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Home > Member Reviews > AllaGeorge's Port Reviews of Southampton, Vigo, Lisbon, Las Palmas, Tenerife

AllaGeorge's Port Reviews of Southampton, Vigo, Lisbon, Las Palmas, Tenerife
Independence of the Seas cruise in May 2013
Member Name: AllaGeorge
Cruise Date: May 2013
Embarkation: Southampton
Destination: Canary Islands
Member Review: AllaGeorge's Independence of the Seas Review
Southampton
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Incredibly easy procedures to embark and debark. On return Port workers were very helpful in locating our missing luggage as three of the bags had tags torn off. We were in a suite so processing in we had no lines and were let on to the ship after waiting ten minutes after check in. We got to the terminal at 1100 and the lines may have been longer later. We stayed at the DeVere hotel near the harbor and found a lot of things to do close by. There is a large shopping area within walking distance as well as a street full of different restaurants.

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Vigo
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Easy access to the town and all the main stores of Europe represented. A perfect place to purchase those forgotten items that didn't make it into your suitcases for the cruise. Plenty of sales going on and many bargains to be found.
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Lisbon
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
I love Lisbon but get there in spring or fall as summer temperatures can be hot!

Unless you love walking long distances count on using a mode of transportation to the main part of the city. The ship offers a shuttle. There are taxis right at the dock and the Hop on Hop off bus stops at the dock also. There are loads of attractions and many historical sites. Find a local restaurant and sample the local wines and seafood.

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Las Palmas
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Easy walking from the ship into the city. We did not take a tour but opted to use the Hop on Hop off bus to tour the city itself. Plenty of stores if you want to shop for bargains. Restaurants are good and you can find one that offers what you like. Seafood throughout the Canary's is excellent and fresh.

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Tenerife
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Easy access to the city from the ship. Plenty of shopping and restaurants. We would recommend taking a tour, many various options available. Tours from the ship are typically more pricey and have more people on the buses than independent tours. The advantage to a tour from the ship is that they are responsible to get you back on time. Independent tours have less people, typically four to fifteen, and cost less. However if they don't get you back on time you are on your own! We were mainly on the cruise for the cruise and not to sight see. Our objective was to get an overall view of all the islands and then return to individual ones that interested us. To be fair a short number of hours in port does not allow you to really get a feel for anyone place over another. All are somewhat the same when you only have a couple of hours. We think Tenerife has a lot to see and to offer. A longer stay and getting away from the port and major city is the way to go here.

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La Palma
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
You could walk into the town from the ship. However free transport is offered. We did not take a tour in this port and we feel we should have. The town is typical of those found in the Canaries. It is nice but after several ports before this one it all starts to run together. We were mainly on the cruise for the cruise and not to sight see. Our objective was to get an overall view of all the islands and then return to individual ones that interested us. To be fair a short number of hours in port does not allow you to really get a feel for anyone place over another. The exception was Lanzarote where if you love natural surrounding and a place that values keeping it that way you will love it. All others are somewhat the same when you only have a couple of hours. We think La Palma has a lot to see and offer. A longer stay and getting away from the port and major city is the way to go here.

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Madeira (Funchal)
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
We like Madeira the best of all the Canary Islands we visited. This is based on it having more greenery, the other islands tend to be more barren. You can walk into Funchal from the ship if you are fit. Take the shuttle otherwise. The Hop on Hop off bus provides a great way to see the city. There are again, as in all the ports on this cruise, restaurants that offer a wide variety of fresh fish dishes. Try some of the local items on the menu and being pleasantly surprised. We found some very good prices on hand crafted tablecloths and lace. This was a destination we will definitely return to only next time for a week or more. Next time we will leisurely explore the island.

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