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Rehobo

Canary Islands - Is It Worth It?

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I'm thinking of booking the Navigator for the fall, but I can't seem to find much of anything to do on this 10 day island hop. Can anyone who has done this cruise please give me some insight?

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Anyone out there? We would love to hear some thoughts as well.

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I'm thinking of booking the Navigator for the fall, but I can't seem to find much of anything to do on this 10 day island hop. Can anyone who has done this cruise please give me some insight?

 

It is difficult to advise on this one. To each his own. Some people like the Canary Islands, some don't.

 

For me, on the positive side:

  • good climate, warm all year, but never too hot;
  • spectacular scenery in the interior (volcanic islands);
  • fairly good shopping by European standards, with duty-free prices;
  • safe, no high crime index;
  • touristy, catering for British holiday market;
  • some nice beaches.

On the negative:

  • no great history, architecture etc. like other European towns;
  • touristy, catering for British holiday market;
  • Spanish opening and eating hours - town shops close at 1:30 p.m. and only open when the ship is about to leave. (not a problem in Madeira)

You will not get that razamataz or tropical feeling you have in the Caribbean, nor will you have the culture experience of Europe. If you want a nice, laid-back holiday with a good proportion of sea days and some pleasant excursions and shopping, I would go for it.

 

One word of warning - The Bay of Biscay can get very rough at times!!

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I'm going to follow this thread as I'm very interested in this one. In checking on the roll calls, I don't see many people on any of the Canary sailings. Is this because most Brits don't know about the CC boards or is this simply now a popular destination? I'm also in the U.S. and this one would be a long hall, but I actually enjoy the sea days more than the ports of call days. If I decide to give this a try, what kind of mix of people can I expect? And as asked above, can anyone give me the names of local operators for shore excursions? What RCL has on there website has good pricing, but with 3000 people onboard, it could be a mess with on and off the bus, etc. Thanks for any help.

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Hi Guys

 

I am in the UK, and have done a similar itinerary, but not with RCL, but with P&O. Just as a bit of background I am 42, with a DH of 53, and DS on 12, we did a new years cruise a couple of years ago which took in most of these ports. Here goes

 

Medeira - stunningly beautiful, worth taking the cable car to the top of the mountain and looking around the tropical gardens - its very pretty and worth a visit.

 

Tenerife - depends where you go into, it is an ok port, but worth doing a trip up the volcano, not a pretty island and very touristy, but a good place to visit.

 

Gran Canaria - I am sorry I can't remember this one - it was New Years day when we arrived and everything was shut!

 

Lanzarote - have not cruised there, but my sister has been there for the last couple of weeks on holiday, and loves the beaches - she did a bus trip of the island and said it was lovely

 

Vigo - typical Spanish port, and you will feel the culture of Spain here - there are several very nice Tapas restaurants and some excellent wines - so a long leisurely lunch is the order of the day - there is a nice square and some churches, not a huge city, but a nice town!

 

Southampton - UK - you are 2 hours from London here, and if I was you definately spend a bit of time up in London either before or after your cruise especially if you haven't done it before. If you have and want to try something else, Stonehenge is not too far away from Southampton, and there is lots of beautiful English countryside to take in. I can provide you with loads of information on places to see in the UK outside of London. To be honest London does not represent England, and you really should try and get away from it if you can -although if you have never been before it is definately worth visiting as it is a beautiful city. Anyway I hope you have found the above information useful. Let me know if I can be of any more help

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Stonehenge is about 40 miles from Southampton - so would be a bit expensive in a cab, but you could hire a car and stay up there for a few days - here is the web link which gives you loads of information - I am not sure about trains direct from Southampton, but the web site will help you out.

 

http://www.stonehenge.co.uk/index.htm

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I can agree with everything that cruise-dee says.

 

Remember that this cruise starts and ends in the UK. For British cruisers it avoids the cost and hassle of air travel, so expect plenty of British on-board.

 

The Canary Islands and Madeira have been favourite holiday destinations for the British for 30 years and with the recent increase in cheap flights, the number of hotels, British publs etc. has grown significantly. They speak good English everywhere, so you will feel at home.

 

I would recommend taking excursions in the afternoon (because of the Siesta in Spain - so the shops in town arte only open in the morning). In Madeira, you have no choice, as the ship only arrives at 12:00. There is plenty to do in Madeira for 3 days, but as you only have five hours effectively, you have to prioritize. A 3 1/2 hour tour of part of the island could be a good option, but leave time to visit a wine lodge. The strong, fortified wine is different and worth a purchase, as is the honey cake.

 

In Tenerife, you will dock in the centre of Santa Cruz. If the weather is OK, see the town in the morning and visit the Teide volcano in the afternoon. You can either take a tour or hire a car. Hiring a car is easy and cheap - you do not need a guide. If the weather is bad (i.e. foggy or raining) go to the south side of the island (Playa das Americas) where the weather is usually better.

 

In Gran Canaria, a visit to Las Palmas is a good morning stroll, with a trip down the motorway for 45 minutes will take you to Maspalomas beach in the afternoon. This beach is definately worth a leisurely stroll. Again, hiring a car may be best. With bad weather, there is a large commercial mall just outside of Las Palmas (El Corte Ingles) that is open in the afteroon.

 

In Vigo, a trip to Santiago is the real cultural experience of the trip.

 

I have never been to Lanzarote, so cannot help there.

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Stonehenge is about 40 miles from Southampton - so would be a bit expensive in a cab, but you could hire a car and stay up there for a few days - here is the web link which gives you loads of information - I am not sure about trains direct from Southampton, but the web site will help you out.

 

http://www.stonehenge.co.uk/index.htm

 

 

Thank you very much:)

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Hi there,

 

We are booked on the Canaries cruise for 16th Oct and this will be our second visit.

 

The Canaries were formed by volcanic activity and the landscape on each isleand varies tremendously.

 

Lanzarote was I believe used for the lunar shots in on of the James Bond films. You must take a coach tour of Fire Mountain and there is usually an optional camel train ride beforehand. The landscape is all lave and rock and really quite striking. You will be given a demo of the heat that is just below the surface !

 

Madeira is beautiful lush island, hilly, and the trip on the cable car is well worth doing. From there you can either take the tobaggan run down the hill , or just wander round the tropical gardens. The shopping area includes a lovely flower market and interesting fish market. All of these activities can be done individually, so don't bother with the tours.

 

Personally I think the other ports of call are less attractive, but a visit to the church at Santiaga del compostela from Vigo is a popular choice.

 

I ahve no idea about the mix of nationalities on board, but I hope that some of our American friends will join us:)

 

The Canaries tend to be a popular destination because the weather is always warmer than in the UK. As it is only a 10 day cruise, you should try and combine it with a short stay in London, or maybe Winchester, depending on which airport you come in to.

 

The P&O website has more details on the ports of call, including more tour ideas.

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Brilliance seems to have a nice itin to this area RT from Barcelona..has anyone taken that? Maybe a post on the Europe Bd would yield more comments..

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Thanks to all for the great info. I don't know what I'd do without this CC Board. We've been to London several times, so I think that we may just hop the train from Gatwick and continue to Southampton for a 2 night stay pre-cruise. Post cruise, we'll just have 1 night before our flight back, so I'm thinking of just spending it at a Gatwick hotel as our flight will depart at 12:30PM. It makes for a 14 day trip for us and that's long enough. Any other ideas or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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Just to add some xtra info, if you have a couple of days in Southampton pre-cruise, then the best way to do Stonehenge would be to catch a train to Salisbury, the train station in Southampton is a stones throw from the port, the train to Salisbury is not very long, when you get to Salisbury there are tour bus departures to Stonehenge, they are fully guided and will give you all the info you need, I recently worked with one of the tour guides and an informative tour is guranteded!

 

Also, in Southampton, there is a fully guided bus tour of Southampton City Centre and the Docks, called 'Do The Docks' operated with open top buses, I have done this tour myself and it is excellent, really informative, even if not interested in shipping/cruising etc it is still a very informative tour, and in my opinion great value for money.

 

We are booked on the Canary Island Cruise on Independance next autumn, and we are looking forward to it, fortunately we live about a 2 hour drive from Southampton so wont have much travelling to do, the climate in the Canary's will be very pleasant in October approx. 25C, very nice, the shopping is cheap as it is tax free!

 

Hope this helps.

 

James

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we have been to Lanzarote twice for fortnight vacations. It is not a large island and is very easy to get around by car. There is so much to see. Fire Mountain is a must. The landscape is amazing from north to south and the way vines are grown is very interesting. The artist Cesar Manrique had a great influence on the island and it is because of him that high rise buildings are not allowed to be built, no more than 3 floors are allowed. Yes there are touristy areas aimed at the Brits which we avoid,the touristy areas not the Brits!. We hired a car and toured the whole island, it is really beautiful away from the tourist hot spots.

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Just to add some xtra info, if you have a couple of days in Southampton pre-cruise, then the best way to do Stonehenge would be to catch a train to Salisbury, the train station in Southampton is a stones throw from the port, the train to Salisbury is not very long, when you get to Salisbury there are tour bus departures to Stonehenge, they are fully guided and will give you all the info you need, I recently worked with one of the tour guides and an informative tour is guranteded!

 

Also, in Southampton, there is a fully guided bus tour of Southampton City Centre and the Docks, called 'Do The Docks' operated with open top buses, I have done this tour myself and it is excellent, really informative, even if not interested in shipping/cruising etc it is still a very informative tour, and in my opinion great value for money.

 

We are booked on the Canary Island Cruise on Independance next autumn, and we are looking forward to it, fortunately we live about a 2 hour drive from Southampton so wont have much travelling to do, the climate in the Canary's will be very pleasant in October approx. 25C, very nice, the shopping is cheap as it is tax free!

 

Hope this helps.

 

James

 

 

Thanks for all of the information. I'm really as excited about going to England for a few days as I am to be going on a cruise:)

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