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It’s our first time with FO! August 7 2024 Balmoral


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Welcome to cruise critic. You are off to the Azures then and the meteor shower. How lovely.

 

Balmoral is an older ship but has very elegant public areas. We love the crows nest and the lovely outside areas.

 

If you haven’t thought about it already have a look at the speciality restaurants which are very good value if booked in advance. The afternoon tea is also very pleasant.

 

Fred offer some interesting activities and very good guest speakers, usually experts in what you are going to see. We enjoy the cookery demos showcasing local foods. The martini events are also fun.

 

If you have any questions the folks on here are all friendly and have a wealth of knowledge, someone will usually be able to help you.

 

@jeanlyon is just back from the Azures so may have some suggestions.

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Sounds really good. I’m new to cc so not found my way around yet. 
id like some tour advice so hopefully I’ll find some info. We’re wine lovers & hoping to bring as much back as possible. Thoughts on that would be useful too. 
live booked Spey restaurant for dinner - is that a good choice? 

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55 minutes ago, Daisybops said:

Sounds really good. I’m new to cc so not found my way around yet. 
id like some tour advice so hopefully I’ll find some info. We’re wine lovers & hoping to bring as much back as possible. Thoughts on that would be useful too. 
live booked Spey restaurant for dinner - is that a good choice? 

Personally we prefer the Spey and Avon restaurants to the bigger and busier main dining room (though it is absolutely fine too). They are higher up the ship so a little more ships motion but smaller, quieter and usually with a decent sea view from the tables.

 

Any wine you bring onboard will need to be handed in, it will be returned to you at the end of the cruise. Some of the merchants in Oporto will deliver straight to your home.

 

There is another section of cc for ports of calls, you may get some advice there.

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I’ve made the right choice - thank you. 
 

We want to take the wine home, so that’s ok. We’re not actually going to Porto. Any of these places to buy ? 
 

 

Praia da Vitoria, Terceira, Azores Horta, Faial, Azores
Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Azores Cruise by Vila Franca Islet, Azores
Cruise by Cristo Rei & Abril 25 Bridge Lisbon, Portugal
Leixões, Matosinhos, Portugal

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Daisybops said:

I’ve made the right choice - thank you. 
 

We want to take the wine home, so that’s ok. We’re not actually going to Porto. Any of these places to buy ? 
 

 

Praia da Vitoria, Terceira, Azores Horta, Faial, Azores
Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Azores Cruise by Vila Franca Islet, Azores
Cruise by Cristo Rei & Abril 25 Bridge Lisbon, Portugal
Leixões, Matosinhos, Portugal

 

I have no particular experience if bringing wine home, so cannot help there.  Just thought I would point out though that your last port of Leixoes is the port for Porto - it is perhaps about 4 miles away, but not sure.  You can take public transport to Porto, which you would need to find out about, or the ship will run various excursions, some to Porto.

 

 

Edited by tring
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14 hours ago, Daisybops said:

I’ve made the right choice - thank you. 
 

We want to take the wine home, so that’s ok. We’re not actually going to Porto. Any of these places to buy ? 
 

 

Praia da Vitoria, Terceira, Azores Horta, Faial, Azores
Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Azores Cruise by Vila Franca Islet, Azores
Cruise by Cristo Rei & Abril 25 Bridge Lisbon, Portugal
Leixões, Matosinhos, Portugal

 

In Praia da Vitória, there's a great wine shop in the Forum shopping centre. It's called "Wine Expert & Gourmet." Not inexpensive but some pretty good stuff.

 

If you get into Porto, Touriga Vinhos de Portugal is a wine shop in the heart of the town that does lots of local wines. It's possible to book a wine tasting in advance.

 

If you're going to take something home, it's always best to get something just that little bit more special that folk just can't buy in the local off-licence or supermarket at home.

 

Hope you have a good time.

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17 hours ago, Daisybops said:

I’ve made the right choice - thank you. 
 

We want to take the wine home, so that’s ok. We’re not actually going to Porto. Any of these places to buy ? 
 

 

Praia da Vitoria, Terceira, Azores Horta, Faial, Azores
Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Azores Cruise by Vila Franca Islet, Azores
Cruise by Cristo Rei & Abril 25 Bridge Lisbon, Portugal
Leixões, Matosinhos, Portugal


There is also a very good wine shop in Lisbon called Garrafeira Napoleao, in R. dos Fanqueiros, which is about 15 minutes walk from the cruise terminal. It is very well stocked and we are usually offered tasting samples! 
 

Enjoy your cruise.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi, We are Helen & Mick Stedman from Newcastle and looking forward to Fred. Portugal's

islands in search of the Meteor Shower. We have found a company offering great shore tours in Porta Delgada to Sete Cidades and Crater Lake or Fire Crater Lake and Sete Cidades Crater Lake. Available 3 to 4 hours or longer if preferred. If anybody is interested in joining us please contact me and will give you more information. Thanks.

 

helzebra@talktalk.net

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Hi, we’ve not planned our trips yet but the lakes is on our radar so definitely interested. I’ll drop you a message. 
we’d like to do the whale watching too but might do that on other island. 

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On 6/9/2024 at 8:27 PM, pickledonion said:

Hi, We are Helen & Mick Stedman from Newcastle and looking forward to Fred. Portugal's

islands in search of the Meteor Shower. We have found a company offering great shore tours in Porta Delgada to Sete Cidades and Crater Lake or Fire Crater Lake and Sete Cidades Crater Lake. Available 3 to 4 hours or longer if preferred. If anybody is interested in joining us please contact me and will give you more information. Thanks.

 

helzebra@talktalk.net

 

On 6/9/2024 at 8:27 PM, pickledonion said:

Hi, We are Helen & Mick Stedman from Newcastle and looking forward to Fred. Portugal's

islands in search of the Meteor Shower. We have found a company offering great shore tours in Porta Delgada to Sete Cidades and Crater Lake or Fire Crater Lake and Sete Cidades Crater Lake. Available 3 to 4 hours or longer if preferred. If anybody is interested in joining us please contact me and will give you more information. Thanks.

 

helzebra@talktalk.net

We sailed with Fred Olsen to the Azores, Canaries & Madeira last year. First stop on Terceira was cancelled because of storms & we spent less time on São Miguel than I wanted but did manage to see most of what we wanted to see. We'd been there in the mid-70s for several weeks so knew what we wanted to see. We hired a car & driver through 

https://www.brumasecenarios.com/en/

and our driver was first class. I told them we wanted to see -

- Lagoa das Furnas;

- Parque Terra Nostra;

- Caldeiras das Furnas;

- Miradouro Pico do Ferro;

- Miradouro Santa Iria;

- Vista do Rei;

- Lagoa das Sete Cidades.

 

We managed to see all of them and more, although it was very misty for our first stop at the viewpoint overlooking  Sete Cidades. Weather improved as we moved east. A wonderful day, highly recommended.

 

Regards.

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