The price was very good, the repositioning cruise is always longer, which we like. The ship was new to us and most ports we had never visited. We like to do different ships, ports and adventures. We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale late the ... Read More
The price was very good, the repositioning cruise is always longer, which we like. The ship was new to us and most ports we had never visited. We like to do different ships, ports and adventures. We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale late the night before but slept in and had a nice breakfast at the LaQuinta Inn. The day was filled with heavy showers and we got wet a couple times but checkin went well, when our shuttle arrived around noon, and we were on-board in less than 45 minutes. Our time was then spent finding all the different venues and getting a lay of the ship as well as a quick lunch. We had a 7th floor cabin which usually works out great for walking to the Promenade, dining room and up to the pools and the Windjammer Cafe.
We had anytime dining, but were so pleased with our wait staff the first night that we stayed at our table for the rest of the cruise. Dining was a fun experience, with wonderful couples next to us in a set of 4 tables for 2. Close enough to talk but separate. The kitchen gave a great variety of appetizers and diner entrees. Meals were very well prepared, excellently served in perfect timing, and delicious tasting. They were so good we didn't think of the specialty restaurants until most times were full. After dinner was the entertainment and they really out did themselves with the shows, ship's band, comedian, vocalists Paul & Karen, Violinist, and variety acts. Their was a lot of evening activities with music all around the ship and often a first rate movie to watch on deck. The weather wasn't the most cooperative but bundle up and cover up with a big towel and we were goos to go. Our cabin steward was so wonderful, sweet and helpful, we couldn't have asked for more. We're always using Cruise Critic to make new friends and plan our get togethers, activities and shore excursions and boy OH boy, did we get a couple excellent ones.
In Lisbon we wanted to get the overall view since we are returning there this fall. The HOHO bus (Hop on/Hop off) was exactly what we needed. Had a nice walk of 15 minutes along the coastline to downtown where we visited markets, caught the tram and then flagged a hoho bus to the monestary and tower. Stopped at a shop for some custard pastry, a specialty of the region and something to drink. Managed to get back to the ship by 6 for dinner. Had a wonderful day in Lisbon.
In Cadiz, we did the Free Poncho Walking Tour with Pedro, I think. Young, handsome, well versed and a native to the city. We spent 3 hours walking around the narrow streets, learning the city's history and finding places to go back to. Which we did after the tour. Easy to walk, easy to get turned around, at least at first, but another interesting & fun day.
The next day, in Malaga, was probably the highlight of our shore excursions. We scheduled a Walking and Taste Tour with "WELOVEMALAGA.com" and got Paco. The tour was supposed to be 3 hours but lasted over 4.5 hours. We stopped at many "local" stops and sampled the delights of Malaga. From rich, dark, sweet, thick, warm chocolate drink to churroes (a light pastry) to nuts & berries, meats and cheeses, fruits (4 different kinds) to wine and tapes, it was a day of eat like the natives in their native spots. Paco made it fun and personal with our small group of only 5 people. What a tour...so glad someone on Cruise Critic had mentioned it. The walk was a little further from the ship, but because we had time before meeting our tour in front of MacDonald's we walked it. There is also a shuttle to and from the pier for very reasonable prices. This was definitely the highlight of our trip.
The final shore excursion was with "No Frills Excursions" and it was okay but not the best. Hard to find the lady when you exit the terminal, no sign. She was forced to speak in 4 different languages with the people from the hotels and ship. Country side was nice, Drach Caves was nice, Pearl factory interesting but...
When we got to Barcelona, which had just visited in the fall, we had planned a quick flight out. We will be back there in the fall for a few more days. The airport experience was messy, long lines and quite different than the US but it worked for us. Check in was extremely slow, so get there early. TAP Portugal gave us nice clean planes, very good service and comfortable travel conditions. Would definitely chose to fly with them again.... Read Less