Embarkation: Perfect! We arrived at Black Falcon Terminal at 11:05am and eating lunch at the Windjammer by 11:45. Very well organized, kudos to RCI and the Black Falcon employees!
Room: We had a balcony on the 8th floor, room 8110. Very clean, and comfortable. The balcony was just the right size too. The bathroom, very tight, but clean. Our stateroom attendant was always available and accommodating.
Food: 1st sitting: We were very happy with the new menu in both the main dining room and Windjammer cafe'. Lots of variety and never disappointed. The service in the main dining room was excellent too. Thank you all for making our dining experience so pleasant.
Windjammer Cafe': We ate breakfast and lunch most of the time here. A nice variety and lots of friendly service as well. We also dined a few times in the Seaview Cafe' (above the Windjammer) Good fish and chips, Rueben sandwiches, and a nice view. The only complaint I have and this is with most cruise lines is the coffee. I've never had a good cup and always bring my own. (I bring my own melitta cone and filters) We shouldn't have to go to the "specialty" coffee station to get a decent cup IMHO.
Entertainment: Very good! I loved the entertainment director (and I'm sorry I forgot his name) but he was very funny and entertaining. We enjoyed the Temptations impersonators! What awesome voices and a great show! We also enjoyed the other singer and impersonator Bobby??? (He sang the Happy Day's theme song) He's still has a great voice and enjoyed his show!
Shore excursions: We did not use RCI's excursions and planned our own.
Portland Maine: We are from NH so we just walked around town and did some shopping. They have lots of good shops and restaurants here.
Bar Harbor: Our favorite stop. There's so many places to see and the whole area is so picturesque. We took the Ollie Trolley to the top of Cadillac mountain for $15 pp. It's an hour tour and well worth it if you just want to go to the top. As you drive by the beautiful estates, the driver gives you a history of the town and people who lived there. After the tour we walked around town, did some shopping and walked back to the ship. (downtown is only a 15 minute walk from the tender)
Saint John, New Brunswick: We took a taxi to the Bay of Fundy to watch the reversing tides. It was not a pretty area, but there was so much talk about it, we just had to see! ( the cab fare was $25.00, ..a few people we knew walked to it, and suggested they wouldn't recommend walking. There's a nice shopping mall near the ship with reasonable prices.
Halifax, Nova Scotia: We went to Peggy's Cove. (we took a cab: $135 for 3 hrs,(split 4 ways) it took 50 minutes to get there, we stayed for about 1/2 hour, and stopped a few places on the way back for photos) If you can get 6 people and hop in a van, they will take you anywhere...the price will vary depending on how many places, or how long you need the cab)
The only thing I would change with this itinerary is our 1st sea day wasn't till Thursday. We had 4 busy days before that. I like to have the 2nd day as a sea day to unwind and enjoy the ship.
Disembarkation: Perfect! We left our staterooms at 9:30am, picked up our luggage in the designated area and were out of the terminal by 9:45am. Fasted and most organized disembarkation ever!
This was a nice vacation, the Jewel remains as beautiful as ever, with a dedicated crew and friendly staff.
Thank you RCI and all the wonderful staff aboard the Jewel.