In Casablanca, as well as in all other places visited in Morocco, we see lots of new construction taking place—even Felicity Hoffman is hawking real estate from billboards. Tell clients to visit the seaside Hassan II Mosque, a majestic place of worship set with the world’s tallest minaret. From Casablanca, Louis offers an excursion to the more scenic city of Rabat that is well worth the $75. Morocco’s capital is a great city where the picturesque kasbah alone, awash in blues and whites, is worth a few dozen digital shots.
The last stop on the Iberian Coasts itinerary is Malaga, in Spain’s Costa del Sol. Here, clients can also explore freely on their own—maybe enjoying the local muscatel wine—or take a city tour and then return to the ship, but if they sign up for the Alhambra Palace excursion ($143), they’ll be picked up in the evening in Almeria. This tour takes them on a scenic drive to Granada, where the last Moorish king invading Spain surrendered to Queen Isabella, and the Alhambra complex and gardens that have launched a thousand tales.
life on board Back aboard the Majesty, activities are plentiful, thanks to a team that is full of energy and led by the fearless Hamitouche. The biggest entertainment event, he says, is the after-dinner show at The Palace Theatre, which varies each night; passengers get to enjoy everything from a cabaret-style affair to movie-themed acts. Daytime fun comes in the form of arts and crafts, dance classes and games; there’s also a cozy library/card room with computers with Internet access. As part of its light facelift, Louis reduced the size of the casino and added more lounge areas around it for passengers to enjoy the view with a frothy (and plenty tasty) cappuccino or fruity cocktail in hand.
There are also two pools and two jacuzzis, as well as a pool and playroom for kids. Additionally, there’s a fitness area adjacent to the Sana Wellness Center, which comes with its own beauty salon. And here’s another place where travelers can jump into a multi-cultural treat, with treatments including everything from a Balinese massage combining acupressure, stretching and aromatherapy, to a classic Swedish rub.
Given the cruise line’s heritage, there’s a close relationship between culture and cuisine on board. “The point of traveling around Europe is not just to see different places—it’s also to eat different types of food,” says Hamitouche. The Majesty, adds Charles Andreou, food & beverage manager, “offers choices tied to the ports we visit.” A stop in Casablanca, for instance, comes with an Arabian Nights-themed evening complete with delectable dinner choices. Dining at specialty restaurant Le Bistro comes at an additional cost, although passengers occupying cabins in categories SJO, SJ and S get a complimentary dinner here. Le Bistro’s menu reads as deliciously as it tastes, with classics such as escargots Bourguignon and osso bucco sharing popularity with huge Nigerian prawns—each of these were tried (not all at once) and given a great “thumbs up” by yours truly.
itineraries & eureka! rates “It’s easy for agents to book the Majesty itineraries directly online
because the itineraries are longer—seven, eight and 12 nights—and don’t need a heavy land portion; maybe a 1-night hotel stay prior to departure,” says Filippidis. Louis Cruises’ “Smart Rates” allow agents to offer clients great prices early in the game. This year, clients can depart from Genoa on board the Majesty on the 7-day Mediterranean
Highlights from $710, the 8-day Spanish Odyssey & Tangier from $790 and the 10-day Moorish Coasts from $860. The 8-day Iberian Coasts starts at $850. These “Smart Rates” are pp dbl and good through November.