Written by Safarigal
June 10, 2022

After 2 glorious sea days and a very calm Bay of Biscay our first stop was in Cadiz.

The ship docks in the working cargo port, so there was no band or flamenco dancers there to welcome us, not even tents with eager folks trying to persuade one to buy a souvenir you really didn’t need.

There was, however, a yellow bus which quickly took us to the cruise terminal where there was a souvenir shop and WIFI.

From the terminal it is a very quick walk across the road into Cadiz. We had decided to explore the city on our own, which turned out to be a good choice. We wandered around the narrow, ancient streets, and along the sea front. The man at the cruise terminal had advised us not to take the Hop on Hop Off bus tour, as the bus cannot get through the narrow winding streets, and we could see why this was sound advice. On the bus we would have missed so much of the charm of the city.

Our walk ended up at the beautiful gold domed cathedral, and we bought tickets to explore inside. The cathedral is huge and has a very fancy altar and numerous side chapels. There is also a large crypt, but there were hundreds of noisy school children who were also exploring it, so we gave it a miss.

You can also climb up the tower, but I was exhausted just climbing the stairs out of the crypt, so that venture got a miss as well.

All in all, the cathedral seemed to be a bit barren, and I never found any saints’ relics, but it was definitely worth a visit.

Next it was time to explore the market, which was wonderful. Who knew there were so many kinds of shellfish? The market was bustling with people haggling over the prices of the fish and produce, and all around the market were little bars selling beer and tapas. It was really great fun, but a bit noisy so we decided to return to one of the restaurants on the square in front of the cathedral for lunch.

Fortified by our tapas and beer and wine, we continued with our wanderings through the city. There is a tower with a camera obscura, a castle, and some beautiful beaches. All within easy walking distance.

All in all, it was a great day out. One thing that struck us is that compared to the deserted high streets of the towns we visited in the UK, where the only shops seemed to be nail salons and charity shops, downtown Cadiz was thriving with loads of shops and hordes of people out shopping. It was so nice to see.

It was a hot day, and I really wished that I had my suitcase with my shorts and sandals in it. That would have been preferable to what I was wearing. However, I did have my hat I brought along to wear Trooping the Colour, so I was grateful for that.

At the cruise terminal we went through security and checked out the souvenir shop, and took the bus back to the ship. It was great to be back in the air conditioning again.

Iulia called us to let us know that our suitcases were still in Southampton because they needed to open mine because I had something suspicious in it, but they did not have the key. They would have to destroy the locks, but would repack all of my possessions into a new case they would give me.

I was not happy about this, especially as I really love my red suitcase, and did not want to have it destroyed. Also, I didn’t want someone else packing my things. However, the alternative was leaving my suitcase behind in Southampton, and I could pick it up at Ocean terminal on our way to Heathrow. There didn’t seem to be much choice. I said go ahead and destroy my beautiful suitcase.

Not feeling too happy we went to the Lido deck for the sail away. Habit To were playing, and they are really great, and we did enjoy sitting around the pool drinking pina coladas listening to them as we prepared to sail to Barcelona.

Captain Hoyt let us know that everyone was on board (this must be the first time I have not heard passengers being asked to call the pursers’ office), and we were ready to set sail. We had to back away from the dock and do a very tight turn in the harbor so we would be facing the right way. I was very impressed at how they were able to turn the ship around in such a narrow space. All is forgiven Captain Hoyt. Now you are my hero. It looked like a tight squeeze, but no harm came to our beautiful ship.

We returned to our cabin and sat on the balcony watching the coastline go by. Brian announced that on our next cruise we would have to bring a squeegee along to clean the glass, along with all of his other cruise necessities. So we will probably need Windex as well. The glass wasn’t that dirty, but I suppose clean glass would be nice. Yet another thing to add to our cruise essentials. Oh boy!

Captain Hoyt had said that we would be going through the Straits of Gibraltar at 10:00, so after dinner we went to the Commodore Club to watch our progress. It was still very light, and sure enough we could clearly see Europe on our port side, and Africa on our starboard. Everyone else in the Commodore Club was also clearly interested in our passage through the straits and we all sat watching our progress for the next hour.

The straits are narrower than I had remembered, and we were surrounded by other ships, but we safely made it through. In the Mediterranean at last. I look forward to returning through the Straits on our homeward journey so we can see what is all around us, but by night it really is magical with the twinkling lights of Europe and Africa surrounding us. We went out on deck – it was a perfect warm calm night. The kind that memories are made of.


Post Discussion


  1. Ruth Landau

    I love passing by ship through narrow passages and can imagine it was particularly beautiful given the setting.

    So sorry to hear about your beautiful suitcase being unceremoniously “bothered” but no doubt the lock can be repaired to new by a proper luggage shop. Something “suspicious?” Probably just some of your clever cabin accoutrements! Sail on and worry not!

  2. Christine Hodge

    Just loving your posts. Thanks for sharing. We met you and Brian briefly on Queen Mary 2 on that so sad cruise. We boarded in Sydney on our way to England. But, like you we had to leave the ship in Fremantle.
    Cunard did a wonderful job looking after us all under such difficult circumstances.
    This trip you’re doing looks fabulous.Continue to enjoy yourselves.

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I love to share my adventures with others, and hopefully give them some insight into what to expect on their own exciting travels. I hope reading my blog will be a useful resource, and inspire others to follow their travel dreams. As a travel advisor, I get great pleasure out of being able to help folks fulfill their aspirations by translating my experience in safari adventures and ocean voyages into memorable travel experiences for them.