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CruzLover80

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About CruzLover80

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Florida
  • Interests
    Living my best life...
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    NCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Cozumel

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  1. That sounds exciting to me!!! We just booked a cruise for Sep. 2020 for my birthday heading to Amber Cove on Carnival. So I am just popping around to see what's in the port. Is it a free pool?
  2. Okay, sorry for the delay for anyone following! We are now back in Florida and I've been able to catch up a just a little sleep. So back to the review. So our first port was Marseille. Prior to traveling, we had booked through MSC a tour to Aix-en-Provence and Avignon. So getting off was rather quick. We were told to meet in the Casino and then went to the bus. There were probably 25 people on our tour and the guide was good. She did have to provide the tour in two languages, English and Italian to accommodate those on the tour. I would suspect during busy season it is one bus for each language, but we traveled during shoulder season. So it felt like a lot of talking, but she was funny and gave a lot of good information. We visited the Palace of the Popes which was interesting. This was my first excursion booked through a ship (as I usually book offshore), so the pace was a little slower than my liking, but we did not have to wait for everyone and everyone was pretty respectful of time. I cannot say it was my favorite, but we did enjoy ourselves. I am not a history buff so I struggled with all the historical facts, but my husband loved it. I took time to wander off and enjoy the views and take in the beauty rather than history of things. I did wish we had more time to explore things on our own. We had about an hour in Avignon, which was plenty, as there wasn't much open. But you don't really have time to sit down and have a proper lunch and explore the area. The same for Aix-en-Provence. Not much to see on the drive, which was about an hour to Avignon, then another hour to Aix and about 45m to the ship. There is nothing off-ship to see and there is a shuttle offered at the port that is quite a ways down. But I did hear people tell of their experience with the driver not being able to navigate through the construction and often hitting things... definitely a funny store to hear. MSC does offer a shuttle to the city center, a ticket is left in your cabin the day before. I want to say the cost was $10-15 r/t. Overall, a good tour and worth the money.
  3. Good morning!! I do want to point out that you should be able to get there before your embarkation time and may be able to attain a seat. We may have just gotten there at peak time but sure there wasn’t enough seats because well it’s a large ship and there was construction going on in some area that maybe might be done before you go. I don’t want to discourage you, but it was something I observed for a couple of hours. Certainly you can catch a seat when peoples number is called. That’s where the 16 yr old comes into play. I hope you get the answer you need.
  4. So we are back in Barcelona. Madrid is absolutely beautiful and wish we could’ve spent more time. If you find yourself in Madrid, please go to a Flamenco show (Essential Flamenco). It was absolutely beautiful, powerful and authentic. So back to fun stuff... excursions! Barcelona - we embarked here so did not take an excursion but since we stayed here for 5 days prior. If you are cruising with Barcelona as a port, the ship will leave a cruise shuttle ticket to the city center (not sure where it takes you) in your cabin the night before. I want to say it was like 10€. There is another shuttle as soon as you exit the building that is a cruise port shuttle (r/t is 4€) that leaves you pretty much at the base of Las Ramblas, which is very walkable to El Catedral, Gothic area and Las Ramblas. There are free walking tours online you can find and reserve and solely give them a donation. The hop on and hop off is about 20€ for the day, so a good way to explore the city on your own as well. I want to say the HOHO booked thru the ship is slightly more. During our stay we went to Sagrada Família, Montjuic, El Catedral (my fav), Parc Güell, along with the HOHO, and a lot of walking. Barcelona is a very walkable city and very easy to navigate on public transportation. My two cents. If you are embarking or disembarking from Barcelona, it is very easy to get directly to the airport using the cruise port shuttle, green line L3 from Dessaines to Plaza Catalunya and Aerobus to airport. Or you can always taxi (there is no Uber in Spain due to many taxi strikes). I was very overwhelmed when thinking about what we had to do but actually doing it we found was so much easier than originally thought. There are so many signs directing you. We fell in love with Barcelona and the beauty of it. We stayed in a AirBnB in the Gràcia neighborhood on the front end (which we highly recommend- Berga) and in Ciutat de Barcelona in the Raval/El Born neighborhood now (which we also recommend). Two completely different areas and experiences. I need to hunt down a cup of coffee and will return at some point.
  5. This is very true. In Europe you will always be offered and charged for water that is just the norm in Europe (always provides a bottle never tap water). So I want to make it clear there is free water at all times in the buffet, which you are free to bring in a bottle to the MDR if you wish. When you receive water in the MDR you receive a whole bottle not just a glass, it is not tap water. Hey at least they don’t charge to use the restroom which is common in some areas throughout Europe. Lol. I did feel a little nickel and dimed but I feel like most ships are going that way. I am not going to complain as we paid $1100 for 2 people on a inside cabin to tour the Mediterranean. So with that being said and do not wish for a big debate to go on.., I’m going back to my review now.
  6. So if you opt to use BagsNgo, it is 12€ per bag. You will give them the pick up time directly at your hotel (in our case a AirBnB) they will ask for your room number on ship and deliver it directly to the ship and cabin. Now we opted to use them because our check out and embarkation time was so far apart and we wanted to explore La Rambla which we hadn’t in our 5 days prior. Otherwise you can go straight to the port. Once you arrive at the port go to where everyone is dropping off luggage, it’s outside of the entrance. Drop off your luggage if you have it and if not Skip the line and go straight to the guy and collect your number. You will then go inside through security. There are places to sit but when we went there were no seats available so we sat on the floor. We were able to get a seat about an hour into waiting. When your number is called you go to the line and start the embarkation process (really fast, maybe 15 min). Then forward to the fun lol! Once on ship that’s when you set up the payment method, which is different from other cruise lines that you do it as part of the boarding process.
  7. Vouchers are going away this month.
  8. That may be specific to US sailings. No free water in the MDR for us and it was a table of all Americans.
  9. Okay so I failed to tell you a little about my husband and I. We have been married for 5 yrs, together for 10. We are middle age and have adult children. We have sailed mostly in the Caribbean and this is/was our first time crossing the pond. This was also our first on MSC, so a lot of new experiences.
  10. Hmmmmm. We did get hot milk for our coffee but that was in the morning. I didn’t see cold milk but my husband said he saw some around the cereal selection.
  11. We went to the Varelia show but they do have a second show. It was good given they are on a ship and can only do so much. We loved the opera show L’Amour and I heard the version of Cinderella that was done was phenomenal. Some shows were only shown once the entire cruise so book quickly.
  12. So the easy answer is no. BUT I did see 1 family (just 1) with a case of water. The large bottle of water is roughly €3, which we bought several times. Others while in port and they let us bring it back on. Other times I just filled my bottle from the sink or buffet. At the buffet is only free water, coffee and tea with ( juices only in the AM).
  13. So I will write a little diddy about attire. So my husband and I travelled in a carry on for 17 days. So no, we did not pack for elegant nights, more for comfort and practicality, with pieces that could be dress casual. So we were always dressed appropriately. The Europeans do dress up a lot more but again it was mixed in attire. A little black dress and slacks for my husband was sufficient. Leave the rest at home. Both our AirBnB offered a washing machine and we had laundry service on the ship. Traveling light is the way to go, we have been on 2 planes, many trains, buses, and a lot of walking, so our little bags were perfect for navigating thru the cities.
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