This cruise was great, except for some rain and it being overcast/foggy as we left NY, the weather was mostly sunny at all the ports. This was an amazing see ports on the eastern seaboard.
We arrived at JFK at 1pm, was picked up by a car from Carmel that we reserved($41+tips). Check in at the port took less than 20 minutes without any issues. We went straight to our cabin which was all ready, met our Steward Glenn at the same time. Glenn was very helpful and friendly.
We spent a few minutes in our room, then went to Horizon for some lunch, after which we went to deck 7 as the ship sailed out of port.
First night was at sea.
Sydney NS, all the excursions were sold out for this port, so we disembarked soon after breakfast, and walked about town, there was nothing to see here, so we ended up finding a rare cab for $200+ that drove us to the Graham Bell Museum, and on a scenic tour, so try to get on some tour or organize with a car company to take you on a scenic drive before you get to Sydney.
Charlottetown PEI has a lot to see, the town itself is worth walking around, it is not big, we took an excursion tour from the ship which turned out to be a complete waste of time and money, the drive through town and along the route was great and informative, but this was a 4 hour tour, where 2 hours was spent at a restaurant called The Preserve Company, the lobster was OK, but it surely was not worth the money and time(2 hours) spent there, my wife is vegetarian so her lobster was substituted with a potato pie wrapped in bacon, after informing them that bacon was from an animal, they substituted it with corn cake and boiled zucchini. When we left there we were ushered to Green Gables for 40 minutes, which is not enough time, not that we were that interested, but we barely got to see the video presentation and the house, then we had to run back to the bus. The next stop was Rustico, which looks like a very nice fishing town, where we could have easily spent all of 3 hours at, there was a lighthouse, shops and other things here, however this was basically a quick drive through, at one time we were asked if we would like to leave the bus to see lobster traps, a few people did come off the bus to go, but I decided not to, since it was all of about 5 minutes. So do some research on Charlottetown, some people say you could rent a car here etc, so if you are so inclined this would not be such a bad option instead of taking a lame tour.
Halifax is a great city with much to do and see by just walking around, the fort, taking a cheap 15 minute ferry ride to Dartmouth etc, walk, rent a car, take the bus, tons of options here. Try the Jalapeno beer at the Garrison brewery near the port.
Bar Harbor we walked around alot, very beautiful place, lots to see on foot. We took the schooner & Cadillac Mountain tour. The Schooner bit was kinda lame considering we saw just about the same having taken the tender to shore and the ship having basically sailed the route to get to the harbor area to anchor. We only had limited time at Cadillac mountain since the Schooner thing took up the majority of time for this tour, but if you are into a little scenic walking you can burn 2 hours up there easily. The drive on the tour bus ride to the summit was very informative, David our guide did a great job. So if you are able this is a DIY port also.
Boston we got a map of the freedom trail on line and walk it, this snakes you through Boston and was great. We took a cab($13+tip) from the Black Falcon port to the USS Constitution(does not open until 10:30am) and started from there, and ended at Boston Common, then we walked back to the ship with time to spare, if you like walking this is another DIY port, with too much to see and do.
Newport is an awesome place and very DIY, we took a tour bus to see the mansions. Was very informative, but equally waste of time since you are better off renting a bicycle, hopping on a local bus for cheap or similar to pass these places. There is also a cheap ferry ride right at the port where the tender drops you off, this ferry goes to 5 or 6 different islands, we didn't take it since we were kinda tired after all the walking. The much touted Cliff Walk was "OK", did a partial walk, guess you have to do it since everyone talks about it, personally I should have google map it and skipped it.
While on board we went to the buffet for breakfast and dinner, and lunch when we were on the ship, the food was great for me, not much wow stuff if you are a vegetarian like my wife, but see does not complain. We had no complaints about the entertainment either.
Make sure you figure out how you are leaving the port ahead of time, 3,000 people looking for transportation can make things hectic, car service available at the port can be double what you will pay a car service like Carmel, we used this car service 3 times and we have no complaints.
I'll end by stating that we are very flexible and easy going, I am not a lobster fanatic, I probably ate lobster about 10 times in my life, it is not the first thing that will jump out at me on a menu, I will probably order lobster if there is nothing else on the menu that I like. I am also not a person that goes gaga over "tourist attractions".