Wow it’s already to day 70. We’re getting to the point that the planning isn’t fun anymore and we just want on the ship! Today the Barcelona hotel price went back down to the lowest we’ve seen if we’re willing to prepay. We discussed it and at 70 days out we’re pretty sure we’re going. Otherwise our trip insurance should cover it if we had to cancel. When figuring out your trip cost for trip insurance we always put a few $100 buffer because when we bought it we hadn’t prepared for a hotel, etc. Today we also booked two one way car rentals. To get the good prices and days and times we wanted we had to fly out to Miami from one airport, and home from Barcelona to another airport. Even with one way to and from airport prices, and our return trip being over a holiday weekend, we still paid less for the rental cars then we would have for a limo service or to park a car for two weeks at either airport, much less how much we saved on airfare. And that concludes all our travel booking and planning. We now can get from our home to the cruise and back again!
The last thing was to go over Lisbon and Barcelona plans. We realized we just have to much we want to see and not enough time for Lisbon. We had narrowed our list down to 5 places which were Tower de Belem, Jeronimos Monastery, National palace Adjura, Roman colosseum, and St. Jorge castle. We are in port from 9:30 to 4:30. We talked about the Lisbon city card which gives you free public transportation and either free or discounted prices for everywhere we wanted to go. The problem is we don’t have the time to use public transportation. It takes 45 minutes or so to get between the two areas of sights we want to see. So without using the free transportation the card doesn’t make much sense. And buying it online was confusing and it was unclear what site to use. Like 3 sights say they are the place to buy, hard to tell if one is a scam or not. And buying in port would take time. Something we don’t have. Now we know we’re us a taxi which will be around 30 usd each way. Even with the taxi we can’t see all 5. Tower de Belem and the monistary are close to each other, st. Jorge castle, Roman theater and national palace are near each other and within walking distance of the ship. As is Lisbon square which is just a nice picture spot if there’s time. So we really want to hit all three big ones. We heard the castle and monistery get crowded fast so go to both early. Also the monetary is a cab ride away from the ship, the castle we can walk to. We figure we don’t want to be cutting it close and be a 15 Minnie taxi ride away from the ship in case an accident happens etc. not missing that boat! So we’ve decided to head right to the monastery, then see Tower de Belem, if it looks like we have enough time, on to St. Jorge castle. Otherwise back to the port and then walk around Lisbon, see the square, maybe the Roman coliseum. We can’t buy tickets before hand for the castle and the monastery website says you can but the websites are all less then stellar ….. So our plan is this. Get off the ship as fast as possible, 9:30am is the off time, we hope to be off shortly after that. Grab a taxi at the port right to monistery. Arrive as close to 10 as we can, buy our tickets and it opens at 10. Everyone says about two hours per site is right. We tend to stay longer then most people at places like this. But even considering two hour is aboutt right we’d be done with the monastery right by 12-12:30. Walk over to de Belem and be done with that by 2:30. Taxi back to st Jorge and it’s already 3. We’d only have an hour to see it. If we don’t go there well taxi back to port then walk over to the Roman coliseum. That’s our plan. If we spend more time at the monistery we may just go back to the ship and be done.
Barcelona we decided to taxi between the hotel and the airport. There is a much cheaper bus we could pick up a few blocks from the hotel. But we decided that was just to much hassle. We are trying to balance the cost and enjoyment factor like we did in Alaska. It worked well there. We also would like to take the Disney shuttle to our hotel, since it’s the Disney hotel, but since we booked it ourselves not through Disney were pretty sure we can’t do that. Gonna call and check soon, but this week is booking week for the next summers cruises so the lines will be swamped. We can wait a week to double check we can’t use the shuttle. Otherwise it’s a taxi again for us.
Also decided to pick up a phrase book so we can have a tad bit of help. Really want an app but since no internet the book seems better. Probably a Rick Steves.
Also decided to just get the length of cruise rainforest pass. It makes more financial sense to get day passes, but just decided to enjoy having the option to use it whenever we want.
And that makes the end of day 70. It was a busy one in the planning section. Also working on buying socks. They discontinued the ones that one of us likes. And we keep trying different brands and pairs and can’t find any we like. Also picking up little stuff like hand soap etc. a little at a time doesn’t look as scary on the bills as huge purchases all right before. And we have time to do stuff like try different socks. The last type we tested out on the dtp yesterday and they caused pain and blisters almost. No thanks.
Still haven’t heard back from the private company we decided to contact about Ibiza. Decided after almost 2 weeks I’d email them. Id just like to know yes or no to squeezing us in.
Heard back from the company in Ibiza. Just said to give them a few days (We did that already, a few weeks actually……) But guess we’ll just keep waiting. We already have the Port adventure back up booked through Disney. We have until 3 days before our departure to make any cancelations to our Port Adventures. Otherwise thats it. Just get here already!
Ok so we researched this via the airports website back months ago. We could not find an in airport hotel. Guess what, there is one! Found it while reading a trip report out of Miami. Wondering if we should do a 4 hour nap room if they offer it? Their website didn’t list one, but they may offer it. Might look into it. We get in so early and have 5 hours before we can check in at the cruise terminal.
Second thing we learned, the Miami airport Map says no restaurants before security. Trip report says restaurant by the bag pick up so we can do breakfast there. This is why trip reports exist.
Day 68 much later. We figured we should discuss the option of a day hotel. Just like Alaska we really want the luxury, but it doesn’t didn’t make much sense. We’ll be arriving around 6:00am if all is on time. Let’s say we are off the plane and have all our bags by 6:45. We’d have to walk over and check in. It would be 7:10am by the time were in the room. We plan to leave for the port by taxi by 9:30am. So we’d have to check out and drag our bags to the taxi stand around 9:15am. Even though a shower and a bed to crash on for two hours would be nice, it didn’t seem like it was worth then $150. For $50 I’d probably do it. The hotel supposedly does do day rooms. But from what we could tell, those don’t book at 7am. We could call and see. But for two hours. Well just have a breakfast and sit in some chairs and guard the bags. Now we know there is at least Margaretaville to eat at pre-security. Thank goodness for trip reports. The Miami airport website did not list pre-security stuff, and even looking on the map you can’t tell what is what.
Thanks Disney for the heart attack inducing updates. After tons of internet traffic yesterday due to open booking for next summers itinerary, we decided to log into the DCL site again. we’ve been getting the little “we’re working on it 7 dwarfs” page every time we try to look at the activity selector page. Except if we go into a private browser mode. Figured maybe their site was just messed up. Well we still got that, which usually means our browser is messed up so we went to restart my computer. Ok all fixed. Go in, and the Granada Port adventure is showing up in the list! Seriously do we need to pick that and switch from our back up! Wow how did that become open ok we’ll have to decide on the fly. Oh wait, it says sold out next to it…… so previously once a Port adventure was sold out, it moved from the alphabetical list to the bottom of the list. With the new website refresh pre-booking day we guess they set it so they stay alphabetical but just say sold out. Man that made the heart jump like crazy.
In other news our hotel prices have gone up slightly even for the pre-paid version. We’re thinking we hit the sweet spot on that one.
Ok so trying to search what time Port Miami opens. Not when Disney does check in, but when does the port even open. Since we’re getting their early and sitting at the airport, we’d rather sit at the cruise port. Even if that means sitting outside on the curb with out bags. Well spend most of our time at the airport, but we are figuring to get to the cruiser port around 10am. We’ve read the first Disney busses from the airport will load at 9:00am even though they say the first bus is at 11am and that Disney usually opens check in around 10:30am. We want to get rid of the bags and be ready to board as quickly as possible. By quickly we mean as soon as we can after arriving. Carrying bags is just annoying and not relaxing, esp after a red eye flight. Yes we could use Disney transport and get rid of the bags, but it costs more than a taxi and it’s slower. So we’ll just deal with the bags. If we can get rid of the bags and checked in, we’ll be fine to sit there till boarding at noon. We rather be on the ship! but without that as an option, take my bags and just let me stare at the ship at least!
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