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Time in Barcelona prior to the cruise or after the cruise


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We are on a Cruise in October 2022 that leaves from and returns to Barcelona. Since we have never been to Barcelona, we would like to spend a couple of days there to see the highlights. I know this is a personal decision but wonder if we should do this before we leave for the cruise or spend the time there when we return. Would love any input and/ or suggestions.

 

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Whether before or after your cruise, don't miss the Segrada Famillia (sp?) cathedral. Most amazing. Or any Gaudi buildings/facilities. Eat some tapas (pinchos), walk the Ramblas but beware of pickpockets throughout the city. 

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The hop on op off buses are terrific in Barcelona. If you see something interesting (so many) just get off the bus and explore. A walk along Las Ramblas and stopping for tapas and sangria is awesome.

 

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Agree with both of the above comments.  Be sure to make reservations in advance for some of the popular places, particularly the Sagrada Familia.  The hop-on, hop-off does stop there.  Barcelona is a great city and surely worth a few days.  When cruising Europe, we often spend a few extra days both at the beginning and the end of a cruise.  It works both ways.

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Posted (edited)

The question is, where would you rather feel  the primary effects of jet lag? I see you're in the eastern U.S., so you'll be doing a redeye-- flying overnight west to east.  That's the tougher direction and timing. Would you rather have your groggy day or two in Barcelona or on the ship? 

 

If this is the cruise I think it is (on Splendor), you'll have only 2 sea days, and the first one won't be until 5 days into the cruise, which means you could be a little bleary-eyed through the earlier ports. So you may want some recovery time on shore first. Maybe consider a couple of days on each end? That way, you can have an easy couple days to overview Barcelona before the cruise, and then hit the sights harder at the end. Last time I was on a Regent ship that called in Barcelona, we docked with sight of La Rambla, so it's not like it's a long haul out to the dock such that you'll need the Regent transfer to get to or from there.

 

BTW, if you are indeed on Splendor, I look forward to meeting you. My friend and I are on the grand voyage of which this is a segment.

 

Edited by wishIweretravelling
typo
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Thank you for the input Mudhen, Gipilon and annapolitan. Yes, wishiweretravelling we are on the Splendor in October so look forward to maybe meeting you. Thanks for your suggestions, much appreciated. Now we get to plan and anticipate for a year plus.

Glad we have another cruise booked in February to tie us over.

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2 hours ago, wishIweretravelling said:

BTW, if you are indeed on Splendor, I look forward to meeting you. My friend and I are on the grand voyage of which this is a segment.

 

We will just miss you two as we join Splendor in Rome for the 24-night crossing to Miami.  We really should coordinate our cruise schedules.  😉

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1 hour ago, DarthCruiser said:

We will just miss you two as we join Splendor in Rome for the 24-night crossing to Miami.  We really should coordinate our cruise schedules.  😉

Oh no! We just keep getting this wrong.

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There's so much to see in Barcelona, i don't know where to start!  We spent about a week in and around Barcelona prior to a TA eight years ago.  Obviously La Sagrada Familia (which requires a prior reservation to avoid horrible lines).  La Bouqueria market, the Gothic cathedral, the Picasso Museum, the other Gaudi architectural sites, it goes on and on.   Two of those days were spent away from the city--we went to Girona by train and stayed two nights, with a day-trip by train to Figueras to see the Dali museum.   I also enjoyed just walking around the old district of Gracia on a Sunday afternoon.  Lovely city, great architecture.

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14 hours ago, wishIweretravelling said:

The question is, where would you rather feel  the primary effects of jet lag? I see you're in the eastern U.S., so you'll be doing a redeye-- flying overnight west to east.  That's the tougher direction and timing. Would you rather have your groggy day or two in Barcelona or on the ship?

 

Jet lag is enough of a factor for us that we always choose to spend some time on land before embarkation.  We've visited Barcelona many times, but are flying in five days early prior to a Viking Ocean cruise in September.  Barcelona is a beautiful, vibrant city...you'll want to be there for more than a couple of days if possible.

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20 hours ago, Wendy The Wanderer said:

There's so much to see in Barcelona, i don't know where to start!  We spent about a week in and around Barcelona prior to a TA eight years ago.  Obviously La Sagrada Familia (which requires a prior reservation to avoid horrible lines).  La Bouqueria market, the Gothic cathedral, the Picasso Museum, the other Gaudi architectural sites, it goes on and on.   Two of those days were spent away from the city--we went to Girona by train and stayed two nights, with a day-trip by train to Figueras to see the Dali museum.   I also enjoyed just walking around the old district of Gracia on a Sunday afternoon.  Lovely city, great architecture.

Thank you Wendy. Just reading your response is getting me very excited for a chance to see Barcelona and all it has to offer.

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I’d do it on the return of the cruise.  We’ll be heading to Barcelona for are 3rd Nike in Aug 2022 and really looking forward to the trip—lot’s of things ton see.

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11 hours ago, -Lew- said:

 

Jet lag is enough of a factor for us that we always choose to spend some time on land before embarkation.  We've visited Barcelona many times, but are flying in five days early prior to a Viking Ocean cruise in September.  Barcelona is a beautiful, vibrant city...you'll want to be there for more than a couple of days if possible.

Lew, you have certainly given us something to think about. Hoping to talk my DH into a few extra days.

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Another place near Barcelona is Montserrat, beautiful monastery built in to the mountain and some interesting vineyards nearby. Easy trip from Barcelona.

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Posted (edited)

After flying to Barcelona, we spent four days there. Our first day is resting after the flight. The next two or three days are for touring and dining at our leisure. It becomes the perfect beginning for our journey. 
Cruising in Europe is quite exhausting, with long days touring ashore. At the end of our trip, we just look forward to returning home and resting. 

Edited by Bellaggio Cruisers
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5 hours ago, Bellaggio Cruisers said:

After flying to Barcelona, we spent four days there. Our first day is resting after the flight. The next two or three days are for touring and dining at our leisure. It becomes the perfect beginning for our journey. 
Cruising in Europe is quite exhausting, with long days touring ashore. At the end of our trip, we just look forward to returning home and resting. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Thank you Bellaggio. I think that is very good advice. Since we are not spring chickens ( upper 70s).

We would also appreciate time to bounce back from jet lag before boarding our cruise.

Are you guys still taking international trips?

Edited by snorkle lover
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We usually spend our extra days before boarding for several reasons.  One is to get over jet lag.  Another one is that when we do get on board we can get laundry done the first couple of days.  We can easily pack any souvenirs where ever we want since we are getting on the ship.  (Can spend extra time on board figuring how to pack things that may need to be checked.)  After jet lag, we have plenty of energy to go sight seeing for a couple days, after 2 weeks on the ship and being pampered it is just hard to make it to the airport and through security.

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I think I agree about the pre-cruise time.  We always have needed at least a couple of days for the process of recovering from a long flight and beginning to adjust to the new time zone.  Even when we were in our 40's, let alone our 70's!  If you value your cruise time and ports, you want to be fresh and rested on the ship.

 

In general if we have a cruise with different start and end points, we will do a few days at both ends, ideally at least 4 days each.  We've done this a lot--Rome/Florence, Greece/Istanbul, France/Portugal, and also some solely post-cruise adventures, like Lima and Ecuador.  So don't discount doing a little of both.  You can always visit some other part of Spain or France, for instance, after you disembark. 

 

Then again in French Polynesia, we have always done pre-cruise stays, and flown almost straight home, as anguished as that departure has been.

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19 hours ago, snorkle lover said:

Thank you Bellaggio. I think that is very good advice. Since we are not spring chickens ( upper 70s).

We would also appreciate time to bounce back from jet lag before boarding our cruise.

Are you guys still taking international trips?

Hi Snorkle

You are spring chickens compared to us. We are in our mid eighties now We  just canceled our last European cruise. The airports and long flights, even in business class, have become too much of a hassle. 
So, we are sticking to sailing out of Florida. Caribbean, Panama Canal and Amazon are a few of our next destinations. 
Be well and enjoy your journey!

sheila

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Thank you so much for all the advice. I think the decision has been made to stay a few days prior to the cruise. Mj_holiday, I like the way you think about the laundry. We would definitely be doing that. Wendy, that is a great point about being rested and ready for port excursions. Bellagio, thanks for making me feel young in my 70s and I hope to be like you when I am in my eighties and still cruising even if it isn't internationally.

Again, I appreciate all the thoughtful advice.

Happy sailing y'all! 

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