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A corner in the old part of Vigo

A corner in the old part of Vigo

Today we have been in Vigo, and to my surprise it turned out to be the best port of call in the entire cruise.

 

Earlier, however, we got chatting over breakfast to a couple, one of whom is in a wheelchair. Their view on Ventura was very positive. They’ve been on other P&O ships, and they said that Ventura is representative of the way that facilities for disabled people have improved. For example, they commented that there were many more disabled toilets on Ventura than on Oriana. Unfortunately, they also said that facilities for disabled people on excursions seemed to be getting scarcer – they commented that very few of the coaches used on this cruise have been able to take wheelchairs. So a swings-and-roundabouts situation for disabled people, unfortunately.

After breakfast we went ashore on our own, explored the old part of town, and then walked up to the castle (the Castro) at the very top of the town. It was sunny but not too hot, and we sat in the gardens and relaxed in the sun. By this time it was lunchtime so we walked back into town and finally spent some of our €s – Val bought some little wicker baskets and an evening wrap and I bought a piece of Galician pottery, before the shops had closed (1:30 or 2pm). Then after dropping our purchases back at the ship we went ashore again, found a comfortable cafe in the sun and enjoyed a couple of glasses of wine. In fact so enjoyable was the wine (Ribeiro del Douro) that we called into a wine shop in a new shopping centre right by the quay and bought a few bottles on the way back; and fortunately Ventura security decided not to implement their new alcohol policy when we clanked our way up the gangway!

The sun was still shining when we left Vigo and sailed out into the Atlantic. I think that the Galician coastline is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen; think Cornwall, with added sunshine. In fact, my feelings about our ports of call are that Madeira was OK, I wasn’t at all struck with what we saw of Tenerife and Gran Canaria, but the Iberian Atlantic coast is an area that I very much want to return to. I found all three calls there (La Coruna, Lisbon, and Vigo) excellent – interesting towns in beautiful settings.

This afternoon we received our disembarkation instructions. We were assigned to a disembarkation time of 11am, which we felt was too late (we have a long-ish drive to complete and would like to get home ahead of the Friday afternoon rush). We spoke to Reception about it, and they were able to change us to a 9:15 disembarkation time which is much better for us. We haven’t had much contact with Reception or Guest Services during this cruise – we’ve had little cause to do so – but whenever we have they’ve resolved our question or issue immediately.

Tonight is the last formal night. I know we’ll enjoy it, but we are also beginning to look forward to simple home-cooked meals again.

5 Responses to “Ventura Cruise – Vigo”

  1. Rex says:

    Tom,
    Thanks so much for your Blog sorry that your cruise is near the end. We will soon be embarking on Ventura for her transatlantic, 24.10.08. Wenow have our tickets so things seem a little nearer.
    Again many thanks and hope that our cruie is as enjoyable.

  2. Malcolm Oliver says:

    “Today we have been in Vigo, and to my surprise it turned out to be the best port of call in the entire cruise”.

    That’s odd Tom, Mrs Malcolm and I thought that it was the worst port of call of our Med cruise earlier in the year!

    Still, each to his own.

    Malcolm

  3. Victoria says:

    It’s funny how everybody sees it different, I know you’re on vacation and I actually live in Gran Canaria but obviously I like it better because I choose to live here!

    Doing a day visit from a trip of course one doesn’t get to see very much and I am afraid everything locally in the harbour is very set up for tourists. You have to get a bit away from the docks to see more interesting things.

  4. Its unfortunate to hear that facilities for disabled are limited on the excursions especially when a ship such as Ventura has been crafted with the effort to take these details into consideration.
    As an able bodied person I am guilty of ignorance in these cases but perhaps things will change when able and disabled all come together and complain that the facilities need to change.
    This includes toilet facilities on flights – I struggle with the tiny cubicle myself!

    thanks for an interesting read. 🙂

  5. tomtotley says:

    I’ve thought of another ‘disabled-friendly’ point. There are automatically-opening doors onto the Promenade, midships on deck 7. There are railings leading up to the door and a large press-plate mounted which (when pressed) simply opens the door outwards – simple and effective. This allows those in wheelchairs & scooters to get onto the Promenade, which can be difficult as the manual doors can be very heavy, especially when it’s windy.

    I don’t recall seeing anything like this on any other ship we’ve been on, but I might be wrong.

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