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LIVE from the Prinsendam - 24 day Med Rivieras & River Explorer - please join us

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52 minutes ago, bleacher04 said:

Well, we made it to Madrid!  Our flight arrived 45 minutes early this morning (naturally) so even less sleep on the plane than usual!  But after exploring for a few hours to soak up some sun, and then a little siesta this afternoon, we are ready to go tapas-bar-hopping this evening!

 

YAY on getting to Madrid - early is better than late 😉 

Good for you on the tapas bar hopping.  Madrid is a wonderful city and I just know (and hope) that you and Diane will have a fabulous time before we meet on the Prinsendam.  So much to do and so little time in this magnificent city.

 

See you soon 🙂 

 

 

 

 

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56 minutes ago, bleacher04 said:

Well, we made it to Madrid!  Our flight arrived 45 minutes early this morning (naturally) so even less sleep on the plane than usual!  But after exploring for a few hours to soak up some sun, and then a little siesta this afternoon, we are ready to go tapas-bar-hopping this evening!

 

The fleece jacket and puffy jacket layers have already been put to good use here...

 

And one more echo for Helen’s comments about Jacqui’s amazing work.  As an engineer, I can say that her roll call spreadsheet is truly impressive!

 

Safe travel wishes to everyone who is flying tonight and tomorrow (and the next day)

 

Enjoy Madrid Paul and Diane see you on Thursday ! We are flying tomorrow nicht , a liitle more digging in the garden to do first .

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Thank you for the kind words - @HELENPSL, @gwilli, @bleacher04, @SeniorGal, @canyousayvacation.  

 

The spread sheet is only as good as the roll call and it’s contributions and we have a great one.  Everyone on it made it what it is. 😄 

 

My bags ARE packed and I’m ready to go.  Just waiting for our ride which comes in 1/2 hour.  DH and I have decided to get excited 😉. It’s a long trip, but it will be worth it. 😄 

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19 hours ago, kazu said:

Well, now I can say all the bags are packed and we’re mostly ready to go.

Just the carry on stuff, clean up the house and check my notes and make sure I am missing nothing.  That goes in carry on too.  I need those vouchers, train tickets and email confirmations. 😉 

Now, it’s time to get excited 🙂 

 

We’ve been planning this so long, it just kept seeming long away and now the day is here tomorrow.  

 

We miss the dogs - the house is so quiet.  But I could pack and there was no puppy to steal something out (as he does with laundry) so a day without them was good to get down to business - but I did wake up this morning listening to hear if they were moving - and then I remembered they weren’t here.  LOL.

 

A big  Thank You , Jacqui for all the help in planning and discussing possibilities for tours what has been going on for us since September . Hopefully now we can benefit for the next few weeks on the Prinsendam and have a wonderful time . Martha and I look forward to meet you in Lisbon . Your spread sheet has been really helpful .  Have a great flight ! 

Tony :classic_biggrin:

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1 hour ago, sailingdutchy said:

 

A big  Thank You , Jacqui for all the help in planning and discussing possibilities for tours what has been going on for us since September . Hopefully now we can benefit for the next few weeks on the Prinsendam and have a wonderful time . Martha and I look forward to meet you in Lisbon . Your spread sheet has been really helpful .  Have a great flight ! 

Tony :classic_biggrin:

 

Thanks Tony,

It’s been fun planning with you and we look forward to meeting the two of you soon.

 

See you at Fado!  We’re at the airport in wait mode 😄

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Now, I remember why I like Transatlantics - such a civilized way to get to Eurone 😉 

 

We got to the airport in plenty of time and ended up in an unending delay.  First it was delayed 20 minutes, then it was 40 minutes, then it was an hour and 1/2.  Needless to say, we were getting concerned.  We were relieved to hear it was up in the air and on it’s way to us.

 

Apparently the plane scheduled had mechanical issues so they put on a different one.

 

Luckily, I had chosen a flight with good connection time (as in wait time) as we can always kill time in the airport or the business lounge.  Once we got there, we sailed through the security and picked up a couple gifts at duty free for our Flamenco host and our guide in Malaga (who hails from Canada) and could relax in the lounge.

International lounges are always nicer than domestic.  Most of the food didn’t appeal to me but DH was quite content.

 

Here are some of the choices - A6A1BE90-BFF2-4012-967A-8C46C450CBFF.thumb.jpeg.d9bbbc90c1e390a22eab01f586f4644c.jpeg

 

7FE5E639-350B-4C6C-BA34-AFB3AD5C651D.thumb.jpeg.db86ba22260ac67628ef513709f9bf2c.jpeg

 

They actually had a chef preparing angel haired pasta with prawns & chilies.  I was shocked DH didn’t get any 😉 

 

010A4F52-B320-438A-AAD6-25FA4C05B1DE.thumb.jpeg.0a869296e9a1d67592a869d6652885fc.jpeg

 

Along with the “help yourself” bar area, there was an actual bartender at a huge bar preparing a multitude of drinks for people.  

 

E2B30461-73EB-4634-A29A-0E227ECE5345.thumb.jpeg.8c38d4570d5897cce6fe3834f4455530.jpeg

 

The set up was quite decent (considering it’s an Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge) and DH was quite content.

 

BD794AD0-EE6A-4F3D-8264-834AB24AE8EC.thumb.jpeg.0bef2f4887daf561e6210384a3abfa04.jpeg

 

Our flight to Munich while technically an Air Canada flight was operated by Lufthansa.  We enjoyed being able to sit together for a change (unlike the Air Canada pods), but fair warning - the “lie flat” seats on the right or left hand side are not true lie flat seats.  It seems that only the middle set of seats were truly lie flat.  

 

For whatever reason, our plane was late, arrival delayed and we were on a tight connection time.  So, it was hurry up and wait as it turned out our connection to Lisbon was also delayed.

 

So, we got into LIsbon later than scheduled.  But the flight was great and the flight attendant super.  

 

And then we waited for our luggage and waited....and waited.....  Glad we had “priority” so our luggage would be off first.  LOL.

 

Got in the taxi lineup which moved VERY fast and we were delayed again with some accident that held up traffic unbelievably long.  I felt sorry for our poor taxi driver as what was supposed to be a quick ride was 1/2 hour.

 

At long last, we arrived at our home for the next 4 days - the Hotel Britania.

 

It’s just around the corner from the Avenue Libertade so no traffic noise but for very handy for a central location.

 

I tried to get my bearings by going for a walk, and, of course, the skies opened and the rain came teaming down.  LOL.

But, we have found the excellent tapas bar that the hotel recommended to me in an email.  Checked out the pricing and selection and YUM.

 

We also found a little supermercado so we could pick up some water, wine & a bit of cheese & meat for tonight.  We know our limits.  We’re worn and weary so we wouldn’t appreciate a nice meal tonight.

 

BUT, we did appreciate the Belem pastries, tea and porto in the library that the hotel offers every day.

 

I’m going to try to get some pics of the hotel for you all tomorrow and tell you a bit about it.  We have several roll call members staying here which is great.  the hotel is not large so it won’t be hard to find each other.  

 

Tomorrow is a free day.  Not sure what we will do or how we will feel, but hopefully with a good night’s sleep, we’ll be off to the races and my posts will be more interesting 😉 😄 

 

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Glad you are comfy in your temporary home away from home. Great pix of DH!

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Hate those hurry up and wait delays.  Glad you’re there safely now.  Hotel sounds great-will be interested in the photos to come.  

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So glad to read this update Jacqui.  I have been checking today as I hoped you would let us know when you and Jose had arrived.

 

Out of curiosity, was that Maple Leaf Lounge in Toronto?  We will be using it in July it it was.  Just planning (you know me).

 

we had priority bags last year on Icelandic Air...our were the last off the plane while dh was filling out the lost baggage forms.  Sigh.  I don’t think anything matters anymore.

 

But you are there so let the adventure begin!

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10 minutes ago, canadianbear said:

Hate those hurry up and wait delays.  Glad you’re there safely now.  Hotel sounds great-will be interested in the photos to come.  

 

Yep, I always schedule layovers of at least 4 hours when making TATL connections. We can always hang out in the lounge for a few hours prior to boarding our TATL. One of the major perks we miss after moving away from Houston, was that we could do TATLs to pretty much all the major European Gateways as direct flights. No worry about east coast connections getting fouled up by weather or any other connection type delays. 

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1 hour ago, kazu said:

Now, I remember why I like Transatlantics - such a civilized way to get to Eurone 😉 

 

We got to the airport in plenty of time and ended up in an unending delay.  First it was delayed 20 minutes, then it was 40 minutes, then it was an hour and 1/2.  Needless to say, we were getting concerned.  We were relieved to hear it was up in the air and on it’s way to us.

 

Apparently the plane scheduled had mechanical issues so they put on a different one.

 

Luckily, I had chosen a flight with good connection time (as in wait time) as we can always kill time in the airport or the business lounge.  Once we got there, we sailed through the security and picked up a couple gifts at duty free for our Flamenco host and our guide in Malaga (who hails from Canada) and could relax in the lounge.

International lounges are always nicer than domestic.  Most of the food didn’t appeal to me but DH was quite content.

 

Here are some of the choices - A6A1BE90-BFF2-4012-967A-8C46C450CBFF.thumb.jpeg.d9bbbc90c1e390a22eab01f586f4644c.jpeg

 

7FE5E639-350B-4C6C-BA34-AFB3AD5C651D.thumb.jpeg.db86ba22260ac67628ef513709f9bf2c.jpeg

 

They actually had a chef preparing angel haired pasta with prawns & chilies.  I was shocked DH didn’t get any 😉 

 

010A4F52-B320-438A-AAD6-25FA4C05B1DE.thumb.jpeg.0a869296e9a1d67592a869d6652885fc.jpeg

 

Along with the “help yourself” bar area, there was an actual bartender at a huge bar preparing a multitude of drinks for people.  

 

E2B30461-73EB-4634-A29A-0E227ECE5345.thumb.jpeg.8c38d4570d5897cce6fe3834f4455530.jpeg

 

The set up was quite decent (considering it’s an Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge) and DH was quite content.

 

BD794AD0-EE6A-4F3D-8264-834AB24AE8EC.thumb.jpeg.0bef2f4887daf561e6210384a3abfa04.jpeg

 

Our flight to Munich while technically an Air Canada flight was operated by Lufthansa.  We enjoyed being able to sit together for a change (unlike the Air Canada pods), but fair warning - the “lie flat” seats on the right or left hand side are not true lie flat seats.  It seems that only the middle set of seats were truly lie flat.  

 

For whatever reason, our plane was late, arrival delayed and we were on a tight connection time.  So, it was hurry up and wait as it turned out our connection to Lisbon was also delayed.

 

So, we got into LIsbon later than scheduled.  But the flight was great and the flight attendant super.  

 

And then we waited for our luggage and waited....and waited.....  Glad we had “priority” so our luggage would be off first.  LOL.

 

Got in the taxi lineup which moved VERY fast and we were delayed again with some accident that held up traffic unbelievably long.  I felt sorry for our poor taxi driver as what was supposed to be a quick ride was 1/2 hour.

 

At long last, we arrived at our home for the next 4 days - the Hotel Britania.

 

It’s just around the corner from the Avenue Libertade so no traffic noise but for very handy for a central location.

 

I tried to get my bearings by going for a walk, and, of course, the skies opened and the rain came teaming down.  LOL.

But, we have found the excellent tapas bar that the hotel recommended to me in an email.  Checked out the pricing and selection and YUM.

 

We also found a little supermercado so we could pick up some water, wine & a bit of cheese & meat for tonight.  We know our limits.  We’re worn and weary so we wouldn’t appreciate a nice meal tonight.

 

BUT, we did appreciate the Belem pastries, tea and porto in the library that the hotel offers every day.

 

I’m going to try to get some pics of the hotel for you all tomorrow and tell you a bit about it.  We have several roll call members staying here which is great.  the hotel is not large so it won’t be hard to find each other.  

 

Tomorrow is a free day.  Not sure what we will do or how we will feel, but hopefully with a good night’s sleep, we’ll be off to the races and my posts will be more interesting 😉 😄 

 

In Miami waiting to board.  Arriving at 5:20am. Will you be meeting us at the airport?

Helen

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If you run out of things to do in Lisbon, on the Praca do Comercio there is a automated wine bar called Wines of Portugal.  You put whatever amount of Euros you want on a "card" and use that to wander around the room tasting wines out of dispensers.  Unique concept and a good way to try different wines.  

 

Or perhaps this will help some others reading here to try it.  A lot of fun, actually!

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Oh Jacqui excited for you and Jose! Great picture I must add of Jose in the lounge!!

Now you can really relax knowing you made it and the adventure begins!

Have a restful sleep and a awesome time!

looking forward as always to your beautiful pictures!

Denise😊

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Looking forward to following your cruise on the classy Prinsendam.   Have fun and enjoy!

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14 hours ago, 1of4 said:

Out of curiosity, was that Maple Leaf Lounge in Toronto?  We will be using it in July it it was.  Just planning (you know me).

 

 

No, Gail, that was the Maple Leaf Lounge in Montreal.

 

I have been in the International one in Toronto though and it is VERY nice.  Not as many plants but a nice selection of food when we were there.  Don’t recall a cook though but that might have changed since the last time we were there. (Which was.some time ago).

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14 hours ago, HELENPSL said:

In Miami waiting to board.  Arriving at 5:20am. Will you be meeting us at the airport?

Helen

 

LOL - no.  But, we did meet at breakfast 😉 

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11 hours ago, StLouisCruisers said:

If you run out of things to do in Lisbon, on the Praca do Comercio there is a automated wine bar called Wines of Portugal.  You put whatever amount of Euros you want on a "card" and use that to wander around the room tasting wines out of dispensers.  Unique concept and a good way to try different wines.  

 

Or perhaps this will help some others reading here to try it.  A lot of fun, actually!

 

Thanks 😄. I’m looking it up on the map and may just give it a try.  Much appreciated 😄 

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The lounge in Vancouver was virtually identical!   With the same food and angel hair pasta prepared to order. I think the international are a notch up for sure.  But giggled about the priority luggage,  ours was last off in Japan!  

Glad you made it safe and sound,  now enjoy those tarts!  My DH adores them.  

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Jacqui, loved hearing about the hotel, can't wait - I didn't realize they served Belem pastries - my favorite!

 

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Pleased to hear you made it safely to Lisbon after some delays. Back in my "youth" I loved flying internationally from LAX. Now, I wonder if I could still do it. So I will live the adventures through you. 

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DH and I had a decent night’s sleep all things considered.

 

Bed at Hotel Britania is VERY comfortable.  

 

Last week the weather in Lisbon was very warm (23 C) and sunny.  This week it looks like it is going to be a lot cooler and rainy here and there.  

Still good weather for us - a lot warmer than in our part of Canada.

 

We had a great breakfast at the hotel.  It doesn’t have a restaurant (sort of like the Banks Mansion last year) but it does serve breakfast.  Hours are REALLY good - 7:30 - noon for full breakfast & continental is even available later.

 

So we headed down to breakfast and luckily ran into Helen and Angelo who we are cruising with.  We had a lot of fun chatting and I highly suspect we will have fun on our tours and cruise.

 

So, I KNOW everyone wants food porn.  Here is our breakfast buffet.

 

B8A0BF16-CB93-47E5-A5FA-21FEE326FED0.thumb.jpeg.c3465eee00eef95f4d0111f4af08446b.jpeg

 

Yes they had white asparagus (at the back in a bowl next to the plates.  It was delish.  Kazu is a white asparagus aficionado.

 

 

Here there at one of fruits, breads are on the side (tons of kinds) and you can see the juices - including fresh squeezed.  Tons of coffee and tea (and the coffee was very good - excellent).  There is also a coffee machine in the bar area so you can make nexpesso style coffees or tea.  Hot water and teas also available in the library (where the breakfast is served).

 

1DC4FF65-C5EB-4372-BD90-EB77B811B4A5.thumb.jpeg.190ca17a78afe701cc7923a75d152a3b.jpeg

 

This is the bin to keep things warm you saw earlier - beans, scrambled eggs (they were good too and I’m fussy on eggs - no batter for me 😉 ), bacon and sausage.

 

 

4E515E87-0411-44C5-B2B0-C2174F26A60B.thumb.jpeg.46f5ee69a9fba30e12a196da56cc35a2.jpeg

 

I asked the wait staff if they minded if I took their pic.  They were happy to comply.  They are very good - just like all the service at this hotel.

 

B290A0DE-B498-4EBF-8F39-8006DF3219F4.thumb.jpeg.752f548b3bdecce48b5ce0a98b31adaf.jpeg

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3 hours ago, senior gal said:

Jacqui, loved hearing about the hotel, can't wait - I didn't realize they served Belem pastries - my favorite!

 

 

Barbara, the pastries are at breakfast but the good ones in the evening - 5 - 9pm along with their special tea (and it is delicious).  The tea is so good I am going to ask if there is any way I can buy some.  It is made especially for the hotel.

 

There is also port and the Lisbon cherry brandy available during these hours and I think, technically nearly any time at no charge.  Port in your room as well at no charge.  There are little books all over the place with info and maps and the receptionist has detailed maps and happy to help.

 

They are really kind here.  I think you will like it.

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We are staying at the Hotel Britania.  It is a Heritage Hotel - built 1940 in a neo classical style by the architect Cassiano Branco.  It was originally the Hotel Imperio.

 

It was considered a luxury hotel at the time featuring such things as a telephone, typewriter (yes you need to go back in time) and great features in design and furniture.

 

It became the Britania hotel in the 70’s and they modernized the furnishings etc.

Later when families took over, they brought it back to it’s original cork floors, uncovered the wood to expose the marble and refurbished the original furniture to retain it (which is extremely comfortable by the way).

 

The hotel had many famous visitors in the olden days and the families that own it now aim to respect the building and keeping the memory of it alive.

 

It is currently owned by the Fernandez and Alvea de Sousa families and I have to say, they are doing an excellent job.  

 

The stairway (if you choose to use it - there is an elevator)  has a piece of art on every floor

 

 

0635DA57-2FAD-4F69-A7D0-513C31FA777F.thumb.jpeg.194dcfef36b2baa1b5d4f4691d39fbea.jpeg

 

The reception are is manned 24/7 with the most wonderful, pleasant people who want nothing more to do that help you out.  Can you believe it?  When I checked in all they wanted was my passport.  No credit card.  Yes, I know when I booked I gave it but still every hotel I have been to wants my credit card.

 

EA504296-0E1C-47AB-BD83-48DED0BE84FD.thumb.jpeg.56ea7bbec2c89380d5980e9e666a4b6e.jpeg

 

I did have her permission to take the pic and post.

 

Here is the entrance to the hotel.

 

 

0D2F8BE1-1BF7-49E9-B368-6C396E8DC80C.thumb.jpeg.fe0b8941267d860ca4dd2b189a0d9ee5.jpeg

 

It is just off the Avenida LIbertade.  so you don’t have the traffic noise but a quick walk and you are there.  Just look for the Louis Vuitton store and go down that street.

 

Here’s a bit of the hotel for anyone interested or contemplating coming to Lisbon.

 

This is the library.  Also where the breakfast and afternoon/evening pastries and tea and port/cherry brandy is served.  It extends into the bar.

 

6ED9F7A4-567F-4E0C-8FA3-EAE3E3008481.thumb.jpeg.32da3f8a944328ff9380ac300c311361.jpeg

 

The bar area - connects to the library.

 

1127B0D7-F1C4-4753-9BB2-C7B9BC0CFF80.thumb.jpeg.36e80e70d878f7d5d3b439d585b0584b.jpeg

 

More of the bar

1C61E4EC-99A6-4C0C-9E9B-84A2CD639465.thumb.jpeg.5086f79a860c71926aac64511aee84aa.jpeg

 

The entrance way into the hotel

57F36CE2-4168-45FE-821E-E1B977A8E6EE.thumb.jpeg.f4eecb44796da6aa4314c5e5fce6f803.jpeg

 

 

 

 

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I’m sure you see the umbrellas that the hotel supplies.  Our receptionist told me we better take one today and she was right.  But we had a great day so far.  

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