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MHicks 02-18-2008 07:08 AM

We are taking our first cruise with NCL leaving from Barcelona. We will be arriving at Barcelon Airport at Noon and the ship sails at 7:00pm. Will we have time to tour the city first? If so, how do you recommend we do that. We are with a group of 10.

Hank 02-18-2008 01:35 PM

Assuming you arrive at noon it will probably be about 1pm before you get through immigration/customs and claim your luggage. The ride to the port will take about 20 - 30 minutes and you should be able to immediately board the ship. By this time is would probably be about 2 pm and you still would not have had lunch. The ship will be docked across the bay from the heart of downtown (The Ramblas) and it probably doesnt make a lot of sense to try and do a tour when you still have your luggage. Once you are finished your embarkation, you would have the option of leaving the ship and seeing some of the town. It take less than 10 min to get into the center of town from the ship (by bus or taxi) or you can even walk it in about 25 min. Barcelona is best seen on your feet whether with a guide or simply on your own. Its a very tourist friendly place with excellent public transit and taxis, so its pretty easy to see any site of interest. Most like to start by simply walking on the Ramblas, walking around the adjacent Gothic Quarter, and perhaps taking a taxi over to see the Sagrada Familia (Gaudi Cathedral). There is enough in this city for several days (this is why most try to do a pre or post cruise stay) so you would really have to pick and choose.


MHicks 02-20-2008 04:46 PM

Thank you Hank. I'm enjoying all your postings... very educational!

Hank 02-20-2008 07:29 PM

Thanks for the kind words. For those that cruise in the Med a lot (I guess we are part of that crowd) Barcelona is a love/hate place. After our first five visits (and we used to spend a few days on every visit) my wife got totally tired of the town and now begs for alternatives (Sitges is a nice sea resort down the coast). The thing about Barcelona is it is probably one of the best cruise ports in Europe because its so tourist friendly, has a good airport, and the cruise pier is within a mile of downtown (its actually a pretty nice walk across the bridge). My only caution is that if you do walk around town, take careful precautions to protect yourselves from pickpockets and purse snatchers. This is a popular city for gypsies and they are very good at their craft (you will not get hurt or feel anything other than loss of pride and valuables). This caution does apply to any popular tourist place in Europe, but Barcelona has more than its share including in the modern airport (never leave your luggage for even one second).


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