The Morrisons resume their reports from the Seabourn Sojourn; now they are in Portugal

Those of you who follow this blog know that my friends from Australia, Owen and Lesley Morrison, have been sailing with Seabourn for several weeks. They recently moved from the Seabourn Pride to the Sojourn and then encountered internet problems. I did not received any postings from them for a couple of weeks.

So, yesterday Owen sent all of the ones I missed. So I am going to resume posting them here as they are so interesting….

Well, just so you know, the earthquake in Spain occurred in the mountain area well away from where we were and it happened after we left Oporto, Portugal. Lesley did a tour in Oporto and I stayed back on board and washed all my shirts.

Owen and Lesley Morrison

Lesley went to the historic town of Guimaraes, known as the “cradle of the nation.”  It is the birthplace of the first king of Portugal and an hour by coach from Oporto.  Lesley reports that it was a lovely drive through green leafy areas with lovely stone houses, each with a vegetable patch.

They went to the king’s castle and palace which is now a museum.  There are a couple of levels of stairs to climb and with no handrails is not good for people with walking difficulties.  Once inside the rooms were well restored with tapestries hanging on the walls, huge pieces of oriental porcelain, local furniture that was carved and looked to be inlaid with ebony and each room had an enormous fireplace. There is also a private chapel that was used by the family but the steps up to get inside were very steep and once again no handrails.

They walked down a very steep street and went past very narrow streets with beautiful old, but well-kept houses on both sides. The town was once again very clean. There were a lot of little cafes in the town and a lot of school children doing some project. We think it might be something to do with Fatima (May 13 is the feast day of the first apparition of  Our Lady at Fatima in 1917.)

We left Oporto and for dinner went to the Patio Grill on the ship. It was on the same deck as the Colonnade (deck 8) which is a buffet for breakfast and lunch and a set menu for dinner. The Patio Grill is open for lunch as well. The Patio Grill is the same as on the Pride and Spirit, but the setup is far better.

The Patio Grill on the small ships is on deck 8 and most tables are exposed to the elements and the cooking area is portable, but in the case of the Sojourn it is a purpose-built area and the seating is mostly covered and there are some tables partly exposed.

We enjoyed the food very much and the service was cheerful. This is a place we will go back to many more times.

After dinner, the waters became rough and that continued all night. The next day was somewhat ordinary. Lesley was not too good and had a very quiet day. I went to breakfast down in the dining room and unfortunately the service there is quiet slow. I was talking to a couple later and funnily they said the same thing. Lesley had room service for breakfast of some tea and toast.

I had lunch at Sojourn Square and brought some sandwiches back for Lesley and we had dinner in our room as we did not want to go out and get dressed up.

Yesterday going through the Bay of Biscay was very rough and it got up to force 8 winds.

Today we went to the dining room for breakfast and we got there about 8 a.m. and were finished about 9 a.m. I had fruit and eggs, etc., and Lesley had eggs, etc. and it took them over 40 minutes before the eggs etc. arrived. There must not be too many cooks on in the morning, but we found out today that most of the passengers have room service for breakfast and most of the staff are occupied with room service and that could explain why it takes a long while to serve up scrambled eggs, grilled tomato, hash browns and toast.

Tomorrow we get to Southampton where 360 passengers leave the ship and 360 start another cruise. We plan to get off and catch a bus and see the city. It will be Sunday, but I have checked some websites and there will be buses running and there will be some shopping areas open.

We wanted to change our euros into pounds, but they wanted to change the euros into US$ and then into pounds with two exchange fees, so we got some US$ and for $100 got about 55 Pounds and paid one exchange fee. We want to have some local currency in case we need it. It costs 7.5 pounds for an all-day bus pass

I have been having trouble with the internet on this ship. On the Pride I could send one email to all my friends. On this ship it says there are too many recipients, so I have to split it up. A bit silly.

About Cynthia Boal Janssens

Cynthia Boal Janssens is the editor and chief blogger for AllThingsCruise.com. She is a former national president of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). She has sailed on over 40 cruises all over the world.

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