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  #1  
Old May 27th, 2012, 05:40 PM
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Default Alicante Review, May 8

Alicante was our second port stop on the April 27 Crown Princess trans-atlantic cruise. My review is below, and if you have any questions, please ask!



We had never heard of this town before booking this cruise and figured it would be a “so-so” stop. Far from it!! We loved Alicante! I had done a little research ahead of time and found several self-guided walking tours; I believed I used www.alicante-turismo.com. Those were very helpful.
Alicante provides a free shuttle bus to the town. You will only have to walk a block to the exquisite Esplanada – a promenade with a wavy mosaic pattern made from almost 7 million colored marble tiles. and lined with palm trees and with gorgeous flowers in the median. Pensioners sit in chairs in small groups; what a way to while away the time. We walked along it for a while but had a hike ahead of us which we wanted to finish before it got too hot.



The Castillo de Santa Barbara dominates the town, and that was our goal. You can take an elevator up, but we wanted to walk the old city walls all the way up. We had a difficult time finding the beginning of the walls, but that was fine – our journey took us through El Barrio, the old town with charming white-washed houses in tiny streets filled with flowers, and we were happy enough to get lost. If you want to do this, continue through El Barrio, following signs to the Santa Cruz church. Once there, follow the path down to the street; go left along that street; and it will take you to the old walls. The walk is long and you have a good ascent, but anyone in reasonable shape could do this. The views are beautiful. If you prefer, you can ask directions to Ereta Park, which is a terraced park in front of the castle, and walk the switchbacks all the way to the castle (we took this was down, and it is lovely). The castle is free, and once you’re there, it is quite an extensive place to explore. It is definitely worth it, elevator or hike.


After the castle, we walked to the beach and strolled the water’s edge to the sandbar and back. Back into Alicante itself for some walking and sightseeing. If this interests you, El Barrio has a Nativity Scene Museum that is free and excellent. We made our way through more streets over to the Rambla, the Central Market, bought some tourron (local sweet – kind of a dry nougat with nuts),and sat at a beautiful fountain before finding the Promenade again (the opposite end from where we began) and walking back to meet the shuttle late afternoon (the ship left at 6pm).
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Old May 28th, 2012, 04:58 AM
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Hi, thank you for your feedback.

We live in Alicante (just outside the city right on the coast) and I am glad you enjoyed it here. It is always good to hear other people's opinions.

It is not really a touristy town in the same way that Barcelona is but there is quite a lot to do in and around the town - especially for a port call from a cruise.

Since they built the new cruise terminal, we are always surprised that more cruises do not stop here.

You did well walking up to the castle. That is quite a walk .

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Last edited by English_in_Spain; May 28th, 2012 at 04:59 AM.
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Old May 28th, 2012, 08:41 AM
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Thank you! We just loved Alicante. Quaint and yet with plenty to walk around, see, and enjoy. We were especially impressed that Alicante provided a free shuttle to the ship. Several of our other ports really stick it to the passengers with "mandatory" shuttles that are overpriced. What Alicante does is very tourist-friendly and welcoming.
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Old May 29th, 2012, 11:46 AM
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We were also impressed with city. We took the elevator up to the castle and walked down to the old town and stopped for a couple of 1 e beers!
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Old May 29th, 2012, 04:36 PM
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We were with you on the TA cruise, and fully agree Alicante was beautiful. The weather was perfect and the town was really clean. We hiked up to the castle too, and the views were amazing! As noted, there is lots to explore once in the castle, and the trip down was fun too. We walked into the market area of town and had some local beers. Princess didn't really offer any tours of the city, and for this I'm rather glad, since just walking around was one of the highlights of being at Alicante. Hopefully, only a few ships will come during the year - I heard about 70 will stop in - and the town will both enjoy the ships passengers as much as the passengers will enjoy Alicante. If it becomes a big draw, then most of the local will start hiding - and everyone will miss out on the friendly atmosphere. BTW Fear-The-Turtle: Thanks for the great write-ups on the cruise and ports!
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Old July 1st, 2012, 09:50 PM
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Default Visirting Alcante in two weeks on RCL Independence

We will on the Independence of the Seas mid July. One of our stops will be Alicante and we are thinking of taking a ship's tour. firstly do you recommend a guided tour or do you feel we could do things on our own. If we do the ship's tour this is hat we are considering.

Panoramic Alicante and Elche Huerto Del Cura Municipal park

Cactus Gardens and Algar fountains

And other more Panoramic views.

Guadalest San Jose castle

thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by English_in_Spain View Post
Hi, thank you for your feedback.

We live in Alicante (just outside the city right on the coast) and I am glad you enjoyed it here. It is always good to hear other people's opinions.

It is not really a touristy town in the same way that Barcelona is but there is quite a lot to do in and around the town - especially for a port call from a cruise.

Since they built the new cruise terminal, we are always surprised that more cruises do not stop here.

You did well walking up to the castle. That is quite a walk .

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Old July 1st, 2012, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by English_in_Spain View Post
Hi, thank you for your feedback.

We live in Alicante (just outside the city right on the coast) and I am glad you enjoyed it here. It is always good to hear other people's opinions.

It is not really a touristy town in the same way that Barcelona is but there is quite a lot to do in and around the town - especially for a port call from a cruise.

Since they built the new cruise terminal, we are always surprised that more cruises do not stop here.

You did well walking up to the castle. That is quite a walk .

Hello Carol
We will be in Alicante in October on HAL. Any suggestions for what to do while in port that our three and a five year old boys would enjoy? The castle, maybe? They are very well traveled (one is already a two star Mariner, so we are up for anything!
P.S. Thanks Fear the Turtle of a nice review! I also have been a little ho hum about this port, but now I am excited to see what it has to offer!
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 02:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddieg07410 View Post
We will on the Independence of the Seas mid July. One of our stops will be Alicante and we are thinking of taking a ship's tour. firstly do you recommend a guided tour or do you feel we could do things on our own. If we do the ship's tour this is hat we are considering.

Panoramic Alicante and Elche Huerto Del Cura Municipal park

Cactus Gardens and Algar fountains

And other more Panoramic views.

Guadalest San Jose castle

thanks

Have a look at my previous post (#2) in the thread

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1575804

That may answer some of your questions.

I cannot comment on the ship's tours as I do not know what they include but, as I said in the other thread, if you want to go to Guadalest the ship's tour is probably your best option.

Algar fountains are very nice (especially on a hot day which it will be in July - we are currently having temperatures between 37 and 42 ) and that is often offered in combination with Guadalest as it is quite nearby.


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Old July 2nd, 2012, 03:26 AM
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Originally Posted by HALrunner View Post
Hello Carol
We will be in Alicante in October on HAL. Any suggestions for what to do while in port that our three and a five year old boys would enjoy? The castle, maybe? They are very well traveled (one is already a two star Mariner, so we are up for anything!
P.S. Thanks Fear the Turtle of a nice review! I also have been a little ho hum about this port, but now I am excited to see what it has to offer!
I am not sure that your boys would particularly enjoy the castle. They may be a bit young for that.

There are four theme parks in Benidorm (Terra Mitica, Terra Natura, Mundomar and Aqualandia) but they are not really very Spanish and I am not sure if you will have enough time for these.

Another suggestion would be to go to Guadalest. There are some nice little museums which might interest children. Have a look here

http://www.guadalest.eu/museums.htm

If the weather is fine there are nice beaches nearby which have things like climbing frames for children.

Maybe a walk around the Marina and along the Explanada de España. These are both very near the port.

There is also the Fogueres Festival Museum. This is also in walking distance of the port.

http://www.alicanteturismo.com/Adapt...plegarMenu=103

Let me know what you choose to do and also when you get back I would love to hear what you thought of it

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Old July 2nd, 2012, 04:27 AM
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HALrunner, I have just realised that you will be here in October. I looked up the Noordam schedule and I see that it is the end of October.

Some things (like museums & theme parks) may be closed by then. When you have some idea what you want to do, let me know and I will check on opening hours for you.


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Old July 2nd, 2012, 08:29 AM
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For the passenger thinking of booking a ship's tour. As per my review above, I don't think you need one. We found wandering Alicante a pure delight! You don't have to walk up to the castle, but you don't need a tour bus either! You can take the elevator, and even if your kids might not enjoy the history of the castle, I am confident they would love just wandering around, and you will enjoy the spectacular views.

You can walk to the beach. You can walk the gorgeous promenade. Do not miss walking the old town area with its white-washed homes. So beautiful.

Enjoy your visit!
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 08:29 AM
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Thank you for your kind comments about my reviews of our cruise. It was such a wonderful trip.

Debbie
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Old July 17th, 2012, 01:54 PM
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I am glad to see such a positive review. I will be in Alicante next May as part of our Mariner of the Seas TA cruise. I chose the cruise mostly because it stops in Gibraltar, but it is nice as our last TA went to Malaga and Cartagena, so I get to see another part of Spain.
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Old August 12th, 2012, 05:29 PM
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Hello Carol,

We will be on the Prinsendam that docks in Alicante Nov 2 from 8:00 - 4:00. I was wondering if much will be open then?
Thanks for your help,
Nancy
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Old August 12th, 2012, 05:37 PM
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Hello Carol,

We will be on the Prinsendam that docks in Alicante Nov 2 from 8:00 - 4:00. I was wondering if much will be open then?
Thanks for your help,
Nancy
What sort of things so you mean?

November 1st is a holiday here but the 2nd is a normal working day.

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Old August 13th, 2012, 02:14 PM
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What sort of things so you mean?

November 1st is a holiday here but the 2nd is a normal working day.

Thanks, Carol. I had read on one of your earlier replies that sometimes various museums are closed after October. I was just wondering if most were still open then.
Your reviews are wonderful; I really appreciated all the information!
Nancy
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Old August 14th, 2012, 05:18 AM
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As you are only there from 8am to 4pm you need to bear in mind that a lot of the museums close from 1.30 or 2pm until about 5pm.

The November hours (Friday) for Alicante museums are

Museum of Contempory Art (MACA) 10am-8pm

Museo de Fogueres (Bonfire Festivities Museum) 10am to 2pm and 5pm to 8pm

Museo Taurino (Bullfighting Museum) 10.30am to 1.30pm and 5pm to 8pm

Museo de Belenes (Nativity Scene Museum) 9am to 2pm and 5pm to 8pm

MARQ (Museum of Archaeology) 10am to 7pm

Mubag Gravina Fine Arts Museum 10am to 2pm and 4pm to 8pm

Castillo de Santa Barbara (the castle) 10am to 8pm
Castillo de Santa Barbara (the museum) 10am to 2.30pm and 4pm to 8pm


There are several small museums in Guadalest. I have not been able to find out if they are all open in November

Historical Vehicles Museum is open 10.30am to 6pm

Ribera Girona Museum is open 10am to 6pm


The following I could not find out. If you are particularly interested in any of these I will make further enquiries.

Dolls House Museum

Ethnological Museum of the Valley of Guadalest

Micro-Gigantic Museum

Miniatures of Manuel Ussa Museum

Torture Museum

Town Museum. Orduña House


In Elche

Jardin El Huerto del Cura is open 10am to 5.30pm

Hope this helps


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Old August 16th, 2012, 11:06 PM
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Carol, Thanks again! Looks like you pretty well covered it all!
Nan
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Old March 26th, 2013, 06:08 PM
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Hi Carol. My husband and I will be in Alicante on Sunday, May 5, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Will it be quiet that day or activities as usual?
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Old March 27th, 2013, 05:12 AM
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Hi Carol. My husband and I will be in Alicante on Sunday, May 5, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Will it be quiet that day or activities as usual?
As it is a Sunday, the market and all the major shops and stores (and of course, banks) will be closed. Some small shops may be open – especially if they know a cruise ship is in port

In Alicante the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Bonfire Festivities Museum, the Museum of Archaeology and the Fine Arts Museum will be open from 10am to 2pm

Castillo de Santa Bárbara will be open from 10am to 10pm (the last elevator is at 7.20pm). The castle’s museum will be open from 10am to 2.30pm and 4pm to 8pm

The Bullfighting Museum and the Nativity Scene Museum will be closed

In Guadalest most of the museums are open but I am not sure of the Sunday hours.

The Jardin El Huerto del Cura (Priest’s Garden) in Elche will be open from 10am to 6pm

What sort of thing were you hoping to do?

When reading through this thread, please note that the webpage www.alicanteturismo.com mentioned for Alicante no longer exists.

The new webpage is http://www.alicante.com/

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Last edited by English_in_Spain; March 27th, 2013 at 05:20 AM.
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