Like a well seasoned traveler, I went to bed by 9:00 last night knowing I had to get up at 3:30 this morning. I was up at 2:00. Not because I wanted to, but because the person in the room next to me needed to watch a war movie late into the night and the walls were paper-thin. Perhaps he/she has insomnia. But, at least I didn’t have to rush to be ready to leave. And who cares? I’m on holiday.
I splurged on a taxi to take me to the airport at 4:30 then strolled around Heathrow looking through barred gates into shops. Nothing was open. Including security. But at least I didn’t have to rush. Who cares? I’m on holiday. I have to keep saying that so force myself to slow down. (It usually takes me a day or two.)
The flight from London to Barcelona is only about an hour and 45 minutes and very pleasant. Customs in Barcelona consisted of a stamp in my passport – nothing more. No questions about the “nature of my visit” etc. How civilized.
I had paid the extra to have Norwegian bus pick me up at the airport. Good call. It was supposed to be just a ride to the port. But onboard the bus, a lovely tour operator told us we were to have a 3 hour tour of Barcelona, then go to the port. For $30.00 bucks – wow! I was thrilled! But I was apparently alone. At the announcement, the 2011 American Revolution happened.
It seems most of the party on my bus was American. “No!” they cried. “We want to go directly to the port!” They wailed. “I want to get into my room and relax!” They whined. The self-appointed leader of the charge was a woman who stormed out to speak to the tour operator. She got back on the bus and triumphantly announced that “the squeaky wheel…etc.” and the tour guide cut the tour to an hour and a half. I loved it! Barcelona is a beautiful city; a blend of ancient and modern art and architecture. I am so glad that I am planning to stay over for a few days after the cruise.
We got to the port, and check-in went very smoothly. The ship is…well…EPIC. It’s the 6th largest cruise ship in the world. Our rooms weren’t supposed to be ready until 2:00 but at noon we got the announcement they were clean. Mine is a “studio” which is the whole reason I did this cruise. When Norwegian built this new ship, they included 128 “solo” cabins. They are all grouped together and there is a “living room” that only the solo cabin keys can open. It’s a nice getaway from the crowds. The room itself is great – much larger than my imagination had made it. Plenty of room for 1 person.
I had dinner in the main dining room – The Manhattan Room. There are 21 restaurants on this ship – so conceivably, over the span of a week, you eat 3meals a day without eating in the same place twice.
My 2:00 a.m. wake-up is catching up with me so I am going to skip any night shows and cuddle up with a book. Tomorrow is a day at sea so an easy pace. Sounds perfect.