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Old August 10th, 2009, 07:46 PM
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Default Airfare to Europe for cruises

Can anyone give feedback on booking airfare for a European cruise.
We are looking to fly to Barcelona to catch a cruise. Info on airlines and internet purchase sites would be appreciated.

Thanks
David
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Old August 11th, 2009, 06:22 AM
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Default FLIGHT TO BARCELONA

We have flown BA, Lufthansa and for the second time we are flying Aer Lingus which we just loved..We are flying from Boston to Dublin than to Barcelona... Prices sadly for us dropped after we booked our flight.
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Old August 12th, 2009, 12:56 AM
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We have not flown any of those airlines. I have been told by some that Lufthansa is very good. Aer Lingus, I am not familiar with at all. What country are they based out of ? We are looking at flights of total of 15 hours from Dallas to Barcelona ( including lay overs etc. ) How hard or unpleasant is that to do ? We have never flown internationaly before.

What cruise will you be taking and when from Barcelona ?

Thanks
David
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Old August 12th, 2009, 08:31 AM
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Default Trans-Atlantics

Unless we went to NYC I doubt we could get a direct flight to Barcelona. Aer Lingus is the Irish Airline.. I just know this trip we leave Boston at 7:20 p.m. and arrive in Dublin at 5:15.....not too much of a layover as we lave at 7:00 a.m. from Dublin and arrive at 10:30 in the morning in Barcelona. We stay in the same terminal.....Luftansa, we had to change terminals..as we have with British Air... Parrot Pop walks with a cane and needs a wheel chair to get through the airports.. BTW we are doing t his particular trip... the NCL Gem from Barcelona to NYC Love the new Barcelona airport..with an arrival of 10:30.. almost would make a bet with our driver waiting for us we will be at our hotel before noon,, at before noon
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Old August 12th, 2009, 04:07 PM
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When we sailed out of Barcelona last September, we flew American Airlines to London and then British Airways to Barcelona. We flew from California, so it was a long journey. We use miles to upgrade to business whenever possible, it makes the ride more enjoyable. If you don't upgrade to premium, try to get seats on an airline with "premium economy". Those extra few inches of leg room are soooo worth it.

Truthfully now...we didn't care for BA. We flew to London and ran like banchees through the London Airport to catch our connecting BA flight to Barcelona. We made it. Our luggage did not.

The flight on BA was crappy. Packed like sardines, absolutely no leg room for the 2-hour flight or whatever it was. They did serve a "breakfast" sandwich. Service was not good either, the UK flight attendants were yuking it up with the locals. I guess UK residents fly down to Barcelona whenever possible (long weekend) to get out of the cold and damp. The pax were all friendly and in good moods-

Dealing with BA in Barcelona regarding our lost luggage was a nightmare. Awful-awful-awful. Some of our luggage was sent to us the next day, while the last piece came the night before our cruise left Barcelona. Everytime I called BA, I got a different story.

American was great. We've also flown United to Europe; both airlines worked very well for us. You may want to check into Virgin Atlantic; I hear they have good rates, excellent service and those "premium economy seats".
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Old August 12th, 2009, 05:27 PM
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Default SEATS

The secret Triton is to get aisles seats.. Parrot Pop and I usually get two aisle seats and I promptly with night flights fall asleep.. You also didn't mention you are exceptionally tall.... British Airways is too much of a hassle at Healthrow...
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Old August 12th, 2009, 06:58 PM
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Yes, it was a hassle! I just remember running, and running. I swear we ran for 15-minutes, up and down stairs and all over. We didn't get lost, it was just an ordeal at their older airport.

Yes, I'm 6'7 and need leg room! lol Whenever I do take an aisle seat (theaters are especially bad, esp in SF), I usually end up tripping someone.
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Old August 13th, 2009, 12:43 AM
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Thanks for all the great replies. I came upon a great airfare -- Dallas to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Barcelona for $410 one way on Lufthansa. Total flying time 15 hours. I am not 6' 7", so my legs will not be as cramped as Triton. I have also heard that Virgin Atlantic was very good, maybe I will get to experience them next year !

David
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Old August 13th, 2009, 07:53 AM
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Default SEATS

Sounds like a good deal...now go to www.seatguru.com/ and book your seat.. Any o ther info on Barcelona you need, hotel, driver, sights?
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Old August 13th, 2009, 11:43 AM
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$410 for a one way flight sounds like a good price. Why don't you need a return ticket?

I always fly with British Airways and I have never had a problem. If I shall transfer Heathrow is absolutely the best place to do it in my opinion. Yes it's a big airport but it's easy to transfer there unless the time is limited!

The BA planes I have been on, many times within Europe and a few times to North America, have always been clean and modern and the room for the legs is not smaller than on other airlines.

I also think that english people are very nice so it's a real pleasure to fly with an British company and transfer on a British airport!
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Old August 13th, 2009, 12:33 PM
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Default To each their own-

But good news, while we're on the subject of airlines: I read this morning that Jet Blue is offering a flat-fare for unlimited travel over the next month. So if anyone has a couple or more cruises to take...this may be the ticket for you!

Jet Blue is known for good customer service as well.

http://www.travelweekly.com/article3_ektid199178.aspx
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Old August 13th, 2009, 04:34 PM
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Erikhag, we will be taking a transatlantic cruise back to florida. Parrot Mom, that is a neat website for seat selection, I will check it out.

We are going with another couple and their thought is to rent an apt. or condo for 4 nights in Barcelona.
Any experiences with rental agencies or websites. Someone told me to be careful when out of the country, some unscruplous agencies will not give you your deoposit back.

Triton has given some great info on hotels and general tips.
Everything is falling into place nicely.

David
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Old August 13th, 2009, 04:47 PM
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Default Barcelona

First, which ship are you taking and when....Our favorite hotel is the Hotel
Continental.. right on La Rambla..loved by all the cruisers..24 hour buffet now, free internet service and obviousl convenient to everything.. Be very careful renging an apt.. I'll check with a friend.. another friends son got stung. he rented out of the city..
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Old August 13th, 2009, 05:43 PM
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Parrot Mom also has some good contacts for private tours. We like the adventure of going out on our own and exploring (with the help of an occasional taxi and the Hop On-Hop Off bus...a must).

You can see all the major sites on your own however, with using the HOHO bus. Buy a two-day pass - it is worth it.

Take the train to Montserrat to hear the boys choir...I believe it is at 12 or 1 PM...a definite NOT to be missed.

I would stay away from condo or apartment rentals too. Do check out your hotel potentials on tripadvisor.com. You may want to consider a seperate posting on "Barcelona Hotels" or do a search. There should be several good tips.

Try to get as much out of your hotel price...even if it's a breakfast or dinner...or free passes to Gaudi or the HOHO bus. Good restaurants are costly, it is an expensive city.
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Old August 13th, 2009, 05:59 PM
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Default PRIVATE TOURS IN BARCELONA

Depending on how many your going with.. and I assume at least two..or maybe more..We saw more in Barcelona in one day than most people saw in a week. Last trip we discovered the market and the old area...this time we will explore the Plaza.. The hop on hop off bus is great for some.. but Parrot Pop has a problem walking.. Triton is right.. what with the cost of food our Hotel Continental at the time was only offering a cold breakfast buffet, but now Iunderstand its all day including wines..and that can add up.. Also, if you go into the market you can buy sandwiches, pastry,cut up fruit, etc.. WE also discovered a "pizza" restaurant next door with the most fabulous italian food..and sangria.. Okay, so you want spanish food, but becareful ot the "tapa bars" with tourist prices.. Funny thing.. the first time in Barcelona and going along La Rambla..i was "dying" for an iced coffee.. sure enough.. Dunkin Doughnuts was across the street..lol.. and on the other side of the La
Rambla was a little gelato shop..This time I'm on the look out for a famous spot that sells CHURROS..
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Old August 24th, 2009, 01:38 PM
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priceline.come, expedia.com, schedule was limited.
But after about 2 months of search, I end up booked ( Barcelona - venice) with celebrity cruise, they offer 'choice airfare' which means cruise agent call the airline directly to get the quote and add service fee, mine they add $25 per person, still not bad. Since the similar flight if book directly from airline cost around $75.00 to $100.00 more.
Good luck.
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Old August 25th, 2009, 03:49 PM
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Default Flyball

So, which Transatlantic are you doing? Summit? Century?
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Old August 26th, 2009, 01:07 AM
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We are doing Holland America leaving Oct. 17. We have done Holland once before and it was OK. We much prefer Celebrity, but the time and the itinenary work very well for us.

We will be in barcelona for 4 days b/f the cruise. We have not book a hotel or apartment yet. I see parrot mom and triton advise not doing an apartment. We are traveling with another couple and a 2 bedroom/2bath apt. is approx $ 250 a night. So for two couples sharing, that comes to $ 125 a night. That is approx. 1/2 the price of hotel rooms. What concerns are there with apartments ? We do not want to get ourselves in a bad position. Your candid replies will be appreciated.

Thanks,
David
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Old August 26th, 2009, 01:15 AM
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p/s Concerning Barcelona, I have read on various sites on the web that pickpockets are common. Do anybody have any experiences or comments about this ?

David
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Old August 26th, 2009, 08:17 AM
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Default BARCELONA

On La Rambla of course with the "living statues" and the throngs of strollers of course it's a great opportunity for pickpockets there... as any place else.. You just don't carry around a bulging wallet and leave important papers. i.e. passport, tickets in the room safe.. My driver/gujde says that most of the people there are tourists..possibly but I doubt it. Another place is the famous market filled with shoppers and tourists....close quarters.. I can only tell you about getting a hotel.. your on the late side..lol. The hotel preferred by most cruisers that I know is the Hotel Continental right on the top of La Rambla..whch does include a 24 hour buffet now.. and if you are interested in a gude or being picked up at the airport please write to me at parrotmom@verizon.net. Barcelona I believe is now the largest cruise port in Europe. Oh yes.. we are flying back to catch a ship late November.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 11:01 AM
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Yes there are pick pocketers in Barcelona...but we've seen them in Stockholm and London too. I don't think it's that much worse. As Parrot Mom stated, there are throngs of people on Las Ramblas and as in any big city (mine included) tourists should be careful about keeping their money safe on their person.

You've seen the belts with inside zippers, etc. Something like that would be fine. We carry our wallets in our front pocket, so no need to worry. For women, I would say leave the purse at the hotel and carry a c. card, cash and ID in a front pocket.

Re: Apartments vs. Hotels...I have only stayed in hotels David. I have only heard negative feedback regarding apartment rentals (i.e., the unit was clearly not what was advertised, unrefunded deposits, bad customer service, etc.). My guess is that a property rental company would provide decent service, for their name's sake in opposition to a swarthy landlord who just wants to make a buck on some tourists. I enjoy renting homes for longer extended stays along the California Coast, but staying in a hotel while abroad makes me feel safer. If I'm not happy with my hotel room, I can have the front desk move me with a fair amount of ease.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 11:19 AM
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Default PICK POCKET PRECAUTIONS

As most European women do..I wear my little bag across my chest. Also,, my change purse and bills are in my purse with a safety pin.. I have one of those little tubes that tourist wear (tacky) that I put bills in and safety pin it to the lining of my bag or a zipper.. Parrot Pop wears one of those belts that fits inside his pant leg..attached to his belt.. I also understand that there are plain clothed police among the people.. As for the La Rambla and the market and the tourist areas...just take precautions and enjoy.. we do.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 01:29 AM
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REGARDING AIRFARE!!!
I was traveling to Barcelona for a transatlantic cruise. One way was $1100 (from Newark Airport) if I bought round trip it was $590!!!
My agent said to buy the round trip ticket and just not show for the return trip. Definitely a no brainer!
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