I'm from the West Coast had never been to this area of the country before. I went with my Mom and some friends for her birthday. Overall, it was an enjoyable cruise. The ship was in good condition, clean and in good working order. The only exception was the balcony in our cabin where there was paint splattered over the deck chairs (which I'll also add are narrow, uncomfortable and flimsy feeling) and decking. A mini-suite is what we usually book on Princess and the room was nice, plenty of room for two people. We had one of the AE rooms at the back which was nice and quiet and the accessible shower without a tub was nice to have as I'm 6' 5" tall and I can't stand up in the regular mini-suite tub/shower combo. The balcony is not all that much of a benefit on this itinerary, however, since it is rather cool in temperature, but the extra room inside the cabin is nice to have. The food was very good, much better than our cruise on the Crown Princess back in April. This was may have been because the Princess head chef, Alfredo Marzi was on board for part of this cruise doing inspections. We also got to do the Chef's table which we have been trying to do for some time now, and it was neat that it was with Chef Marzi. I didn't go to any of the shows or to the casino, so I can't comment on that. 5 ports in 7 days is a lot and we did an excursion in every port (booked through Princess), so maybe that was a bit much.
Halifax, Nova Scotia was a nice little city and we had a good tour guide there and great weather. The leaves were only just starting to turn there which surprised me given that it was mid-October. The maritime museum with the Titanic exhibit is interesting to see and the Citadel is as well if you like military history. We had lunch with a tasty lobster roll by the water too. Peggy's cove was just a lighthouse on the rocks with 1,000 of your closest tourist friends, so I wouldn't recommend that especially. There is also a marker out near there where Swiss flight 111 crashed. Taking that into account along with the Titanic cemetery and the Halifax explosion, and this seems to be a disaster prone place. We had a pleasant day there, however, so maybe that's all a thing of the past now. :)
Saint John, New Brunswick was rather unimpressive. I think this port was only added fairly recently to most Canada/New England cruises and if you wanted an extra day on the ship, this would be a good choice to skip. It was pouring rain so that may be coloring my review a bit, but it was quite a boring day. We did a long tour that was supposed to cover 10 highlights. The reversing rapids sound much more interesting than they actually are and when we were at the Bay of Fundy it was high-tide so we couldn't see anything. There were about 3 tiny souvenir shops out there with generic and very limited things to buy. There is also a ridiculously over priced restaurant. We also saw the city market which is tiny and nothing special compared to saw Pike Place market in Seattle. Then we went to a museum inside of a mall. Overall, I'm sorry, but I don't see any real tourist appeal to this area.
Bar Harbor, Maine was next and this was my favorite port. You do have to tender in, but it's not a long ride. The foliage was beautiful, the town is charming and very walkable and Acadia National Park/Cadillac Mountain are a sight to see. There are lots of little shops in the town (some better than others) and I ended up spending too much money at the scrimshaw store. They have some really nice things there. I wish we would have had more time to explore the area. I hope to come back some day and stay longer. The lobster lunch we had was good too and it had a nice water view. This place is exactly what you think of when you picture New England in the autumn. Just beautiful.
Boston is a big city, crowded and there's lots of choices for tours. We took the Lexington/Concord tour which was interesting and historic and we had great weather. We also got to visit the Old North Church where the two if by sea lanterns were hung. The tour also stopped at Harvard (why I don't know) where a professor actually scolded the tour group for daring to obstruct his walk through Harvard Yard. The fact that there were several other paths nearby that he could have easily used to walk around us nearby didn't matter. He actually told us to "show some respect." LOL! It was pretty funny, but now I remember why I never wanted to go to a school like that. How snobby can you get? That was sort of the overall vibe I got from Boston too. It was worth seeing once, but I wouldn't go out of my way to go back.
Newport, Rhode Island was our last stop. We went to see the Marble House and Breakers "cottages" which were kind of interesting from a historical perspective. You could tell these families had so much money they had to invent things to spend it on. We skipped seeing the town afterwards as we were getting tired after our fifth consecutive day of playing tourist. This is also a tender port.
Lastly, I have to say that I really enjoyed New York, which was a pleasant surprise. Almost everyone we me there was very friendly and helpful, much more so than in Boston. It is expensive, but I think it's worth it to spend a bit extra there to receive quality services. I used hotel points to book rooms though as it's like $400 per night for a room near Times Square. We saw the statue of liberty and a show on Broadway, which was fun. The construction on the new world trade center buildings is also coming along and it was interesting to see the site. I'm sad that I never saw the twin towers before they fell.