We have cruised on a number of lines, and my parents took many cruises on HAL prior to it being taken over by Carnival. While first time cruisers would be very happy with it, we were somewhat disappointed. The little touches are not there anymore. Service is inconsistent; food is not up to the standard we expect of a luxury line; things that were previously complimentary (e.g. soft drinks) are now charged to your account.
Something as simple as a hot dog from the grill on the pool deck - the buns were stale, there was no relish available. The cook appeared to have no familiarity with an American hot dog, being Indonesian as many HAL crew are, not his fault - but this indicated a lack of training on the part of the food service department.
The breakfast buffet was very disorganized - poor traffic flow. On other lines, there are stewards available to help you, but it was very difficult to get the attention of staff if something was needed. Probably a symptom of More
personnel reduction. Also, not enough seating for the volume of people at peak times.
In summary, it is obvious that Carnival has taken over what used to be one of the world's top luxury lines. Unfortunately that is no longer true. Less
Boston is a great historic port, and many of its features are close to the harbor. Union Oyster House is a great place to have lunch or dinner for people who have never been to the city before. The Duck Tour is also a fun diversion.
The harbor cruise doubles back on itself, so you're really paying for a duplication of the first part of the cruise. In addition, there are few really interesting sights on the water. You see more and get your money's worth from a good horse drawn carriage tour of the Old Town
We spent several days in Old Montreal at the end of our cruise. Must sees include the Notre Dame Cathedral, the arts and crafts market and the home of the first French governor. Take a carriage ride with a narration to get oriented to the city. The harbor cruise "Bateau Mouche" is not worth the money - you see more with a city tour of the Old Town.