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Catperson

European Cruising Newby

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Hi, planning a cruise In May 2020 departing from Barcelona.  We would be arriving from Canada the day before the cruise mid morning and will be booking a hotel for the night.  When are we able to check in to the hotel? Do we wait until 3-4pm?  I imagine we will be pretty tired from lack of sleep on an overnight flight.

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We were allowed early check-in in Rome. I guess it depends on availability. Ask the hotel and they may be able to accommodate you..

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When I  was in your position, my hotel would not let me check in until the specified time:  3 P.M.

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It would best to email your hotel as we have no idea , one time we got 10 am check in another was 1300 and our flight arrived 6am 🙄

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Yes, it definitely depends on the hotel. Most will allow you to check in early if they have a room ready. However, even if you cannot get into your room yet, you can almost always drop your luggage at the front desk for you and they will hold it for you. So at least you don't have to drag it around with you until you can check in later in the afternoon.

 

What we usually do is try to take a 2-3 hour nap once we are able to check into the room. Yes, you are going to be tired. But you have to make yourself get up. Don't stay asleep! If you do then you are going to wake up at like 2am.  They eat supper very late in Spain. Many restaurants don't even start opening until 8pm. So take a nap for a couple of hours.

 

Then you can get up and go out for supper and enjoy walking around looking at the sights at night. If you are staying anywhere near the Block of Discord, it is beautiful. The impressive buildings, including Gaudi's Casa Batllo, are lit up and look amazing. Or you could try to see if there is an evening walking tour. We did an amazing bar-hopping tapas tour in Madrid last October. Maybe you could find something fun like that in Barcelona. 

 

Have fun. You are going to love it!

Edited by luckybecky

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Some hotels have a reduced "day rate". May want to inquire. 

 

Otherwise, your luck will run about 50/50 when attempting to do an early check-in. FWIW, you may want to look into overnight sleep medicines for your flight, i.e. melatonin, ambien, etc. 

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This is not different to checking in with a hotel in the US. Many let you wait until official check in time just because they can.. Best is indeed to ask for early check in in advance and have a written confirmation. This works best with one of the big hotel chains who have official rates and rules for this. 

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10 hours ago, Catperson said:

Hi, planning a cruise In May 2020 departing from Barcelona.  We would be arriving from Canada the day before the cruise mid morning and will be booking a hotel for the night.  When are we able to check in to the hotel? Do we wait until 3-4pm?  I imagine we will be pretty tired from lack of sleep on an overnight flight.

 

I would suggest looking at this from a different perspective. 

 

You need to arrive earlier in order to spend time sightseeing in Barcelona, otherwise you are going to miss one of the most fascinating cities in Europe.  As you've already noted, if you arrive only a day in advance, you are going to be limited by both time and jet lag. Try to arrive AT LEAST two days before your cruise starts. Three would be even better if you've never been to Barcelona before.

 

Given your actual question posed, I would suggest if you can only arrive one day ahead of your trip that you try to rest/sleep on the plane as much as you can. Nearly every flight from the US to Europe is a red-eye, but the best thing to do in order to get immediately on "local" time is to keep going. Do not nap during the day.  Leave your bags at your hotel and get out (being in the fresh air and sunshine also helps your body clock adjust) and do some sightseeing. 

 

I would stay away from large chain hotels. Find one with a good location and local charm, or at most pick one of the European/Spanish chains for a different feel. I have stayed in a couple of H10 hotels in Barcelona; they are more of a boutique hotel.  If you want a prime location and a very traditional hotel, look at Hotel Colon.

 

Finally, I strongly suggest spending some time on the various Ports of Call boards for your ports in order to pick up tips on what to see and how best to tour in any given port. Some European ports are easy to do on your own. For others, choosing a private tour may be a better idea than going with a ship tour.  

 

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Most hotels  will let you store your bags  until check in time

Some hotels  will let you check in earlier  if they have rooms available

 I would  email  & ask if you could check in earlier  some may charge a fee

 

If you can spring for  PE or BUS class seats  well worth the  $$

 

 

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You definitely have to check with the hotel. Different hotels have different rules to follow. Everyone here has different experience on the subject.

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You could always book and pay for the previous night (turning your 1 night stay into a 2 night stay) and then your room would be ready whenever you arrive!

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Typically for us, in the scenario you describe, we drop our bags at the hotel then scoot around for a while enjoying the place.

 

 

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When flying to Europe we always make every effort to stay up the first day. Try to sleep as much as you can on the plane, go to bed early the first night, and you’ll be adjusted to the time by the second morning. So the 3-4 check in works in your favor, if you had a room you would be tempted to nap. Just drop your luggage at the hotel and leave with front desk and plan a busy day of sightseeing to keep you engaged and awake.

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Check with your hotel - they will give you accurate information. We always drop off our bags at the hotel and then set out to explore. Have stayed at several hotels in Barcelona and they have all stored our bags until check-in.

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Depends upon hotel.  We recently booked a hotel in Barcelona for a 4 day stay before heading home from our cruise.  We got to the hotel about 9:30 am, was in a room by 11.  We just hung out in the lounge for an hour.  

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I just had that exact scenario in Edinbrugh. My plane landed at 10 am.  I stored my bags with the hotel, and hit the streets. Walking, window shopping, drinking coffee, exploring a museum...  I had an early dinner, and crashed into bed by 8pm.

 

Yes. That first day was exhausting. But the next morning I woke up at 7am, ready to go for the day.  It really pays off to get onto local time as quickly as possible.

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1 hour ago, Donray said:

Do not take a nap.  Sleep on the plane. 

Some of us have a real hard time sleeping on planes. Staying up the next day instead of napping is good advice.

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OP said from Canada mid-morning. That sounds like Rouge from YUL, YYZ is a couple of hours later. So arrival at the hotel would be not much before noon. My experience in Barcelona, the room is often ready by noon or shortly after. It's probably not worthwhile planning much sightseeing if you can only arrive the day before.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer for adjusting to the time change. Barcelona has a very bad reputation for pickpockets, sightseeing is for wide awake and alert people.

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