We got up the next morning and found our tour group. We boarded our bus, while looking at the YES! SHUTTLE BUSES in the parking lot. Annoying!
The tour guide actually spoke lots of languages and eventually threw in some English once he knew we were Americans. Not much, but the important directions at least. I realized my German was pretty pitiful and I was not following along very well at all. LOL
We did get to see some things by bus that we would not have had time to see on foot.
We then walked around the park nearby and watched a bocce game and people enjoying the sunshiny day.
We got back to the bus before the appointed time and took our seats. When the tour guide counted and realized he was two people short, he immediately started asking if the Americans were back. LOL I guess we have a bad reputation!
Barcelona was beautiful and I wish we'd had more time there. I realized early on that cruising is not the best way to see most places. You can get a little bit of an overview and then make a note to self that this is a locale you'd like to visit for a longer period of time. But it's just too rushed to be in a port for part of a day!
Later, I went to talk with our English speaking host, Jon, and explained the issue with the shuttle bus v. tour. He seemed somewhat incredulous and said that the ship cannot leave passengers stranded in a port; there must be transportation available to get into town, so there would always be a shuttle if the town was not within reasonable walking distance. He basically admitted that the tour desk just wanted to sell us a tour. Unfortunately, this did not give us a good impression of Costa.
I think this is the night we skipped dinner because we'd eaten in town so we were spared our tablemates. :) Or it might have been the night we ponied up the 4 Euro each and had a mediocre pizza dinner on board. We had truly been looking forward to the Italian and/or European food we'd get on this cruise but we honestly never had anything outstanding. Such a shame! We were going to spring for a couple of nights of dining in the specialty restaurant but eventually decided against it, thinking it probably wasn't worthwhile. We were determined not to be the "ugly Americans" on ship but already we were beginning to dislike this cruise line. Perhaps it was because we'd just been wowed by our Celebrity cruise, but even if we hadn't been on that one, I think we would have been disappointed in Costa. It just seemed very lackluster all the way around. I will spare you having to read all of our complaints right now, but might sprinkle them throughout for your reading pleasure. :)