Our First Cruise From Barcelona
Our first voyage is finally here and we couldn’t be more excited to embark on this thrilling adventure !!
We will start from the beautiful city of Barcelona to some of the most exquisite destinations across the Mediterranean. From the stunningly rugged coastline of the French Riviera, to the cobblestone streets of charming Italian villages, we can’t wait to share all the wonders of this region with you.
Barcelona is a magnificent city located in the northeastern region of Spain known as Catalonia. It is one of the most visited cities in Europe, renowned for its incredible architecture, exquisite gastronomy, and vibrant culture. Visitors can explore the city’s incredible art museums, variety of shops, countless restaurants and bars, and stunning beaches.
Barcelona is also home to the Sagrada Familia, a breathtaking basilica considered one of the most stunning examples of Gothic architecture in the world.
Before embarking on our first cruise, we decided to start by exploring the vibrant city of Barcelona and all it has to offer. We visited the bustling food markets, admired the incredible architecture of Gaudi, and soaked up the sun on the city’s beautiful beaches.
During our search, we discovered the red hop-on, hop-off buses that provide a comprehensive map of all the stops. With just one ticket, we were able to travel all day and get off wherever we wanted to visit.
Whether you are interested in art, history, food, or nightlife, Barcelona is an incredible destination for you to explore.
Park Güell & Sagrada Familia
Though the entrance to Gaudí’s park was free, we found out that the museum and other structures required admission fees. As a result, we visited the public park next door, PARC Guell, which is another one of his masterpieces.
It took us about 1-2 hours to explore the park, and we took our time admiring the lush and colorful gardens with unique and attractive motifs. Originally, Park Güell was designed to be a luxury residential area by its architect, Antoni Gaudi, but it has since become Barcelona’s most beloved park.
We were in awe of the mosaic-adorned balconies, the famous Dragon Stairway, and the breathtaking views of the city.
Although the red bus takes you near Gaudi’s park, you can also use a shuttle bus, metro, or city bus to get closer.
The bus stop for Sagrada Família, Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece, was conveniently located in front.
The Norwegian Pearl
When choosing your ideal stateroom or suite, it’s important to consider your preferred cruising style. Our cabin was exceptionally clean and featured a pleasing interior design, along with a comfortable bed.
The dining options on board were varied, and the food was delicious, whether you chose the buffet or dining room. The entertainment available was diverse and enjoyable. Personally, my favourite spot on the ship was at the back, where I could sip tea while gazing out at the vast sea.
During our first night, we sailed to Cannes and arrived in the early morning. The ship docked in the bay, and we took a small tender to get to the Old Port of Cannes.
From there, it’s just a short walk to the city center where you’ll find the Quai bus station and the Marine Railway Station. It takes about 15-20 minutes to walk there.
Cannes is a well-known city associated with wealthy and famous people, luxury hotels, restaurants, and multiple conferences. However, every store in the city is quite expensive. Despite the high prices, Cannes remains a glamorous and costly seaside city and is considered one of the social centers of Europe.
Although it was once a small fishing village, there are still a few beautiful places to visit in Cannes.
La Rue Meynadier is a stunning street in Cannes that is known for its picturesque beauty. This charming street features narrow cobblestone paths that are lined with several cafes and small shops, including a cheese shop, a butcher shop, a chocolate factory, and a bakery. It is located right next to the daily fresh market in Cannes, making it a great pedestrian street to explore and window-shop. From clothes to souvenirs, this street has it all.
Eglise Notre Dame D’Espérance is a beautiful church situated on a hill, and it is definitely worth the visit. The church is located in a breathtaking setting, and visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of Cannes and the Italian Alps from the hill. The Palais des Festivals et des Congrès de Cannes is also situated near the church, just a short walk away from the beach.
Sardinia is a beautiful island located in the Mediterranean Sea and is one of the 20 regions of Italy. The island has a rich history that any history enthusiast would appreciate.
There is a historical site that is a must-visit, despite not being a massive site. It has well-preserved rooms and intriguing Roman baths. The Roman baths are still filled with hot spring water! Furthermore, some rooms have preserved frescoes, making it an even more interesting place to visit.
Unfortunately, on the day we went, we were unable to go inside since it was undergoing repairs. Another beautiful and unique site in Sardinia is the Basilica San Gavino. It is worth taking a look at both the interior and exterior of the building. It is one of the best things about being in Porte Torres.
Visiting Sardinia is incredibly safe, and in fact, this island is one of the safest places to visit in the Italian kingdom.
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, and 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 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.
This castle is so perfectly kept, and 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 From Our First Cruise From Barcelona
Although I was initially skeptical of cruises, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed myself on our first cruise from Barcelona. It’s great that the ship takes you to another country without any hassle.
However, you still need to plan which sites you want to see, as you won’t be able to visit everything. I usually prefer staying in one place and exploring on foot or by train, as it allows me to see a lot. If I don’t get to see everything, I can always come back another time.
Our First Cruise from Barcelona was a pleasant surprise. We are sure to go back again.
Hotel Roma Rejal
Placa Reial, 11
Barcelona, 08002 Spain
The Hotel Roma Reial is situated in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, precisely in the Plaza Real, on the right side of La Rambla when facing Plaza Catalunya.
This area is famous for its narrow streets and old buildings, and it is the oldest part of the city. The hotel’s rooms and facilities blend perfectly with the architectural style of the Plaza Reial, preserving the dining room in the basement with the original stone arches.
The ceiling is really low, and it feels like you are in a donjon. The Roma Reial Hotel is ideally located close to the major tourist attractions of the city, and you can easily walk to most of them.
At one end, you have the water, promenade, and stores, while on the other side, you will find the red bus for touring the city and other places that you cannot walk to. In between, there are many little streets to discover.
The hotel provides breakfast with the rooms and free Wi-Fi.
*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 thousands 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 it’s way cheaper.
Revise “New Cruise Terminal”
The new terminal is being built because the existing one is too close to people, and the aim is to reduce emissions from docked ships.
Construction has started on a new cruise terminal at Tarragona Cruise Port near Barcelona, Spain. The new terminal is expected to open in spring 2024.
Tarragona is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is well-positioned for excursions to Barcelona, which is approximately an hour away by train or car.
Visitors who choose to explore Tarragona will discover a wealth of historical and cultural attractions, including Roman ruins such as the Amphitheater Roma, the Necropolis, and the remains of a 1st-century Roman circus. Additionally, Tarragona’s old town is famous for its medieval history, narrow streets dotted with cafes and shops, and its 12th-century cathedral.