Ashore in Valletta, Malta
17 June 2019 | Mediterranean Sea
Woke up really early and I looked out and could see lights along the shore of Malta. I couldn't fall back asleep and it was around 5 am and we were just coming close to the harbor entrance. We were going very slowly. It was just getting light out although the sun had not yet risen. Mark also watched for quite a while as we entered the harbor. We tried to go back to sleep until our alarm wake up at 6:30 but not sure if I slept any more. We were out on our balcony watching Captain Tony bring the ship in closer to the docking just in front of the Mein Schiff cruise ship. We took our time getting up and getting dressed. We walked up to Deck 14, Lido, for breakfast. We shared a table with one lady passenger who was not very communicative as she explained that she had no voice. Not a great choice for sharing a table as we didn't want to catch any more germs. Once we were done eating, we headed back to our cabin to get ready to go ashore. We left the ship around 8 ish. We had to walk a very long distance over to the cruise terminal. Once on the outside, it was a long walk back to around the front of our ship. We stopped at an atm to get some Euros before taking an elevator up to the top of hill beside our ship. They charged 1 Euro each for the ride. Some of the stores were already open, but many were not. The main cathedral was closed and there was quite a long line waiting. We decided to skip it and toured several other churches including St Francis of Asisi. We walked around several of the streets in downtown Valletta. Enjoyed our tour of the Grand Master's Palace and Armory. A lot of the building was closed for renovations. We saw some beautiful full wall sized tapestries as well as beautiful marble floors etched in imperial symbols. Many more tours arrived and the downtown was a sea of tourists. We walked thru the downtown all the way to a beautiful huge water fountain. Then found a taxi to take us to the fort for 15 Euros. The fort was at the harbor entrance. It was huge. We followed the signs and visited the different viewing areas. They had some movies and documentary clips projected on the wall and/or floor, including a lot of the history of Malta. We were exhausted with the heat of the day and all the walking and climbing we did. We looked for a taxi, but the only ones close to the fort, did not include a driver. Not sure where they were. We started walking back to our ship, when a driver of a horse and buggy offered a discount on his original quote. So, we decided to take him up on it. We sat on a nice padded seat as the driver guided our carriage thru the hilly terrain and back to the port terminal. We still had a long walk thru the terminal. Mark bought a bottle of Malta wine in the duty free zone. We were able to bring 2 bottles back on board. Mark is the only one drinking the wine and he still has some left from our original cask. We walked back to our ship and dropped our bag off at our cabin. It was late for lunch, so we climbed up to Deck 14, Lido, for lunch. There was not as many passengers in the dining area. We were able to find an empty table and enjoy our lunch. Headed back to our cabin. Mark said we could take a short nap, but we actually slept for about 1 hours. I guess we were really tired. Took a shower and got dressed for dinner, as we caught part of another episode of Einstein. I am really enjoying that series. We headed down to our dining room and Maxine did not join us as she was under the weather. Not that many people in the dining room as some of the tours ran late. Our ship was supposed to leave at 5:30, but around 6 pm, there was an announcement looking for two ladies. That delayed us. We could see that the fuel barge was still attached. The ship couldn't leave until they disconnected. We were finished dinner earlier than usual. We headed up to our cabin and then the front of the ship to watch us head out of the harbor around 7 pm. The ship had to blow it's horn a couple of times, to get the few small boats to get out of our way. It was a beautiful and scenic view heading back out to the Mediterranean Sea. Then we headed to the Princess Theater to watch the singers and dancers perform with the ship's orchestra. It was a great show. However, as Mark says, the show is too short, barely around half an hour. It took us 15 minutes to get out of the theater, waiting for the oldies to climb up the steps. They don't move very fast. We headed to Deck 12 for Mark to get some popcorn with the Movie Under the Stars. Tonight was a repeat movie, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. We found two open loungers and watched the rest of the movie. Then we visited the casino. Mark spotted some Moto GP on their sports channel. We figured out that they finally fixed the satellite connection, so our cabin tv would have the channels restored. Mark enjoyed watching the Moto GP. So many bikes slid off the race track and onto the gravel, knocking off several of the drivers. Then we headed up to Deck 14 where I joined Mark for a hot drink. I was feeling cold and thankfully wore a jacket to keep me warm. The coffee helped. We took glasses of water back to our cabin. Thanks to everyone for your emails and messages. Busy day for us. I did post a lot of pictures for Malta. We have one sea day before arriving in Barcelona.