Cruise passengers traveling from North America to Europe should plan to arrive in their embarkation city the night before. It certainly cuts back on the stress of possibly missing your ship. I didn't take my own advice this time, but luckily our non-stop flight from Atlanta was uneventful. The check in at the Carnival Breeze went very smoothly, and we were on the ship in no time (less than 20 minutes). The cabins weren't ready, but it was nice to find a seat in the Lido Marketplace and enjoy an early lunch.
While we were waiting for the cabins to open up, some of our fellow cruisers chose to either take a Carnival-sponsored shore excursion of either Barcelona or Montserrat, or just drop off their luggage and go into town to explore on their own. Barcelona has many fascinating sights, and the most dramatic is La Sagrada Familia, the city's unfinished basilica. If you only have time to see one thing in the city, this is it. Even though incomplete, the church towers over the city. It's not within walking distance of the port, so you will need to take a taxi, tour, or hop-on, hop-off bus.
Our time in Barcelona was way too short, but we were all excited about beginning our Mediterranean adventure on this exciting new ship. The Carnival Breeze sailed for our first port of call, Marseille, France, in the late afternoon.
Carnival Breeze Mediterranean Cruise Itinerary