On the 9th day of our cruise aboard the Crystal Serenity, we woke up docked at the port in Barcelona.
In the pictures above and below, you can see that from the deck of ship, we had a fantastic view of Barcelona. We could even see the famed Sagrada Familia.
The nice thing about docking at the port, versus being anchored, is that you really have the freedom to come and go to the ship on your own without having to wait for the Tender Boat. The Cruise Terminal itself was very clean and it also had a few shops for any replenishing you may need on personal items or that last minute souvenir.
There was a free shuttle bus available to passengers to travel between the ship and the center of town. It ran every 30 minutes in each direction fro 9 am to 6 pm. Since Serenity was not leaving port until 11 pm, the shuttle continued every 60 minutes after 6 pm with the last shuttle returning to the ship at 9:30 pm.
We had visited Barcelona a few years earlier and had made previous plans to enjoy lunch at Arola, a restaurant in the Hotel Arts Barcelona. Since we were going directly to the hotel for lunch, we chose to take a taxi from the port to the hotel for convenience.
We arrived a little early and strolled along Barceloneta Beach.
There was a Japanese Restaurant on the beach that looked to be quite popular.
The Hotel Arts Barcelona opened in 1994 and is a mix of hotel rooms and apartments. There are 5 restaurants in the hotel and were excited for our meal at Arola. It is a stunning tower that overs amazing 360 degree views.
This is the lobby of the hotel.
We took a little tour of the garden and pool are of the hotel as we walked to the restaurant. The layout of the hotel really highlights the beauty of the area with views of the beach and marina.
The art below, visible from the infinity pool, was constructed for the Olympic Games that were held in Barcelona in 1992. It is a 52m long golden fish sculpture created by Frank Gehry.
We arrived at Arola, the entire restaurant was just beautiful and immaculate.
We were seated on their outdoor patio. Some of the vegetation surrounding us was actually herbs being grown for use in the restaurant.
Some of the vegetation surrounding us was actually herbs being grown for use in the restaurant.
Lunch consisted of a large assortment of Tapas.
Each item that they brought us was just amazing.
The lobster rice dish was the perfect finale to this wonderful meal.
Our lunch was amazing and if you are in this area of Barcelona, I really recommend visiting Arola
There were some great lounging areas beside the restaurant that offered nice views of the beach. A perfect place for an after meal drink.
After such a wonderful meal, we decided that we would take a scenic walk along the water to the place where we could catch the shuttle bus back to the ship.
Finding the bus was extremely easy and it was running on perfect schedule.
We arrived back at the ship just in time for a light snack delivered by our butler.
With our large lunch and the afternoon snack, we decided to skip dinner tonight. Of course, should we be hungry later, there would always be options on the ship to grab something to eat.
In the information that we received prior to our cruise, we knew that this night would be the “Crystal White Extravaganza”. We were encouraged to dress in all white clothing and to enjoy live music performances and dancing in the Crystal Plaza.
It was a wonderful day in Barcelona and we really enjoyed taking the day to enjoy it on our own with no set plans.
After Barcelona, our next stop would be Monaco and the Grand Prix!
Barcelona Shore Excursions
Since we had made prior arrangements for lunch in Barcelona (and have visited/explored this city in the past), we did not participate in a shore excursion. As always, there were plenty to choose from (prices are per person, applicable only to this sailing, and in USD ):
- Panoramic Barcelona $69
- Montjuic Treasures & Cable Car Ride $109
- Tapas & Gaudi: Feast for the Senses $159
- A closer look at Gaudi $109
- Barcelona Discovery $119
- Vineyard Wine Tasting & Barcelona Highlights $289
- The Marvels of Montserrat $79
- Crystal Boutique: Special Mass at Sagrada Familia $139
- Crystal Voluntourism Adventures: The Rescue & Rehabilitation of Marine Animals: Free
- Montserrat & Monastery of Saint Benet $209
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