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About Traval

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  1. Not sure if the following will be of any interest to you but here are some of the things we have done on a similar Windstar cruise. Monemvasia Easy to do by yourself.The tender dropped us at the port and we started a slow walk towards the rock, over the causeway and up the gentle incline.Through the gate and into the walled town. Gythion We took the ship's tour to Mystras---coach across the plains of Laconia with a brief stop in Sparta before reaching Mystras, a very old Byzantine walled town which I found absolutely fascinating---beautiful churches with icons. Sicily You can easily wander around Taormina by yourself and visit the Greek theatre. We took a tour with 'Sicily Life' to visit some of the places where scenes from The Godfather were shot including the bar where Michael meets Apolonia and the church where they marry.Our guide,Luca, more or less then took us to various other places of interest to us. Sorrento You already have some suggestions but you could also take the train to Pompeii or Herculaneum Mahon We found a cruise which took us around the harbour---a lot of naval history here. Palma The cathedral is nice but we like to take the little train --a lovely ride of about 1 hour up to the north west of the island through olive and lemon groves. Once there, take the tram to the port and have some lunch and sangria. Hope the above is of some help to you.
  2. We left a couple of weeks ago from the Santa Apolonia terminal for our cruise to Barcelona .
  3. Once is definitely not enough! I lived there as a child and have been back four times over the last twelve years.I still want to return but it is a long trip from the UK.
  4. Did you go to Waitomo or the glow worm cave in Te Anau? Caves are not really my thing but I did enjoy the visit to Te Anau.We've been times to NZ but somehow have always missed Waitomo.
  5. When in Gythion you simply must visit Mystras. This is a very old Byzantine walled town inland from Gythion. You drive across the plains of Laconia and through Sparta---so much history here. Mystras itself is absolutely fascinating with its beautiful churches full of icons. We did the ship's tour but you may find a local guide to take you.You definitely need a guide to get the best out of this area. We went in July and it was VERY hot but so worth it.
  6. Thanks for that info.Good to know that I can hang my swimming costume up to dry and do undies washing. Four weeks to go and we'll be at sea on our way to Cadiz!!
  7. Thank you for your speedy reply.
  8. My last cruise was on the Legend and it's been a while since I was on the Surf.Can anyone tell me please if there is a pull out line in the shower of the Windsurf for hand washing undies? I can't remember.
  9. Strenz, I totally agree with you about bus tours and we try to avoid them as much as possible.We also have no interest in lying on a beach.Give me an art gallery or historic building and quiet,away from the madding crowd, streets to stroll, then I am happy. I am sure we'll have a wonderful time.
  10. Yes, we are so looking forward to it. We have been to Lisbon before and other areas of Portugal like the eastern Algarve and the island of Madeira and love the country and the people.However, we don't know Spain very well.The only places we know are Majorca and Barcelona. We intend to have a couple of days in Lisbon before we sail and have booked a walking 'foodie' tour which should give us plenty of tastes of different Portuguese dishes and wines.We did one of these tours in Istanbul and it was fabulous and are using the same company for the Lisbon tour. I am expecting it to be very hot in July so we plan on being out and about in the ports as early as possible to allow some relaxation time on board during the afternoon.I have my birthday when we are in Malaga and we've booked a local guide for a two to three hour walking tour and then we'll have a nice lunch somewhere. Although I would love to see the Alhambra I cannot face the long coach journey and all the walking around in the heat amongst the summer crowds so decided to skip this.Have you been?
  11. We don't cruise very often as we love to take land based holidays in Europe which is so close to us in the UK and we also love our NZ holidays. We have only ever cruised on Windstar as we love the small ships but haven't been on the Surf since 2009,our last cruise being on the Legend and the one before on the little Star. However, our first three cruises were on the Surf and we can hardly wait to get back on board for our Lisbon to Barcelona cruise in July. I expect we shall notice a few refurbishment changes but hope the ambience will be the same.
  12. Traval


    Oh, have they really got rid of the tender stations?This was always a welcome sight when returning from a hot tiring traipse around town. What is it like now?
  13. Traval


    Right Strenz and Milepig, I shall go with a positive outlook and enjoy myself.I'll try to ignore anything which doesn't quite come up to scratch and focus on all the lovely points about the Surf. Although we travel quite a bit in Europe , apart from Lisbon,Palma and Barcelona all the other ports will be new to us and exciting to discover. I guess I'll have to start thinking soon about what shore excursions and activities will suit us given that I am sure in early July it will be baking hot and we won't want to exhaust ourselves.I think the plan will be mornings on shore and rest in the afternoon. Fifty years ago I could lie out and happily bake in the hot sun but now of course we are so mindful of the risks involved in doing that and I just can't take the midday heat anymore.
  14. Traval


    Oh,Milepig, this sounds disappointing.This will be a sixth Windstar Cruise for us,three on the Surf,one on the Star and the last one on the Motor yacht Legend.This summer we'll be back on the Surf and have really been looking forward to this cruise especially as I shall be celebrating my birthday on the day we are in Malaga.I do hope we won't be finding many little things to gripe about as we have really enjoyed the sailing yachts in the past.My husband loves to be up on deck for breakfast and we have always enjoyed the dinners We have had some wonderful land based trips over the last years including four trips to New Zealand,a country we can't get enough of, but thought it was time to return to a Mediterranean cruise.I do hope we don't regret it as with airfares and pre-cruise hotel,bar bill and excursions this is not a cheap summer holiday.
  15. Traval


    When on our last cruise --Tenerife to Lisbon on the Legend in 2016 we rarely saw a canape served in the lounge before dinner. On previous cruises we have always looked forward to these with our pre-dinner drink. Although I did mention it to someone in authority they still never appeared.Are they gone for good or were we just unlucky on that particular cruise? We are on the Spanish Symphony later this year on the Surf and I will be disappointed not to have a little delicious something to nibble on with my G&T . I also see that they have stopped the 'special event' trips. We had a wonderful dinner served by the beach in Tunisia in Bedouin tents with local entertainment when on that Legend cruise.It's such a shame they didn't continue with these.
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