I cannot believe today is already the fifth day of my cruise on Anthem of the Seas! Today we docked in La Coruña, Spain, a medium-sized city in Spain’s Galicia region, located directly above Portugal. With green hills, dramatic ocean cliffs, and small beaches dotted throughout coves in the landscape, La Coruña was a gorgeous place to spend the day.
The cruise port is conveniently located in the center of town, so we were able to walk off the ship and immediately start exploring.
One trend I've noticed on this cruise is that while ships dock at 8AM, the ports are very sleepy until at least 9 or 10. When we got off the ship around 8:45, cafes were only starting to open and the town was really quiet.
Breakfast and ocean views
I decided to skip breakfast on the ship today in favor of dining at a local cafe in Spain. While I go on cruises fairly often, it's not everyday I can enjoy breakfast in Spain!
Samantha and I stumbled upon the Praza de María Pita, a large public square lined with historic buildings, restaurants, and cafes. Here we enjoyed pastries, fresh squeezed orange juice, and a cafe con leche.
Like every port we've been to so far, we arrived with no plan of how to spend the day. What's great about cruising to European ports is that the infrastructure caters to pedestrians, meaning you can explore most ports without worrying about needing buses, taxis, or boats to get around.
We came across a beautiful waterfront pathway which first led us to a small beach. After relaxing at the beach, we continued along the path. This turned into one of the most beautiful coastal walking trails I’ve ever explored.
Located at the very northwest corner of Spain, La Coruña’s landscape and rocky, treacherous coastline is breathtaking. One of the city’s most iconic landmarks is the Tower of Hercules, the oldest surviving lighthouse in the world. With a height of around 180 feet, the lighthouse towers over the coast and was quite impressive to see.
The walking trail was the perfect place to spend a sunny morning in Spain, but all the walking quickly made us hungry!
Lunchtime in the city
Because La Coruña is a quiet town, we decided to have a relaxing, long lunch in port. We stumbled upon a local restaurant with a menu del día (menu of the day). For €10.60 each, we enjoyed two glasses of tinto de verano (a sweet wine drink), a pasta and egg appetizer, bread, a Thai rice dish, chocolate pudding, and coffee. It was an amazing deal and the food was delightful!
We sat outdoors for around 2 hours, taking in the culture and views of La Coruña. One fascinating fact about Galicia is that the native language of the region is Galician, which is actually more closely related to Portuguese than Spanish. Around 2.5 million people speak Galician, and you’ll hear both languages when visiting La Coruña.
Our day in port finished with a brief stroll back to the ship along La Coruña's waterfront. I relaxed on one of the city's park benches in front of the harbor for a bit before getting back onboard.
La Coruña impressions
La Coruña is definitely the sleepiest town we have visited so far on this itinerary, but I loved the relaxed vibe of the city. I’m honestly not sure where most passengers from the ship went today because everywhere we visited was uncrowded.
If you’re happy to wander through beautiful walking trails, visit the Tower of Hercules, and indulge in Galician cuisine, La Coruña makes for a tranquil port day. While it may not offer as many tourist attractions and activities as a city like Valencia or Barcelona, I loved being able to walk around and learn more about Galicia’s culture and landscapes.
After three port days in a row, I would say that this itinerary works best for those who are more interested in visiting small towns over Europe’s biggest, most touristy cities. If it’s your first time visiting Europe, you may prefer an itinerary to cities like Rome, Nice, and Naples to see attractions such as the Colosseum, Pompeii, etc.
If you’ve already seen those places, though, venturing to smaller, lesser-known towns will offer the opportunity to see these countries from a new perspective and connect more with local culture rather than quickly hopping from attraction to attraction.
Because I’ve already visited many of western Europe’s big cities, this cruise itinerary is exactly what I was hoping for! I probably never would have thought about visiting Galicia, for example, and now I am already itching to go back.
I was back onboard around 3:30 and took around two hours to relax in my stateroom before heading to dinner.
We enjoyed another dinner in the Main Dining Room tonight. I think this is the most I have ever eaten in the Main Dining Room on a cruise! While I often opt for a quick dinner at the buffet after port or the occasional specialty restaurant, it’s been nice to feel “spoiled” every night in the dining room.
After ten cruises, I still can’t believe how fancy it feels when the waiter brings out the scraper to clean crumbs off the table before dessert. I ordered pesto tagliatelle and cherries jubilee for dinner tonight and they were both delicious!
A well-anticipated event was scheduled after dinner: my first Broadway production on a Royal Caribbean cruise!
So far, I’ve been on three other Royal Caribbean ships with Broadway shows (Oasis, Harmony, and Independence of the Seas). Each time, the Broadway show was canceled due to omicron or crew injury. Because of this, I was super excited to watch We Will Rock You in the Royal Theater on Anthem of the Seas.
We Will Rock You tells the story of the battle between the Bohemians and an oppressive establishment. While the Bohemians want to uncover the freedom of rock n’ roll, the futuristic establishment tries to oppress anyone from playing and discovering history’s greatest music.
Let’s just say my mind was blown by the incredible performance; it is by far the best show I’ve seen on any ship yet! I now understand why everyone raves about Royal Caribbean’s Broadway shows. The 2-hour production was extremely high-energy, with classic rock n’ roll tunes that turned the theater into a giant party.
The cast was beyond talented as well, with the best vocals I’ve ever heard on a cruise ship! I usually find it difficult to understand Royal Caribbean’s more abstract entertainment shows, so I loved having an easy-to-follow storyline mixed with wonderful live music. Samantha and I might see the show again tomorrow because we enjoyed it so much.
Tomorrow is a much-needed sea day after three busy port days in a row!