1. Our embarkation was smooth. We left Montreal on July 4th and were greeted with a festive atmosphere in the Lido deck. There were hand sanitizers throughout the ship! The weather was great during this cruise. The Captain who was under the weather for a couple of days said we brought sunshine in our suitcases!
2. There were 11 people in our travel party; 5 adults and 6 children ages 12-18. We stayed on deck A since that had rooms which would accompany 4 people per room. As you exited the elevator to go to our rooms, there was a smell of cigarette smoke daily that came from the stairs leading down to the the lower decks. We notified the staff.
3. There did not seem to be as many hounding photographers on this cruise as in our previous cruise which was nice!
4. They offer an "open seating" for dinner but if you want to make sure you get a table, I would recommend signing up for a table More
when you board the ship. We had the 5:30 seating and people were turned away (all dressed up); eventually dining in the Lido Restaurant. The dining room seemed to abide by the dress code. Our servers, Abu and Sultan, were wonderful! They made sure the children had something to eat.
5. There must have been a refrigeration problem aboard the ship. The first couple of mornings, chocolate milk in cartons was served in the Lido Restaurant. Then it disappeared. The kitchen tried to make their own version with milk and probably hot chocolate mix but it didn't work. Nasty! In addition, we asked for cream for our coffee with dessert for dinner one night and were told they were out of cream. We used the whipped cream that came with our dessert for our coffee instead. Cream was served with our coffee that last night for dinner. But when my 18yr-old. niece poured it into her coffee, the cream's consistency was that of cottage cheese. Yuck! No kidding. Our servers were most apologetic!
6. Stateroom: I was happy to have a small bathtub in our room but was "sickened" by the mold in the grout and caulking. I contacted housekeeping, and they recaulked it the next day. In doesn't stop here. The handle bar fell off inside the shower. I contacted housekeeping, but it was never reattached. I took pictures of this. Our room attendant had asked if the bar had been reattached the night before we left, and we told him no. He was very apologetic. We had to ask housekeeping for more shampoo because our room was not restocked. There were holes in some of the bedding; specifically the pillow cases. The night stands were dusty.
7. In regards to the staff, I felt the ship was probably understaffed in the Lido and stateroom attendants. I unofficially heard that 1 room attendant was caring for 28 rooms.
8. We enjoyed playing cards, reading, and listening to music in the Explorations Cafe. However, the last night we went to play a boardgame after dinner; no later than 8pm. The games were locked up. My 12 yr-old son and his Aunt asked to play a game of Sorry but were told they would not unlock the cabinet.
The ship anchors and you "tender" to Bar Harbor. The only disruption this day was going through customs now that we're back in the USA before we could leave the ship. We got a map from the BH visitor's center and caught a free bus ride that would take us to the visitor's center at the Acadia National Park. We then took a free park bus that made several stops in the park and came back to pick up every 30-40 minutes. We stopped at Sand Beach. The weather was gorgeous! We rolled up our jeans and put our feet in the sand. The kids had a great time! We definitely would like to go back.
Don't miss the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Especially Halifax's connection with the Titanic. Take a free bus ride up the hill to the Citadel; another Cananda Historic site. Tour guides are dressed as the Royal Artillery; about 45 minutes. There's a "Noon Gun" each day which we missed; a local tradition.
Beautiful city! We walked uphill to the Artillery Park Heritage Site. This is one of Quebec's National Park and Historic Sites. We paid $10 for our family to visit which included reenactments/period costumes on sight. We ate fresh baked bread from an outside brick oven. Tours were given in both English and French. What a nice surprise! We would definitely like to go back.