We are a young couple in a late 20's who booked on the RCCL Voyager of the Seas for our honeymoon; this was our first cruise. We flew to Barcelona prior to the cruise and spent 2 nights at the Hotel Zenit Borrell in a residential neighbourhood which is a 5 minute walk from the Metro stop Hospital Clinic. The hotel was nice and the room furnished with modern furniture, but the room was exceptional small for North American standards. The walls are extremely thin as well. But overall the hotel was nice. We purchased a T10 card (7 euros) and took the Metro from the airport to downtown (a hassle if you have lots of luggage though). We used the T10 card to get around for the next few days in Barcelona and had no trouble at all. Barcelona is a great city and everyone should spend a night or two pre-cruise or post-cruise when embarking from there.
We booked the cruise directly on the Royal Carribean website and were upgraded to a Junior Suite (at the AFT end of the boat) on Deck 6. The room was more than enough space. We didn't end up using our balcony since the weather was cold at sea. Our stateroom attendant Fred was excellent, as is all the staff is friendly. They will always say 'hi, how are you' while walking in the hallways. The first two nights, we felt a lot of movement on the boat, but we were able to sleep through it. For dinner, we had My Time Dining at the Magic Flute on Deck 5. Most nights we had Francis as our waiter, and Pedro as our assistant waiter. Both were fantastic with accommodating our requests, remembering our likes/dislikes for future nights and bringing drinks without even requesting. The first two nights we shared a table of 8 with others and met a few nice couples which we ran into a few times throughout our trip. But since it was our honeymoon we had preferred to have dinner at a table of 2, which Nino (Magic Flute greeter) kindly made possible for us for the remainder of the week. For breakfast, we ate at the Windjammer/Island Grill; and lunches we had at each of the cities.
We saw a couple of the shows; some were interesting (Knight Magic), some not (Ice Skating). We enjoyed most of the facilities - rock climbing, bingo, gym, shows, trivia, behind the scene of La Scala - and had a great time.
This wasn't a cruise where we laid around on the top decks sun tanning, as it was quite chilly (during the day it was 16-19'C and it was windy). But we knew this prior and were looking forward to the ports and travelling within the cities. It was not at full capacity; we guessed around 1500 guests.
At each of the ports, we ventured out of on own since we didn't want to be tied down to a tour. We purchased the Fodors European ports travel book and in addition RCCL will provide you with a summary of each of the ports, a map and guidelines, which were really helpful.