Our embarkation was on 9-13-08 out of Barcelona, Spain. We spent the night before in Barcelona (Hotel Diagonal) and had a great time dining and viewing the show at a Flamenco Palace. I'm so glad we flew a day early to adjust to the time change and would recommend it to any future cruises with this itinerary. We weren't that impressed with the hotel but it was a place to sleep for the night and that was all.
The cruise was wonderful. We had transportation from the hotel to the dock and it was very timely. I found the ship we were on to be much better for a young couple like we are as far as activities. We took full advantage of the offerings on the ship including the bars/clubs, a couples treatment at the spa, the adult pool and hottub, the sports deck (Basketball, ping pong, mini golf, rock climbing wall), the Johnny Rockets restaurant on board (the waitstaff actually dances for you!), the main dining hall, room service, the entertainment (ice show, comedians, RC dancer productions), shore excursions (we hesitated to buy through an independent tour group due to our international destinations and unfamiliarity with all of the local languages), clothes pressing delivered straight to your cabin, the library (internet access), and ice skating during our day at sea.
My only complaints: no midnight buffet (unless we just missed it on the schedule?!), the ATMs on board were short of cash on some port days in Italy (Rome & Naples), the internet was miserably slow most of the voyage, and the food on the lido deck wasn't as good as the main dining hall (lunch and breakfast foods were ok, but the desserts looked good and tasted awful). I also know quite a few cruisers lost their luggage...I think it had more to due with airline difficulties for those that flew in the day the cruise disembarked rather then a RC issue. Most cruisers got their luggage at the next port-of-call.
Overall, our cruise was fantastic. The boat was clean, our cabin was spacious and spotless, and the ports-of-call were everything we had hoped for. We've already booked our 1st anniversary cruise aboard another Royal ship to the Southern Caribbean!