Day 80. We’ve been working on our Lisbon plans the last two days. It feels like the websites for places we want to visit are so unclear. Not cause they are not primarily in English, but because the info we want isn’t there. We’re trying to figure out if we can buy tickets ahead of time. The websites have a ticket tab, but it’s blank. We had to email castle of de Saint Jorge. No you buy tickets day off. This seems like a loss to them…… Also looking into the Lisbon card. Basically a tourist card you get and it lets you use the bus and into a bunch of historical sights and museums. Again, their English website doesn’t even list what places accept the card! Trying to figure out how much time we think we’ll use in each place. There are so many places in Lisbon we want to see! Several are close enough to walk from the port, a few would need a taxi or a bus but not that far, about 10km away. Our wish list includes castle de Saint Jorge, Belem Tower, Jeronimos Monastery, Roman theater and Ajuda national palace. That’s without even going to see Sintra palace. Which many tourist head out to, it’s a ways from town though. There was just to much to see for us in Lisbon!
Day 79. Was looking at ctt site which lists port activity. Noticed that for most ports during our cruise Disney Magic is the only ship in port that day. Found this interesting because things like the Alhambra tour are sold out, and a bit surprised that the tour companies couldn’t add on guides to take on more since no other large ships are there. Or Disney just doesn’t ask them to. Hard to say. One really interesting hot rod experience we are trying to book ourselves because Disney didn’t offer at all for our cruise, which is already full according to the tour company( but they are trying to squeeze us in ) is one of those ports that only has the Magic in port that day. How many people are touring Ibiza on a Friday afternoon in May?! And already have booked hot rod tour….. Seemed crazy without a cruise ship in port. Apparently it’s different cause it’s Europe where people vacation and travel. Alaska was basically only as busy as how many ships were in port that day.
You would think that planning a walking tour day of Barcelona would be simple. Nope. Not like we know what we really want to see. We won’t have cell data, just wifi so no promise of Google maps. It would almost be eaiser to just go somewhere! Now we know why people like tours. This is a ton of work. In some ways Lisbon was eaiser because we atleast knew the highlights we wanted to try to hit. We could do no planning and just stumble around Barcelona and probably be fine, but it seemed worth it to at least get some ideas of how we want to spend the day and what is worth seeing as we walk by. You could walk around our neighborhood for a day and not see anything to interesting, so even though it’s Europe we still assume we want some plan and not get stuck looking at people’s residences all day! We’ve read so many guide books and websites we’re starting to recognize Portugal and Spanish words. Not even joking. And we’re now calling the sites by their local names like Barria gothic, in English that’s gothic quarter. But we stil won’t know how to order from a menu. That’s a whole other debate. Eat local or eat American chain? One stop for sure is the grocery store for fun weird candies and snacks. We do this everywhere we travel. We’ve found some gems over the years. The worst part is once your home you can’t get more if it’s good! Green tea KitKats, wild huckleberry licorice, and fruit filled marshmallows are a few of our past favorites.
Day 75. On the daily check of our Barcelona hotel, the prices have dropped again. 110 USD less than what we booked at if we rebook and pay in full. Could get an even cheaper room if we go down to the basic level, or a better room for still less than we are paying now. Trying to decide if we should. Right now if we had to cancel our trip the hotel is still cancelable. It wouldn’t be under this rate, but our trip insurance should cover the cost of the room. What to do…..midnight tonight is also the first time cruiser booking window, we wonder if there even are any on our cruise. Not many we’d guess. Even us at silver level seems rare. This seems like a gold and Platnium type of cruise. Funny, we are guessing it’s the length? Because price wise this is in the same ball park as our Alaska cruise, for twice as long of a cruise.
76 days… We remember when we got to 100….it seems a long way off, but it really isn’t. Sometimes it feels like we are doing so much stuff when it’s still months away, like shopping etc, but it’s just not,,and we don’t have the time or the desire to be burned up and running around trying to get it all done close to sail date, even two weeks out. By two weeks out we are half packed. Doing it in small doses for months ahead of time has its own stresses, it becomes all you think about, the list of to dos, but it makes those last few weeks easy, and for us we just can’t commit or expect tons of time to suddenly be avaliable close to sail date to do it all. Still waiting to hear back from our hot rod ride, figure maybe another week and then contact them to remind them they were looking. Don’t want to be pushy, but don’t want them to forget either.
Day 75. Well the hotel deal from yesterday was gone. That was a strike while it’s hot moment. We were curious to see if port adventures sold out more today since it’s open booking window for new cruisers. The answer? No. Apparently this is not a cruise full of first timers. I didn’t notice any change In available for any ofthe ports. Really I’m kinda surprised. Baring a few port adventures, most of which are the booking of private tour vehicles, very few things are sold out. So either people are waiting to book, there are not that many people on the boat – we’ve heard the boat is never at capacity on these cruisers -‘or people are experienced travelers and like to not book through Disney. Either way it made booking Port Adventures pretty easy.
Day 74. Hotel went back up to a higher price then we even booked for in Barcelona. Kinda wishing we gambled and got that one day special low price we saw! I’m guessing none or very few first time cruisers on this cruise because their booking day came and went and all’s quiet on the port adventure scene.
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