We boarded the Journey in Lisbon on October 10, 2011 for our first transatlantic cruise. We were a bit hesitant to embark on this type of voyage before. No ports of call, open ocean, and small ship all added to our anxiety.
This was one of the most relaxing vacations for us in a long time. We were port side balcony and saw the sun rise and set 9 out of 10 days. It took a few days to unwind after the flight to Lisbon; but, after the 5th day we were in the mood for sheer enjoyment. It provided about all we ever imagined a luxury crossing would have.
From the cabin steward Ramoul to the waiter Jay in Dimensions to the espresso barristas at the Mosaic Cafe to the helping hands in the Windows Cafe to the bar servers and bar staff there was a feeling of sincere warmth and concern for your comfort. After a while we thought we were part of one big family.
We thought the complementary boutique wine selections were quite good and diverse. Nothing boring and great attention to detail. One lunch we were served a red wine from Spain. I asked the waiter which grape varieties made the wine. Two days later the waiter came to our table and told us he looked up the wine on the internet and informed us which grapes composed the wine. Food was outstanding in all venues. Smoothie bar in the morning came after our morning mile walk. There was a guy with a cruisecritic.com tee shirt that walked past us a few times. We thought he was probably in a hurry to write another favorable review.
With attention to mind, body and spirit, we had room service breakfasts, prayed with the priest, walked with fabulous people, grabbed a smoothie, attended Astronomy, Crime Scene Investigation, and Animal Planet lectures, then perfect cappuccinos before lunch. We attended the magnificent piano concert of Garin Bader one afternoon. His story inspired us to someday visit Chopin's home near Warsaw. We were thoroughly entertained every night by great performers, led by Eric DeGrey. Eric wouldn't start one evening's performance until the Playbills were handed out. Class act, Eric. It was like being on Broadway, reviewing the repertoires of the performers before the curtains rose. It was great dining under the stars serenaded by guitar and song, or Jacqueline Dolan the amazing Tiperrary harp player before dinner. We would ask for the table on the other side of the wall just to hear beautiful music. Harp music fit for a queen.
We thoroughly enjoyed our voyage. It will go down as one of our favorite cruises. And I say this after the airline lost my luggage. So, a big thank you to guest services to help accommodate us during an awkward situation.