Sunday 12th February: Cruise day! But first we had another day in Barcelona. It was time for my treat of the trip! I like the Olympics and although I did visit the site of the 1992 games last time it was part of a coach tour so I remember the Olympic part being quite rushed. We took the underground and funicular to the Olympic park, after a short walk we found a museum on the history of the games and some general sports. It was really well presented, there was quite a bit to see and some fun interactive parts for Charlie and Courtney.
At the end there were all the original relics from the opening and closing ceremonies of the games. They were fantastic to see, I remembered them from the games!
After the museum visit we went to the stadium.
We had a quick snack there before making our way to the cable cars. We misunderstood the cable cars a little, we'd researched them before we left home and bought a single trip as we knew they went down to the harbour as that's where we wanted to end up. Only this cable car went up not down! It ended up at the castle and it turned out there were in fact two cable cars in Barcelona! We stayed on it to the half way point back down, which is where our single terminated and were directed to the other cable car which we were told was a 10 minute walk downhill so not too bad and I would say the cable car ride we did was nice! We found the correct cable car no problem, only there was a problem, it wasn't working!!! There was one nice thing about this unfortunate occurrence, the viewpoint there enabled us to have our first view of our ship, the MSC Splendida.
At this moment I will admit I had a little panic as it was 2:00ish and we were supposed to be boarding the ship at 3:00! We walked a little and saw a sign for the funicular, a little relief as that was the way we'd arrived! It ended up quite a walk but we made it and arrived back at our hotel to collect the cases in plenty of time. We took a taxi to the port and again I'd checked us into the cruise online so after a quick security check we went on board our cruise liner. We were welcomed at the entrance, issued with children's life jackets for Charlie and Courtney (ours were in the cabin) and they were given a wristband with our cabin number on it, a very good idea, I thought. We were then guided to our cabin, 13188. What luxury! Our cabin is fabulous, we decided to treat ourselves to a balcony cabin and at the time of booking were upgraded to a category 11 cabin, the highest rated cabin other than the yacht club ones! I tell you, the cabin was pure luxury! Mark and I cruised the Caribbean for our honeymoon and had a twin bedded very narrow cabin with a porthole! Which was fine, of course but this cabin is more like a hotel room! There are so many special touches like robes for when we go swimming and liquid soap that's really lathers! We were surprised too to have a television, the channels are ok, nothing great but there's a channel that has cameras around the ship, there's one at the front of the ship so we have a captain's eye view and one that overlooks the pool so we can see if it's busy before setting off.
After unpacking we went to the safety briefing and attended the 'getting to know your ship' meeting in the theatre but to be honest it was more trying to sell excursions!
So after we did a recce of the ship, it's huge!!! I bet you burn a million calories just walking from the front to the aft, lol! Even now as I'm typing this, 2 days into our cruise we still get lost! Mind you, according to the info in our ticket pack there are 3274 passengers and 1332 crew! It doesn't feel like that many though.
We are on first sitting for dinner so went to our restaurant, Villa Verde at 6:00pm. We were taken to our table, 930 and took our seats. It's an 8 seater table and we were joined shortly after by an American family, Shaun, Kim and their 2 daughters. Shaun is based in the U.K at the moment in the Navy. There is so much choice on the menu and 5 courses every night! The food is delicious! During our meal they performed a dessert ceremony! Music was played and the waiters paraded around the restaurant with huge desserts! We swung our napkins above our heads, it was great fun!
After dinner we returned to our cabin to settle Charlie and Courtney, we went to sleep not long after them.
Here's how our beds looked made up.