What to Know Before Cruising to Morocco
So, you’re busy planning your cruise, looking at itineraries and you’ve decided to opt for one that includes some ports of call in Morocco. Great!
Here’s my handy mini guide to the things you’ll want to know before a cruise to Morocco…
The local currency in Morocco is the Moroccan Dirham, but in many of the larger ports of call both Euros and US Dollars are widely accepted. Small shops and markets will require you to use cash but in larger shops and restaurants you are able to pay by credit or debit card without any issues.
Bargaining is pretty normal in Morocco and especially in small shops and at markets. The vendor will always quote a high price first to get things started but be sure to work hard to get the price down. Don’t be afraid to walk away too as it’s often when you make to walk away that the price is slashed even further.
The Moroccan people speak a confusing mixture of many different languages – Arabic, Berber, English and French. In most large port cities you’ll find a lot of people will speak English but if not then try out your best French!
What to wear
Morocco is a Muslim country and as such the majority of Moroccan females wear conservative clothing. Many resources will tell you that some Moroccan cities and resorts are westernised and you’ll be fine to wear western clothes however, I wouldn’t take this to mean it’s acceptable to walk around in hot-pants and crop tops.
During my cruise around Morocco I saw plenty of younger girls wearing western clothes like jeans and t-shirts however, I didn’t see any showing a lot of skin and I took this as a cue that I shouldn’t either. I like to be respectful of local customs and cultures when travelling so whilst in Morocco I was sure to cover my knees, shoulders and chest. I felt totally comfortable dressed like this and was happy to see a few smiles and reassuring nods from the Moroccan women I met along the way.
I wrote a longer piece about what to wear in Morocco here.
All English speaking countries, except South Africa, do not require a visa to enter Morocco. You’ll find a more detailed list of countries and visa requirements here.
Food and drink
Moroccan food is incredibly diverse thanks to influences from both Berber and Mediterranean cuisines. There is a strong focus on using fresh, local produce and food is usually strongly (and deliciously!) spiced.
Don’t be afraid to try new foods in Morocco however do be careful of where these foods come from. Items from street vendors aren’t likely to be as sanitary as those from restaurants but use your own judgement.
Always drink bottled water in Morocco and be sure to check the seals are unbroken on any water bottles that you do buy there.
Mint tea is incredibly popular in Morocco and is said to be great for keeping cool in the oppressively warm summer months.
You’ll probably find that as soon as you step off your ship and out of the port area there will be a gaggle of taxi drivers and people trying to sell you tours. If you’re not interested then a firm no and walking away is the best course of action. They will probably still attempt to engage you in conversation and will likely walk a few steps with you. Politely make it clear you aren’t interested and keep walking.
If you are interested in taking a taxi or a tour then agree a price before you get in and remember to be prepared to haggle!
Have you been to Morocco before? Are you going? Would you like to visit Morocco on a cruise? Let me know in the comments below and I’d love for you to share any tips of your own!