Was it perhaps us?
We’re not new to Cruise and Maritime, far from it, in fact. We were really looking forward to the Christmas New Year cruise. It was our third time on the Magellan, and our second during the festive season on the ship. Embarkation was exceedingly efficient, and our luggage was already at our cabin when we got there.
Just a couple of months earlier, we sailed to Canada on the Marco Polo and had an absolutely fabulous cruise. I perhaps ought to say that unlike in September, this time, we boarded hugely deflated due to the election result and knew we’d have to bite our tongues as the country had chosen a very different path to the one we’d fought for. It actually crossed my mind that most people should be in a really good mood, looking forward to all of the excellent opportunities our new government was promising, so complaints would be minimal and kept to something that’s justified. But no, for many, the sea was still too wet, the earth was too round and the moon wasn’t made of cheese. But the prize went to a woman who exclaimed “not fish again” one lunchtime when her main course arrived, having been given a choice of at least five other options…
Situated towards the front, it's well located, although the opposite end from our allocated table at the Waldorf - whereas the Kensington was seconds away!
There aren’t any frills, we bring our own toiletries and it’s kept spotless – the bed’s comfy enough, but the fold down beds do get in the way of you being able to sit up in bed, and some hooks would have been very useful. We could have done without the toilet being so temperamental, but it was mended fairly quickly each time.
We could hear some noise from the theatre, but as the last show finished before 10pm, this wasn't a problem, and we'd probably have been able to sleep during a performance.
The European electrical socket is placed rather awkwardly just above the pillow, so we used the American one which was slightly more convenient, although some things took longer to charge as it was 115V rather than 220V.
Embarkation was super efficient - if you're in Tilbury for the day, you'll need quite a bit of time to get into London - there's very little to do in the immediate area.
This made a refreshing change from Amsterdam - there's loads to do, and we very much enjoyed the "free tour" in the morning (where you leave a tip at the end), which left us time for lunch and then we visited the Cube Houses in the afternoon and had a general walk around. There was a free shuttle which made it easy to get back to the ship.
Our ship information said we'd be docking further away than we actually did - we were glad to be in Santa Apollonia, the only problem was the very short time we actually had in Lisbon, but it was enough to go up to the Chiado and get a pastel de nata. The escalator at Baixa Chiado metro station is very useful for getting to the higher part of town.
I ended up going to the dentist here! However, on previous occasions we've taken the bus to Vergueta, the old town, and enjoyed it very much, but you need a full day to do that.
This really is a lovely place, especially at Christmas. We liked it so much that we've booked a week's holiday (we couldn't bear being in the UK - our own country - on 31 January, when we unfortunately leave the EU). I feel as sad as when I lost my parents.