Barcelona

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#21
Ottawa, Canada
16,753 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Don't be too freaked about pickpockets, just plan for it and then enjoy yourself. We got travel bags from Magellan which were pricy but then again, we never worried. It turned out, the people who we would hear were pickpocketed were either foolhardy or naiive. One woman at our hotel claimed a person was going through her open bag that was dangling from her wrist on a bus. Another woman had her money in the outside pocket of her napsack that was on her back. Money and documents should always be as close to your body as possible, in an area not normally accessible to others. I will say we heard of pickpocketing a lot in our hotel but we also feel that being aware of your surroundings and taking precautions (without needing to be paranoid) is enough.
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#22
London England
438 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Pickpockets are a fact of life in Barcelona and many other parts of Europe (in fact not just Europe) ... one has to live with it.

I am always in wonder at the items people carry around with them when on holiday. I always place my passport, tickets, moiney etc in the room safe or hotel security box ... then take with me one credit card and a small amount of cash when I go out (plus camera).

I often walk along and see people with wallets in a back pocket, bags with zips on peoples backs and even passports in back pockets. Also people getting money from machines or change in shops and waving it around in public ..... its no wonder you get pickpockets.

Its not a problem in Europe if one takes care ... and if one lost a credit card and small amount of money its not the end of the world.

Neil
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#23
Boynton Beach, FL
2,244 Posts
Joined May 2005
Originally posted by Schplinky
Don't be too freaked about pickpockets, just plan for it and then enjoy yourself. We got travel bags from Magellan which were pricy but then again, we never worried. It turned out, the people who we would hear were pickpocketed were either foolhardy or naiive. One woman at our hotel claimed a person was going through her open bag that was dangling from her wrist on a bus. Another woman had her money in the outside pocket of her napsack that was on her back. Money and documents should always be as close to your body as possible, in an area not normally accessible to others. I will say we heard of pickpocketing a lot in our hotel but we also feel that being aware of your surroundings and taking precautions (without needing to be paranoid) is enough.
Originally posted by Doonan
Pickpockets are a fact of life in Barcelona and many other parts of Europe (in fact not just Europe) ... one has to live with it.

I am always in wonder at the items people carry around with them when on holiday. I always place my passport, tickets, moiney etc in the room safe or hotel security box ... then take with me one credit card and a small amount of cash when I go out (plus camera).

I often walk along and see people with wallets in a back pocket, bags with zips on peoples backs and even passports in back pockets. Also people getting money from machines or change in shops and waving it around in public ..... its no wonder you get pickpockets.

Its not a problem in Europe if one takes care ... and if one lost a credit card and small amount of money its not the end of the world.

Neil

I totally agree with Schplinky and Doonan (Neil) - by the way my name is Neil too. We were in Barcelona 5 years ago and had a wonderful time. So much to see and do there. We are going back this summer on a TA from Miami in June on Oceania. Don't miss getting the DK Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide to Barcelona. It is great pocket size including maps, etc..

The hot gay area is Example (also known as Gay Example to the locals).It is just like the Village in NYC (where I am originally from); nice little restaurants and bars and the people and merchants were so friendly. We utilzed the subway during the day and cabs at night. We are staying this time on Diagonal (main boulevard) as it is close to Example. Though Spain is a religious Catholic country - gays are well respected, can marry and live quite openly. We personally are conservative and like to keep a low profile, especially these days, as an American in a foreign country. You will find it is a lot of walking and forget ADA rules here - steps and ramps everywhere...

As you guys said, you must use good judgement -- no wallets in back pocket. minimal or no jewelry, no flashing cash. We also put valuables in the safe and take only what is needed; also have an extra photocopy of your passport put away.

As I am sure you are aware, Spain is having a terrible financial crisis. I am sure things have deteriorated (from our last trip) a bit with 24% unemployment in the general population and 50% among teenagers.

I try to utilize all of the things I learned growing up on the streets of NY.

Cruising Joe - Go and have a great trip... Be safe and use good judgement...
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#24
London England
438 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Originally posted by neilrr

I try to utilize all of the things I learned growing up on the streets of NY.

Cruising Joe - Go and have a great trip... Be safe and use good judgement...
Hi Neil ... I think you are right ... I learned to be street wise growing up on the street of London ... both great cities.
Neil
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#25
Boynton Beach, FL
2,244 Posts
Joined May 2005
Originally posted by Doonan
Hi Neil ... I think you are right ... I learned to be street wise growing up on the street of London ... both great cities.
Neil
Hi Neil: We were in London last summer, prior to our cruise, and had a wonderful time. My husband (who has been there before) took me to all of the tourist attractions. We utilized the bus and subway system and it was great. We saw Precilla in the West End and had a wonderful time.

To save some money we took the National Express Bus Service from London to Dover to catch our ship back to Florida - we highly recommend it. It cost us together US$40 -compared to US$400 for private car service and they took us right to the ship. It is about 55 miles. We booked everything here in the US and saved quite a bit, as you know the US$ is having a tough time in Europe.

We still made sure we used good judgement in London as well, as we came upon some rough areas - but all was fine...

Have you visited other parts of the U.S.? Our country is an extremely diverse country due to its size.

Take care.
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#26
London England
438 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Originally posted by neilrr

Have you visited other parts of the U.S.? Our country is an extremely diverse country due to its size.

Take care.
Hi Neil ... I have been all over the US ... big and small places ... I used to have a travel wholesale business, selling hotels and tours all over the US ... for 20 odd years I would be in the US 3 times or more a year.

Also my friends family live near Indianapolis and Washington DC so we visit every so often.

My personel preference is Los Angeles and The East Coast ... next year we plan to be in US ... unless some amazing deal comes along before.

Have fun

Neil
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#27
Boynton Beach, FL
2,244 Posts
Joined May 2005
Originally posted by Doonan
Hi Neil ... I have been all over the US ... big and small places ... I used to have a travel wholesale business, selling hotels and tours all over the US ... for 20 odd years I would be in the US 3 times or more a year.

Also my friends family live near Indianapolis and Washington DC so we visit every so often.

My personel preference is Los Angeles and The East Coast ... next year we plan to be in US ... unless some amazing deal comes along before.

Have fun

Neil
Doonan - Neil - We met some wonderful people from Australia last year on the World Cruise on Princess - the Dawn and we had a great time. We met these lovely older (straight) women and they adopted us. They were so nice and friendly. We had the best time. We hear from them every so often and they would love for us to come to Australia. On the other hand the New Zealanders (Kiwi's) were a bit standoffish... It's funny because we sensed it, but the Australians confirmed it for us. We picked up the segment from Dover, England to Ft. Lauderdale, FL (the ship took us home). This year we are going the other way Miami to Bacelona.

As I mentioned, I am originally from NYC, but we have been in FL for a long time - almost 18 years (I was a baby when we met).

Anyway, our cruises keep us going and give us something to look forward to -- instead of work... We always find some great deals -like the one are going on - we just keep hunting around and be ready to snap it up.
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#28
London England
438 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Originally posted by neilrr
Doonan - Neil - We met some wonderful people from Australia last year on the World Cruise on Princess - the Dawn and we had a great time. We met these lovely older (straight) women and they adopted us. They were so nice and friendly. We had the best time. We hear from them every so often and they would love for us to come to Australia. On the other hand the New Zealanders (Kiwi's) were a bit standoffish... It's funny because we sensed it, but the Australians confirmed it for us. We picked up the segment from Dover, England to Ft. Lauderdale, FL (the ship took us home). This year we are going the other way Miami to Bacelona.

As I mentioned, I am originally from NYC, but we have been in FL for a long time - almost 18 years (I was a baby when we met).

Anyway, our cruises keep us going and give us something to look forward to -- instead of work... We always find some great deals -like the one are going on - we just keep hunting around and be ready to snap it up.
Austraolian by nature are mostly a friendly bunch ... like you we like the Atlantic Crossing by ship (anything is better than flying). When we are in the UK next year we will look for a ship from UK to US if our dates work out.

Ft Lauderdale we have been a number a times to join ships. We always stay a few days , we use the time for shopping bargains (clothing is cheaper in US than Aust). Though we have now started shopping in Europe as they get great prices and styles.

You are in the right place for cruise deals with all those ships sailing ... problem here, we see a good deal and then have to add a 'big' airfare to the cost.

We are looking forward to our next trip as come Oct we are off to UK, France and then Barcelona to get the Solstice to Australia. A mix of air, train, car and ship ... should be fun.

Keep hunting for good deals

Neil
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#29
Boynton Beach, FL
2,244 Posts
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Originally posted by Doonan
Austraolian by nature are mostly a friendly bunch ... like you we like the Atlantic Crossing by ship (anything is better than flying). When we are in the UK next year we will look for a ship from UK to US if our dates work out.

Ft Lauderdale we have been a number a times to join ships. We always stay a few days , we use the time for shopping bargains (clothing is cheaper in US than Aust). Though we have now started shopping in Europe as they get great prices and styles.

You are in the right place for cruise deals with all those ships sailing ... problem here, we see a good deal and then have to add a 'big' airfare to the cost.

We are looking forward to our next trip as come Oct we are off to UK, France and then Barcelona to get the Solstice to Australia. A mix of air, train, car and ship ... should be fun.

Keep hunting for good deals

Neil
Doonan - Neil - Sorry I did not get back to you sooner -- it has been very hectic here, as we wind down the school year. Princess usually does an "Around The World" cruise starting and ending in Australia - last year they came back from England to Florida and this year they are going to NY. I heard they alternate every year. You do not have to take the entire cruise. You can pick up one or more segments along the way (it was like a floating greyhound bus ).

I know clothes are cheaper here than Europe. We went into Harrod's Dept. Store last summer and the prices were outrageous. The US$'s poor exchange rate also plays a major role. I am always busy converting US$ to Pounds to Euros..

We try to get these "cruise deals" that include airfare and sometimes gratuities and SBC. We got it all for this trip on Oceania next month. It was a GREAT deal. We are also staying 4 extra days in Barcelona - we love the city. Oceania had us pay the "air deviation fee" $125PP, which was fine.

Your trip sounds great. You wil have a wonderful time...

Talk to you soon... Got to run the kiddies are coming...
Neil
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#30
Massachusetts
2,152 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
Neil, how do you find these cruises? I'd love to cruise like that.

We try to get these "cruise deals" that include airfare and sometimes gratuities and SBC. We got it all for this trip on Oceania next month. It was a GREAT deal. We are also staying 4 extra days in Barcelona - we love the city. Oceania had us pay the "air deviation fee" $125PP, which was fine.
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#31
London England
438 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Originally posted by CrusingJoe
Neil, how do you find these cruises? I'd love to cruise like that.
I agree with Neil (USA) ... I always look for these deals ... I put myself on all the cruise lines, I like, mailing list and also have a few agents in the US that I keep an eye on for deals.

I also often book on a cruise (my next cruise Barcelona to Sydney gave me $800 SBC) and with Celebrity if the fare drops most times they will adjust it down.

I also saw yesturday Celebrity were giving a $90 airfare between Sydney and Auckland with its cruises ... you can't buy a ticket for that.

Neil ... I agree about Harrods ... I used to buy things, now I just walk through and in the main enjoy looking at the food hall. Good cloths, in the main are expensive here in Australia, most places we go it cheaper.

I saw you like Barcelona ... It's a place I buy lots of cloths.

Neil
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#32
Jacksonville, Fl
949 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
I spent three nights in Sitges Spain and highly recommend it. the fantastic town of Sitges, about 25km south of Barcelona -- and easy cheap 30 min train ride. It is an ideal vacation town, called the St. Tropez of Spain. Very picturesque. Narrow streets, many where no cars are allowed, great for strolling among the hundreds of gay shops, bars, cafes, restaurants during the afternoon through late evening. Great beaches. Lots of hotels, apartments, and hostels.
I stayed at the Hotel Platjador (http://platjador-sitges.hotel-rez.com/ and http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev...Catalonia.html) which was a 3-star directly across from the beach.

Dennis
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#33
London England
438 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Originally posted by AFuncruiser
I spent three nights in Sitges Spain and highly recommend it. the fantastic town of Sitges, about 25km south of Barcelona -- and easy cheap 30 min train ride. It is an ideal vacation town, called the St. Tropez of Spain. Very picturesque. Narrow streets, many where no cars are allowed, great for strolling among the hundreds of gay shops, bars, cafes, restaurants during the afternoon through late evening. Great beaches. Lots of hotels, apartments, and hostels.
I stayed at the Hotel Platjador
Sitges ... We did the same thing for a few days ... great place and easy to get to ... we even stayed at the same hotel which was just perfect ... best breakfasts of just about any place I have stayed. Anyone staying its worth the extra for a balcony room looking at the sea.

You mention San Tropez France ... It's a town and area I love.

Neil
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#34
Boynton Beach, FL
2,244 Posts
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Originally posted by CrusingJoe
Neil, how do you find these cruises? I'd love to cruise like that.

We try to get these "cruise deals" that include airfare and sometimes gratuities and SBC. We got it all for this trip on Oceania next month. It was a GREAT deal. We are also staying 4 extra days in Barcelona - we love the city. Oceania had us pay the "air deviation fee" $125PP, which was fine.
CruisinJoe:

I know we are not allowed to mention names, but the web site that is associated with cruise critic (Crucon) is the one we get great specials, but I think you have to live in the USA or Canada -as there are travel restriction issues. We plan when we can go, look at the cruises available and when it pops up we are ready to book, as they are wholesalers out of New Hampsire and they work out deals buying up limited blocks of cruises. You must be ready to book or the cruises, as they sometimes only have 50 or 75 and then they are gone...

Keep looking the deals are out there... Have a great weekend...
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#35
Massachusetts
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Originally posted by neilrr
CruisinJoe:

I know we are not allowed to mention names, but the web site that is associated with cruise critic (Crucon) is the one we get great specials, but I think you have to live in the USA or Canada -as there are travel restriction issues. We plan when we can go, look at the cruises available and when it pops up we are ready to book, as they are wholesalers out of New Hampsire and they work out deals buying up limited blocks of cruises. You must be ready to book or the cruises, as they sometimes only have 50 or 75 and then they are gone...

Keep looking the deals are out there... Have a great weekend...
I use them all the time, were from Massachusetts. A lot of times I'll book with the cruise company and then tranfer my reservation to cru***
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#36
Ft. Myers, FL
595 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Barcelona is an awesome city with a great gay vibe. You've received so much great advice already. My addition would be to venture onto the side streets. Las Ramblas is great to walk, but the cafes, bars, and restaurants are quite expensive. Get off the main drag and go into the neighborhoods. Here you'll find the more authentic Cataluna.

On the cruise deal front, I find there are a few things a scoring a great deal.
1. Don't be locked into going to a specific place, let the deal find you.
2. Frequent trip pricing research (email lists from numerous cruise travel agents helps)

Have a great trip.

Shawn
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#37
Boynton Beach, FL
2,244 Posts
Joined May 2005
Originally posted by ShawninFL
Barcelona is an awesome city with a great gay vibe. You've received so much great advice already. My addition would be to venture onto the side streets. Las Ramblas is great to walk, but the cafes, bars, and restaurants are quite expensive. Get off the main drag and go into the neighborhoods. Here you'll find the more authentic Cataluna.

On the cruise deal front, I find there are a few things a scoring a great deal.
1. Don't be locked into going to a specific place, let the deal find you.
2. Frequent trip pricing research (email lists from numerous cruise travel agents helps)

Have a great trip.

Shawn
ShawninFL - Shawn - I agree with you regarding cruises. We believe that there is a whole world to travel. If there are great deals -- that is where we go. We even went one year to New Mexico - they had the Hunta Virus - we ended up with some beautiful Santa Clara pottery at the Pueblos, at the most reasonable prices, as no one was travelling there. I think my husband took me there on purpose to get rid of me - HA!!!
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#38
Ft. Myers, FL
595 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Ha....too funny...I always joke with friends who ask how I find our travel deals to always follow a disaster!!! You'll always find a deal.
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9/97 Carnival Imagination (Western Caribbean)
11/01 Grandeur of the Seas (Circle of Caribbean)
2/02 Celebrity Century (Eastern Caribbean)
10/02 Majesty of the Seas (Bahamas)
1/03 Nordic Empress (Western Caribbean)
5/03 Enchantment of the Seas (Cozumel)
11/03 Celebrity Century (Eastern Caribbean)
9/04 Carnival Fascination (Cozumel)
11/04 Navigator of the Seas (Western Caribbean)
12/04 Radiance of the Seas (Eastern Caribbean)
12/05 Vision of the Seas (Mexican Riviera)
1/06 Grandeur of the Seas (Cozumel)
9/06 Enchantment of the Seas (Western Caribbean)
10/06 Enchantment of the Seas (Cozumel)
9/07 Carnival Imagination (Mexico)
11/07 Voyager of the Seas (Mediterrenean)
9/08 Majesty of the Seas (Bahamas)
9/08 Liberty of the Seas (Eastern Caribbean)
9/09 Sapphire Princess (Alaska)
5/10 Liberty of the Seas (Eastern Caribbean)
4/11 Star Princess (Southern Caribbean)
11/11 Celebrity Century (Hawaii)
08/13 Brilliance of the Seas (Transatlantic - Northern Atlantic)
4/14 Vision of the Seas (Southern Caribbean - Cultural Enrichment Cruise)
4/14 Vision of the Seas (Repositioning - Panama to Ft. Lauderdale)
9/14 Vision of the Seas (Cozumel)
11/14 Celebrity Silhouette (Eastern Caribbean)
8/15 Enchantment of the Seas (Bahamas)
9/15 Carnival Ecstasy (Bahamas)
11/15 Independence of the Seas (Cozumel)
5/16 Celebrity Summitt (Bermuda)
6/16 Empress of the Seas (Key West/Coco Cay)
8/16 Celebrity Equinox (Greek Isles & Turkey)
11/16 Celebrity Reflection (Western Caribbean)
12/16 Norwegian Sky (Bahamas)
5/17 Celebrity Equinox (Southern Caribbean & Key West)
8/17 Vision of the Seas (Northern Transatlantic)
11/17 Majesty of the Seas (Bahamas)
6/18 Serenade of the Seas (Baltics)
9/18 Brilliance of the Seas (Transatlantice - Ireland)
11/18 Celebrity Equinox (Eastern Caribbean)
#39
Washington DC
281 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
We're staying at the Hotel Jazz in Barcelona 2 nights pre-cruise. How do we find out if there are any bars close to the hotel?
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Disney Wonder 6/2000
Carnival Triumph 2/2005
Carnival Valor 4/2007
Celebrity Equinox 2/2010
RCCL Jewel of the Seas 4/2011
Celebrity Solstice 7/2012
Celebrity Reflection 4/2013
Celebrity Eclipse 4/2014
Celebrity Silhouette 4/2016