We cruise twice a year and prefer the transatlantic crossings but were tempted by the Vision's next itinerary as well so we tried back to back cruises. We live 60 miles from Tampa so getting to the ship was easy peasy. The embarkation went smoothly and we were in our cabins by 1:00PM. We enjoy the Main dining room experience and had great tablemates great servers. The rumoured "Dynamic Dining" which treats the Main dining room as "freestyle" may reduce our use of Royal. Likewise, the addition of "specialty dining" seems to have reduced the quality of the menus offered in the Main dining room.
The Promenade deck and the Solarium are great places to read, people watch, whale watch (we actually saw two during the crossing), and snooze. The entertainment on the crossing was surprisingly good (when you consider they were in for the duration once we left Key West). The cast shows were standard Royal fare but one night the cast was able to create their own vignettes and they were super. Several of the main acts were surprisingly good. A ventriloquist that made an audience member into his 'dummy'. A hypnotist that was very entertaining and several comedians and singers that were very good. Unfortunately, the shows were all repeats so we went to the Centrum which had excellent entertainment, especially the aerial shows the final of which involved the whole cast and was spectacular.
The ports of Madeira, Gibraltar and Malaga were repeats for us but a combination of exploring, shopping and hopping (on and off) made them fun.
Our cabin attendant was one of the most efficient and likable we have ever had. He helped overcome what was probably the smallest inside cabin we have ever had (132 sq ft). The bed was moved against the wall and a detached night stand was on the other side of the bed. We centered the bed and moved the night stand in front of the small couch (somewhat in the middle of the open space in the room)to make it more convenient. The storage in the closet was poorly designed with an upper and lower hanging rods instead of shelving. The lower space was not very usable and could have been used for shelves. The tiny shower was complicated by the use of a shower curtain. One of our fellow inside cabin mates suggested wetting the curtain before showering to make it stick to the structure instead your body.
We stayed onboard because we were misled (to our faces) by the Shore Excursion desk who said there was "no shuttle" to Ramblas when in fact there was a 3 Euro bus that shuttled between the cruise ships and near Ramblas.
We walked the town. Shopped the market. Retrieved emails at the London Cafe. Got soaked by an early morning rain. Then we "hopped" on a bus that took us on a long ride along the coast, through some beautiful areas and terminated near the 18th century tower. Then 'moules and frites', a pichet de vin and back on the ship.
A walk around town followed by emails at a great pizza place LA GHIACCIAIA RISTORANTE and had a quattro stagioni pizza and two 'pichets' of a delicious bubbly white wine.