We just completed a 14-day cruise beginning in Southampton, England and ending in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The ship stopped in two European ports before sailing for 6 straight days en route to the Caribbean. Knowing a week at sea lay ahead, I tried to enjoy the first two days on land as much as possible!
The last time I was in Maderia, Portugal, I joined a large group of crewmembers for steak on a stone. It was so delicious, many of us decided to go back. The owner of the restaurant recognized us and greeted us with hugs and kisses on the cheek when we arrived.
Lunch, consisting of sangria, garlic bread, steak, and french fries, was just as good as I remembered! I could’ve sat there for hours, but I had plans with a fellow dancer to ride a toboggan down a mountain. We left the restaurant and went searching for a cab. We were able to haggle with the driver, and get him down to a reasonable price for a ride up the mountain and from the bottom of the toboggan ride to the ship.
Our toboggan was guided down a steep, winding pavement road by two old men. Considering the weight of the basket and the speed at which we were moving, I was a bit nervous. They guided us safely down the road, even though a light rain was making it extra slippery. We slid past a few cars, which was both scary and exhilarating. The views on the way down were fantastic. The ride was short, but completely worth the price!
In Tenerife, I joined my roommate and her boyfriend for a beach day. We took a city bus to the beach, and promptly claimed 3 beach chairs. A waiter from a bar on the beach delivered beers and fried chicken to us.
Black volcanic rock and green plants surrounded the beach. My friends said it seemed like a beach in “Jurassic Park”! Shortly after we arrived, clouds started rolling in. It started to rain, so we sought cover at the bar. We ended up sitting there for hours, chatting with the staff and local guests. It felt like we were there for days! I got a much-needed does of “normal” to prepare me for the upcoming days at sea!
I had a fantastic time during the European season. Although I’ll miss the beautiful European ports, I’m excited for the adventures that lie in store in the Caribbean!