This is our third cruise - and our first with Royal Caribbean. First of all, I have to strongly disagree with those who criticized the decor and cleanliness of the ship. We thought the decor of the ship was beautiful, up-to-date, and well-maintained. The carpet designs, the furniture, the artwork (sculpture and paintings especailly in the stairwells, the layout of the public places, and the wonderful windows made cruising enjoyable and even luxurious for us. Even though the ship was filled to capacity, the public lounging areas always felt spacious. The same can't be said for the shop and photography areas, however, which were narrow and often crowded.
Our cabin was one of the larger inside cabins, and though I felt, at first, that the space was smaller than what we had on other ships, we found that the storage and amenities were more than sufficient. And, while the ship did have the system of inserting a card in the door to indicate when we wanted service, still the service and cleanup were efficiently done twice a day. Even though the staff didn't hover around the cabin as they had in other ships, still they were never far from the room and we saw our staff person frequently. What we were surprised about and missed, however, were the heavy mats that other ships had on the bed for packing and unpacking one's suitcase and, even more, the basket (mailbox)outside the cabin door for news (both ship and outside). Ship news was delivered (inside) to our cabin during the time we were in the dining room for dinner - but the ship didn't offer any type of world news at all - not into the cabins - and no newspapers in the ship's library. There were also no lectures detailing the history of the places we would visit - just some photo highlights of each tour on a ship TV station.
Food choices were varied and food presentation was great in the Aquarious dining room. Not so in the Windjammer where the choices were bascially the same each day (but extensive). Our dining room waiter, Francisco, was excellent - fast, professional, courteous, and friendly. The one time that we ordered in for dinner, he called us to see whether everything was delivered to our cabin okay. The room service, however, though quick to arrive, was too slow to be removed.
We thought that this ship had excellent food and excellent shows (the shows that were brought in by Marc, the activities director - who was wonderful and very funny!) We especially enjoyed the Russian folkloric troupe, the illusionist, and the juggler. The ship's entertainers were just okay - vigorous, but too loud to give a professional "feel" to their shows.
Port excursions were good. We pre-booked all of ours online before we came. We were especially impressed to see a tour of Riga's Jewish heritage, which was important for us to see. We also found that the full day spent in St. Petersburg was sufficient to see its highlights and to visit some of them and to spend time at the hermitage too. We thought that all of the ports were interesting, and the ship's excursions were varied ones.
As for ship activities, we didn't really partake in them, but that might have been because there weren't very many that interested us.
In all, we thought this was a good cruise - even though our first impression wasn't so great since the embarkation wasn't seamless and seemed difficult, but that was because the ship had arrived in port late because of weather conditions at their last stop. We would recommend Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas for its beauty, its food, the ports, and the conviviality of its staff.