We started the trip with a non-stop flight from Newark to Lisbon. We upgraded to Economy Plus for the extra leg room and enjoyed a smooth flight. We landed in the early morning and after clearing passport control we were met by Viking and transported to the Hotel Tivoli Avenida Liberdade Lisboa. It was a lovely hotel and we enjoyed our stay. We arrived so early we had to wait a little until our rooms were ready. Since I am useless with no sleep we just sat in the lobby until our room was ready.
Our room was facing the interior courtyard and there was some noise from the nightclub on the roof but I was so jet lagged I was able to sleep. The hotel was very nice and clean and the included breakfast was terrific.
We found a very nice seafood restaurant down the street from the hotel and we enjoyed dinner there. The second night we ate at a place recommended by the hotel but that was not exactly what we wanted. The food was tasty but floating in a bowl of gravy.
Our transfer to Porto was quite a ride but we did make 3 stops to break it up, a comfort stop , a stop for lunch and a visit to Coimbra University. The tour buses were very comfortable and equipped with a rest room and wifi. This made the trip easier to bare. Our arrival at the ship was smooth and we were given our room keys as we got off the bus. The cabins were all ready and everyone was happy to arrive and unpack finally.
The meals on the ship were all very good, the weather was perfect. Cool in Lisbon and Porto and the much warmer as we got into the Douro Vally. One thing about the meals was that if you didn’t take then Chef’s suggestion he took it personally. I had duck one day and did not want the gravy. He became so upset and insisted the duck needed the gravy. It was just a personal thing I don’t care for gravy but he was acting like I suggested we go club baby seals. One night my husband ordered from the always available side of the menu. The waitress again was horrified and tried to get him to order something else. I just found that strange.
The tours were all very nice my favorites were the dinner at Grahams and the Bread Bakery tour. When we were riding up to Grahams the tour guide told us that we probably didn’t know each other yet but when she picked us up at the end of the dinner we would be great friends and we were. A beautiful dinner in a beautiful place. The bread bakery was amazing. I love bread and this was the best bread I ever tasted. The lady took it right out of the oven and handed it to me. I had to grab some napkins to stop from burning my hand. I enjoyed the warm bread with butter and homemade jam.
We did several wine tasting at wineries. The Sanderman winery was interesting though the ride up there was very scary. There was nothing bad that happened but I was nervous. The Viking drivers were very skillful and careful. How they negotiated the hairpin curves and the narrow roads in the big bus was truly amazing. They always got applause and a handshake when we returned.
The day in Salamanca ,Spain was very nice. Plaza Mayor reminded us of Venice. We enjoyed a lunch there . Delicious and reasonable priced.
We enjoyed the ship probably even more because we received an upgrade to a Veranda Suite. I am afraid I have been spoiled. The bed was comfortable and the room was spotless. Our cabin steward was perfect. She kept our room in tip top condition.
The final day we were sadly transported the Porto airport for another direct flight to Newark. It was a wonderful vacation. I cant wait for my next Viking trip.
Cabin was large and nicely decorated It was kept spotless by a very sweet cabin attendant. The fridge was stocked with red and white wine, regular and diet soda and sparkling water.We had a veranda with a table and 2 chairs. The bedroom had a king size bed and a walk in closet and dressing room. The bathroom was very well designed. We never felt cramped or crowded.