My gf and I took the Brilliance of the Seas out of Boston on Oct 13th 2013; we are from Long Island and had a very easy 4 hour drive up tp Boston the night before, we stayed at the Clarion Hotel in Wakefield Mass, which wasn't too bad; it's going through some refurb, but it worked for the night, it was less than 30 mins from the terminal.
Parked a block away from the terminal, very easy, although the long term parking is on deck 5 of this garage and a bit of a hassle when you return with your luggage, but not bad.
Check in was a breeze, porters were great, we arrived around 11am or so, and just as we were ready to take our seat, boarding began. We usually cruise from the NY area, so there seemed to us a quiet flow to the day; probably because the average age on this cruise was probably 75; but there didn't seem to be too much energy on embarkation day, but everything was fine.
I won't go too much into the ports because the BOTS only has one more itinerary to Canade/NE, then it's off to the south, but we actually enjoyed this cruise much more than we expected. Portland was nice, and we took the 105 minute trolley tour, we had JJ as out guide and he was great; you really got the sense he loved his town; Bar Harbor was our favorite, and we spent all day there waiting till the last tender to head back to the ship; St John NB was ok, nothing jumped out to us here, and Halifax was very nice and historic, we just don't get much out of the history thing, but it was nice, we took the horse drawn trolley and this was enjoyable, although our guide there could kind of collect his thoughts.. he was kind of all over the place.
The ship was beautiful and in great shape; we had a wonderful balcony and enjoyed some privacy there, although it was just a touch cool, as the weather was perfect, but the breeze would cool things off just enough to need a jacket and toss the bikini's (bummer).
The meals for us were so-so; not bad, but no real wow factor, we had My time dining, and one of the waiters we had two nights in a row would wait till all of his tables (4 I think) got seated, then serve everyone simultaneously as if it were regular dining; this caused us to have to wait quite a long time to be served as we were at a table for 2. Kind of defeated the purpose of my time dining; we ate frequently at the Windjammer too which we liked, although there could be more seating, but this has fallen on deaf ears. I think the constant complaint you always here are the pools are too small, not enough seating by the pool, and not enough seating at the buffet; well over the years I have seen nothing done about this, so I guess this is the way it is. But it was ok, we managed.
All the staff were extremely nice, every single one of them. Nee Nee the bar server in the theater is just an Angel. Met so many wonderful fellow passengers, it was a joy.
Entertainment we felt was ok, the centrum bungee acts was actually a little disappointing to us. It is impressive that they can do this on a ship, but the actual act, we felt like they are still rehearsing the act.
The song and dance team were forgettable, but the BOTS orchestra were the best we have ever heard, and their drummer Holbrook, you can just tell loves his job. He was awesome on the drums.
All in all a nice time and a nice cruise and itinerary; we will just look forward to heading south and getting our tan on next time.