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Ask Peter: Smoke-Free Vacations, Choosing a Cruise & More

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Conversion rates for the euro are improving and it seems like everyone is planning a trip to Europe. Don’t be caught wasting your savings on gondola rides and tourist traps, instead ask Peter for his pick of local spots. Peter will answer your question on Saturday live on on Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio (click here to listen to the most recent podcast).

You can talk to Peter at 1-888-88-PETER (1-888-887-3837), email, or tweet questions to @petersgreenberg (use #askPeter)

Peter will be standing by to answer your questions on Monday, March 19 at 6pm ET.

This week Peter offers advice on Barcelona markets, sending a teenager to Europe, choosing a cruise line and smoke-free vacations.

John in Sherman Oaks, California asked. “I’m planning a cruise for next March, which will terminate in Barcelona. My wife and I are planning on staying over in Barcelona for a day or two. Where might I turn for reasonably priced hotel accommodations, which are located for convenience and access to the usual tourist venues and sites? Oceania Cruises recommended the Ray One Carlos Hotel, which I understand to be in the city proper. Is that a good location for convenience and good access to the sites and transportation? I have a feeling that the hotel is a bit pricey.”

Peter replied: It is a bit pricey. Even though the euros’ down to $1.20 that’s still an expense place to stay when you consider how much time you’re not spending in your hotel room. You’re only going to be there for 2 days, so you want to hit the streets and get out there running. There’s the Hotel Monte Carlo in Barcelona that’s about €80 euros a night. There’s even a Four Points by Sheraton in Barcelona that’s  €80 a night. Not a bad deal.

Now, every tourist goes Las Ramblas, but I recommend that they also go in the Boqueria. You’re going to see all sorts of things you want to buy, but go inside the middle to Bar Central. Now I have to warn you those stools will be occupied and you may have to wait 20-30 minutes for your stool. Once you get to your stool check out the glass display case and you pick out the fish you want–anything from calamari to grouper–and they cook it there right for you. It’s unbelievable. When you come out of Bar Central, pick up some Serrano ham. Well now you can actually bring it back legally. And I encourage you to do that.

For more Barcelona shopping ideas, check out Suzy Gershman’s Shopping Report.