Abidjan, Ivory Coast

March 22, 2023

This is our second time visiting this country. This time, we had not booked an organized tour and intended to take the shuttle into town. But when we saw the pier with many police armed with AK47s and read the travel warnings, we opted to stay on the ship. Some friends took the shuttle and came right back. Most of the west African countries are about the same, generally nice and friendly people but an element of danger to tourists, lots of trash and air pollution. The air pollution was quite bad today. We both did our usual deck walks but decided to eat lunch inside instead out on the terrace which we usually prefer.

Here are some pictures of our arrival. You can see the level of air pollution. It smells like oil and smoke.

Here’s a shot of the pier. Most of the police have now left and are providing armed escorts to the tour buses.

I had a nice surprise yesterday. There was a knock at our door and someone delivered a gift of chocolate covered strawberries and macarons. When I opened the card, I saw that the surprise was from the Casino team! I already ate a strawberry before I took the picture!

Some facts about Abidjan – it is the largest city in and the economic capital of the Ivory Coast. The population is about 6.3 million. Like other countries we have visited in west Africa, it is mostly a French speaking country.

What else is happening around the ship? Our entertainment has been interesting on the last three days. First we had a duo named the Tap Step Brothers. We were wondering how tap dancing could possible stay interesting for the 45 minute show – well they were amazing. They showed on video the tap dancer that did the tapping for the animated film Happy Feet . Then one of the team came out in a tuxedo and penguin hat and tapped with the animated penguins on screen behind him. There were all styles of tap dancing, then the duo (who are friends, not brothers) explained the difference in style and the taps on the shoes between regular tap dancing and Irish dancing. In the Irish dancing, the taps are made of fiberglass not metal. We really enjoyed the show and look forward to their second one.

We also had a show called musical bliss with two wonderful male singers, Sabatino and Sutcliffe. And last night we had a magician/comedian, Danny Buckler. Lots of laughs with him. Both will be back for second shows. I almost always go to the shows, but with Norm it is hit or miss, so I will be making sure he goes to the last two when they perform again.

The food continues to be wonderful. We will miss our Executive Chef, Farid, when he leaves for vacation in Cape Town. He will return in Tokyo to finish the world cruise with us. I hope his replacement will be good too, but Farid is truly special. We had another fresh fish grilled on the deck two nights ago. He is always doing added features. Some days he sets up a pancake and omelet station for lunch. And yesterday he had a nacho station. He is always front and center doing cooking and serving and seems to also be everywhere on the ship, greeting and lingering to talk with guests.

We are still in a high risk area for pirates and we do have a team of former Navy Seals on board who keep a 24 hour watch. During the days, we see them on deck or in the gym doing the most strenuous exercises you can possibly imagine. If I was a pirate I wouldn’t want to mess with these guys!

We now have three days in a row in the west African countries and we have tours in each. We will be going to a voodo ceremony in Togo and visiting a village on stilts in Benin, which is a new country for us.

This entry was posted in Africa, Food, March, World Cruise #4. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Abidjan, Ivory Coast

  1. Rick & Marilen Beaman says:

    Sounds like you made the right decision to stay on the ship, especially with the air pollution. Reminds us of the land portion of our China trip with Princess cruise when we were together. Seeing military with AK47 would give us second thoughts too. We know you will miss the great chef for a little while, but at least you know he will be back later. Marilen always loved the grilling on the back deck when we have traveled on Oceania. Getting a treat from the casino staff is nice – did you miss a couple days, and they are trying to lure you back? We both always go to all the shows. If the performers are good, we like it when they do a second show. The tap dancing sounds really interesting.


  2. Jan Spearance says:

    What an adventure! Glad you feel safe. We live reading your daily logs. Interesting info on tap dancing. Hope the air clears soon A lot of world out there
    Don and Jan


  3. Violet Archer says:

    Thank you for your continuous blog; always interesting. Even though you’ve been there before, you are still able to make it interesting. Hope you will leave the high risk area soon without incidents.


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