Many were disappointed that Vigo was cancelled.
James, a Frenchman, who sits with us at dinner, was upset. He was intending to take the train to Compostela de Santiago.
James says doesn’t know why his mother decided to give him an English name. He was born in a small town in Northern France, 100 miles north of Paris, and lived there all his life, until retirement, teaching history in a local school. After retiring, he sold up and bought a flat in Paris where he still lives.
We have a table of 8 for dinner. Liz now lives in Chester and is with her elderly father Anthony. She has not cruised before but Anthony has. Liz appears to be enjoying her first cruising experience. Then there are Ray and Margaret. They used to live in Ferndown, Dorset but to be nearer to children and grandchildren they moved to Bagshot. The table is fun but sadly 5 of them will be leaving on Friday when new companions will arrive.
The daily programme said that we would be arriving in Lisbon at 9.00am on Sunday. I awoke soon after 6.00 to find that we had passed under the 25 de Abril bridge and were moving slowly towards our berth. These were views from our balcony.
As we had a tour organised for the next day, we decided to take the shuttle into Lisbon. This would be a test for Cunard. It was a fair walk to the terminal building. We saw some shuttle buses and alongside an adapted vehicle with a lift. Two ladies in wheelchairs were already in position and there was room for a third. Jane was installed and Kim and I climbed aboard.
Because of traffic we were told that it was likely to be 35/40 minutes to the drop off point in the middle of Lisbon. That meant that if you just missed the adapted vehicle there could be a 70/80 minute wait. I raised this with a local girl in charge of shuttles. She assured me that a second vehicle would be used. We never saw it.
We explored the beautiful squares. Wherever we went there were hoards of tourists. The explanation was that it’s too hot to visit Lisbon in the summer. Although the floor of this square appears otherwise it is in fact flat.
It was a tiring day, but we covered a sizeable area, much of which was new to us.
With Kim reading the map we returned to the meeting point. Guess what. No adapted vehicle. The local girl rang her colleague by the ship. I asked her where the second adapted vehicle was. She said it was on a lunch break! The other girl said it had to go elsewhere to help out.
Sorry to bother you with this but I know that Cunard read the blog and I want them to know yet again how poor their service is for the disadvantaged.
We had to wait 40 minutes before the adapted vehicle arrived. It was the same one that had taken us into Lisbon in the morning.
Some of you will know that I had an hour long meeting at Carnival House, Southampton about 6 weeks ago. It was with the people at Cunard responsible for shore excursions and shuttle services for wheelchair users. I told them how poor the service is and how it should be changed and improved. They clearly didn’t listen to me.