Background: We are fairly new cruisers, in our 40's. This was our first 14 day cruise, first suite and our third RCI cruise. We were traveling with my sister and her husband. Previously cruised on Princess and Carnival, but more than 10 years ago.
Pre-cruise: We flew to Vancouver the day before from San Francisco on Alaska air, we were able to upgrade to first class at the gate for $50. The flight left on time, and we were in Vancouver by 11:10 am. There were no lines through customs and immigration, we walked straight up to an agent, he stamped our passports and we were on our way! We caught a limousine from Limojetgold right outside the terminal for about $45 CAD, and headed to the Hotel LeSoleil, on Hornby just two blocks from Canada Place. This is a lovely 5 star boutique hotel, in the European Renaissance style. Since we were only staying one night I had just booked two standard rooms.($200 ea.) When we arrived about noon, the rooms were not ready, but they took our luggage and said they were upgrading our rooms to two one bedroom suites. We headed out for lunch and sightseeing. Walked to Canada Place, and took one of the hop on/off bus tours. The weather was clear and very warm. When we returned our suites were ready and though not very large, they were beautiful and comfortable, complete with robes, and fully stocked mini bar, and full spa services.
Embarkation: On a tip from our new TA, we headed to Ballantyne early, about 11:00 am. We took two taxi's as the four of us and all the luggage would not fit in one. The taxi from downtown to Ballantyne was under $10. We arrived a little after 11:00 to find people still waiting for cabs to leave from the previous cruise. I was worried that we would be waiting a long time to board, but was pleasantly surprised when again there was no lines, we checked in and were allowed to board immediately! The cabins were not ready until 1:00, so we toured the ship and then had lunch in the Windjammer at noon. Also met some of our fellow cruise critics while walking around.