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Symphony Of The Seas 14-21 April semi live blog

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Day  -2

Well after few months it is time again for funny spelling mistakes/bad grammar and near real time blog.

If everything will be ok and nothing  change our flight we will be on the Symphony Of The Seas at this Saturday from Barcelona.

So why this ship ? – really should I explain why one wants to go on Symphony ? 😊

Actually, when the first itineraries were published we already booked a cruise for September time but six weeks ago we decided we need some extra vacation until September, we thought first to travel to Thailand for some land vacation but after checking the April/May weather over therel we dropped this idea.

I started to look for April  cruises and I preferred something around Europe to shorten the flight  time , apparently the only available ship was the SyOTC , so well we decided to volunteer and as  @Matt says : do it for the research.

For sure I have not canceled the September cruise as I believe it’s going to be two different experiences.

Europe April Weather  can be still cold and rainy while  September weather will be much warmer (in Italy too warm) so we are planning to focus  doing internal ship activities and some shore excursions while in September focus on other stuff like the water slides and water activities.

Another difference  is that for this cruise we booked Ocean view room as I do not think we would use the balcony too much (too cold) while in September we do have a balcony.

Here is the itinerary: (this is the third time we are doing the same one with Harmony OTS and Liberty)

Day -1 – Barcelona (getting to the hotel and find a nice Tapas restaurant)

Day 1 – Barcelona (We have BOGO deal)

Day 2 – Palma de Mallorca, we will take the bus to the city see what is new.

Day 3 -  Marseilles , we took a  ship tour around the city ,  last time we went on a  tour  to one of the small cities in Provence  .

Day 4 - Florence/Pisa (La Spezia) – We will stay around la Spezia which is a nice small city , Florence is quite far and we already have a tour booked  for the next cruise to visit Florence. I guess we will do some of the shopping there (wine, Balsamic vinegar and yes maybe shoes)

Day 5 - Rome (Civitavecchia) – We have a ship  tour that will transfer us to Rome , we will have around 6 hour to tour Romr  by ourselves , since we already been to Rome (land tours) I think we can find our way. I took the ship transfer to make sure we will be back on time, train and buses can be delayed from time to time.

Day 6-  Naples (Capri) – We did not plan what to do there yet , we might take the bicycle tour if the weather will be nice or just go off the ship and tour the city (by tour the city I acutely mean go to eat a pizza 😊 ) . From all the ports of call this one is the closet to the city center, walking distance .

 

So tomorrow early morning we are planning to catch the train to the airport (15 minutes) and start our journey to Barcelona (the flight will be via Rome which is funny consider our itinerary, but it was very cheap comparing to the direct flight, so cheap that it would not make sense to use miles).

Drinking – No drinking package this time, we will bring two bottles of wines  and we are planning to buy drinks from time to time (it is a very heavy port itinerary and they want 49 $ per day for the package ).

Special restaurants – We got the BOGO first two night restaurants , I hope one of them will be Hooked and will try Wonderland (even if we need to add some money) but almost everything will be nice, but must have Hooked at least one time to write a report for the blog.

Please feel free to ask questions or ask me to take  pictures of certain things on the ship, I will try to bring as much information as I can.

My partner finally got her SLR camera back from where we left it last time (long story) so maybe we can have some better pictures (although still it is a basic SLRs).

 

Tomorrow Barcelona

 

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 Hey , you do not need to buy me ticket , I will be in the suitcase , no one will notice 

 

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  Day -1

So we arrived to Barcelona after a very long night which I did not catch too much sleep checking if no one decide to escalate a certain situation which will bring to  cancellation of the flight but as you can see all was ok.

We left the airport after around 20 minutes so it was quite fast including collecting our suitcases.

We took a taxi to the hotel which was around 20 minutes and 45 $ ,not a big surprises.

On the way to the hotel we passed near the cruise  port , there were still some ships ibut nothing even close to the Symphony , RC have their own league.

The hotel we took is in Zone 22 on Diagonal Av  (not Diagon ,  no wizards here) , again I used some points I collected during my business trips , they were kind enough to offer us also a free  breakfast as a gift for the status (SPG) we will check how is it tomorrow .

The hotel is very well located near many restaurants and several malls.

We went to buy some water and wine for tomorrow at a huge supermarket, I almost bought a huge Jamon leg but I understood it does not make much sense to carry it with us during the cruise (or in other words it was vetoed 😊 )

We drop the stuff at the hotel and went to eat at one of the tapas bar we found.

The food was fresh and tasty.

Now I am preparing the suitcase tags which I had to create almost from scratch as our guarantee room  was not assigned to us until this Wednesday so the tag RC site gave me were blanked …

 

Tomorrow finally  it happens , Symphony here we come  

 

Preparing for Hooked. 

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Some Papas Bravas , when I go to a tapas bar I always order Papas Bravavas , it is simple dish but it give a good indication if the place is good or not as it is very easy to ruined it. If the Papas are ok , I order more things, It was very good here

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The view from our hotel window 

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6 hours ago, mworkman said:

Nice..I'm sure you can't wait for tomorrow to come. 🤗

Can not wait and can not sleep , 

No matter how many cruises I will do I can not sleep over 5 am on the cruise day and I think it happens to most of us.

Every cruise it's like the first cruise 

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I love your blogs traveler and am looking forward to following!   Do you have any advice for Barcelona (tours,  specific hotels/ areas to stay,  restaurants we can't miss)?  We will embark on vision in summer 2019 and have never been to Europe before!   Jane

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21 minutes ago, mom2mybugs said:

 Do you have any advice for Barcelona (tours,  specific hotels/ areas to stay,  restaurants we can't miss)?  We will embark on vision in summer 2019 and have never been to Europe before!   Jane

Thanks , 

Barcelona is a wonderful city , with wonderful food and  sites .

Regarding hotels , it depends what level of hotel you are looking for ,  If you are OK to use public transportation I would stay away from the La Ramblas hotels and by doing that you can save allot of money. This time I stayed at region 22 which was very nice and I think I would try it again next time , I was in the Sheraton four points Diagonal, it was clean, room was big enough and near by supermarkets, malls and restaurants. 

For cruise , the best hotel I guess will be the W but it is quite isolated from the city and very expensive. when we will come back from the cruise we will try another hotel and another area so I can report how it was. at the past we stayed in the Hilton which was also nice but quite far from the city center.

Barcelona has a good public transportation buses and subway which are easy to use even if you do not speak Spanish.

For restaurants there are many options , every mall has many small restaurants for a quick eats and tapas bars are spread around the city , I can just advise you to avoid  any resultant in the old port as they are mostly tourist traps . 

If it is you first time in Europe you are going to enjoy it very much as almost any ports has so many interesting things to see. 

When I will back home I can send you some more detailed recommendations for restaurants and hotels.

How many days your are planning in Barcelona ? base on that I can recommend on tours (the market , the church ,etc ...)  

 

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