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Old 01-31-2012, 01:52 PM   #16
sayhello
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I stayed at the Hotel Grand Marina Barcelona. BEAUTIFUL hotel right on the water. I got a *great* pre-paid rate on travelzoo. Large, modern rooms. Marble everywhere, floor-to-ceiling wall of windows, comfortable bed. Much larger rooms than is the norm for Europe. (Heck, larger than a lot of rooms I've stayed in here in the US). I don't know if they have rooms that would accommodate 4 or not, but it's worth checking into. Easy walking distance to the Columbus statue and Las Ramblas, Hop On/Hop Off bus stop nearby.

http://www.grandmarinahotel.com/es/hotel.html

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Originally Posted by kcashner View Post
In 2010 and 2011, DCL offered transfers for $30 from the airport (BCN) to the cruise terminal and from some hotels to the cruise terminal. There is supposedly some sort of public transportation from the Columbus statue to the terminal (a couple miles) but I don't know the details. We saw some people walking, but they are hardier than most Americans I know! It is a couple of miles from the start of the terminal to where the ship docked.
The public transport is "The Blue Bus", which you catch *near* the Columbus statue (not at!) But the day I went, there were 3 ships in port, and one bus running, and it took an hour and a half to get on the bus. If you're in a hurry to get to the ship, I'd recommend not relying on the Blue Bus.

And I totally would recommend against walking it, as you have to go up & over that bridge to get to the port. Not for most people, especially if toting luggage!

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Old 01-31-2012, 02:22 PM   #17
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Last May post cruise we stayed at the AC Diplomatic which we booked on our own I think through hotels.com. Our room had a queen size bed and pull out couch for the 3 of us so they may allow 4.
We also stayed in the AC Diplomatic in September 2010 for two nights. It is now a Marriott hotel (http://www.marriott.com/hotels/trave...tel-barcelona/). Our family has two adults and two children and we fit into the room comfortably. I remember it being an issue to find rooms big enough for all four of us. This hotel was very clean, comfortable, and it was one of the "Disney" hotels associated with the cruise. Disney had a check in desk in the hotel lobby the day before the cruise and also offered transfers (bus transportation) to the port.

We initially had booked through Disney, but wound up cancelling the hotel through them and rebooking on our own and saved some $$. The hotel is still rather pricey, but it was really nice. We walked around the neighborhood, to parks, and took the open top tour bus during our 1.5 days in Barcelona. It is an absolutely beautiful city!
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:46 PM   #18
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Fira Hotel Barcelona

We booked an Executive Room for 4 and it was huge. I believe it was approximately 1000 sq. ft. in a quiet part of the neighborhood. We were a block away from the Magic Fountain.

In 2010, it cost $150 US. The beds were huge. I couldn't believe that a family of 5 couldn't fit in there.

The Taxi cost a lot. Remember the taxis were small. We took 2 big and 3 small luggages and it was a squeeze.

We took a taxi from the airport and the taxi driver was so nice.

Then, we immediately went to the Chocolate Factory where many disboard meet for the Aug 2010 12-night cruise signed their children for the "making chocolate". That was a great activity to keep the kids awake.

My DH and my friend's DH went off to view the beautiful Picasso paintings. It was great.

After the Chocolate Factory, we took the hop-on-hop-off bus to see several sights. Around 3 p.m, we went back to the Hotel and slept until 7:30 p.m. It was so exhausting.

Then, we walk several doors down to eat at the restaurant Golfo diNapoli. Great little restaurant.

After dinner, we just walked down the street to the Magic Fountain. Whew! We were exhausted and slept.
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:59 PM   #19
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The three of us stayed at Hotel Jazz in a room designed for three people - called a "Triple Jazz" (two twin beds and a fold-out couch). The room was a large corner room with separate sitting area, and the location is right near Placa Catalunya and Las Ramblas.

We loved it, but the price was not cheap. We booked it on our own, and even with the 15% discount for early booking, it was still about $560 for two nights (including tax). You can find review of this hotel on these boards and on tripadvisor. Good luck, and enjoy Barcelona! It's amazing!
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:09 PM   #20
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Was it possible to walk from the W to the cruise terminal? Our kids are teenagers (will be turning 17 on the trip and 15).
It would be quite a walk...I would say 4 to 5 miles. The W is on a small peninsula on the beach overlooking the Med. You probably see the ship but you follow the bay in and out of the canals and buildings as well as over a couple bridges. And to pull your luggage...quite an endevour...ask the concierge how much a cab would cost..I would say 8 to 10 euro if that.
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:59 PM   #21
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For just a place to crash when arriving at the airport the day before the cruise, the TRYP hotel was great. Complimentary shuttle to/from the airport, and right on the major bus lines. It resembled a Hyatt or similar in the US. You would need to take a bus to the downtown area. When I stayed there, I knew I needed just a place to sleep overnight. If I had more time, I'd stay in the downtown area.
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:28 PM   #22
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Because of our travels before and after the trip, we stayed in two places:
1. Eurostars Gran Marina, which has already been mentioned, and
2. Hispanos Suiza 7, which hasn't.

We are a family of four, with younger children than yours (11 and 6), and found the two-bedroom apartment layout at Hispanos fantastic and convenient. One bedroom had a king-size bed, the second bedroom had two twins, and each had its own bathroom. There was a small kitchen and living area as well. What was great about it was the location (two blocks away from Sagrada Familia) and not having to pay for two rooms. The staff was very friendly and welcoming, and we liked the neighborhood. It didn't feel like we were staying in a touristy area like Las Ramblas. I know people love staying near there, but one pass up and down the Ramblas was enough for me. You will need to take a cab to the port, or take the subway that takes you nearer to the port and either hike or cab from there.

Staying at Eurostars was more of a generic experience, but it was very convenient. You will need two rooms. You can actually walk to/from the ship from this hotel, which, considering the wait for cabs after the cruise, should be something to think about. It's a long walk, but your kids are old enough! Very quick walk to Las Ramblas. Rooms are huge. Bathrooms are very nice. Rooftop pool is small but nice for a dip. Gym near the pool. Convenient to Las Ramblas and two subway lines. Service adequate but no one is overly-friendly. Restaurant breakfast buffet looked beautiful but was 30 Euros per person; we took a 20 minute walk to La Boqueria (right off Las Ramblas) for breakfast totaling under 30 Euros total. If you do some research on La Boqueria you will find little restaurant institutions that have been there for decades, serving amazing, freshly prepared, traditionally Spanish foods for very little money.

If you are staying for a few days in Barcelona and want more of a local, neighborhood-y feel, I would recommend staying at Hispanos Suiza 7 (or other ApartHotels in the area, like Eric Vokel) where you get more for your money, more space, less tourists, and easy access to the best subway system I've ever used. If you are there for a one-night stay pre-or post cruise, stay at Eurostars or the place near the airport that everyone seems to like.

Just writing this is making me re-live the great time we had in Barcelona and the cruise! You'll have a great time!
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:02 PM   #23
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I can second the opinion expressed about the Hispanos 7 Suiza. Fabulous hotel/apartment for a family- so much room to spread out. Very close to public transportation, including the Hop on Hop off Bus (very good way to see Barcalona in a short period of time). I don't know if it still the same or not but breakfast was included in our stay and was very good.
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Old 01-31-2012, 09:21 PM   #24
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I can second the opinion expressed about the Hispanos 7 Suiza. Fabulous hotel/apartment for a family- so much room to spread out. Very close to public transportation, including the Hop on Hop off Bus (very good way to see Barcalona in a short period of time). I don't know if it still the same or not but breakfast was included in our stay and was very good.
We also stayed at Hispanos 7 Suiza in 2007. We had a 3 bedroom apartment with a huge balcony on the top floor. It was clean and modern and pretty reasonable. Definitely met our needs. (we had 5 people). We paid a small supplement to add on the breakfast. I think this time (2013), we want to be closer to Ramblas.
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:31 PM   #25
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Thank you all so very much for the responses! This definitely gives us something to work with. I'm going to post the list in the first entry on the thread so it will hopefully help others who have the same / similar questions as I have.

I do like the idea of Hispanos Suiza - and with the ages of our boys and the fact that we'll be embarking on two 12-night cruises back-to-back, we will likely appreciate the little bit extra space that an arrangement like this will afford us.

I've also been looking at the Barcelona port board on another travel site to see what hotels folks have stayed at / recommend - the list is similar to the ones given here.
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:32 PM   #26
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I do like the idea of Hispanos Suiza - and with the ages of our boys and the fact that we'll be embarking on two 12-night cruises back-to-back, we will likely appreciate the little bit extra space that an arrangement like this will afford us.
Your long trip sounds fabulous!! Enjoy and be sure to share your experiences with us when you return so we can live vicariously through your adventures!
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:00 PM   #27
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It is realllllly hard to find hotels in Europe to sleep more than 2 people. If you need more than 2 then you'll have to book 2 rooms in a lot of cases - and they often are only adjacent, not connecting. You will need to shop early if you want all the above. You also need to remember that you're at the mercy of the fluctuating USD to Euro which is very volatile. So you have to constantly check the conversion rate when you're shopping around because a lot of the time the prices shown are in Euros.

We came to Barcelona from spending 4 nights in Paris and we stayed at the Novotel for 1 night pre-cruise for several reasons. First, it was a family oriented hotel that offered 4 to a room (under 16 free). They also had a rooftop pool and were located across from a shopping center (Plaza Glories) which had a grocery store so we were able to shop pre-cruise for beer & water. Finally, they were CHEAP (at the time I booked) and offered a pretty decent breakfast buffet that you could get included in the price. The breakfast was totally worth the extra charge. I booked it in January for our August cruise. I booked a non-refundable pre-paid rate that included breakfast and at the time it converted to about $145. By summer the hotel was fully booked & their prices had nearly doubled and some from my same cruise couldn't get in.

The shopping center across the street was great to have (bring your own shopping bags or you'll have to buy theirs). The hotel is very modern, the room was clean & the breakfast buffet was extensive and enjoyable (and they had "American coffee"). The rooftop pool was small, the water was cold and there were a LOT of other cruise families there with smallllll children so we didn't stay there too long. But it was nice to have it available. For what we paid I was pleasantly surprised.

POST cruise we spent 2 nights at the Hotel Jazz which was a nicer hotel located a couple of blocks from Las Ramblas near Placa Catalunya & the Hard Rock Cafe. I think our rate converted to about $245 / night at the time I paid (I pre-paid again to try to hedge off the rising Euro). It was a really nice property and we booked what they called a "triple". It was a corner room & it was HUGE - like the size of a suite!! It also had a small rooftop pool & bar which got very crowded by afternoon. But it was nice to have. We did not eat at the hotel. We found other places to eat. Actually, we found our best meal in Barcelona at the Hard Rock (we decided we weren't fans of the local cuisine). The Hotel Jazz is located right down the street from the HOHO bus and right above the metro. Nice for convenience but we could hear the rumbling below whenever a train went by. Las Ramblas & the Hard Rock were only a 5-10 min. walk away. Our biggest complaint with the Jazz was that the beds were hard as freaking concrete and we didn't sleep that well. If you like to sleep on the floor you'll love it. If you like a nice soft cushy bed maybe not so much. The property itself is great tho!

I think there are several pictures of both hotels on my trip report / blog. They are both well represented on their websites as well (ie what you see is what you get).

There are also some websites that offer apartment rentals which are good (economical) for larger groups or for anyone who wants to spend several nights (like at least 3 nights) in Barcelona.

http://www.enjoybcn.com/en/catalogo/listado_4.html

http://www.habitatapartments.com/en
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:13 AM   #28
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Annie - thanks for the hotel info, and information about what's right there. Having easy access to a grocery is something for us to consider pre-cruise since we will be arriving a few days ahead and don't want to have to eat out for all of our meals. When we were in London in 2010, our favorite meal came from the grocery on the corner - loved being able to pick up just what we needed and have a variety of fresh foods.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:27 AM   #29
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Annie - thanks for the hotel info, and information about what's right there. Having easy access to a grocery is something for us to consider pre-cruise since we will be arriving a few days ahead and don't want to have to eat out for all of our meals. When we were in London in 2010, our favorite meal came from the grocery on the corner - loved being able to pick up just what we needed and have a variety of fresh foods.
There is a huge El Corte Ingles department store in the Placa Catalunya area and it has an amazing grocery store in the basement also a fabulous bakery and wine shop.

Below is the Trip Advisor link for specialty lodging in Barcelona if you are interested in more of an apartment style accommodations. Lots of great options with reviews. Last summer we enjoyed having the extra space to spread out.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g1...ia-Hotels.html

Barcelona has an excellent and reasonable priced metro system, very easy to use. If anyone in your family is a soccer fan or player, you must get tickets to tour the stadium and museum.

http://www.fcbarcelona.com/camp-nou

Our family absolutely loved Barcelona. It's a really cool city.
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:39 PM   #30
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My family of four stayed at the Casp74 Apartments when we did the Med cruise last summer. Great central location. Great big apartment with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a living room and a kitchen (with washer & dryer).

Staying here makes you feel as if you're part of the neighborhood and not as much like a tourist. The staff was wonderful and extremely helpful. Grocery store nearby, which was great for saving some money. I believe we paid around 130 Euro per night.

We are booked for the Med again in 2013 and will likely stay there again.
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