As promised, here's an account of my trip with my partner to Portugal.
Background: I am an Indian national, my unmarried partner of 3 years is Dutch, and we live together in the UK - the relationship based on which I now have a Residence card as family member of the EEA national.
Pre-requisites: Armed with printouts of the EU directive, the Border Guards' handbook, + proof of living together, such as bills, mail, joint bank account statement.
The trip: A wedding in Madeira Portugal, but trip via Faro, Portugal. Transport: Easyjet for onward journey from the new London- Southend Airport to Faro. Easyjet again from Porto, Portugal to London Gatwick.
The Experience: having tried easyJet before, we were fairly confident that we would not have had a problem at Southend Airport, but were quite concerned about the Portuguese authorities. As hoped, things went well at the easyjet counter, fairly quickly we were on our flight.
When we landed at Faro, we chose to go through the EU passport section, with fingers crossed, but armed with documentation. But we needn't have worried - the lady officer at the counter was really on top of her game. She did ask me a few standard questions like how long we were going to be there and what the plan was, etc. Had a bit of a chat about madeira as apparently she was born there. She asked if we were flying out of Faro as well, we said no, Porto. She said all good, but she stamped my passport. (Yes yes I know she isn't supposed to, but having read the portuguese version of the directive, I think they can if they choose to. And quite frankly, I was just happy there was no hassle, so I didn't care about a stamp on my passport.)
Especially after the Holland episode previously, we couldn't believe just how EASY it was!!! We were actually quite stunned. If only it was always like this!
Return Journey: At the passport control, it was just as easy as the entry session. Again, my passport was stamped by the officer, and he wished us a safe flight.
Not once did we have to refer or even mention the directive, proof of relationship, Eu laws or anything at all!
And really, anyone wanting a holiday should seriously consider Portugal - its such a beautiful country, especially in the Algarve and the shoreline - and we found the people in general to be quite chilled out and friendly.