Jan and I are just back from a cruise to the Canary Islands, Morocco and Portugal. This is the first of a number of posts about our trip.
From home (Iowa) we first flew to Chicago, pleasantly at a sane time of day. No problems and enough layover at O’Hare to allow us to have lunch. Our flight to Madrid left on time and there were no problems there either. At Madrid, going through customs was a snap. I wish things were that easy in the US. The only difficulty was a long wait before our next flight to Tenerife. Luckily we were able to spend the time in the comfortable Air Iberia VIP lounge.
The flight to Tenerife was a little late and the situation was complicated because the gate attendant only made announcements in Spanish. Eventually we got on board and took off. We had a nice lunch/dinner and the flight was just a couple of hours long. While waiting for our luggage at the Tenerife airport we met some others who were going on the same cruise.
We were met by a cheerful cab driver who took us to the hotel and we settled in rather quickly. Had a great meal in the Thai restaurant right in the hotel. We were not leaving for the ship until around noon the next day so we could sleep late and partially make up for our jet-lag. The hotel was the Botanica, very nice with fabulous grounds including a small golf course, ponds with koi, statues, fountains and beautiful flowers.
The process of boarding the ship was much improved over our previous cruises with WindStar. Less paperwork and better organized. It also helped that the ship was only half full (84 passengers of the maximum 148). We settled into our cabin without a lot of trouble and went up pool-side where they had buffet lunch set out for those on board while we waited to sail at 11pm.
We had dinner that evening with a couple of other passengers, two women from the UK. They were traveling together, leaving their husbands behind to fend for themselves for the week. After that we went up on deck and waited for the sailing. When they raise the sails they always play the theme from “Chariots of Fire” by Vangelis. At night it is particularly moving as they have the sails lighted and the ship really stands out in the dark. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate and they did not raise the sails that evening.