As we have mentioned before, we have booked our next Cruise, a Transatlantic from Barcelona, Spain to San Juan, Puerto Rico. We continue to make more progress on the planning for this cruise vacation.
Being that the cruise departs and returns to ports that are a long ways from our home, we have to add in some air fare to the trip. Also, since we have never visited Barcelona or San Juan before, we need to decide how much time to spend in those cities before and after the cruise which requires additional accommodations. This is a painstaking process that requires quite a bit of time to get it done right. Luckily, Suzanne really enjoys this kind of stuff and does most of the research.
Obviously, the cruise is booked. We now also have our airfare lined up. That was a challenge given different departure and arrival cities. Its not cheap either. Its really a shame when airfare to get to your cruise costs almost as much as the cruise itself. Definitely not worth the price, but no choice either. We have also booked our accommodations in San Juan. We will only be staying one extra day. We found a strange opportunity with one of the hotel vendors I deal with when I travel on business. They were running a promotion where you could put up frequent stay points and $60 for a room. The best rate on the room we could get straight up through the frequent stay program was around $400. I didn’t have enough points for the program so they allowed me to buy additional points. The additional points cost me $122, so it was an easy decision. Strange thing was that if I had 0 points and wanted to purchase enough to qualify for the promotion, it would have only been about $160. You don’t usually run into a situation like that.
Today, we spent a fair amount of time trying to decide where to stay in Barcelona. We have decided to arrive three days before the cruise departs to ensure time to enjoy the city. We looked at a lot of hotels and a bunch of apartments for rent in the city. The hotels tend to be double occupancy (ie need two rooms) only and very expensive. The apartments tend to be much cheaper and more in the heart of the city. We have decided to get an apartment and have narrowed it down to a couple two or three choices. We should make a final decision by mid next week.
That will only leave excursions on the cruise and our transfers to/from the hotels, airports and cruise ships. This travel planning sure is a lot of work.