Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Day #10: Valletta, Malta

Today was our final port: Malta. We began our approach into Malta's harbor around 1pm. Libby and I witnessed this from the bow of the ship, an ideal vantage point to see the beautiful city (photo below).

We docked by 2pm and shortly thereafter departed for our tour of Mdina and Valletta. Given that this was a short stop (everyone was to be back on board by 6pm), we opted for the tour based on our experience last year in Gibraltar, which involved a really hectic disembarkation followed by a huge crush of people all trying to do the same thing at the same time. I don't know what the independent experience was on this cruise, though it was probably fine. Nonetheless, I'm sure we wouldn't have visited both Mdina and Valletta had we not gone with the ship's shore excursion, and that would have been a real loss. Malta is wonderful!

In fact, Libby is already talking about our need to return to this city (perhaps in conjunction with an independent, land-based trip to Italy, which we haven't done in a few years).

The island is very picturesque. Both Mdina and Valletta are beautiful cities. We had an opportunity to walk around both cities and visit the co-cathedrals (it seems that the bishop on Malta sort of “splits his time” between them). St. John's Cathedral in Valletta is especially not to be missed. It's simply marvelous. And, it houses two painting by Caravaggio: “The Beheading of St. John” (which Malta seems especially proud of) and “St. Jerome Writing” (which Libby and I both preferred).

Our only complaint about Malta was the brevity of the visit. But, we shall return!

Tonight, we enjoyed dinner in the main dining room (my entrĂ©e of Garlic Tiger Shrimp, a dish I'd had before on another RCI cruise, were especially good this evening), and we watched the main stage production show, entitled “Tango Buenos Aires” (which was enjoyable but not great... of course, I'm uncultured git when it comes to dance; so, I'd recommend you ignore my opinions on this one).

1 comment:

  1. Good to hear you had a good experience. We're booked on the same tour.

    4/20/2009 group - bikn4fn