Cruising To Cannes Onboard Aegean Odyssey
15 Jul 2016
Day 2, Cannes, 03 June 2016
My second day on the cruise ship started very well, I was very excited too see the view from my windows. We had been cruising to Cannes during the night, the fashionable city of the film festival in the South of France! As soon as I opened the curtain I saw glorious blue skies and azure water, I was really looking forward to my breakfast on the Terrace Café.
Breakfast on the Terrace café
I put on my shorts as the weather for the day was supposed to be nice and warm and walked to the café. What a joy it was to be able to walk on any deck as our ship Aegean Odyssey is smaller than others. The view from the terrace was stunning, our ship was anchored in the middle of the sea as the port of Cannes is small and must be reached by tenders.
The breakfast buffet had everything you could ever wish for:
- A selection of cold cereals with additional toppings (e.g. dried apricots, raisins, almond flakes)
- Yoghurts: plain or fruit yoghurts, also available in low fat options
- From the pantry: assorted cold cuts, sliced cheeses, smoked salmon
- Bakery: croissant, brioches, assorted Danish pastries, French bread, various other types of bread and rolls. Plus, toasted bread served straight to the tables by a waiter.
- Various jams, honey, syrup...
- Hot breakfast choices: fried, scrambled, hard boiled, poached eggs, pork sausages, grilled ham, crispy bacon, English bacon, fried potatoes or roast potatoes (depending on the day), baked beans, smoked fish
- Omelette selection (outside on the deck you can ask for an omelette cooked for you): choice of omelette compliments, ham, smoked salmon, cheese, spicy salami, mushrooms, tomato, belle pepper, onions, potato
- Hot porridge and cold muesli available
- Fresh fruit available
- Coffee, teas and juices
This was a breakfast which I really could not fault. I had an omelette, crispy bacon and some pastries, everything was delicious. After breakfast, I really felt ready for the excursions ahead. Today we were going to visit Grasse and St. Paul de Vence during a half day excursion.
Excursion in Grasse: the capital of the perfume industry
The meeting point for the excursions was the Ambassador lounge, you are informed about the meeting time and venue, the night before on the journal. We reached land thanks to the tenders and then we caught a bus to Grasse, the International capital of the perfume. The excursion lasted an hour and a half and it was pleasant, our guide explained to us a lot of curiosities about Grasse, which were very interesting.
Do you know how the perfume industry develop in Grasse? Initially, Grasse was the main centre for the production of leather, the city specialised particularly in perfumed leather gloves, fashionable at the moment.
At that time, Caterina de Medici, a member of the regnant family in Florence was very pleased with the quality of perfumed gloves provided. The perfumes for gloves developed because of the great availability of flowers. Subsequently, because of the high taxation on leather production the city decided to leave behind the leather production and specialised on the perfume production solely.
After the instructive tour, we arrived at Fragonard, one of the most ancient perfumeries in Grasse, where they produce their own perfumes for sale only in the factories and also perfumes for worldwide brands.
Someone working at Fragonard lead the tour inside the factory: it was very interesting to see all the equipment used to make perfumes and soap. We discovered the difference between Perfume, Eau de Perfume and Eau de toilette, which is due to the a different concentration of alcohol and how the perfume persists on the skin accordingly. In addition, we learnt that we should leave the perfume to dry in the air and there is no need to rub the skin, because this gesture alters the molecules of the perfume. Then we had a little free time to buy perfumes on the boutique.
Excursion in St. Paul de Vence
Our tour was followed with a trip to the nearby village of St. Paul de Vence, a very pretty medieval town located on a hill. The village is well known as many artists decided to live here, in fact, the historical town centre is packed with small shops selling traditional and contemporary works of art. The town is especially known because the painter Marc Chagall spent a considerable amount of his life in the village, we also visited his tomb in the local cemetery.
St. Paul de Vence is also loved by the movie stars. During the Cannes film festival they often decide to stay here and visit the local restaurant.
After a short guided walking tour, we had some free time to buy some souvenirs. At lunch time we headed back to our ship in Cannes.
I had lunch in the Terrace café outside as the weather was magnificent and some specialties of the buffet menu were a must try.
I had Chicken and mushroom green bean salad, Spice marinated coloured Pearch fillet, breaded zucchini, French fries and grilled vegetables. As if I hadn't had enough, I could not resist the temptation to try out the pizza and the wok station: let me say that I am very particular with my pizza as I am Italian. The pizza was very good, so congratulations to the cook!
Later on, we had the chance to either explore Cannes or to relax for a couple of hours, before the cocktail night hosted by the captain at 6.30pm. There were also other activities on board, such as the afternoon tea accompanied by classical music, the afternoon quizor a light aerobic session.
At 6.30pm I joined in the cocktail night , the only occasion where it was more appropriate to dress smart. The captain from Greece was a very hospitable man and held a short speech. We had some drinks and also an unexpected communication that we were going to sail earlier to Marseille as during the next day a storm was expected.
Subsequently, me and the rest of the group had dinner in the Marco Polo restaurant. The menu of the night was absolutely superb, featuring: Bresaola della Valetellina, carrot and ginger soup, fettuccine pasta, whole rack of lamb, grilled veal loin, grilled Sirloin steak with Bernaise sauce etc. I had a seafood crepe as appetizer which was simply stunning, the flavour of the fish and the delicate taste of the sauce melted in your mouth. As a main I had a type ofsurf and turf dish, never tried before, Bacon wrapped prawn skewer with saffron rice and snow peas: the combination was absolutely brilliant and unexpected. As a dessert I chose Coupe Aegean which was vanilla ice cream served in a Bailyes sauce, absolutely lush!
After dinner we were due to meet at the Charleston lounge, where the atmosphere was softened by the sweet late melodies with Deborah. We had some cocktails and drinks, the lounge is a very pleasant place and inexpensive, for example; a big glass of wine starts from $5! And every night there is a special cocktail of the day that costs only $5, today's special was the Mojito.
In the lounge, also late night snacks are served from 10.30pm chocolate coated strawberries or small pieces of cake and various savory canapes.
After drinks and delicious strawberries, I went to bed as I planned to explore the gym the day after. The following day we had a complete day of relaxation eithe ron board or on shore in the port of Marseille.