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CruiseDigits

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Posts posted by CruiseDigits


  1. On 9/15/2019 at 2:01 PM, taylortime05 said:

    We're leaving in 10 days to Barcelona for 4 days pre-cruise. I want to finalize my hotel today and I'm leaning towards HOTEL CONTINENTAL PALACETE. Please don't recommend any other hotels because the prices are outrageous right now. If you've stayed at Hotel Continental Palacete, can you tell me the pro's and con's. Thank you so much for your feedback.

     

    How was your stay?


  2. 1 hour ago, tinykygal said:

    he is concerned about the other facets:  restaurant, transportation from the airport and  to the ship.

     

    I echo the earlier replies, my personal experience is that most of the folks with whom we interacted spoke English, or at least they spoke better English than I speak Spanish.  Usually they appreciated my efforts to speak Spanish though they would laugh and say yes when I asked if they spoke English.  One restaurant waitress was more interested in practicing her English with us than in letting me practice my Spanish with her.

     

    The biggest language issue we've had in Barcelona involved a trip to the doctor with my daughter, where the check-in receptionist refused to speak to us in Spanish, she only wanted Catalan.  Google Translate to the rescue until we got to the doctor, who spoke English...

     


  3. The press release for Valiant Lady, the second Virgin Voyages ship is here:

     

    https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20191119005362/en/

     

    From the press release:

     

    • 7-night Mediterranean itineraries out of Barcelona, Spain when she debuts in May 2021
    • Itinerary 1 includes the exotic delights of Barcelona, Ibiza, Monte Carlo, Marseille and Olbia
    • Itinerary 2 includes a fantastic sampling of the Med featuring Barcelona, Ibiza, Toulon, Ajaccio, Marina di Carrara and Cagliari
    • Itinerary 3 is a mostly Spanish immersion, stopping by Barcelona, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, Malaga and the British port of Gibraltar

  4. On 10/12/2019 at 5:24 PM, garymfreedman said:

    I confirmed with Sailor Services Chat-A pullman  is the answer..

     

    This is a screen shot from the Virgin Voyages "Choose Cabin" page of a "Social Insider" room with the beds made up:

     

     

    Social Insider.jpg


  5. On 11/6/2019 at 11:52 AM, sunscreen said:

    which city would you pick to  and why?  i.e.  Barcelona or Rome

     

    On 11/6/2019 at 8:37 PM, mskaufman said:

    Both are wonderful.

     

    You can't go wrong, you won't have enough time in either city!  We've been to both Rome and Barcelona for several days and loved them both.  I am personally partial to Barcelona, it's one of my favorite cities and we've spent much more time there, to include almost a month at the end of this past summer (I posted to CC while we were there).

     

    I pulled up the itineraries and see that you'll have the same port calls regardless of your starting point so that's not a factor.

     

    On 11/6/2019 at 7:38 PM, John Bull said:

    The port for Rome is Civitavecchia, 90 minutes from the city - so you lose 3 hrs & more travelling if you visit as a port-of-call.

    In Barcelona you're in the city cerntre (Columbus statue, Las Ramblas, etc as soon as you exit the port, making it a very productive port-of-call.

     

    +1 about the transit times.

     

    On 11/6/2019 at 6:45 PM, Ashland said:

    Barcelona is certainly no worse than Rome...It's up to the traveler to be aware of their surroundings where ever they happen to be.

     

    +1 here too, there are folks looking to take advantage of travelers in both cities.

     

    Have you looked to see what you'd want to do in Barcelona and Rome if you only had the one day in each city?  That could be the tie breaker if air and other factors don't push you one way or the other.  If you end up with a list of five "must see" things in one city but only one in the other city then that would make it an easier decision.

     

     


  6. 2 hours ago, zdcatc12 said:

    As of now you can not take SWA from Hawaii to around east of the Rockies, due to them not having any red-eye flights. It is to long of a distance. Not sure when or if they are expecting that to change. You would have to do something like fly to LAX, stay the night there and then fly to BWI.

     

    To fly Southwest to HNL from BWI you'd have to book it as an advanced search, multi-city trip (i.e. leg one from say BWI-OAK then leg two on the same day from OAK-HNL).

     

    To get back you'd have to book two separate tickets on the two different days, as mentioned above.  Making it back all of the way in one booking would require a red-eye, not currently available on Southwest.


  7. We absolutely love Barcelona and plan to return next year on the tail end of a cruise.  This year we were there for most of August with our two daughters and I shared some thoughts about security, transportation, food, etc. in this thread (with more about Barcelona in other threads):

     

    https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2694889-barcelona-alexandra-hotel-curio-by-hilton

     

    The wording in the State Department's "Safety and Security" > "Crime" subsection for Spain, to include the following, make sense to me, "In particular, Madrid and Barcelona report frequent pickpocketing and theft, as well as occasional violent attacks, some of which have required the victim to seek medical attention."

     

    Here is the State Department source page for reference and additional security information:

     

    https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Spain.html#/

     

     

     


  8. On 10/6/2019 at 3:45 PM, metsfan47 said:

    Ahh, I thought that was the station name.

     

    Sants is the name of the neighborhood so you'll find several businesses/locations with Sants in the name.  Here is the Wikipedia link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sants

     

    We had an extended stay at The Bicycle Apartments in Sants this summer though you're probably better off with the Barcelo Sants for one night.  It was about a 15 minute walk for us from our apartment to the Sants train station.

     

    A random fact is that MaTeS shoes are made in Sants, you'd never even know the store or the factory workshop were there unless you were looking.  I'd never heard of them but found them as part of our exploration, the company has a great story, it's still owned by the founder's daughter.

     

     


  9. 14 hours ago, cruisingnana said:

    yes,  we flew nonstop round trip from Austin in September 2016.

     

    Thinking out loud, the airlines are always adjusting their schedules so I presume Southwest shifted the aircraft to a route they find more profitable to fly.  They continue to ramp up service to Hawaii and the MAX grounding is impacting capacity -- I wasn't able to find when they stopped the nonstop service so I'm not able to guess as to whether or not either of those are contributing factors.


  10. On 10/5/2019 at 9:50 AM, cruisingnana said:

    Looking for info on when SW will release flights for late May 2020.  Also wondering why there are no nonstop  currently showing for Austin or Houston to Seattle.   Any ideas? 

     

    This is the direct link for the page where Southwest posts the expected schedule release date.  If the date changes you'll see the change on the page:

     

    https://www.southwest.com/air/flight-schedules/index.html

     

    For reference here is the link to the route search tool (click on "list view" then check the box for "Nonstop flights only").  When you select SEA as the departure city it shows nonstop service to DAL.  Did they previously offer nonstop between SEA and AUS or HOU?

     

    https://www.southwest.com/flight/routemap_dyn.html


  11. 14 hours ago, mawvkysc said:

    We will not be arriving in port until 1:00. Has anyone rented that late in the day? It would be cutting it close to get there if they close at 2:00 wouldn’t it?

     

    Have you confirmed the hours for the rental car agency you plan to use?  If I remember correctly then the Avis location we used closed at 4.  Double check with them directly as I do remember that the hours they are staffed did not match the hours they showed on the web site.


  12. 4 hours ago, hkto said:

    I am in Spain now and CC is taken anywhere so need for cash is small. Some businesses have minimum for CC but very few. Had lots of CC transactions and not a single reject.

     

    +1.  One additional note is that we were able to use our phone to make the credit card payments just about everywhere.  We needed our physical credit card for train tickets and automated kiosks but the phone worked great at most stores and restuarants.


  13. One data point: we too had leftover Euros on our most recent trip this summer so we waited to use the ATMs in town.  We made three withdrawals over the course of almost a month, two of the machines we used charged a flat 5 Euro fee, one didn't charge anything.

     

    On a related note we have a Schwab account that refunds both U.S. and foreign ATM transaction fees, I'd be curious to know what other providers do the same for foreign ATM transaction fees.


  14. @ravenrob am I looking at the Royal Caribbean schedule correctly with a 5 a.m. arrival to Barcelona on debarkation day?  If that's correct and you don't have any special needs or situations then I don't have any immediate red flags.

     

    When we left Barcelona earlier this month with a late afternoon departure the airline sent us notifications of a scheduled security strike so we were warned about potential delays but it was for naught as we really didn't have any meaningful lines at security or passport control.

     

    One additional thought is that I hope you have time in Barcelona before the cruise to explore the city if you are heading straight to the airport after the cruise!


  15. 17 hours ago, mhb1757 said:

    Anyone know when Jet Blue will open next round?  Looking for May flights and current schedule only open thru early April. 

     

    Here's a direct quote from August 15, 2019 from The Points Guy, full link to the source web page is here

     

    "JetBlue always releases its schedule on Sundays at noon EST. Usually on the Friday beforehand, the airline will open up its schedule to those booking a JetBlue Vacations package. Even if you are not interested in booking a flight and hotel package, it is good to keep an eye on that particular announcement as it will give you a heads-up the schedule will be released in just a few days. It will also allow you to search route availability ahead of time and figure out your ideal flight date and time."


  16. 25 minutes ago, helpthejuggler said:

    It is close enough to Mercat de Santa Caterina which is a real market.

     

    17 minutes ago, midwestchick said:

    I’m not familiar with Mercat de Santa Catarina.

     

    You should go check it out!  I agree with the "real" market comment, similar ones are found throughout Barcelona.  Think of it as kind of like a mall in that it's a collection of stores but it's filled with small vendors selling seafood, ham, fruits, vegetables, etc.  This link should load several pictures.


  17. 20 hours ago, majmaj4 said:

    Is there a schedule posted somewhere?

     

    I don't think there is a published schedule.  As mentioned on this third party page, "The cruise port shuttle bus co-ordinates its schedule and frequency depending on the arrival and departures of the cruises. Therefore the cruise shuttle bus service is not a regular scheduled bus service but one that only runs based on demand."

     

    Two additional "official" resources that include visuals/maps of the port:

    http://www.portdebarcelona.cat/en/web/port-del-ciudada/cruceros --> Note the linked .pdf map in this link on that page.

    https://www.tmb.cat/en/visit-barcelona/public-transport/from-port

     


  18. Hopefully you already found your answers but if not then hopefully the following information helps!

     

    It looks like some tickets are still for sale to visit La Sagrada Familia on Saturday, the 12th of October, you can buy tickets online and I recommend buying them as soon as possible: https://sagradafamilia.org/en/tickets

     

    We were there for most of August this year when it seems like everyone is away on holiday.  Our experience was that many of the shops and stores were closed but there were still many open and available.  For example there was a car dealership down the street from where we were staying but we didn't know until they returned from holiday and rolled up the security barrier!    I'd expect the tourist attractions to be open and to have tours available.  If there is a specific attraction you'd like to see you should be able to check online to confirm availability. 

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