Notices

Alhambra as Cruise Ship Excursion

Old Dec 26th, 2011, 05:39 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 52
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Alhambra as Cruise Ship Excursion

We will be on a Transatlantic cruise in April, stopping for one day at Malaga. The cruise line's shore excursion for the Alhambra is only transportation to and from Granada. Then, apparently, it's on your own. We would have 3 hours, approximately from 10:30 - 1:30, once we reach Granada.

I know there is a reputable company doing private group tours from the ship, However they tell me that they will not return until 30 minutes before the ship's departure. I have read many postings in various places about traffic on roads in Spain and passengers with split second returns to board the ship. We would like to avoid that and therefore our only choice is to take the ship's transportation. If there is a traffic delay, the ship will wait for us since it is an excursion run by the cruise line.

That being said, what I am looking for is advice on how to best spend those three hours that we will have in Granada. I understand that from the center of Granada it would be best to take either a taxi or a bus to the Alhambra as walking, which is a possibility, takes too long. I also understand that we can buy tickets for the Alhambra online in advance.

Here are my questions.

Which part of the Alhambra should we focus on since we only have 3 hours to be back in center city?

Can we do it on our own or do we need a guide? (We are both seasoned travelers.)

Do we even need to buy tickets? On one of the Alhambra websites it says that one only needs a ticket for certain parts, others are free. We don't need to view every nook and cranny. Getting an overview is enough, plus the gardens of course.

Do you think that within our limited time frame there would be a possibility of also seeing the old Jewish quarters in Granada?

If anyone has done this itinerary with just the limited time frame I would very much appreciate hearing from you.

Thank you kindly in advance.
Lenore1 is offline  
Old Dec 26th, 2011, 06:02 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 479
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Personally, I would take the private tour and hope that you get back to the ship on time. It would be too difficult to do the Alhambra in just 3 hour from Granada and get back to Granada for the trip back to the cruise ship. You should purchase tickets in advance-they are timed. We did see taxi cabs up at the Alhambra waiting to take tourist back to town,
though.

Pat
wanttogo is offline  
Old Dec 26th, 2011, 06:22 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 37,204
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
OK, it's "expensive" but keep the thing in perspective, OK? You are spending HOW MUCH on the cruise itself and then getting an opportunity to see the Alhambra.

DO NOT do anything BUT take the ship's excursion so that you are GUARANTEED to make the ship's departure REGARDLESS of the traffic, the weather, or anything else. Is your PEACE OF MIND worth this additional cost or not?

As to Granada and getting TO the Alhambra which is on a hill ABOVE the city..FORGET waiting for a bus with only three total hours to spend..get a TAXI.

You have to remember that a lot of the rooms are the same decoration...room after room after room. It is the outside, the gardens, and the water features/fountains that you might remember the longest.
Dukey1 is offline  
Old Dec 26th, 2011, 07:27 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,275
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi lenore,

How odd that your cruise line doesnt include the excursion to the Alhambra, most do. Actually, I visited Granada and the Alhambra in a private tour from a cruise stop in Malaga. But our ship stayed in port until night time and therefore we had more time in port . As it was, we only had time to visit la Alhambra and a quick lunch before going back to the ship.

Maybe things have changed (this was 4 yrs ago) but I don't recall that entry to ANY part of La Alhambra was free. There was an additional palace that you needed timed reservations for( I think its called Nazarien, or something like that) and maybe there was an additional fee for it, but you needed a paid ticket to go into la Alhambra. You may get lucky and be able to go in without prior reservation but I wouldnt count on it.

There are other things worth seeing in Granada but unfortunately we didnt have time. However, the real draw is the Alhambra. If you're not going to buy tickets ahead of time I wouldnt do the long trek to Granada( depending on traffic could be close to two hrs). I would suggest staying in Malaga and enjoying the city. My understanding is that its a lovely city, worth of a visit.
cruiseluv is offline  
Old Dec 26th, 2011, 07:32 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,275
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry, forgot to answer a few of your specific question:

No, I dont think you need a guide . I believe they have the audio thingies you can listen to while walking around the Alhambra. No, if you go to the Alhambra, and with only 3 hrs( which include time from / to the meeting place with the cruise group), you will not have time to tour the jewish quarters. You can do a Granada sightseeing or an Alhambra sightseeing but not both. 3 hrs go very fast!
cruiseluv is offline  
Old Dec 26th, 2011, 07:51 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 52
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you for your responses. It is not the expense that we are concerned about, it is getting back to the ship on time and, as Dukey1 says, our peace of mind.

What I understand from the various responses is to definitely take a taxi both ways and that a guide is not necessary. Thank you, that is helpful information. Regarding the rooms being similar, I tend to concur that we do not need to see too many of the rooms, just a sampling and then the outside, the gardens and the water fountains. That sounds ideal and should be able to be done in the time frame we have.

Yes, Cruiseluv, I also thought it very odd that Celebrity was not offering an actual guided tour. I have emailed their shore excursion department (apparently that is the only way to get information) and asked if perhaps they are not yet completed with their shore excursion plans. They just recently added some for another of the ports. But I cannot count on it.
Lenore1 is offline  
Old Dec 26th, 2011, 11:17 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,314
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The Alhambra is a huge complex including Gardens (El Partal), Generalife (Small palace and gardens, quite a walk from the rest) and the Nasrid (moorish) palaces. Only a part of the Partal has free access, as well as the museum and the palace of Charles V, a marvel in itself, but a renaissance building; you need a ticket for the rest. This ticket includes entrance to the Palaces on a time-slot basis. Once you get in, you walk almost all the rooms of the palaces.
3 hours is plenty of time to visit the Alhambra. Avoid the Alcazaba (little interes compared to the rest. If you do it on your on, you have to book your entrance tickets, and fix your most suitable time slot for entrance. If you miss the slot, you wont be permitted access.
josele is offline  
Old Dec 26th, 2011, 11:39 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,969
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The crown jewel of the site is the Nasrid Palaces, and that is where you need the timed reservation.
Magnificent garden photos of Alambra you see are taken in Generalife gardens. The ticket you used to get into Narid gets you into Generalife.

Study the Narid Places before your visit using a guidebook or something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Alhambra-Gener...8&sr=8-1-spell
greg is offline  
Old Dec 26th, 2011, 11:49 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 52
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you Josele and Greg. If the primary locations to visit are the Nasrid Palaces and the Generalife gardens will there be enough time to get there by taxi from town and get back to town by taxi. Also, just how far away are the Gardens? Will that take a while to get to? I'm not at all concerned about walking, just about the time constraints.
Lenore1 is offline  
Old Dec 26th, 2011, 01:44 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,969
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You can do most of the distance estimate yourself by using the Google map. Below are the Google map coordinates you just enter into the google map search box. (look at the green arrow, not the red lettered balloon.)

When I visited Alhambra, for day visit I entered the Nasrid Places here 37.177116,-3.590035 and came out of this gate: 37.176956,-3.588777

According to Google map, the distance from the Nasrid Palaces exit to Generalife at 37.175148,-3.585152 is 400m or 5min walk.

I don't know where in Granada you need to be picked up. From Generalife entrance to the bottom of the hill at Plaza Nueva is less than 1 mile. Near the Generalife entrance, the taxis hang around here 37.174308,-3.585143 . Since I stayed in Granada, I just walked down the hill.
greg is offline  
Old Dec 26th, 2011, 02:04 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,514
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In case it is not clear for the discussion above, your ticket is a reservation for a specific time to enter the Nasrid Palaces. You must enter within the 30-minute time slot assigned. for example, a 10 am ticket allows you to enter between 10 and 10:29. The ticket has a barcode they scan and if you are late they won't let you in.

You could book at 12:00 visit to the palaces; that would allow you from the time of arrival until noon to visit the gardens, then walk to the waiting area for palace entry.

You will need to pick up your tickets near the main entrance first of all. Have the taxi take you there and ask where the nearest taxi stand is so you can find it when you leave. I believe we saw one near the Justice Gate (where the buses stop too) but I don't remember the main gate.

Walk past the lines and past the bookstore/gift shop to the bank of yellow machines to pick up your tickets. You will need the credit card you used to buy the tickets to get them from the machine. Note there are different machines for different types of tickets so make sure you get the right one.

With tickets in hand you are ready to visit the gardens. Make sure you pick up a map too. The entrance to the Generalife is quite near the main entrance. Hopefully you will be inside by 11 and have a full hour to wander before you head over to the palaces. spend an hour there and then find the taxi stand you located earlier. It is a quick ride back downtown to meet your tour.

You could also just visit the Generalife on a less expensive ticket, but it would be a shame to visit the Alhambra without going inside the palaces.
enzian is offline  
Old Dec 26th, 2011, 03:07 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 52
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You are all wonderful!!

Greg, Enzian, your details are so helpful. You have given me excellent advice. Thank you so much. I am getting a very clear picture of how our visit will go.
Lenore1 is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2012, 08:47 AM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 52
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have two more questions about visiting the Alhambra.

1. When purchasing the tickets online is it still necessary to use a debit card that has a pin number to pick the tickets up from the machine at the Alhambra gate or can one use a regular credit card?

2. Are there guides that one can hire upon arrival at the Alhambra who would spend an hour or two guiding us through?
I have been reading guide books and my head is spinning. I think we need a little assistance.

Thank you in advance for any and all advice.
Lenore1 is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2012, 08:58 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 53,752
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
When purchasing the tickets online is it still necessary to use a debit card that has a pin number to pick the tickets up from the machine at the Alhambra gate or can one use a regular credit card?>>

i can't remember, but this is the normal rule in spain, so i would make a note of the card you used and make sure that you take it with you, just in case.

IMHO, there are only 2 things YOU really want to see in the alhambra - the nasrid palaces and the generalife. i would aim for a time slot of 11am for the palaces and head there first. then exit by 12 noon to spend at least an hour in the Generalife gardens.

following Greg's map references should give you an idea of the location.

here's a website with a plan and plenty of info ,including how to get tickets and hiring a guide:

http://www.alhambradegranada.org/en/
annhig is online now  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
lateforthesky
Europe
8
Jul 10th, 2017 03:12 AM
jaxhc
Europe
9
Jun 12th, 2012 01:11 PM
cruiseluv
Europe
4
Feb 6th, 2007 01:10 PM
lol930
Europe
21
Jan 5th, 2006 08:44 AM
Anne
Europe
12
Jul 12th, 2002 02:48 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information