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kruz

Nov 5,06 Freedom Cruise

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Yes, it's much better now. We just got home from Freeport, Maine. The weather was cold on Friday & Saturday but it just started to snow at 8 a.m. Dunfsy morning. We had packed up last night and got in the car to head South at 8 today right after breakfast. It was a white-out from the tractor trailers and trucks driving by but we made it home without incident in about 2 1/2 hours. Just a half hour more than it took us to get to the Harraskeet Inn. We had two wonderful dinners and walked and shopped a bit at the outlet stores and the huge LL Bean.

Have a great day.

Nanatravel

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We have picked our shore excursions for the TransAtlantic:

Alhambra Palace & Gardens (Shortened Version)

8 Hours

You'll pass through the countryside of Andalusia as your coach travels through mountain ranges, huge expanses of olive trees and small villages during your 80-mile journey to Granada. The same route will be taken on the return to Malaga. Upon reaching Granada, you will head for the hill location of the Alhambra, considered Spain's most outstanding symbol of Moorish heritage.

Generalife Palace, once a summer residence for the Sultans of Granada, is an oasis of lovely terraces, grottoes, flowerbeds, and fabulous fountains. This sight offers a splendid view of the Sierra Nevada, down to the Darro Valley, across to the Old Quarter of Albaicin, and not least of all the Palace of the Alhambra.

Sitting atop a majestic hill, the Alhambra Palace may be the finest example of Arabic art in the world. Alqala hamra, meaning "red castle," this 13th-century fortress is a showcase of many different salons, patios, and palaces. Over the past 600 years, this elegant royal residence has undergone extensive damage, new building, and restoration depending on the reigning successor. Throughout its turbulent history, this complex of unique venues has offered visitors a look into the past, from the towering Alcazaba with its tall watch tower; to the Nazaries Palaces with intricately carved stucco walls, knotted ceilings, elaborate honeycomb vaulting, and beautiful courtyards, Serallo, official residence of the Sultan and the Harem, which surrounds the famous "Patio de los Leones," with its fountains feeding water through the mouth of 12 lions (representing months of the year). There are many other wonderful sites within the fortress. After the guided tour and time permitting; you will have free time to shop in the Alhambra gift shop.

Lunch will be served before or after your visit depending on the entrance timing. Time permitting; you will take a panoramic tour of the city of Granada before your return trip to Malaga.

Note: Please note that this tour is only available for guests traveling on the Brilliance of the Seas April 28, 2006 voyage. Guests must be able to walk approximately 2 miles (approximately 2 hours) over even dirt paths and cobblestone surfaces with over 80 steps. The Alhambra Palace and Gardens are not wheelchair accessible. Guests must be in good physical condition, wear comfortable walking shoes, hat and sunglasses. The drive between Malaga and Granada is approximately 2 hours each way, dependent upon traffic conditions.

Click here to view other Funchal (Madeira) excursions

Cactus City, Cable Car, Monte & Toboggan

Shopping Light Snack / Refreshment Moderate

Approximate Duration: 4 Hours 30 Minutes

An excellent introduction to the Island’s capital- Funchal, to discover the local market (Mercado dos lavradores), with its colorful display of subtropical fruits, vegetables, flowers and fish. You will visit an Embroidery Factory where you can admire the delicate and traditional Madeira Embroidery. Proceed to the cable car station, board your car and admire the views over the city and the harbor on our way to the Village of Monte, located in the outskirts of Funchal. Time to visit the church and the gardens, and to take the toboggan ride down to Livramento. Riding in large wicker baskets on metal runners, you will be guided down the slope by two traditionally dressed men. With the aid of ropes attached to the basket, they will control the speed of the ride over the smooth-worn cobblestones. Although the seats have cushions, it is not recommended for guests with back problems. (If you prefer, you may travel to Livramento by coach instead of the sledges.) At the bottom of the hill, a coach will be waiting for you. The last stop will be at one of the famous Wine Lodges in Funchal, where you can sample (and buy) the world famous Madeira Wine. Return to ship.

Note: Guests must be able to walk approximately 0.50 mile over uneven and cobblestone surfaces, some inclines and 150+ steps. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Visibility from all scenic outlooks is dependent upon the weather and therefore cannot be guaranteed. The toboggan ride is at a reasonable pace and is not dangerous. However, all forms of transportation involve inherent risk, and so all passengers participate at their own risk. Time permitting; guests will have approximately 30 minutes for shopping throughout the tour. Tour order may be reversed. Local markets and shops are closed during public holidays.

City of Lisbon City of Lisbon

Shopping Moderate

Approximate Duration: 4 Hours

Portugal’s capital is an 18th century city but was probably originally settled by the Phoenicians, then the Romans, Visigoths and the Moors. In 1755, a great earthquake destroyed the city. In the old Moorish section, which survived the quake, there are still remains of pre-quake Lisbon.

You will begin your visit with a photo stop in the Belém District that is famous for its landmark tower on the bank of the Tagus River, from where many explorers embarked on their voyages of discovery. You will continue to the Monument of the Discoveries, a slab of concrete jutting out from the Tagus riverbank, erected in 1960 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of Henry the Navigator. He was the mastermind navigator behind Portugal’s voyages of exploration. The Jeronimos Monastery Church is a 16th century architectural masterpiece designed in Gothic Manueline style. The riches brought back by Portuguese explorers paid for the splendid religious monument.

Lisbon is a hilly city paved with cobblestones offering magnificent views, especially from Alto Do Parque Belvedere. Rossio Square, in the heart of the city, is one of the busiest. From there the mile-long Avenida de Liberdade leads to the statue of Pombal who re-planned the city after the earthquake. You will visit the Alfama, the oldest part of Lisbon, for a quick walk through its cobbled labyrinth of narrow twisting alleys, honeycombed with steps and archways. The houses, with their brilliant whitewashed or painted façades, are decorated with wrought iron balconies and panels of azulejos. On the return drive to the ship, see the April 25th Bridge, sister to the Golden Gate Bridge, stretching across the River Tagus and the towering statue of Christ the King on the far bank.

Note: Guests must be able to walk approximately 400 yards over even and cobblestone surfaces with 80 - 90 steps. Tour order may vary but all listed sights will be covered. Please note that the Jerónimos Church is closed on Mondays, when the Voyager of the Seas calls Lisbon during the 05/06/06 voyage. Therefore, your guide will provide an exterior explanation of the monument and a substitute visit to Lisbon's Cathedral, located in Alfama.

Monaco and Monte Carlo Monaco & Monte Carlo

Shopping Moderate

Approximate Duration: 4 Hours

The grand principality and the magnificent city of Monte Carlo are yours to discover on this excursion. From Villefranche, you will drive along the Middle Corniche Road, viewing the pine-studded peninsula of St. Jean Cap Ferrat. You'll visit the Rock of Monaco, where your guide will escort you on foot through the Old Quarter. You'll explore the vaulted passageways, see the outside façade of the Prince's Palace and stroll through Palace Square. You'll also visit the 19th century Monaco Cathedral, final resting-place of the Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly. Leaving Monaco, your coach will travel along a portion of the Grand Prix Motor circuit to Monte Carlo. Arriving at the Place du Casino in Monte Carlo, you will have approximately 1 hour to explore the exterior of this landmark and the surrounding area. Your return to Villefranche will be via the Lower Corniche Road. From there a spectacular panorama of Beaulieu, Villefranche and Nice unfolds before your eyes.

Note: At the Rock of Monaco and Monte Carlo, guests must take an escalator and an elevator from the parking structure. Guests must be able to walk approximately 0.75 mile along uphill cobblestone streets with 10 - 15 steps. Entrance to Grand Casino of Monte Carlo, which opens in the afternoon, is not included in this tour. Guests wishing to visit the Grand Casino on their own must be 18 years of age, have a photo ID, admission fee (in local currency: 10 Euros) and be properly dressed

after 6 days at sea this should be exciting

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Some good choices Joe. We toured Malaga on our own and it was beautiful. The Alhambra tour is very long and hopefully you will get in. Access is ticket limited. You are wise to go with a ship tour. At Lisbon, we took a taxi tour which was great. We also took a ship tour in the morning to Capa Roca and Sintra a historic town. Taking the ship tour to Monaco and Monte Carlo including the casino is also smart. We ran in to tremedous traffice and the tenders are very slow and regulated in VilleFrance. Don't forget proper dress for the Grand Casino and no tote bags or cameras are allowed. They will check your things for you. Wear comfortable shoes as many of the streets are all cobblestones and slight hills. You will have to walk a distance from the parking lot at both locations. When do you tour & sail?

Nanatravel

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Hi Kids! We also just changed our cabin. Moved to a Superior Balcony. Decided for the few dollars more to have an additional 25 sq ft for 13 nights it would be worth it. Plus, the cabin we booked (9654) looked to have a larger balcony. Joe talked to someone on one of the boards and they said it was almost double the size and has a table 2 chairs and a lounge chair. Hope it's true!

Nana...thanks for the info. We're not in port very long on most days so we thought booking through the ship was the best way to go. That way they're responsible for getting us back in time.

Karen...congrats on the promotion!! I'm sure you've more than earned it!

Come cruise with us Janet!! There's plenty of room left on our cruise!

Selena...it's cold enough here. Going down to 30 tonight. BURRRRRRRRRR...

Termmie...always a pleasure to talk with you! Give your beautiful wife a kiss for me. Tell her there's a beach calling our name!

Talk to you all later...

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I wish I could join you. boy that cruise sounds like lots of fun, and the size of the balcony....wow....I am about to have my first suite on the enchantment, I might get spoiled, lol, I know once I had the balcony it was impossible to go to an inside again!

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