It goes without saying that photos of the Sagrada Familia church are synonymous with the city of Barcelona. But this beautiful city is much, much more than the one site.
Barcelona boasts beaches and art galleries, shopping centers galore and a magnificent cruise port where an amazing ship parade begins each spring and runs through the summer on many Mediterreans itineraries, while others offer Barcelona-Venice turn-arounds.
I toured the port the day before yesterday, visiting Terminals A where Royal Caribbean comes to call, and B, where they are expecting NCL Epic this week and walked through the new Italian-designed terminal where Carnival Magic is home-ported. Nieuw Amsterdam was docked there Tuesday. I saw Ruby Princess and MSC Splendida in port as well.
In other words, many of the ships I see in my “neighborhood” of Port of Miami and Port Everglades come to call.
They expect close to 100,000 cruise ship calls in Barcelona this season. That’s approximately a 10 percent increase over 2010. They also expect 2.5 million travelers to come through.
The Port has been upgraded at all levels during the past five or six years and indicates the level of confidence that if you build it, they will come. And boy-oh-boy are the coming!
The faculties are state-of-the-art and provide boarding and disembarkation techniques, equipment and fully manned stations and computer technology
The airy terminals provide plenty of sitting space, a VIP Lounge for quick boarding, and layers of service.
The W Hotel chain has built a new hotel right near the port and many hotels throughout the city are close enough to sightsee, and then board. I’d recommend at least a two-night stay before your cruise. Some time to take a turistica bus to get an overview of Barcelona and then time the next day to got to see what you think you want to see in detail.
Maybe you want to catch a musical performance in one of the city’s lovely theaters, maybe you’d like to discover some of the restaurants, parks or shops. Factor these things into your travel plans. Tomorrow I will offer more specific suggestions.
But to be sure, booking a cruise from this beautiful city will not disappoint…