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  #1  
Old April 29th, 2012, 05:28 PM
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Default Barcelona

Sailing from Barcelona on October 03, 2012 and spending 4 nights precruise in Barcelona, staying at the Continental. Can anyone tell me what are the best gay things we can do while in the city? Best way to get around? and what the weather might be in late September, early October?

Joe
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  #2  
Old April 30th, 2012, 08:42 AM
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You're in easy walking distance of everything. The university is on the other side of Placa Catalunya from you and there were gay bars around. We noticed a gay bath across from the Continental but we did not visit. You're also at the nexus of the hop-on/hop-off buses. Have a great time. Our favorite things were Park Guell, just strolling around, and having coffee and people watching, so we're not going to be much help.
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Old April 30th, 2012, 02:34 PM
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We were in Barcelona later in October a few years go and took a day trip (~ 30 minutes via train) to Sitges. In case you were thinking about it, I am writing to say you may not want to bother. That resort town seems to be very seasonal and gay life was virtually non-existent in mid to late October; it was "sleepy", although it was pleasant enough to walk around.
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Old April 30th, 2012, 07:33 PM
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Default Barcelona

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrusingJoe View Post
Sailing from Barcelona on October 03, 2012 and spending 4 nights precruise in Barcelona, staying at the Continental. Can anyone tell me what are the best gay things we can do while in the city? Best way to get around? and what the weather might be in late September, early October?

Joe
The best way to see Barcelona is the Hop On Off Bus ... get the 2 day pass its only a little more expensive than the 1 day ... it has three different routes.

Barcelona is a wonderful place to walk around in the old part of town ... dont miss The Gaudi Segrada Familia ... I have a YouTube of Barcelona if you want to take a look at http://youtu.be/F1i0HMS3MvI

Its a great city ... have a great time .... I will be back there in Nov.
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Old April 30th, 2012, 07:46 PM
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The bus is fantastic. Someone staying at the Continental told us, and we agree having done it, that a good thing is to walk down Las Ramblas and then catch it at the bottom. You miss the long walk back up. We're not lazy but on a jet lag day, every bit helps.
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  #6  
Old May 1st, 2012, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFCAcruiser View Post
We were in Barcelona later in October a few years go and took a day trip (~ 30 minutes via train) to Sitges. In case you were thinking about it, I am writing to say you may not want to bother. That resort town seems to be very seasonal and gay life was virtually non-existent in mid to late October; it was "sleepy", although it was pleasant enough to walk around.
Thanks for the tip. How's the weather first weeks of October, hoping we'll have sun bathing temps on our itenerary.
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Old May 1st, 2012, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doonan View Post
The best way to see Barcelona is the Hop On Off Bus ... get the 2 day pass its only a little more expensive than the 1 day ... it has three different routes.

Barcelona is a wonderful place to walk around in the old part of town ... dont miss The Gaudi Segrada Familia ... I have a YouTube of Barcelona if you want to take a look at http://youtu.be/F1i0HMS3MvI

Its a great city ... have a great time .... I will be back there in Nov.
Great video and the bus sounds great, thanks.

Joe
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Old May 1st, 2012, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schplinky View Post
The bus is fantastic. Someone staying at the Continental told us, and we agree having done it, that a good thing is to walk down Las Ramblas and then catch it at the bottom. You miss the long walk back up. We're not lazy but on a jet lag day, every bit helps.
I think we will do the bus pass thing for 3 days, as my partner has a hard time walking. If you think of anything else to help us that would be great. It my first time over the pond and the Med, I am looking forward to it.

Thanks,

Joe
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  #9  
Old May 1st, 2012, 10:02 AM
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We were there in late Sept and the temps were perfect. About 75 i the day but cool at night.
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 10:54 AM
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The subway is also easy to navigate. Las Rambles is a great way to spend the afternoon, but hang on to your wallet. It is known for pickpockets. There are a lot of cafes there. Perfect for a drink and people watching.
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  #11  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 12:10 PM
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September weather is warm, expect around 25 celsius degrees. But there are also some rainy days.... Rain in Barcelona is more often in April and September-October.
If you like art, consider also visiting the Museum of Art (MNAC), their Romanic collection is gourgeus.

Josep
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 06:31 AM
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Whats the best way to get from the Airport BCN to downtown? Also how about getting to the ship? I have read their public buses, taxi, and subway is good. My hotel has quoited me $50 from BCN and $40 to the ship.
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 10:32 AM
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Aerobus is the bus that goes from Airport to Central Barcelona. It is cheap (5 euros), departs one every 10 minutes, and comfortable.
More info:
http://www.aerobusbcn.com/index.php/en.html
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 10:36 AM
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The aerobus stops about a block from the Continental. They stop on the Placa Catalunya. We took it when we stayed there (as are you, Joe). Totally convenient.
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 04:28 PM
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The aerobus stops about a block from the Continental. They stop on the Placa Catalunya. We took it when we stayed there (as are you, Joe). Totally convenient.
Great thanks, will we like the Continental? I know it's a great price.. So many questions, sorry.. We are early evening bar people 5 to 8pm, any good GLBT places in the area?
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Old May 4th, 2012, 08:39 AM
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Great thanks, will we like the Continental? I know it's a great price.. So many questions, sorry.. We are early evening bar people 5 to 8pm, any good GLBT places in the area?
Well, I don't know you well (ok, at all) but I can tell you that we liked it. I think that it mostly depends on what you're looking for. We wanted a place that didn't feel like it could be a Marriott in any North American city. We work hard against that impulse some people have where they want to go to a foreign country but then live as though they're back in North America. A good example of this would be the long line of people we recognised from our CC roll call at the Hard Rock Cafe because they "just wanted a taste of home." This was on the first day!!

So what is the Continental like? It really is a small hotel. It's only two or three floors of a small building. You reach it by walking up the stairs or taking the very small elevator (two people and their luggage is a snug fit). The lobby is small ad consists of the front desk, a luggage storage area and the breakfast room. We had heard they would let us store our luggage the day we arrived but in the end, we didn't need to because they checked us in at 9 a.m., which won them big points in our ledger.

The hotel itself is only about 35 rooms. If we went back, we'd get a Ramblas view but we were shy about wanting that, fearing street noise, but our friends said the windows were really effective about blocking out noise. We had a room with a view on the side street, which was fine. There are interior view rooms which look into an air shaft. Essentially, it was too gloomy for us and not worth the saving.

The room was fine. A King bed or two twins seems to be the same thing in most hotels there, which is to say when it's a king, they push it together and make it as one bed. We opted for two twins because we thought we might sleep fitfully after the jetlag and all. The bathroom was quite large and had a bidet, a first for us.

The decor of the hotel is a little over the top floral, but in a way, that added to the quirky charm for us. Orwell stayed there once, and I could imagine that. I can't imagine him staying at the W.

You are one block from the Boqueria (the big market; not to be missed) but make sure you don't save it for Sunday as it will be closed. You're across the Placa Catalunya from El Corte Ingles, which is sort of like a Spanish Macys, but a bit more upscale. Placa Catalunya seems to be the nexus for a lot of the things that happen in the city and all the hop on hop offs pass there, I think. The Gothis quarter is just down the hill a block and to the left.

We didn't really go out to gay bars because we were pooped. I do think there were a lot of them and there is a gay hotel (the Axel) a few blocks away that has a bar.

Our only challenge in Barcelona was time. Some of the restaurants didn't even open until 8 or so and between jetlag ad our own natural inclination to be early people when we travel, food was a slight challenge, but not a huge one. The Gothic Quarter had a few restaurants that opened early (as early as 7! )so that helped. The breakfast at the hotel is good but more of a European breakfast. Don't expect bacon and eggs so much as cereal, cheese and bread. The hotel provides free beer and bottled water. The cruisers took full advantage of this, to a point where it was a little grubby on the last night. It seemed that they were trying to stock their cruise cabins for the whole trip.

Someone from CC arranged for the hotel to get vans for the trip to the port. Not wanting to be waiting on other people, we just went out into the street and got a cab. Our ride was cheaper and we didn't have to wait for anyone.
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  #17  
Old May 4th, 2012, 07:44 PM
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Doonan Doonan is offline
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I agree with with the others ... The Aerobus is the best way in to the City. From the Hotel to Ship the best way is a cab as you will have bags and its not that far (don't try walking as from the harbour gates to the area the cruise ships berth is a long walk with bags).

Eating is late in Spain (its the way they live). If you eat early you will get places to yourself (maybe other tourists), whilst eat late its the locals and you can have a lot of fun. To adjust have a Tapas some place in the afternoon they will keep you going .... plus they are very nice with a glass of the local wine.

Neil
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  #18  
Old May 5th, 2012, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Schplinky View Post
Well, I don't know you well (ok, at all) but I can tell you that we liked it. I think that it mostly depends on what you're looking for. We wanted a place that didn't feel like it could be a Marriott in any North American city. We work hard against that impulse some people have where they want to go to a foreign country but then live as though they're back in North America. A good example of this would be the long line of people we recognised from our CC roll call at the Hard Rock Cafe because they "just wanted a taste of home." This was on the first day!!

So what is the Continental like? It really is a small hotel. It's only two or three floors of a small building. You reach it by walking up the stairs or taking the very small elevator (two people and their luggage is a snug fit). The lobby is small ad consists of the front desk, a luggage storage area and the breakfast room. We had heard they would let us store our luggage the day we arrived but in the end, we didn't need to because they checked us in at 9 a.m., which won them big points in our ledger.

The hotel itself is only about 35 rooms. If we went back, we'd get a Ramblas view but we were shy about wanting that, fearing street noise, but our friends said the windows were really effective about blocking out noise. We had a room with a view on the side street, which was fine. There are interior view rooms which look into an air shaft. Essentially, it was too gloomy for us and not worth the saving.

The room was fine. A King bed or two twins seems to be the same thing in most hotels there, which is to say when it's a king, they push it together and make it as one bed. We opted for two twins because we thought we might sleep fitfully after the jetlag and all. The bathroom was quite large and had a bidet, a first for us.

The decor of the hotel is a little over the top floral, but in a way, that added to the quirky charm for us. Orwell stayed there once, and I could imagine that. I can't imagine him staying at the W.

You are one block from the Boqueria (the big market; not to be missed) but make sure you don't save it for Sunday as it will be closed. You're across the Placa Catalunya from El Corte Ingles, which is sort of like a Spanish Macys, but a bit more upscale. Placa Catalunya seems to be the nexus for a lot of the things that happen in the city and all the hop on hop offs pass there, I think. The Gothis quarter is just down the hill a block and to the left.

We didn't really go out to gay bars because we were pooped. I do think there were a lot of them and there is a gay hotel (the Axel) a few blocks away that has a bar.

Our only challenge in Barcelona was time. Some of the restaurants didn't even open until 8 or so and between jetlag ad our own natural inclination to be early people when we travel, food was a slight challenge, but not a huge one. The Gothic Quarter had a few restaurants that opened early (as early as 7! )so that helped. The breakfast at the hotel is good but more of a European breakfast. Don't expect bacon and eggs so much as cereal, cheese and bread. The hotel provides free beer and bottled water. The cruisers took full advantage of this, to a point where it was a little grubby on the last night. It seemed that they were trying to stock their cruise cabins for the whole trip.

Someone from CC arranged for the hotel to get vans for the trip to the port. Not wanting to be waiting on other people, we just went out into the street and got a cab. Our ride was cheaper and we didn't have to wait for anyone.
If we keep this up we might become best friends Thanks for your help. We feel the same way as you do about trying a local hotel. I asked for a hotel room on the top floor over looking the street, hope I get it. We will be in the city for four days before the cruise so it should give us plenty of time to see a lot. We are flying BOS DUB BCN and arriving at 10am and will try to sleep from BOS DUB so not have jet lag. Have a good weekend, hope it's warm as here it's cool and damp this weekend.

Joe & Jim
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Last edited by CrusingJoe; May 5th, 2012 at 08:02 AM.
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  #19  
Old May 5th, 2012, 08:52 PM
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JackHamilton JackHamilton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrusingJoe View Post
I asked for a hotel room on the top floor over looking the street, hope I get it.
Sit on the balcony at night and watch the pickpockets. Very entertaining, and you'll learn what not to do. You can't easily see how they work the crowd while you're in it, but it's obvious from above. If your room doesn't have a balcony, you can watch from the lobby.

We stayed at the Continental for a few days before a cruise. It was a good place for a short first visit, easy to find and centrally located. If I go back, I will find somewhere else that's farther from tourist central, and therefore a better bargain, but there's nothing wrong with the Continental. A dozen or so people from the cruise stayed there, so we got to know each other before boarding.
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  #20  
Old May 6th, 2012, 03:50 PM
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hotdog647 hotdog647 is offline
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Default HO-HO and Cab to Pier

The airport bus is a bargain and a short walk from the drop off to the Continental. Be aware there are 2 different hop on-hop off bus lines. One has 2 routes- orange and blue, one has 3- red green and blue I think. Prices are similar and both cover pretty much the same tourist sites. Both leave from Plaza Catalunya.

The cab to the pier is pricey. The cab itself is 10-12 Euros, plus a 2 Euro per bag supplement, plus a 2-3 Euro pier drop off fee. The best solution is to try to hook up, I mean meet up, with others on your cruise before you leave. Try your Roll Call on Cruise Critic. We started with a 35 Euro 6 person Mercedes van (plus the 2-3 Euro port fee-no baggage fee) and ended up with a 50 passenger bus for 6 Euros per person leaving from Hard Rock Cafe right around the corner from the Continental. Continental has the 24 hr free food, beer, wine, juice etc buffet so you will never go hungry or thirsty.

As mentioned above, dinner usually starts 8-10pm, but you can find food somewhere anytime, even if it's just the (pricey) BurgerKing across the street. Doug
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