7/3 - Barcelona - My wife and I arrived in Barcelona around 9:30 AM and took a taxi to our hotel, Hotel Claris on Pau du Claris. Our travel agent had secured this very nice hotel in Barcelona's Eixample neighborhood. As we weren't able to check in until around 1:00 PM, we had the hotel hold our bags and walked to several Gaudi buildings (Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila, and Casa Battlo) as well as exploring the area around our hotel. That evening we ate at a nice Tapas restaurant recommended by Rick Steves that is on La Ramblas and ate in their outdoor covered terrace. The food was good and the people watching from our table was great.
7/4 - Barcelona - We overslept (11:00 am) a bit as we were still recovering from jet lag but still had plenty of time to take a taxi to the port of Barcelona and board the ship by 1:00 PM. We only had to wait in line at the terminal where the Voyager was docked for about ½ hour, which was primarily due to having to go through port security. Once through security, we went right up to the check in counter for suites and were checked in quickly. I had done the pre-check in online, which is highly recommended. We went straight to our cabin, #1328, which is a Jr. suite on the starboard side of deck 10. Upon opening the cabin door, we were immediately surprised at the amount of space, nice sitting area, and especially storage and closet space. We went up the Windjammer, had a quick bite to eat, and then explored the ship. We have been on several cruises before and several with RCCL but Voyager of the Seas is the largest we have cruised on. We were both impressed with the amenities on this ship and space available to the passengers. One of my favorite places was the Royal Promenade and the Pig & Whistle pub. My wife says her favorite place turned out to be our balcony - hard to argue with that either.
That evening we went to our first dinner in the La Boheme dining room, which is the middle level of the the three floor dining hall. We had opted for the late seating, which was at 9:00 PM each night, and were a bit worried about how late this seating was. But it quickly became apparent that we made the right choice with this port/excursion intensive cruise. We met our tablemates and were fortunate to be seated at a table with very nice people. Our table was diverse - a couple from Ireland, a couple from Spain, a family from Puerto Rico, and us from the U.S. We had a bit of a language barrier (my limited Mexican-Spanish didn't go too far) but the nice gentleman from Puerto Rico spoke both English and Spanish so he became our interpreter. We also met our wait staff, Alina, our waiter and Federico, our assistant waiter, who proved throughout the week to be very attentive, funny, and personable. Both waiters spoke English and Spanish and made sure to swap languages as necessary for our mixed language table. They definitely were a big factor in making our dining experience throughout the week very enjoyable, especially Alina who was quick witted and always cheerful.
Our cabin was very spacious and we had plenty of room for the two of us. The closet, with both hanging space and shelves was only partially used, even though we emptied our suitcases. The cabin itself was large with a couch, two chairs, a coffee table, and vanity along one wall. This cabin was on Deck 10, and access to the Windjammer was very easy (right up one flight of stairs). A few times there were long waits for the elevator to get down to the Royal Promenade on Deck 5 or our dining hall on Deck 4 but it wasn't that annoying. The balcony was fine for the two of us with space for two deck chairs and a single lounge chair. Only issue here was the two times we were surprised by the hull workers sliding by our balcony as they painted and cleaned the hull. I actually had a conversation with one of the workers as he touched up our balcony while I was reading.