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Old 06-24-2007, 01:19 PM   #1
Doingitagain
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June 27, 2007 Med Cruise Report

Note...we booked everything through Disney, I have been so busy that I had no time to research or even follow up on any of the tips posted on the boards. So, this may not be as informative as some of you may like. And don't expect pictures until perhaps when we get home. I don't want to spend the time uploading them.

Cast: Me, DH, DD18 and DS15.

We booked a prestay with DCL, so we left Saturday for Barcelona. The first leg of our flight took us to Amsterdam. What a wonderful airplane...individual video screens for on demand movies, games and music made the time pass quickly. We only had two hours in Amsterdam, so we went straight to the gate and skipped the World Club. Good thing we did, because they had a security issue. We had gotten our passports stamped and were almost to the screening conveyor belt, and they rushed everyone back out and 50 meters away. They had security and a bomb sniffing dog around for a while, then finally let us start again. By then the lines were very backed up.

The next flight to Barcelona was uneventful and we slept most of the two hours.

We picked up our bags from baggage claim and went outside security. A DCL representative was there to greet us, in addition to a driver who had a sign with our surname. Within minutes the four of us were in a large van and on our way to the hotel. DD and DS are adult size, plus we had seven pieces of luggage and four carryon backpacks...we still had plenty of room. The driver didn't speak much English, but made it known that we were to get in the van and leave the bag hauling to him (fine with us!). He was very professional, even wearing a suit. I know it may have been more expensive to use DCL for transfers, but for ease and low stress it couldn't have been better.

We are staying at the Hilton Diagnol Mar. It is a very nice hotel. We had great service from the bell staff and the reception staff and the housekeeping staff so far. The staff is very nice.

We had originally booked two rooms through DCL because of the three person limit, but I called in a while back and they waitlisted us for a larger room. One came through right away, and we saved a lot of money by canceling the second room. The room is quite large and fits a king size bed, pullout sofa, and rollaway easily. The only snag is that they made up the pullout sofa and when DD sat on it, it collapsed into a "V" with her inside. (OK, Jill and Lorie, you can laugh here ). Probably not comfortable to sleep. I called housekeeping, and they didn't understand English. Hard to explain a bed folding up. So they had reception call back, and they sent maintenance. He couldn't understand at first, so I finally just sat on the pull out sofa and let it fold up...that he understood. He tried fixing it, but said it was broken. He immediately put the couch back together and brought another rollaway. I actually think that fits the room better anyway, and we can still use the sofa at night. Still disappointed that I missed an opportunity to get a photo with DD folded up in the mattress (sorry, Bill, I failed a photography opportunity ).

We went for a walk around the hotel and surrounding area. The outdoor pool area looks wonderful. DD wants to spend some time tanning tomorrow afternoon and DS wants to play a game with the "life size" chess board pieces. The weather is beautiful with a light breeze to keep it cool.

We found the subway closest to the hotel (Hint, cut through Parc Diagnol Mar). We stopped at the mall across the street from the hotel and had a traditional tapas meal. It was very nice. We walked around inside the mall...just like home...chaotic with Subway, Burger King and every kind of ice cream you can imagine.

Now we are settling down to rest since we didn't get much sleep last night and we have some very busy days coming up.
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Old 06-24-2007, 03:04 PM   #2
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Great start....can't wait to hear more.
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Old 06-24-2007, 07:36 PM   #3
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I'm on the ship with you and I'll be following your TR. This way I'll see if I've missed anything.

I've started a blog of this trip. The link is in my siggie, if anyone cares to read.

Leaving tomorrow and I'm soooo excited.

See ya on the ship.

Nina
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Old 06-24-2007, 08:40 PM   #4
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Nina, I just read your blog thus far and see you will be staying at the Rivoli Ramblas.. Please let me know how you like it. I have booked two nights there prior to our cruise and would like to know how it is.

I thought the location was good for us, right on Las Ramblas - my girls are 21 and 24 so we will all like to be in the center of excitement, lol.

Good luck flying out tomorrow..
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Old 06-24-2007, 08:42 PM   #5
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Doingit - thanks for posting your report! What excursions will you be taking? I hope you continue posting as we future med cruisers are just eating up all these nice reports. Thanks again!
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Old 06-24-2007, 09:42 PM   #6
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Marie! Marie! Marie!!!! You are in Barcelona!!! Can you believe it, one year later??! I miss you guys!! You cannot believe how excited I am that I came upon this post, I go to the trip report forum about once a week, now I'll live here with your updates! I can't wait to send this to Lorie tonight. She is just getting home from her Princess cruise today, do you believe that?!

Your trip over sounds good so far and the description of the bed sinking is hysterical, you're right, would have made for a great picture. Oh, I'd give anything to be there with you all. Who are you going to laugh with in Rockin Bar D this week?? LOL. I hope you have an amazing time and I'll be watching every day. Have a blast!!!! Jill, Don and the boys
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Old 06-25-2007, 12:19 AM   #7
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We are getting ready for our first day of touring. The beds at the hotel are great...all have feather duvets, including the rollaways. DD decided she needs one for college.

Not a great night sleeping for everyone because of jet lag...hopefully it gets better as we adjust.

Very, very quiet. The rooms are off a small hallway and don't open directly to the main hallway. I haven't seen other guests except in the lobby or at the pool.

Jill and Lorie...missing you and your families!
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Old 06-25-2007, 12:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jillpie View Post
Oh, I'd give anything to be there with you all. Who are you going to laugh with in Rockin Bar D this week?? LOL.
I am trying to convince DD to go to pub night now that she is 18. She thinks it will be a bunch of old people like us...
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Aulani 3/2013
Saratoga 6/2006, 10/2008, 7/2009, 12/2009, 12/2014
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Old 06-25-2007, 06:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolAnnC View Post
Nina, I just read your blog thus far and see you will be staying at the Rivoli Ramblas.. Please let me know how you like it. I have booked two nights there prior to our cruise and would like to know how it is.

I thought the location was good for us, right on Las Ramblas - my girls are 21 and 24 so we will all like to be in the center of excitement, lol.

Good luck flying out tomorrow..
Carol, will certainly post about the hotel. I too, chose it for the location. Keeping my fingers crossed it meets my expectations.
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Old 06-25-2007, 08:23 AM   #10
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Doingitagain - Thanks for your TR!

Nina - I just read your blog. Thanks for the info! We will be flying out of Dulles on BA/Iberia for our August cruise. I had read that the luggage allowance would be the BA limit of 50 lbs since our tickets were purchased through BA. I would love to know your experience when you get back! Have a wonderful trip everyone!

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Old 06-25-2007, 08:48 AM   #11
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Taking a mid-day break. DD is off sunning at the great pool area.

DD reminded me I forgot to write about this guy on the plane. He had his headphones on and started singing "Hey Jude" quite loudly. We all just looked around and smiled at each other. Now someone just has to refer to "Hey Jude dude" and we smile again.

Our breakfast is included in the DCL room package. It was a very nice, traditional upscale European breakfast (I think it would cost 25 to 30 Euros if we had to purchase it, so check to make sure it is complimentary first). There was fruit, cheese, meats, eggs, bacon, sausage, fried tomatoes, pancakes, waffles, salmon and cream cheese, cereal, all sorts of cereal toppings...too many things to list. And you could order omelets or fried eggs upon request. Everyone should be able to find something they like. DD ate fruit and peanut butter toast, DS had a meat and cheese sandwich! The service was exquisite. DH set a newspaper down by his feet and our server ran over with an extra chair to set at the table and put the newspaper on it (ah, taste of DCL to come...). To top it off, they handed me and DD each a long stemmed red rose when we left!

If you don't have complimentary breakfast, the mall across the street has a lot of restaurants, including Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts.

We took a taxi to our first activity...quite interesting driving in Barcelona, I wouldn't want to do it! Motor cycles scoot in and around cars, lots of traffic and fast movements. And four adults in a cab is a bit tight, but we made it. On the way the driver pulled out some paperwork and I could see it started with "Lasik Keratotomy"...and he was looking at it while driving! I checked, he was wearing glasses so it must have been before the surgery (Lasik is the eye correction surgery). And remnants of Hey Jude Dude...the driver was singing with the radio.

We went on the Barcelona Segway tour today (www.bcnglides.com). It was great! The only mishaps were mine...I was a bit unsteady going down a steep hill and another time I hit a hole and tipped...this guy in a wheel chair swerved in front of me and I took the dive rather than hitting him. No big deal, nothing injured. The Segways are actually very safe and stop when anything happens. I am not the most talented person, so don't worry about doing this excursion...it was very fun and I highly recommend it. Edgar spoke very good English and told us bits and pieces of history as we went around different sites. If you want to go inside places and shop, this is not your tour. We are doing that kind of thing later today and all day tomorrow. This was a fun way to "see the sights". Also, less strenuous than those poor folks sweating it out on the Fat Bike Tour which we also considered! (and sorry again, Bill, but no one got a photo of me taking the dive)

Micluver and her family were on the Segway tour with us!

Took a taxi back to the hotel. Traffic was much worse later in the day.

The bell staff was right there to open taxi doors for us.

Reception has been very helpful getting change for us (hard to use large Euro bills and we need tip money). I know Europeans don't expect much for tips, but it is helpful to have 1 Euro coins to hand out here and there.

Our room was neat and clean and cool when we returned!

We checked in at the DCL desk in the lobby, so we are all set to board on Wednesday. We just have to get our Key to the World card Wednesday morning before we get on the bus to the port. They are picking up our luggage early, so we may just walk around the mall for a while or sit at the pool.

But we have another day and a half to see things, so we are going to get going. We will try the Barcelona Bus Tourista (hop on/hop off bus).
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Old 06-25-2007, 08:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UMTerp View Post
Doingitagain - Thanks for your TR!

Nina - I just read your blog. Thanks for the info! We will be flying out of Dulles on BA/Iberia for our August cruise. I had read that the luggage allowance would be the BA limit of 50 lbs since our tickets were purchased through BA. I would love to know your experience when you get back! Have a wonderful trip everyone!

UMTerp
UMTerp, I think you are correct. I just went to their website and that looks like what it says. What a relief that is. I'm still going to try to keep everything as lite as possible. 7 bags for 5 people isn't too bad, is it?
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Old 06-25-2007, 11:38 AM   #13
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7 bags for 5 people isn't too bad, is it?
I think you are doing really well!!!

Have fun!

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Old 06-25-2007, 11:48 AM   #14
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Hey Jude Dude, OH that is SO Beth!!! I can just picture it. Your segway tour, Pat would LOVE that. It sounds like a blast Marie. So glad you are enjoying everything and that breakfast sounds delish. Can't wait for more. Haven't heard from Lorie yet, I hope she had a great cruise.
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Old 06-25-2007, 01:00 PM   #15
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Doingitagain, I am so enjoying your Barcelona adventures. Sounds like a good time for all. And thanks for taking the time to post your TR.

Nina
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WDW Polynesian 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004,2005
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