I wanted to book a quick get away for our 20th wedding anniversary. It needed to be quick because we have kids (who usually come with us) that we were leaving behind. Sailing out of Boston on a 4 night cruise was the perfect choice since it is a fairly easy drive for us to the port. While we are far from seasoned cruisers, we have sailed on RCCL 4 times in the past, and once on Disney. This was our first Carnival cruise and we very much enjoyed it.
Getting to the port was easy, and we parked in a large lot for a flat fee of $50 for the trip, which was a better price than I had thought it would be. If you do this cruise, bring cash for parking. It was then a quick bus ride to the ship. We got to the parking lot at 2 pm, and we walked onto the ship about 25 minutes later. It was fast! I will say that the embarkation process/terminal was confusing. If I had never cruised before we would not have gotten on so quickly. When we got to the terminal we were not sure where to go. I saw a couple of lines, and honestly I still don't know why all the people were standing in those lines waiting. I asked a porter where we needed to go, he took our bags, pointed to the escalator and we were off. We never got into a line. Upstairs we walked through the maze of ropes, walked right up to the desk, handed her our papers which she glanced at and never even took from us and waived us on the ship. It was the quickest boarding process I have ever been through.
Once on board, we went to our cabin, an aft balcony. It was very nice. A little oddly configured because of it's location, it wasn't as wide as a normal cabin but it was fine for the two of us, and the balcony was wonderful. The beds and bedding were really comfortable, that was a huge plus for us!
We then went to explore a little, and we tried a Guys Burger. I am not a huge burger fan, but those burgers and fries were YUMMY!~ And filling. We made the mistake of having one each, way to much food. We had dinner reservations at the Steakhouse at 6:30 and while the food was excellent in the steakhouse, we were still feeling so stuffed from the burgers it wasn't as enjoyable. And we skipped dessert! A crime!
Day two was a sea day and we relaxed, went to the casino a bit, and took in a show that evening. There was a comedy show we went to, and a production called "Motown", (I think that was the name of it.) The comedian was so so, not a hit, not totally a miss. And I would say the same for the production.
Day three was Saint John, New Brunswick. Beautiful area. We walked around on our own in the morning, then we did a PUB Crawl. That was fun, we went to three different bars and tried their beer. There was a really great group of folks that went, and the tour guide was witty and charming, it was very enjoyable.
The last day, another sea day of course, we used the hot tubs and a hammock in the serenity area, that was nice. Then I went to the gym to try and roll back a few calories I had taken in over the last few days! We had gone to breakfast that morning in the MDR, I had eggs benedict which was excellent. We split a burger for lunch, went to the MDR for dinner, caught the last comedian and show, both of which were better than the first night.
All in all, this was a really nice cruise for us. The food was good, and excellent selections, and there was always something enjoyable to do. The only complaint I have that I have never noticed before on any cruises, granted I have limited experience, was smoking seemed to be allowed everywhere in the open areas. For a non smoker, that is not enjoyable. When we are in the casino, while it is bad in there, we expect it. When we were walking around the upper decks outside, there was a lot of smoking. We didn't like that, but it wasn't a big enough deal that we would let it impact our vacation. A few final observations: The ship was kept very clean, but to me, and this is my own opinion, it was very tacky in décor. The color scheme was like a circus everywhere you went. Bright mixes of colors. But I care not what it looks like as long it is clean and well kept, which it was. The crew were very nice and friendly, and the people we met at dinner and breakfast were wonderful. We very much enjoyed the company of our table mates over breakfast and dinners. We did self assist for debarktion, and that was also fast. We walked off the ship at 8 am and we were on the road by 8:20. Again, the easiest process I have ever done to get off a ship. In closing, this cruise was a hit for us!