We went to Norway for a week with the Eclipse in May and had a good time, with great service and decent food, so we decided to go again to the Azores, Madeira and the Canaries for two weeks in September.
The cabin steward Ovideo, was wonderful, but the balcony cabin needs an update....bathroom a bit grotty and the carpet too. The plumbing from the cabins above were so noisy that it sounded as if a chair was being scraped across a metal floor when the toilets were flushed, and that started from about 6.15 in the morning, it drove me mad.
My main problem was the food. The Ocean View was fine, and we ate there most days for breakfast and lunch, eggs benedict in a self service....great. I ate Indian most days, and most of the English specialities were good. The pizza and pasta and Mexican was not to my taste, having had the best pizzas with Costa in the past.
We had a cabin with balcony, with a wonderful steward called Ovideo. The carpet needs changing, and the bathroom is getting a bit old.
My biggest problem was that the plumbing system in our part of the ship was extremely noisy. From about 6.15 in the morning there were these terrible noises that sounded like chairs being dragged along a metal floor above our heads. After a lot of investigation it turned out that it was the toilets being flushed. I didn't sleep well from the early morning onwards.
We spent the night here before the cruise and after the cruise. There are some huge shopping centres if that is your thing, Lots of restaurants. Lots of old stones and houses from past times. Cruise terminal is close to High Street.
We didn't go very far as the weather was very grey and rainy. I'm sure it is lovely with good weather.
We went around the shops and had a drink in a bar.
There were a lot of lovely old black and white buildings made of lava rock. The place was quite clean, a lot cleaner than a lot of places in Italy and Greece for example.
We took a hop-on, hop-off bus and had a really interesting tour around the town. Then we took another bus to a small port, Camara de Lobos. Very pretty, but mostly tourist shops and restaurants. Very clean island.
We took an open top bus tour. We visited gardens, the Palmetto park with palms from around the world which was interesting. We were not told that we had to stand in the road and wave our arms to get the bus to stop in the middle of town, and we were shouted at by the lady driver......which I really didn't appreciate. We visited a big market with lots of local produce with lovely smells and colours, and we really loved it.
The timetable given to us at the Tourist Office was useless as we and several other people waited for a bus for 40 minutes, they were supposed to pass ever 15 minutes or so.
We walked up the the town which was fairly typical tourist stuff. Shops and cafés. The market was not on that day, unfortunately.
Finally we stopped on a terrace and had a beer, and there were a couple of locals playing their guitars and singing local songs, which was great.
Having been to Gran Canaria several times in the olden days, we notice that the main thing that has changed is the amount of new buildings, hotels, tourist shops, etc.
We had a walk around Playa Carmen, which looks like any other tourist spot in the world,
Apart from the sand is black and there are very small beaches.
Now Lisbon, we really liked. We took an open bus tour, which was interesting. Then we got off and walked around the back streets. There are some wonderful old buildings with blue and white tiles on the facades. Little restaurants, where we had a lovely lunch of king prawns with garlic and an octopus salad.
The people were pleasant, and it was fairly clean, especially in the tourist areas.