Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Day in Port and what not to do

I have no idea what day this is but we are back sailing towards Cadiz Spain. Yesterday in Madeira we had the most incredible experience. They have what they call a Tobagan Ride. You take the cable car to the top of the mountain (about 20 minute trip). What a view! Hope the pictures come out and I can post some of them for others to enjoy. Once on the top of the mountain, a short walk and you get to another road.

You must understand this is a beautiful island but it's all hills and small mountain. Once we got to the right location, there are the men with a wicker basket for 2 on sled runners. Get in and off we go. With nothing more than two ropes, they push the sled and you start down the mountain road. Twisting and turning as the road goes, you fly along down the mountain! They use the ropes to guide and brake the sled by twising it sideways. What an experience! Helen wasn't sure about this when we started and the picture does have a slight look of fear. But once at the bottom (about 6 minute ride) she was ready to do it again.

This is the only place in the world to do this so if you ever have the chance to get to Madeira, do it. They snapped a picture somewhere along the road (never saw them do it) and when we got to the bottom, they were there with the picture in a folder ready to sell you. Amazing how they have this worked out with a computer to get these ready in a matter of minutes. Of course we bought it

We also visited the Botanical Gardens and exotic birds. Georgeous, what else can I say. Again many pictures that hopefully we will be able to share later on.

Now for the "what not to do". Two people had the embarrassing and expensive experience of watching the ship sail out of port. Yes, they are on their own to get to Cadiz and catch up to get back on.

When they say be back on board by a certain time, you better be on board because that ship is leaving at a certain time with or without you. If you miss a ship, you better have a credit card to buy your air or whatever to get to the next port and return to ship. This is NOT covered by travel protection (stupidity never is) and it's going to be on "your dime."

When you take the excursions offerred through the cruise line, they have track of your return. If you are doing things on your own, they don't. If you finish the tour and then go out on your own, well again, you are on your own. You must always change your watch to "ship's time" and be back before the gangway is lifted.

We advise clients about this and fortunately never had one miss a ship during a port call. But we've seen it happen many times. Don't let it happen to you!

Tomorrow is Cadiz and we must get up early for our tour. In fact, we have early times every day for the remainder of the cruise so not sure what time of day I'll be able to post things.

Until later..................

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