Duncan Writes

Adventures of a part-time traveller.

Cádiz, Spain

12 September 2015

Today we had a lovely day walking round Cádiz before relaxing in the afternoon and enjoying some shows at night – a fantastic violinist and the virtual symphony!

This morning we got off the ship and decided to just have a leisurely walk around the port of Cádiz.  It’s a great port in that you dock right in the town so there is no annoying bus or paid for transfer to contend with – just get off the ship and you’re there!

We walked around the coast through some lovely parks, saw the beautiful theatre, and continued to the lovely Castle of San Sebastián which is accessed from a long fortified wall out into the sea.  From here you can get some lovely views, though much of the castle itself if currently being renovated by the looks of things!

We continued round the coast before visiting the cathedral which is absolutely stunning.  Entrance costs €5 per person and is cash only as far as I can tell, but this gives you access to the cathedral, the choir, the crypt, and the tower.  I love the crypt – very creepy – and the tower offers spectacular views across Cádiz.  Well worth the visit.  Also included is a very comprehensive audio guide which tells you about the various chapels and things you can see within the cathedral.

From here we relaxed with some frozen yoghurt (always delicious) before heading back to the ship for a very late lunch.

Café Promenade

We had a very quick lunch from Café Promenade back on board.  They offer some biscuits and sandwiches, as well as being a good place in the central atrium to get the horrible free coffee – it’s just across from the The Patisserie which offers proper espresso based coffee (albeit for a charge – well worth it!)  I had a prawn sandwich and a spicy turkey sandwich.  Alex had a chicken roti wrap and something else which I can’t remember the name of!  The food was tasty and fresh, and we took it into the adjacent Michael’s Pub where we enjoyed it with a couple of beers.

We spent the rest of the afternoon chilling out in the solarium and hot tub before going for dinner at Jamie’s Italian.

Jamie’s Italian

Jamie’s Italian was very good once again, and I even tried the Jamie’s own brand lager which was quite nice.  We came back because we got offered quite a significant discount (I think 40%) while dining at Devinly Decadence the previous night.  We were offered another discount at the end of Jamie’s Italian for any other speciality restaurant, so if you get to the end of the cruise and haven’t tried any of them, this might be a good way of doing it while minimising the cost.  Tonight’s visit to Jamie’s only cost us $18 each, which is very reasonable!


Our first show tonight was Gary Lovini who is a violinist from the UK and apparently holds the record for being the youngest ever performer on a Cunard ship (at age 16).  His performance was very good and he clearly loves what he does.  He plays classic music but with a modern twist – he had the ship’s band backing him – and this makes for a fast and furious performance!

He played some very well known classics as well as some modern music, and he finished with a medley of music from the Last Night of the Proms, which I absolutely love!  Highly recommended.

After this we went along to Two70º to see the Virtual Symphony.  Here they have the American Philharmonic Orchestra to film a variety of very accessible music using lots of 4k cameras, and high definition sound, and this fills Two70º just beautifully!

The only downside with the Virtual Symphony is that it’s not clear what the etiquette is around the show.  The venue isn’t closed off and the bar staff and bar continue to operate.  People mill in and out constantly and mostly nobody applauds between pieces.  Further, many people didn’t appear to be there to watch the show, and were just chatting at the back.  It made for an odd sort of environment, but still a great show with great sound, so I’d highly recommend it!