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Cruise Day 18 & 19- Malta & a Sea Day

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Day 77 Wednesday 1 December - “Cruise Day 18 – Valletta Malta”

Lazy breakfast today, we're not due until 11 am. The sky is very overcast and again there's a fog or mist drawing the sea and the sky together. First thing we notice is the many ships lying off the East Coast of Malta.

Right on schedule we enter the harbour of Valletta which is surrounded by massive old fortifications. The facilities are quite extensive, including commercial docks and even a dry-dock. The buildings are built on the almost sheer cliffs and reminds me of Monaco but here the buildings are ancient. The temperature is quite mild as we walk ashore and find the local bus which takes us to the centre of the city for just 1 €.

The trip in is quite interesting with many narrow sections and a series of switch-backs as we climb up the cliff. Traffic is very light and sensibly on “our” side of the road – a heritage of the British. The streets inside the city walls are very pedestrian friendly with little if any vehicle traffic. Also missing are the crowds and the garbage we've experienced in the recent past.

The general atmosphere is very relaxed and we had no trouble finding our way around as most of the streets follow a sensible grid pattern. We found and visited the St John's Cathedral. Not on the scale of Rome's Basilica but what it lacked in size it made up in grandeur and extent of its decorations.

Wandered back to the ship and managed to record some images of the harbour from the vantage points along the way. It was interesting to see our ship tied up next to a naval destroyer which I think was flying the German flag.

Another excellent dinner and we're encouraged to attend the Chocoholic Buffet in the Garden Cáfe at 10:30, not sure if we'll still be awake but it sounds good. We decide to skip the show in the Stardust and wander up to the library to exchange some books. We are certainly getting in plenty of reading.

The Chocoholic Buffet was more than anything we'd expected. The most incredible array of chocolate deserts, sculptures and displays, a feast for the eye as well as the tongue. I spent the first few minutes trying to capture the trays and trays of decadence, then ignored the camera and grabbed a plate. We'd managed a few minutes of preview because the Indian Maitre D from the Grand Pacific had whisked us in the back way.

Day 78 Thursday 2 December - “Cruise Day 19 – at Sea”

The sea's a bit rougher today, there are 'sick bags' distributed throughout the public areas. The disease control protocol is still in place which slows down the food distribution at the 'buffet' which is now a form of silver service. A lot more work for the staff and some of the passengers are upset about it, I can't understand why.

Attended a meeting of the passengers who are continuing on the next cruise, there were about 100 people there and doubtlessly as many again who didn't bother to turn up. The Captain explained what the processes would be in Barcelona and advised us all to leave the ship for two or three hours. He explained that the entire ship was to be fumigated before the new passengers would be allowed to board. There is no hard evidence that there is an infection but he insists that it is a necessary precaution.

We were told that we should pack away any items in our cabin that are normally left on the bedside table or vanity. When it came to questions one of our fellow attendees asked if the sterilising agent would effect any medication – Hello !! It is supposed to be packed away – somewhere there's a village looking for their resident idiot.

There wasn't a lot happening so we exchanged books and spent most of the afternoon making up for the late night yesterday. Dinner in the Grand Pacific again, all new dishes we hadn't previously tried. Not bad after 19 days, even the desserts had some new entries.

Decided to give the 'show' a miss tonight and leave room for those who hadn't previously seen it as there's only one show tonight.

Posted by greynomadm 10:20 Archived in Spain

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hmmmm not a chocolate fan but would love to see a full chockie display... couldn't help but think it would be yummo!!!
Sea sick just thinking about the rough sea. Don't think I would risk it. :(
Love you guys heaps and look forward to catching up hopefully in the early New Year and seeing pictures of all these spectacular places you have visited!!!
Love you heaps, Mel and Les xoxox

by MelandLes

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