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Home > Member Reviews > cruzflyer's Port Reviews of Vigo, Lisbon, Barcelona

cruzflyer's Port Reviews of Vigo, Lisbon, Barcelona
Queen Mary 2 (QM2) cruise in September 2012
Member Name: cruzflyer
Cruise Date: September 2012
Embarkation: Southampton
Destination: Western Mediterranean
Member Review: cruzflyer's Queen Mary 2 (QM2) Review
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Our Iberian Highlights included four ports of call -- Vigo (Spain), Lisbon (Portugal), Valencia (Spain), and Barcelona (Spain). Cunard made its maiden voyage to Vigo. It was really convenient that the QM2 docked at the heart of Vigo making self-guided walking tours so convenient. Although we did not do this ourselves, the highlight of stopping here would have been a 96 km trip to Santiago de Compostela to visit the cathedral and the tomb of Saint James the Apostle. Along with Rome and Jerusalem, the Vatican considers Santiago de Compostela a Holy City.

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City Tour Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
The Tram and Coach tour of Lisbon was definitely worth the time. We enjoyed an intimate ride through some of the narrow and hilly streets of Lisbon, as well as complementary port and lemon tart pastry on the tram. Be awfully careful when you use the public restroom at various parks. Our tour guide warned us about professional pickpockets and thieves who pose as tourists, armed with maps, to ask unsuspecting tourists for directions or hang out inside the restrooms. At our stop, I actually saw two suspicious guys casing out the tourists. One guy was following a young mother and her daughter since her large handbag was slung slightly behind her. We did enjoy seeing the Christ the King monument across the river, which resembles the one at Rio de Janeiro. For a panoramic view of Lisbon, be sure to take the Santa Junta Lift for wonderful views of the city and the sea of red-tiled roof tops.

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Gothic Quarter Walking Tour Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
We managed to do better at our fourth and last port of call at Barcelona. We signed up for a coach and walking Gothic City tour of this magnificent ancient city. Our main complaint was that we did not have enough time to see and appreciate everything the guide pointed out, including what would have been a highlight of any tour -- a visit to the Picasso Museum (the other highlight would have been the La Sagrada Familia Church designed by Gaudi and never completed to this day).

One highlight was visiting the Bouqueria, a marketplace along Las Ramblas. Our guide recommended lunch at La Gardunya, and we had the paella that was delicious. Afterwards, we found an even better place for dining -- the Universal Kioska, to be found at the left-most aisle at the entrance to the Boqueria. This place was packed with long lines, and no wonder. The mixed seafood grill was prepared in olive oil and was absolutely stunning and worth coming back to, again and again. We also had the mixed mushrooms that were also grilled in olive oil with generous sprinkling of sea salt crystals. We would highly recommend this venue for anyone looking for fresh seafood. If Cunard were ever to consider an overnight venue, Barcelona should be at the top of the list. My wife and I decided we would definitely consider a land vacation in Barcelona in the future.

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