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.
Before embarking on our first cruise, we start by exploring the vibrant city of Barcelona and all it has to offer, from the incredible architecture of Gaudi to the bustling food markets and stunning beaches.
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 colourful 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 booking your ideal stateroom or suite, it’s important to consider your preferred cruising style. Our cabin was impeccably clean, with a pleasing interior design and a comfortable bed.
The dining options were varied and the food was delicious, whether you chose the buffet or dining room. Entertainment on board was enjoyable and diverse.
Personally, I found my favourite spot to be at the back of the ship, sipping tea while gazing out at the vast sea.
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.
The town is known for its association with the wealthy and famous, its luxury hotels and restaurants, and several conferences. Each store was 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.
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, 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 to Barcelona
Although I was initially skeptical of cruises, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed myself. 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 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.
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.