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Mediterranean - Barcelona to Rome

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Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona - Pre Cruise Sunday, May 13, 2007
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Arrived on Air France (AirBus 300) after a evening flight. Flying overnights are bad if you have trouble sleeping on a flight. I highly recommend exercising alot the day before and during the day of departure if possible.

The Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport was very crowded and under construction. There wasn't even a gate - we had to take the airstair down to a bus and then to the terminal. Passport check took about a minute. Very fast.

Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) - Online Listing

The terminal building was crowded and unorganized. None of the flight notification monitors were working. Luckily there was a first class line for security screening, which went really fast for the flight to Barcelona.

Departed on a Air France Airbus 321 which was full. They had a strange first class section. Basically the normal 3x3 seating was the same, but the middle seat was blocked off. So you had no extra room, but an annoying seat in the middle. Service was poor.

Arrived in Barcelona around noon and took a 15 minute taxi ride to the Grand Marina. The taxi as 18.00 Euro plus a 5.00 Euro surcharge. Getting a taxi was fast and easy. The cab driver did not speak English, which gave me a chance to practice my Spanish.

I prebooked the Grand Marina on Expedia. When I arrived, the check-in was fast, efficient and courteous. The desk staff spoke very good English.

The room was fantastic. For $850 a night, I was expecting a nice room, and I was not disappointed.

The bathroom was fully tiled with shower and tub.

How do the lights turn on ? Use your keycard to put in a slot, which automatically turns the lights out when you leave. Simple and eco-friendly

The room comes with a minibar (fee based) and all the comforts of home.

Wifi was available for a surcharge at 14.95 Euro. In most really expensive hotels, some extras are included at no charge. This is not the case at Eurostar Grand Marina.

Here is the final room bill (excluding the pre-paid room charge which I paid for on Expedia in advance).

The Grand Marina occupies a portion of the World Trade Center. This is the top of the hotel veranda.

On the top floor is the pool and bar area. They had a lovely fruit and snack bar set up for the day. The bar was not open for some reason, nor could you get room service to bring a drink up.

This has to be one of the coolest pools with a view that I've seen (aside from French Polynesia). It's located on the top of the hotel, the cruise ship is below at the pier. Suits are optional in this Med hotel.

A view from the top floor of the hotel at the pier below.

Grand Marina Hotel

Windstar Cruise Ship

The location of the Eurostar Grand Marina is one of the best on the Med. It has a ship pier on one side, marinas on the other and incredible views of the huge city of Barcelona. Because it's centrally located, you can walk to many places right from the hotel. The hotel is part of the World Trade Center, which also offers conference rooms, offices and retail space.

(click to enlarge)

The Barcelona Cable Car to Montjuic - Transbordador Aeri (Cross-Harbour Cable Car)

Transbordador Aeri

Right outside the Eurostar Grand Marina is the mid-point for the Barcelona cable car (tram). The Barcelona Cable Car to Montjuic - Transbordador Aeri (Cross-Harbour Cable Car) Built on the occasion of the 1929 World Fair, like the Spanish Village and the Magic Fountain, the Trasbordador Aeri crosses over from Barcela Harbourfrom Sant Sebastia (Sant Sebastia beach) La Barceloneta to (Miramar) Montjuic Hill with a stop next to (Jaume I Tower) Barcelona World Trade Center. The ride takes about 5 min. and cars have a capacity for 19 people. They run every 10 min. or less when there are many people. I recommend to start the ride at either la Barceloneta (to get to Sant Sebastia you take the metro to Barceloneta and from there you will be able to see the tower) or Montjuic instead of the stop in between, even though it is closer to town and easier to reach. Hours: Oct. 20th to Feb. 29th: 10:00 to 18:00H - March 1st to June 6th: 10:45 to 19:00H - June 9th to Sept. 14th: 11:00 to 20:00H - Sept. 15th to Oct. 19th: 10:45 to 19:00H Prices are about 9 Euro one way, 12.50 Euro round-trip Tel. 93 430 47 16 Service can be suspended due to strong wind or bad weather. While the cable car was running the day I got there, the next day it was closed due to high winds. Barcelona is known for its high winds.

(click to enlarge)

Room service for dinner was 50 Euro. Yes, Barcelona is expensive. I always drink lots of water after a trans-oceanic flight.

Capaccio was the first course. Food was very good.

Sunset from the top floor of the hotel.

Another sunset view, with the cable car tower to the left. Barcelona is just beautiful.

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Mediterranean - Barcelona to Rome
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