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Old 04-29-2012, 12:18 PM   #61
Anal Annie
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Originally Posted by burma View Post
So I have a question where is the Port in relation to everything this will be our first Med Cruise and we have DD11 and DD12 .. I think we will be in Barcelona for 2 days before the cruise and I dont know if we should go with DCL planning or I should do this on my own.

On the other side of the coin .. I have a friend that lives there and she sent me these hotels ... does anyone know any of them?

Hotel Neri (old palace in Gothic Quarters - beautiful!)
Praktik Rambla (new, modern, well located)
W Hotel (on the beach, but you have to take a taxi most places)
Hotel Pulitzer (good location, good roof top terrace)
Hotel Granados 83 (a few blocks from center, less touristy)
Hotel 1898 (right on the Ramblas)

I feel the next year of planning this trip is gonna be a PIMA but prob well worth it.

thanks
Dave
You'll save yourself a lot of money if you do this on your own rather than book thru DCL. I have heard of most of those, or several of them anyway and I'm sure your friend wouldn't steer you wrong. My search last year for our hotels in Barcelona centered around being able to sleep at least 3 people in a room so that we wouldn't have to pay for 2 rooms (the USD was in the TANK last year so by the time we converted the euro to USD it was something like 1.51 to 1 at the time of our trip). That and I didn't want just 1 of us to be stuck in a room alone. You will find that most European hotels don't sleep more than 2 / room and also that they rarely have connecting rooms. You can find adjoining (next to) rooms but they don't have rooms like what we're used to in the US with connecting doors. I also preferred hotels with pools in case we just wanted some relaxation time. I relied heavily on Trip Advisor(TA) reviews (you can sort by hotels that will allow 4 / room) in addition to people here on the DIS that had gone on the previous Med cruises. There are something like 534 hotels in Barcelona (according to Trip Advisor) and I wanted to stick to ones that were both reasonably priced and at least within the top 100-150 so I had a "short list" to go by that met all of these criteria.

The Praktik Rambla was one of the ones on my short list - last year it was rated # 10 on TA and right now it is currently #32...I know it has the ability to sleep 3 / room but I am not sure about 4 ppl. The 2 reasons I passed on it was 1) no restaurant IN the hotel and 2) no pool.

The 1898 is currently ranked # 4 and was one of the 2012 top #25 Winners Choice Awards with TA. It is supposed to be very nice...I passed on it because of the $$$. It was just too much for our pockets.

Same with the W hotel. Very nice but not sure if it offers 4 / room but it was irrelevant as it was also out of my price range. It is currently ranked # 37.

The Hispanos 7 Suiza is one that gets high marks from DIS'ers and on TA. It is also a Top #25 2012 Winners Choice so if I were you I would look into that one.

We ended up booking the Novotel for our 1 night pre-cruise because they have family rooms and kids under 16 are free. It is currently ranked # 52 on TA. I booked it very early on (in January for August) with a non-refundable rate that included breakfast for $145 USD. The Novotel chain is comparable I would say to a Hampton Inn type property. Nice enough for 1 or 2 nights but not super fancy. The breakfast was a nice spread that had a lot to offer and "American Coffee". (We'd just spent 4 nights in Paris where there was no such thing as "American Coffee" to be found and where a Croque Monsieur sandwich (a grilled cheese) cost 14 Euros!) I thought the value was excellent for what we had paid. They had a rooftop pool and were located across the street from a shopping center with a grocery store. This was key for us because we wanted to pick up beer & water to bring. They had very little "normal" water (not sparkling or mineral which is mostly what you'll find in Europe) so we cleaned them out the day we went. Beer was extremely cheap and we filled a carry-on suitcase with it!!

Post cruise we stayed for 2 nights at the Hotel Jazz which offered a "triple" and was near Placa Catalunya, a couple of blocks off Las Ramblas. Terrific location and very nice, (HUGE room) and also with a rooftop pool. It had been a Top #25 Winners Choice property in 2010 but was significantly more expensive. It is currently holding steady at #11 on TA. While it was very nice I would say it was a more adult hotel than a family hotel. There were a lot more kids at the Novotel and there was some topless sunbathing going on at the Hotel Jazz which I did not see at the Novotel. Because this is a very common practice in Europe this could happen anywhere though. I'm just saying that I saw it at the Jazz but not the Novotel and I tend to think it was because the guests were more adult oriented at the Jazz. (Our DS was 14 and I think it made him uncomfortable.) There was both a metro stop and a Bus Touristic(the HOHO bus) stop within a block of the hotel and the front desk hooked us up with a discount for the HOHO bus. (I think it was a couple of euros off pp.)

Both of the hotels we booked were well represented and accurate to what we saw on their websites & thru TA reviews if that helps.

You will first need to set a budget on how much you want to spend then you'll have to decide if you want all of you in 1 room or if you're willing to split up into 2 rooms. Good luck - I loved the planning but it WAS a lot of decsions to make!!


Here's a link for an interactive city map of Barcelona. You should bookmark it as I ended up using it a lot in my planning:

http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.c...hotel-map.html
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Last edited by Anal Annie; 04-29-2012 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:55 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anal Annie View Post
You'll save yourself a lot of money if you do this on your own rather than book thru DCL. I have heard of most of those, or several of them anyway and I'm sure your friend wouldn't steer you wrong. My search last year for our hotels in Barcelona centered around being able to sleep at least 3 people in a room so that we wouldn't have to pay for 2 rooms (the USD was in the TANK last year so by the time we converted the euro to USD it was something like 1.51 to 1 at the time of our trip). That and I didn't want just 1 of us to be stuck in a room alone. You will find that most European hotels don't sleep more than 2 / room and also that they rarely have connecting rooms. You can find adjoining (next to) rooms but they don't have rooms like what we're used to in the US with connecting doors. I also preferred hotels with pools in case we just wanted some relaxation time. I relied heavily on Trip Advisor(TA) reviews (you can sort by hotels that will allow 4 / room) in addition to people here on the DIS that had gone on the previous Med cruises. There are something like 534 hotels in Barcelona (according to Trip Advisor) and I wanted to stick to ones that were both reasonably priced and at least within the top 100-150 so I had a "short list" to go by that met all of these criteria.

The Praktik Rambla was one of the ones on my short list - last year it was rated # 10 on TA and right now it is currently #32...I know it has the ability to sleep 3 / room but I am not sure about 4 ppl. The 2 reasons I passed on it was 1) no restaurant IN the hotel and 2) no pool.

The 1898 is currently ranked # 4 and was one of the 2012 top #25 Winners Choice Awards with TA. It is supposed to be very nice...I passed on it because of the $$$. It was just too much for our pockets.

Same with the W hotel. Very nice but not sure if it offers 4 / room but it was irrelevant as it was also out of my price range. It is currently ranked # 37.

The Hispanos 7 Suiza is one that gets high marks from DIS'ers and on TA. It is also a Top #25 2012 Winners Choice so if I were you I would look into that one.

We ended up booking the Novotel for our 1 night pre-cruise because they have family rooms and kids under 16 are free. It is currently ranked # 52 on TA. I booked it very early on (in January for August) with a non-refundable rate that included breakfast for $145 USD. The Novotel chain is comparable I would say to a Hampton Inn type property. Nice enough for 1 or 2 nights but not super fancy. The breakfast was a nice spread that had a lot to offer and "American Coffee". (We'd just spent 4 nights in Paris where there was no such thing as "American Coffee" to be found and where a Croque Monsieur sandwich (a grilled cheese) cost 14 Euros!) I thought the value was excellent for what we had paid. They had a rooftop pool and were located across the street from a shopping center with a grocery store. This was key for us because we wanted to pick up beer & water to bring. They had very little "normal" water (not sparkling or mineral which is mostly what you'll find in Europe) so we cleaned them out the day we went. Beer was extremely cheap and we filled a carry-on suitcase with it!!

Post cruise we stayed for 2 nights at the Hotel Jazz which offered a "triple" and was near Placa Catalunya, a couple of blocks off Las Ramblas. Terrific location and very nice, (HUGE room) and also with a rooftop pool. It had been a Top #25 Winners Choice property in 2010 but was significantly more expensive. It is currently holding steady at #11 on TA. While it was very nice I would say it was a more adult hotel than a family hotel. There were a lot more kids at the Novotel and there was some topless sunbathing going on at the Hotel Jazz which I did not see at the Novotel. Because this is a very common practice in Europe this could happen anywhere though. I'm just saying that I saw it at the Jazz but not the Novotel and I tend to think it was because the guests were more adult oriented at the Jazz. (Our DS was 14 and I think it made him uncomfortable.) There was both a metro stop and a Bus Touristic(the HOHO bus) stop within a block of the hotel and the front desk hooked us up with a discount for the HOHO bus. (I think it was a couple of euros off pp.)

Both of the hotels we booked were well represented and accurate to what we saw on their websites & thru TA reviews if that helps.

You will first need to set a budget on how much you want to spend then you'll have to decide if you want all of you in 1 room or if you're willing to split up into 2 rooms. Good luck - I loved the planning but it WAS a lot of decsions to make!!


Here's a link for an interactive city map of Barcelona. You should bookmark it as I ended up using it a lot in my planning:

http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.c...hotel-map.html
WOW. I know you were answering someone else's question, but thank you so much for the details!! I think your info will be very helpful!! Tell me this, do you think I'm out of my mind trying to hope for a hotel, close-ish to port for under $100 US? You can tell me I'm crazy, I think I probably am, especially since I want SOME amenities...
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:55 PM   #63
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We stayed APSIS

On our 2011 Med cruise we spent two nights at the APSIS porta marina. We found it on cruise critic. I have since rated it very high on their site as well. We had 2 rooms with 2 in each room.
Rooms could accommodate 3 or 4 as well I believe. We were within a walking distance of the HOHO bus system, and the ocean front area. I walked these areas with my DS16 and my parents 67 and 68 at the time. No issues. We
loved the people working in the motel. They were very helpful with dining reservations and directions. This motel has breakfast included in a reasonable price as well as free internet and use of the printer where I printed my admission documents to the Vatican that I had arranged before we left but were not yet ready.
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:10 PM   #64
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We stayed at the Catalyna Ramblas, at the top of les Ramblas and near the main square. It was quite expensive for what it was, but you were paying for location. It also had a pool and they brought a camp bed for my son to sleep on, so we only had to share 1 room.

Next time, I wouldn't be afraid of staying further out where the prices are lower and using the metro. The metro was very easy to use, and we shared one of those 10 journey tickets to save money.

Catalyna are a large chain of Spanish hotels. Google Thomas cook website as they have loads of these hotels on there, but prices will be in British Pounds, but it's a starting point for names.
http://www.hoteles-catalonia.com/en/...blas/index.jsp
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:46 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathymford View Post
WOW. I know you were answering someone else's question, but thank you so much for the details!! I think your info will be very helpful!! Tell me this, do you think I'm out of my mind trying to hope for a hotel, close-ish to port for under $100 US? You can tell me I'm crazy, I think I probably am, especially since I want SOME amenities...
Crazy? Hummm. Maybe. I'm all about finding a good deal but you didn't say the name of the hotel - did you find one for that price? I think closer to $150ish is more realistic unless you want a hostel. You have to remember that the rates change with the euro / USD conversion rate. It may be 1.35 one day and 1.42 the next. Until you PAY for it the price could change if you're pricing it in euros. Anyway, I would have to research it and the neighborhood it is in before I booked it. Some areas could be a little seedy so I would research that too. I want to feel as safe as possible and there are a lot of pickpockets & thieves in Barcelona. And again, personally, I wanted to be sure to limit my search to the top 100-150 ranked hotels on TA. If they weren't in that top bunch I didn't look at them. If that's not a priority for you then you'll have to set your own standards to go by. I also had a few pocket size travel guide books that I referenced when I was planning. Frommer's "Barcelona Day by Day" and Fodor's "Barcelona's 25 Best" along with Eyewitness Travel's "Barcelona & Catalonia". I cross referenced many of the recommended hotels in the guide books to the TA reviews and made my own comparisons. I felt better booking hotels that I found were well reviewed both online and here on the DIS.

I wouldn't be concerned with trying to be right next to the port. You'd still need to take a taxi or shuttle to where the cruise ships dock. The port is huge and is not exactly pretty so staying next to the port isn't going to get a great view or something like if you were on a beach. It's very industrial with lots of tankers carrying large box containers (the big ones that look like railroad cars). If you're thinking you want to stay near the water in order to swim I would say you might want to book a resort area outside of Barcelona. Most of the hotels in the city are within a 15 - 20 min. taxi ride from the port.
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:40 PM   #66
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Barcelona hotel/apt sleeps 4!

Hi folks, thought I'd chime in with BCN hotel advice.

We are a family of 4 - with 2 daughters ages 6 & 9. We did not want to stay in 2 hotel rooms after last year's TA cruise. We were on a budget and needed to stay in Barcelona 2 nights. I did a lot of online research and found the Hotel Azul. Rates were reasonable and their rooms were 1 BR suites with mini kitchen, 2 baths, just lovely! It was walking distance from the famous Magic Fountain (a highlight for our girls) and plenty of shopping and public transportation nearby. I booked it online and we were amazed at how nice the place was - absolutely perfect for us! I'd stay there again in a heartbeat. I think their web site is hotelazulbcn.com

One word of caution: When we were in one of the subway stops changing trains, my husband was surrounded by 4 guys who were pretending to rush thru the gate, but really trying to pick pocket my husband. They got between my husband and me & 2 kids. They made two attempts but luckily he did not have his wallet in his back pocket and they didn't get anything! A real eye-opener for a NJ family that rides NYC subways all the time!

All that aside, we loved Barcelona and can't wait to go back!

Susan
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:05 PM   #67
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When we took the cruise back in 2007, we stayed at the Hilton Diagonal Mar. We ended up getting upgraded to a suite upon check-in because there were no rooms ready for us at the time (we also stayed there for one night when we came back, but it was just a normal room). The family loved it because you are directly across the street from a really nice mall. You are also on the route for those tour busses that allow drop-in and -out priveleges along the route.

Word of warning about families booking rooms in Europe. They have really strict rules with respect to the number of people in a room. In our case, we were four, though our daughters were young at the time. They could have easily shared a double bed with us, but European safety laws said that we needed two rooms. I spoke with the hotel directly, and they understood the situation we were in with two small children and arranged a double bed room, but not requiring the extra room.
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:45 PM   #68
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We stayed at the Renaissance Barcelona http://www.marriott.com/hotels/trave...-airport-hotel, both pre and post 2011 Med cruise. We are a family of 3 and booked a room with a king bed (i slept in the middle) and it as perfect for us. The hotel offers a pre-cruise package which includes transport to the port, and while no "package" is offered, they did have return trips from the port upon return for a nominal (reasonable) fee. The hotel ran free shuttles to/from the base of Las Ramblas in the morning and evening, which worked out just fine for us. The hotel ran a free shuttle to/from the airport - so the convenience of it all was great.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:09 PM   #69
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Barcelona Hotel

We stayed at the Hilton Diagonal Mar for one night after our cruise last year, got a great prepaid rate, huge room, great view of the Barcelona Marathon being run outside. Across from a mall, 2 blocks from Med Sea.

Pre Cruise, we spent 5 nights in the Walden suite, owned by destinationbcn . com. It had 2 bedrooms, full kitchen, laundry, etc. It was a great location, would go back in a heartbeat.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:40 PM   #70
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Stayed at Le Meridien

We cruised in 2010 and stayed at the Le Meridian in Barcelona before and after our cruise. Do not book through Disney as it was half the price to book it on our own. It was very convenient to be at a Disney hotel as they check you in ahead of time and do your cards and everything. We did have 3 small children at the time - we will be cruising this summer with 4 children! and so we had to book 2 rooms - we had 2 rooms across from each other at the end of a hall with doors that closed in the hallway so that we had a "suite." The hotel was very nice and in a great location for walking around Las Ramblas - the big market and gothic area were just minutes away.

We used Barcelona Day Tours to pick us up from the airport and take us on a tour of the city before taking us to the hotel since we arrived in Europe so early in the morning. They were very nice, picked us up in a very nice van and even had car seats for my children. This took care of us having to worry about transportation to the hotel with small children and then the hotel arranged for a car to take us back to the airport after the cruise.

We had a fantastic time on the ship and it was a great way to travel Europe with or without small children!
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:20 AM   #71
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We used Barcelona Day Tours to pick us up from the airport and take us on a tour of the city before taking us to the hotel since we arrived in Europe so early in the morning. They were very nice, picked us up in a very nice van and even had car seats for my children. This took care of us having to worry about transportation to the hotel with small children and then the hotel arranged for a car to take us back to the airport after the cruise.

We had a fantastic time on the ship and it was a great way to travel Europe with or without small children!
What a great idea. Thank you, thank you.
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:24 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by gamommyofthree View Post
We cruised in 2010 and stayed at the Le Meridian in Barcelona before and after our cruise. Do not book through Disney as it was half the price to book it on our own. It was very convenient to be at a Disney hotel as they check you in ahead of time and do your cards and everything. We did have 3 small children at the time - we will be cruising this summer with 4 children! and so we had to book 2 rooms - we had 2 rooms across from each other at the end of a hall with doors that closed in the hallway so that we had a "suite." The hotel was very nice and in a great location for walking around Las Ramblas - the big market and gothic area were just minutes away.

We used Barcelona Day Tours to pick us up from the airport and take us on a tour of the city before taking us to the hotel since we arrived in Europe so early in the morning. They were very nice, picked us up in a very nice van and even had car seats for my children. This took care of us having to worry about transportation to the hotel with small children and then the hotel arranged for a car to take us back to the airport after the cruise.

We had a fantastic time on the ship and it was a great way to travel Europe with or without small children!
Did you arrange with DCL beforehand to be allowed to check in at the hotel, even though you didn't book the hotel through them? How did that work? TIA!

Beth
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:34 PM   #73
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For you OCD planners....

http://www.aspasios.com/barcelona

Has opened up dates thru June 2013!
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:57 PM   #74
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http://www.aspasios.com/barcelona

Has opened up dates thru June 2013!
Thanks! They seem to have reasonable rates. Now I just need to go get a decent Barcelona maps so I can figure out where everything is in relation to each other!
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:16 AM   #75
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Thanks! They seem to have reasonable rates. Now I just need to go get a decent Barcelona maps so I can figure out where everything is in relation to each other!
I'm not in a place to try and PM you, but if you PM me so I get a reminder, I have such a map................

I'm not home until much later today.....
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