Our sailing was 9/14/2007, and made me a platinum Crown & Anchor member.
We flew into Newark airport the night before and took the Country Inn & Suites, (Elizabeth) free shuttle to the hotel. The room was clean and the staff friendly. They booked a taxi to the ship for us the next morning. The ride was @20 minutes. We arrived at the terminal @11 am. The processing was quick and organized, waiting only briefly until the bus came to take us to the ship. The ship is beautiful, well maintained and gigantic. We entered on deck 2 and you don't get that WOW factor like you do when you enter on the Promenade deck of the Rhapsody or Splendour, although once onboard the artwork and architectural design of the ship is impressive. We immediately went to the Windjammer Cafe for lunch. The variety of food was expansive, tasty and well presented. Hand sanitizer was available at the entry to the cafe and staff encouraged everyone to use it.
We were in our cabin by 1pm, which was a surprise because our documents said check-in was at 2pm. Our stateroom was large enough for the two of us with lots of storage and closet space. It was a connecting cabin, but did not hear the neighbors at all. The balcony had two chairs and a small table with ample room for relaxation and reading in the warmth of the sun (except for the first morning). The bathroom was larger than expected - a round shower with adjustable head was perfect.
We took advantage of the Spa Services - hot stone massage, facials, pedicure, manicure - and were never pressured to buy something. All of the services were wonderful and the massage on the first day at sea was just what I needed.
The ice show is NOT to be missed. The other entertainment was great, too. Very professional.
The dining room staff was very attentive and friendly, anticipating our needs after the first seating. The food in the dining room was good and the menu varied. I always found something to eat. Johnny Rockets has delicious hamburgers and the onion rings are the best. The Cafe Promenade is always open and the coffee is good, but the coconut ranger cookies were my downfall.
Our room steward was friendly, efficient, and unobtrusive, but if we needed something he was always nearby - which I like. The towel animals were cute and finished our days off with a smile.
New London - we took the 'Aquarium and Mystic Village' shopping tour. The coach was well maintained and the BEST lobster rolls are at the 2 Crabs restaurant in the village.
Halifax - we did the 'Hop-on-hop-off Trolley'. The guide was very informative and the Titanic exhibit interesting.
St. John - we enjoyed the 'Historical Walking Tour'. Our guide was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about her city. We saw several beautiful churches.
Bar Harbor - beautiful, very picturesque, but extremely crowded with two ships in port and the other tourists in town.
Portland - lots of shopping and you can take the ferry to the Casco Bay islands. Good place to send lobsters home.
Boston - great city and the 'Trolley Tour' is fantastic.
The disembarkation process was smooth and I made the 11:45 am flight out of Newark with time to spare.
We thought this was a fantastic trip and would recommend it to anyone, young or old. There is something to do in every port, whether shopping, touring or walking. The ship is clean and well maintained with a friendly staff and good food. We always felt pampered and special. If I could get someone to bring me tea and cookies before an afternoon nap, now that I'm home, life would be perfect.