Timely question. I plan on being in Funchal on a trans-Atlantic out of Southhampton (8 or 9 Nov 08). I had the same question. I read by chance in a garden magazine about the amazing gardens and botanical beauty on the island. They showed pictures of the Reid hotel which has 10 acres of gardens. I plan trying to visit the Reid and walk the grounds. Of course, I'm a gardener, you may not be. But the island is suppose to be gorgeous and the town is quaint according to descriptions. The wine is rated excellent too. Happy cruising. I'll tell you thoughts in Nov.