Saturday, May 22, 2004, Barcelona Spain
The best made plans...
We were supposed to have some time to kill in Barcelona, but the airline took care of that for us. We arrived at O'Hare Airport at exactly the time I said we would and were at the gate with time to spare. We even had time to stop for a quick bite at McDonald's. Unfortunately the plane arrived at the gate late and after taxiing around the airport for what seemed an excessive amount of time we finally parked on the tarmac and were told due to traffic we would have to wait 45 minutes. When we finally did get permission to take off we went like gang busters. People were still putting things away and raising their seats just seconds before we lifted off.
It was difficult to get any sleep on the plane. The seats were really cramped, but I did the best I could. Unfortunately since we were two hours late taking off we missed our connecting flight to Barcelona. The Madrid airport is VERY confusing. Upon arriving in Madrid we were lucky enough to find someone looking for passengers from Chicago to Barcelona. He spoke very poor english but we managed to figure out where he wanted us to go. After taking a shuttle bus to another terminal we went through security and were met by another airline representative. She guided the large group of people who had missed the plane to Barcelona through what seemed like a tour of the entire airport. We finally were given new boarding passes and directed through security, again, to the new terminal where we found the gate our plane was supposed to board. We had some time so I decided to find an ATM machine and Aaron decided to get something to drink. When we got back to the gate the display had changed to a different flight number. When Aaron asked about our flight the agent told him the new gate number and shouted at him that we should pay more attention to gate changes. (Gee, thanks)
Upon arriving in Barcelona we got lost in the airport. We were told our luggage would be at baggage claim area B, but when we got towards the baggage claim area we looked at a screen that said it was at C. We went all the way back towards the other section of the airport to baggage claim area C but were told that the luggage from Chicago was in area B. So after going through security (I think this was the fourth time) we went to Baggage claim area B and found our luggage.
After retrieving our luggage we found the Royal Caribbean representative and were put on a bus for the boat. We arrived at the boat after 1 PM which didn't really give us any free time in Barcelona. I was really hoping to explore the Maritime Museum, but instead we decided to explore the ship.