It had been about 4 years since cruising with Celebrity and on this cruise was to be our 11th with them so we were not expecting anything other than the superb service, entertainment and food we have come to expect from Celebrity. Well I guess we got 2 out of 3 because the FOOD was the WORST of any cruise or cruise line we had experienced--more later on this.
Getting from Newark Airport to the Liberty Cruise Port was easy as pie. We checked the cab cost at the stand out side baggage claim. It was $42 plus tip for the 3 of us.
EMBARKATION Went relatively smooth except from the Elite Lounge their was no priority organization to it and it became like a cattle call. Once boarded we had to go to the buffet because the rooms were not to be ready til 1:00PM. We boarded at 11:30 AM. We happened to carry our bag on board but unlike Holland they did not provide a check storage area so the bags went into the buffet with us.
CABIN Was fine for the 3 of us-- a little tired and dated but OK. The cabin Stewards Antonio and his Assist. Fitzroy were excellent and took good care of us for the whole cruise.
DINING DAILY DINNER MENUS - Were uninspired and lacking the fine things from the past. Gone were the Veal Chops, Beef Wellingtons and Oso Bucco etc OK the economy is tight I felt so long as the food is cooked well all will be well. MENU AVAILABLE EVERYDAY You can choose these as alternates including Escargot, Onion Soup, Steak, etc
The problem was the cooking was not done very well and or the ingredients were of poor quality. Cases in point were as follows:
MEATS- Beef and lamb were consistently tough HALF LOBSTER- Undercooked -shell was black thus meat hard to remove. Note: I am a born and bred Bostonian and know the difference. COQ AU VIN-- Chicken undercooked in an insipid sauce. VEAL CORDON BLEU-- Was pure salt
BOSTON,MA wonderful to see the old bean town form the sea on arrival. Was able to get a CHARLIE CARD on line which pays for all public transport . There is a bus stop across from the pier that brought us to South Station. Where you connect with the T train two stops to Park St and up to the BOSTON COMMON AND The PUBLIC GARDEN WITH THE SWAN BOATS. At the corner of Park St and Tremont st ( In front of the PARK ST CHURCH) is the start of the red brick trail called the FREEDOM TRAIL. We followed it past the various historic sites including the the Granary Burial Ground, Old State House and it led to the Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall. Kept on the trail to Hanover St to PAUL REVERES HOUSE then on to THE OLD NORTH CHURCH. After this we back tracked down Hanover St to MIKE,s ITALIAN BAKERY. Mmmmmm those rum soaked pastries are too much. We made our way back to a subway stop and got back to South Station --caught the S2 bus going back toward the ship and had the driver let us off in front of THE YANKEE LOBSTER MARKET where we met our friends. This is a little place and not too fancy but the lobsters and clams were just great and at reasonable prices. We just easily walked back to the ship after ward.
PORTLAND, MAINE Portland is a nice town to walk about and visited the Brewery and sampled. After shopping about we stopped in at GILBERTS CHOWDER HOUSE. It was a fun place right on the dock with very good seafood at reasonable prices.
BAR HARBOR , ME it was raining and cold and we did not feel like tendering in. Missed seeing the pretty village again and eating at the Water St Cafee.
HALIFAX , Nova Scotia It was a lovely day so taking a walk along the dock was fun. We then went out to Lower Water St to a bus stop for the FRED BUS. This is a free bus that has a circle route around Halifax including the CITIDAL on top of the hill. Great way to it all and you can get on and off. By the way FRED has its origin at the pier. We rode Fred to the Maritime Museum and after which we went across the street to Mc Kelvies restaurant and had the famous Digby Scallops and they were fantastic. We visited the Old Brewery and then took the FRED back to the ship.
QUEBEC first visit here and I was completely impressed. Had the impression I was in Europe--very lovely. We walked about the lower village enjoying the renewed architecture surrounding PLACE ROYAL. Had lunch at Chaude that was great and then we visited the farmers Market. The next day we ventured up the funicular to the magnificent Chateau Frontenac and the fields of Abraham etc. Paid a visit to the Basilica which was wonderful. We made our way back toward the Frontenac and found the 1640 Restaurant for lunch . QUEBEC IS ON MY LIST TO RETURN.
DEBARKATION at the cruise port in Bayonne ,NJ was as smooth as silk. We caught a local cab from Archie's cab co. from Bayonne and the 3 of us road back to Newark Airport for $42 plus tip. I must say the young man driving was a jewel as were most of the people we ran into in New Jersey