This was my 4th cruise overall (1st cruise with RCCL), and my husband's 1st cruise ever. We are both in our early 40's, and selected this itinerary for our honeymoon. Our wedding took place on a Saturday afternoon, we flew from MSP to BCN on Sunday morning, and arrived in BCN early Monday (ship sailed at 4pm, I believe).
Initially, we had wanted to pre-register for RCCL’s "Barcelona Highlights" bus tour from the airport - but were told that our incoming flight was scheduled to arrive about 15 min. later than the "allowable" timeframe (so we were not allowed to register/pre-pay for the tour). However, the RCCL rep told us that, upon arrival at BCN, we could just ask to join the tour if it hadn't left yet (as long as seats were available). In the end, our connection from JFK was delayed by about 2 hours - so we were actually thankful we hadn't pre-paid, as we had no hope of arriving at BCN in time for this tour. BUT (lo & behold), there was apparently a large # of prepaid tour guests on our same connecting flight from JFK, so RCCL held the tour for them. Kudos to RCCL in this regard. We were able to just show the tour operator our RCCL boarding docs, and she charged the cost of the tour to our cabin.
The tour bus was modern & comfortable, though the tour itself felt a bit rushed (due the late departure). There was one 15-20 minute stop on top of the mountain (overlooking the city), with a public restroom and concessions; and a second, 2-hour stop in the heart of the old city for shopping/exploring. This second stop included a 20-minute guided tour around another old cathedral and adjacent cobblestone alleys, which were full of shops, restaurants, artisan galleries, and even residences. In between these 2 stops, we drove by most major landmarks and at times the driver would pause just long enough for you to snap a photo out the window (such as outside the huge Olympic futbol stadium), and he was full of information and charisma... however, it was still rushed. For the price of $65/person, I still feel the tour was worthwhile as it gave us much more of an overview of the city than we'd have gotten by simply taking a cab to the port. But, while I was grateful we were able to join the tour at all, I am still perplexed how all those passengers on the same connecting flight were allowed to book the tour in advance (while we were denied)?
I highly recommend the aft-facing balcony cabins! Although we had a minor amount of soot some days, we were prepared for this and simply wiped down our chairs/table before using them. The extra-deep balcony was fabulous, and came complete with 2 sitting chairs, 2 loungers, and the little round side table for drinks, books, etc.