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Hotels Recommendations for the best places to stay pre/post cruise.

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Old July 5th, 2005, 07:45 PM
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Default ATrium Palace Barcelona

Will be spending one night there before cruise. Can anyone rate it?
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Old July 16th, 2005, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: ATrium Palace Barcelona

Several people on our 5/15/05 Med. cruise on Millie booked and stayed at Atrium in BCN. I had booked Atrium Palace way early last year at a rate of 135 Euros. When we arrived on May 13, we found they had a "problem" with the reservation and moved us to their sister property in the University District (Splendid Hotel). What I saw of the Atrium (as we waited for a cab to move us to the Splendid) was beautiful - lovely lobby with business center/internet lounge right off the entrance. Can't say what the rooms looked like - but others said they were small but very nice. The location is very convenient to the "hot spots" - or so it appeared during our short time there! A short walk to Las Ramblas the real place to be. Also close by the excellent department store, El Cortes Englas (rough spelling - but you'll know it when you see it). It's a great place to pick up cheap bottles of water, snacks, wines, spirits, etc. - just go to the lower level. We loved that place and picked up lots of things to bring on the cruise (things we didn't want to drag from home with us). And Las Ramblas was just fantastic - every evening - lots going on. (Be sure to take the Bus Turistic to see the city - 17 Euros/pp for the day - and there are 3 routes that cover the city and surrounding areas. A great bargain - can get on and off as many times as you like for the price. We love Barcelona. Been their 4 times and plan to return again soon.

Our experience with the Splendid was okay - the lobby was the pits - but the rooms were "junior suites". Servicable and also nicely located in great proximity to everything we wanted to see - by foot. I'd even stay there again.

Have a wonderful time in Barcelona - it's just fabulous and soooo much fun! (Language no problem - people very friendly and extremely helpful.)
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Old July 18th, 2005, 02:27 AM
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Default Re: Re: ATrium Palace Barcelona

Thanks for the info on the Atrium palace in Barcelona. This is a second trip to this
lovely city. We will be on the millen Oct 13 sailing. We would be interested to learn
of your adventure. This is our first time with celebrity. Any insight would be appreciated.
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Old July 22nd, 2005, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: ATrium Palace Barcelona

Following is a rather lengthy narrative - hope you can find something in the many words that might be useful ....... (I never know when to stop when I write about the Med.) And tend to get carried away....

This was our 4th and by far BEST Med. cruise (1998 Premier Rembrandt, 1999 Rhapsody of the Sea and 2000 Splendor). Celebrity does it best (IMHO).

We had prearranged a driver for a/p pickup on-line (Barcelona Taxi Tour). He was waiting for us with a sign when we arrived. On Sunday morning, he was waiting for us outside the Splendid to deliver us to the ship....can't say enough about this service. (We had a freightening experience in NOLA involving a cab driver and refuse to grab a cab at any a/p without prior arrangement thru an agency.)

We booked 3 private tours with 3 other couples for French Riviera (included time in Nice, St. Paul de Vence, Eze, the casino in Monte Carlo, the Palace and a candy factory); Livorno (a full day in Tuscany with excellent wine tasting/lunch at a winery with stop at San Gimi and a couple of other places) - just made it back to the ship with seconds to spare - would do it again. The third tour was Pompeii and the Amalfi coast (with lunch in Amalfi and a drive down into Positano and a walk along the beach. On the return to Naples, we had a guided tour of Pompeii before returning to the ship - we had done this tour in 2000 with RCL - and this was much more pleasant since we were able to get into places in the mini van where the larger busses were unable to go.) We had booked 3 half day tours thru Celebrity. Our favorite was on Santorini. Included wine tasting (see a theme here?) and time in Oia (if you've never been - and we had not - it is just breathtaking!) as well as Fira. The half day tour thru the cruise line in Athens left much to be desired. Spent some time on the Platka - probably the highlight for Athens for us. We had booked a tour out into the countryside in Croatia to a farm house with typical lunch (and.....wine tasting). Unfortunately, I woke up ill and had to miss that tour - but perked up enough to take the compl. bus into the old city. However, I just wasn't feeling well enough to climb all the steps up to walk the walls of the city. No tours in Mykonos - we took the compl. bus into the heart of the little village and spent 3-4 hours walking and admiring the wind mills and "little Venice". Not as beautiful as Santorini - but a very nice (but crowded) little place.

We booked Sofitel Venezia (rough spelling!) for a night in Venice. It is located on the other side of the island from St. Marks and we hadn't spent much time in that location last time we were there. It's a nice, if over priced, hotel (it was pretty crowded as its also one of the hotels the cruise line offers for pre- and post-stays). It is close by the Pz. Roma (main transportation hub to the main land). On disembarkation day we took the ship's transfer to Marco Polo and left our luggage (except for carry-ons) in the left luggage office then caught the public bus (blue, I think) for 3 or 5 Euros - back to Pz. Roma and only had to walk over 2 bridges to our hotel. Worked well as we had to catch an early bus back to Marco Polo the next morning and this hotel was very well located for walking to main transportation hub.

Can't say enough about Celebrity....this was our first time on Millie - we've cruised Hawaii on Infinity, Trans-Canal 2x on Infinity, Alaska repo 2x on Summit - haven't had a bad experience yet.

Hope this helps - let me know if you've anything specific you'd like to know about the ship or itinerary.

Have a great time in October - that should be a wonderful time to cruise the Med. We did it once in August/September - and 3 times in May - October should be perfect!
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