What a lovely time you will have!! My advice to you is to not book too much, as it is knackering!! Also if some of you want to go on a trip and the others don't -that's no problem - you can meet up later and compare notes.
The trips are expensive and not always value for money - sometimes it is better to negotiate a price with a taxi to have a look around, especially if there are a few of you.
The Oceana is my favourite cruise liner. We were on Ventura in April (maiden voyage) and while a lovely ship, she is a little too big for me.
Have a great time, and some days do your own thing.
Wendy and John, Torquay.
We have been to Funchal, Madeira on holiday and if I ever return there on a weekday (and am ordinarily fit) will walk to the far end of town to the Market Lavadores (fish, fruit and flower market), possibly up to the Botanical gardens if I had time, then back to Blandys in town for Madeira tasting (and a tour if possible). All of this can be done on foot and we enjoyed far more than the basket ride type excursion. If you have a lot of time you could try to get into Reids Palace for afternoon teas - a trip back in time, although erhaps not so important to eat when you are on a cruise anyway!
Some of the island excursions will be beautiful but expensive too and I feel Funchal does have alot to offer on foot if yourparty is capable.
You could have a search on here for the Oceana Canaries trips people have done. Its hard to offer tips as we all as we all go on just the one tour at each port so have no personal comparison.
We went in July on the Oceana. It also depends how much you fancy spending as tours can add up!
As for a few suggestions about a gentle intro to a 1st overseas trip-how terrific is that!!
Madeira. You could do worse, weather permitting, than wander along the town sea front to the cable car- it opens at 9.30am and if you get there reasonably promptly you will avoid big queues. There is a very impressive garden Cheaper than the official trip too. It is a long walk back. There is a toboggan ride from near the top and costs about €30 per couple - but its still a long steep walk back when you end the trip.
La Palma- we enjoyed the Volcanoes and Wine trip- a nice variety and lots of wine.
Gran Canaria- some people regard the Dolphin watch as a good idea but on our trip the boats were cancelled as there wasn't enough take-up and anyway if you are lucky, as we were, you will see whales and schools of dolphins on the sea days.
Vigo- we went on the trip to Santiago de Compostela which is a place for pilgrims and is a lovely very old town. You don't need to be on the guided tour but can do it on your own when you get there. It takes maybe 75 minutes there and back on the coach. I am not sure there is much else in Vigo as it is a working port though apparently just into the town there is a market which visitors would like as very non-touristy and, of course, is a free walk into town.
Lisbon- near the port there are open toppped buses. We couldn't stay on the whole way round- it lasts about 2 hours- but as a €10 option we enjoyed it and there are earphones and a great intro to Lisbon.
My thoughts anyway! The happy bride and groom won't be interested in any of this and will be exploring other sorts of volcanoes!
A must do trip if you are going to Lanzarote (Lanzagrotte) as some say! Is the Fire mountain and Camel ride. Absolutely brilliant! Although the groom may complain about saddle sores and other aches afterwards! But a good nights rest will see him back on form! Have a wonderful time!
Look forward to seeing you on the Cruise. Am also going with my 4 year old son and husband. This is our first cruise so am a little apprenshive as to what to expect but looking forward to it.
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