So last night I FINALLY got off to a good start in Europa Universalis IV as Portugal. I have completed about 3 missions and restaked my claim in North Africa by enlisting Castile (through royal marriage) in a war against Morocco. It did cost the bank quite a bit so I had to reduce my naval strength
I managed to also upgrade my technology and I went economic. I had a slight problem with a revolt in one province but Castile came in to help me crush it.
I eventually sued for peace with Morocco and now I can sit back and recover a bit since my foothold on North Africa is a little more stable