We are a family of 7 (English - 3 of us in their 30’s and 4 in their 50’s and 60’s) who stayed in a hotel in Barcelona the night before (21 euros a night in a Travelodge) and visited Camp Nou on the day of arrival which was great. Definitely recommend arriving the day before to spend some time in Barcelona.
We got a taxi to the ship and was surprised about how smoothly we got on. Most of us were on deck 6 inside cabins, not much storage or a fridge but the bed was very comfortable. The others were on deck 9 where they had the new cabins which were much nicer, more storage and a fridge.
We spent a lot of time in the Red Frog Pub, the guys in there were so friendly and even joined in with a game of cards by the end. Bullet, Pepsi’ and Co do a great job! We also played the Pub Quiz (Poison Frogs) amongst other quizzes during the duration of the cruise.
We spent most evenings at the Sunset Restaurant where service sometimes took up to 2 hours to serve 3 courses, other times we were out within an hour. Loved the Showtime’ in the Restaurant and was very surprised the first night. Food was lovely most of the time although served luke warm.
We did two of the speciality restaurants " the Italian for $12 was a bargain and the Steakhouse was lovely although a little expensive at $35 each.
We watched a couple of shows in the Liquid Lounge and thought Epic Rock and Latin Nights were great, but we spent most of our evenings at the Ocean Plaza and Red Frog Pub; the band was incredible and Robbie, Andy and Sky were fab in the Pub.
Alcohol was expensive once they added on the 15% on top, plus 10% Spanish tax which we wasn’t aware of until we got there. If you buy anything from the shop it is 20% tax on top of the cost price.
We did bring bottles of wine on the ship from each port with no problems with security and was able to take this to restaurants with a $10 corkage fee. Definitely worth doing as a glass of wine alone is about $7.50. We also brought on some beers and spirits onto the ship with no problems.
We went to the Nightclub a couple of nights but the space is far too big and there just wasn’t enough people to fill it.
The sea days were not as bad as we thought in terms of getting a lounger, we got 2-3 loungers both times which us girls loved whilst the boys spent time at the Crazy Golf, Shuffle Board and Basketball Court.
The ports of call were amazing, Monaco, Florence, Pisa, Rome, Naples, Dubrovnik (beautiful place), Venice (wet but amazing), Sicily (not much there so some of us went shopping whilst some went on the bus tour (waste of time). The only one we did with Carnival was Naples where we did Pompeii on Your Own, the rest we walked off the ship or booked an excursion through another company (cruisingexcursions.com) which was much cheaper.
Overall had a great time, 3 people hadn’t been on a cruise before and now they are hooked!