Booking- easy.I liked being able to pre-book tours and Spa sessions in advance, on the internet.
Boarding in Barcelona- great! Handed cases over to staff who placed them on a conveyor (after checking tag had cabin number on) and entered large, cool terminal building. Up an escalator to a hotel style reception desk to register credit card and collect 'sign + sail key card'. Then they take a photograph so when the card is swiped for any payments on board, your picture comes up on the screen. Entered ship on deck 3- the Atrium. Not quite as spacious as advertised, OK its 7 or 8 floors high but only near the lifts. Disappointing decor, green motif on lights strange and altogether neither cutting edge modern nor classic ship decor.
Amazing organisation with 4,500 passengers to embark- also true in ports we visited!
Cabin on deck 2 easy to find but corridor running full length of ship dauntingly long- could barely see the end of it in the distance. Cabin was adequate- lots of storage/wardrobe space and comfy bed and pillows. Very strange 70's style pictures of leaves on the walls. Shower was good, lots of bathroom shelving for toiletries. Shower gel and shampoo dispensers. Strange complimentary toiletries- 2 razors and whitening toothpaste but no shower cap, moisturiser or cotton wool pads.
1,400 children on board but didnt seem that many apart from around pools at times.
Food- quite good selection for breakfast & lunch & interesting options including Burrito bar, Tandoori, deli (sandwiches), pasta bar, etc. But nothing much at tea time- from 3pm to 5.30pm you could buy cake & starbucks but buffets were closed. Dinner at the Steakhouse was wonderful but cost additional $30 each.
Entertainment- disappointing overall. Only one typical singing & dancing show. Nothing at all for first 3 nights. Several 'single artist' shows- a soprano, a male singer, an instrumentalist. Last night was a passenger show, a bit like X-factor auditions. Spotlight lounge had magic act and comedians which were Ok.
Big screen movies in Ocean Plaza were great with free popcorn BUT timings meant it was difficult to get to if you dined at 8.15pm
Red Frog pub had good live singer and great ambiance inside and out. Also loved the piano bar and excellent Martinis each night BUT with 15% service charge on all drinks any cocktail cost $10.
Service was generally reasonable, good in the restaurant, exceptional in the Steakhouse. There is an automatic $10 per person per day service charge which I disliked- prefer to tip individuals for good service. Better still, include tips in total cost!
2 pools were good, main one could have been bigger. Often spoilt on 'sea' days by children splashing and jumping in/ Perrenial problem of people putting towels out on best located sunbeds then dissappearing for hours- sometimes for a whole excursion ashore! There were in fact plenty of beds if you walked around a little and didnt mind not being close to a pool.
We loved the Sports area with the mini golf and connect 4 and its own little bar.
Serenity was a lovely 'adult only' area near the Spa with hammocks and double sunbeds but again, many beds often reserved and unoccupied for hours. Lacked a pool though it did have a hot-tub.
Spa was great, cool and tranquil area, great teatments. (I had 3)
Disembarcation. Our flight wasnt until 21.30. but latest disembarcation was 0900. Announcements started at 05.30 so any hope of sleep was spoiled. Also they neglected to inform people about cheap bus into Barcelona and luggage storage facility (near top of Rambla, €7.50 for XL locker which held 2 cases and 1 carry on bag)