Miami to Barcelona!

I’m a little late with my post today because I went to bed as soon as I got home from work yesterday! I literally walked in the door, put my pajamas on and crawled directly into bed.

Jet lag over the last couple of days has totally been killing me, but I’m hoping after last night I’m reset!

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 6.27.33 AM

The one thing I’m kind of worried about is that I’m getting sick. I used hand sanitizer on the trip as often as possible to avoid germs, but my throat is SO scratchy today. I’m crossing my fingers it’s just allergies but you know when you just kind of know you’re getting sick? It’s like that.

I wasn’t really planning to blog about the vacation today, but since I didn’t do anything other than work and sleep yesterday I’ll tell you about our travels from Miami to Barcelona!

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 6.34.35 AM

We had an overnight flight and left Miami just after 9pm eastern time. After a short layover at London Heathrow we arrived in Barcelona midday on Friday.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 6.36.06 AM

While Adam and I never take public transportation in our own city,  we’re all about trying it out in other cities. When we touched down at the airport we decided to take an express bus into the city center.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 6.40.38 AM

The man at the information desk told us it would only cost 5 euro each and that from the city center we could easily walk or take a cab to our hotel. He suggested walking, even though we had our big luggage, because the weather was nice and the view on the walk was good.

I loved that! I don’t know about the rest of America, but here in South Florida no one ever really suggests walking anywhere. Then again I guess it’s pretty much always really hot here!

A major benefit of taking the express bus was that it had wifi. Adam and I both have t-mobile which offers free international data, but at REALLY slow speeds (2G). We learned last time we were in Europe that Google Maps will not work on 2G (or even 3G) so we pulled up walking directions from the city center to our hotel on the bus and then I took a screenshot of them just in case the app crashed!

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 6.44.27 AM

We had booked a room at the Hotel Paral*lel which is on a main road just about half a mile from the Port of Barcelona. And right next to a Burger King.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 6.47.31 AM

I had forgotten we booked a suite until we checked in. I remember when we were last in London I marveled at how small the hotel rooms were. Our suite at Hotel Paral*lel was about the size of a nice, but regular room in the US. To be fair it also cost about the same as a regular room in the US too. I’m sure I have a picture somewhere, but I can’t find it right now! (I sorted hundreds of photos on the plane half asleep so who knows in which folder I placed it by accident!)

The hotel had a side entrance that I just loved. The narrow, one way streets on hills with mountains in the background just feels so European. I suppose it also feels a bit like San Fran too, except in California they don’t hang their laundry off their balconies!

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 6.49.25 AM

We spent time walking around the city, enjoying its food and then we fell asleep quite early in preparation for the next day … boarding our ship, Vision of the Seas!

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 7.09.16 AM

Even though Adam works for Royal Caribbean, we didn’t book this trip using his employee discount. When you do that you have to wait to the last minute to find out if you can even get on the ship or not (if regular customers book up all the rooms you get bumped). When we’re cruising out of Fort Lauderdale that isn’t a big deal, but since we needed to book airline tickets we paid full price to secure a room.

We actually took a gamble and paid the lowest possible price, which guarantees you a room but not a type of room. Using this method you could end up with a small, windowless room on a low deck away from the action – or you could end up with a really nice balcony room or even a suite. They basically place you in the best possible room available after all of the pre-selected rooms are booked.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 7.02.08 AM

Unfortunately for us we ended up in a small, windowless room on deck 2. Ah well, we didn’t spend a lot of time in the cabin anyway!

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 7.01.43 AM

^ That was our home base for the week! I would only suggest staying in a small, interior room with someone you really love because you will be in quite close quarters all the time.

I couldn’t have shared a room like that with anyone else!

Have you been on a cruise? Where did you go? 



  1. May 11, 2016 / 8:42 am

    “I would only suggest staying in a small, interior room with someone you really love because you will be in quite close quarters all the time. <——- LOL! I would definitely be able to share that room with Chrissy and Jelly… mayyyyyybe Paul if he promised not to chew when I was in the room! 🙂

    I would be so nervous about getting lost in Europe. I really wouldn't know how to navigate at all and wouldn't even know where to START when planning a trip!

    • Kristina
      May 11, 2016 / 9:33 am

      Hahaha yeah, we have certain unspoken rules, like no chewing if the TV is off! (But that’s also a rule at home too LOL).

      I’ve honestly never noticed this in US airports (probably because I’m not looking for it), but at every airport I’ve been to in Europe they have an Information desk that you can go to for advice. When we land we always go directly there to ask for the best and most economical mode of transport to our hotel. The people at the Information desks are super impressive, they must speak 10 different languages fluently because they’re always able to converse with people in line in their native language.

      Once you’re in a city, I think the best thing to do is to book a sightseeing tour for the first full day you’re in town. This gives you an overview of where everything is, and also an idea for what places you might want to spend (more) time at! Once you’ve gotten to your hotel and you know where everything is, it’s really easy to just take it from there!

      Also, it’s always best if you can read and speak a few basic words in the language of the place you’re going. In Europe it’s not always totally necessary since almost everyone speaks at least broken English, but it’s definitely helpful!

      If you get a chance I would definitely go!!!

  2. May 11, 2016 / 9:46 am

    I think you made out pretty well with hotel room and cruise room. We’ve never been on a cruise, so many people tell us to take the south America cruise or the Alaska cruise. I typically avoid really crowded places (except for running events lol) so I’ve never really looked into cruises. Can’t wait to see more from the trip 🙂

    • Kristina
      May 11, 2016 / 3:05 pm

      Adam has been on an Alaskan cruise twice, once when he was a kid and once for work a couple of years ago. He said the views are absolutely stunning, but there isn’t really a lot to do when it comes to excursions. I’ve heard the Panama Canal Cruise is incredible, I really want to do that one!

  3. May 11, 2016 / 11:35 am

    Barcelona looks so beautiful!!! Your pictures make me want to go there, but unfortunately, I won’t be making it there during my trip to Europe in a few weeks. I’ve never been on a cruise, despite being from Fort Lauderdale. I get insanely sea sick on boats and have been scared to spend a lot of time and money on a trip and just end sick the whole time. Hope the jet lag lets up soon!

    • Kristina
      May 11, 2016 / 3:08 pm

      Adam gets motion sickness really easily too, but he’s found that Bonine works wonders and doesn’t have any side effects. Honestly, the first time we cruised he got seasick before we even left port, but once he took Bonine he was fine in like 5 minutes. Now he takes the first pill *before* we step on the ship :).

      During this cruise one night we had really rough seas – wind gusts up to 80mph – and he was totally fine!

  4. May 11, 2016 / 5:48 pm

    Looks like a beautiful place to visit and it sounds like you did a great job figuring out all your travel plans! I hope you can get some rest and don’t get sick!

  5. Susan
    May 11, 2016 / 7:25 pm

    We cruised to Alaska and we were hardly ever in our cabin except to sleep and we also ordered room service each morning for breakfast. You are so right…those rooms are TINY! I am glad Rick is such an easy going guy that I can be in close quarters with!

  6. May 11, 2016 / 9:04 pm

    Traveling always leaves me sick after. My immune system just can’t take it! I hope it’s just allergies though…the pollen is REALLY bad right now.

  7. May 16, 2016 / 5:13 pm

    I really enjoyed my time in Barcelona a few years ago. I do remember the hotel rooms in Europe being quite small – I wonder why that is? Did you get to spend a lot of time exploring the city? What was your favorite place/stop during the cruise?