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CruiseDigits

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Everything posted by CruiseDigits

  1. We didn't know about them until we were there but there are short trails near the piers too. We had some time to explore before we had to board the ship and enjoyed taking the opportunity.
  2. This is a picture we took of the tour operator sign that is in front of the visitor center, it includes 20 vendors, you could do some advance research of the offerings. I never thought I'd be posting it here when I took it!
  3. We drove up to the Shrine of St Therese, all paved.
  4. We also rented from Avis, here are two recent threads with some great information and experiences from others: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2686351-renting-a-car-in-juneau/ https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2688668-itinerary-question/
  5. I'd plan for 20 Euros. For reference this is the offical Barcelona taxi calculator (English version): http://taxi.amb.cat/s/usuari/calcula-la-teva-ruta/eng/web-version.html Also note that if you're traveling between the cruise terminal and the airport then it's a fixed rate of 39 Euros, referenced as the T4 rate, see on this airport web page or do a web search for Barcelona T4 rate: https://www.aeropuertobarcelona-elprat.com/ingl/barcelona_airport_taxis.htm
  6. Montserrat -- on own versus tour. If you go on your own then you'll save a little money and have more flexibility with time but at the cost of a more effort and more transit time than if you go with a tour. You should have a great half-day to day either way, it's absolutely worth the trip and I don't think you can go wrong. Montserrat -- getting there on your own. How comfortable are you with public transportation? If you take the train you'll need to get to Placa Espanya to take the R5, which generally leaves every hour but sometimes more frequently depending on the day and time. The easiest way to get to the R5 ticket area is to enter from the area to the Southwest of the circle. I posted photos to another thread and will repost here if you want. I've attached an annotated map to this post. Go down two levels to buy tickets and the down one more level to get to the train. We also took the cable car and you need to select the "Aeri" ticket option if you want to take the cable car rather than the funicular up and down the mountain. The boys' choir takes a break during the summer but if they are not on holiday then it's beautiful to hear them sing. We went on a Sunday and they sang throughout the 11 am Mass and immediately after. Montserrat -- timing on your own. When we went a couple of weeks ago we took the 8:36 am R5 train from Placa Espanya (give yourself plenty of time to buy tickets) to the Montserrat-Aeri station. We hustled off of the train and were in the first cable car to go up the mountain, then went immediately to the line for Our Lady of Montserrat. We were done by about 10:45 then waited for Mass to start at 11. After Mass we ate lunch then took the funicular up to the very top of the mountain for some hiking. Beautiful views all throughout the day. We took the funicular back to the monastary then the cable car down the mountain and we were taking pictures again from the Aeri train station at 3:21 pm to wait for the 3:45 pm train, which got us back to Placa Espanya at 4:45 pm. So you can take the whole day there if you want. Going on your own will use up a big chunk of time as the train takes one hour each way and you also have to add in the time to get up and down the mountain plus time to get to and from Placa Espanya. La Sagrada Familia. You should be able to see before heading to the ship. Be sure to buy your tickets (for the tour or self-guided) well in advance to make sure you get the time slot you want. Enjoy!
  7. We loved walking through El Born but that was down in the area closer to the water and the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar. Tons of quaint shops & restuartants but quieter than Las Ramblas. Hopefully others are able to chime in about Hotel Catalonia Born. If I'm looking at the map correctly it's near the Arc de Triomf, which I wouldn't have considered to be in El Born. Different maps have the area labeled differently. The reason I mention is that if you ask about El Born the responses you get may be for the area further south than the hotel. We took pictures at the Arc de Triomf and walked through to Parc de la Ciutadella but didn't spend much additional time in that specific area.
  8. We love Barcelona, we just returned home! We haven't stayed at the Alexandra Hotel but the area is nice. It's right at Passeig de Gracia, the street with La Pedrera, high end stores, many walking tours, and a small part of the hop-on hop-off routes. There is so much to do, definitely consider La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, and Las Ramblas. If I could only eat one meal I'd get sangria and pintxos in El Poble Sec on the street Carrer de Blai -- there are multiple pintxos restaurants on the street, our favorites were La Tasqueta de Blai and Koska Taverna (our absolute favorite, they serve beer but not sangria). Barcelona has tons of walking tours, bicycle tours, beaches, great food, you name it. What is your ideal day? I'd take a cab from the hotel to the cruise. For planning purposes I'd use 20 Euros and 30 minutes but it shouldn't take that long. This is the link to the official Barcelona taxi calculator: http://taxi.amb.cat/s/usuari/calcula-la-teva-ruta/eng.html The hotel to La Sagrada Familia is just over a mile. I guess it just depends on what time of year you're going, time of day, how much you like to walk, etc. We did a ton of walking every day so we tried to find ways to cut out any extra walking (and we are walkers) so I personally wouldn't walk it -- plus you have to get back! As an FYI there is an international Mass every Sunday morning at 9 am that is open to the public. No cost way for you to get inside but they also corral you out pretty fast after Mass. If you want to go that route then I recommend arriving no later than 8:15 to make sure you get in. Otherwise buy your ticket in advance to make sure you get in! For all of this pickpockets are prevalent in Barcelona so you'll see people walking around with backpacks on the front of their chests. Don't wear expensive jewelry and be aware of your surroundings. We've spent almost two months there over the past two years and haven't personally had any problems but we've seen at least one confirmed pickpocket in action with others suspected. Have fun!
  9. We just flew back from Barcelona to the U.S. with them last week and probably won't fly with them again. There were three of their flights in a row that afternoon flying from Barcelona to the U.S. and all of them were delayed by at least two hours. We were delayed by just over three hours and I was hoping that it would push past the four hour mark to have the opportunity to file.
  10. Taxis are plentiful just about everywhere in Barcelona.
  11. The fee isn't required for all of the trails, only some, which adds to the confusion. There is an area to pay in the parking lot too.
  12. Here we go, the pictures are in chronological order as I walked. I had fun investigating, it's my job and I love it. We've been here doing hands on research :) 1. Walking North on Carrer de Roger de Lluria just before I turned right on to Carrer de Casp. 2. Right after the turn -- handful of people though if you were to go two blocks in the other direction it would be packed with people at Placa Catalunya. 3. Shops are on the first floor of most buildings. If you look at the shop just past the white car you see the rolled gate -- many of the shops are still closed through the end of this week for the summer break. When the shops close at night they roll down the metal gates and they are all pretty much spray painted. We have a car dealership just down the street from where we are staying and I didn't realize it until this week. 4. I love the bakeries here. Love them. I walk every morning down the street to buy croissants and bread. The bakeries are all over the place and this one looked particularly spectacular. Just about every few blocks you can find a bakery, a pharmacy, a small food market (some open 24 hours), and a fruit stand. Small restaurants are everywhere. 5. Look across to the back of the photo for the corner restaurant. Also note that all of the street corners except in the Gothic Quarter and neighboring areas are octogan shaped, I'll let you learn why when you're here! 6. The dress store was the nicest store I saw :) Right next to a cash machine. 7. More people. Notice the dog crossing the street. Dogs rule Barcelona, they are everywhere and very well behaved. Dogs are so prevalent that many stores have a place for you to leave your dog when you go in to shop. 8. Another closed shop. Moped parking. Motorcycles and mopeds are everywhere too and they accelerate quickly when the signal changes. Be careful when crossing the street because if their light is flashing yellow then they can proceed if there are no pedestrians. So even if you have a green walk sign just double check before walking. And when the walk sign starts to flash green you shouldn't even try to cross the street because it flashes for such a short period of time. When the walk sign turns red the traffic signal immediately turns green and then the motorycles are off to the races so look out!!! Also the trash cans, they are about every block or so too -- you bring your trash down to these bins and sort trash/recycling by the appropriately colored bin on the street. Step on the foot lever to open the lid. 9. This is the closest market to Casp 74. The markets are about the size of a United States convenience store, they are tiny. You won't find 14 differet types of spaghetti sauce but they have the essentials and they probably have gazpacho and boquerones. 10. Almost there! The yellow stucture is the closest bus stop to Casp 74. The larger bus stops have small digital displays under the canopies to tell you when the next bus is arriving. 11. Here you are, Casp 74! 12. Looking down the street from the building entrance. 13. There is a separate reception door. 14. Small restaurant, literally right next to the reception door. I'd say this is a pretty typical neighborhood. Carrer de Casp has cars but it didn't seem like a major thoroughfare, though it may still get loud if people come out at night or when the trash or other trucks roll through. Please do come back to let everyone know how your trip and your lodging turn out. Safe travels and enjoy Barcelona!!!
  13. @pjfnme I have 14 photos for you that I'll upload here tonight, I need to figure out the best way to get them here for you! The neighborhood seems like most of the other Barcelona neighborhoods with restaurants on the corner, the small local grocery, and mix of shops below living areas. It's a nice way to live. I had a nice stroll, it took me just under 16 minutes to walk from the Barcelona Cathedral (I had a meeting near there this afternoon) to Casp 74. I started taking pictures just before I made the right turn on to the street with Casp 74 and then I took pictures for the next three or so blocks until I arrived. Let me know if you've previously been to Barcelona, I'll include brief comments with the pictures and will share more context if this is your first trip. More to follow.
  14. We've also gone to the park near Arc de Triomf during the day, we were there last week, it's huge and where the zoo is located. I wouldn't go if I only had limited time in Barcelona but there were families and children there.
  15. Agree that reviewers give the CASP74 great ratings, especially the high marks and comments about the location. I wouldn't have any concerns, especially when you keep in mind things like comments made by @hkto, which are spot on. I'll be near that area late this afternoon (Thursday, Barcelona time, it's super early now) and will walk by to take some pictures for you. Not because I have concerns, I'm just curious!
  16. I don't think you can go wrong. We are in Barcelona now with our two daughters and will be here for another week (a total of almost two months during 2017 and 2019) -- it's a wonderful city though the one area I would avoid is El Raval, just to the West of La Rambla (do a web search). One of our favorite places to wander is El Born, just to the East of La Rambla. Note that pickpockets are prevalent so just make sure your 20 year-olds are city savvy. Two years ago we stayed in El Poble-sec (I highly recommend Pintxos on Carrer de Blai in El Poble-sec, just type "pintxos" in to google maps and you'll see exactly where to go) and now we are staying in Sants at The Bicycle Apartments -- both locations are off the beaten path in residential type neighborhoods. Taxis and public transportation are everywhere in Barcelona so you'll have access to the city almost anywhere you stay. Happy to answer any other questions!
  17. Taxis are plentiful in Barcelona, I'd be shocked if they aren't lined up waiting for you when you leave the ship. Las Ramblas is packed with people and also a slight incline going in that direction so I wouldn't want to walk through there dragging bags.
  18. That is a good call and it is how I would do it too. The port is stop 5 on the orange line while the Sagrada Familia is stop 11 on the green line so I don't see how you would make it to Sagrada Familia for your entrance time.
  19. We just did both routes yesterday (a Saturday), it probably took a little more than two hours of actual DRIVING time for each route though I don't have the exact time because it took us much longer than four hours to complete both loops -- our first transfer took at least half an hour and we took a break for a long lunch. We started with the orange route from Plaça d'Espanya then transferred to the green route at Plaça Catalunya (stop 1 on both routes), which was a big mistake because we had to wait in line in the sun for about 25 minutes to board then the bus waited before departing. When we switched back to the orange line later in the afternoon we did it at La Pedrera without delay, though the bus did idle for several minutes at Plaça d'Espanya. The green route to the East side of the city was much more crowded than the orange route to the West side of the city.
  20. We just went to Montserrat again today (we were there two years ago) -- it's one of my favorite things to do while we are in Barcelona. The boys' choir is back from their break so check to see if you will be there when they sing. Heavenly.
  21. One additional note about "chip & pin" cards. Many American credit cards are not pin enabled so you aren't able to use at automated self-serve kiosks like those often found in train stations. Check with your credit card issuer.
  22. Here is the reference... https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2689286-you-just-need-to-pack-a-sports-bra-and-shorts-in-hot-dry-alaska/
  23. +1, we had a very similar experience renting from Avis at the end of July except I just walked to and from the ship. A few different details posted to this thread:
  24. Princess did the same on our Alaska cruise last month and it was well attended. I was in a TACAMO squadron, a small part of the Navy, and wouldn't you know it but there were two of us sitting right next to each other!
  25. We used the Tesoro at 920 W 10th St, Juneau, AK 99801 https://maps.app.goo.gl/JAcfsCPY7peeNBgdA Also for awareness with Avis: we did an "after hours" drop off (they closed at 4 though the rental confirmation stated 6) and they want you to include your fuel receipt with the keys and your completed rental sleeve in the door drop. I took pictures of everything and didn't have any problems.
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