Embarkation was a breeze with wonderful people helping my friend in the wheel chair. I am guessing it took 45 minutes to an hour to get from the taxi to on board. Almost as good as our Disney experiances and way better than Princess.
We went straight to Windjammer for lunch. The six of us had a time finding a table mainly because people were using the tables and chairs for a lounge area while waiting for their rooms to be made ready. There needs to be some rule where if you are not partaking of a meal you do not sit at a table.
Staterooms - They were exactly as I expexted. We had Staterooms 7614, 7616, and 7618. All were balcony rooms. 7614 was a handicap accessable room and was unbelievable. My friend said he wished he had that nice of a bathroom at home. Royal Carribian deserves a big well done for having such nice facilites for those with disablilities and not charging extra for them. Some notes here on the rooms, There are only two recepticles in the room, both located at the vanity. I thought to bring an extension cord with multiple outlets and am glad I did. We had phones, camera batteries, and a computer to charge each evening. Also, there is storage on each side of the vanity mirror that we did not notice until the last day. Wish we had known sooner.
Food - We had late seating for dinner. We were a party of six and really thought we would have our own table. We were put with 2 other couples who were from Scottland at a very large table. When you put that much space between older people you are going to get a lot of "Huh, what did you say?"
I did enjoyed the other two couples company but feel it would have been better with a smaller table. All of the food was great. We were the first to get the new menus. I can not compare this menu to any other since I have never sailed with RC Int before. I can tell you that the crab cakes were fabulous and all other items we had were top notch.
Our servers, Head Waiter on down, were great. They looked out after our every need. I found the buffet to be quite good as well. Breakfast was always good with a wide variety of different foods available. I was surprised to find oatmeal, grits and cream of wheat every morning. To me the oatmeal was overcooked to almost a slime but as long as I have my grits I am OK. We only had one lunch there and no dinners. Snacks each afternoon were above average and sometimes as good as a meal in themselves. Soft serve ice cream was available every time I wanted it. Vanilla and Strawberry on one side and Vanilla and Chocolate on the other side. On Sea Days the Tides dinning area was open. I found the food and service here less than spectacular. They have a salad bar that was wonderful but the entrees were like hotel food. The coffee was very good when you could get it hot. They brew Seattle's Best and it is probably some of the best coffee I have had on board any ship. By late evening the coffee at the beverage station was getting cool. I had the Coke plan and I found it worthwhile since I am not an alcohol drinker. JMHO.
Ports Of Call -
In Portland we rented a van from Enterprise on Marginal Way right in town. Heather and Eric took good care of us. We were picked up at the terminal and then returned there after we turned the van in. We drove van down to Kennebunkport so we could see Walker's Point, home to the Bush family. That area is beautiful. Some of the leaves were turning and the air had a slight nip to it. We had lunch, my firt ever lobster roll, at Allison's in the downtown area. We all thought Allison's was over rated and could not survive except in a tourist town.
In Bar Harbor we tendered into town. A note here for anyone wondering about handicap accessablity of the tenders. If you are in a wheel chair they have a lift that carries the chair and occupent down eight steps. Our friend was able to step from the ship dock to the tender with little trouble. RC staff were very attentive and helpful. Same thing we got to the dock. They even had someone push him up the ramp. We were picked up by Woody with Bar Harbor Coastal Cab. He did a great job showing us the sights and driving us around Acadia National Park. Call Woody if you are heading that way. We had a lobster lunch and then headed back to the ship.
In St John we contracted with Roy's Taxi Service to give us a tour of the Fundy Trail and other surrounding sites. Roy was already booked so the arranged for Dave to show us around. We rated this tour as Just OK. Dave was a great guy but had too quiet a voice to be heard in the back seat. Lunch at the caves was terrible. Everything was frozen and had no taste. None of us have a desire to go back to St. John.
Halifax - We rented another van here and drove out to Peggy's Cove. It was an easy walk from the ship to the car rental place. All we can say is WOW! The people we met on bus tours were unhappy because of the short time they had to see things. We took our time, made hundreds of photos, ate chowda at the Sou westerner and then just took a leisurely drive back to the ship stopping at the cemetery to see the Titanic graves. We all want to go back to Halifax.
Disembarkation was easy and almost timely. They had coffee and pastries available in the theater where you waited. Again we ran into people at breakfast that decided to hog the tables and use the Windjammer as a lounge and waiting area.
Entertainment was hit and miss. A tribute to the Temptations was great, Tribute to Broadway was terrible, Bobby Arvon, singer of Happy Days, did a great show as well. We did not go see the juggler or the Brazilian dancers.
Complaints - Lousy elevator service. With six people and a wheel chair it took forever to go up 4 decks. Terrible computers. They were slow. Take your own. There is no internet service for Droid phones or pads. Some newer Ipads were not connectible as well. Very little sports coverage. Sports Bar had about 20 TVs all on the same fishing show and it was smoky. Everyone wanted to know the college football scores and they were not to be had. Not all sports lovers are smokers. Even the non smoking section of the casino was smoky.
After the cruise we spent two nights in Boston and did all of the history sight seeing including the Duck Boat Tour. Wonderful Experience.
Will I book again with Royal Caribbean and Jewell Of The Seas? Durn Right. If there is anything I can answer for those making a similar journey please ask.