Hi all - I was a first time cruiser on RCL Vision of the Seas November 5, 2006 so will try to keep to the format that others have used.
Embarkation: Arrived at embarkation point at 10:00 AM - my fault as SuperShuttle told me that it would take about 2 hours from Santa Monica - NOT - took about 45 minutes - should have asked for the pick up later than 9:00 AM! We were there way too early but got to meet up with fellow CC'ers which was nice. Embarkation was smooth except my two co-travellers were from Australia so they had to go do the eyescan and fingerprint thing again - but then proceeded onboard easily.
Cabin: 4th deck room 4068. I travel with meds which need refrigeration so was able to get to my cabin immediately to put my medication in the fridge- I had made special arrangements to have a fridge in my room prior to board - and RCL was FABULOUS - had the fridge and Sharps container there for me! Room was amazing small - but there were so many crooks and cranny's I found a home for everything - was pleasantly surprised. Also found the new bedding tucked under our bed the night before disembarkation - guess we were one cruise to early. Overall didn't spend much time in the room - but the Oceanview window was nice as it was a full moon while we were sailing so loved looking out the window each night to see the moon reflected on the water.
Food: Let me say this first - anything I don't have to cook is ok with me! The food was elegantly presented and the choices were great, although I did think they cheaped out on the vegetables every night. Two spears of asparagus? wassup with that? And on lobster night (which was fabulous) nary a vegetable appeared on the plate. Didn't realize how much I loved my vegetables, but early on, I learned to order one appetizer and a Caesar salad each night. MY table mates were great as was our staff.
Entertainment: Being my first cruise, I thought it was ok. Had nothing to compare it to. Hey - this isn't Las Vegas so my standards were somewhat lower. Also, because we had the late seating, we missed two of the events in the masquerade Theater as we were getting dressed..... The Quest game was ruined for me as we ended up with a group that had been on 14 other cruises so told me what the CD would be looking for - these couples would reach into their bag to get the required items out. Guess the questions are sort of old.
Activities: On the ship, I found there was lots to do and booked my own excursions in each town. Cabo we went on the Pirate ship snorkeling tour (it was ok), Mazatlan did the Shopping, lunch and beach tour (well worth the $$) and in PVR we just found our own way around during the day (I go to PVR every year so knew what I wanted to do) and in the evening did the River of the Night tour which was great.
Ship: It certainly exceeded my expectations.
Disembarkation: We booked the LA tour (don't bother it isn't worth it!) so we were among the first off the boat so not much to offer here.
My bill at the end was $300 - for drinks, pictures and souvenirs so really not that bad.
Would I cruise again? YES - although I don't think it is something I would do every year but once in a while, it will be nice.