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CraftyCat05

Med. Symphony B2B - July 24th to August 12th

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Following for sure ,  Do not miss the laser TAG , try to do it on the first day were you almost do no have lines , another good way to burn some calories for 10 minutes 🙂 we did it several time and it was enjoyable.

You are going to love the ship on Rome/Florence days were you are staying on board , its going to be just for you almost.

IF you will still have time , try to do a quick tour in Naples even for 1 hour , its a special city.

 

Have a safe flight.

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11 hours ago, JLMoran said:

Congrats on the free flight fix! Fly forth to fun and frolicking!

Thanks!

3 hours ago, Traveler said:

Following for sure ,  Do not miss the laser TAG , try to do it on the first day were you almost do no have lines , another good way to burn some calories for 10 minutes 🙂 we did it several time and it was enjoyable.

You are going to love the ship on Rome/Florence days were you are staying on board , its going to be just for you almost.

IF you will still have time , try to do a quick tour in Naples even for 1 hour , its a special city.

 

Have a safe flight.

Thanks for the tip! 

Since we are doing a B2B, we planned to do the city tour the first week in Florence and Rome, and then on the second week to do explore on our own, and then maybe enjoy the ship for the last few hours while in port. Will also need to check the my TripIt itenerary if we have anymore time to explore Naples... lol

Thanks for the well wishes about the flight! We are in the No. 1 Lounge at Heathrow waiting for our flight to Barcelona!

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Heathrow Airport Update

Now in the No. 1 Lounge at Heathrow (thanks Priority Pass card!), and just got off our American flight to Heathrow!

The Flight

The flight was great, even got a gobsmacking 2 hours of sleep while on board. The seat had a nice layout, giving lots of room for all of the necessary inflight items, including my phone, water, and glasses. The crew was also great, giving great and speedy service. Unfortunately, because of the last minute flight change we weren't able to get the meals we had ordered for the Miami to Barcelona flight. This created havoc for my mother, not giving her what she had wanted and could have with her very extreme food allergies. But, there was a meal at the end of the metal tube flying us to London... The First Class pilot's meal! The flight attendant was kind enough to give her the pilot's meal (and apparently they get First Class meals), making the flight just so much better. All of the other food was great, and menu pictures are at the end of this post. 

Was also able to watch two movies while eating dinner and breakfast (The Post // Maze Runner: Death Cure), but had only 5 minutes to go in the movie before they shut off the screens for landing. Also got some sleep as I said before, and American offers Casper bedding for sleeping, which was some of the most comfortable long haul bedding i've ever had the pleasure to use. 

Heathrow

We didn't get off the a good start... The jet bridge that connects the plane to the terminal had broken down, making us stranded in the plane for an extra 15 minutes before we were able to deplane.

As usual, you had to walk a long way to the main airport area, as it always is with Heathrow and it's terminals. We then got to the wonderful British security.

Since TSA and the British Security are nothing alike in their allowances, many people were flustered in the connection security area. We even had the pleasure opportunity to see a senior American traveler get told off by many security personnel. They were not happy with him, thus making him go through the search of all of his baggage and his person after being snobby to one of the helpers in the Security line. 

My security experience was fine, and luckily didn't get anything taken for further screening, as there was a line of about 5 bags to be searched. 

Now we are at the lounge, typing to blogs and reading golfing magazines. Soon we will be off for Barcelona on British Airways! Type to you guys soon.

Pictures

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The Seat

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Seat Control Panel

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Amenity Kit Contents

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Drinks and Nuts

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Menu #1

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Menu #2

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34 minutes ago, CraftyCat05 said:

Thanks for the well wishes! Just got to the hotel room, planning on giving a Periscope of the view! @CraftyCat05 on periscope!

Great blog. Joined your live Periscope. For some reason when I typed a message, it didn't go through. Hope to catch your upcoming scopes with better luck. Happy sailing!

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Hotel Update (in Barcelona!)

We have arrived in Barcelona after our flight on a British Airways A320, and this edition of CraftyCat05's blog is coming from the Hotel Arts in Barcelona!

Flying, part dos

Once off the uneventful flight from Heathrow (including one spicy panini, free of charge!), we went though immigrations and got to the....

Empty taxi stands. We were very unlucky to travel on the day that the Barcelona Taxi Cabs have decided to have a 48 hour strike, in protest against Uber. This in turn, makes everyone use Uber, ultimately defeating the point of this strike. 1 Uber - 0 Taxi Cabs. ( @Joe01 got very lucky with this, being in Barcelona on the same cruise only weeks before!)

After the debacle at the airport taxi stands, we decided to check out the busses.... 

Which the line was a good Kilometer long (gotta use those European measurements! - Stupid America). That was a no go.

We then decided to use Uber (read above about score), making the rest of the trip quick and seamless. Only thing was that the driver only spoke Spanish, but we had a Spanish speaker in the group (thanks Dad).

Hotels and Chicken

Once reaching the hotel, we decided to check in (cuz that's what normal people do, right?) and with only one missing passport scare, we were in the clear, we were about to relax in our suite on the 25th floor, and go to sleep!

Ha ha, no! Something has to go wrong, right?

Our room was still occupied (curse you late checkout!), and we had to wait for a hour and a half to get our room in our possession. We spent this time siping on Margaritas, Daiquiris, and eating food to our hearts content (except the check holding us back). I had a chicken breast, my mother had a chicken wrap thing, and my father had Tuna Ceviche (not Peruvian grade like he had as a child though)

Now time for rest! Hope to see you soon, whether it be in the blog or periscope!

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Day Two

drum roll please ~ Introducing... The one and only... CraftyCat05's SemiLive Blog! intro music plays

Wait.... This isn't Jimmy Kimmel? 

Morning

Well, there really wan't a morning to speak of, we all slept though it! We did finally get our butts into gear and got up after a well needed 12+ hours of sleep.

Breakfast

In the lobby, there is a nice cafe that serves all day breakfast (thanks the hotel lords!), and we were all able to get our normal breakfast items we would have at any other restaurant for breakfast back in the United States. Served was coffee, milk, two omlettes, and one eggs Benedict (runny, not hard 😜). All was good for a day out and the city (and some more rest)!

The Cathedral

After some deliberation and some guidance by the hotel concierge, we decided to go walk to to cathedral (still on taxi strike) that was about 2.4 KM away (1.5 miles). We were able to get in with shorts, but my mother's tank top was a no go, having to buy a coverup for €2. Tickets for the cathedral, a roof top visit, and a little museum was €7 per person, not that bad for what was included. Once in, we could wonder around, seeing many different statues of religious figures, and other sculptures and historical relics. While walking, you would also be stepping on old graves of prior religious leaders of the cathedral. Once done with the main cathedral area, we walked into an open plaza, which had fountains and (as my father joked about) holy goose, instead of the holy ghost (he found himself very hilarious...). 

After a quick visit of the museum which didn't have much, we took a tip from the helper desk working at the museum and back pedaled to go onto the roof for amazing views. Once a ride on the most rickety and smallest elevator i've seen in recent memory, we were on the roof for views of the Barcelona skyline... and wooh was it amazing!

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Main Entrance of the Cathedral

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View from Rooftop

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More Views from the Rooftop

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Turrets(?) on the Rooftop

The price for admission was definitely just worth the view! Really surprised us of what we could see. Definitely the highlight of the day.

Bars, Rice, and Pie

After our long, tiring, and sweaty cultural, scenic, and nice walk back to the hotel, we decided to hit the bar to drink the aching muscles away. After downing margaritas, and refreshing slushes, we went to the Marina (same place we went for chicken) to try their dinner service (which is much better than their unimpressive lunch menu) for some rice dishes. All three of us coincidentally ordered the three different rice dishes on the menu! All of us agreed it was good, but really big and filling... but nonetheless we ordered an Apple Pie for us to split. It wasn't U.S. grade (and came with some very bitter caramel) but was eatable and added to the dinner experience. Tomorrow, we will plan to try one of the more fancy sit down restaurants to enjoy dinner at. 

That is all for now! Off to bed for us. Will see you tomorrow, wether it be in a periscope or blog post!

CraftyCat05's Version of Matt's "Stray Observations"

  • The room here doesn't allow the plugs near the bed and table to function while the lights are off, forcing us to charge everything at night in the bathrooms.
  • The sofa (where I usually sleep on family vacations like this one) isn't a pull out like every other hotel suite room has, forcing me to pay a whoping €110 a night for a pull away bed, or sleep on the couch with just sheets. I opted for the latter.
  • The beach is open 24 hours, meaning many stay at 3AM...
  • Live music plays near our hotel at midnight. Not fun!
  • My father has noticed that the Spanish over here is much different than what he is used to from Peru and home.
  • My dog back at home is doing just fine as per the webcam. He seems to be settling into his new home for the next two weeks!

It's now 12:30 and theres chanting outside! I guess I ain't sleeping for a bit lol. Ugh. 

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I'm enjoying your perspective and your writing style. I think we could be pen pals!

Ah those crazy Spaniards! They party and walk and drink and just generally have a grand old time at all hours. We went to Madrid and got caught in a HUGE mass of humanity walking the streets late at night-Grandparents, parents, children and babies in strollers. Bars and tapas places were crowded with smoking, drinking loud talking families who were having a ball. It was an eye opener for us!

Anxious for your next chapter. We will be in Barcelona for two night in October so I am taking notes!

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3 minutes ago, Mljstr said:

I'm enjoying your perspective and your writing style. I think we could be pen pals!

Ah those crazy Spaniards! They party and walk and drink and just generally have a grand old time at all hours. We went to Madrid and got caught in a HUGE mass of humanity walking the streets late at night-Grandparents, parents, children and babies in strollers. Bars and tapas places were crowded with smoking, drinking loud talking families who were having a ball. It was an eye opener for us!

Anxious for your next chapter. We will be in Barcelona for two night in October so I am taking notes!

They certainly are crazy! Singing and parting til the wee hours of the morning. There still chanting out there as I type.

You will really enjoy Barcelona, it's a neat place for sure, and definitely eye opening. Definitely visit that cathedral I talked about, really neat. Just know not to wear tank tops or something like it, but shorts seemed to be ok in there. We also plan to visit the famous Guadí Sagrada Família and the Olympic Village from the Barcelona 1992 Olympics on our next and last two days. WIll of course update you all about those things and whatever else we do in Barcelona. 

Glad to see a fellow Texan here and that you are enjoying my writing! Always good to know that people are enjoying, and from the likes and comments it looks like others are too.

If you have any questions about my trip, ship or Barcelona, feel free to ask and I will answer to the best of my ability! This goes for everyone too of course.

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8 hours ago, Mljstr said:

Also, tell your dad not to feel bad about his Spanish- they don't speak Spanish in Barcelona. They speak Catalan which is a local language of the region-which sounds like a cross between Spanish and French. In Texas we would call it Cajun.

Definitely can tell the French influence. Knew Catalan was here, but didn't know how prevalent it is!

7 hours ago, twangster said:

Loving the blog, keep it coming!

fan girl shrieks. twangster replied, with love...

Haha, thanks. Definitely coming and coming! Another 16 days of fun.

5 hours ago, Skid said:

@CraftyCat05, absolutely love your sense of humor. Hey, the blog isn't bad either!😀

Glad your enjoying! It's an absolute blast to write, I need to do it more often! 

And the blog isn't bad? That's great! I guess it's blast to write that too... 😆

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27 minutes ago, Ray said:

Sounds like youre having a great time, and your blog is great. 

Looking forward to following along, just dont start posting in chinese as im only on page 2 of chinese for dummies 😂

Thanks for the comments and really enjoying it here in Barcelona.... or should I say

感谢您的评论, 并在巴塞罗那享受它 (pls don't ban me)

May have to start doing translations for all of the new members of the forums. Seems like their having a real hoot!

Thanks for the chuckle!

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