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new Schengen questions

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My wife and I are both American citizens living in Florida.
We are planning on spending exactly 88 days in Spain this summer to be within the Schengen limitations. We are then going to England for about a month.

To return home, we are returning to Barcelona to take a transatlantic cruise or maybe several back-to-back cruises on the same ship. The Celebrity cruise will make many stops in various countries iincluding Spain.

Will this additional time on the cruise be considered "days within Schengen countries" or is a cruise considered "in transit" so that the additional days do not bring us over the 90- day limit?

I do not want to be denied boarding for the cruise in Barcelona and I certainly do not want to be considered to be overstaying my 90-day limit.

I have tried to get answers from my travel agent (Costco) and the cruise line and they didn't know the answer. Most of the reps did not know what "Schengen" was. The Spanish Consulate wasn't any help because they suggested that I apply for a long-term visa because they said there is no way to extend the 90-day period (especially while we were in Spain).

Before I book the cruise, I want to have a firm, reliable answer with good documentation.

Thanks for the help from the Forums!

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