This was the second cruise ship visit that Moni & I have made to the wonderful port of Valletta, and both times we have arrived very early in the morning. The first visit was part of our 21 night cruise on MSC Magnifica from Buenos Aires to Venice in March 2015.
EO Day 970 – October 26th 2016.
Valletta, cruise day 4 (7am to 1pm)
Even though it was an early arrival it was well worth it, especially as the ship turned around in the port and docked facing out towards the ocean allowing us on the starboard side to watch the mesmerizing sunrise over Malta.
If you didn’t want to get off the ship here in Valletta then this is what’s on the program today.
Our plan for today was to walk along the port road and then take the lift up to the town level where we could amble around, have a coffee and just take it easy. But before anything, it was time for breakfast and today we tried out the Le Fontane restaurant.
Breakfast in Le Fontane restaurant
We ordered from the menu and I enjoyed my half grapefruits while Moni had some smoked salmon with an omelette. Note here, that you can only get smoked salmon in the restaurant not from the buffet, the same with half a grapefruit though they do have slices of grapefruits at the buffet.
What we didn’t know, was that they also had a buffet at the rear of the restaurant where you could help yourself to a selection of items. A somewhat smaller buffet than upstairs but still something different.
The chocolate croissants could do with looking at some chocolate for a second or two longer though, can you find any chocolate?
After breakfast we joined the oldies and headed out to enjoy a little time in Valletta.
The crazy thing is that we only have just over 5 hours in Valletta because the ship must head over to Palma to arrive at 9pm and stay until 5am before moving on. Personally I think MSC should do away with the Palma stop on this itinerary and have longer in Valletta and then arrive directly into Barcelona. I don’t see the fun in a stop at 9pm until 5am, apart from the chance for the staff to go off and have some party time.
Our time in Malta
It’s an easy walk along the way to reach the Barrakka lifts, however you could take a taxi or even a horse & cart. Also the hop on hop off bus is down at the port and costs 10 Euro.
The walk is an easy one and well worth the 15 minutes or less depending on your pace, especially if the weather is good. You walk past this brightly coloured bus turned into a souvenir shop and some nice buildings.
The lift costs a Euro each and you only pay to go up, coming down is free. It’s by far the cheapest way to get up to the town.
You exit right by the Saluting Battery at the Upper Barrakka Gardens and then can walk around to the left and into the town, but first you’ll want to take in the views.
Stepping out of the lift this is the area you see.
And a nice panorama to capture the huge Grand Harbour of Valletta.
There is a cafe in the gardens to the left and slightly to the right from it is the exit out.
Some images from the town, all very clean and well kept indeed.
We enjoyed a coffee in St John’s Square in front of the St John’s Co Cathedral. Before some more walking through the streets and back to the Barrakka Gardens and the lift to take us back down.
Here we can see clearly over the port and the World Heritage Valletta.
Once we were back at sea level the ladies decided to haggle for a horse & carriage ride. First the driver wanted 25 euro but we ended up paying 10 which was about right in my mind for the few minutes it took.
The marina at the port is quite nice and probably popular with locals hopefully one of these visits we’ll get to explore it more.
We looked through a few shops before hopping back onboard.
At 1pm we eased away from the dock and maneuvered our way out of the Grand Harbour. The marina looks wonderful from high up on the deck.
Valletta is certainly a beautiful place with lots to see if you have the time. Last time we were here we actually had a tour which visited Mdina and Rabat, a glass factory and more which are well worth a trip.
As we were leaving Valletta, another ship was coming in, MSC Armonia. We passed close enough to each other and the ships each sounded their horns which was pretty cool.
After all that excitement our appetites were peeking and a trip to the buffet was in order.
I took a walk around the deck 7 from the rear of one side to the rear of the other. You can’t actually go all the way around as the Pigalle Lounge covers the very back of the ship and I prefered the sunny side 🙂
Gala evening dinner in Le Fontane
Dinner time and tonight was the first Gala evening. We enjoy dressing nicely for dinner and it was pleasing to see that many made the effort to dress up, nothing over the top but decent.
Tonights Gala dinner menu
And these were a selection of our meals.
The photos from top left to right are; Shrimp cocktail, Chickpea Hummus and aubergine Baba Ghanoush, Rock lobster bisque, Tortelli ripieni di punte di asparagi e mascarpone, Mixed vegetable tempura, Fanned out fillet of beef in porcini mushroom sauce, Chocolate royal cake, and ice creams.
The meals were pretty good with the beef very tasty but the lobster bisque was more like a tomato soup and half of it was all around the bowl.
After dinner we enjoyed the music and conversation in the wine bar until bed time.
We’d love to hear your thoughts let us know in the comments below
We’d love to hear from you, tell us about your experiences on the Poesia or any other MSC cruise ship that you’ve been on.
Have you experienced a Mediterranean cruise? What’s your favourite cruise line? How would you like to spend your days onboard?
Looking forward to reading your comments.