Boarding in Bayone was difficult as the previous cruise had a bad Noro outbreak and they had to totally clean the ship before they could allow guests to their staterooms. We were finally allowed in our rooms around 6:00 and had the muster drill before dinner.
The buffet was wrapped in plastic for the first 7 days of the cruise which made serving lunch difficult as it was no longer self service. You were not able to get coffee, water, etc yourself, but had to wait in line to have a staff member serve you. There were no salt and pepper shakers on the tables until the last two days of the cruise, you had to request packets. The library was closed until the last two days of the cruise also. All that being said, we were very happy that they took the precautions that they did as it kept the ship Noro free and allowed everyone to have a happy healthy cruise,
We were in the penthouse, which in itself is fantastic, and ate with our friends who were in Aqua Class in Blu for dinner every evening. Luigi, the Matre De was exceptional and our waiter and Asst waiter, Reynaldo and Gana were just fantastic. We loved them and received fantastic service and exceptionally good food. Our butler, Jose and room attendants Michael and Ade were also wonderful and saw to all of our needs.
The shows were good, especially two comedians who were from Quebec and did a very original show. The audience loved it, we laughed so hard we actually saw it twice.
The weather for the cruise was very good considering the time of year. Portland was foggy and rainy, but after that stop the weather cleared and was beautiful. Bar Harbor is a quaint town and very walkable from the tender stop. Halifax and Charlottown were also very walkable ports. Sydney and Gaspe left a lot to be desired, and i would advise anyone stopping in Gaspe to prearrange a tour. Gaspe is very small, not a lot to see, but the tours, we were told were very good. we did not prearrange any, and none were available when we reached the town.
Quebec, as we knew was the highlight of the trip. Unfortunately we were not at the pier close to town, but were provided with a free shuttle. The colors of the trees in Quebec were at their peak, and for someone from the desert, were absolutely beautiful.
The staff had to work very hard due to the issues with the previous cruise, but they were always smiling, greeting us by name and went out of their way to do anything to keep the guests happy. The Staff Officers were always visible and the crew are what makes each cruise feel like coming home.
We would highly recommend this cruise to anyone looking for a New England/Canada fall color cruise.