Play it again, Captain

//Play it again, Captain

Beep, beep-beep, beep. The message I had been waiting more than three days for arrived at 5.09 this morning when my BlackBerry sprang back into life to welcome me to Morocco.
If the 600 passengers on Saga Ruby’s Mystery Cruise had fallen for the subterfuge and red herrings provided by Captain Alistair McLundie (such as local news from BBC Scotland on cabin televisions) they might have been expecting to arrive in Dublin, Oban, or even Iceland, possibly spending all that time going in circles in the north Atlantic.
But he had done the sensible thing and steered his ship away from the icy blasts gripping Britain and points north, braved a bouncy Bay of Biscay, and brought us to Casablanca. Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, he had to bring us to this one.
Even at 8.00 am when he came on the Tannoy to reveal all, the temperature was a comfortable 57 F and by mid morning many of the passengers who had not already set off on the included four-hour city tour were out on the decks topping up their perma-tans.
The city tour took us to a couple of royal palaces, the magnificent new Hassan II mosque on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, and along the Corniche to a modern hotel for the obligatory comfort stop, refreshments, and belly dancer.
The city may boast the third largest port in Africa, but Casablanca has little of the glamour endowed by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. The ornate Art Deco buildings erected by the French in the 1920s and ’30s are fading fast, and the main streets and squares are being ripped apart for the installation of a tram system which will do little to ease its chronic traffic.
Little business appeared to be done during our brief visit to the shops in United Nations Square despite the promise that the traders were happy to accept any currency – dollars, euro and even sterling.
These intrepid Saganauts have probably bought all their family Christmas gifts and, having travelled much of the world already, have little need for more souvenirs.
Back on the ship, speculation turns to where Captain McLundie will take us next. It’s another closely- guarded secret but the guessing game goes on. The captain will play it again one more time.

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:57+00:00 6 December 2011|Cruise Destinations|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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