I think cruising is a great value and a relaxing way to travel. We were looking for a port that we did not have to fly, so Boston was a great opportunity. Go early and visit Salem and spend a day walking downtown Boston.
Embarkation went smooth. If you wish to go swimming make sure you have your swimming gear on your carry on. Go have a lite lunch and arrive at your stateroom to unpack as your luggage will have arrived.
Dining: I recommend going to the dining room for dinner every night. The service is always great and I just like the atmosphere much more than the buffet. If you are not aware, you may get more than one appetizer and multiple entrees. Don't be afraid to try something new, if you don't like it they are happy to get you something else. I also recommend the sit down breakfast in the morning. Take one day to do tea and h'orderves. Don't miss out on the chocolate buffet day. I do wish they would just add pop or soda into the price of your trip instead of the soda card.
Port of call: St. John, I did not plan ahead. The taxi was 10 dollars to and from reversing falls. I do wish we went someplace else, because I did not think this was a great stop. It is neat to understand the change in flow, but not that beautiful. We also, took a boat ride up reversing falls. Good tour but nothing great. Look for other reviews and try them.
Halifax: Top ten best tour. After not being prepared the day before we did the full day tour. It was nice and relaxing and saw all major attraction in a comfortable motor coach bus. Some sites included: Citadel Hill, Public gardens, titanic cemetery, Peggy's Cove, and shopping at the waterfront. Peggy's Cove was our favorite. On our first cruise I set up all excursions from private companies and I was less expensive.
I think Carnival does a great job for its value. Other cruise lines charge double for the same port off call. I know I have nothing to compare since I have only traveled Carnival, but I figure I am pleased and feel they meet all of my needs. If you do not like cool evenings and want to spend more time on deck at night this will not be your cruise. It was cold and we did not pack for cool evenings.
Entertainment is fine. Singing, dancing, magic, and comedy.
I would check out the deals in the shops before you buy. Bought a watch and late found it cheaper on amazon.
You are able to bring one bottle of wine per person on your carry on which I would recommend you do.