|There wasn’t much to report on Thursday, our last sea day and last full day of the cruise, and the 760 mile journey back to Barcelona.
We were off the ship very quickly Friday morning and after a short van ride were back at the Arc La Rambla Hotel before 9:00 to spend one last night in Barcelona. The clerk stowed our bags for us so we could wander without dragging our souvenir-filled luggage all over town and since we didn’t have to catch flights till Saturday, we had almost a full day and night to relax and enjoy Barcelona.
We did some more wandering (don’t be fooled...it still means shopping), some eating, some repacking and some lounging before meeting at the hotel Tapas restaurant before heading off to our last dinner together at Ferran, a recommended restaurant off of La Ramblas. It didn’t live up to my expectations, but since it was our last night in the city it was more about the laughs and camaraderie than the food. Dave and Kathy called it a night after dinner so the 4 of us survivors took off to spend some time at our favorite rooftop bar and our last chance to gawk at Barcelona at night.
Their long travel day (Barcelona to Paris to JFK to Ft. Lauderdale) started really early on Saturday so we said our goodbyes and about 10:00 we pretty much pulled the plug on our journey. We had to check out of the room by noon but our ride to the airport wasn’t scheduled till 3:00. So we waited in the lobby for 3 hours. And our flight wasn’t till 6:00 so we waited in the airport for 3 more hours. And the flight was about 20 minutes late so we waited some more. The flight was pretty good except for a really rough ride just before we crossed the western coast of Spain – naturally, as we tried to eat dinner – but we got into Newark pretty much on time.
There was almost no wait for us to get through U.S. Customs (get the Global Entry Card if you plan to travel internationally...it’s well worth the $$) but then the luggage carousel broke so we had to wait for our bags for about an hour...Saturday was obviously our day to learn patience. We were back to Aunt Rosie’s house by about 11:30…just in time to put together a suitcase for Michele, and well, you know how the story goes from there.
So, in short, here is my opinion on the trip...we had a great time and our travel partners had a lot to do with that. Their experience of previously traveling in Europe was very beneficial, we all got along very well and they were a lot of fun. As for the cruise, Celebrity is a very good line, but overall I think Princess is a notch above. Nothing on the ship was bad, I just think Princess does the whole experience a bit better overall. I loved the ship – one of the best we have been on – and the itinerary was very interesting and diverse, but next time I would prefer more Italy, less Greece and a lot less rain...and I’m pretty sure that Princess could have fixed that rain thing :)