Embarkation was smooth and easy. Our daughter dropped us off at 11:15 and we were enjoying lunch by noon on the aft deck. Then, it was up on deck to wave good-bye to Staten Island and pass under the Verrazano. We often watched the cruise ships from shore pass through the narrows and it was exciting to be on the other side.
The Summit is a beautiful, sophisticated lady who does have her flaws. I kept hearing about chipped paint and rust and yes there is some wear on outside rails or underneath pool ledges. The Summit is not pristine out-of-the-box brand new, but it is a large ship with an intimate feel. Though the cruise was filled, we never felt congested.
Our stateroom was clean, comfortable, and well-attended by cabin steward. It was freshened twice a day.
The food was delicious, fresh, and of course, plentiful. Sometimes it wasn't hot, though that's a personal preference not necessarily a problem. Sometimes it was too salty. I didn't try eating in the dining room for breakfast as my husband prefers the buffet, but I wish I did. Food service was slow and I grew tired of sitting each night. Perhaps, if I was with friends, I wouldn't have noticed. Our tablemates were pleasant and we enjoyed their company.
My favorite meal was the lobster risotto and though I was offered more I didn't have room. My favorite desert was apple pie ala mode in the main dining room and the fabulous Grand Marnier Souffle in Normandie. Also, I loved the French service in Normandie and the Sole Veronique prepared table side. I enjoyed the salads at the Agua Spa cafe which were fresh and not too heavy with just right portions. My favorite desert there was a low-fat yogurt panna cotta.
We relaxed in the Cova Cafe almost every night before dinner enjoying wine and tapas while listening to a variety of music.
We enjoyed the entertainment and were surprised at the crew show by a waiter with an incredible voice who wowed the crowd with an inspirational rendition of the "you'll never walk alone" and a bar tender turned magician.
We took advantage of many of the activities the ship had to offer, but skipped many in favor of relaxing by the pool. You don't have to drag a book with you; there are plenty of good reads in Words, the library which you can take and put back whenever you want.
In Portland we booked a food tour through Zerve. We loved it! They offer a walking tour which we did and a trolley tour. We booked Oli's Trolley in Bar Harbor. The 2 1/2 tour was too much driving and not enough time to enjoy the few stops. I would do the hour tour and then return on the free bus to walk the trail or the beach. Our St. John's tour to St. Martin was cancelled. It was so foggy in St. John that it was a favor. We took the public bus to Reversing Falls because the Harbor Passage Walk was closed for construction. We went back to the ship early. In Halifax, we went to the Maritime Museum right on the dock and took the FRED (Free Rides for Everyone Downtown) 40 minute loop which stops at Citadel, Public Garden and back to Immigrant museum next to dock.
The boat had mostly older people even older than us (mid 50's) some families with babies, children, and teens. The kids always seemed to be at the outdoor pool and the staff was always involved with them, dancing, games, etc. It made me nostalgic for the time when my children were young and enjoyed these activities. NOT! I'm kidding. I am looking forward to grandchildren soon on the horizon.
Overlooking minor problems and disappointments, we really loved our trip and the Summit and booked a trip to Bermuda, (same ship, same week) next year.