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LIVE - VISION Med and Greek Isles - 6/11-23

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We wandered around Pals for about an hour or so. Took pictures, wandered in the shops, stopped in a creperia. Loved this stop. 

 

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Then we headed toward the coastal towns. We drove through several areas, but stopped at Calella de Palafrugell. We all had lunch at a little restaurant overlooking the beach. Then had about 45 minutes to look around on our own. 

 

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We had a pretty long drive back to Barcelona (about an hour and a half) so the tour took almost ten hours total. We left at 08:30 and returned around 18:30. So while I would absolutely recommend the tour if you are staying in the city for a few days before or after your cruise, it’s simply too long for anyone who’s only looking for a shore excursion for the day. 

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Our second full day in Barcelona we had a city tour. Today we would see the Gothic Quarter, La Sagrada Familia, Montjuic and the Olympic Village, Park Güell, and Casa Milà (La Padrera).

 

We started off by meeting at the tour offices for Explore Catalunya. From there we walked the short couple of blocks to the Catredal de Barcelona. 

 

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From there we walked through the original city gates (the Roman gates)

 

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to Barri Gòtic (the Gothic Quarter). We wandered the dark alleys and winding streets learning of Catalunyan history. 

 

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We made it over to St. Mary of the Sea Cathedral built in the 14th century found in the Ribera District. 

 

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After our walking tour of the city (which took around an hour and a half) we boarded a small bus for Montjuic. 

 

We were sitting in the last row of the bus, so this gives you a good idea of the size of our group. 

 

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We drove by the port and I could see several ships in port. I never got a good vantage point for a picture, but I saw a Princess ship, two Celebrity ships, Costa, and Silversea. There was one woman on our tour who had booked it privately and was on one of the cruises. 

 

We drove through the Olympic Village and spent 20-25 minutes at Montjuic for pictures. 

 

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After, it was off to Sagrada Familia. We spent 30-ish minutes together as a group getting information from our guide. Then he gave us nearly two hours to explore SF on our own and to have lunch in the area. We were to meet up at a designated area at a specified time. 

 

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I took so many pictures at Sagrada Familia, but I won’t inundate you with them. Just let me say the sheer magnitude is impossible to convey in a picture on a phone or computer screen. You just can’t imagine it. It’s like trying to describe the Grand Canyon or the Great Wall of China. You simply have to be in the space. It truly is awe inspiring. 

 

After lunch and meeting back up with the group, we drove to Parc Güell where our guide walked with us through the main area and then, again, gave us around 40-45 minutes to wander on our own. 

 

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It was very crowded at Parc Güell and I really don’t think we had enough time to see everything. I enjoyed it, but it was really hot. Plus, I felt rushed because of the tour time constraints. 

 

Our last stop was Casa Milà / La Padrera. This was another area that was extremely crowded. There were a few areas that were so overrun with other tour groups, that Mark and I just kind of hurried past. 

 

Pictures on the rooftop:

 

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Our tour ended here. You were on your own to find your way back to your hotel / cruise terminal, etc. It DID say this on the booking confirmation, but I was very glad that our hotel was just around the block. Some people had 1-2 km to get back and they were dreading that walk. 

 

Would I recommend this tour? It was pretty good. Yesterday’s, however, was really good.

 

I feel like most of what we did today could be done on your own with just minimal planning. EVERYTHING in the city is easily walkable. And there’s also the HOHO bus if you’d rather do that.

 

We paid $82 each, and that included all of our admissions (priority admission for Sagrada Família - no waiting in line). But you can buy your tickets online ahead of time, so I would say unless you just feel more comfortable with a guide, a city tour probably isn’t necessary. Just my two cents. 

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we go to Barcelona next year on the Allure TA....I am loving your posts and pictures!

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Still following along! Purchased my tickets today for Sagrada Familia as they just now opened up August tickets.  Making me so excited. 57 days until we board our plane. 🙂 

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6 minutes ago, singinalot said:

we go to Barcelona next year on the Allure TA....I am loving your posts and pictures!

 

That’s fantastic! Honestly, I’m already wondering when we can come back. I’m completely enamored with this city.

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2 minutes ago, erby2283 said:

Still following along! Purchased my tickets today for Sagrada Familia as they just now opened up August tickets.  Making me so excited. 57 days until we board our plane. 🙂 

 

Smart. I think that’s the best way to do it for Sagrada Família. And you are counting the days!!! It won’t be long now. 😀

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I am getting on the vision right when you are getting off.  We are doing the MED Venice cruise starting June 23.  Going to live vicariously through you until our cruise.  Maybe we can meetup in Barcelona?  doesn't that sound exotic.  We are getting there June 20 and are doing a food tour, HOHO bus and sagarda famila tour.  9 more days till my flight.

 

 

Robin

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36 minutes ago, robincorn said:

I am getting on the vision right when you are getting off.  We are doing the MED Venice cruise starting June 23.  Going to live vicariously through you until our cruise.  Maybe we can meetup in Barcelona?  doesn't that sound exotic.  We are getting there June 20 and are doing a food tour, HOHO bus and sagarda famila tour.  9 more days till my flight.

 

 

Robin

 

I would love to! Unfortunately, we are flying out as soon as we get back. Be sure to let me know if you have any questions though. I’ll check it out for you while we’re on board. You’ll be totally prepared!! 😀

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So this is tomorrow’s forecast...

 

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Looks like it’s going to be a messy day at the port. 😩

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2 hours ago, aring75 said:

Our tour ended here. You were on your own to find your way back to your hotel / cruise terminal, etc. It DID say this on the booking confirmation, but I was very glad that our hotel was just around the block. Some people had 1-2 km to get back and they were dreading that walk. 

 

Would I recommend this tour? It was pretty good. Yesterday’s, however, was really good.

 

I feel like most of what we did today could be done on your own with just minimal planning. EVERYTHING in the city is easily walkable. And there’s also the HOHO bus if you’d rather do that.

 

We paid $82 each, and that included all of our admissions (priority admission for Sagrada Família - no waiting in line). But you can buy your tickets online ahead of time, so I would say unless you just feel more comfortable with a guide, a city tour probably isn’t necessary. Just my two cents. 

I highly recommend the HOHO bus in Barcelona. I recall there being 3 routes which take you all over the city. We took it after flying in in the morning and dropping off our luggage at hotel. Great place to veg after jet lag till you can check 😀

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4 hours ago, aring75 said:

 

That’s fantastic! Honestly, I’m already wondering when we can come back. I’m completely enamored with this city.

Love the photos, thanks for sharing.

There is so much more here to see and worth 3-4 days pre or post cruise to explore.

Over the last 50 years I have spent well over 100 nights in the Barcelona/Costa Brava/Dorada area.

You still have a fantastic cruise to look forward to too.

 

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We spent 2 days in Barcelona prior to our cruise and loved it.  We definitely need to go back and check out Costa Brava.  Looks great if you can beat the crowds.  We did a walking food tour through the Gothic Quarter that was great.  I recognize several of your pictures.  We stopped at 4 or 5 "local" tapas places to break up the historical tour with some wine and food.  Highly recommended.  

 

22 hours ago, johnjen said:

Look again at Air BnB.....much better rates for more value and amenities....perhaps not a free breakfast but at least we have our own villa we couldn't turn down and it has a rooftop pool much alike Hotel Jazz.

I was leery of using Airbnb in Barcelona.  I had heard that the Barcelona authorities would occasionally crack down on unauthorized Air BnB hosts and when this would happen, your reservation could get cancelled at the last minute.  I don't know if this is true, but I read it on the internet.  😀  I agree that Air BnB can be a much better value, but we didn't want to take the risk of scrambling for a place to stay.

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We (senior mother & daughter) are on the Vision for her TA back to Florida the end of September.  As you can see, we are also near Tampa, up in Spring Hill.  I will be following along, looking especially for tidbits about the ship.  I'm just slightly worried it might be a long 14 days since she's getting some age on her.  

 

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6 hours ago, grapau27 said:

Love the photos, thanks for sharing.

There is so much more here to see and worth 3-4 days pre or post cruise to explore.

Over the last 50 years I have spent well over 100 nights in the Barcelona/Costa Brava/Dorada area.

You still have a fantastic cruise to look forward to too.

 

 

Thanks! Yes, we both loved our three days pre-cruise, but agree that we could easily return. I would sail out of Barcelona again in a heartbeat. Or even just start here for maybe a land tour of Spain / Portugal / France. So many options!

 

4 hours ago, bobmacliberty said:

We spent 2 days in Barcelona prior to our cruise and loved it.  We definitely need to go back and check out Costa Brava.  Looks great if you can beat the crowds.  We did a walking food tour through the Gothic Quarter that was great.  I recognize several of your pictures.  We stopped at 4 or 5 "local" tapas places to break up the historical tour with some wine and food.  Highly recommended.  

 

I was leery of using Airbnb in Barcelona.  I had heard that the Barcelona authorities would occasionally crack down on unauthorized Air BnB hosts and when this would happen, your reservation could get cancelled at the last minute.  I don't know if this is true, but I read it on the internet.  😀  I agree that Air BnB can be a much better value, but we didn't want to take the risk of scrambling for a place to stay.

 

 

That food tour sounds like something I would love! If you don’t mind, do you remember what company you used?

 

Also, I think Mark must have read the same internet article you did. He told me the same thing and was very worried about not having a reservation when we arrived. Some of the AirBnBs look pretty great though!

 

1 hour ago, mimi7ccr said:

We (senior mother & daughter) are on the Vision for her TA back to Florida the end of September.  As you can see, we are also near Tampa, up in Spring Hill.  I will be following along, looking especially for tidbits about the ship.  I'm just slightly worried it might be a long 14 days since she's getting some age on her.  

 

 

Hi neighbor! I went to High School in Zephyrhills and competed in track meets against schools in Spring Hill and Brooksville. Good times. 

 

I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures of the ship and let you guys know what we think of things like the food (main dining room and specialty), staff, shows, overall condition, etc. Obviously opinions will vary, but at least you can have an idea.

 

So excited! We board in just a few hours. (I’m awake at Oh-dear-lord-what-time-is-it-o’clock).

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Wondering if the rain is keeping people in bed a little longer today. The port wasn’t crowded at all at 10:45-11:00am. Got luggage dropped off, through security, checked in, bought some wine in the duty-free shop, and boarded the ship in less than 15 minutes. Nice. 

 

Not a soul in front of us. 

 

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They were getting ready for our arrival. Not exactly a red carpet, but who am I to nit-pick?

 

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And here we are in the R-Bar trying to decide if we are hungry enough for our Key lunch in Chops yet. 

 

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Yay! Our cruise has officially started. 😀

 

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8 minutes ago, aring75 said:

Yay! Our cruise has officially started. 😀

 

Bon voyage! Have an amazing time! :classic_biggrin:

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, aring75 said:

That food tour sounds like something I would love! If you don’t mind, do you remember what company you used?

 

We used Devour Barcelona.  Specifically, their Tapas, Taverns, and History tour.  There were only 4 of us...DW and I plus another couple from Australia that were very nice...so it felt very much like a private tour.  The small group size allowed is to all sit at a table in some very small tapas places where the crowd spilled out into the street.

 

Bon Voyage!

Edited by bobmacliberty

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1 hour ago, FionaMG said:

 

Bon voyage! Have an amazing time! :classic_biggrin:

 

Thank you!!

 

6 minutes ago, bobmacliberty said:

 

We used Devour Barcelona.  Specifically, their Tapas, Taverns, and History tour.  There were only 4 of us...DW and I plus another couple from Australia that were very nice...so it felt very much like a private tour.  The small group size allowed is to all sit at a table in some very small tapas places where the crowd spilled out into the street.

 

Bon Voyage!

 

I appreciate the information. I love doing these. Sometimes you can really find a “hidden gem” you might never have found on your own. We’ve done them in Barbados, Las Vegas, Savannah, Vancouver, Cartagena (Colombia), and Cozumel. It sounds like this one would be exactly the thing we would like!!

 

2 minutes ago, JBSteelerfan said:

Can't wait to see some of those cabin/balcony pictures!   Have a great time!

 

Stay tuned!! Rooms just opened up. 😊😊

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8 minutes ago, JBSteelerfan said:

Can't wait to see some of those cabin/balcony pictures!   Have a great time!

 

Get a balcony that has a handle on both sides............just sayin'!!!!!

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1 minute ago, cruise wizard said:

 

Get a balcony that has a handle on both sides............just sayin'!!!!!

 

That is why we are excited for pictures......finding the emergency exit!!

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Ugh. Internet not cooperating. Typed an entire post. Said it went through, then...nothing. Cc didn’t save it like usual either. Okay. Trying one more time. 

 

The room. 

 

CC832EE7-1D34-48A8-BF86-BD8F37048B71-338

 

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Balcony pics next...

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46 minutes ago, aring75 said:

Ugh. Internet not cooperating. Typed an entire post. Said it went through, then...nothing. Cc didn’t save it like usual either. Okay. Trying one more time. 

 

The room. 

 

CC832EE7-1D34-48A8-BF86-BD8F37048B71-338

 

63285751-A8BD-41A3-9079-091D6C1C32D6-600

 

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8E2540D6-20DF-42AE-9300-B9BE47FCE1A3-338

 

Balcony pics next...

 

Very nice!!  Can't wait to sail Vision next year!

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3 hours ago, aring75 said:

 

CC832EE7-1D34-48A8-BF86-BD8F37048B71-338

 

 

 

Dang - Nice room...

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