We always cruise based on the itinerary, so the idea of cruising to new locations had a large appeal to us. This was our tenth cruise with NCL, and thus our first at the Gold Level.
We started out leaving Boston to Barcelona on Iberia. Good flight, no problems with Iberia on any leg. We had a bad experience in November with the flights on another carrier going to/from Barcelona. So, I am happy to recommend Iberia.
Arrived two days early in Barcelona. We stayed at the Wilson Boutique Hotel on Diagonal. I had stayed there in November, and highly recommend it. It is away from the noise, and "pickpocket central" of Las Ramblas. They stored our bags, and when the room was ready, brought them up to our room. The area around the hotel is a commercial shopping area, yet is quiet, and has many cafes, and a inexpensive resturant called El Mussol a few blocks from the hotel. Ask at the hotel for directions. Well worth it, and inexpensive. Also, it is a five minute walk in one direction to the Metro, and a five minute walk in the other direction to the Hop On Hop Off tourist bus. Ask at the hotel for discount tickets. You pay part of the fare at the hotel, and the other on the bus. You save about 5 euros with this discount. We spent the time before the cruise taking the tourist bus one day, making several stops. A full day. The next day, we went to Park Guell, and the Predara, amoung other sights. It is around 32 euro cab fare from the airport.