The specialty restaurants were exceptional (food and service) but even the main dining room and buffet meals were a significant step above other lines I have cruised, including the ultra-luxury and pricier Sea Dreams. This former Renaissance ship has been nicely modified, with a delightful well-stocked and spacious library. I have never seen such a high level of service at all levels of the staff.
But the best part of the cruise was the ports visited, and the amount of time one gets to spend exploring on the ship's well-conceived shore excursions. The ship integrates the ports of call into the guests' time on board in many ways, allowing ones to enrich ones understanding of the ports.
Even for passengers willing to pay for quality, this cruise was a surprising bargain, and the oohs and ahhs of exclamation from my fellow cruisers let me know I was not alone in being blown away by this gem of the Royal Caribbean fleet.