Barcelona, Med Cruise, Santa Susanna & Girona
I travelled with my Husband and our 2 Children aged 7 & 1.
Our first stop was Barcelona. We stayed in a hotel just off Las Ramblas and we loved this city. It's so vibrant but with so much culture. There’s something for absolutely everyone. We enjoyed the endless shops, we fed the pigeons in the Plaza Catalunya, took a cable car ride, we visited Mount Juic, Barcelona Zoo, Camp Nou Stadium and Sagrada Familia. We also did a tour bus ride passing the famous monuments and buildings and we saw the Olympic Stadium. We loved the pavement cafes, the hidden courtyards, street entertainers and market stalls. Barcelona is a city that never sleeps and I would highly recommend a visit there. You can do it before a cruise as we did, or just for a weekend away or even as a gateway to another Spanish resort. Barcelona has a fantastic rail system and has the advantage of being near beaches so you can combine beach and shopping in one trip.
From Barcelona Port we boarded our cruise ship, the MSC Splendida. It is a beautiful ship. The decor is very rich and Italian. Our cabin was a balcony cabin on deck 11. It was spacious and very comfortable for 2 adults and 2 children. The food was plentiful and good quality and there was always a good variety. We enjoyed the shows in the main Theatre as they were very family orientated and although it is an Italian ship, everything was said in 4 languages including English. There was no baby pool as such, however I liked that there were small pools around the larger pool so I could allow my children to play happily while I relaxed. I had the pleasure of some Spa treatments onboard which were heavenly. The spa rooms have floor to ceiling windows so you can lie there and watch the gentle waves go by. There is a Children’s Club onboard but my children were happy to do their own thing. The Formula 1 Similator and 4D cinema looked like fun for the older teenagers or adult children!! My Children were just a bit small.
Our cruise itinerary was from Barcelona to Marseille, Genoa, Naples, Palermo, Tunis and Palma. Having been to Marseille before on a different cruise, we took advantage of a quieter day by the pool. In Genoa we brought the children to the Aquarium. In Naples we stayed on the ship as we had been there before too. In Palermo we took a horse and carriage ride around the centre where we were shown museums, theatres and the shopping areas. We also had a chance to walk around the centre afterwards. In Tunis we did an organised tour of the Mdina and Souk which was enjoyable. In Palma we took a taxi to the centre which is just beside the Cathedral. Again there was beautiful pavement cafes and plenty of designer shops .
Back in Barcelona we collected our hire car and drove up the coast to a resort called Santa Susanna. We stayed very close to the main strip and were there for 5 nights. We really enjoyed this part of Spain and certainly as an add-on from Barcelona it was very nice. There were loads of shops and restaurants. There were those little trains to take you all around the resort. We hired a Family Bicycle for the four of us which was fun and every night along the strip there were little stalls like a night market, the whole way along the strip. It was really lovely. We also did a day trip to Girona from here which is closer than Barcelona.
The Historical Centre of Girona is really lovely. It reminded me of a smaller version of Barcelona. They even have a little Las Ramblas and gain, there was the beautiful architecture and back street shops with beautiful arts and crafts. I would also recommend Girona for a weekend break or you could continue on to another Spanish resort from there also.
I hope you enjoyed this Travel Journal and if you would like more information or indeed book a trip to any of the places mentioned, please do not hesitate to contact me.