Notices
General Trip Reports Reports that don't fit in to the other categories

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 29 Oct 15, 06:58 PM  
Link to this Post
#1
Alien
Imagineer
 
Alien's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 12
Location: Ireland
PortAventura, Barcelona, Cambrils October Mid Term Trip Report

pre trip report

Travel
Flight with Rynair was great - just over 2 hours. Their "be nice" policy must be working - our checked bag was 1 kg over and nobody made a fuss, they asked to checked extra hand luggage with it free of charge.

Reus airport is small, the luggage was out quickly. We took taxi in front (no wait) and they showed us fixed price listing of 30 euro to PortAventura.

We were at hotel PortAventura at around apr 10:30am. Our room was ready early and the polite staff at reception talked us through breakfast, dinner, entrance to the park. We were given time for breakfast between 8 and 8:30 and dinner after 7 (no set time slot)

The weather was sunny - not hot as summer day in Spain, slightly chillier to what the weather was in Orlando last year in October. Swimming pool isn't heated (as it was at WDW) and was closed at that time of the year





Comments on PortAventura hotel

highs
Staff were very polite and helpful
Beds comfortable
Pretty and clean
Food was ok for both breakfast and dinner, Spanish omelette and pancakes delicious and plenty of fresh fruit, veggies, meat & fish.
Location is great, with own entrance to the park
Fridge & safe free of charge
Guests were mainly French with some Spanish & British and I think Russian. Hotel staff spoke freely French and English.
There was a rally at same time and many of the guests were wearing rally gear in the morning - the hotel was busy but never felt too crowded.

Lows
The walls very thin and we can hear conversations in the next room. I am not talking about yelling, it was quiet conversations

Our room smelled like smokes and I think the likely reason was that the neighbors next door were smoking inside and the smoke was somehow coming in our room. With 2 days in the hotel only we didn't feel like complaining and got on with it

The swimming pool looks rather small, it may be busy in the summer. I would stay at the hotel for 2 or 3 nights. Not sure if I would stay for longer.

There were halloween decorations

Edited at 03:05 PM.
Alien is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 29 Oct 15, 07:36 PM  
Link to this Post
#2
Alien
Thread Starter
Imagineer
 
Alien's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 12
Location: Ireland
PortAventura Park

We spend the first 3 full days and 2 afternoons at the theme park. It opens at 10 during the week until 7. However there is very little open at 10, with many attractions not opened until 12 and some are only open weekends. Few of the Halloween specific attractions and Temple of Fire are only open weekends. Most food locations were also closed.

Park is beautifully decorated for Halloween and very well themed in different areas

We entered the park from the hotel to the area called Mediterranea. It have only one main ride - furious baco and my son wasn't tall enough and me and my husband weren't interested in it at this time. Few shops to browse around. Few restaurants that seem to be closed most of the time during the week at this time of the year at least. We had mediocre meal at Raco de Mar - the theme park most known table restaurant. It's also the area where Halloween Parade and Fireworks are on at night.







We moved to SeasamoAventura.
we did bouncing butterflies (ds was too old for it really at age of 8)
coco piloto (better at night, some pretty views but really babish ride) open after 11am
magic fish - not huge ride but kind of fun
tami tami - small train ride, open after 12

we returned few times during our stay to this land but only did the magic fish and once coco piloto for the views. For kids age 8 or over it doesn't have much to offer - but it's pretty and very themed.

Edited at 09:18 PM.
Alien is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 29 Oct 15, 08:14 PM  
Link to this Post
#3
Alien
Thread Starter
Imagineer
 
Alien's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 12
Location: Ireland
China have the theme park biggest rollercoasters Dragon Khan and Shambala. We gave them a miss. This time



We did Angkor many times during our stay - picture credit to PortAventura website



It's beautifully themed. You can chill out and you can try not to get too wet. It may or may not work that way! It was family favorite







We couldn't see the sand animation or bubblebou show however we sow the Halloween Escape show twice. The acrobats were amazing, the venue very comfortable, music very catchy and special effects excellent. I have seen less impressive shows in Vegas by cirque du soleil.

we also did the tea cups, which I hate but didn't want to say no to my little one.

We didn't spend much time in Polynesia at all. My son was not tall enough for kontiki (and he did similar ride in Legoland Windsor). Tutuki splash was closed. He did the canoes but he was too big for them to be honest - it's probably more suited for 5 year olds. It's pretty themed. We had no interest in the birds show, all food places were closed, there were number of halloween attractions but not for 8 year olds and desigual shop.

Mexico

El labirinto de los mayas. My son managed to get me to do it twice. I hate it, I feel so disoriented and trapped and confused in it. He finds my reaction to it fun. Pic credit of pafans



El Diablo - Tren de la Mina - family favorite. It's suppose to be like thunder mountain but to be honest it isn't. It's just a train ride, it's fun but isn't at all as well themed. It attracts long waiting times and it's included in express pass.

We also did Templo del Fuego, at this time of the year open only weekends and part of express pass. We enjoyed it but it's kind of once and done. I won't say too much to avoid spoilers

We had lunch at La Cantina on time for La Muerte Viva (The Living Dead) Show. You can get a meal deal with starter - as big salad or nachos, main course - as chicken and chips or burrito, dessert and a beer or none alcohol drink for about 17 euro. Considering you also get a show, I felt it's a good value.




pic credit of portaventura website


it wasn't as scary as it looks in the picture

Edited at 07:11 AM.
Alien is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 31 Oct 15, 06:36 AM  
Link to this Post
#4
Alien
Thread Starter
Imagineer
 
Alien's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 12
Location: Ireland
Far west was everyone's favorite land.

Rides
Wild buffaloes - bumping cars. My son wasn't allowed on his own, and he wasn't very happy about it but still did it on every visit. It's fun
Tomahawk - train ride, family favorite but I think it doesn't open until 12. Pity as it attracts long waiting times
Stampida - favorite ride in the park and the biggest ride our sun was tall enough to go. He loved it
Silver River Flume - I guess it's little like splash mountain. We loved it but only did it once as we were drenched after.
Laberinto BlackSmith - fun play area and parents can enjoy a beer but the smoking in playgrounds around kids only as it's outdoors is incredibly annoying
Grand Canyon Rapids - it's not as nice as the rapids in AK but it was still fun ride we all enjoyed and did few times.

Shows - we did Vampires, and I suggest going ahead of the show as the venue isn't as big as the one in China and many were unable to get in. Ordering drink is mandatory - but we did 3 tapas (as chicken wings, nachos, nuggets for our son) and 2 beers for about 18 or 16. Lovely show and the venue looked good, although allot of it was in Spanish. I am sure it's even better if you understand it



Far West had the most fun rides and great halloween decorations



actually I think the below is Mexico









we also had a meal at the Old Steak House. There was live music and some of the songs questionable for young audience but I will take it as a none english speaking country. The Halloween Parade characters pop over for a scare but there weren't any scared children around - I think they avoided kids. It was fun - lovely land to explore

Edited at 06:48 AM.
Alien is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 31 Oct 15, 06:47 AM  
Link to this Post
#5
Alien
Thread Starter
Imagineer
 
Alien's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 12
Location: Ireland
Halloween parade - few pics. It wasn't on the scale of WDW however - it's part of your daily ticket as all other shows mentioned, the characters were fab. They repeat the same few minutes song through the parade and it's less then 10 minutes, but we still enjoyed it





a good spot to watch the parade arriving 20 minutes ahead mid week are the stairs at the left side of the entrance next to the shop. A good spot for the fireworks is waterfront table at the cafe next to the boat - make sure you are at the railing even if you move chairs as many people arrive when the fireworks start and any tables at the back won't have view at all. You can get little wet.

the fireworks are more like a mini show and in Spanish, with water fountains and projections - fun but short and not comparable to ... you know Disney. Still we enjoyed them allot


picture credit to portaventura website

Edited at 03:08 PM.
Alien is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 31 Oct 15, 07:06 AM  
Link to this Post
#6
Alien
Thread Starter
Imagineer
 
Alien's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 12
Location: Ireland
Last post on PortAventura.

We also had a night at Hotel Gold River Superior room. It was gorgeous, good beds, exactly same food as hotel Portaventura and the room included express pass max. It's one for the visit, once per ride not a daily express pass - we made good use of it. Superior rooms are in the main building. Weekends were very busy

I would happily stay at Gold River again, not sure for full week but night or two. There isn't pedestrian entrance to the hotel from outside the park so arrival either with taxi or you need to call (not sure where the free phones are located) and you will be collected. The hotel is in the Far West part of the park and has own entrance.

There ware no decorations for halloween, and the hotel is open only weekends at this time of the year.







The pools look good but nothing for kids appeal as slides.

Few prices from portaventura parks

1.8e - bottle of water
3.5e - pint of beer
1.8e - donut

we didn't find it expensive at all

Edited at 12:57 PM.
Alien is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 31 Oct 15, 01:30 PM  
Link to this Post
#7
mobeckwith
Imagineer
 
mobeckwith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 06
Mobile

Great pictures,brings back lots of memories x
mobeckwith is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 31 Oct 15, 02:03 PM  
Link to this Post
#8
The Bobbo's
Very Serious Dibber
 
The Bobbo's's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 06
Ahhh, we went the year it opened, before visits to Disney. Enjoy the rest of your trip.
__________________
The Bobbo's is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 31 Oct 15, 06:29 PM  
Link to this Post
#9
Alien
Thread Starter
Imagineer
 
Alien's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 12
Location: Ireland
3rd accommodation - vil-la Romana

Easy walk to the park and the beach and in quiet area of Salou
Child bed very uncomfortable, the rest of the room ok
Staff are suppose to be super polite, but there were many grumpy faces around. Definitely not as good as onsite - perhaps tired in the end of the season
Food was ok - good fresh options for breakfast and dinner but I didn't think it's any better then onsite food. We only went in for dinner twice and gave it a miss the other two nights. We had pizza one day at the bar and it was really poor quality. The cocktails were ok and cheap - only 5 euro.
Indoor and outdoor pool
It's ok spot, nothing wrong with it - just no interest in returning. It was very cheap, so for the price the quality was better then expected


Salou
The first time we walked over to the strip there were races on, the day was dull and the main street boarded up for the races - we hated the. On that day we were only there to get the bus to Tarragona

After the races we went second day, it was sunny and we avoided the bars part apart from Barcelona shop. We walked along the coast we had better feel of the place. You can easily completely avoid the bars section of the resort



Tarragona
I was set to love Tarragona, but DS wasn't feeling well and it was really dull day and just didn't have good time. I suspect we were too tired, and as DS kept asking to go back we only spend few hours and didn't get chance to do what we hoped to do

We had delicious tapas in a small place on side street that I didn't take the name or picture of. Did the tourist train. Managed to get the panalletes (typically available around all saints) which were super tasty - almond based dessert. People are sooo friendly, I wish we were in better form on that day.



sadly we didn't stay for the castellers event, and this is the nearest to seeing castellers we got. First the date was clashing with halloween events in PortAventura, I purchased additional night in the park hotel so we can keep the Saturday for the event. Then there was a hope that Ireland will do well in Rugby but this didn't happen so the plan was still to go. We managed to get to Tarragona on the day, only for DS to not feel well. It wasn't meant to




Edited at 06:49 PM.
Alien is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 31 Oct 15, 07:05 PM  
Link to this Post
#10
Alien
Thread Starter
Imagineer
 
Alien's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 12
Location: Ireland
One of the mornings we walked over towards the sea front of Salou, and asked on the way in one of the Bus Plana offices if we are too late for the tours to Barcelona on same day. The eastern European lady in the store was visibly annoyed in us interrupted her doing nothingness.

She said
I am sorry, you lost your tickets no refunds
What? But ...we haven't bought tickets yet. Never-mind. We walked on. We went to another bus plana stop at the main strip and asked the same question. The lady there quickly picked up the phone and organised a bus to pick us up and chase after the main bus. It was awesome, so nice after the first not so friendly lady. The cost was apr 100 for 3 of us including tickets.

Our son chose to do the aquarium tour.

On the way we sow La Pineda and I didn't think the beach was as pretty. Same tacky shops and bars and the beach view was not as stunning as Cambrils.

The tour guide left us at the aquarium, walking with us through the entrance so we don't have to wait to get in. DS loved it. We had option to wait for the bus to take us to the central streets or walk ourselves. We took the walk and it was great decision.

We had about 5 hours in Barcelona after the aquarium and I just loved the time we spend there. We found a little spot with allot of Spanish people waiting in front and we felt this will be good place for lunch. They didn't have menu in English so we just had to point and few things and hope for the best. It turned out we had a meal deal with starter (soup, pasta or salad), main course - we all opted for steak, veggies and chips, dessert - we all opted for ice cream and a drink as beer or none alcoholic drink for the total of 10 euro each. It wasn't best meal ever in terms of taste, but it was great to see the locals having their lunch and chatting. It was small, busy and super cute inside. I didn't want to take pictures, it didn't feel appropriate. In another place we asked for recommendations and baked dessert with mascapone cheese and chocolate filling was suggested - delicious. Catalan people know how to bake!

Few pictures from our time in Barcelona

the spot we had lunch in with the pink and red top guys in front








We also had ice-cream & coffee with ginger & orange taste in little cafe and it may be the best ice cream I ever had. Again - the staff were so friendly and smiley. We didn't want to leave Barcelona.

Edited at 12:39 PM.
Alien is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 10:01 PM.


Powered by vBulletin - Copyright © 2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Latest News
Posted in Florida
On 21st November 8:54am
Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro revealed Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind... Read More »
Posted in Florida
On 12th November 11:54am
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has launched a Black Friday offer from November 11- 29, 2021... Read More »
Posted in Seaworld
On 4th November 11:54am
Experience SeaWorld as the park is transformed into a winter wonderland with more than 3... Read More »


theDIBB Menu


Exchange Rates

DIBB Premium Membership
Did you know you can help support theDIBB with Premium Membership?

Check out this link for more information and benefits, such as...

"No adverts on theDIBB Forums"

Upgrade Now



X