This was my sixth cruise and my wife's 8th in 7 years together. Why we tried everyone else before going with RCCL is a mystery. It was the best overall experience we have ever had. After deciding that we never need to go with Princess again (horrific service), Norwegian (dining room food a combination of inedible and portions designed for children or supermodels),or Carnival (twice for me, four times for the wife. I never had a problem, but my wife was on the Destiny 3 weeks earlier. See any post on the Destiny and you will understand),we will definitely cruise RCCL again. It was the best balance of service, food quality, entertainment, and overall value that we have found so far.
This ship was very nice and easy to get around. It never seemed crowded and some of the staff commented that they even prefer these somewhat smaller ships and would need to be forced to take a position on the newest and largest ships.
The outside cabin was adequate. It was nicely decorated and had plenty of drawer and shelf space despite the wife's many many shoes.
The staff was very attentive. Our room steward must have been listening for the doors to any of his cabins open and was always poking his head into the hallway as we headed out to see if we needed anything. He quickly figured out our routine and there was always fresh ice in the room.
The dining room staff too was very attentive, though we needed to ask for a wine list each evening. This was out first time cruising as just a couple in a while and we quickly made friends with those seated with us. This added to the enjoyment of our meals even more.
The food in the dining room was very good, as were the portions. I only asked for additional appetizers or entrees if I could not make up my mind (as opposed to the Norwegian Dawn last year). There was at least one evening when the menu selection did nothing for us, so we went to Chops. The food at Chops was outstanding as was the service. The waiter ensured that what we ordered was really what we wanted (like the wife ordering the small fillet vs the bigger one. We are paying the same price either way...and she was going to order fish originally).
We ate at the Windjammer often as the dining room is not open for lunch on port days. The food was always fresh and varied from day to day. Our normal routine had us in there around 4PM since we chose the later dinner seating and typically got back on the ship at about that time.
We did have a few minor complaints with the food, but nothing serious. Once the Windjammer closes you can no longer find lemonade or iced tea. Your choices at that point (after 9 PM I believe) are ice water or pay for something at the bar. Additionally, after dieting for months leading up to the trip we were looking forward to eggs Benedict in the dining room for breakfast, a guilty pleasure for both of us. The first morning the hollandaise sauce was very citrusy. We tried it again a few days later and had the same opinion. But like I said, not a deal breaker.
The itinerary for this cruise was incredible. In fact, we chose this cruise only 6 weeks before departure largely because of the itinerary. On 3 of the 5 port days, we were the only ship in port. The other 2 days we were 1 of 2. Nothing was ever crowded.
We can't wait for our next cruise!