Our First Cruise
Our First Cruise From Barcelona,Spain
I always wanted to try a cruise ship adventure, our first cruise was from Barcelona, Spain and with three destinations. Cannes – Sardinia – Palma De Mallorca.
The Norwegian Pearl is a beautiful, modern design ship that holds 2400 people, and that’s enough for me. They have a variety of choices throughout the ship, including activities, entertainment, staterooms, suites, and villas. The ship features amenities for all age groups.
The staff and crew of Norwegian Pearl delivered excellent customer service all the time.
During the reservation, we pick a room with a window for our first time.
We arrive early to look around and get acquainted with the ship. We settle into our room once the baggage has arrived.
Everything on the cruise is excellent, very clean, and comfortable.
Our room stewards throughout the journey provided first-class service several times a day, he made sure our every need was met. He went above and beyond to exceed our expectations and always smiling.
Their “Freestyle Dining” offers various dining options to choose from, ranging from casual fare to elegant, plus the freedom to let you dine when, where, and with whom you want.
Some restaurants are free and for others, you have to pay. In the free restaurants we choose to eat at, the food was excellent and the service impeccable.
From the food and beverage to the restaurant Maître ‘Ds, every aspect of providing us with exquisite dining service.
On the ship, the buffet area was a feast for your eyes and stomach. So much food and choices for everybody’s taste, my husband was in heaven with all the desserts.
Our complimentary dining options include two main dining rooms, a help-yourself buffet, and a variety of casual cafés, grills, and on-the-go choices. Plus, our Main Dining Rooms offer a menu that changes daily, Chef’s Signature Dishes, and carefully selected wine recommendations, guaranteeing a different culinary adventure with every visit.
Every night, a flyer with all the information for the next day’s destination, activity, and excursion was delivered to our door.
We arrive in Barcelona a few days before to visit the sites. I came across the red hop-on, hop-off buses. These buses have a map of all the stops, you just get off where you want to visit and later you take the bus to continue visiting. You can travel all day with one ticket.
For Gaudí, the entrance to the park is free, but not the museum and the structures. We visit the public park (PARC Guell) next door, which is another of its masterworks!
The park itself takes a good 1-2 hours of sightseeing. You want to take your time to admire and contemplate such treasures.
From lush and colourful gardens with unique and attractive motifs, you will find beauty all around you.
Park Güell was originally envisioned as a luxury residential area by its designer, Antoni Gaudi, and while this dream was never fulfilled, it has become Barcelona’s most beloved park. You’ll see mosaic-adorned balconies, the famous Dragon Stairway, and extraordinary views of the city.
The red bus will take you to Gaudi, but not close or you can go by shuttle bus, metro, or city bus. We enjoyed exploring the park, walking along the viaducts, and finding viewpoints looking out over the city.
For the Sagrada Família (Antoni Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece) the bus stop is just in front.
On our first night, we sailed for Cannes.
In the early morning the ship docks in the bay, and we took a small tender to go to the Old Port of Cannes. A short walk to the Cannes’ city center, where you’ll find the Quai bus station and the Marine Railway Station. It takes roughly 15-20 minutes to walk there.
Most people will not get up early to go sightseeing, because we are early birds the little boat was almost empty of people.
The town is known for its association with the wealthy and famous, its luxury hotels and restaurants, and several conferences. Each store is pricey.
Cannes is a glamorous and costly seaside city considered one of the social centers of Europe.
Once a small fishing village, there are a few beautiful places to visit.
La Rue Meynadier. This is a beautiful and picturesque street in Cannes.
There are narrow cobblestone streets lined with cafés and cute little shops, including a cheese shop, a butcher shop, a chocolate factory, and a bakery, located right next to the daily fresh market in Cannes. A great little pedestrian street to look in the windows of small specialty shops. Clothes, souvenir shops, you name it.
Eglise Notre Dame D’Espérance.
It is worthwhile to go up the hill, a beautiful church in a beautiful setting. One can see all of Cannes as far as the Italian Alps. The Palais des Festivals et des Congres de Cannes enjoys an exceptional situation, at the seaside, in the heart of the city.
The beach is within walking distance!
Sardinia is an island in the Mediterranean Sea and is one of the 20 regions of Italy.
The site is a must for any history enthusiast. Although not a massive site, it has well-preserved rooms and intriguing Roman baths. Hot spring water still fills up Roman baths! Some rooms have preserved frescoes. We weren’t able to go inside that day, it was being repaired.
Basilica San Gavino. Beautiful and unique. The interior, as well as the exterior, is worth taking a look at. The best thing about being in Porte Torres.
Travel to Sardinia is incredibly safe—in fact, this island is one of the safest places to visit in the Italian kingdom.
Day 3 at sea. A day to explore the ship, sit on the deck, and relax. It gives me time to read a good book and maybe working on my laptop.
You may also enjoy numerous activities.
Live music, a spa, dive in the pool, play at the casino, maybe bowling.
Palma De Mallorca
A short walk from the cruise ship to the street, we took a taxi to the city center, not realizing that the red buses were right in front of the building. On Main Street, you can see the Cathedral of Mallorca -a Gothic landmark begun in the 13th century and the local cafes. The windows and the surroundings are beautiful, you can admire the Gaudi touches.
One concern was the Carriage Horse Rides, the poor horses were not in good condition, and even while not working they were tied to a lamppost without hay/water, don’t spend your money there.
We took the bus to go west of the city, to the hilltop to visit the Bellver Castle a medieval fortress with a distinctive circular shape.
It is a well-preserved 14th-century royal fortress, a museum, and beautiful views of Palma Bay.
Looking at this castle, so perfectly kept, it is difficult to believe that it has been standing for almost 700 years. It is unique amongst the Spanish castles in being completely round.
Three large towers surround a central courtyard, connected by an arch to a freestanding keep. The courtyard itself is on two levels, the ground floor with semi-circular arches and a flat roof, and the top level with Gothic arches and vaulted ribs. For full effect, walk around the ditch, climb up to the roof and look down into the courtyard to compare the contrasting styles.
While you are there, admire the city and the bay for one of the best views of Palma.
Palma de Mallorca has a lot of sites to visit but seeing all of them can be a challenge. I will be back again to visit more places in the future.
Back to Barcelona
Let’s say I was a cruise skeptic, but I was surprised that I enjoy myself. It is nice that the ship brings you to another country, without thinking about it. You have to think about what sites you want to visit.
But one thing is that you cannot visit everything you wanted to see. We always stay in one place and visit everywhere on foot or train and see a lot.
Anyway, I can always be back and visit another time.
Hotel Roma Rejal
Hotel Roma Rejal
Placa Reial, 11
Barcelona, 08002 Spain
The Hotel Roma Reial is located in the Plaza Real in the Gothic Quarter of the city (on the right side of La Rambla if you are looking at Plaza Catalunya).
It is the oldest part of Barcelona which is characterized by its narrow streets with old buildings. The rooms and facilities are in perfect harmony with the architectural style of the Plaza Reial, preserving the dining room in the basement with the original stone arches. You feel like you are in a donjon, the ceiling is really low.
The perfect location of the Roma Reial Hotel is close to the main sights of the city tourist. You can walk practically everywhere, at one end you have the water, promenade and stores. The other side, you will find the red bus for touring the city and others places you cannot walk too. I between you have lots of littles streets to discover.
The hotel offers breakfast with the rooms and free Wi-Fi.
Good To Know
Language: The official language of Spain is Spanish, some peoples speak French or English.
Currency: The currency in Spain is the Euro.
Credit Cards and ATMs: You won’t have any problems finding ATMs around Spain unless you go really off the beaten track. If you’re spending time in an isolated area, it’s best to keep enough cash on you for the basics. Mastercard and Visa are usually the choices at most machines as well as restaurants and shops. Find out most places don’t want an Amex card.
Plugs: The plugs in Spain are type C and F. The standard voltage is 230 V, and the standard frequency is 50Hz. I recommend buying a universal adapter (make sure it has surge protection).
Safety: Spain is one of the safest European countries. While there is a low crime rate, you’ll need to be aware of pickpockets in the metros and in crowded areas that are popular with tourists. I have a TRAVELON BAG, safety lock, anti-Theft Bag, and RFID.
Things to remember
*The advantages of the cruise are the cost is almost all-inclusive, and the price of a cruise does cover accommodation, meals, and a wide variety of entertainment. Shore trips and other services are not included in the initial price.
*At the end of your trip, I suggest that you keep your luggage with you and do not leave it outside the door the night before. It was easier to walk off with our suitcases in the morning. If you forgot something the night before and your luggage goes with thousand of other luggage, too bad. Also, you have to wait outside and try to find your luggage.
* Also, they offer excursions, I find it too expensive and you can see only one place during that day. We choose to walk or take the “hop-on, hop-off” red buses that way we can see a lot more sites and way cheaper.