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The Azamazing Journey from Barcelona to Miami (by way of Guyana) 2019

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18 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

You mentioned the aircraft temperature. Did you ask them to turn it down?  If it’s too warm I always do and persist if still stuffy.  Flew to LA on an admittedly larger BA 380 the other day and did it.  My cabin is the one top right of this picture!  20.5°C. Look at some of them.  




I am not bashful, and of course I asked, when I woke, barely able to breath from the cabin temperature. And for the record we flew over on the 789 not 777. While it wasn’t a requirement to get to Paris on the 789 it was an added benefit as the cabin pressurization is lower and humidity is better on the Dreamliner and A350 (and 380 to some extent). I would not have flown the A380 or a 777 with angled flat seats.  I would have gone a different route. All aisle access and full lie flat provides the ability to arrive and not be brutalized by the flight. 

My travel schedule can be brutal. Three hotels in three nights, drives of 3-8 hours between locations. I also fly but that’s often actually easier.


My boss can be a total slave driver and sets high expectations for performance but I am self employed so while the work is hard, I also have all the benefits of being the boss. I earn a lot of my points and miles on the credit cards we use to pay for anything we can for the business and take the benefits and use it on vacations. 

Now, back to our regularly schedule program. This will be a quick recap, detailed report will follow from the train to Avignon. 

Monday we did a tour with a great guide, saw a bunch of major sites, didn't rush, but it was very good. Mont Matre, Opera House, left bank, gardens, Pantheon, lots of the historic places, churches and monuments, wondering around the city, using public transportation when needed to speed it up. We'll go back to the places we want to visit again and in detail. 

We had some issues with our AC getting cold enough. It only got down to 19/70 but the admiral likes it colder and opening the windows brought in lots of street noise. We moved on Monday to a different suite which is actually larger,  not quite as much to our taste or as functional but it has a huge balcony that opens to the courtyard and since it is on a higher floor is very quiet with the windows open. I’ll post some pics as well. 

Dinner on Monday night was great, on a “boat” on the seine was romantic, beautiful and very fun. Lots of Americans, some locals, great views of the Eiffel Tower, D'Orsay, New Bridge, all the sites from the Seine.  Full pictures and details to come when I have time.  
We just wondered around and did some shopping Tuesday morning. We'll do that again more this morning. 

Dinner last night was at L'Anbroisie with our friend Toni who flew in last night and is now off to visit the country side. We'll meet back up with her in Avignon and head to the ship in Barcelona together. Dinner was sublime. It's not cheap, that for sure, and wines are ridiculously expensive but it’s not just ingredients, and how you combine them,  it the preparations and delicate care that set a place like this apart. Pics, and details also to come. 

After wondering around some today we'll “do the Eiffel Tower and top floor of the D'Orsey. Tomorrow we'll spend a couple of hours hitting the highlights of the Louvre before lunch at L'Arpège and then the catacombs late afternoon. My friend we had dinner with on Sunday should be back in town on Thursday night from a quick work trip, we're thinking of hitting one of the cabarets after dinner. Friday morning we leave. We couldn’t possible fit everything in but we also didn’t over schedule. We don’t know when we'll be back but we do love the city. 

A few teaser pics until I can get caught up. 

While we're loving Paris, this is all about cruising which will come soon!

Happy sailing,









Edited by need2bespoiled

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Ok, I wasn’t chastising you.  Just asking the question.  I can see you aren’t bashful!  What I wrote maybe of help to others.



Edited by excitedofharpenden

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2 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

Ok, I wasn’t chastising you.  Just asking the question.  I can see you aren’t bashful!  What I wrote maybe of help to others.



I am curious how you got a graphic of the airplane temperatures of your flight? 

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Just now, BBMacLaird said:

I am curious how you got a graphic of the airplane temperatures of your flight? 

Bonnie, there's a display on the wall of the galley and I took a photo of it. 



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3 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

Bonnie, there's a display on the wall of the galley and I took a photo of it. 



Nice cabin 🙂


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I’m not sure if I can insert images inline with the check from my iPad. All the images may end up at the end, we'll see. This post has many, many pics. I’ll try not to wait so long to post and make post shorter in general. 

Monday we started by meeting a guide we found on Tours by Local.  We generally spent the day wondering around, learning the history of Paris, seeing the sites by foot, by metro and bus. Darlene (friends call her “Dee”) has two “bionic knees” so while we do walk some, we keep it to reasonable amounts, at wandering paces and avoid a lot of uphill. We started with a walk up to Arc du Triomphe which is only a few blocks from the hotel.




Then by Metro to Montmartre wondering around, learning more history, seeing the sites of art, culture and food. 




















From there we hopped back on the metro and headed to Concord Square.





Wondering around we stop in Pierre Hermé for divine macaroons and on to the opera house before  a quick lunch at a local Bistro before heading by bus to the left bank.   




Here we visited Luxembourg Gardens, palace and the Medici Fountain and after a couple more hours of wondering around we grabbed a quick coffee before heading over to the Cathedral of Norte Dame, so sad.  From there headed to Pont Alexandre III and then walked back to the hotel. The total tour almost 7 hours was wonderful.


Some of these photos are posted out of order.  




















While the hotel is beautiful service doesn’t meet the level of the best hotels in the world. Service is generally good, but they don’t always go out of the way to exceed expectations.  Some staff is amazing but not everyone. We have had a few issues. For example, turn down service has been missed 2 of 4 nights, we had them come up tonight and went down to the lounge and had dessert. 


I bring this up as this is where we made the room swap. It went ok but it was still unwelcome and really rushed our dinner preparations which we could not be late for, as it was on a boat on the Seine. This was a wonderful experience, reasonably priced (relatively) with good food and great views. The one we chose was Bateau le Calife and I would recommend it. 








We had no plans for Tuesday morning and generally spent the time sleeping in, wondering around shopping, and relaxing. We did wonder by the presidential palace who based on the security Macron must be around. 





Dinner with Toni was sublime. Expensive, very expensive but sublime. The only miss wasn’t bad, just not as good as all of the other dishes was my main, the lamb. The appetizers were amazing, the sole and blue lobster mains were outstanding. Portions were substantial that we were full for desert and only split a cheese. They do add a number of courses. The wine was ridiculously priced and what we chose was ok, but not special. All in all, dinner for three was well over 1000 Euro (367 Euro per person). 






Puff pastry starter. 




Then an egg app that was sublime.




I had the shrimp and curry which was outstanding.




Toni and Dee had the fois gois which was amazing with turnip and mint and radish. Yum!




My Lamb




Toni's Sole with white wine special sauce 



Dee's blue lobster



 Cheese, oh my Cheese!




Today we finished our shopping and then headed to the Eiffel Tower, to the top by elevator. Wondered around a bit, not too much before heading back to the hotel and getting ready for Crazy Horse (cabaret Luke Moulan Rouge, but a bit more risqué and supposed to be the favorite of Parisians. We had a quick dinner in a fish restaurant that was ok, but we would have preferred a more simple bistro. Not even one good pic worth taking. I think we missed the recommendation of the concierge. If you’re not a prude, Crazy Horse was fun, but there was plenty of nudity. I got two quick pics before I was told no photos or videos. Somehow I missed that. 


Finally dessert in the lounge which we waited for our missed turn down. 


Tomorrow we’re off to the Lovure to see some highlights then lunch at L’Arpege and then the catacombs. Disappointingly I’m sure we’ll have time for the D’Orsay as we head to Avignon on Friday morning. 


Happy sailing,
















Edited by need2bespoiled

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This is such a wonderful thread. We’ve not cruised with Azamara before but I’ve really enjoyed your wonderful posts and photos pre cruise. Thanks for taking the time to post, and will look forward to reading your onboard experience too.

Enjoy the remainder of your travels in France. Thanks, Jean.

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Today was the Louvre.


It is hard to explain how big and small it is at the same time. While the building(s) aren’t huge, there are so many split levels, stairs up and down on the same level, and twists and turns it is easiest to get lost. There are said to be over 10 miles of galleries. We entered with a skip the line ticket and a guide who walked us and a small group in, discussed the layout and made a few recommendations and left us to fend for ourselves. We had already made a list of the 10 things we wanted to see. If you do this, the easiest way will be to include gallery numbers in your lists not just halls and floors.

We started with, the Mona Lisa of course but had planned to see the Winged Victory of Somthrace on the way, but we turned the wrong way and saw it out of our planned order.


Then it was was the coronation of Napoleon. The paintings in this gallery are HUGE. Really wow. I had no idea. It’s incredible.


The it was Liberty Leading the People (as in Statue of Liberty)


Raft of Medusa


The on to see some of the painting in the surround galleries and on our way out the Winged Victory of Somthrace.


The onto the Sleeping Hermaphroditus wondering along marveling at the al frescos.


And on to The Venus de Milo


Hammurabi’s Code.



By now we were a little giddy.


But we were also on a mission to see the last piece on our list, which turned out to be one of my favorites. Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss


We saw LOTS along the way, too much to show here I just about 2.5 hours.

We picked up a taxi and headed to lunch but 25 minutes later I realized I totally screwed up and gave him the wrong address to se drove about 25 minutes to the right address for L’Arpege. This was Darlene’s choice for her Three Michelin Star restaurant. It is everything L’Ambroisie is not. While L’Ambrosie is classic French, this is modern, and experimental. The best way to describe it would be garden style, using vegetables, herbs, less butter and mix of flavors that suites Dee’s style well.

I'm going to add lunch in the next post.

Happy sailing,

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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We quickly settled on the lunch tasting menu (175 euro per person) as the two dinner tasting menus which were available and showed what you would get were more expensive, even more than we spent at L’Ambrosie and we didn’t even look at a la carte. The lunch option is totally chefs choice, you only give dislikes and allergies. Darlene is a no on olives and I am pretty much a no on bad food and pre-prepared food so we were good to go. We had no idea what we were getting our how many courses. We guessed 5-6 but boy were we wrong. The Sommelier suggested a Sauvignon Blanc which was very good and not too pricey (12/glass) to start so we figured we’d be staring with veggie dishes or fish. Courses started to flow right away. I will not remember all the descriptions but will do the best I can. No written menu was available and I didn’t take notes. There were a few dishes that were misses for us and two or three total failures where we sent dishes back. Not sure if it was a bad or broken sauce or just not out liking but they handled it extremely well.



There was a large table next to use with a husband and wife, a nanny, a tutor, two children under age 6 and an infant. They were distracting a bit, the baby cried some but they did remove them pretty quickly. I was a bit surprised they would have lunch here but I guess each family is different.

Here is a food tour, as best I can remember with some key ingredients

Some beautiful little amuse bouche(s). One carrot, one radish, one spinach


Beans with a green goddess type sauce, with celery root I think. It was ok, Dee liked it.


This beautiful dish was vegetable crudo including radish, onion, turnip and tomatoes. It was absolutely stunningly beautiful and tasty but not overly extraordinary.


This egg was divine. Prepared two ways that I can’t remember but it did have some maple on it. I had taken a bite by the time this pic was taken. Whoops


Next up, spinach and an emulsion I can’t remember with sesame seeds.


We only took a couple bites of the cocoa with radish emulsion on the inside of this dish. It tasted like Mexican refried beans in the consistency of baby food to me, no thanks.


The didn’t call it wonton soup, but it sure liked like to me. Getting a vegetable broth this clear and refined is not easy. Each dumpling was different. One spinach, one radish, one carrot. Dee liked the radish I think. They were all good.


This is lobster. It was served cold, and almost raw, barely poached. I think it had a sweet and sour sauce though mostly sweet. It was yummy.


This dish was fun and really yummy. It is radish carpaccio. It’s a play on beef but totally vegetarian. The radish is made to look like beef, the cream emulsion with carrot looks like the egg and it was very tasty.


This next dish is a hazelnut and something else lasagna. I didn’t take a picture of the entire dish they brought out for presentation before they played. The foam is a black olive so Dee sent hers back and got a white wine foam. No pic. Hers was good, not sure which was better.


Still with me?

About this time the owner stopped by to say hello, apron on and all. Very personable and friendly. We thought, great, were full, done. Dessert and off to the catacombs? Not so fast!

Next up was butternut squash soup with a cream infused with ham. It was absolutely divine in every way. Major highlight of the meal. Perfect textures, flavors, so yummy!


We didn’t think they could end on soup and, no they couldn’t. This shows up table side. Rack of pig from somewhere I can’t remember. Started with a D.


The preparation then comes out on a tea water. Dee scrapped most of it off. It was so bitter I couldn’t even take 2 bites and sent it back. Not sure if they were surprise or not but this sauce could not have been right the way it was. They brought it back out with the pork jus and a couple of chips.



Next up, a few amuse desserts? Not sure what these should be called. All very tasty, some odd textures. The cocoa was dry, unless you put the entire thing in your mouth. One was like a drop of cookie batter, another like a little apple tart.


Then the FIRST of two desserts. It was yummy. Profiteroles with ice cream, and a caramel sauce. Yummy.


Then an apple pie. No bitterness to it, so perfect, we were told as it uses no sugar and is finished with honey very late in the process.


The only thing missing at this point was a wheelbarrow to remove us to a cab for the ride back to the hotel. The pictures remind me how stunningly beautiful these dishes were. Real art in and of itself.

The catacombs weren’t going to happen, this lunch took almost 3 hours and since we were late arriving it was getting late.

We made one stop on the way home to pick up a suitcase to help move some of the things we bought we didn’t expect to, and then while Dee packed, I met my friend who was back in town at a local bistro and chatted while she ate.

Tomorrow we head to Avignon. More on that later.

Happy sailing,

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Jenna, thank you for sharing this extraordinary lunch.  I feel stuffed.  Must now take a nap and dream of strange sauces and gorgeous plating.

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Jenna, your memory is astonishing.  I’m so impressed by how much you were able to describe each dish without a written menu.  Dear God this is a lot of food...treadmill with me in sea days?  🤣🤣

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We just returned home this morning after a week in Paris, five days in Provence (L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue) then a few in Piedmont, Italy. Brings back Parisian memories, although this was our fifth time there. Let me know if you have any questions about Provence! We spent a day in Avignon, but chose to base ourselves in a smaller town. It’s lovely everywhere there. Enjoying your detailed posts!

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9 hours ago, Covepointcruiser said:

What type of aircraft is a 789?    Boeing makes a 787 and they have a -9 so unless you flew on some Russian aircraft the 787-9 is what you meant.

The 787-9 is often referred to as the 789.  For instance look at this JAL site.......



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Friday we had a leisurely breakfast before heading to the train. We took the TVG to Avignon  it instead of ending up at the Avignon TVG station we ended up at the local station. The EuropeCar van I rented was at the TVG station. Whoops. About an hour and a half later, and a taxi ride to the TVG station I had the car and picked Dee back up and our extensive luggage at the local Avignon station. We then drove around town a bit and found a brassiere for a quick bite while we waited for a Toni KSBelle I think who was meeting us in Avignon and heading to St Remy. We’ve known Toni since we met in 2013 on a N2B Celebrity Cruise starting in Istanbul and then on to Rome and Ft Lauderdale. We done long trips to Asia and visited in Maine and Florida. We enjoy traveling together and tour in compatible ways. 


After a 30 minute or so drive Google Maps had us in St Remy but we couldn’t find our hotel, Hôtel et Restaurant de Tourrel. After driving around St Remy town loop at least 6 times (literally) I finally parked the van and walked toward where it was suppose to be, seemingly the only way to get there was down a one way street the wrong way. I walked into the restaurant as was pointed to the front desk. I met the manager who walked back to the van with me and to retrieve Dee and Toni and guide us to the hotel. The only road (driveway) in was through what looked like a parking lot, the sign well back from the entrance, no wonder we missed it. 


The hotel is stunning beautiful. Designed and owned by an architect, I believe it is the smallest branded hotel in the Marriott Bonvoy hotel chain in the work with only 7 unique rooms. Our room included an original wall from the 17thcentury.  We did not use points on the stay. I would say the cost is above average but not for a luxury or unique property and worth the stay. 


this wall is from the 17th century 



the rain shower is 5 meters tall and so large it is open, no door to the bathroom 




beautiful pool for such a small property





The stairway chandelier was built with antique organ pipes that have a lot of meaning to the history of the structure. 









We had already made a reservation when we booked the room for dinner in their Michelin starred restaurant. Dinner was very good, but not quite as refined as what we had in Paris at a significantly lower price 90-110 Euros for 4-5 courses (both fish and meat or just one of the two) from one of two tasting menus. Of course this doesn’t include all the extra courses they bring. They did ask us to choose from the same menu. Dee and Toni wanted the signature menu instead of the digestive menu but the signature menu had choices of red mullet and lamb, both of which I had had in the last two days so they were very flexible offering for me to choose a main course from the other menu when I couldn’t decide.


We started with two amuse bouche, the first sardines over I believe kale




The second was a bite that tasted like pizza. 




Then onto a grilled corn soup crunched lettuce


butternut squash soup mushrooms and bouillabaisse



 Seaweed butter poached shellfish with cream


Dee’s marginal phallic lamb




My meal (lamb)




Toni’s red mullet. 



Dessert was a chocolate and peanut butter with anise concoction





And finally the small sweet bites. 




Chef and GM of the hotel. As GM he was also one of two servers at this restaurant with just over 20 seats. 




Next up will be the reason for this trip to Provence and the South of France. 


Happy sailing,








Edited by need2bespoiled

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The entire goal of the trip to St Remy and  Hôtel et Restaurant de Tourrel was not the restaurant but a visit to Carrieres de Lumieres which is amazing! C’est manufique. You can see this exhibit in Paris but the setting and quality is not the same and the ceiling and floor is not included. 


This is a display of Vangoh’s work projected onto the cave walls, ceiling and floor with precision, and set to music. There is also an additional presentation of Japanese artwork that loops with I t.


We only spent about 90 minutes or so at Carrieres de Lumniere but it was well worth the effort. The show was great. We then had a leisurely drive through the countryside of Provence where we decided to stop in Aix- entire-Provence before our flight out of Marseille tonight.  Aix-en-Provence is a charming little town. We were very lucky to find parking without too much effort and wonder through town and the last 20 minutes or so of a beautiful farmers market before walking into a brassiere for a leisurely lunch and then wondering around town. 


From there it was off on the next stop of the our journey (but not THE Journey) and the airport in Marseille to get closer to the real Azamazing a Journey. 

all of the images and videos are below because it is MUCH faster to post them and I don’t think these need labels. 


Happy Sailing,






























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We stayed in the Hotel l’Image in the centre of St Remy which was recommended on cruise critic.  Great hotel with a beautiful garden, including a kitchen garden growing produce for the excellent restaurant, modern statues and a lovely swimming pool. 


The exhibitions at Carrierres de Lumieres change regularly  and we saw Giants of the Renaissance including , Leonardo de Vinci, , Michelangelo and Raphael.  Simply stunning.


There is a guy, with the cruise critic name  Hitner,  who is a wealth of information particularly about France, who is a regular contributor on the Ports of Call boards.

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I am a few days behind and writing this from the ACTUAL Journey, at sea somewhere off the coast of Spain. It’s a tad bumpy, but not bad. I'm going to try and get updated this morning in a few posts but may have even more than my normal number of typos. 

First the flight from Marsielle to Barcelona via Lisbon on TAP was fine. The first flight on a regional jet had a choice of meals. I chose tortellini which was actually ravioli with hazelnuts and was very good for airline standards.  Dee chose veal. I won this “food decision battle”.

These flights were purchased with United Airlines mileage plus miles and this circuitous route was chosen due to the ability to get the very inexpensively with miles and not pay for bags. The only direct flights are on Vueling or AF and while the ticket prices are not much, with overweight bags they would have been VERY expensive. Train would have been an option, but without a high speed train and with the bridge between France and Spain closed for trains, we would have ended up on a bus, so we’re happy with the route we chose to get from France to Spain. 





The TAP lounge in Lisbon was nice enough with better food offerings than we get domestically in the U.S. as good as the better business class lounges in Europe.the beverage options were many.  Compared to Copa's signature lounge in Panama this was six star. 



The flight from Lisbon to Barcelona was fine. Even in TAP Executive (business) class you get a basic economy seat without anyone in the middle seat, in row 1 as we had, that meant we couldn’t even raise the arm rests as they tray tab,es are built unto them. The benefits of Executive class were basically the free overweight bags, not waiting in the lines to checkin, enter the boarding gate, or lounge. While we didn’t eat anything in the lounge we weren’t really hungry. Dee passes on the meal completely and I took a few bites. There was no choice. It was lamb wrapped in pastry with spinach. 


We arrived at our hotel in Barcelona at 12:30a on Sunday. We chose the Autograph College cotton house for its history and central location. Unfortunately checkin did not go as well as we would have liked. When I added a third night to our reservation, Marriott was unable to change the previous 2 night reservation so they added a second one night reservation. When I checked in and was told both reservations were upgraded 2 levels I was supposed to be happy they were going to have us move rooms. That was not happening. We’ve moved around enough. I let the front desk agent know there were two option, find a room we could stay in, or we’d cancel the reservation and find another hotel. He said there was no connection between the two reservation but there were many I was able to provide. After about 10 or 15 minutes we were on our way to our room which turned out to be the same room they expected us to take as there were personal notes in the room. 

Next up, a review of the Cotton House, our quick tour of Barcelona on Sunday with a private guide followed by a lunch in the region north of Barcelona and a winery tour. 

Happy sailing,


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The Cotton House is a beautiful hotel. From the 8 story marbled spiraled staircase unique that it is suspended from the ceiling instead of built from the foundation up, to the back deck and small rooftop pool it is quite beautiful.

Here is a quick history:


Cotton House Hotel is housed in a listed landmark built in 1879 by Catalan architect Elies Rogent, at the height of the textile industry in Barcelona. The building later became the headquarters of the Catalan Association of Cotton Manufacturers (Fundación Textil Algodonera).

The renovation was done by the interior design studio of Lázaro Rosa-Violán, who also designed Hotel Praktik Bakery and Hotel Praktik Vinoteca.

Original elements such as the striking marble staircase and ceiling frescoes have been carefully conserved.






The room was quite small and the bathroom while beautiful was not overly functional. The small balcony overlooking the courtyard was nice and the AC worked well. The back deck off the restaurant where we had breakfast every morning was very nice with lots of greens. The Spanish breakfast with ham and lots of desserts was good. Eggs were an option on top of the free breakfast that comes with my Bonvoy status.




Service was adequate all be it a bit slow, especially at breakfast though a few staff did try very hard.

My big let down jumps ahead and was on departure yesterday when I went to the concierge which is basically a contract tour company providing the service. A side note, they offer small group tours that seemed to be very reasonably priced though we didn’t partake.

I went to the concierge looking for advice on how to send in VAT tax refunds for three large purchases. I was passed from one concierge to another who sent me on a walk to Plaza Catalonia (about 10 min) to the Planet Money and Global Blue desks to have my refunds validated but these offices simply buy tax refunds for a fee. I still needed to go to a customs office to have my forms stamped. This was totally a wild goose chase and really frustrated my with the hotel. The planet money office did let me know I could have the forms stamped at terminal A at the port. Unfortunately this was wrong as well (I walked with my friend Jen from the Journey at E down to A to do this, but after waiting for an official in the mess of an MSC ship boarding, all we got was a threat of being arrested. It turns out, that I should be able to get the forms validated in Madeira buts it’s a Sunday so who knows.

Next up, the quick Barcelona Tour, lunch and wine tour and tasting.

Happy sailing,

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk







Edited by need2bespoiled
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Sorry about the awful photo posting issues. I tried to post via Tapatalk but that limits the pictures and then even when I tried to limit my post to nine it posted none. I then edited the post in a browser from my tablet and failed miserably. 


Second, thank you to those on the cruise who have said hello, as well as our trivia team, the middle of the road Transatlantix who are very good of convincing ourselves the correct answer is in fact, wrong. 


We woke later than normal on Sunday late as we had a late night the night before to meet our great guide Esther who Dee found on Tours by Locals, where we found many of our guides. We met her, Toni, and Jenn at our hotel, with her driver in a newer cab for our planned day starting with a quick two hour tour of the city. Our first stop was where Esther gave us an overview of the layout of the city and we could see some major points and get perspective. 








To be continued, time to get ready for dinner at Prime C


Happy sailing,




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Saw you in Prime C last night, hope you enjoyed your dinner.   We both had the fillet and it was wonderful, not European beef.   Hubby enjoyed the Pumpkin Soup but the onion soup was not as good as I have had, but maybe I am thinking of Seabourn or Cunard.

Sides also received mixed reviews as the spinach was great but hubby would not repeat the spaetzle.    We will try Prime C again after we dine again at Aqualina.    Dover sole has been requested tonight.

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We enjoy Prime C too.  Where does the beef come from ?  Not sure what" not European Beef" means.

I would like Aberdeen Angus from Scotland.

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I wish I had gotten this up to date before I boarded. I didn't expect the internet to be so slow, and while I have my phone for high speed internet while in port, I am limited to a half gig of data, which sounds like a lot, but transferring pictures and videos is very intensive as I have been taking most pictures with my phone and trying to post from my ipad.  The following post would have been done a few days ago, but for some reason Cruise Critic boards are rotating most of the photos, which is just frustrating me, and the touch set-up on iOS isn't letting me use the edit photo option, so I've resorted to using my PC. One the pics are on it, it should be faster.  I am going to try and use a cord to make this go faster from here on out.

From Mont Juic overlooking Barcelona, we were off to the museum and hill overlooking the Magic Fountain. On the way we passed this unique communication tower who was designed by Santiago Calatrava.

And the Olympic stadium. 





Then to the "Magic" fountain. The fountain itself never had a show while we were there as we arrived late on Saturday and left on Tuesday but the fountains between the museum and magic fountain were going. It was very windy so we had to avoid getting wet when the water blew up or down. We asked Esther to let us walk down which we did and were picked up at the bottom on our way to the next stop. 


Before the wind

After the wind as we got wet


From there it was on to a couple of Goudi houses.





From there our quick Barcelona tour ended and it was on to lunch at L'amagat in Sant Quintí de Mediona, Barcelona, Spain on the way to the winery.  This was an EXCELLENT meal and we were very happy with the food.  Both lunch and the wine tasting were included in the tour.  it wasn't an inexpensive tour, but being all inclusive with meals wine, etc, it was well worth it.

First, lunch.  We started with local, in season Rovellones mushrooms, simply grilled with olive oil.1419939399_IMG_4376(Medium).thumb.JPEG.90c44c5e3c3dfeceab0c5e3c3f1526b6.JPEG

This is Fois with figs, we also had Fois with very lightly fried artichokes. Both were excellent.

Darlene had grilled lamb, maybe the best dish.


Toni had the wild boar stewIMG_4381.thumb.JPEG.3354837f7e0f12ff63fb1506b4902c09.JPEG


I had the grilled octopus


Jen had the duck.


Then it was on to the winery.  We arrived JUST as the tour was starting and joined about 8 other people for a tour of the vineyard and what sets this vineyard, as a bio-dynamic farm apart from traditional farm.  The best explanation I can share is from the film The Biggest Little Farm.  I highly recommend it for the story and cinematography.

Here are a number of pics from the Vineyard and winery which has been family run for at least three generations.






So much goodness in those barrels. French and american oak.


The old wine elevator

Lots of wine aging in the cellar.


Ready for us to taste away.


Dee wasn't feeling well, so she missed out, but we were definitely in our happy place.


I bought a few bottles of one wine I liked and a bottle of olive oil.

After this is what back to the Cotton House but not until close to 6pm.  Quite a long day.  We didn't go out, but simply had a very light room service meal.

The next day, Monday would be the last day before boarding the Journey, which I should be able to get posted shortly.

Happy sailing,






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