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Old 01-27-2012, 10:54 AM   #16
wrennies
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We did the Med in 2010 and like a lot of folks who have already posted we also stayed at the Marriott Rennassiance at the Airport. Loved it!!! Make sure you get the cruise package and an elite room. There are lots of "perks" for the elite rooms.
As for the time change, we started working on this at home about 4 nights before. We went to bed early and got up earlier each day. We had a lot of fun family time and looked forward to Dunkin Donuts opening each morning. we aore out about 6:00 Barcelona time (we arrived at 9:00 am Barcelona Time). It worked out good that we sat at the marina and ate dinner, went back and everyone went to sleep pretty early.
As for the flight back, we were on Delta and were able to check in at the port. We were off the boat by 8:00 (with ease) and took DCL transportation to the airport around 8:45 (after checking in with Delta). Our flight was at 11:00. We sat at the airport with nothing to do for almost 2 hours (very boring airport BTW). I know DCL does not recommend it, but I will plan this way again myself.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:59 AM   #17
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We stayed at the Le Meridien prior to the cruise. Great location off Las Ramblas and near the port. On the way out, we stayed overnight at one of the airport hotels b/c we had a 10am flight.

There were a lot of people getting of the ship to catch early flights and reports after the cruise were that cab lines were very long. We did need quite a bit of time to get checked in at the BCN airport for our flight, so I think we'd have really, really been pushing it if we tried to leave the morning we got off the ship. Not saying it couldn't be done, but it would've stressed me out!

I echo others about just staying up the day you arrive. You'll crash that afternoon, but it will be better for your trip to just push through it that morning. We arrived in Paris around 9am and then went to Disneyland Paris for part of our pre-cruise trip. We just stayed up until around 2pm, then slept for several hours, got up and had dinner, then went to sleep that night. By the next day, we were pretty much on schedule.
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:25 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by gotomu212 View Post
Here's my advice on #2 and not getting a hotel for the first morning. I've had to travel to Europe numerous times and the fastest way to get regulated to the new time is not to sleep (no, I'm serious) at least not right away.

Chances are you will catch a few hours of sleep on the plane- (not great quality sleep but a few hours and anyone who's had a baby in the house or late night term paper knows that it is feasible to survive for a little while on a few hours).

By the time you get your luggage and get through customs on those 8 am arrivals it's at least 10. Drop the luggage at the hotel so they know you are in town and would love for your room to be ready early if possible.

Then keep moving (think like a shark). If you can stay awake until 3 or 4 in the afternoon, you will be golden. The key for my family is to walk so we do our own little walkabouts in the historical section of whatever town we're in. You aren't looking to experience the museums, just get some fresh air, work out those cramped muscles, and experience some of the city through osmosis.

Then around 3:30 we eat a little and back to the hotel for our nap- only the nap turns into a full nights sleep since we had such limited sleep on the plane. When we wake up, we see the sunrise, and get an early morning city experience that few tourist see, PLUS BONUS jet lag is completely gone and we aren't tired at all the rest of the trip.

European hotels are expensive and we can't justify the cost just to have our room ready 4 hours before we would otherwise get it.
This is good advice Actually I have travelled to Europe quite a bit to visit family. What I do is a few days before I leave is wake up earlier and earlier. So on the day of the trip I am up around 3am. Then on the plane you are exhausted. You should sleep at least 5 hours. Once you hit the ground keep going! DO NOT STOP! If you do you will get jet lag. Then go to bet a an early but reasonable time, like 9, 10 pm and get a great nights sleep for like 9 hours and you will be great fro the vacation!

We stayed at the AC diplomatic. We got a book in advance rate for 120E and the hotel was amazing! So keep shopping and book in advance because if you don't mind prepaying you'll see you can find some reasonable deals.
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:46 PM   #19
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I agree with the stay awake as long as possible. It was hard on my then 8 year old but we kept walking till 7:00 and then she was out till 8:00 the next day and we had no problems.

Hotels the sleep 4, stayed at the Novotel, it was nice modern hotel with a shopping Mall next door, but a little out of the tourist area, but Metro was close(love the Barcelona Metro, so clean and easy).

Also stayed at the Fira Palace, huge rooms, not as modern, but a great rainforest shower and I loved the location. It was a 2 minute walk to the Magic Fountain show.
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:44 PM   #20
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Great hotel suggestions. I like the Marriott Renaissance & how close it is to airport. We are a family of 4 so I will book something early & keep checking.

Do you automatically get an airport hotel, or any hotel for that matter, just by booking airfare through DCL? I know it includes ground transfers and that sounds like our best bet.
I have been to Europe 2x and know we'll eventually adjust to the new time zone but of course back then I was in my early 20's and did 3 hrs/week of aerobics. Seems like a lifetime ago. I did a 14 nt. Perillo tour of Italy with a college friend & we did stay awake but mentally dragging.

Dh & I did 12 nts in Ireland for our honeymoon & we slept once we got there.
Both times worked out fine but neither time did we have kids so that's my concern.
I like the idea of waking up extra early every day so we're a little closer to Barcelona time by the time we fly.

Dh's big concern is that no one will speak English. Is it hard to find English speaking hotel employees? I worry about email the hotel & if they'll be able to read my emails. I recall very few that spoke English at hotels in Italy but we had a tour guide to simply hand out hotel keys to the group, help us get cold medicine at a pharmacy, etc. We always had someone taking care of things for us.
I just don't want to feel totally lost once we arrive and have dh say I told you so.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:06 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruadisneyfan2 View Post


Great hotel suggestions. I like the Marriott Renaissance & how close it is to airport. We are a family of 4 so I will book something early & keep checking.

Do you automatically get an airport hotel, or any hotel for that matter, just by booking airfare through DCL? I know it includes ground transfers and that sounds like our best bet.
I have been to Europe 2x and know we'll eventually adjust to the new time zone but of course back then I was in my early 20's and did 3 hrs/week of aerobics. Seems like a lifetime ago. I did a 14 nt. Perillo tour of Italy with a college friend & we did stay awake but mentally dragging.

Dh & I did 12 nts in Ireland for our honeymoon & we slept once we got there.
Both times worked out fine but neither time did we have kids so that's my concern.
I like the idea of waking up extra early every day so we're a little closer to Barcelona time by the time we fly.

Dh's big concern is that no one will speak English. Is it hard to find English speaking hotel employees? I worry about email the hotel & if they'll be able to read my emails. I recall very few that spoke English at hotels in Italy but we had a tour guide to simply hand out hotel keys to the group, help us get cold medicine at a pharmacy, etc. We always had someone taking care of things for us.
I just don't want to feel totally lost once we arrive and have dh say I told you so.
I'm a Disboards planner; I will win!
I am curious about this, too
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:22 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruadisneyfan2 View Post


Great hotel suggestions. I like the Marriott Renaissance & how close it is to airport. We are a family of 4 so I will book something early & keep checking.

Do you automatically get an airport hotel, or any hotel for that matter, just by booking airfare through DCL? I know it includes ground transfers and that sounds like our best bet.
I have been to Europe 2x and know we'll eventually adjust to the new time zone but of course back then I was in my early 20's and did 3 hrs/week of aerobics. Seems like a lifetime ago. I did a 14 nt. Perillo tour of Italy with a college friend & we did stay awake but mentally dragging.

Dh & I did 12 nts in Ireland for our honeymoon & we slept once we got there.
Both times worked out fine but neither time did we have kids so that's my concern.
I like the idea of waking up extra early every day so we're a little closer to Barcelona time by the time we fly.

Dh's big concern is that no one will speak English. Is it hard to find English speaking hotel employees? I worry about email the hotel & if they'll be able to read my emails. I recall very few that spoke English at hotels in Italy but we had a tour guide to simply hand out hotel keys to the group, help us get cold medicine at a pharmacy, etc. We always had someone taking care of things for us.
I just don't want to feel totally lost once we arrive and have dh say I told you so.
I'm a Disboards planner; I will win!
Hotel employees where we stayed speak English and quite well. The local vendors probably speak little or no English. We can get by with the Spanish we know so it's all good.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:26 PM   #23
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These are all great tips!! Keep them coming!
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:27 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixie08 View Post
This is good advice Actually I have travelled to Europe quite a bit to visit family. What I do is a few days before I leave is wake up earlier and earlier. So on the day of the trip I am up around 3am. Then on the plane you are exhausted. You should sleep at least 5 hours. Once you hit the ground keep going! DO NOT STOP! If you do you will get jet lag. Then go to bet a an early but reasonable time, like 9, 10 pm and get a great nights sleep for like 9 hours and you will be great fro the vacation!

We stayed at the AC diplomatic. We got a book in advance rate for 120E and the hotel was amazing! So keep shopping and book in advance because if you don't mind prepaying you'll see you can find some reasonable deals.
That is a great idea but I guess it will work (waking up early) if you live in the east since BCN is just 6 hours ahead time wise. Here in the west, they are 9 hours ahead, we would have to sleep through the afternoon and up by midnight to make it work.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:40 PM   #25
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We did the Baltics in 2010 with Princess (Disney was $2000 more). We are over 65, took the red eye into Copenhagen from Newark via SAS Economy Plus. Arrived in the AM and checked into an airport hotel around 10AM local time, upgraded to club level at check-in at a reduced rate, went to the lounge as our room was not ready. DH collapsed on the couch and I had some breakfast. Waited about an hour and got a room. DH wanted to sleep so he slept from 12 noon local time until 6PM. We ate in the hotel and then went back to the room still tired. We went to sleep at a reasonable local time and in the am we were OK and took the cruiseline transfers to the ship. I was disappointed that we did not see Copenhagen but in the long run, DH was ready for the port intensive Baltics cruise. We are booked for the 12 night med with Venice in June 2013 so at our age I'm not sure what we will do pre or post cruise yet.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:44 PM   #26
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One more question, kinda silly....

For those of you who used DCL transportation, was it a real DCL bus? Or did they hire a company in Spain to run their buses? I'm just curious if it will be our ol familiar buses.

I explained the flight times to our boys, 15 & 11.5. They are so excited they don't care if it feels like 2:30am when we arrive. They want to tour Barcelona.

It will all work out. I just worry too much.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:49 PM   #27
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It's a chartered bus but DCL employees are ever present to send us off and receive us at the port.

It will take a while before your luggage get to your room though since the porter system is probably not as streamlined as in the DCL port in PC. At least in our Med cruise, it took a while before our luggage was dropped off in our room and we left the port of BCN later than I thought we would.
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:25 AM   #28
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We'll be looking for a hotel in BCN that will accommodate the four of us in a single room. When we went in 2007, we booked the air/hotel portion through DCL late and all of their available accommodations for 4 in a room were long gone - so our price doubled for hotel. But if we end up having to do two rooms, well, I guess that's what we'll do.

As for the dining question, we had main seating in 2007 and found that on the days that the ship was in port later, they adjusted the seating time... so instead of seating at 6 p.m., they moved it to 6:30. We found the same thing on the Baltic - or if the time didn't change, they would still seat you later than seating time (it's like they knew what excursions you were booked on and that you'd be late getting back). We also found that on both the Med and Baltic that dress was a lot more casual - they were absolutely happy to seat and feed you in the dining room even if you literally got on the ship, washed your hands, and came on in straight from your excursion. It was a completely different vibe than on the Caribbean cruises we've done. We also found that being a longer cruise, dining seemed so much more relaxed.
The normal hotels don't sleep 4 in a room. When we did the med last time.. we found the hotel porta marina. The rooms were large and modern and slept 4 comfortably and it was very affordable. My only comment is that it was in an area that was being regentrified and wasn't close to the "action". We were 4 blocks from the beach though, but were really too tired to go. We liked the hotel, not the location so much. Also many stayed at the novotel. If you want to be in the heart of the action in Barcelona, it will be more expensive.
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:46 AM   #29
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To the question of english speaking employees....the marriott concierge spoke extremely good english and most of the employees did speak pretty good english. We did not have any problems at the hotel. Our problems came in the cities looking for the train stations...
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:54 AM   #30
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We did the Baltics in 2010. We are over 65, took the red eye into Copenhagen from Newark via SAS Economy Plus. Arrived in the AM and checked into an airport hotel around 10AM local time, upgraded to club level at check-in at a reduced rate, went to the lounge as our room was not ready. DH collapsed on the couch and I had some breakfast. Waited about an hour and got a room. DH wanted to sleep so he slept from 12 noon local time until 6PM. We ate in the hotel and then went back to the room still tired. We went to sleep at a reasonable local time and in the am we were OK and took the cruiseline transfers to the ship. I was disappointed that we did not see Copenhagen but in the long run, DH was ready for the port intensive Baltics cruise. We are booked for the 12 night med with Venice in June 2013 so at our age I'm not sure what we will do pre or post cruise yet.
We did something similar. We arrived at the hotel around 2 pm after a long stopover at CDG. We ordered room service at 3:30 pm. I hit the sack at 6 pm and woke up the next morning at 8 a.m., ready to go. Two of the kids went to bed at 8 pm and woke up shortly after me. DS14 went to bed even later - around 11 pm and had problems with jet lag.
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