i arrived in new york the night before and stayed at the affinian manhattan across from pen station and madison square garden. it was fantastic and a wonderful hotel. i was on the 7th floor and never heard any heavy traffic noise. i slept like a log. a taxi took me to the pier ( $15 including tip ). i arrived at the pier at 11am and embarkation was a breeze. i was on the ship by 12 and in the cabin to dump my carry-ons off. paul my cabin steward was right there to say hello and let me know that if i needed anything to let him know. he was wonderful and always had a smile on his face and kept plenty of ice in my bucket for my soda and beer i had brought on. then i headed straight for the spa to see if i could be a demonstrator for the spa tour. they gave me a free sea-weed detox wrap and hour massage to just let passengers see how they do it. it was awesome and it was a $225 free session. wow, what a great start to the cruise. of course the lido was next stop for lunch. all of the food was great, hot and very well presented. i loved the pizza, hamburgers/hot dogs and ate enough ice cream to last me for a month. the deli was very good and all of the selections were delicious.
the ship is gorgeous. i was very impressed with the bright colors, art work and the theme of the ship. i have to admit i was lost most of the week because of the way the decks are broken up and there are dead-ends that i encountered alot . i was among many passengers who were lost most of the week.
i was seated at the upper pacific dining room for late seating. it was right above my cabin so it was very easy to get too on the promenade deck. the food was fantastic, well presented, hot and delicious. my waiter and waitress jerry and magalina were wonderful. the portions were much larger than the ones i had been giving on the spirit when i went to alaska. i was very full at the end of the meal. my table mates who were also single ladies were so nice and i loved eating with them each evening.
i cant say enough praise for the staff and crew. they where always smiling and ready to serve each and everyone of us. the ship was very clean. of course there were a few stains on the carpets in the halls to the cabins but that never bothered me a bit.
the weather was sunny, warm and we had no rain except at sea for the whole cruise. it couldn't have been better. and there were only a few hours that we encountered a slight rough sea. other than that it was very calm and relaxing. PORTS
BOSTON-- what a great port. i did the walking freedom tour on my own. and the markets were full of great things to buy. i took the shuttle from the pier to get downtown ( $15 ) round trip. i spent most of the day walking around, eating and shopping.
PORTLAND--i took the city tour and went to kenenbunkport. it was a great tour but there was very little time to shop and get back on the bus. i was very disappointed in this. the next time i will go there on my own and not with the ship.
SAINT JOHN NEW BRUNSWICK-- i took the time here to just investigate the town, shop and wander around. then i went back to the ship and relaxed with a book by the pool. it was nice to have a quiet day with less passengers on board. the last night of the cruise i put 50 cents in a quarter slot machine and won $100 dollars. wow, it paid for my shopping on the ship. HALIFAX-- i took the harbor hopper tour of the town and then went into the water . it was alot of fun and very informative and interesting. i then went on the whale watching tour with ' murphy's on the water ' . we did not see anything except 3 birds. how disappointing. it is not the tour company's fault but i thought we would at least see a head of a seal bobbing up out of the water. but nothing. but that is how it works out some times. so , no whale sightings on this cruise.
all and all it was a wonderful 7 days. malcomb was fabulous and i love him as a cruise director. he was great. always visible and friendly.
GOOD POINTS-- the service, food, entertainment, crew and beauty of the ship.
BAD POINTS -- the layout of the ship was confusing for me and many others, 3 ports in a row was very exhausting and the first formal dinner was in portland not a sea day to have more time to get ready if you had early seating.
the ship is beautiful, the ports were nice to visit and i would go back again.