This was my second time aboard Queen Elizabeth and Cunards never fails to impress with standards of service, cleanliness and on-board atmosphere; however,this time I was disappointed by the poor offerings of nightly shows/entertainment. Perhaps it had something to do with being in port.
There is a heavy reliance on cocktail lounge pianists tinkling away, quartets and the occasional harpist thrown in for good measure to create elegant room ambiance. Entertaining, flashy shows are thin on the ground. But perhaps I'm just spoiled now that I have sailed on P&O's Oceana a few months ago where we had a choice of two shows a night for a fraction of the fare.
Cunard must up it's game if it wants to attract new, younger clientele, as it cannot rely on their elderly but faithful customers forever.
This port side cabin is classed as shady for a reason: it's right under the bridge! There is a tiny window underneath the bridge where you occasionally see feet but that is about as exciting as it gets. We had hoped to sunbathe - hence the balcony - but if you are lucky you might get a thin sliver of sun occasionaly, hardly big enough to cover a leg. It also meant that it was the only cabin that looked dingy and you had to have the lights on most of the time. Otherwise the bed was possibly the most comfy we've ever slept in.
Experienced travellers tend to stay on ship at this port! Once you've visited the Barbary apes and done the caves, there isn't much there really...
We loved this breathtakingly beautiful port. A useful tip is to buy a day's bus travel for 3 euros and spend a couple of hours riding around the different routes an getting off at attractions, such as the Exotic Gardens and the Royal palace. It's a great way to see the sights and save money.
You need to get away from the immediate port area which is tacky and touristy, to appreciate all that Lisbon has to offer, and the best shops are farther inland. On this occasion we decided to forgo coach tours to do a hop-on-hop off bus. Beware the red buses from City Sightseeing Tours! The offer was one route for 16 euros or 19 euros for two routes. We were persuaded that the more expensive tour was better value. As the buses stand at the port entrance to pick up punters as they disembark one assumes the port is part of the route - but it isn't - and you aren't brought back. You end up getting dumped half a mile away, but only if you ask to get off. Some people couldn't walk far so it was very unfair. The promise of a second route is dishonest as there is no easy way to get to a pick up point near the ship, so essentially you are paying for what you cannot use. This scam is well-known we learned afterwards.
Cadiz is one of the loveliest towns to stroll around, right near the port. The terrain is flat, and from one road to the next you never know what you might discover: one of many attractive squares and parks with unusual exotic plants, or maybe a busy pedestrian thoroughfare crammed with many excellent shops.
We weren't feeling very well when we arrived here, but this port looked so gorgeous that we dragged ourselves out to stroll around and soak up the atmosphere. Even if you can't explore farther afield, the exotic portside is a lovely place to sit and people watch under the palm trees.
Vigo has a charming historical part near the harbour bursting with character. Although it is a steep climb it is well worth exploring and is arguably more interesting than the newer part that it leads to, higher up on the ridge.
not excited about this port so we did not venture far.