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Three Nights pre cruise in Barcelona

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Thank you Cool Cruiser it seems like there are sooo many choices of hotels 

in Barcelona. It is almost overwhelming. I do like the idea of breakfast being included

.

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10 minutes ago, cruiseluv said:

 

Well, your TA is misinforming you. You can book directly, why would you go thru a TA for that?

Hmmm.....not so seasoned travelers so are relying on her. Do TA get better rates for clients??

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47 minutes ago, snorkle lover said:

Thank you Cool Cruiser it seems like there are sooo many choices of hotels 

in Barcelona. It is almost overwhelming. I do like the idea of breakfast being included

.

 

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55 minutes ago, snorkle lover said:

Thank you Cool Cruiser it seems like there are sooo many choices of hotels 

in Barcelona. It is almost overwhelming. I do like the idea of breakfast being included

.

 

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1 hour ago, snorkle lover said:

Hmmm.....not so seasoned travelers so are relying on her. Do TA get better rates for clients??

 

Once you decide on what hotel you want to book its easy to go to the hotel website and do a booking there, its certainly less complicated than registering to post on Cruise Critic. 

I doubt any TA can offer a better rate than the hotel itself

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Yes, a TA can save money.   Many belong to consortiums that have lower rates - even at major chains.

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On our Regent business class flight from Miami to Barcelona on American Airlines (a wonderful overnight flight where I slept for over 6 hours), we met a couple that were familiar with Barcelona and had cruised from there on Regent a number of times  before. Rather than taking the offered hotel (the Fairmont) that comes with a Concierge cabin or higher, they had booked on their own at Catalonia Portal de l'angel in walking distance to everything in the historical  area in Barcelona. And it seems to have great reviews, and it isn't tremendously expensive. It was also just a downhill walk to the Voyager for embarkation (although we would not have done that with our luggage). The Fairmont was a very nice hotel, and our room was ready at arrival at 10AM. It had 2 great swimming pools, a nice tapas menu and reasonably priced glasses of wine for a light dinner, and a very good included breakfast buffet the next morning. Regent provided bus service to the "downtown" area on the afternoon of our arrival, which we took advantage of for the 30 minute trip each way. They offered a tour for 72 dollars (or was it euros?) the next morning before being brought to the dock for embarkation with our luggage sent directly to the ship from the hotel. We signed up for that as well,  and it was good enough for us since we had only seen Barcelona on our 3 hour walk the afternoon before.

What we learned is that there are no public bathrooms in Barcelona, and if you want to take interior tours of anything in Barcelona, you need to have a reservation in advance since it is very crowded with large tour groups that  have already made reservations.

We passed the hotel where our flight neighbors were staying, and it looked like a much better place for an overnight than the Fairmont that was included by Regent. And if we return to Barcelona for a cruise, we would stay in a hotel like that, and make reservations in advance for the places we want to visit.

I will say, however, that our included Regent  transfer (except for tip) from the airport to the Fairmont totally exceeded our expectations. There were several other flights that were delayed arriving in Barcelona, so we were sent in a private taxi to the Fairmont while the bus waited for the other flights. Our taxi was a very nice Mercedes.

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6 hours ago, wripro said:

Staying on La Rambla is like saying in Times Square in NY. Go there for a few hours (mainly for La Boqueria) but escape as soon as you can.

Staying in Times Square in NYC is perfectly fine for an overnight stay in a well rated hotel. You'll be above the crowds and obviously have AC to cover noise, which will diminish overnight. And there will be plenty of security. In a big city environment, I would rather not be in a dark, quiet area for an overnight, especially if I was looking for something at a reasonable price. That's not feeling safe to me. And we're originally from NY.

Edited by SWFLAOK
typo

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25 minutes ago, SWFLAOK said:

Staying in Times Square in NYC is perfectly fine for an overnight stay in a well rated hotel. You'll be above the crowds and obviously have AC to cover noise, which will diminish overnight. And there will be plenty of security. In a big city environment, I would rather not be in a dark, quiet area for an overnight, especially if I was looking for something at a reasonable price. That's not feeling safe to me. And we're originally from NY.

 

I read your post twice - trying to figure out what you mean when you suggest that staying away from Las Ramblas will be dark and perhaps too quiet.  We stay at a large hotel (Eurostars Grand Marina) - less than a mile from where the ships are docked (plenty of security - more than being anywhere on Las Rambla.  It is not in some dark alley, is safe and reasonably priced.  You can book with or without breakfast.  And, since we will be there in November (and are usually in Barcelona during the winter since summers there are over the top hot), we do not need air conditioning to cover the noise.

 

The hotel is easy walking distance to Las Ramblas - without being crowded or noisy!

 

snorkle lover, as you know, we are on the same cruise in November.  We have done this cruise previously (on Explorer and on other Regent ships).  Even if our luxury TA was into booking hotels, we would not book through them.  We can find wonderful hotels on our own!

 

 

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Wow, so many varying opinions. I need to gather up all this information

and make a decision. Thank you to all who shared their favorite hotel,

hopefully I won’t end up with analysis paralysis over this decision 🤨.

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23 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

 

I read your post twice - trying to figure out what you mean when you suggest that staying away from Las Ramblas will be dark and perhaps too quiet.  We stay at a large hotel (Eurostars Grand Marina) - less than a mile from where the ships are docked (plenty of security - more than being anywhere on Las Rambla.  It is not in some dark alley, is safe and reasonably priced.  You can book with or without breakfast.  And, since we will be there in November (and are usually in Barcelona during the winter since summers there are over the top hot), we do not need air conditioning to cover the noise.

 

The hotel is easy walking distance to Las Ramblas - without being crowded or noisy!

 

snorkle lover, as you know, we are on the same cruise in November.  We have done this cruise previously (on Explorer and on other Regent ships).  Even if our luxury TA was into booking hotels, we would not book through them.  We can find wonderful hotels on our own!

 

 

I was replying to  wripro's post that said that staying on Las Ramblas was similar to staying on Times Square. I believe they were suggesting that no one should stay on Las Ramblas after dark,  just as they should not stay on Times Square after dark. I was disagreeing with both of those opinions. 

I'm aware that the majority of tourist hotels are not in the Las Ramblas area, but there are some within easy walking distance. And I know that the tourist hotels are not likely to be in a dark alley. The Fairmont is definitely not in an area of interest, and our pre-embarkation tour picked up some other passengers at a hotel in Barcelona that was closer, but still a tourist hotel.

Being people with city experience other than Barcelona, we want to experience the atmosphere of a city, and don't mind staying there after dark. And we recognize pickpockets when we see them, and avoid getting close to them. 

But they don't stay in the hotels that are off dark alleys.

We live in South Florida year round and keep our condo at 78. We had no problem with the temperatures we experienced on our excursions this July on our Med and Adriatic cruise. It's hot outside in summer in South Florida. But I would not stay at a hotel in any large city that didn't have AC because it's likely to be a place I wouldn't want to stay otherwise.

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On 7/26/2019 at 8:18 PM, Travelcat2 said:

 

I read your post twice - trying to figure out what you mean when you suggest that staying away from Las Ramblas will be dark and perhaps too quiet.  We stay at a large hotel (Eurostars Grand Marina) - less than a mile from where the ships are docked (plenty of security - more than being anywhere on Las Rambla.  It is not in some dark alley, is safe and reasonably priced.  You can book with or without breakfast.  And, since we will be there in November (and are usually in Barcelona during the winter since summers there are over the top hot), we do not need air conditioning to cover the noise.

 

The hotel is easy walking distance to Las Ramblas - without being crowded or noisy!

 

snorkle lover, as you know, we are on the same cruise in November.  We have done this cruise previously (on Explorer and on other Regent ships).  Even if our luxury TA was into booking hotels, we would not book through them.  We can find wonderful hotels on our own!

 

 

Travelcat2, one more thing I ask sincerely, is what do you think of Catalonia Portal de l'angel as a hotel. It was recommended to us by a couple who had previously stayed there, and were staying there again on our recent cruise. When we passed by it, we thought that it looked like a nice hotel within the city. We should have gone in and looked around, but time was too short to see everything we wanted to see. Another Regent cruise starting or ending in Barcelona is on our list, and , this hotel appeared to be in a nice area within walking distance of everything of interest in the city. What do you think?

Edited by SWFLAOK
typo

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We stayed at Hotel Continental in May 2018.  It’s a very funky 3-star hotel.  My hubby loved it!  We very much enjoyed the included 24 hour buffet with beer and wine on tap.  One night I was having trouble sleeping, so I had a few cookies and tea from the buffet and read a book in the lobby.  Our room had a balcony that overlooked Las Ramblas....noise was not a problem.  Two things a bit strange.......1.  the room keys are enormous.  They are so big that when you go site seeing, you leave the key with the front desk.  When you return, the key is handed back to you (without you telling your room number).......2.  A couple of rooms have their door weirdly close to the lobby.  Have fun....it’s a great city!

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5 hours ago, SWFLAOK said:

Travelcat2, one more thing I ask sincerely, is what do you think of Catalonia Portal de l'angel as a hotel. It was recommended to us by a couple who had previously stayed there, and were staying there again on our recent cruise. When we passed by it, we thought that it looked like a nice hotel within the city. We should have gone in and looked around, but time was too short to see everything we wanted to see. Another Regent cruise starting or ending in Barcelona is on our list, and , this hotel appeared to be in a nice area within walking distance of everything of interest in the city. What do you think?

I'm curious to see if Travelcat has a specific opinion about this place. Has she stayed there?  Sounds like you had more first hand knowledge about it.

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5 hours ago, SWFLAOK said:

I was replying to  wripro's post that said that staying on Las Ramblas was similar to staying on Times Square. I believe they were suggesting that no one should stay on Las Ramblas after dark,  just as they should not stay on Times Square after dark. I was disagreeing with both of those opinions. 

I'm aware that the majority of tourist hotels are not in the Las Ramblas area, but there are some within easy walking distance. And I know that the tourist hotels are not likely to be in a dark alley. The Fairmont is definitely not in an area of interest, and our pre-embarkation tour picked up some other passengers at a hotel in Barcelona that was closer, but still a tourist hotel.

Being people with city experience other than Barcelona, we want to experience the atmosphere of a city, and don't mind staying there after dark. And we recognize pickpockets when we see them, and avoid getting close to them. 

But they don't stay in the hotels that are off dark alleys.

We live in South Florida year round and keep our condo at 78. We had no problem with the temperatures we experienced on our excursions this July on our Med and Adriatic cruise. It's hot outside in summer in South Florida. But I would not stay at a hotel in any large city that didn't have AC because it's likely to be a place I wouldn't want to stay otherwise.

I wouldnt stay at a hotel in Las Ramblas. It may have changed, as i havent been in like 5 years. However, from my memory, its crude and low grade. The only reason I go to Las Ramblas, is to go to La Boqueria market. Unfortunately, its entrance its there.

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1 hour ago, CruisingIGo said:

We stayed at Hotel Continental in May 2018.  It’s a very funky 3-star hotel.  My hubby loved it!  We very much enjoyed the included 24 hour buffet with beer and wine on tap.  One night I was having trouble sleeping, so I had a few cookies and tea from the buffet and read a book in the lobby.  Our room had a balcony that overlooked Las Ramblas....noise was not a problem.  Two things a bit strange.......1.  the room keys are enormous.  They are so big that when you go site seeing, you leave the key with the front desk.  When you return, the key is handed back to you (without you telling your room number).......2.  A couple of rooms have their door weirdly close to the lobby.  Have fun....it’s a great city!

Yep, its funky alright! Seems like you enjoyed it. 

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5 hours ago, SWFLAOK said:

Travelcat2, one more thing I ask sincerely, is what do you think of Catalonia Portal de l'angel as a hotel. It was recommended to us by a couple who had previously stayed there, and were staying there again on our recent cruise. When we passed by it, we thought that it looked like a nice hotel within the city. We should have gone in and looked around, but time was too short to see everything we wanted to see. Another Regent cruise starting or ending in Barcelona is on our list, and , this hotel appeared to be in a nice area within walking distance of everything of interest in the city. What do you think?

 

Just saw your post and will check it out and will post here.

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Speaking of Barcelona hotels, has anyone stayed at the Hotel Arts and , if so, would you recommend it to others?  We are considering it pre cruise for next May. 

 

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We stayed at the Hotel Arts about 5 years ago and it is lovely, but a little out of the tourist area.   We did walk to Las Ramblas and the Gothic area, but it was a long walk.   Used cabs mostly.

 

You are on the beach which is a wonderful asset, especially if you have kids.

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17 hours ago, SWFLAOK said:

Travelcat2, one more thing I ask sincerely, is what do you think of Catalonia Portal de l'angel as a hotel. It was recommended to us by a couple who had previously stayed there, and were staying there again on our recent cruise. When we passed by it, we thought that it looked like a nice hotel within the city. We should have gone in and looked around, but time was too short to see everything we wanted to see. Another Regent cruise starting or ending in Barcelona is on our list, and , this hotel appeared to be in a nice area within walking distance of everything of interest in the city. What do you think?

 

Okay - did a bit of research since I have not stayed in that hotel.  I like the area (200 yards from Las Ramblas) - near plenty of shops and restaurants - good price.  The reviews that I've read do not mention noise which is a good thing (its sister hotel - Barri Gotic, El Born, is noisy - according to reviews.)  It is a hotel from the 19th century and is a former palace.  

 

This review on TripAdvisor (from last month) has a lot of interesting information.  Posting it below:

 

When we got to the airport we were told that our flight had been cancelled so we were totally unprepared to spend the night in Barcelona, but lucky for us, it turned out to be a very pleasant experience. We were directed to the travel agency in the Barcelona Airport and told that they would help us find a hotel. We told the receptionist that we would like to stay in the city center and she found us a room in the Catalonia Portal de l'Angel Hotel. What a wonderful hotel and it was right in the heart of the Gothic Quarter and just a few blocks from the busy Las Ramblas. The perfect location for everything you would want to do, shopping, site seeing, all types of restaurants, and the Barcelona Cathedral was just a few blocks away too. The hotel was very modern and the staff was friendly and very accommodating to our needs. Our room was very nice, had a large bathroom and huge walk in shower, very comfortable beds, free chocolates, water and coffee at our disposable and they also provided us with a Wifi cellphone to use to take with us when we left the hotel to go exploring. It also had a restaurant, bar, and the pool area was also very inviting. What started out to be a bad day for us turned into a great day. We would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone going to Barcelona. I wish we would've had more time to enjoy all the amenities that the hotel had to offer.

 

The sites that I linked below also have good information (the 2nd one has lots and lots of reviews - in case you are interested).

https://www.oyster.com/barcelona/hotels/hotel-catalonia-portal-de-langel/

 

https://www.trivago.com/barcelona-31965/hotel/hotel-catalonia-portal-de-l-angel-6772?

sem_keyword=-31965%2F&sem_creativeid=76416129196331&sem_matchtype=bb&sem_network=s&sem_device=c&sem_campaignid=335323854&sem_adgroupid=1222657126000206&sem_targetid=2328215871845728&bIsSeoPage=1&cip=121310000&msclkid=b43a0eaa0bee125e34ee5397d2f12774&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=US_en_DSA_Spain_Desktop&utm_term=-31965%2F&utm_content=US_en_DSA_Spain_Desktop_Barcelona

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3 hours ago, Focused1 said:

Speaking of Barcelona hotels, has anyone stayed at the Hotel Arts and , if so, would you recommend it to others?  We are considering it pre cruise for next May. 

 

 

I stayed at the Hotel Arts in October last year.  Yes,  it is a long walk or short taxi ride to La Rambla area and other tourist sights.  The location is on the beach with nice views and without the hectic pace (or noise) of some parts of Barcelona. Since the stay was in October, there was almost no beach activity, so I'm not sure what the area would be like in the summer for crowds.  

 

Booked a room with Club Lounge access. The lounge is top notch with great views and food and overall one of the better Ritz-Carlton-style lounges I have been in. Nice place to just relax in the evening, recover from travel fatigue, and enjoy drinks and casual Spanish tapas, etc., without having too go out to restaurants if you don't want to. Breakfast offerings were also good.  They have mid-day food offerings too but didn't partake because of sightseeing.  Snacks and coffee are available in late afternoon.

 

Also stayed one night with Regent pre-cruise package at Le Meridien.  The room was small with no view.  But hotel was comfortable with a good location for walking around to local sights on La Rambla.  While I was interested in seeing the scene of La Rambla at night, I preferred the Hotel Arts location because of the less hectic atmosphere, the great views, the quick access to the waterfront promenade, and the ability to access the Club Lounge.

 

Planning to go back to Barcelona later this year for a couple nights and will stay at the Hotel Arts again. 

 

As for transportation to the ship, the distance is not far from the where the ships are docked and would be an easy taxi ride if you don't want to use Regent's transfer service.  

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5 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

 

Okay - did a bit of research since I have not stayed in that hotel.  I like the area (200 yards from Las Ramblas) - near plenty of shops and restaurants - good price.  The reviews that I've read do not mention noise which is a good thing (its sister hotel - Barri Gotic, El Born, is noisy - according to reviews.)  It is a hotel from the 19th century and is a former palace.  

 

This review on TripAdvisor (from last month) has a lot of interesting information.  Posting it below:

 

When we got to the airport we were told that our flight had been cancelled so we were totally unprepared to spend the night in Barcelona, but lucky for us, it turned out to be a very pleasant experience. We were directed to the travel agency in the Barcelona Airport and told that they would help us find a hotel. We told the receptionist that we would like to stay in the city center and she found us a room in the Catalonia Portal de l'Angel Hotel. What a wonderful hotel and it was right in the heart of the Gothic Quarter and just a few blocks from the busy Las Ramblas. The perfect location for everything you would want to do, shopping, site seeing, all types of restaurants, and the Barcelona Cathedral was just a few blocks away too. The hotel was very modern and the staff was friendly and very accommodating to our needs. Our room was very nice, had a large bathroom and huge walk in shower, very comfortable beds, free chocolates, water and coffee at our disposable and they also provided us with a Wifi cellphone to use to take with us when we left the hotel to go exploring. It also had a restaurant, bar, and the pool area was also very inviting. What started out to be a bad day for us turned into a great day. We would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone going to Barcelona. I wish we would've had more time to enjoy all the amenities that the hotel had to offer.

 

The sites that I linked below also have good information (the 2nd one has lots and lots of reviews - in case you are interested).

https://www.oyster.com/barcelona/hotels/hotel-catalonia-portal-de-langel/

 

https://www.trivago.com/barcelona-31965/hotel/hotel-catalonia-portal-de-l-angel-6772?

sem_keyword=-31965%2F&sem_creativeid=76416129196331&sem_matchtype=bb&sem_network=s&sem_device=c&sem_campaignid=335323854&sem_adgroupid=1222657126000206&sem_targetid=2328215871845728&bIsSeoPage=1&cip=121310000&msclkid=b43a0eaa0bee125e34ee5397d2f12774&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=US_en_DSA_Spain_Desktop&utm_term=-31965%2F&utm_content=US_en_DSA_Spain_Desktop_Barcelona

Travelcat2,

Thank you so much for your research and opinion on this hotel. I looked at the first link and it seems like exactly the kind of place we would like to stay. I'll take a look at the other links this week. We will most likely book another Regent cruise while on our Cultural Awakenings cruise on Voyager in December. We haven't decided yet where to go and on what ship, but I would like to visit Barcelona again.

Our recent cruise was our 7th since our first ever cruise in February of 2017. We had previously spent many months in the Bahamas each year on our own boat, but as we got older, we wanted less work and a wider world to experience.

This was my first trip to Europe, and despite the heat and crowds on our Barcelona to Venice cruise, I really loved it. We haven't felt confident enough so far to book pre or post hotels on our own. Having no experience with a place, it seems so much easier to pay extra to the cruise line to do it for us. We hope to get a little more adventurous on our future cruises, with a little help from the much more experienced cruisers such as you.

 

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4 hours ago, CruisetheCs said:

 

I stayed at the Hotel Arts in October last year.  Yes,  it is a long walk or short taxi ride to La Rambla area and other tourist sights.  The location is on the beach with nice views and without the hectic pace (or noise) of some parts of Barcelona. Since the stay was in October, there was almost no beach activity, so I'm not sure what the area would be like in the summer for crowds.  

 

Booked a room with Club Lounge access. The lounge is top notch with great views and food and overall one of the better Ritz-Carlton-style lounges I have been in. Nice place to just relax in the evening, recover from travel fatigue, and enjoy drinks and casual Spanish tapas, etc., without having too go out to restaurants if you don't want to. Breakfast offerings were also good.  They have mid-day food offerings too but didn't partake because of sightseeing.  Snacks and coffee are available in late afternoon.

 

Also stayed one night with Regent pre-cruise package at Le Meridien.  The room was small with no view.  But hotel was comfortable with a good location for walking around to local sights on La Rambla.  While I was interested in seeing the scene of La Rambla at night, I preferred the Hotel Arts location because of the less hectic atmosphere, the great views, the quick access to the waterfront promenade, and the ability to access the Club Lounge.

 

Planning to go back to Barcelona later this year for a couple nights and will stay at the Hotel Arts again. 

 

As for transportation to the ship, the distance is not far from the where the ships are docked and would be an easy taxi ride if you don't want to use Regent's transfer service.  

Thank you for your response. Very helpful information. We have been to Barcelona many times so have done most of the tourist attractions. So, staying at a hotel a bit away from the crowds, works for us. We love the Ritz Carlton club lounges and glad to hear this one is top notch. 

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SWFLAOK - I certainly understand not being comfortable booking your own hotel, etc. as it took us quite a while before we stopped staying at Regent hotels.  

 

Regent does select good hotels but you are with 200+ other Regent cruisers and if you want to ask the Regent representative a question, you may have to wait in line.  The one thing that that tipped the scales to our doing our own hotel was Regent's bus transfer to the ship.  They take busloads of passengers to the ship which means waiting in line.  If you do it on your own, you can be there at noon and be on the ship by 12:15 p.m. (before passengers in the hotel).  

 

In 100% of the cases, we have found a hotel and transfer to the ship for less or same amount of money as the Regent hotel and transfer.  Note:  We are now Titanium and can have a private driver from the ship to the hotel OR the hotel to the ship.  Depending upon the location of the hotel, we almost always take our included transportation to the hotel and take a taxi to the ship (and it still is less than the credit we receive from Regent).

 

Whatever you do, the most important things are that you are comfortable doing it and that it leads to a wonderful Regent cruise!

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I am looking at booking Hotel Bagues for our three night pre cruise stay

at the end of April. It is quite near to Hotel 1898. Just wondering if anybody

has stayed there or is familiar with this hotel. It gets very good reviews on TA.

 

 

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