We left our home in Northwest Connecticut about 7 a.m. en-route to Elizabeth, New Jersey to pick-up our friends at the Country Inn. Then onward to Port Liberty arriving there around 11:30 am dropping off our luggage at the terminal and then went to park our car. It was a short walk from parking lot to embarkation area. Check-in for Aqua class/suites/concierge -- the line was very short and we were checked in within 10 minutes. We boarded the bus for a 2 minute ride to the ship. Proceeded onto ship and received either a glass of champagne or mimosa. Proceeded to elevator and were escorted to Deck 10. Thanks to cruise critic we went to the Aqua spa for lunch where we had either grilled salmon, chicken or pork. Met a couple people from CC. Around 1:15 they announced our cabins were ready. We proceeded to the new cabins on 11 -- aft room #1138. It has a larger than normal deck. It is a short walk from our cabin to Deck 10 and the Sunset Bar. Unpacked our overnight bags and walked around the ship to acquaint ourselves as to where everything was. Our luggage arrived around 4 p.m. which gave us time to unpack and then proceed to the Blu Restaurant for dinner. We did not leave port on-time because of a late fuel delivery. The Captain was Captain Mantzavionos and the cruise director was Cassie.
By the 2nd day the bartenders, at the Sunset Bar Devon, Marlon and John knew our names and when they saw us coming had our drinks ready for us. By the 3rd day -- we didn't have to show our card as they knew us. They were great to talk to. The couple times we were in the buffet, If Marlon or John saw us they would come over and call us by name and ask what we would like.
We had the premium alcohol package. It is well worth it and not having to sign our names each time we got something to drink. I know I got my money's worth and pretty sure DW also did with a couple beers, water and club soda each day and wine pre dinner and at dinner.
Day 2 was a sea day. There were minimal activities on this first sea day. Dinner was formal. Dinner was very good in the Blu Restaurant. Had filet mignon tonight which made the following nights tough to follow.
The matre'd was Nicholus who did his best to give the 4 of us the same table and staff every morning and night. The wait staff Alex and Rambo and the helpers were very good. Our sommelier Eren, and Bar server -- Jelena both knew our preferences for our drinks after the first night. Jelena was there right away every evening asking if I wanted the same drink and she came back often asking if I was ready for another and the sommelier kept Penny's glass full. The whole staff in Blu was excellent and the food was supper.
Most mornings as soon as we sat down for breakfast our juice was on the table. For breakfast, in Blu, though not on the menu, you could get hash, eggs benedict or waffles. In the evening we asked about entrees and they said no, they would need to special order, but we could get shrimp cocktail, onion soup or Caesar salad every night.
In our room we did ask for shrimp cocktail every night instead of the tea sandwiches. They started off with 4 shrimp the first night and from then on they delivered 12 shrimp per night after we asked for a couple more.
Day 3 we arrived in Bar Harbor, ME where we had booked our own tour with Oli's Trolley. This was a tender port for us. We had no trouble getting to trolley on time. The tour included a 2-1/2 hour tour of Acadia National Park and Cadillac Mountain. Mike Shapiro was our tour guide and he was very knowledgeable. After the tour we ate at a local pub and had a fresh lobster roll and local beer.
Day 4 we were in Halifax and had a private tour with Van Tours of Nova Scotia. We had a 5 hour tour of the city & countryside. Garry Jollymore was our guide. We would highly recommend them to anyone wanting a private tour. We were not happy with lunch at the Java Factory at the pier.
Day 5 we were in Sydney, Nova Scotia, and this was also a tender port. We did the 2 Sides of Louisborg tour which was ok. But being late in the season many of the buildings at the Fortress were closed. We then proceeded to Louisburg for a delicious snow crab lunch at the Lobster Kettle where they explained the process of catching them. Then off for shopping.
Before dinner, they announced that the stop in Charlottetown, PEI was going to be cancelled because of high winds and seas. We had a private tour planned so we quickly called them to cancel before we set sail.
Day 6, a sea day because of the canceled stop in PEI.
Day 7 A day early in Quebec, where we explored Old Town Quebec on our own, did some shopping and returned to the ship. Formal night was cancelled tonight since we were in port.
Day 8, We had friends pick us up at the pier and we visited Montmorency Falls and took the tram, the local ski hill, Shrine of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre' (which was great to see), Albert Gillls Copper Art, and more sightseeing.
Day 9, more walking shopping around Old town, plus a walk around the Citadel, and thru the Chateau Frontenac hotel
Day 10 sea day
Day 11- Gaspe, this was another tender port. We took the tour 6.5 hour tour to Perce, It was also very foggy in the morning and you could not see any of the sights. By noon the fog cleared a little and it started to rain. The cod lunch at a local hotel was ok. On the way back to the boat we saw some of the sights we could not see in the morning. The guide Lorraine was very good.
Day 12 Sea day - tonight they served half of a Florida lobster or filet mignon along with other choices. Many people had surf and turf- the lobster and filet.
Day 13 Portland - the line to the gangway was very crowded because of everyone wanting to get off. It was a noon arrival. It took longer than usual to get to the gangway and once there the incline down to the dock was very steep. They blamed it on the tides, but they should of known the tide schedule ahead of time. They had extra help for those in wheelchairs and using canes. We walked the port on our own as we have been there many times; we did a little shopping and visited a couple brew pubs for a local sea food lunch and a local beer.
Day 14 Sea day - we did the Inside Access Tour which we would highly recommend. It includes a tour to the Bridge, Mooring Deck, Back Stage, Crew Mess, Crew non-smoking bar, Engine Control room, Crew internet/game room, store/prep rooms, Galley and a wine-paired lunch with one of the officers. Our officer was the hotel manager. We both enjoyed it very much. Unfortunately we missed the buffet this noon but the tour was worth it. After the tour we packed and got ready for our final dinner on board. The recommended dinner tonight was Maine lobster stuffed ravioli.
Day 15- back at Cape Liberty. Up early and at Blu at 6;30 am when they opened. Because of heavy fog we arrived at the port late. We were to be out of our cabins by 8am, and we were still not docked. Because we were in Aqua class we proceeded to Michaels pub where we waited. They started disembarkation at 9:15. We were in group 17 which got called at 10:30, we were in our car on our way home by 11am -- very fast and smooth.
We were happy overall with the cruise and service and will do Summit and Celebrity again. The ship was clean and staff very good and polite. Was surprised at the scrapping and painting of railings on deck 11, thought this would have been done earlier in year when in port. We did enjoy the new AFT Aqua cabin 1138, and will book there again. We did rock and roll a few nights but ok. Because of the weather the Sunset bar was not busy, so cannot comment on the noise there in the evenings. The entertainment was ok - good. Cassie should be an opera singer as she has a spectacular voice. We thought they could have done more activities on sea days. We did eat in Blu every morning and evening and enjoyed it very much. We got plenty to eat. For lunch we ate in the MDR twice which was good, Aqua Spa cafe which was also good and the buffet which was very crowded and hard to find a table- but a good variety of food and ok. One of the reasons it was hard to find a table is that people stayed at them to play cards, read a book, etc. instead of moving to another area of the ship.
We would like to see Blu open during lunch, and Michaels open earlier in the day.