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Other Mediterranean Ports Dubrovnik, Gibraltar, Istanbul, Kotor, Kusadasi, La Goulette (Tunis), Lisbon, Madeira (Funchal), Malta, Odessa, Sevastopol, Varna, Zadar

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  #21  
Old March 12th, 2012, 09:40 AM
First Time 2008 First Time 2008 is offline
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Originally Posted by girljean View Post
I will be there on a Sunday from 10am to 6pm. I don't know where the ship will dock. The ship will be coming from the US and this is the first stop. I appreciate any suggestions.
Jean
The only ship I see on the port schedule coming from the US on a Sunday in April is the Sillhouette, on April 29. If that is your ship, it will be at the Alcântara terminal, and is scheduled for mooring at 8am. So if indeed they pull up alongside at 8am, 2 hours for Schengen clearance should be plenty, and you should be off the ship at 10am or even earlier.

As the ship sails in (and out) of the harbor, it passes the Belém area. So if you are up and about (should be at 7:30am or so) you can see the tower and some monuments from the ship. Nothing like being there, though, and you certainly won't get any custard pastries as you sall by.

On Sundays there is little traffic in Lisbon, and there is nothing special going on on 4/29 that I know off that would create any travel disruption. So you are in good shape.

You may want to know that government-owned monuments and museums are free on Sunday mornings, until 2 pm. For savings, try to hit those first. Museu do Azulejo, Tower of Belém, Discoveries Monument, Jerónimos, and many other are included in this "free on Sunday mornings" deal.

I think if you don't dally you can do both the castle/Alfama and the Belém areas. However, if you like to take it leisurely, explore in more depth and take a nice long lunch, you may have to stick with one area. I would recommend you start with whichever of the two areas interests you the most, and when you are done if there is time go to the other. They are about 20 minutes apart, and each about 10 minutes from the Alcântara terminal. All times by taxi or private vehicle.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.
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  #22  
Old March 12th, 2012, 10:43 PM
girljean girljean is offline
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Originally Posted by First Time 2008 View Post
The only ship I see on the port schedule coming from the US on a Sunday in April is the Sillhouette, on April 29. If that is your ship, it will be at the Alcântara terminal, and is scheduled for mooring at 8am. So if indeed they pull up alongside at 8am, 2 hours for Schengen clearance should be plenty, and you should be off the ship at 10am or even earlier.

As the ship sails in (and out) of the harbor, it passes the Belém area. So if you are up and about (should be at 7:30am or so) you can see the tower and some monuments from the ship. Nothing like being there, though, and you certainly won't get any custard pastries as you sall by.

On Sundays there is little traffic in Lisbon, and there is nothing special going on on 4/29 that I know off that would create any travel disruption. So you are in good shape.

You may want to know that government-owned monuments and museums are free on Sunday mornings, until 2 pm. For savings, try to hit those first. Museu do Azulejo, Tower of Belém, Discoveries Monument, Jerónimos, and many other are included in this "free on Sunday mornings" deal.

I think if you don't dally you can do both the castle/Alfama and the Belém areas. However, if you like to take it leisurely, explore in more depth and take a nice long lunch, you may have to stick with one area. I would recommend you start with whichever of the two areas interests you the most, and when you are done if there is time go to the other. They are about 20 minutes apart, and each about 10 minutes from the Alcântara terminal. All times by taxi or private vehicle.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Yes, it is April 29 on the Silhouette that I will arrive. Thank you for finding out where the ship will dock and explaining the clearance.
You can be sure I will be up early as we pull into port! I would love to see both areas so I think I will probably try for that rather than a long leisurely lunch. I wish I had at least 2 days there. I think I will start with the Alfama area and hope to get to Belem. Am I right in thinking I would be walking downhill from the Castle?
What about the Tram verses taxi? Is it better to take a taxi to St. George’s Castle? Would I be able to get a taxi at the Alcantara terminal or do we take a bus into town?
Thanks for the tip of the free museums. You gave me so much information. I really appreciate it.

Jean
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  #23  
Old March 12th, 2012, 11:50 PM
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bazzaw bazzaw is offline
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We really enjoyed our 1 day visit to Lisbon - even in Winter. http://ukagain2010.blogspot.com.au/2010/12/lisbon.html

Would love to go back again and see more (much more) of Portugal.

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  #24  
Old March 13th, 2012, 06:16 AM
First Time 2008 First Time 2008 is offline
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Originally Posted by girljean View Post
You can be sure I will be up early as we pull into port! I would love to see both areas so I think I will probably try for that rather than a long leisurely lunch. I wish I had at least 2 days there. I think I will start with the Alfama area and hope to get to Belem. Am I right in thinking I would be walking downhill from the Castle?
Yes, you are. The castle in at the top of a hill. No matter what direction you go from the castle, it's always down. Bear in mind that just because you are going down doesn't mean you are going in the right direction. You could end up on the other side of the city. :-)

Quote:
What about the Tram verses taxi? Is it better to take a taxi to St. George’s Castle? Would I be able to get a taxi at the Alcantara terminal or do we take a bus into town?
Tram is slower and cheaper, taxi is faster and if you don't get ripped off it is not expensive. There will be taxis at the port, they're always there to get cruiser's business. However, some may refuse to take you for a short 5€ ride to the castle, and prefer to wait for other cruisers who may hire them for a 100€ tour of the countryside. That is especially true if you get off the ship early, as they know there will be many other cruisers behind you.

There is no direct tram from Alcântara to Alfama or the castle. If you want to go by tram you have to walk about 1/2 mile to catch tram 15 downtown, then walk to catch tram 12 or 28 up the castle hill. On Sundays trams run about every 15 minutes, so if you are unlucky you could end up waiting for a while, twice. If riding the trams is important to you, do it. Keep in mind that tram 15 is quite different from the others. 15 is a modern, high-speed articulated tram that travels on long flat portions. The other lines are small older and slower trams that travel on hills and narrow streets. Compare these youtube videos of tram 15 and tram 28.

Quote:
Thanks for the tip of the free museums. You gave me so much information. I really appreciate it.
For some reason I don't think the castle participates in the "free Sunday mornings" program. Perhaps they do, but I don't think so. If that is the case, your plan of starting with the castle does not optimize for freebies. But hey, the country needs the money and we appreciate you spending it here! Thanks so much.
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  #25  
Old March 14th, 2012, 07:35 AM
girljean girljean is offline
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Originally Posted by First Time 2008 View Post
Tram is slower and cheaper, taxi is faster and if you don't get ripped off it is not expensive. There will be taxis at the port, they're always there to get cruiser's business. However, some may refuse to take you for a short 5€ ride to the castle, and prefer to wait for other cruisers who may hire them for a 100€ tour of the countryside. That is especially true if you get off the ship early, as they know there will be many other cruisers behind you.
I see your point about the taxi. I think you are right, they will not take me if they can get a higher fare. There is no direct tram from Alcântara to Alfama or the castle. If you want to go by tram you have to walk about 1/2 mile to catch tram 15 downtown, then walk to catch tram 12 or 28 up the castle hill. On Sundays trams run about every 15 minutes, so if you are unlucky you could end up waiting for a while, twice. If riding the trams is important to you, do it. Keep in mind that tram 15 is quite different from the others. 15 is a modern, high-speed articulated tram that travels on long flat portions. The other lines are small older and slower trams that travel on hills and narrow streets. Compare these youtube videos of tram 15 and tram 28.


For some reason I don't think the castle participates in the "free Sunday mornings" program. Perhaps they do, but I don't think so. If that is the case, your plan of starting with the castle does not optimize for freebies. But hey, the country needs the money and we appreciate you spending it here! Thanks so much.
I see your point about the taxi. I think you are right, they will not take me if they can get a higher fare from someone else.
I guess my plan b would be to find a way into the city center and then take the tram and maybe skip St. George's castle? What is your opinion on the Hop on Hop off bus? It doesn't look to me like it is going where I want to go.

Jean
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  #26  
Old March 20th, 2012, 07:54 AM
bristolrugbyfan bristolrugbyfan is offline
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Smile Lisbon in One Day

Hi All
We have just returned from our first ever cruise aboard Independence of the Seas and had an extremely memorable day in Lisbon with We Hate Tourism tours. I had visited Lisbon once before but wanted to be able to spend some time in Sintra, which is why we chose an independent company rather than opting for a ship excursion and we were not disappointed! The cost was around the same but much better value for money. We started off by exploring Belem (and were treated to some wonderful Pasties de Belem), then onto Cascais and Sintra (plenty of time to explore both). Due to the wonderful weather, our guide also included a stop at Cabo de Roca and then back to explore the City, Bairro Alto etc. Our guide was enthusastic, knowledgable, fun and loved his city. They met us at the ship and dropped us back at the port.
The other must do, if you have the opportunity, is get up early (around 6am) to enjoy the sunrise over 25 April Bridge on the approach into the port - well worth the early start!
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  #27  
Old March 20th, 2012, 08:51 AM
calliopecruiser calliopecruiser is online now
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Lisbon is a fabulous city, and I'd encourage you to spend an extra couple of days there if you can. Even though taxis might be faster, my recommendation would be to get a transit day pass and walk/tram/metro around the city to really get a feel for the place. Belem was wonderful, by the way. I'll be going back next year and spending 3 or 4 days there after my transatlantic cruise.
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  #28  
Old March 20th, 2012, 07:15 PM
Grannycb Grannycb is offline
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We did a ship's tour around Lisbon a few years ago. This time we are heading out on our own to see some of the things other passengers raved about and some of the drive by places that looked interesting. That's the trouble with bus tours. They don't stop when you want them to. I found this guide on the internet and thought it looked interesting. http://promptguides.com/lisbon/guides/one_day_guide.htm I can't vouch for how good it is, but can say it goes to many of the places we want to see.

Make sure you are on deck when sailing into port. The views are very nice.
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Last edited by Grannycb; March 20th, 2012 at 07:16 PM.
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  #29  
Old April 5th, 2012, 08:45 AM
fdnycruiser fdnycruiser is offline
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Default Great Advice, Alex was great !!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LewesBeach View Post
We booked a private car with Alex at Top Ten Tours last Nov on our 1 day cruise stop to Lisbon - and it was less expensive than what the ship charged for 2 people. I don't know if that is still the case, but it was worth every penny - even if its a few dollars more. He picked us up at the terminal and we were off - while all the buses were still loading up. We went to Sintra and did a city tour of Lisbon, and I guarantee we had more time to sightsee than the bus people. He is educated, very knowledgable, speaks fluent english, and knows how to get around so you don't waste time sitting in traffic - and there is ALOT of traffic. He will also customize the trip to whatever duration and destinations you want. This trip was the best thing we did on our cruise and we recommend him to all our friends who go there. If you can get 4 people, it will be even more reasonable. Check out their website: www.toptentours.eu.
Thank you for your very helpful post. We used top ten tours and Alex on this past Monday and weren't disappointed !!! We were only in Lisbon for a day and went to Fatima,and the surrounding countryside. We were met at 0815 and got back around 6 pm. We got to see A LOT of Portugal,which was very beautiful I may add. Aside from being fluent in English Alex was very knowledgable and accomodating. I only wish that we had another day to see Lisbon. If we hadn't been so tired,Alex wanted to show us some of Lisbon that evening. Beautiful country,beautiful city ! Lewes Beach,thank you again for your recommendation.At least we were able to maximize our only day there.BTW, we arrived on Seabourn, and toptentours was MUCH cheaper than the ships tour. I hope this post is of help to anyone visiting Portugal.
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  #30  
Old April 5th, 2012, 09:20 AM
Kate-AHF Kate-AHF is offline
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fdnycruiser, thank you for that review. TopTenTours looks like the perfect solution to our first day in Lisbon.
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  #31  
Old April 16th, 2012, 12:20 PM
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We have also just spent the day with Alex from Toptentours in Lisbon . He was great. His English is excellent and his knowledge of the history of Portugal is extensive. He tailormade the day for us ( 2 adults, 2 older children and a 12 year old) and recommended places to visit which turned out to be perfect for us. We packed a lot into 6 hours and it was very comfortable andf excellent value for money. We would highly recommend him.

Get Alix to take you to Sintra first; make sure you visit the cake shop he recommends and ask him about Regaleira -which was great to wander round.
Much better and more personalised than the ships tour.
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  #32  
Old April 24th, 2012, 09:56 PM
pearliemae pearliemae is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdnycruiser View Post
Thank you for your very helpful post. We used top ten tours and Alex on this past Monday and weren't disappointed !!! We were only in Lisbon for a day and went to Fatima,and the surrounding countryside. We were met at 0815 and got back around 6 pm. We got to see A LOT of Portugal,which was very beautiful I may add. Aside from being fluent in English Alex was very knowledgable and accomodating. I only wish that we had another day to see Lisbon. If we hadn't been so tired,Alex wanted to show us some of Lisbon that evening. Beautiful country,beautiful city ! Lewes Beach,thank you again for your recommendation.At least we were able to maximize our only day there.BTW, we arrived on Seabourn, and toptentours was MUCH cheaper than the ships tour. I hope this post is of help to anyone visiting Portugal.
We stayed for several days in Lisbon precruise and were recommended to Top Ten tours by a friend. We contacted Alex and he set us a couple days of excursions. We were more than satisfied, he suggested several places to see that we had no knowledge of and really made our stay in Lisbon the highlight of our trip. He is very informed on his beloved country and speaks English well. He also knows some great places to eat. Alex knows how to prioritize sightseeing time, how to avoid heavy traffic and go to places at times they are least crowded. There is a lot to see in Lisbon and the surrounding areas are well worth seeing. He can do a nice overview in a day's time, but if you can spend more days pre or postcruise, it is extremely worthwhile. We appreciated his services and personality so much that we have already booked with him for our fall portstop in Lisbon. Did I mention that he knows some fantastic dining spots, for sweets, a snack or a full meal?
You can email him and get everything arranged in advance. Have a great cruise and enjoy Portugal, it is a beautiful country.
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  #33  
Old September 2nd, 2012, 11:01 PM
RZ06 RZ06 is offline
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Originally Posted by surreyfamily View Post
We have also just spent the day with Alex from Toptentours in Lisbon . He was great. His English is excellent and his knowledge of the history of Portugal is extensive. He tailormade the day for us ( 2 adults, 2 older children and a 12 year old) and recommended places to visit which turned out to be perfect for us. We packed a lot into 6 hours and it was very comfortable andf excellent value for money. We would highly recommend him.

Get Alix to take you to Sintra first; make sure you visit the cake shop he recommends and ask him about Regaleira -which was great to wander round.
Much better and more personalised than the ships tour.
We also spent 2 days with Alex seeing Lisbon and Sintra. He is wonderful.
He made sure that we had such a great time during our tour, was very knowledgeable about the area, and really fun person to be with. We are very happy we found him and will recommend his services to our friends. You can contact him or Maria at lisbon@toptentours.eu .
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  #34  
Old September 27th, 2012, 09:35 PM
Lulubelle74 Lulubelle74 is offline
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Another vote for top ten tours. We were just in Lisbon for the day at the tail end of our cruise and booked Alex to see Sintra and Cascais and we were not disappointed. Top Ten Tours compared to the ship and the competition were very reasonably priced, and they will tailor your itinery to suit you. Alex was waiting for us as we disembarked. He is very personable, flexible, fluent in English and passionate about his country, we learned a lot from him and really enjoyed our tour. It was one of the highlights of our cruise
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