Virtual Cruise Day 4 and 5, Celebrity Summit Trans-Atlantic

madeira

Day 4 was a fantastic sea day on our Celebrity Summit cruise. We started off the day with another one of my favorite activities, “sleeping in”. Our first meal of the day was a wonderful lunch in the main dining room at 1:00. Again the selections, portions, and service were just right.

After lunch I found a quiet spot to get out the computer and work with the kids on their school projects. We edited a few of our own pictures and imported them into their power point presentation.

After lunch we enjoyed another one of our favorite activities, wine tasting. Celebrity offered a wine trip around the world with a tasting opportunity for both reds and white from Chile, USA, Spain, Italy, France and Australia. Again probably the thing I enjoyed the most was chatting with the other passengers about the wines. We had nearly as many countries represented in the passengers as we did in the wines.

The wine tasting also allowed us to chat with our own sommelier about the wines we liked and wines he would recommend. We felt that this really gave him and opportunity to share his knowledge of the ship’s wine. We have found his service to be outstanding.

The ship was definitely moving a bit yesterday, and I was just glad that I have my sea legs. It was nice to be able to cope with it with-out sedating medication. A few others that I talked to were taking Bonine or Dramamine. I added a little ginger from the Sushi bar. The evening entertainment had to be changed at the last minute due to high seas. They announced that the seas were not expected to be any less rocky and might pose a risk to the dancers. At the last minute they substituted Jack Walker and the A’ Capella singing group for the scheduled production show. The groups started the show with some nicely done close harmony “do-wop” singing. Then Jack came out and did his “second’ show that included one of my favorites, “Bring Him Home” from Les Miserables. We headed off to bed early as we wanted to be fresh for our trip into Funchal, Madeira.

That brings us to this morning when we enjoyed the sunrise over the deserted islands off the cost as we pulled into port. Steve was wanting to simply relax on the ship rather than be dragged on one of my “do everything” self guided tours. So we left him behind as we headed into the town. The shuttle “provided” by Celebrity cost $10 per person, so we decided to work off some of the great food and walk the extra ½ mile into town from the pier. This worked out really well for the kids and me, however I wouldn’t recommend this for anyone not used to or able to walk extended distances. We enjoyed walking around several of the city’s gardens, souvenir shopping, the cathedral, and the waterfront promenade. I also tasted a bit of Madeira wine, but only in a gift shop, rather than a winery. With it just being the kids and I, I thought it better not to drag them on a winery tour. After walking back to the ship to drop off our purchases, we decided to partake in a bit of a splurge and do the Toboggan Run from Monte into the town.

The toboggan run dates back several centuries and has for years served as the primary method of bringing tourist from the mountain “suburb” of Monte into the city of Funchal. We took a cab up to the top of the mountain where we enjoyed a quick walking tour of the garden areas and the famous hill top black and white church. We then went down to the street where the wicker toboggan run operates. These wicker sleds with metal runners are guided down the hill by two “drivers” wearing traditional hat and rubber soled shoes used for breaking. The run is only two kilometers long and takes riders about ½ ways down the mountain. We enjoyed a three person ride for $25 total, plus a 5 Euro tip. Even though this activity seems to be a step back in time, technology has caught up to even the small island of Madiera. A photographer snapped our picture ½ way through the ride and a sales person had an 8X10 ready to sell to us in a framed keepsake folder and a folk music CD all for only 10 Euros. The folk music CD sold me on the keep sake and I ended up purchasing it for us to keep.

After the ride we then had to walk straight down the narrow streets to the city. This took about a ½ hour. We enjoyed the walk, but again I wouldn’t recommend this walk unless one is very active and mobile.

After returning to the ship on foot, we enjoyed a nice sail-a-way from our own balcony.