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User Rating: 5 out of 65 out of 65 out of 65 out of 65 out of 65 out of 6
Date: 26 Mar 2012
Summary:  MSC Melody has kicked off the Black Sea cruise season today and docked at Odessa's port! It seems like MSC ships tend to close and open a cruise season at Odessa's port each year! The last cruise ship we saw docked at Odessa's port was a MSC ship last November, which closed the cruise season. Winter flew by, chills have passed, ice in the Black Sea harbor has melted and the first cruise ship of the 2012 cruise season is again an MSC. It was +5 C today and a very strong wind... Bummer.. I'd say the coldest day during the last week.. According to the official report published in the media today, 1002 people left the cruise ship; 600 explored the city with the cruise ship bus tour; the rest did either a cruise walking tour or ventured out into the city on their own. A few tips for cruise tourists arriving at Odessa with MSC ships: 1) MSC ships usually dock at Odessa's cruise terminal at 7 am. Those who prefer to explore the place on their own or with private tours manage to disembark by 7.30 am. Based on experiece of our guides, it's not a problem to start a tour at 7.30, picking up people at the disembarkation point. 2) The historic city center and main sights are within an easy reach from the cruise pier. So, don't be afraid that you won't manage to see the place within the 4hrs you have at port. 3) If you decide to venture out in to the city on your own, here's a link to the video, which explains how to find the way to the city center from the cruise terminal http://www.youtube.com/user/odessawalks/featured 4) The firts sight you see after you leave the cruise terminal is the famous Potemkin Steps. You have to walk it up to get to the historic city center!! Don't worry, it's not as difficult as it looks, only 192 steps and you'll get to experience the optical illusion which has made it famous :) Alternatively, instead of walking up the Steps, you can take a funicular. But it starts operating only from 9am and costs 2 hryvna (equivalent to 25 cents). You have to pay the fee in local currency in cash, so look for a currency exchange at the cruise terminal! 5) Most of the restaurants in the city center open from 9am. Keep this in mind in case you plan on having a coffee break during your self guided tour! Enjoy Odessa! And feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions! Look forward to seeing you in Odessa! Olga at Odessa Walks www.odessawalks.com

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