I had a very successful V-Diet (went from 245 to 225), so I'll fill you in on my feelings on everything.
Shakes - Biotest makes 4 flavors of Metabolic Drive for a reason... I thought I liked vanilla the most, so got 6 tubs vanilla, then 2 chocolate, 2 strawberry, 3 banana. I got tired of Vanilla real quick, but luckily I had 3 other flavors to mix with. Tired of all of them? Go neopolitan! Combined with peanut butter, Superfood, and any kind of spice you can lay your hands on (I liked pumpkin pie spice with vanilla), you can really mix things up.
If you "balance" the shakes you're having, you won't really get sick of the taste too much until after week 3, but I chalked that up to my overabundance of vanilla and the "Home Stretch Demons" as I call them.
I had hunger cravings, but considering how much I had been overeating in the past, I chalked it up to that. I was fine not eating around people, and nobody really gave me any grief for it. I went through graduate school open houses and whole days in the computer lab without much trouble (except when I was nice and ordered pizzas for my group in the computer lab) by just packing some containers with powder.
The biggest change I went through was my sense of smell. There's a nice deli right off campus and about 500 ft from my girlfriend's dorm and their bacon smells DELICIOUS. On a clear day, I swear I could smell that place a half mile away... I can't say I ended the diet with all those "healthy" cravings, but it did become easier to make the healthy choices on most occasions.
Since the V-Diet, almost a month ago now, I've gained back 5 lbs, some of which I chalk up to water weight because you just won't carry any water on the V-Diet, however I've stayed at 230 almost perfectly consistently for the past month.