Sunday, April 24, 2016

How We Ended Up Staying 2 Days in Lisbon

Lisbon, the last port of call in the 9-day Mediterranean cruise, was the most inhospitable of all port cities in terms of the weather. It was rainy and blustery with frigid air assaulting us as we disembarked. A fellow passenger commented of how this wasn’t a surprise considering this is Europe, this is Lisbon – her words – while I tried to gather myself inside a suddenly inadequate faux leather jacket.

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Not only were we faced with this miserable weather for sightseeing, earlier in the day we were thrown the biggest curve ball you could get when you are traveling overseas when we got our daily newsletter. We found out that the arrival time of the ship in Barcelona was changed. Initially in the original itinerary, the ship would be arriving in Barcelona at 8 am. Our flight out of Barcelona was scheduled at 11 am. Very little breathing room between arrival and departure time we know, but we were hoping luck would be on our side and we’d be able to disembark first, as is the protocol of cruise ships to allow passengers with early flights to leave the boat first. However, the newsletter for that day indicated that the boat would be docking in Barcelona at 12:00 and not the 8 am that was initially indicated when we booked this cruise.

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I went into panic mode right away, but only for a short time. We have one day to spend in Lisbon, then one sea day in between, then the return to Barcelona. We cannot miss our flight out of Barcelona, because this was an international flight with one other layover. We must catch that flight and if we stayed in the boat we will not be able to return home on time and we will miss work, etc, so many repercussions.

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And so just to be sure we went to check with the cruise line if what was indicated as disembarkation time was indeed correct. Not only was it correct, the front desk clerk who seemed disinterested in customer service (here’s when I miss American style customer service) as a vocation said they were actually being very optimistic in their estimation. She implied most likely it’s 1:00.

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Now we were facing a tough situation we know. We have to figure out a solution to this huge problem by 6 pm – the time the boat sails away. Given that it was very early in the day and despite the on and off rain so far, we decided to buy a ticket to the HOHO bus tour. We figured it’s best to be on the move while we sort out our options. The ticket to the HOHO was valid for 48 hours and valid for lines red and blue.

In truth we knew we only had one viable solution. We must keep our flight back home and in order to do that we must leave the boat and stay in Lisbon for two days! Yay!!!!!!

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A huge weight was lifted off our shoulders the minute we the hubs and I agreed to stay in Lisbon. We changed bus lines so that we could go to the airport. The HOHO stopped a block or two from the airport and once inside, the husband and I, we were on a divide and conquer mode.

He went to get a flight from Lisbon to Barcelona while I stayed in a coffee shop scouring the internet for accommodations. The time stretched so very long. Despite my relief that a solution was reached earlier in the day and that we again seemed to overcome another hurdle in this trip, I was not completely at peace with the situation. I was naturally concerned about the extra expense that 2 extra flights and 2 nights of hotel would entail. However, this was the only choice if we wanted to go home as planned.

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When finally the hubs joined me in the coffee shop I had a list of hotels for him to choose from. The problem with not having enough time to research about the accommodations and the neighborhoods these hotels are located is that you just have no clue if you’re getting what you actually want and need in an accommodation. Once I returned from a trip to the facilities, the husband found a different hotel. I must admit, he’s good at research and I was all for the hotel we chose. We booked online and knew what we needed to do. We took the HOHO bus back to the port, back to the boat we went. I went to pack rapidly; he went to settle our accounts. Before leaving, we decided to get some lunch at the boat and maybe pocket some croissants for us to munch later in the day.

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As we got off the boat one last time, I welcomed the cold whip of air on my face and the raindrops on my umbrella. I was excited to stay an extra day here.

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The photos were taken from the deck of the cruise ship before we disembarked.

OUR WORLD TUESDAY

27 comments:

  1. Perhaps it is just me but Lisbon still looks lovely in the rain. :P
    Unlike in my neck of the woods when we mention rain, the place turns all murky and gloomy. Not to mention the muggy humidity that envelopes like a bear hug. Ewwww!

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  2. Lisbon is beautiful! Lovely trip you are making. Only the weather seems to be a 'party pooper'.

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  3. Easy to tell you two are seasoned travelers , working those computers and choosing your best options. Good work!!

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  4. Wow! Well that was some quick thinking and I'm glad you got it all organized and caught your flight home.

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  5. Spent a few days in Lisbon a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it--but we had good weather and no travel fiascos.

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  6. Lovely photos.
    Thank you for sharing at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/04/worlds-best-meatloaf-recipe-wordful.html

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  7. All very nice views of Lisbon, thanks for sharing your beautiful trip.
    Many greetings!

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  8. Hello, your trips always are amazing. Beautiful tour and lovely photos. So glad everything worked out well for your flight home. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week ahead!

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  9. Never a dull moment for you.Hope the weather cheered up during your stay.

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  10. So that was a blessing in disguise. You must have seen a lot in 2 days of Lisbon. I am reminded of my tour.

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  11. Terrific captures of the city.

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  12. Your photos look very nice. Not sure if you are a magician and can take good photos under any conditions. I want to know how the story ended. Do the cruise lines have to compensate in a situation like this?

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  13. Glad you sorted out the return flight. I love Lisbon and the people there - so friendly!

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  14. On hindsight this is what makes travelling fun!!
    Beautiful pictures!!

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  15. You write so well Maria, i've told you that many times. You're in Lisbon, so what is 2 days!

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  16. Thinking on your feet! Sometimes that's the best part of travel ;)
    #MondayEscapes

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  17. Great success for you both ~ What a team ~ Cruises can be complicated ~

    Happy Week to you ~ ^_^

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  18. Exciting trip for you in many ways. Thank you for taking me along on the scenic tour.
    betsy

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  19. It looks amazing there and I am sure staying longer wasn't really a hardship. I'm glad you got everything sorted to get home and hope the trip went well.

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  20. It looks like a beautiful city, I'm looking forward to seeing more.

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  21. WOW. Good for you to go into survival mode like that, Maria. I tip my hat to both you and Hubs for figuring it all out. Having already been to Barcelona twice, I'd be quite happy to spend some time in Lisbon. :)

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  22. I have never beeb to this part of the world - to looks good.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  23. What an adventure and on top the bad weather ! I have never been in Lisbon only in the South of Portugal, the Algarves. What a cruise !

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  24. Looks like a pretty great adventure indeed, and the photos are stunning indeed. Warm greetings!

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  25. It's a good decision to make and it was good thing you were notified for the time change. I haven't been to cruise but I am thankful for the experienced you mentioned here because its worth learning. Thanks for sharing this post.

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  26. Brings back happy memories of our trip to Lisbon! Adventures while travelling make for great memories!
    Thank you for participating in the Travel Tuesday meme.

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  27. Amazing pictures!! Ohh noo, sorry about all the stress! At least you got to see a little bit more of Lisbon!
    Funny thing is that every time I go to Brazil to visit my family, I have a stopover in Lisbon, and it always lasts between 8 to 12 hours so I get to spend some time in town :D
    Thank you for linking up with #MondayEscapes :D

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