Epic Cruise Through the Iberian Peninsula

We started off our adventure by taking the 8:33am train to Southampton. We were a bit tired from our weekend trip to Manchester but we were also excited to be going on holiday. The train was direct so it was relaxing to have no changes in London. We got to Southampton at 11:17am. Outside the station we Google mapped how to get to the cruise terminal and it ended up only being a 5 minute walk away.


The ship was the same ship that we were on in July with Mom. They had just finished 3 weeks of renovations before this cruise. Having a huge ship to look for makes it easier to find your way. We spend half an hour in the line to board but afterwards we learned we had priority boarding and didn't have to wait.
Check out the guide we made to help vegans going on cruises.

Our view of Southampton
We hung out on the top deck looking at the views and eating lunch.


Then we had to make our way to the dining room because we had a letter in our stateroom about our request for vegan meals.

And like all cruises, we had to attend a safety drill before we could sail away.
On our last cruise this lounge was called FatCat and featured the Epic Beatles. Now it's The Cavern Club featuring The Beatles tribute band from The Cavern Club in Liverpool.
He is new too.


We never expected to be on this ship again so soon but the deal we got was hard to pass up. It was like exploring a new ship anyway with all of the renovations.

At dinner we went to the main dining room for our first meal. The dinners onboard last cruise were great, so we had pretty high expectations. Unfortunately, we were pretty disappointed with our first meal.
Stirfry veggies. No rice?
We didn't get a starter and the main was sad. We got stirfry veggies but we didn't get any rice or noodles with it. We didn't stick around for dessert. We complained to the waiter that it wasn't great and that we wanted a starter and a better main tomorrow. We don't like to complain but felt like we had to in this case.

We left and went to a comedy magician show that was showing in the Headliners Club. He was alright. Then we booked our excursions for the next ports and explored the ship some more.



Before the renovations the Bliss Lounge had big beds everywhere and an erotic dancer/gentleman's club feel. It looks like they toned it down a notch. They used to have horses with lampshades on their heads here.


Taste Dining room. Another renovation.
We took photos of the renovations to compare them to our old photos.
There was now a games room so we went there and played Checkers.

They also had a nice library, where we borrowed a couple books since we didn't bring anything to read.

This space had couches before. Now they have swinging egg chairs. They were quite comfortable and we spent a lot of time there.

After exploring we went to the Epic Theater and watched "Men of Motown". It was okay. Then we headed to bed.

The next day we were at sea.  We spent most of our morning and afternoon in the hot tub relaxing.
We lounged and stared out at water as far as the eyes can see.

After lounging we continued to explore the ship. Last time we didn't see the spa or gym, so we headed there. and O... M....G The spa was amazing, We need to do another cruise now where we spend our time there!

They had a special spa room, which had a pool, whirl pool, hot tub, sauna, steam room. These hot steam chairs. They said it was $200 each for the trip. We didn't come to spend that much on the spa, so we passed. Sigh, it was beautiful.
I absolutely loved this globe. If anyone knows where I can buy one, let me know! We went to the arcade and played some old arcade games.
Then we played chess.
Next we went to the show playing in the Headliners Club. It was an Irish violin duo called "Sephira" They were excellent.

Then we made our way to dinner.. hoping it would be okay.
Starter: Mushroom Soup
Okay, we enjoyed the mushroom soup. It was looking up.
Main: Potato and Cauliflower Curry 

Dessert: Pineapple in a Mojito dressing.
Dinner was better than expected. We were glad we complained the night before. Indian curry is definitely the best thing to order as a vegan on a cruise ship. It seems like it's the easiest thing for the cooks to make.

After dinner we ran to the theatre in hopes to get in for the show. You are supposed to reserve your seats and the show was 'sold out" but they had a stand by line. We waited in that line and got in. They actually turned away everyone who was behind us. The show was "Priscilla Queen of the Desert". It is a musical about drag queens in Australia. It was alright.

Then we headed to bed. We had to be up early the next day for our first excursion.
A BUNNY!! This is our only towel animal.
We arrived in Vigo, Spain. There's something about waking up in another country that makes me happy.

Morning view with breakfast

 We had to meet at 10:15 for our excursion "Fortress Cities of the South" (click on the link to see the excursion)


When we got back to the ship we had some lunch and hung out in the hot tub until it was time to get ready for dinner.
Tug boat
 We went out on the deck to take in the views of Vigo before setting sail.




Is this really our life?

We met another couple on our excursion and we decided to have dinner together. We met in the main dining room. I don't think they had any idea that we were vegan before we met for dinner so I think they were a bit surprised when we were ordering. They were both steak eating Albertans.

The food that the cruise made us was a poor example of what vegans eat. We had to order some sides of rice to make it a more filling meal. Our friends both had fancy dinners compared to what we got. It didn't make it seem like we were getting our money's worth with just carrot soup, veggie tempura and fruit. Then again we got a massive deal on this cruise so it's hard to say we weren't getting our money's worth.
Starter: Carrot soup

Main: Tempura veggies with no dipping sauce.

Dessert: Melon Trio
 We chatted with our friends for awhile, then the four of us headed to the top deck. We hung out until they had to go to their show.

 We were still feeling hungry so we went to the buffet and asked if they could make us a pizza. We had the no cheese, lots of veggies, desperate vegan special.  It was actually pretty good though. If we had some hot chilli oil it would have been even better. Or maybe even some vegan cheese.

 We then went to see the Cavern Club Beatles, as it was their last night on the ship.

They were pretty good. The place was packed. After the show we headed to bed. We were at another port in the morning.

We woke up in Lisbon, Portugal.

We had to meet at 9:15 for our excursion. "Explore the Heart of Lisbon on Foot and Gloria Funicular" (click on the link to see the excursion)

After we returned to the ship, we got our bathing suits on. We ate lunch, then hung out in the hot tub. It was so nice to sit in the hot tub looking at the views of Lisbon. Once we got tired of sitting in the hot tub we went and sun tanned on the pool deck. It was a beautiful day. We ended up falling asleep in the sun, which is a bad idea when you aren't completely covered in sunscreen. I got a little bit of a burn on my legs. Luckily, I had put sunscreen on everywhere else.


 We took some pictures of Lisbon before we set sail.

We were standing in this square earlier in the day

Here we are sailing away and going under the bridge.


 Here we are going under the bridge.


 We almost didn't fit under the bridge!!

 We went back inside and did some more exploring. The doors to some private lounges for special guests were unlocked... we went inside to check it out.

 Then we went back outside to say goodbye to Lisbon.
 We found mini golf on the pool deck that wasn't there before. It was only 5 holes and was a 'Splash' golf for kids. We played anyway.

 The sun was setting.

 We went inside, played a couple games of chess then got ready for dinner. Like I said before, the safest bet when ordering food on a cruise is Indian curry. They are always good. Maybe next cruise we will just eat Indian curries the whole time.

Starter: Butternut squash soup
Main: Indian Curry
Dessert: Pears
 We found out at dinner there was another vegan couple on board. They were also complaining about the food. Last time we were on this cruise ship the food was a lot better. Last time there was a passenger onboard who happened to be a vegan chef and they were telling the staff what to make for dinner each night.

After dinner we went the Headliners Club to watch a comedian. Unfortunately he wasn't funny. After the show we headed back to our room and read our books from the library.

The next morning we slept in a little as it was another day at sea. We got to sail through the Strait of Gibraltar.

 We could see Morocco, Africa. It was a little hazy out so not as clear as we would have liked for taking pictures.

Something was written in Arabic

We kept getting closer to Africa.
 Our ship went through the Strait of Gibraltar we headed into the Mediterranean sea. We went back inside, and played at the arcade.

 Then we went and read our books for a couple hours on the egg chairs outside before getting ready for dinner.
Starter: Lentil soup
Main: Veg stirfry on rice noodles.

Dessert: Cake
 The dinners kept getting better. It was probably because we complained and so did the other vegan couple.

After dinner we played dominos and yahtzee. Then got ready for bed as the next day was our earliest excursion yet.

We arrived in Cartagena, Spain. We left quite early for our excursion "Cartagena on Foot" (click on the link to see the excursion)

After we got back on the ship we went and had lunch. Then we ran into some other friends from NY that we met on our first excursion and ended up talking with them for a few hours. They were on their honeymoon.

We took some pictures when we sailed away from Cartagena.




 After we set sail it got too windy and we headed inside. Our friends went and played bingo and we went and found a quiet place to read.

Once we got hungry we got ready for dinner and went to the dining room. Today's dinner was the best of them all. We asked if they had any tofu to put in a stirfry and they did.
Starter: Lentil soup

Main: Veggie Stirfry with extra tofu

Desser: Apple Crumble

We were so stuffed, we couldn't finish our dessert. We walked around the ship to digest. We ended up playing giant chess.


 Then this happened....


 Afterwards we went to Headliners club and watched dueling pianos. They were okay. They played a lot of Elton John and Billie Joel or maybe that's what the audience was requesting. We watched for a bit then left.
 We ran into our friends we ate lunch with earlier and exchanged emails with them. They were from New York. We talked about visiting them one day.

Then we headed to bed. We arrived in Barcelona, Spain. We left the ship at 7:30am and took a taxi to the airport for our 11:15am flight.
Just to show we were in Barcelona again.
Waiting for our flight.
Our trip went very smoothly and it was a great week. It flew by and we couldn't believe we were back in England already.

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this post and want to see more on cruising, check out our post on "Our Celebrity Life Onboard the Celebrity Silhouette"

Comments

  1. Omg! I would LOVE to go to a cruise like that one, it is one of my dreams! All of your pictures are wonderful, look like you had a great time there. Thank you for sharing your experience!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a really good cruise. I think they still run this route.

      Delete
  2. Well gosh! This just made me want to go on a cruise. I was torn between cruising for my upcoming 30th birthday or just flying to a destination and exploring. I decided to fly and explore. Now I'm second guessing, but definitely planning a quick cruise before the end of the year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We love cruises. We love flying and exploring too! Both are great! Have a great birthday!

      Delete
  3. I would have complained about some of those meals as well. I am glad that there was another couple complaining, so that they really got to know that the food that they were serving was not okay. Other than the food, your trip looks like it was so much fun! I would have loved to have enjoyed a cruise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, the food got better thankfully. Overall it was a great trip.

      Delete
  4. I have been attempting to eat more vegetarian. I am impressed with how you were able to accomplish this on the cruise ship!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Just got to know what you want! Good luck in your journey.

      Delete
  5. I love cursing and I can only imagine the Iberian coast. I've seen it from land. Whats up with the dog statue? Too funny.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The statue was quite silly. We were sure why they had it. The Iberian coast was amazing. I definitely recommend this cruise.

      Delete
  6. I have wanted to go on a cruise for such a long time. It's been on my bucket list for so long. Even my main concern when travelling is food.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When you book you cruise be sure to tell them any dietary concerns. They are generally happy to accommodate.

      Delete
  7. Looks like an amazing trip. I have always wanted to go on a cruise. Great job staying on track!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thank you for leaving a comment. If you love this post, please consider sharing it.