Just back from this 14 dayer to NE and Canada and I'm trying to get back in work mode. Here's my impressions from the cruise:
Embarcation: Easy and unimpressive. We arrived around 12:30 and were on-board in 45 minutes or so. The biggest hassle was the security lines. They were long but they moved. At the last minute a security guard was going to confiscate one of the 1.5 L wine bottles we were trying to take on board but as soon as it became inconvenient, they let us pass with both. My major comment about Bayonne, most ships have a huge and impressive lobby so that when you first enter the ship, it knocks your socks off, or at least tries. At the Bayonne port you enter the ship on deck 2 which is NOT impressive. And, because of the horde, I missed out on my welcoming drink. We walked up to Deck 5 and had a nice lunch at the crepe bistro.
Ports: OK to good. We were playing our excursions by ear since we were unsure about the weather and our energy levels. I'll go into more detail in the port section but overall; loved Bar Harbor and Quebec, liked Portland and Halifax.
Ship: This was our 2nd time on the Summit, the 1st being a Bermuda in 2010. The Soliticization had its good points and bad. Good: loved the martinin and wine bars and Bistro on 5. In fact, I liked the wine bar better on the Millenium class because on the Silhouette it's more secluded. Hated the loss of 1/3 of Revelations on deck 11 and the awkward placement of Q-sine on 11.
Debarcation: Sucked. We had so many wheel chairs on board that it took a while to unload. We had to be out of our cabins by 8 and didn't get off the ship until 10:45. Customs was backed up even worse. I heard it was because they had a number of ships in NY that day and the customs people were short staffed, but don't they often have a quite a few ships in NY?
Overall: The passengers were the oldest group I've ever sailed with.
The ship seemed tired. There was at least one section of floor in the buffet in one of those cantilevered sections that felt like it could give way.
The crew were friendly enough with the passengers but I sensed an underlying tone of discontent between some crew members.
Entertainment was typical. The costume designer for the production shows could weather a reduced budget because some of the costumes were over the top a bit. I loved most of the live music onboard although I'm starting to get over acapelled.
Food was good to OK. A few good meals, one was the 1/2 lobster we picked up in Portland but I was very alone in this opinion.
Would I take this cruise again? I don't think I would although I might recommend it to my parents if they were still alive.
After getting off the tender we walked into town and rented a pair of bikes easy-peasy. Rode over to the town square (three blocks) and caught the FREE shuttle to Acadia. Rode the carriage trails for a couple hours and took the shuttle back to town. Had a great lunch at Side Street Cafe near bike rental. I had the lobster roll (best lobster all trip). Only complaints I have is the weather was overcast and there were some climbing involved in the bike ride. We weren't the only riders who walked up some of those hills.
It was drizzling the morning we pulled in. We waited until the PM to catch a cab ride to the citadel and walked back to the ship circuitously. We stumbled on the Halifax boardwalk on the way back and even though it was overly commercialized, it was a nice walk.
We just walked around town. Should have booked an excursion. Nice enough town, but it was a Monday and it was Portland. Small street vendors, left of the terminal. Nice park with a little train to the right of the terminal.
We took an excursion the 1st day which sucked. They drove us around town and pointed out the sights. First stop was a lookout in Battlefield Park for 20 minutes. Overcast and not a great view with inadequate bathroom facilities. Next stop was the Frontenac which was 20 minutes of rushing around to see what you could since most of the hotel was off limits to non-guests. I did get to sneak into a bathroom at the Frontenac and it was a GREAT bathroom. Last and final stop was Montmorency Falls which again was 20 or 30 minutes. Barely enough time to walk across to the other side of the falls and back. We tried to make it to the giant staircase on the far side of the falls and barely made it back in time.