We chose this cruise primarily for the itinerary, which included port stops at Boston, Bar Harbor, Halifax, L'Anse aux Meadows (Newfoundland), Heimaey in the Westermann Islands, and an overnight in Reykjavik. The precruise transportation and hospitality which included a night at the New York Hilton and Towers was very good. After we boarded we found that the number of passengers was well below capacity (about 265 pax on a 490 pax ship).
I will be posting a much longer review on the RSSC board later, so will just list the highlights and lowlights here.
Our standard verandah cabin on deck 6 midship (631) was exceptionally large and comfortable. The walk-in closet and large bathroom with separate shower and tub make these "standard" cabins really outstanding.Our cabin stewardess did and excellent job keeping everything in the cabin clean and neat.
Room service was outstanding -- the food was very good and it was delivered in an unbelievably short time.
The ports were interesting for the most part, although the recreated Viking village at L'Anse aux Meadows was a bit underwhelming. We missed Heimaey because of mechanical problems that prevented the ship from sailing at normal cruising speed for the last two days of the cruise.
Iceland was spectacular even though the weather was quite cool and cloudy.
The ship's staff, for the most part, were friendly and helpful.
The quality of the food in the dining room and alternative restaurant generally was very good to excellent in quality, although often too rich for our taste (too much butter and cream).
The ship's public rooms are small and dreary. Most of the art on the walls was supplied by the Park West art auctioneers -- really, really tacky.
The entertainment was strictly amateur hour, nowhere near the quality of Crystal or for that matter HAL.
Open seating dining turned out to be not so great. When we sat at a large table the speed of service was determined by the slowest eater. And since we never were at the same table the wait staff never really learned our preferences. Even when we arrived at the dining room at 6:45 p.m., we were not finished with dinner until close to 9 p.m.
The swimming pool area is small, and there is no protection from the elements (no retractable cover) so the pool grill was closed for most of the trip owing to the cool weather.
The Internet service has to be the worst I ever experienced. It was slow beyond belief, and the Radisson firewall is the most restrictive I've ever encountered.
The vibration in the aft areas of the ship was very intense and objectionable at times.