Today our ship docked in beautiful Barcelona Spain. Since we had spent 4 days there last year before our cruise on the Summit, we decided that in the cold overcast weather it would be much more relaxing to stay on the ship. Barcelona is a fascinating city with its history dating back to the Greeks, Carthaginians, and Romans. It later became city with many wealthy merchants and traders. Our favorite sites we visited last year included the City Museum, Gothic Quarter, Las Ramblas, and the townâ€™s central Cathedral. The absolutely most memorable spots were two of Antonio Gaudiâ€™s masterpieces the Casa Batllo and the yet to be completed Sagrada Familia church. However, today we decided to stay aboard our beautiful ship and enjoy the ambiance and amenities.
This gives me a great opportunity to write a bit more about two of the areas we enjoyed during our onboard stay. First we dined for lunch in the shipâ€™s ocean view cafÃ©. The lay out and flow of the area have a great ease and obtaining food is very efficient. There has been a lot said about the fact that the Ocean View cafÃ© on the Solstice does not have trays. This has actually worked pretty well, except for the fact that diners must find a seat and then obtain their drinks. Someone must have done some sort of ergonomic study, because this method seems faster than fumbling with a drink and plates on a tray. Diners have many choices in this area with Asian, barbeque, Mexican, curry, pizza, pasta, stir-fry, cheese, bread, salads, soups, and chefâ€™s stations. There is a dedicated bar in the area where they offer wine specials by the carafe as part of a â€œwineâ€ promotion that they are rolling out during this cruise.
The other area of the ship that we enjoyed during our day in Barcelona was the unique lawn club. This deck area is covered with real grass and furnished with equipment for croquet, bocce ball and putting practice. My son and I spent about an hour on the lawn playing bocce ball. We had fun and the views of Barcelona were breathtaking from the upper deck of the ship. It is kind of a gimmick but certainly a gimmick that adds something enjoyable rather than detracting from a regular shipâ€™s feature.
Once again we dined in the Grand Epernay main dining room where we enjoyed another great dinner. I ordered the highly recommended Osso Bucco veal , which was fall of the bone, melt in your mouth delicious. My daughter and husband ordered the Cajun blackened rib eye even though the waiter had said that it sometimes turns out a little greasy. They took the risk and were actually pleasantly surprised by the dish. My son had the turkey parmesan on penne which he said was absolutely delicious. Once again all the service was fast and efficient. The wine service has also been exception with the wine stewards even taking time to get the special Riedel glasses for whatever style of wine we order.
Tomorrow we hope to enjoy a beautiful day in Cartagena, Spain.