We sailed on the Princess Caribbean October 5-12, 2013 out of Brooklyn, NY. This was the Canada and New England Itinerary. We were anxious to see the fall foilage and were not diappointed.
After much research, we decided to stay at the Hampton Inn JFK near the JFK airport the night before the cruise. Since our flight arrived late from Seattle, we took the shuttle directly to the hotel. The shuttle was waiting for us when we walked out the door. The Hampton Inn was just "okay", a bit outdated with an "okay" breakfast. Thank goodness we only needed to stay one night. We used Carmel Car Service for transportaion to Red Hook to the cruise port. The service was prompt.
This was our first cruise on Princess. Embarkation was swift, as we arrived at 11:15, and only had to wait about thirty minutes before boarding the ship. We were able to go directly to our room which was spotless and well appointed. We had lunch in the MDR rather than the Horizon Court. Most people ate lunch in the Horizon Court, but it was nice to have a "sit down" lunch rather than eating in the "cafeteria".
The sail away from the harbor was lovely with picture perfect weather and stunning views of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. The only day we had rainy weather was day two when we anchored at Newport, Rhode Island. It rained all day. Since this was a tender port, the line to the tender after our day in Newport was very long. We stood in line 45 minutes during a downpour with no umbrella. In the future, it would be nice if Princess would provide umbrellas for times such as this.
We enjoyed the "Old Town Trolley Hop on Hop off Bus" in Boston, and made a quick trip to Mike's Pastries on Hanover Street on the North End. I highly recommend the cannoli. They are huge and come in a variety of flavors. Unfortunately Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor was closed due to the government shut down so our excursion was cancelled. We found two other couples to share a van; however, and toured the outskirts of the park and saw some fabulous scenery. In New Brunswick, we took the Bay of Fundy reversing falls excursion, but the water was low, so we did not really see much. Our favorite excursion was in Halifax when we went to Peggy's Cove. I am an Anne of Green Gables fan, and tried to imagine her in this area.
Each morning, we had coffee delivered to our room as "an alarm clock", went to the work out room, and then had breakfast at the Horizon Court. We chose anytime dining in the evening, and that worked well for us, although most of the time we ate around 6:00. We were always seated quickly as we were happy to join larger groups, and met many wonderful people. We enjoy dressing up for dinner. The food was okay, but not great. My husband and I enjoyed the International Cafe most of all.
Our flight did not leave for Seattle until 6:30 PM the last day, so we did the NYC disembarkation excursion. You can only sign up for this while on the boat, but I highly recommend it. Although we had been to New York City before, it was a great way to spend the day knowing our luggage was safely stored on the bus, and we had reliable transportation back to JFK airport.
The best part about this ship was the service. I am quite certain our room steward was the best. We ordered fresh flowers for our balcony room, and loved walking into our room each day with the scent of fresh flowers and the view of the water.