A night's sailing brought us to our next port of call...Toulon, where passengers could take a tender boat to shore and climb onto buses for excursions to Marseille! As this area is within driving distance from home, we decided instead to stay on board to settle in, and visit by car, another time, on another holiday!
Arriving in the harbour at 7 a.m, we found the French navy was already there in force!
An unusual diversion for those staying on the ship was the weekly lifeboat drill later in the morning. Quite rightly, RCL take safety very seriously, and the drill was carried out meticulously and obviously choreographed to a carefully planned routine. The boats are numerous - something like 50 in total - and a lot bigger than they look in the photo!
Looking around the ship on this day was a good idea, as most people had gone ashore! The gymnasium was quiet, and other than taking a look, we did not get too energetic!
The pool deck - unbelievable!! But the weather was pretty cool, and only a few hardy souls got themselves wet!
and one of several Jacuzzis - this one hangs off the side of the ship. See the later photo!
Dressed up and ready for our second night on the ship, a very special dinner at the Captain's table!
Note the lovely necklace and earrings I am wearing - a treasured gift from Jean who makes jewellery, and also has a French blog.
Places of honour at dinner on the Captain's table!
The ship moved onwards that night, arriving early the next morning at Villefranche, the port for visits to Monaco and Monte Carlo.
Going down 9 decks in the lift, on the way to take the tender boat to shore.
Arriving at Villefranche. A lovely French port, and we were lucky with the weather!
We took the train along the coast to Monte Carlo's underground station.
Above ground, the buildings of Monte Carlo! Bottom right you can see some grandstands being erected, as it was Formula 1 weekend and the whole of the car racing world had moved into town for the Monaco GP!!
A few exotic cars for sale at Monaco Motors! Note the absence of price stickers. As the saying goes,"if you have to ask the price, you probably can't afford it!"
Beautiful stylish buildings!
The harbour, crammed full of millionaires' and billionaires' expensive boats!
The Ferrari F1 pits...
and Williams, whose factory is in our old home town of Wantage, Oxfordshire in the UK!
back at the ship, and looking up at that Jacuzzi you saw earlier!
A stunning sunset over the Mediterranean!
One of the few pets allowed aboard - a silver bull terrier!! What craftsmanship!
and a towelling rabbit. The guy who looked after our cabin was a master at making different animals from towels!
Watch this space for Part III, on to Italy and the Leaning Tower of Pisa!
and also - My Life Before Charente Updated 12/01/2014
Sorry the latter has taken so long to update!!