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Old June 2nd, 2006, 12:34 PM
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Default Barcelona - Safety Concerns?

We're planning on a couple days pre-cruise in Barcelona later this year, but have read on some posts about crime/safety issues in and around La Ramblas. We were in Barcelona about 10 years ago and really enjoyed it, but are wondering if things have changed for the worse, or is it like any city anywhere in the world where caution is just naturally needed? Any input would be appreciated.
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Old June 4th, 2006, 05:46 PM
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Hi.... the hotel was recommended by other cruisers on the internet and when we arrived we found it filled with cruisers from Celebrity, backpackers and just plain tourists... It is decorated like your greatgrandmother would decorate..lol.. But it is a charming little hotel on the Ramblas...(one flight up).. clean.. and best of all there is a free continental breakfast in the common room every morning, coffee, tea, pastries including fruit all day long.. Make sure you ask for a room with the balcony.. they have a little bistro set and you can sit and watch the people on the Ramblas all hours of the day and night.. The other hotel is further down on the Ramblas I think and we didn't get to check it out...this hotel is at the top... actually... alot of people would call this a boutique hotel.. this one only has 60 rooms..the owner lives on the premises.. There is a/c and heat.. and free water and tonic all day long.. plus wine for a few euros... The best surprise was free internet.. I think frankly the hotel is a great bargain..



http://www.hotelcontinental.com/

While I'm at it I want to recommend if you need a guide Auriello... http://www1.dragonet.es/users/d5506/ auriello speaks perfect english as he was raised outside of NYC... We saw more of Barcelona in one day than most tourists see in several... he is wonderful.. and quite popular with tourists

As for the Restaurant --Salamanca.... we ate lunch there at the communal tables...and although somebody on the site said it was for tourists I didn't see one in there..just the two of us and our guide...

that is the only restaurant we ate at because after having the breakfast at the hotel.. and then having lunch there we weren't interested in eating except for coffee and whatever downstairs..

BTW when are y ou cruise, which ship and when?


When on the Ramblas we were very alert and I carried my purse over my shoulder...and of course was alert at all times.. there are many people wandering and stopping to watch the living statues.. While in a restaurant the driver wanred me to close my handbag...I had left it on the floor next to me...If I am carrying $$ I put it in a little plastic container people use for beaches and use a safety p in to pin it to the inside of my bag.. The new bag I used on my trip had so many pockets even I could't find a thing in it..

Sandra/Parrot Mom
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Old June 5th, 2006, 10:28 AM
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Thank you so much for the information. I'll definitely check out the websites you posted.
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Old June 18th, 2006, 04:42 PM
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Default I recommend Auriello, too!

We've cruise in Europe several times in the past with the most recent being last May BCN to Venice on Millie.

That was the first time we used a private taxi service and Auriello was there waiting for us at the airport in BCN.....grabbed our luggage and off we went. We stayed several days in BCN and enjoyed it as much this time as we had in the past. Just use common sense and everything will be fine. We had made arrangements with Auriello to transport us to the pier on the morning of the cruise - he was at our hotel exactly when he said he would be. Again, he grabbed all of our luggage and when we arrived at the pier, he caught a porter for us and gave him our luggage. We didn't have to do much of anything. Now that's what I call service. And his English is absolutely impecccable.

You'll be in good hands with him.

Enjoy BCN - and by all means: take the Bus Turistic. Easily accessible. I think we rode all day, on and off, for something like $17.

And for the "necessities" you left at home, or for the "spirits" and/or water you'd like to bring on-board, I highly recommend the huge department store with the grocery in the lower level - El Corte Ingles - right next to where you pick up the Turistic Bus at the top of Las Ramblas.

We had a great time shopping at El Corte Ingles - and the prices for water (and wine, etc!) were very good.
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[b]MILLIE: The Beautiful Med...Barcelona to Venice- 5/15/05[b]
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Old June 18th, 2006, 07:11 PM
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Pooh Bear... had y ou read my recommendation of Auriello? I think he;s great ....and I've been recommending him to everybody who is going to Barcelona... I didn't get a chance to get to the shop... I think having somebody like Auriello pick you up, show you around...give you an idea of what you'd like to see and spend more time on your own... I would like to go to Barcelona as a port again and have Auriello give us another tour.. another area..
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Old June 19th, 2006, 06:05 PM
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Default Barcelona Taxi Tour

Parrotmom:

No - I contacted Barcelona Taxi Tour (think that's the name of the company) a year in advance of our cruise last May and they sent Aureillo to pick us up. I sent him a "thank you" for the excellent service as well as to Barcelona Taxi Tours - letting them know what a great host/guide he was and he contacted me to ask if he could use us a reference: of course I said a huge, big Y E S !

He just made getting from the a/p to the hotel and from the hotel to the pier sooooo much easier than what it had been on past cruises out of BCN. And we had a hitch in our hotel - we ended up moving after Aureillo let us out and the hotel management contact Aureillo with our new location for pickup on cruise day. As an aside: On the day we were to head for the pier, I wanted to leave a couple of hours earlier than what I had requested Aureillo for pickup - I used my cell phone to contact him and he was at the hotel within minutes. No problem. He's just great. (Also, FYI: I've heard great things about Angie - she is with another company in BCN that provides this service. She was waiting for a "client" with Aureillo when we arrived and he introduced us. If Aureillo isn't available, I'd not hesitate to enlist Angie for transportation in and around BCN.)
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[b]MILLIE: The Beautiful Med...Barcelona to Venice- 5/15/05[b]
NOS West. Caribbean - 12/10/2005
[b]Summit Hawaii - 4/9/2006
NOS East. Caribbean - 12/02/2006
Infinity Alaska Repo - 5/7/2007
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Old June 19th, 2006, 06:11 PM
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Thanks to people on this site I found Auriello last year and used him in October and have been recommending him ever since. As a matter of fact I sent your comments to him.. he also uses Michael.. a friend when he is busy.. One of the things I really appreciate about most cruisers is their hints.. that's how we found The Continental Hotel on The Ramblas.. Also found thanks to others Claudio in Rome... If I can honestly help anothr cruiser I will and your comments about Auriello I'm sure will be passed on... I can hardly wait to go back.. there is another tour I want to take..lol
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Old July 9th, 2006, 07:03 PM
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so now that we have tips on a great guide, hotels, shopping & food, what abt the saftety issues? we will most likely stay for two days pre-cruise...& are not very adventurous although my Spanish is OK
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Old July 9th, 2006, 07:21 PM
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That's easy!!! just be aware of your surroundings..don't carry your passport with you (copies if you must)..Keep a list or your credit cards not on your person of course, and for $$ I keep my $$ in a little purse on a rope safety pinned to the inside of my bag.., and my bag I wore across my chest. When we were in a family restaurant I had left my zipper opened to the bag and I was reminded immediately to close it.. Otherwise than that have a wonderful time...just be aware of who is around you and although we didn't do it..lol on The Ramblas.. watch out for each other... Actually, it's the same advice I would give going anywhere else...
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Old July 11th, 2006, 07:11 PM
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Default hmmm... safety

hcat:

As Parrotmom said: Barcelona (and Rome and Florence and Naples) is just like all large cities (well.....probably any city these days ) - you stay aware of your surroundings at ALL times. I never felt threatened in any of the cities - and I've heard all about the pickpockets in Rome and BCN. Use common sense.

The only concern we experienced was walking late at night back to our hotel - we took a short cut thru the old part of the city (can't remember what it's called) - but that was an experience. And the Spanish soccer team had won a big game and there was lots of drinking and celebrating going on that Saturday night.

The worst thing I saw was a gentleman? relieving himself right on the street corner while we were waiting for the Turistic Bus. Overall, everyone one we came in contact with was friendly and helpful.

But again, use common sense and you'll be okay. Would you be concerned for your safety in, say New York City or LA?
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Old July 18th, 2006, 12:08 AM
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We were in BCN for 2 nights before our cruise. Just be aware of your surroundings like any other big city. We walked around at night down Las Ramblas to the pier with the mall. I am not sure of the name now, but felt OK.
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Old July 18th, 2006, 07:56 AM
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Default Spanish

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Originally Posted by hcat
so now that we have tips on a great guide, hotels, shopping & food, what abt the saftety issues? we will most likely stay for two days pre-cruise...& are not very adventurous although my Spanish is OK

Thought Parrot Pop and I were all set with his tourist Spanish...only to learn it is Caribbean Spanish...not their Spanish..but it worked.. For me...hand gestures worked..lol and my few words helped. It just about looks like we are going back..for another t/a..in December 2007.. On a personal note one day walking The Ramblas broke my heart...birds in cages with no thought to cleanliness or food...not to mention other living things and their mistreatment.. My only regret in walking down The Ramblas.. was seeing this.....On the other hand I loved the florist shops and hope to buy a large arrangement to bring on the ship next time...
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Old August 19th, 2006, 08:47 PM
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what was the name of the Las Ramblas Hotel where many Celeb cruisers were staying? It is usually cheaper to book on your own but going to the same place would be OK
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Old August 19th, 2006, 09:18 PM
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This is where I found many Celebrity cruisers who had booked their own hotel at half the cost...There was a group going on the Millineum the day before we were going and discovered several people there who were on the Celebrity Century with us... It;s not fancy, but a 66 room little hotel which is very convenient.. There are so many pluses about the hotel..especially the balconies with the bistro set to people watch.. and the continental breakfast, free internet and refreshments available all day long
http://www.hotelcontinental.com/ and if you need a taxi driver/guide I have a great one..auriello..
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Old August 20th, 2006, 01:02 PM
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Default Barcelona - Safety Concerns

Hi, I think there has been some excellent advice already given on this thread.

I remember a few months ago a travel show was aired in the UK that actually showed footage of personal property thefts in Barcelona.

One scam is for someone to tell you you have a stain on your back (bird dropping etc.) While you are distracted as they help you tidy yourself up (they put the mark there in the first place!) their accomplice has stolen your bag.

The second is for a group of street people to come up to you at a cafe and put a map on your table so they can tell you where all the sites are. After you've told them you're not interested they pick up their map - and your wallet that was underneath it - and walk away.

These thefts were set up with valuables purposely being left lying around so the film crew could show us what was going on. However there were many occassions when restaurant staff or even passers by would point out that the person had left valuables on display - so it's not all bad news.

I've travelled to many places where this sort of crime is supposed to be rife and never had any problems. I think if we follow the sensible advice from all posters to this thread and are aware of our surroundings then we'll be as safe as we possibly can be.
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 09:43 PM
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Just for further reference.. Auriello is the cab company..lol.. Barcelona Cab...and if necessary he sends another friend, Michael.. It looks like we'll be going back somehow next fall and as soon as I book the cruise in January... is as soon as I book Auriello..lol. this time a different tour of Barcelona... it's wonderful to be in such great hands..
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