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Live, Terry/Spirit: Lisbon, NWSpain, Bordeaux/Brittany; Pix’s!


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These boards encourage us to “write a review”! Here goes, again, in live, blogging style. Later, you can see links to our previous cruise blogs and posts. Two live/blogs are at around 220,000 views while another is over 181,000 views. It seems that the visuals make a big, interesting difference, sharing the beauty and drama from these wonderful regions of the world.


Tell us what you like, any questions, suggestions, etc. Don't be shy!! Love the interactive nature of live blogs, getting feed-back and comments as we travel. But, this cruise is very port intense. With no sea-days during this cruise, be patient that I am not able to have time to post fully all photos and details on the days when events happen. But, I will catch up as we travel.


We arrived in Lisbon/Portugal on Saturday, June 10, starting five days to explore in and around this very cosmopolitan, historic, charming and scenic town. More details and visuals soon on Lisbon and our other Portugal spectacular sights and fun experiences.


We arrived in Spain at La Coruña, the largest city in Spain's Galicia region. It is among the Spain's busiest ports. This somewhat remote Galicia area is in the northwest corner of the Iberian Peninsula. The name "Galicia" is Celtic in origin, as the Celts occupied here around the 6th-century BC and erected fortifications. La Coruña was an important port under the Romans. They were followed by an invasion of Visigoths and later in 730 by the Moors. Today we traveled Santiego de Compostela, a key and dramatic religious site that was a world attraction dating back to the 9th Century.


Our sailing out of Lisbon was wonderful, passing under their Golden-Gate-style bridge. So much to share for the details as to why we loved Lisbon so super much. Great city, people, culture, history, etc.



Our first port stop on June 15 was Porto for this historic home of famed port wines and being Portugal’s second largest city. Today has been La Coruna with much history in this major Spanish port with cultural background going back to the Celtics, Romans and Moors. Tomorrow will be Bilbao with Frank Gehry’s dramatic Guggenheim museum and historic medieval streets; then St Jean De Luz, for accessing San Sebastian with its top-rated food, elegant Belle Époque architecture; Bordeaux for sampling top-rate wine chateaus, its famed architecture/history; La Rochelle with more Bordeaux options including where Cognac and other specialities are produced; Belle-ile, the largest island off Brittany’s coast with Breton coastlines of cliffs, creeks and beaches; Saint Malo with Brittany and Normandy options including Mont St. Michel and WWII D-Day beach/cemetery; St Peter Port/Guernsey, an island with cobblestone streets, blooming florals and scenic harbor; and finally Rouen after sailing up the Seine River as the site of Joan of Arc’s final moments and with its famed Gothic Cathedral of Notre-Dame immortalized by Claude Monet’s paintings. Plus, three more days in Brittany after our cruise.


Our past cruising?: We have done eight cruises. First was June 2006 on 204-passenger Seabourn Spirit, Athens to Istanbul, enjoying these Greek-Turkish areas. Late July 2008 on the 940-passenger Crystal Symphony, Dover/UK to Stockholm, for the Baltics and Russia. July 2010 on the 296-passenger Silversea Silver Cloud from Copenhagen for Norway’s dramatic coast, above the Arctic Circle. June, 2011 was from Barcelona for Italy and Croatian Coast on this same 2850-passenger Celebrity Solstice enjoyed for two weeks from Sydney to Auckland in early 2014. In 2015, we escaped the cold winter with 26-days doing a return to the Silver Cloud going up the Amazon River and visiting ten different Caribbean Islands. Early 2016 was South Africa, including ten days on the Silver Cloud. In March earlier this year, we did 15 days on the 2200-passenger Island Princess through the Panama Canal from Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco. All five lines are different and generally very good, etc. What’s best? The honest answer is . . . “It depends!!!”. Ports, schedules, timing, food, entertainment and prices vary much. Personally, the biggest plus with smaller ships is being able to better connect with fellow passengers and the staff.


Our early 2018 plan? Southeast Asia!! For our first visit to this part of the world, we will start with four days in Hong Kong, then to Bangkok. We start in Vietnam with Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon, then spend seven days sailing up the famed Mekong River, seeing Cambodia and arriving in Angkor Wat. We fly to Hanoi, sail Ha Long Bay, fly to historic Hue and finish at Danang for the in-depth exploring of Vietnam.


THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio.


AFRICA?!!?: Lots of interesting and dramatic pictures can be seen from this live/blog at:


Now at 32,204 views for this visual sharing including Cape Town, along South Africa’s coast, Mozambique, Victoria Falls/Zambia and Botswana's famed Okavango Delta area.


In doing our sail-away from Lisbon, here is the view in getting ready to go under their famed bridge that was designed by the same people who did the Golden Gate structure in San Francisco.:

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Here is some welcoming ship action. First is having pasta specially prepared and served on the back deck for our first lunch upon boarding. Second is getting a drink prepared.:





Here are three quick visual samples from visiting Porto, our first cruise ship stop on June 15. Loved doing a small-craft sailing along their historic town areas near where Port wines are stored and sold. Plus, seeing the famed tile designs inside their rail station, etc. There are also more pictures to prove why Porto was so super special yesterday with its architecture, iron balconies, etc.:






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Here is some "photo evidence" that we loved all that we saw and experiences in Porto. Wonderful and super charming city as we traveled north along the Atlantic Coast of Portugal. Now in Spain.


THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio


Enjoyed a 14-day, Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2014, Sydney to Auckland adventure, getting a big sampling for the wonders of "down under” before and after this cruise. Go to:


for more info and many pictures of these amazing sights in this great part of the world. Now at 181,552 views for this posting.


Here are some more Porto "eye candy" examples for the style and architecture of this second largest city in Portugal. Like these arched steel bridges?:

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Yes, we visited a Port wine warehouse and sampled two different kinds of their famed drink. Yes, it was super good and not too sweet. Very tasty!!:





Here are my wife, Penny, and me with the city of Porto in the background.:


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Appreciate all of these nice comments and follow-ups. Will keep trying to post lots more fun "eye-candy" for those traveling along on this adventure.


Later we will give more details as to why Porto so impressed us and made us wish for more time here. So much to see, do and enjoy here.


We had a great day with an private guide in visiting the nearby city of Santiego de Compostela with its famed religious history/connection. Lots of visuals to share from there.


Weather has been great. Loving the Silver Spirit. Great food, drinks and fun, so far.


THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio


For details and visuals, etc., from our July 1-16, 2010, Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. This posting is now at 216,262 views.



We visited some amazing churches in Porto. Here are samples of their excellent design, style and religious approach.:

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Here is another angle/view involving one of the famous Porto iron bridge, the city-scape in the background, etc.:


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As noted, we totally love and were amazed by Lisbon and nearby. Tuesday, June 13, we went north/NW to Sintra, Cape Rock as the western most point of Europe, resort areas of Cascais and Estoril, etc. Saw lots of palaces, gardens, beaches, fine residences, scenic sights and history. Below are just a small sampling of pictures.


THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio


Venice: Loving It & Why??!! Is one of your future desires or past favorites? See these many visual samples for its great history and architecture. This posting is now at 68,667 views.



For in and around Sintra north of Lisbon, here is a small visual sampling. Yes, as we told our grandsons, these are "Real Castles!". One picture shows my wife with Jose, our super excellent guide for two of the days here in Lisbon. Really have learned lots on the unique history of Portugal. And, you can see the shrimp for lunch in garlic sauce.:

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Monday night while we were in Lisbon, they staged the 85th edition of the city's Popular Parade that passed right in front of our hotel.


It ties with the local Saint Anthony festivities on the Avenida de Liberdade (Avenue of Freedom). There were 23 different neighborhoods participating, including the winner group from Alfama. Lots of colorful costumes, great staging, dancing joyfully to Portuguese music, etc. There were 16 couples who got married as a part of the weddings of Saint Anthony at the historic Se Cathedral. We saw the couples parading, also, in vintage cars. Plus, caught part of the wedding ceremonies on national TV while having lunch along the shore north of Lisbon. These Saint Anthony celebrations were a special, surprise bonus for our visit here. This activities included lots of locals drinking and eating on the streets, Portuguese pop music blasting on loudspeakers, and the smell of sardines inundating the city. Sorry, we passed on the all-night drinking, partying, etc. Great fun to experience in Lisbon!!


THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio


Did a June 7-19, 2011, cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Dozens of nice visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc. We are now at 225,420 views for this live/blog re-cap, including much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:



Here are a few sample visuals from the parade in connection with the Saint Anthony celebrations. As shown, the costumes and street action were very amazing! Shown in one picture are just three of the 16 couple married that day in the Se Cathedral who received many gifts and all expenses covered. Yes, in the last picture, she is saying "HI!" to me and those here on Cruise Critic.:

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We had private tour to Fatima and three other stops on Monday, June 12. That is where Pope Francis just visited for the 100th anniversary last month. Pope John Paul II visited there three times and credits "our Lady" for his recovery from the assassination attempt against his life. The three bullet that struck him were given by this Pope to enshrine there at Fatima that just about an hour plus north of Lisbon. Although we are not Roman Catholic, this site was very moving and inspirational. A few pictures to share below.


THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio


From our Jan. 25-Feb. 20, 2015, Amazon River-Caribbean adventure that started in Barbados, here is the link for that live/blog. Many visuals from this amazing river and Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, etc.):


Now at 51,394 views for these postings.


The first two visuals are from Fatima with its older church, plus the newer Cathedral that seats 8600+ for mass, etc. Third is Our Lady of Victory at Batalha. It is considered the best example of gothic architecture in Portugal. Fourth is fish stew for two while dining overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in Nazaré. The last two pictures are from Óbidos, the medieval town surrounded by walls. With my wife are Julie and Bruce from Long Island who are on our current Silversea cruise, plus super expert guide Suzana. All wonderful history and sights to sample Portugal beyond Lisbon.:

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As added proof that we really did enjoy Lisbon, here are a few more examples to prove the great architecture, history, sights etc., here in the capital of Portugal.


THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio


Panama Canal? Just completed Feb. 28-Mar. 15, 2017, Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco adventure through the Panama Canal with our first stops in Colombia, Central America and Mexico, plus added time in the great Golden Gate City. Lots of fun pictures!! Those pictures start on the second page, post #26. See more at:



Here is only a small sampling of some sights Sunday, June 11, in lovely and charming Lisbon. Do any of these bring back memories for those who have previously been to Lisbon? Like the sunny blue skies?:

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Why did we super love this charming town of Lisbon with so much architecture, character, history and style? Below area few quick sight-seeing examples from our Saturday afternoon's introductory activities as we walked from our hotel on Avenue da Liberdale down to the waterfront area.

Surprised by the many hills and twisting roads in our first visit here.


THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio


From our Jan. 25-Feb. 20, 2015, Amazon River-Caribbean adventure that started in Barbados, here is the link for that live/blog. Many visuals from this amazing river and Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, etc.):


Now at 51,320 views for these postings.


Here are a few more quick visual samples of our first visit to Lisbon. This includes the castle that towers over the town. This structure dates back to Roman and Moor times. Rode around on a fun Tuk Tuk vehicle to see parts of hilly old town areas. Below you can see my wife with the driver who gave us an introductory sample of hilly Lisbon getting ready for its big festival. Like the sunny, blue skies?:

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Appreciate the great pics and story telling.

As I will be on the Spirit in July, please tell us many of your impressions of the Spirit, with lots and lots of pics of staff, rooms, halls, etc.

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Hi, Terry,


It looks like you are having a fantastic time. Thank you for posting all the images!


I am curious about what time you boarded in Lisbon. We'll also be boarding the Spirit in Lisbon in a few weeks, and we'd like to be on board in time for lunch, too. Our documents say boarding begins at 2pm, which might be late for lunch.



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Thank you, Terry, for the amazing photos and posts. I am re-living our past November TA on the Whisper, where we touched on many of your ports. Did you know that the iron bridges in Porto were designed by the architect of the Eiffel Tower? Porto is very, very picturesque and I'm happy that you enjoyed it very much. In La Coruña we found a fine museum with important paintings, and lovely narrow streets to meander and share wine with the locals. Hope you enjoyed fresh fried sardines in Portugal!!

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Cool pics so far, Terry! We too loved Lisbon on our prior visits, so it's good to see an old friend again. Just to be clear, I was referring to Lisbon...I'd never call you old, friend! ;)


Enjoy your trip and we'll look forward to all of the details when you get home.

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Very excited to read your post as we have a very similar itinerary in August on Muse! And we will also arrive in Lisbon early to see that city. Did you take a tour to Sintra or do it on your own? I am looking for recommendations for the best way to see it. Can't wait for more pictures and impressions.

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Hi, Terry. Enjoying your report, as I always do. Sounds like a great cruise.


I'm very interested in what you are posting about Oporto. I will be there on a Silversea cruise in September. I was wondering whether you did any of the ship excursions there.





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