BarcelonaApril 18, 2019 in Spain ⋅ 🌬 17 °C
Flew into Barcelona, to pick up the Spectrum ots
Got off for a walk today, been here a few times before, so this time instead of walking along the sea front, I walked across town to the beach. A very short and pleasant stroll, the beach was very nice and had some quite amazing sand sculptures.
After leaving Southampton, we were one day out, on the way to the Canaries, when during the night we had a problem with the ships stabilisers. Apparently the problem was quite serious, so we had to turn back and dock in Vigo overnight while the repairs were carried out. The cruise itinerary was rearranged and two ports were cut out. The upshot was that the company refunded us 50% of the cruise fare, 25% in cash and 25% as a future cruise credit, which I thought was pretty reasonable. But there are still some people who are not satisfied, one being an MP who is on board and wants a full refund of the cruise fare, so watch this space.
Anyway the main thing is the kids are loving the trip, and so is Annika, even though she was ill for a day.Read more
Today we were docked in Palma de Majorca, but I've nothing to report as I didn't get off the ship, I've been here a number of times and there was nothing I really wanted to see.
In the evening all the Pinnacles on board where invited to a bridge tour, with Captain Rick Sullivan, which was interesting, while there they did the top cruiser presentation. After that we were supposed to go and see the ice show, but I'm afraid the curse of the concierge lounge hit Sheila, she said she was nice and comfortable where she was, so couldn't be bothered going to the show.
To be honest the company we were with was good so it was no hardship to stay.
We had met a French couple Francois and Jaques (Fran and Jack) who knew Sue and Maz, they are very nice and speak great english.
There were two other couples from the USA that we got talking two, one of the guys looked like a real hillbilly with his baseball cap and big beard 🧔, but he was a real nice guy.
Then later on a couple, Betty and Brian who we'd met on a previous ship came over for a chat.
Tomorrow is Marseilles in France 🇫🇷 so I'll have to make an effort to get off the ship, I'll keep you posted, lol 😂.Read more
First impressions of the ship are good, it's just like the Harmony of the seas.
The only place we've really seen up to now is, surprise, surprise, the Suites/Costal Kitchen Lounge, which is fabulous, and for me the best thing about the "big" ships.
These huge floating theme parks, are amazing, but imho, they are really designed for families and young people, which is not a problem, as there are lots of "smaller" ships for old farts like me to pick from.
But back to the Symphony, as I said it is huge and accommodates 6800 passengers, and something like 2500 crew, which is bigger than the population of Garswood, the area I live in!
Having said that, there is plenty of space for everyone, and the ship never seems to be overcrowded, although there are lines for some of the attractions, which is only to be expected.
All the staff we have met upto now have been very helpful and friendly, especially the two concierges Raj and Rahul.
Raj in particular is brilliant. I have known him for a number of years now and he has always been great, and, definitely one of the best concierges in the company.
Anyway that's all for now, more about the ship to follow.Read more
After the slight disappointment of the graffiti park I had a walk to another place I'd seen on the map, namely Mirador del Poble-sec Park, it is a public park set part way up Montjuïc which is a big hill or small mountain that overlooks the port of Barcelona on one side and the city on the other.
It's quite a hike but well worth it for the views.
I made it up to the port cable car station right by the Miramar hotel, which gave me some great views. I only scratched the surface today, as there is much more to see up there.Read more
Well it's turn around day today, so, I decided to have a mooch around Barcelona, but not around La Ramblas.
I picked out on the map, a park called Jardins de le 3 Xemeneies. This means Gardens of the 3 Chimneys and is built on the site of an early 20th century power station, and is is one of five official graffiti parks in Barcelona, where graffiti artists can officially display their talents, they just have to book a date and time and away they go.
This means that the artwork is constantly changing.
The idea is great but the reality is slightly different.
Some of the artwork is brilliant, but the park is full of litter and homeless people dossing down.
Which is a shame on many points, firstly that people have nowhere to live and are forced to sleep on park benches, but also a public space that has been put to good use is spoilt.
This should be a pleasant and interesting place to sit and relax. But is rubbish strewn and quite intimidating.
But having said all that it is worth a look all be it a quick one.Read more
Today we are docked in Palma de Mallorca, and I didn't get off for my usual mooch, as we had an invite to see the Gipsy Kings later this afternoon as VIP guests, at an "exclusive" event held at the local bullring, arranged by Royal Caribbean.
We as supposed VIP guests where not to meet by the quayside with everyone else, but in the conference room on deck 2.
Well I got there with Maz and Sue as Sheila didn't come as it would be too much for her.
Anyway we get to this conference room, and I could immediately see what the trip was going to be like.
We had the usual pinnacle posturing, and one-upmanship, as some of them think they have been given a knighthood with the pinnacle badge.
For instance, the seats were almost all taken and Sue was looking for one, I had decided to stand and there was a seat right in front of me, so I called Sue to sit there, when this American bloke who was top cruiser on the ship rushed across and sat there. Now I may only be from a rough council estate near Liverpool, but I was always taught to give up my seat for a lady, but obviously if you are top cruiser this does not apply.
So I thought to myself, if this is how people are behaving before we even get on the bus to the concert, what are they going to be like getting seats at the bullring?
I thought if I go I'd end up arguing with someone, so I told Sue that I wasn't bothering and went back to the cabin to see Sheila.
Anyway about 6.30 people started arriving back which was a good 2 hours early, and I was right, it turned out to be a bit of a shambles, which was a shame as the other event that had been arranged earlier in the week, was spoiled by the horrendous weather.
Having said all that it's still been a good cruise.Read more