This was my third cruise with Royal Caribbean (my 4th total) and the first time in New England & eastern Canada. My primary reason for choosing this cruise was to see fall colors and lighthouses.
As usual with Royal, the embarkment was super fast...took maybe 15 minutes. Disembarkment at each port was also surprisingly fast compared to other cruises I have taken. I don't know if if was my timing or what, but it only took about 5 minutes to get off the ship at each port. Plus, there were no long lines getting back on later in the day. Even the final disembarkment was fast...I was in the first group (after unassisted) to get off the ship and clear customs and the total time was 10 minutes until I had my bag and was outside the terminal!
I'm never a big fan of the Windjammer Cafe. I admit to being a food snob, coming from Seattle where we have fantastic restaurants. I would rate the food there on the scale of a Denny's. So, I only ate there when I absolutely had to (getting on ship for first time and the last morning).
I had My Time seating for the dining room in the evening, a first for me and I loved it! While I had made a reservation for each night (just in case I needed it), they were very accommodating and I only had to wait once (10 mins.) to get seated with our favorite waiters. The first evening, our waiters were horrible...they were very inattentive and not personable at all. The next night, we hit the jackpot when seated in Gabriel's and Yuriko's section! They were so friendly and attentive that we requested them every night after that. I have a dairy allergy and Gabriel was very good at accommodating me by asking the chef to tweak my food choice and bringing me special deserts. The maitre d was also very good (though I can't recall his name) - he could remember our stateroom number and our seating preference within two nights!
Which reminds me...two years ago, when my husband and I were on Majesty of the Seas, we found that food allergies were not accommodated very well. Since then (not sure if my suggestion influenced it or not), but their menus are now coded so you can see what menu items are available as dairy-free or gluten-free, making it easier to choose. They also have gluten-free breads for those with that allergy. Good job, Royal Caribbean!
Entertainment - The shows were good, but not quite as spectacular as the ones on Freedom of the Seas, in my opinion. What did make the entertainment outstanding was the cruise director, Ricky Matthews. He has to be the best one out of all the cruises I have taken. He's so good of engaging everyone and has endless energy. He, and his team, are such a good fit together. My favorite part was the 70s Disco Night (with the Activity Director dressed in a loin cloth and war bonnet for YMCA and looking so cute)! Other favorites are Desmond (new bingo host) and Mandy (who will be joining Freedom of the Seas).
Casino - very tiny smoke-free section and poor ventilation, so cigarette smoke was always present..sometimes creeping out into the Centrium.
One thing I'd like to see implemented is a no-scent policy in public places (theater, dining rooms, etc.). There are a lot of ladies (many smokers) that don't know how to use it sparingly, causing my eyes to constantly burn and making me sneeze.
Overall, I recommend this cruise - just keep in mind that since this is a fall cruise (when school is in), so the majority of the passengers are over 60 and move a lot slower.