after arriving at barcelona airport we were met by our pre-arranged taxi. suntransfers,i would recommend this firm as reliable prompt and competitively priced.Â£39.00 from airport to ship.
we arrived at the port about two o'clock and were onboard within ten minutes.before boarding
we passed through security check and arrived at a small shopping mall where i purchased two bottles of wine for the stateroom,fully intending to pay the required corkage of $30. i carried the bottles in my arms onto the ship and was not approached by anyone. i looked around to see if there was any desk set up to pay.nothing, so i thought,hey ho,lets go and took the escalator to my cabin. never was one to look a gift horse in the mouth.
having been on the epic last year i expected the cabin to be more old fashioned and with less space.i was delighted,especially with the bathroom set up. it was spacious and well set out. the shower was large with a sliding door.the toilet also has a frosted sliding door and a sink between.i intensely disliked the bathroom setup on the epic and found the space in the cabin very tight.
before exploring we had lunch in the blue lagoon.not an extensive menu,but well cooked and we were spared the scrum at the buffet.
i found the spirit to be a lovely comfortable ship with friendly and helpful staff.they are fortunate in their captain who is witty and approachable.
the food was acceptable, if not spectacular. we ate dinner mostly in windows,which is a beautiful dining room.on sea days,we ordered room service breakfast,which is continental,but avoids a busy buffet.
the entertainment in the theatre was good most nights. the comedy juggler was fun and the illusionist very good. i particularly enjoyed the final show elements which was quite spectacular.
the daily entertainment was the usual trivia quiz,napkin folding and line dancing lessons,i wish that there were more imaginative entertainment during sea days when the weather is not so good and reading a book loses its appeal after a couple of hours. we did not try any of the specialty restaurants as i donated most of my own and quite a portion of my dh's money to the casino.i persevered through the fug of smoke,(no one can accuse me of being a quitter)until i felt that i had contributed enough to help refit the ship.my dh has taken on a second job after we returned.all things considered we had a lovely holiday.
i haven;t said anything about the ports. madeira, we strolled around until i purchased a fridge magnet with a corkscrew,for the two illicit bottles of wine.not a lot to see. tenerife,we just did our own thing and didnt get off in lanzarote.my favourite stop was malaga,dont bother with the paid shuttle as it is an easy stroll ,unless you have mobility problems.
all in all it was a lovely holiday,i wouldn't do the canaries again as i dont find it very interesting,but i would certainly sail with the spirit again.
one last thing,THE DRESS CODE.i have rolled my eyes and tutted at reviews bemoaning the laxity of formal attire at dinner. i'm all for less formal dress if thats what you want ,but i think there should be a line drawn. i found people in track bottoms and tatty sneakers distasteful. i think it's a matter of respect.casual by all means but appropriate. i thought that some people would not have been admitted to a restaurant or club in town dressed as they were on the spirit.