Last we spoke...I arrived at the Palma, Mallorca, Spain airport. Taxi's are on meters here so no gouging the novice like me. The drop rate was $4 (in Euros, so that's about $4.40). Compare that to the .55 cent drop rate in Cuenca!!! Anyhoo, I had read it may cost more than $20 to get to into the city center. Though it really wasn't all that far, the meter hit $17 when I arrived at my hotel. Another tap of a button by the driver and it jumped to $21. Huh? I was too tired to ask why or debate. So, I paid it plus a tip....which is another source of unknowingness when you travel....do you tip in this country? What about that country? Some countries it's NO, others it's 'a little bit', whereas in the USA you tip everyone for any reason anywhere. If they mug you, tip them.
My hotel, the Araxa, was slightly outside of the popular center of Palma. It was built in 1958 and reminded me of an old Hollywood classic where celebs once used to hang out but newer, more trendier places have taken it's place. But, what was different, the Araxa had not lost its class and elegance. It has kept up it's grandeur as it aged...just like the grand dame Lucille Ball did into her older years. The Araxa is also an 'adults only' hotel which makes your brain skid into the gutter real quick. But, in this case, it just means 'no kids', 'no screaming babies', 'no wailing', 'no tantrums'.
My room was very charming, clean, up to date, and the air conditioner whispered...not roared. My bed was ohhhhhhhhhh soooooo comfy as it was a memory foam mattress AND pillow. ooooohhhh ahhhhhhh.
The Araxa had beautiful, mature gardens, an outdoor pool, antiques throughout (ie; the original PBX phone system from its heyday), and a very large, well-outfitted gym in the basement along with a dry sauna and purrrrrrfect jacuuzi that had neck jets to die for.
I normally don't order room service but I wanted something to eat. So, I rang up the kitchen and ordered their burger and TWO glasses of wine (after all, I @%#&! deserved it after all I went through in the Barcelona airport!!). Very quickly there was a knock on the door and a huge platter was brought into the room with my hamburger (with cheese, egg, and bacon....hehehhehehe) and twooooo glasses of wine. Cost? $19 Not too bad, actually.
I needed to charge my devices. Dang Nabbitt!!! I forgot the European electrical connections are different than North America and I forgot to pack a converter. I went down to the front desk and they pawned through a drawer full of converters and such left behind by previous guests but none fit mine. Oh well, I would have to get one at the Duty Free shop at the pier the next morning.
In the morning, I enjoyed a nice breakfast buffet out in the gardens, next to the pool.
Cost? About $63 USA. VERY reasonable.
|My room at the Araxa.|
|The original phone system of the hotel. I had to operate one of these at a hospital I worked at when I was 18. I was always praying a doctor didn't call in and I'd mess up his connection!!!|
|For you young people, this is a phonograph. Um, it plays records. Um, it plays music on those round black disc thingies and that tulip thingy is the speaker. |
Like totally man.
|The bar/lounge at the Araxa.|
|Where I ate my breakfast.|
|The library slash game room slash internet space.|
A quick hop down to the harbor, I was in front of the ship. Taxi fare $9. I asked the driver about the rates and he explained there are rates from the airport and rates for in-town and rates of # of bags, etc. Thus, the extra ding when I arrived the night before.
I was suprised there weren't that many people waiting to go through the check-in process at the cruise ship terminal. There was a table to check your bags so they would be delivered to the cabin by the crew in the next hour or two. Then a few more tables where we had to fill out a couple of forms, process our credit card for on-board charges, get a photo taken for our ship identity card and then....go aboard!
It dawned on me a bit later the reason of the low crowd was because the cruise actually started in Barcelona where the vast majority of passengers embarked. We were add-on's after the first day.
|Zee boat boss....zee BOAT!!!|
Pullmantur (company), Sovereign (ship name)
Height: 12 decks above the water level
Size: Approx 900 feet long x 100 feet wide
Capacity: Approx 2,000 guestss + 800 crew
|My cabin. Lucy and Ricky. But, in this case, it was only Ricky (me) travelling.|
|View from the ship of Palma, Mallorca.|
|That round thing is a bar.|
|The (2) swim pools are emptied and refilled each day.|
|I know that yahchit. It used to be owned by Brian and Chris Salatka-Jones. (inside joke)|
|Rock climbing wall at the rear of the ship.|
|2 pools and 2 jacuuzi's for 2,000 passengers. But, they didn't get much use due to the temps.|
|The interior of that round bar thingy.|
|The theater where far-from-Broadway quality productions were performed throughout the cruise week.|
|The stereotypical grand foyer that showcases just how tall the ship is, with glass elevators.|
|On each floor, just outside the elevators, are these lucite creations of the ship, showing you what is where on what level.|
|Our first sunset, leaving Mallorca.|
|Some people I know gripe that I never include photos of myself in scene shots. Well, that's a lie. Those are my feet!!!!|
Next port....Naples, Italy
...to be continued!!