Parking and check in at the Baltimore port was very easy and without any problems. Parking is $15 per day and I would recommend paying in cash just for credit card security reasons. The cruise check in was very easy as the on line registration worked like a charm. After check in at 11:30 we were directed to the Windjammer Cafe for a buffet lunch.
The cafe was overly crowded which we discovered was an omen for the rest of the cruise. Be prepared for a rather rude crowd with those that have had any manners leaving them at home.
Our luggage was quickly delivered to the elevator area on our deck and our room was ready by 1:00. Our cabin attendant quickly introduced himself to us and he was fabulous for the entire cruise. Our room was bit dated but spotless and had enough storage space that made the cabin more than comfortable. The TV had a few cable stations to include some news channels which was fine.
Meals in the Dining Room were fine with a noticeable decline in the gourmet presentation and selections that we experienced on a Bermuda RC cruise just last year. We were seated at a table for ten which was nice as we were all from the same area in Virginia. Just out of curiosity we checked on the Dining My Time option which was completely filled up. If you are looking for a small table you should consider choosing the My Time option when booking the cruise.The service staff in the dining room were fantastic as were the desserts. The main courses and starters not so much. The food in the Windjammer Cafe was limited and kind of reminded us of the Old Country Buffet chain just a little more crowded.
Entertainment in the theater required a 45 minute to 1 hour arrival time as it quickly filled up with many guests saving seats for others which is prohibited but not enforced. The cruise musicians were very good and the singers and dancers were enthusiastic but lacked direction and production supervision. The audio was very loud as well. The visiting entertainment was better with a variety of acts some better than others depending on your taste.
The lounge and Atrium entertainment was good but did get a little old after 9 nights as they often played the same music. Drink prices varied as the "Drink of the Day" was reasonable and be sure to ask for the "House" wine as the other vintages were very expensive and were nothing of note.
We used the "Express Departure" option when we docked back in Baltimore. This feature was great as we carried our luggage and were the first to depart driving away by 9:00. All in all a so so cruise with some pluses and minuses. As a reminder do your own research for age demographics as well as the ports of call.
The ship excursions were expensive and you can book a tour of Arcadia National Park at the pier which was far more reasonable that on board the ship.
The ship uses the lifeboat tenders to transport the guests from the ship to the dock.
A very nice port of call.
The sells a shuttle pass from the dock to Quincy Market which is right downtown for $16 per person but you can take a cab for around $12 plus tip.
Skip the excursions as you can do everything that you want on foot and see way more.
Send away for a Boston Visitor's guide which will provide you with everything that you will need for a great visit.
Don't forget to visit the Italian North End for some fabulous pizza at the Express pizzeria on Hanover Street as well as pastries and cookies at Mikes Pastry or the Modern Bakery on Hanover as well.
Boston Commons, Public Gardens and Beacon Hill are all worth the visit.
On Cambridge and Charles is an old jail that has been converted to a classy hotel with a great restaurant called "Scampi" which is a little pricey but fabulous.
There are two "Cheers" restaurants around for the tourists that cannot resist the traps
The Citadel and Public Gardens are all worth the visit as well.
We really enjoyed Halifax.
Many shops had free WiFi so you could log in for free and avoid the high costs on the ship which I recall was around .65 per minute or so.
We didn't take any excursions as we kind of wanted to stay off any tour buses that were overly expensive and didn't have any interest by us.
After a 1 hour walk you will be ready to return to the ship.