principality of Monaco

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Europe » Monaco
October 12th 2010
Published: October 12th 2010
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We boarded our Costa Cruise in Barcelona. Costa is an Italian Cruise line. Within an hour, we started to realize that no one spoke English. We went to our English speaking meet and greet. There were 6 people there. In total, the cruise ship can carry 920 people or so. Our English guide for the week was in fact, English. It turns out there is only 1 other American aboard the ship, a 50 something single female from Colorado. She is already my mom’s new bff. 21 people in total that speak English (excluding the crew) are aboard!

The ride from Barcelona to Monaco was apparently the harshest of the entire cruise due to the current. I of course took a precautionary pill that put me in a coma for about 11 hours (I slept from 9:30pm until 8am). I would have slept longer if my mom wasn’t restless. I was thinking of slipping her some of a pill! JK.

When we got up, we were still on our way to the Principality of Monaco. We finally arrived around 9am. We were able to get off the ship around 10am. We signed up for a tour that left at 1pm, so we just relaxed in the morning. I also was slightly hungover from my seasick precautionary pills that I fell back asleep for a bit.

We decided to do a ½ day tour as the other tours of interest would have been 8+ hours. We started in Monte Carlo. We visited the outside of the casino, luxury hotels, and saw beautiful views. As much as I would have liked to, I did not go into the casino. I heart gambling and I knew it would have been the most expensive hands in the world… literally! After Monte Carlo, we stopped at Monaco-Ville (the old town). Here is where we saw the Prince’s palace, the cathedral and the Oceanographic Museum (museum and aquarium).

There is no boating or sailing in Monaco. It is just referred to as ‘yachting’. The yachts that we saw are ridiculous! Some Arab dude rented out one of the largest yachts (which looked like a small cruise ship) for 23 million Euros/year. The cost of real estate is 20,000 - 40,000 Euro/square meter. You can do the math - INSANE!

Overall, unless I hit the lotto, I see no reason to come back. I guess you can live it up here if you have the funds for a yacht and to gamble like a champ. I did notice the security is crazy as people were yelled at all day for stepping inches over lines they shouldn’t be in or around. Overall, the weather was beautiful, the sites were great to see, everything is a lovely shade of blue; however I found everything to be kinda stuffy and boring. I would have been interested in seeing the town at nighttime. I assume that is when the locals come out to play? That is a con of being on most cruise ships… no overnight stops. Oh well - I am glad I got to see what I saw. After today, I am done with museums, aquariums and zoos for a while. I am overdoing it in that department!

Off to Livorno, Italy where I hope to score some fantastic local fare!


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