Welcome to Chris and Lisa’s 50th Birthday cruise! Our ship for this voyage is the Celebrity Infinity with an itinerary of Spain and Portugal which are two of our favorite countries to visit. I had such a great time on Celebrity Summit in June I was excited for Chris to try it as well. Since we are celebrating a milestone birthday, we chose to try the Retreat and booked a guarantee suite. We ended up with an accessible Sky Suite on deck nine mid ship.
We waited for our flight in the Admirals lounge courtesy of our new credit card. The lounge was very close to our gate an albeit small it was so much more relaxing that the chaos of the boarding area. We enjoyed some Sauvignon Blanc and had roasted zucchini hummus, cheese, snack mix and some brownies. There were also soups, salads and chicken as well but I knew we would get some food on the plane.
Our flight boarded on time and we were in economy slightly extra, meaning earlier boarding and some extra leg room. The lady next to me moved right as we began to taxi after her husband came up to say something to her. I thought maybe a seat exchange was occurring but no, I scored the jackpot of an empty middle seat next to me. Chris, who was across the aisle was jealous of my good fortune.
The dinner was pretty bad even by airplane standards but I wasn’t starving due to the snacks. I watched some of the Office to help relax and put in some earplugs and an eye mask after my tray was cleared. I definitely got a little extra attention since the gentleman in the window seat was married to our flight attendant. They were both very sweet and he told me they were spending a week in Portugal but only because the Phillies did not make it to the World Series. I tried to sleep but I could not fall asleep but I hoped just relaxing in the darkness of the eye mask would trick my body enough.
Chris arranged for a driver from our hotel to meet us at the airport and we found him easily. Due to an early morning Sunday arrival, there was no traffic and we were quickly to our hotel, The Ivens. It was 7:10am when we checked in so we knew we would not get a room. The nice attendant, who checked us in, took pity on us and gave us a complimentary breakfast which was absolutely delicious. We had perfect coffees and the freshest, best croissants I have ever tasted. It might have ruined them for life. They also had refreshing fresh pineapple juice with mint that we both loved. I had some fruit and Chris had oatmeal.
It was unfortunately raining so we decided to just relax in the the lobby area for a bit. When the weather cleared some, we went for a little walk and spotted a place to try for lunch. The rain returned heavier so we went back to the hotel to wait out the rain and our room. A manager saw us and insisted we take a complimentary day room to relax until our upgraded room was ready. The room was very nice and I told him we would gladly just take that room but he insisted we wait for the other room that was “much nicer.” We both took a nap for about and hour and a quick shower before heading out to lunch. It made us feel so much better.
For lunch, we tried a salad type place. I had a falafel and salad and Chris had chicken with salad. It was a very nice light lunch. When we returned our room was ready and we switched to a bigger room with more of a view. The weather cleared and we walked to the plaza near the water. After a nice walk, it was back to the room to rest before our dinner. Shortly, upon returning there was a knock at the door. We were gifted some Prosecco and cake in celebration of our birthdays. What a nice touch!
I had noticed before we left that many restaurants were closed on Sunday so we made a reservation for the Gastrobar in our hotel. The decor of this bar was stunning. There was a decent crowd at 6:15 so I am glad we made reservations. There was a DJ playing music and the place had quite the vibe. We started with a Negroni and some oysters that were so fresh with delicious passion fruit mignonette. After seeing their post on Instagram of the fritto misto, I had to try it. It was so delicately fried and fresh. We both ordered a lobster burger for our dinners. At the suggestion of the bartender, we added caviar to them. The sommelier saw us reading the wine list and approached seconds later to help us choose vihno verde to have with our main. The wine was perfect and the sandwich was the stuff of dreams, a super flavorful lobster roll. We chose to drink an espresso martini for our dessert after watching one of the bartenders cocktail shaking abilities. With our drink, they offered us truffles to end our meal. We both really loved the experience of dining here and I would recommend it to anyone even if not staying at the hotel.
Chris suggested we go for a walk after dinner. We found the oldest operating bookshop according to Guinness Records. After our stroll, we went back to our room where our bed was turned down and we were both ready to finally get some much needed sleep.
We love to travel and experience new places and cultures.