We boarded in Barcelona, the "tablet" check-in was not in use and the usual Barcelona chaos with desks was in operation. We had originally planned to check in as early as possible and then to spend the day in town but having ... Read More
We boarded in Barcelona, the "tablet" check-in was not in use and the usual Barcelona chaos with desks was in operation. We had originally planned to check in as early as possible and then to spend the day in town but having learnt that RCI would not allow guests to leave the ship we altered our timings and arrived mid afternoon. Barcelona port terminal has a duty free shop after their security check and consequently you could buy as much alcohol as wished, there were no further security checks.
We had a balcony cabin on deck 10 on the bump out aft, apart from a longish walk to the nearest lifts it was excellent, in both size, shower room and storage. The balcony was deeper on one side because of the bump out, and had 2 fully reclining chairs, 2 footstools and a low table; there was sufficient space for 2 people to sunbathe and still move around easily.
The ships facilities are well documented, there was construction taking place to Music Hall and shopping outlets on the promenade, we did not experience any limitations to our enjoyment indeed because the space in the Diamond Lounge was restricted by work in Music Hall they created an satellite lounge within Boleros which we used most nights. The Bionic bar was in very little use, on rare occasions it was doing demonstration "dances".
The solarium at the front of the ship is the best of its kind we have seen on any of the cruise lines we have used, the sunbeds around the main pools were very busy and tightly packed but go up one deck to 15 and there was choice in sun or shade and with more space around.
My disappointment was in the limited choice of food in the 4 main complementary restaurants Icon, Grande, Chic and Silk. These are positioned aft on decks 3 & 4, each has 2 menus with very few changes which alternate every 3-4 days; the problem is that they share a common kitchen and the base ingredients, steak, chicken, prawn are on all restaurant menus with perhaps a different seasoning and description. The plate put in front of you is essentially the same, after 10 nights it became very boring; we saw no problems with people queuing without reservations and there always appeared to be empty tables. One further issue with these restaurants was that the service was always rushed, perhaps that's why there were always free tables... they had got their guests away in much less than the 2 hour slot logged into their reservation system. We also dined in Jamie's and Chops
We did not use either the Ifly nor NorthStar, my weight puts me close to the upper limit for Ifly and having worked in the truck industry I know how temperamental "cherry pickers" can be on land. Lots of people did use them and seemed to have a good time without any problems.
The crucial question is would we cruise again on Quantum class ships, Yes but with a maximum of 7 - 10 days because of the restaurant issues. Read Less