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“Tangier: GNV ferry from Tangier to Barcelona”
Review of Tangier

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Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
35 helpful votes
“Tangier: GNV ferry from Tangier to Barcelona”
Reviewed July 20, 2010

I felt compelled to write something warning travellers of this ferry crossing because of the nightmare journey we experienced!
We travelled with Grandi Navi Veloci, an Italian ferry company on the Majestic ship headed for Genoa which stops off in Barcelona, our destination.
We arrived three hours ahead of the departure time as instructed, boarded an hour before departure....and we waited. And we waited.
As the departure time of 7pm went past we looked out of the window to see a huge queue of cars and trucks still waiting to get on board. So we decided to get a much needed drink from the snack bar - the only amenity open on the entire ship. The staff were incredibly rude and patronising. Between myself and my three friends, we can speak four languages competently enough to order drinks and yet these barmen were impossible to communicate with. As it got to 9pm we went to reception to ask what was happening as there had been no announcement and received an indignant smirk, apparently it was funny that we had a departure time even written on our ticket. But we shouldn't worry as the ship would go faster to make up for the time lost. I believe the departure was so late because the Moroccan authorities were being very very thorough, but still there were no announcements, no apologies from anyone. And as foot passengers who had arrived THREE hours early, we were very bored and annoyed.
So we went for some dinner, at the cafeteria which is open for just two hours or so. The food was abysmal. The only thing we could bring ourselves to buy was the cheesy pasta...at €4.50 which we thought was quite reasonable even if it was just for macaroni cheese. It was €7.20 for a disgusting looking slice of turkey and about €9 to buy one slice of boring looking lasagne. The staff here were all having a great laugh though, singing songs across the till to each other whilst we waited for them to give us our change.
I will say that our cabin was very good, as you should hope when you're paying just over €80 pp for it. The bathroom was nice and the beds were comfy.
The next day we got up as late as possible to avoid spending any more time than we had to in the ferry. We had a look at the cafeteria at lunch time and were shocked to find that the cheapest dish was now €6 a plate and it looked very unappetising. We decided to have something from the snack bar upstairs. It took us 20 minutes to get ourselves one of their 'snack menus' which cost €8.60. An extortionate amount of money when, after much confusion, we received a lukewarm and disgusting panini with a can of fanta as well as a day old doughnut which they kindly put NEXT to the grill for us to 'heat' them up. Once we'd managed to get the doughnuts actually under the grill, we had to personally go and tell the barman to take them out so they wouldn't burn. Crunchy doughnuts with a solid frozen custard middle....delicious!
That afternoon we decided to go to reception again and check on the ships progress....new arrival time in Barcelona; 1am. We were four young girls by ourselves, what were we supposed to do at 1am in a port!? The staff laughed at us and asked us 'well what were you going to do at 9pm?'. So rude.
We demanded to see the manager which took twenty minutes of uncomfortable discussion before they finally said we would have to wait five minutes....ten minutes later we were shown into a room right next door to reception! The manager was more understanding than any of the other staff and promised to escort us off the ferry and to the agency where he would organise a refund for us. Great. We tried to tell him that his staff were rude and unprofessional and he just shrugged and said 'I can't do anything'. In the meantime, other members of staff were walking into his office or peering round the corner whilst we were talking, incredibly intimidating and unprofessional!
We had another expensive and boring dinner at the cafeteria (€6.40 for a plate of pasta in tomato sauce). We treated ourselves to a bread roll each which was advertised to cost 30c. When we got to the till we were charged €1 for this tiny roll. Only when we asked about this charge were we told that actually you get
three pieces of bread for a euro....so they still overcharge you 10c!
Entertainment that evening was a man behind a keyboard playing the demos and occasionally a trumpet, whilst a young woman sang. It was quite nice in the grand scheme of boredom on this ship but unfortunately it was a bit too loud.
Rather surprisingly they did make an announcement to let passengers know that we would arrive in Barcelona in half an hour. We left our cabin and went to reception where the manager told us to head downstairs and ask for a certain man, he would deal with our problem. We met this man who was the GNV port manager and he had no idea who we were or what our problem was, nor was he interested. A heated discussion ensued and we were treated with no respect, called 'girls' over the radio and treated like children. We heard the manager utterly deny having promised us a refund so we insisted he come down and talk to us face to face. He came down for about 3 minutes to say he had no idea what we were talking about and then REFUSED to give us his name, which to my knowledge is illegal, especially for someone who is responsible for an entire passenger ship!
So he ran away and we were left in an impossible situation at 1.30am in the port in Barcelona.
I am currently trying to write to the company to complain and get some sort of compensation.
I was really looking forward to this journey by boat because it would be such a nice alternative to flying. Sadly, the 32 odd hours we ended up spending on that boat were laughably terrible.
If you do take this crossing then buy food and drink supplies before you board (bottled water is virtually impossible to buy after 11pm) and bring a lot of books, then lock the cabin door for the rest of the journey!
GNV....what a joke.

31 Thank rmascall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
14 helpful votes
“Excellent Tangier daytrip - do get a guide!”
Reviewed July 12, 2010

I recently went on a daytrip from Tarifa (Spain) to Tangier with a friend and three blonde children aged 7-10. I must admit to being slightly curious as to how the day would pan out, and it could really not have been better. We wanted to get a little taste of many things Moroccan, and especially for the kids to realize that although some cultures may be very different from ours, they're neither scary nor strange once you get into it.

We had a packed day with excellent experiences, thanks to our guide, Jamal Chatt, who politely introduced himself to us at the ferry port. We had already planned on going for a guide, as we only had one day there, and Jamal was an excellent choice. All the "real" guides are certified by the Miistry of Tourism, so as long as they have proper ID marked as such, you should be in safe hands.

Morocco has undergone great positive development by means of foreign investment over the last decade and is now a much safer and (to me) saner place to go than earlier, while it seems to have retained its authenticity - at least that goes for Tangier. This is the one day our kids will remember the best from this entire summer.

10 Thank annikeha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
31 helpful votes
“Waste of time and money”
Reviewed July 6, 2010

If you want to taste Morocco don't go to Tangier ... go to Marrakech or Fez. Tangier is tatty and shabby ... and not shabby chic. Beyond a few interesting must sees it's just rather squalid and a quick trip to ethnic parts of UK cities would suffice to get a feel for it.

The medina is tatty and lacks any charm whatsoever and perhaps the most interesting part of the city is the new town although most of the colonial buildings are in serious disrepair.

I just can't find anything to recommend it. Maybe it was once very exotic (it certainly lives in it's celebrity past) but these days it's well past its prime and although there are some lovely hotels theres (Riad del Sultan for example) I cannot see the point of spending 300 euro a night to be stuck there when I could be somewhere extraordinary like Fez.

4 Thank muevelachichi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dallas, texas
Level 4 Contributor
13 reviews
51 helpful votes
“Said Tours”
Reviewed June 1, 2010

If you are considering a Moroccan vacation....you must contact Said Tours! We did a lot of homework when planning our trip to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We only had 8 days from Dallas and needed to run as hard as we could to see it all. Every tour company we contacted told us we didn't have enough time...too far....cant be done....BUT not Said !!! He has a positive 'can do' attitude and was willing to do anything possible to make our dream trip a reality. He never said we couldn't do something, but instead MADE it happen. Said has lived in the U.S. and understand the culture. He speaks perfect English and is the most charming guy you could hope to meet.
He toured us around Tanger when we first arrived. Everyone knows him and he is quite famous around town! We joked that he is the Godfather....but it seemed true....He has a cult following of friends and fans.
He took us to dinner at a wonderful restaurant and treated us like family more than friends. It was if we had known him for years.
He assigned his partner, Mohammed, to us and we had our every need met. He watched over us like a protective father. He watched our every step and kept us out of harms way be it traffic or a low door way. Every car door was opened and closed for us and he hovered us like secret service when we used the ATM machine. Mohammed was knowledgeable (certified guide!) and was able to educate us as well as answer all our questions about Morocco, cities and sites. But he also knew how to give us the freedom to experience the country and its culture the way we wanted and needed for our personal travel goals. Our drivers were always courteous and safe. Hasan was our main driver and he deserves an award. He never took any chances and our vehicle was always clean and perfect.....great AC !!!
He must have cleaned the vehicle every time we got out because it was always vacuumed and smelled great! Hasan was always there when we were ready to leave and we never had to wait a second on him! He was the best driver EVER!!!!
I never felt anxious for a moment. We had wonderful accomodations and fabulous food. Mohammed was careful to make sure we always had clean safe bottled water and frequent bathroom stops (at very clean comfortable -western style bathrooms!) on our road trips. Said stayed in touch with us on our journey and was very focused on making sure we were satisfied with our trip. He made sure we were received like royalty at every hotel and restaurant we visited.
Said never asked for a penny up front and the amount we paid at the end of the trip was the exact amount we had agreed upon before we left the US. No surprises...what you settle on before you go is exactly what you get. Said is a very honest man of his word.
If you have any questions....write to Said. He will call you back! We have traveled the world and this is the best tour company I have ever had the pleasure of doing business with.
Please feel free to contact me if I can answer any questions or give you more info about Said Tours!!!

13 Thank spj00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
“It smells to africa”
Reviewed April 6, 2010

Tangier is a excellent offshore city, you will see since the ocean and the sea meeting and also huge palaces like the one of Mohamed V, the actual king attention don't take pictures to the officers or you will have problems.
Is is quite rich this city comparing to the rest of the country.
Marocco is developing quite fast building highways, public transports and monumental buildings. people love Mohamed V so it seems.
The kasbah is nice, of course that casablanca is better but this one is not bad also.
remember to never give nothing to anyone otherwise they'll be all over you all the time to give them something, ah look out for wich language you speak cause there are some nacionalities that they don't like.

The beach is not bad also...

Thank RoundtripRim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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