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awestover89

Rhapsody of the Seas no longer docking in Barcelona - Tarragona instead

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Posted on the relevant roll calls as well, but Royal sent out emails this morning for the April 18 TA and May 2 re-positioning to say that due to port congestion in Barcelona, Rhapsody of the Seas will disembark/embark in Tarragona, Spain. They are offering a free shuttle from Barcelona to Tarragona.

 

Not sure if any other ships will be affected, or if they chose Rhapsody because she was transitioning through Barcelona rather than homeporting there.

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Content of the email:

 

Dear Travel Partner,

 

We're looking forward to welcoming your clients onboard the Rhapsody of the Seas for their May 2nd, 2020 sailing. As they get ready for their vacation, we have an itinerary change to share. Please provide the information below to your clients so they can plan their cruise accordingly. Thank you for your support and partnership!

 

Dear Guest,

 

Before we set sail, we have some important Boarding Day information to share with you. Due to port congestion in Barcelona, Spain, our sailing will now begin in Tarragona, Spain. We know how much time and planning go into your vacation, and we're terribly sorry for any inconvenience caused by this. Below, please find our new itinerary for our May 2nd, 2020 sailing on Rhapsody of the Seas.

 

Day

Port of Call

Arrive

Depart

Sat

Tarragona, Spain

 

5:00 PM

Sun

Cannes, France

10:00 AM

6:00 PM

Mon

Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy

7:00 AM

7:00 PM

Tue

Naples / Capri, Italy

7:00 AM

6:30 PM

Wed

Catania, Sicily, Italy

8:30 AM

4:30 PM

Thu

Cruising

 

 

Fri

Split, Croatia

8:00 AM

5:00 PM

Sat

Venice, Italy

6:45 AM

 

 

We understand this is an unexpected change. So, to ensure you have the smoothest experience possible, we're providing complimentary shuttle services from Barcelona to Tarragona. Below, please find some information to consider before your cruise.

 

Boarding Day:

  • Check-in will begin at the World Trade Center Terminal South, where shuttles will take you to Barcelona starting at 10:00 AM CEST. They'll depart about every 30 - 45 minutes, with the last shuttle departing at 1:30 PM CEST. The drive will take us just over an hour, so feel free to relax on the scenic drive over.
  • If you've booked flights to Barcelona, either independently or through our Air2Sea team, you'll go straight to the World Trade Center Terminal South and board the complimentary shuttles. If you pre-purchased transfers, we'll take you directly to the terminal in Tarragona.

 

And remember, if you complete online check-in prior to your cruise, you'll have a smoother boarding experience. This can be done starting 90 days prior to departure. Don't worry though, we'll send you a reminder to complete it closer to your sailing!

 

Your vacation time is important to us, and we want to make sure everything is perfect! Thanks for your cooperation and understanding. We look forward to welcoming you aboard!

 

Sincerely,

 

Aurora Yera-Rodriguez

Associate Vice President of Guest Services

Royal Caribbean International

 

Have questions? We have answers.

 

Why is my itinerary being modified?

Unfortunately, there'll be some port congestion in Barcelona, Spain. To ensure the smoothest boarding experience possible, we had to change our port on Boarding Day to Tarragona, Spain, which is the closest port to Barcelona.

 

I have transfers, flights and/or hotels booked. What's happening with them?

If you've secured these through us, no action is required. All Royal Caribbean International transfers (with or without a hotel stay) will be rescheduled to accommodate this change. For Air2Sea guests, you'll go straight to the World Trade Center Terminal South and board the complimentary shuttle buses. If you pre-purchased transfers, we'll take you directly to the terminal in Tarragona.

 

Are air change fees or flight reimbursements being offered?

While there is a small airport near Tarragona, most international guests will find their flights will still be directed to the airport in Barcelona, as it's the closest major airport. So, no need to change your flights - we've got you covered. A complimentary shuttle bus service departing from the World Trade Center Terminal South on Boarding Day will be available to take you to the ship. If you'd prefer not to take the shuttle, transfers leaving directly from the airport to the pier are also available for purchase.

 

How can I reserve transfers?

If you'd like to reserve pre-cruise transfers for your sailing, please call us or your Travel Advisor prior to the sailing, and we'll assist you in getting these added to your reservation.

 

How much do transfers cost?

While pricing for transfers varies depending on the sailing, we understand this is an unforeseen circumstance. So, the cost for transfers will remain at the same rate as if we were still scheduled to depart from Barcelona. You can find more information about our transfers here.

 

I'm planning to take the complimentary shuttle bus, not a transfer. Where do I go?

On Boarding Day, the shuttle will depart from the World Trade Center Terminal South in Barcelona starting at 10:00 AM CEST. They'll depart about every 30 - 45 minutes, with the last shuttle departing at 1:30 PM CEST. Don't forget to take your luggage onto the shuttle with you!

 

How long is the shuttle ride?

The trip from the World Trade Center to the Port of Tarragona will take us just over an hour. So, feel free to kick back and relax while you enjoy the scenic drive. For the fastest experience once we arrive to the Port of Tarragona, don't forget to complete your online check-in when it opens 90 days before you set sail!

 

What's the address for the Port of Tarragona?

Port de Tarragona

Moll d´Andalusia Sud

43004, Tarragona

 

What's the address for the World Trade Center South Terminal?

Port de Barcelona

Moll de Barcelona Sud

Terminal WTC Sud

08039 Barcelona

 

Are there any pre/post shore excursions available for Tarragona?

 

Yes! We'll have some great tour options available for your sailing, so be sure to keep an eye out for them in Cruise Planner!

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What a bummer!

 

My flight from Barcelona is 11:00am.  Not a problem if we docked in Barcelona as I normally do a walk off and grab a taxi.    But Tarragona is an hour (85km) from Barcelona airport.  The shuttles don't run until 10:00am - which seem very late regardless!

 

SO choices...

Hire a private transfer for about $150 - do a walk off at 7:30am.

Pay €150 to change my flight - take the "free" shuttle, then get a taxi to the airport, wait until midnight for the next flight!

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Wilde_37 said:

What a bummer!

 

My flight from Barcelona is 11:00am.  Not a problem if we docked in Barcelona as I normally do a walk off and grab a taxi.    But Tarragona is an hour (85km) from Barcelona airport.  The shuttles don't run until 10:00am - which seem very late regardless!

 

SO choices...

Hire a private transfer for about $150 - do a walk off at 7:30am.

Pay €150 to change my flight - take the "free" shuttle, then get a taxi to the airport, wait until midnight for the next flight!

 

 

 

The 10AM shuttle is for the May 2nd outbound cruise, I'm not sure what they have for the inbound on the TA. The website shows a 4AM arrival to Tarragona for the TA, vs the originally scheduled 6AM arrival in Barcelona. If somebody from the TA has their email handy that could provide better info for disembarking.

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A few additional sailings were posted as well (not sure if this can be accessed without logging in): http://www.cruisingpower.com/content/en_US/PDF/Tarragona JW 08.23.20_10.23.20 itinerary changes.pdf

 

It looks a little confusing though; they have a few dates and ship names mixed up in the PDF. Shows several Rhapsody and Jewel sailings though.

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I do not have an email but my reservation shows the change, I wonder how much they are going to charge for the airport transfers?

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I was curious, and it looks like on May 2 (the day of the two impacted Rhapsody cruises) there are currently 8 ships scheduled to be in port in Barcelona, including Rhapsody. 

 

Other sailings impacted so far: 

 

Jewel of the Seas August 23rd sailing (8 ships in Barcelona on September 5)

Jewel September 5 (8 on departure, 2 on return)

Jewel September 29th sailing (3 on departure day which is unchanged, 7 when she returns on October 11)

Jewel October 11th sailing (7 on departure and 7 on return, both changed)

Jewel October 23rd sailing (7 on departure)

 

So of the sic changes I've seen so far, 3 had 8 ships in Barcelona and 3 had 7. 3 were transitioning cruises, 3 were roundtrip Barcelona cruises (1 with both changed, 2 with only 1 change)

 

Allure is also doing cruises out of Barcelona, but doesn't look to be affected yet (if anybody on the Allure has received an email indicating that there's a change, that would be good to know)

 

 

Edited by awestover89

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Well Allure is a much bigger ship so moving it has a longer logistics chain, makes more sense to move the smaller ships. 

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I received the same email, for the Nov 7, 2020 transatlantic on the Rhapsody, originally from Barcelona to Tampa, now leaving from Tarragona..

 

 

Edited by bespin
Add name of ship

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I received the same email, for the Nov 7, 2020 transatlantic, originally from Barcelona to Tampa, now leaving from Tarragona..

 

 

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6 hours ago, awestover89 said:

I was curious, and it looks like on May 2 (the day of the two impacted Rhapsody cruises) there are currently 8 ships scheduled to be in port in Barcelona, including Rhapsody. 

 

Other sailings impacted so far: 

 

Jewel of the Seas August 23rd sailing (8 ships in Barcelona on September 5)

Jewel September 5 (8 on departure, 2 on return)

Jewel September 29th sailing (3 on departure day which is unchanged, 7 when she returns on October 11)

Jewel October 11th sailing (7 on departure and 7 on return, both changed)

Jewel October 23rd sailing (7 on departure)

 

So of the sic changes I've seen so far, 3 had 8 ships in Barcelona and 3 had 7. 3 were transitioning cruises, 3 were roundtrip Barcelona cruises (1 with both changed, 2 with only 1 change)

 

Allure is also doing cruises out of Barcelona, but doesn't look to be affected yet (if anybody on the Allure has received an email indicating that there's a change, that would be good to know)

 

 

Allure can not dock in Tarragona

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Changed my flight to the following day.  Aer Lingus changed the flight for only €40,  Feel safer now!

 

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We are on Jewel 9/5 and not at all happy - the Port Authorities should have known how many ships are in port before taking the bookings.  We don’t even have the option of canceling and getting our deposit refunded or swapped to another cruise. 

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23 minutes ago, Pencruise said:

We are on Jewel 9/5 and not at all happy - the Port Authorities should have known how many ships are in port before taking the bookings.  We don’t even have the option of canceling and getting our deposit refunded or swapped to another cruise. 

We are on Vision originally due to sail from Barcelona on 5 Sep for a 13-day TA, but they cut the TA short by 2 days due to port overloading, and now it's an 11-Day TA.  I feel for those who have to go in/out of Tarragona.  🍷

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My wife and I booked a 12 night out of Barcelona on the Jewel next Oct 2020. We specifically booked out of Barcelona because we are both wheelchair bound and Barcelona is said to be very handicapped accessible. We just received an email saying that the departure port is being changed to Tarragona, Spain. Also one of the ports has also changed and Ive been unable so for to find out if its a tender or dock. We booked onboard the Serenade so we booked with non refundable deposit. Ill also go to the Disabled Boards to research Tarragona. Anyone had this happen where the departure port was changed? Was Royal willing to work with you? Any advice? Ill post updates as they become available. 

Edited by TheDMan62
Added Ship Name

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3 hours ago, Pencruise said:

We are on Jewel 9/5 and not at all happy - the Port Authorities should have known how many ships are in port before taking the bookings.  We don’t even have the option of canceling and getting our deposit refunded or swapped to another cruise. 

 

I'm not 100% certain, but I suspect it was a more voluntary change on Royal's part rather than a forced change from the Port Authority. Although many places in Europe are starting to put restrictions on the number of ships in port.

 

My research shows Tarragona is trying to increase their cruise traffic, they had 50 ships in 2018 compared to I think it was 18 in 2017 and less than 10 in 2016. And they are currently building new berths to attract more ships which are scheduled to open sometime in 2020. If I were to speculate (and that's all this is) I'd say Tarragona is offering really good incentives for ships to dock and Barcelona is charging a lot more. Royal may be using these as sort of test runs to see how Tarragona would work.

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3 hours ago, awestover89 said:

 

I'm not 100% certain, but I suspect it was a more voluntary change on Royal's part rather than a forced change from the Port Authority. Although many places in Europe are starting to put restrictions on the number of ships in port.

 

My research shows Tarragona is trying to increase their cruise traffic, they had 50 ships in 2018 compared to I think it was 18 in 2017 and less than 10 in 2016. And they are currently building new berths to attract more ships which are scheduled to open sometime in 2020. If I were to speculate (and that's all this is) I'd say Tarragona is offering really good incentives for ships to dock and Barcelona is charging a lot more. Royal may be using these as sort of test runs to see how Tarragona would work.

Sounds like something RC would do.  We are on the Nov. 7th, 2020 Rhapsody cruise.  Due to other cruises already booked, we can only fly in to BCN on Nov. 6th.  And no way to even see possible flight options for Nov. 2020 yet.  A bummer.  Hoping they will give people option to either cancel or move deposit to another cruise.

NJ 

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Interesting email.

Tarragona is a nice place but an industrial port, cheaper fees maybe

Edited by bigeck

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15 minutes ago, NJ&Ozzie said:

Sounds like something RC would do.  We are on the Nov. 7th, 2020 Rhapsody cruise.  Due to other cruises already booked, we can only fly in to BCN on Nov. 6th.  And no way to even see possible flight options for Nov. 2020 yet.  A bummer.  Hoping they will give people option to either cancel or move deposit to another cruise.

NJ 

Curious, what would be the main issue that would make you want to cancel/switch cruises? Especially if Royal does indeed offer the free shuttles. There are many cruiseports that are an hour away from the closest airport (Seward in Alaska is 2-4 hours from Anchorage depending on the method of travel. Shanghai airport and cruise port are an hour away. Those are two I've personally done.)

 

For me, the change doesn't really impact much; we're just debating if we want to spend a night in BCN and take the free shuttle, or take the train to Tarragona and explore that city the day before/morning of the cruise. I'd see some concerns with ships that return to Tarragona, making sure you have enough time to get to the BCN airport if flying out the day the cruise returns.

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9 minutes ago, awestover89 said:

Curious, what would be the main issue that would make you want to cancel/switch cruises? Especially if Royal does indeed offer the free shuttles. There are many cruiseports that are an hour away from the closest airport (Seward in Alaska is 2-4 hours from Anchorage depending on the method of travel. Shanghai airport and cruise port are an hour away. Those are two I've personally done.)

 

For me, the change doesn't really impact much; we're just debating if we want to spend a night in BCN and take the free shuttle, or take the train to Tarragona and explore that city the day before/morning of the cruise. I'd see some concerns with ships that return to Tarragona, making sure you have enough time to get to the BCN airport if flying out the day the cruise returns.

Our concern is that we have a number of concurrent cruises booked in Fall 2020 with one being Nov. 2-6 (Navigator MIA-MIA).  As the Rhapsody is on Nov. 7th, we planned to fly from MIA on Nov. 6th for 7th arrival & go straight to BCN cruise terminal.  But problem is now we have no idea how early we can get into BCN on Nov. 7th in order to catch the free shuttle to Tarragona.  Shuttle only operate until 1:30 pm on 7th.  Don't think flight itineraries will be out till maybe November this year?  If we can't find an appropriate flight time, we will have to either cancel the Navigator or the Rhapsody.

 

Rhapsody crossing ends up in Tampa so no worries about getting back from Tarragona.  We are doing same thing this year - our cruises end in MIA so have flight booked to Barcelona leaving Nov. 8th, arriving 9th for Rhapsody crossing to Tampa.

NJ 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, NJ&Ozzie said:

Our concern is that we have a number of concurrent cruises booked in Fall 2020 with one being Nov. 2-6 (Navigator MIA-MIA).  As the Rhapsody is on Nov. 7th, we planned to fly from MIA on Nov. 6th for 7th arrival & go straight to BCN cruise terminal.  But problem is now we have no idea how early we can get into BCN on Nov. 7th in order to catch the free shuttle to Tarragona.  Shuttle only operate until 1:30 pm on 7th.  Don't think flight itineraries will be out till maybe November this year?  If we can't find an appropriate flight time, we will have to either cancel the Navigator or the Rhapsody.

 

Rhapsody crossing ends up in Tampa so no worries about getting back from Tarragona.  We are doing same thing this year - our cruises end in MIA so have flight booked to Barcelona leaving Nov. 8th, arriving 9th for Rhapsody crossing to Tampa.

NJ 

 

 

Most US to Europe flights are over-nite an usually arrive very early in the morning.

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59 minutes ago, FLACRUISER99 said:

Most US to Europe flights are over-nite an usually arrive very early in the morning.

Great - good to know.  Our current flight to BCN from MIA arrives 8:40 a.m.   We were lucky to get a direct flight this time.

 

Do you think the free shuttles to Tarragona are only an interim thing & RC will start charging for them at a later point?

NJ

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2 minutes ago, NJ&Ozzie said:

Great - good to know.  Our current flight to BCN from MIA arrives 8:40 a.m.   We were lucky to get a direct flight this time.

 

Do you think the free shuttles to Tarragona are only an interim thing & RC will start charging for them at a later point?

NJ

Your guess is as good as mine.

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On 10/3/2019 at 1:16 PM, Wilde_37 said:

What a bummer!

 

My flight from Barcelona is 11:00am.  Not a problem if we docked in Barcelona as I normally do a walk off and grab a taxi.    But Tarragona is an hour (85km) from Barcelona airport.  The shuttles don't run until 10:00am - which seem very late regardless!

 

SO choices...

Hire a private transfer for about $150 - do a walk off at 7:30am.

Pay €150 to change my flight - take the "free" shuttle, then get a taxi to the airport, wait until midnight for the next flight!

 

 

This is why I book a  flight for a few days before for changes such as this. Can you see if your flight  encounters a schedule change? If so you can go ahead and rebook it.   I normally book my flights 3-4 months to 6 weeks in advance depending on the season to account for changes or a year in advance for Frequent Flier Tickets.  Booking airfare early does run the risk of itinerary changes. 

 

If it were me and there is no other option available I would pay $150+change fee or use Trip Interruption Insurance to let them reschedule you to depart a day or more  later or the Private Transfer option.  I myself book  a flight for the next day to go home. 

 

Edited by travelplus

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