This year, we decided to take a cruise and my local experience was very bitter. To begin with, there is a shuttle bus to transfer passengers to the gangway of the ship and those disembarking to the arrivals lounges. On both our departure and our arrival, this bus was only seen passing by empty with the driver chatting on his mobile. The last thing a tired passenger wants is a walk in the sun holding heavy bags when there are the means in place to avoid it.
Secondly, when we boarded and when we disembarked, outside the terminal was mayhem. The Maltese harbour must be one of the most beautiful in the world and it does you proud to see visitors gasp in awe.
This is very short lived indeed. The scene off the boat resembles a chaotic, mediaeval, South African flea market. Taxis and horse drawn cabs stop and perform U-turns in the middle of the road. Horse droppings and decaying urine smells permeate the area and alighting passengers must weave their way through all of this. Swearing taxi and cab drivers argue with tourists. I do not care to know if the terminal is under construction but the impression given to these visitors is of a disorderly, chaotic and filthy country - and this impression will stick. It needs to be put right with the least delay.
Why are not visitors offered a free shuttle service to City Gate and then decide for themselves if they want to take a bus, a taxi or a horse drawn cab? In Valencia, a free shuttle bus takes you outside the terminal you either walk to the bus stop or search for a taxi stand.
Having on this cruise visited Valencia, Nice, Monte Carlo and Repallo, these places remain imprinted in my mind with a big possibility that my future holiday destination will be one of them. In fact, through this experience, we have decided to visit Spain for a start. My argument is that these half-day visitors should come to like the island and decide to come back and spend some time here in the future. During a cruise one just gets a glimpse of the country and that glimpse must be impressive and not destructive. Why are our visitors made to endure this unpleasant, filthy and savage experience from which nobody will benefit? The efforts of many are being reduced to dust.
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