May 3, 2009

Day 2: {Barcelona, Spain + Mediterranean Sea}

I’m sure most people don’t sleep in when they are on vacation, but we do. We REALLY slept in this morning and almost missed our hotel check out time! (Also missed the free breakfast, shucks!)

After checking out, we left our luggage for storage at the hotel and hopped onto our rental bicycles once again to explore. We couldn’t resist heading back to the beach first, and settled in a beachfront restaurant to indulge in none other than Spain’s famous seafood paella. To make myself feel less guilty, I ordered my favorite nicoise salad too!

We felt quite lazy after the delicious lunch, so we found a shady spot on the beach and stared out at the Mediterranean Sea for some time. It was hard to get up again, but we eventually did and went exploring again street after street in Barcelona. To our disappointment though, we found that most retailers are closed on Sundays.

In the late afternoon, we finally returned our bikes and flagged a cab down to take us to the port where we checked in to board the humongous Norwegian Gem cruise ship! This was our very first cruise experience, so we didn’t quite know what to expect. We were delightfully surprise to find the check in process extremely efficient and quick. In about 10 minutes, we were checked in and given our cruise id card before we walked the gangway and were greeted by champagne and smiling staff.

After settling our things in the stateroom, we excitedly went exploring the many decks of the ship. The Norwegian Gem is only a few years old, and offers ‘freestyle cruising’ which means you’re given a lot of freedom to choose what you want to do and eat, around the clock. Our cruise fee was determined by the type of stateroom we chose, and covers basic activities and 3 different restaurants. There are also a ton of ‘specialty restaurants’ and unique activities that we can choose, for additional fees. These specialty restaurants include a sushi bar, teppanyaki restaurant, and more! Activities range from spa treatments to yoga classes to rock climbing. Basically you should never feel bored (or hungry) when on the ship!

We tried to take everything in all at once, but it was a bit overwhelming and we did get lost a few times. As we got ready to set sail, we joined most of the other cruisers on the top decks to lounge. Bon voyage indeed!

Shortly after we set sail, a bbq party by the pool took off and we enjoyed seafood penne, grilled chicken, and much more while a band rocked on in the background.


  1. Ethan7:12 PM

    This looks amazing! It's great you and Alan did this on such short notice!

  2. wow, i just finished reading your posts about your cruise and it looked amazing! I want to go with my husband now when my daughter is older =)