Cruise to Lisbon

At the risk of offending our Portuguese friends, it's hard to imagine that half the known world was once ruled from Lisbon. The city doesn't pound its chest as hard as other European capitals, and it's a welcome change. Lisbon is laidback, sophisticated, old, down right charming and a reward to those who visit. The Alfama neighborhood is a must-see warren of tiny, ancient streets; on the other side of the city, you can get lost in the Bairro Alto, too. Monuments, cathedrals, castles and museums abound. (It's Europe, after all.) Shop for port, the nation's famed drink, and Portuguese cotton and tiles. Enjoy the rightfully world-famous seafood. You can hit the beach, if that's your fancy. But whatever you do, make sure you go up: Lisbon is a city of hills. Head up and look down on the tiled city, and far out to the Atlantic — the ocean that transformed Portugal into a world power. After all, you're not simply a passenger on a cruise ship. You're an explorer, too.