Andrew M, Jan. 2018
I have spent half this price and got double the value many other places in the world. It feels like Morocco and Casablanca are still trying to discover how to do tourism. I kept thinking during this tour and afterward that there had to be more interesting things to see and showcase I felt like we drove around a lot but only saw some things and actually got to experience very little.
Now, the driver and Majid are very good. What could have made things better is if Majid understand his audience: I have ZERO interest in shopping but he never asked. The asking price for this tour is high enough for 3 hours that we really didn't need to stop at THREE separate places to be shown things that would have earned a kick-back if things would have been bought. I hate that part of tours, being dropped through sales traps, when all I really want to do is explore and see, not shop, the highlights. Seeing the rugs is interesting but the high-pressure sales by a large man wanting a couple of grand for a couple of these rugs is not a pleasant experience, 800 might be about the right price and that is likely too high so research this before you go on this tour or you'll get hood-winked.
The following was what the tour was advertised to showcase: Visit top sights including the United Nations Place, Mohammed V Square, the Central Market and the Notre Dame de Lourdes Cathedral See the famous Hassan II Mosque and enjoy free time to stroll down the Ain Diab Corniche. Of these, I have no memory of seeing: the United Nations Place, Mohammed V Square, the Central Market. Meanwhile, the Notre Dame de Lourdes Cathedral is just not very interesting if you've seen any cathedral in Europe. Additionally, and totally out of Majid's control, the famous Hassan II Mosque, which is the highlight of this tour by-far, was closed to tourists because the king was coming for prayer. I'm so glad that I wasn't in town for just one day as I would have missed one of the only two things that were interesting, of the little shown to me, in Casablanca itself. The next day, I was on a Rabat Day Trip tour with dear Majid and driver again and they were super-kind enough to amend that trip to start with going to this famous Hassan II Mosque and it is absolutely worth the trip to Casablanca just to see this. Majid will charge you an additional 120 to take the tour on this tour you've already over-paid for, even though I saw a sign saying the cost was 50, but it seems to be the Morrocan way that you need to constantly grease the skids to make things run. Finally, the one highlight of that day was the seven minutes of advertised: free time to stroll down the Ain Diab Corniche. This promenade is one of Casablanca's best features. Instead of the 12 minutes we spent here, I would have been happy if they just dropped me off here and picked me up 3 hours later. Consider getting a hotel in this area if at all possible I made the mistake of not staying here. There seemed to be a ton of nice restaurants and the beaches and fresh ocean breezes are amazing. Being someone who lives in the middle of a continent that is frozen in December, this is where I would have wanted to spend the most time had I been asked.
As it was, I saw about three things but got brought through three shopping experiences.
To fill the missed time due to the king being at the mosque and not being able to get in, Majid was very kind and ate lunch with me my treat at a nice restaurant a block from my Sheraton hotel.
Be warned if you are going to Morocco, if you're reading this, you likely are, that as soon as the guide parted ways with me like I had literally only two blocks to walk to my hotel without him, that there are plenty of people watching that will hit you up for money or even try to stick their hands in your pocket totally ruins the tourist experience and Morocco will struggle to be a destination for tourists as long as we are made to feel uneasy just to walk the streets in daylight and my guide encouraged me not to be out alone at night, and I'm a 6'3, 250 pound, 39 year old man. Other than when I had my driver and guide, I wouldn't leave the front steps of the hotel which made me feel like a prisoner and I've never felt that way anywhere on the globe that I've travelled.
Would I go back to Morocco? Not likely I might give Marrakech a try but not Casablanca or Rabat.