Funchal is the largest city, the municipal seat and the capital of Portugal's Autonomous Region of Madeira. The city has a population of 111,892 and has been the capital of Madeira for more than five centuries. Funchal is the leading Portuguese port on cruise liner dockings.
The name is from the Portuguese word «funcho» (fennel) and the suffix «-al», to denote «a plantation of fennel».
Within minutes of arriving on board Funchal you will find yourself settling in and beginning to feel right at home. Your bags will be delivered to your cabin door by one of Portuscale Cruises' friendly and efficient porters, enabling you to start unpacking even before the vessel sails. Inside, you will find an information pack, safety directions and the name of your personal cabin steward or stewardess, who will visit twice-daily to make up your room every morning and turn down your bed at night.
Every one of unchal's cabins includes its own ensuite bathroom with a wall-mounted hair dryer, a large mirror and complimentary Portuscale Cruises toiletries, a bar fridge, a safe to protect your small valuables, a flat screen tv, and a desk and/or a bedside chest of drawers. Your cabin may also include a padded chair, a sofa and perhaps a coffee table, depending on the accommodation category you choose. A direct-dial telephone allows you to call ashore or elsewhere on the ship in privacy and comfort. With the vessel's 241 cabins dispersed over six separate decks, you won't find crowds in the corridors, queues or congestion in the ship's many public areas.
For your convenience, two restaurants are open at mealtimes; the large, open-plan Restaurant Lisboa and its smaller, more intimate neighbour, Restaurant Coimbra. Both are served from a state of the art galley designed to allow the preparation of all meals from scratch. Even the bread is baked on board, arriving at the table so fresh that often it's still warm from the oven. For outdoor dining to take advantage of fine, warm weather while at sea, there is also an open buffet area aft on the Navigators Deck. Whether your cruise lasts only a few days or stretches over several weeks or more, the array of international cuisine laid out for breakfast, lunch and after tea, dinner and supper is ever changing. You will not find a dinner menu repeated, no matter how many nights your cruise spans at sea. If you are feeling adventurous, this is an ideal opportunity to try foods you might never have the opportunity to order on land; guinea fowl or quail, monkfish or salted cod, custard tarts or sorbet. It's also an excellent chance to ask your maitre d' or resturant wine steward's advice on pairing white, red or rose with your main course.
Funchal's social facilities include five bar lounges, Gama Lounge with its wide screen TV's and cosy velvet armchairs and sofas; Porto Bar, with a baby grand piano for sophisticated evening entertainment; Havana Cigar Club; Ilha Verde Lounge for after dinner shows, presentations, lectures and films; and Bar Lido, adjoining the spacious swimming pool area with its freshwater showers on the Promenade Deck. All are stylish, cosy and classic in both decor and service, stocking a generous range of fine wines from Europe and/or Australia and classic international coffees, teas, soft drinks, beers, spirits and liqueurs. Additional facilities include a casino fitted with poker machines and a card room and library. Out on deck, shuffleboard equipment is freely available. For younger passengers (and those who are young at heart), there is also the iTeen Room with its range of electronic games consoles.
Although relaxation is the name of the game on any cruise, the importance of staying fit and well is not forgotten. The Wellness and Beauty Centre includes gym facilities such as stationary bicycles, as well as pampering services ranging from manicures and facials to hairdressing, waxing and massage. Walking laps of the deck is also popular, whether in an organised early morning session or at a time to suit your own routine.