How to Split Time Between Spain & Portugal?

I’m interested in joining a 7-night western European Disney Magic cruise with stops in Barcelona, Cartagena, Porto, La Coruña, Bilbao, and Dover. With only one day in Porto, I’m seeking recommendations for a cruise that offers a balanced itinerary between Spain and Portugal. Your insights and recommendations are greatly appreciated!


I’m interested in that too.

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Are you married to Disney cruise line? (I actually can’t even find the itinerary that you are listing.) I had previously looked at some Royal Caribbean Spanish cruises as the least expensive ones in Europe and there is an 8 night on the Brilliance that hits Portugal twice, both Porto and Lisbon.


Sorry to interrupt, but shouldn’t this thread have been posted in the DCL category, not Universal? @joseplan You should be able to change the headings, or one of the moderators can do it for you.


Disney did this itinerary once in 2022 with the Magic. However, the Magic is no longer the ship that’s going to Europe in the summer. This the Dream will do the European itineraries & next year it will be the Fantasy. Also, it doesn’t look like Dover or Porto as ports any longer.

The closest itinerary this year is Barcelona, Cartagena, Lisbon, Vigo, La Coruña, ending in Southampton sailing on June 17, 2024 on the Dream or July 24, 2025 on the Fantasy.

Best of luck looking for those itineraries. Also, from my experience to cruising thus far, the time in ports is extremely limited. It’s more like a preview of the port so you can decide if it’s a place you’d ever come back to see at length. Since you only have so many hours in a day.

@mprpse I found the Disney Cruise itinerary here:

@melcort10 While I’m not set on a Disney Cruise, my son prefers it, so I’m considering it. Appreciation to you for giving information about the 8-night Royal Caribbean Cruise with visits in Porto and Lisbon The Royal Caribbean Brilliance cruise seems like a great alternative.

Exploring different cruise options can provide a range of experiences. I’ll discuss this with my family, but if they still prefer a Disney Cruise, I may opt for a local guide in Lisbon such as to maximize our time there. Thank you for suggesting this alternative for our European cruise adventure!

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Thank you for the reminder, @mkmuzzy. I appreciate your input and have made the necessary adjustment by changing the heading to “Disney Cruise Line.”


Thanks for doing that. You may get more people to respond to your cruising questions now.

I have done a fair amount of cruising, but only our first one was on DCL (many years ago), and none have been European - yet. Good luck!

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Thanks for the information and insight into Disney’s European cruise itineraries, @lolabear_la. It’s helpful to know the ship rotations and typical port times. You’re right that one day rarely gives enough time to fully experience a place, so it’s good to manage expectations. Based on the 2024/2025 itineraries you mentioned, Lisbon and Cartagena sound especially interesting to me. I’ll have to research both cities more to see if that sailing might align with other travel plans. Appreciate you taking the time to provide the details - it’s great to get insight from someone who’s done cruises before.

My transatlantic last fall stopped at A Coruña, Vigo, and Lisbon and the ports were all great, execept as mentioned there’s not a ton of time in any port.

On Lisbon day I did a small group private bus tour (7 of us), which would have been a perfect overview of the city except there was a government workers’ strike so we couldn’t go inside any of the museums or monuments.

One highlight of the day was a stop for a walking tour of the old city, Alfama. We had more time for that because of the closures, and it’s what the local guide was most excited to show us (closely followed by taking a couple of us to a more out of the way Cafe to get the Portuguese pastel de nata pastries.

Vigo was a downtime day for me because it rained quite hard and I was midway through a 19-day trip. I only went out in the afternoon for a bit, but I wish I’d seen more of the city.

A Coruña is a lovely, old city with a lot of churches and historical buildings. My cruise friends and I did a walking tour based on a blog I found by a local who was coming back to town for a visit during a cruise stop.

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Thank you for sharing your experience exploring the ports in Spain and Portugal, @Nikkipoooo. It’s helpful to hear about your private bus tour in Lisbon and the highlights of visiting Alfama, despite the closures due to the government workers’ strikes. I also appreciate the insights into Vigo and A Coruña - it’s good to manage expectations for the limited time in each port. While unplanned rainy days are unavoidable, it’s nice to have the highlights of each destination for future reference. Cruises do require making the most of shorter port visits, and your tips will definitely help me plan activities and tours, including alternative plans for unforeseen events.

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