A Decadent Way To Travel: From Barcelona to Rome by Boat

Barcelona to Rome FerryLast night I boarded the Grimaldi Barcelona to Rome ferry which leaves from the port at the end of La Rambla in Barcelona heading to Civitavecchia, a place about 45 minutes outside Rome. When I say ferry, really I mean a small crusie (think I’ve picked up the last leg of a holiday cruise which, for the price is not bad going).

I’m currently sat in the lounge on deck 10 listening to relaxing Spanish (or Italian – can anyone really tell the difference) ballads as the expanse of the Mediterranean twinkles as far as the eye can see. Poetic, I know. I’ve spent the morning catching some rays by the pool and tonight I think I may dine with the Captain – this truly is a decadent way to travel and beats anything Mr Ryanair (and the Spanish baggage crew strikes) can provide hands down. I can bring my bag on board for free. How very old school.

Having said that, my trip is not without its imperfections. Firstly, whilst the vessel is huge, the number of clients is making it feel somewhat like the Mary Celeste/ aftermath of the Titanic. Speaking of which, as few guests as there are, I’ve done a considered recognisance mission and can confirm that in the event of hitting an iceberg (chances pretty low in the heat, but you never know), there are definitely insufficient life boat spaces for everyone. This was a bit of a concern this morning when, mid-way out to sea, not a speck of land in view, a tannoy announcement said ‘abandon ship, abandon ship’ – of course this was said first in Spanish and Italian (can anyone really tell the difference?). Following the reaction of my fellow guests, I remained seated and waited for the crisis to pass, later finding out it was a drill – that bit only having been announced in Spanish and Italian (can anyone really tell the difference?)

Second issue is the additional layer of complexity added to my already challenging language barrier. It would seem that some point mid-way between Spain and Italy, neither language really applies and that there is a separate, at sea, language. Consequently, a latte means neither a café con leche (in Spain) or a latte (in Italian), but a glass of warm milk. Hmmm, 2pm and I’m ready for bed. Fortunately, there is a full compliment of ham and cheese wares on the top deck (choice of sandwich, ciabatta, wrap or classic pizza) so I don’t need to go cold turkey on my thrice daily intake of queso y jamon.

Well, the warm milk is doing its trick so I think I will take a short nap before visiting the spa later – my feet are starting to resemble size 3 rhino feet. Nice.

10 thoughts on “A Decadent Way To Travel: From Barcelona to Rome by Boat”

  1. My husband and I are taking our first trip abroad, We plan on flying into Barcelona and then wanted to take a train to Venice , then from Venice back to Barcelona. I can not tell if there is a train that goes to Venice, well to be honest I can not make head or tail of what I am looking at.
    I was wonder if you have an recommendations

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  2. I am traveling with a party of eight from Rome to Barcelona this July. I am considering taking the Grimaldi ferry, but I have seen a number of negative reviews on-line regarding the conditions that exist on these boats. I am assuming that you did not witness anything like that?

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    • Hi Donald, it’s not a luxury liner but I really enjoyed my trip. And the cost was very affordable. Like any review, it depends what the person reviewing is used to. I’m happy whether a place is 0 -5 stars. The toilets were clean, the food was good, the staff were nice and we didn’t sink. Oh, plus Med views all around. To my mind, what more do you want? 🙂 Have a wonderful trip!

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    • Hi Gary, for me, Italy is beautiful any time of year. The south will be a bit warmer but not scorching. If it’s a first trip, I’d hit any of the big spots as there will be fewer tourists. So, Florence or Rome would be top of my list. I’d check the weather before visiting Venice (the flooding happens between October and January – though I have friends there at the moment and it’s currently bright and dry). If you want ‘off the beaten path’, try the Prosecco region. Ok, I’m biased – I love this area so much I’ve set up another blog dedicated to it – http://www.visitproseccoitaly.com Hope that helps!

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  3. My husband and i are going to Spain and Italy for 2 weeks in May. He’s never been. I’ve been twice to Italy. Never to Spain. We are staying with friends for 6 days in Barcelona, then flying to Rome for a few days with 5 days left to spend in Florence with day trips, or somewhere else with fabulous food in Tuscany. I was in Cortona and Florence last time i went with girlfriends. I’m deciding if i should just repeat that, or instead of Florence, try something else. I hate to have him miss Florence, but i just don’t know what is comparable. Tuscany is where we want to be….any suggestions? I went to Sienna during pouring rain for a quick day trip and felt i missed a lot, but not sure.

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    • Hi Dana, just outside Florence is a lovely little town – it might be the perfect compromise as you will get a more local feel but can still access Florence. Otherwise, what about San Gimignano?

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