This was my seventh cruise and second in a year. It was fabulous. First time on a large ship like this, and I hadn't sailed Royal Caribbean since 1976.
I had some reluctance about sailing with 2400 of "my closest friends," but there is enough space, enough to do, enough quiet spots to chill in, and God knows enough to eat.
Ports of call were great, although St. John's was the weakest link. Bar Harbor's kayaking expedition was great, fun, and I didn't even notice my aching shoulders. Portland, Maine, was fun to walk around in, and we had a good lobster roll at DeMille's on the the waterfront. Since we are artsy, we enjoyed stopping into the independent galleries there too. Lots of well-worked contemporary art.
In Halifax, we took the trip to Peggy's Cover (also worth the money), and spent a lovely hour there. I drew the lighthouse, and Mike got some great photographs. Once back at the ship, we walked the boardwalk back into town, had a nice lunch at a pub, tried a Canadian beer, and went to the Art Gallery (museum) of Halifax. Very nice, diverse exhibitions.
Boston-unfortunately, we could use more time there. Had to be back on board by 3 30pm. Height of tourist season made the Freedom Trail crowded, but we still caught a few things. (I recommend skipping the tourist trap that is Salem, Massachusetts, unless you think the actual history of the place has something in common with Elizabeth Montgomery and the Wicked Witch of the West. If you like kitsch, I'm thinking you might like Salem, but probably best at Halloween, which really is what they are going for anyway.
On board entertainment was pretty much top notch. We're not into magic or juggling, but the evenings of singers, dancers, comedians, and soloists were the best I've seen for cruise ship fare.
The 70s dance party was hilarious and great fun one evening, and there are just so many lounges to discover, and so many different places to go, that there is always something to investigate. The Promenade Deck is the best for peace and relaxation. Top deck rubberized track for walking and jogging is great. Gym equipment is in good shape.
Breakfast and lunch buffets in the Windjammer are excellent. Variety of foods is astounding and quality is very good. There was always something new to taste, and yep, I gained weight. It gets a little crazy, trying to find a seat, but turnover is good. People just need to watch where they are going. They could use a little more staff up there, to help people get drinks to cut down on the running around.
Dining room meals were quite special. Excellent soups. Many choices. The variety was good in the dining room as well. Only one bad night, the filet of sole was served cold, and although the sauce was supposed to be buttery, you wouldn't have known it from the flavor, or the over-the-top neon yellow color.
Our dining room staff was great, we lucked out with fun and interesting table mates, and the weather couldn't have been better. Seas were the calmest I have ever experienced so that didn't hurt. Fog in Halifax, was a tad unsettling, but they have radar right? :-)
Cabin was small but well appointed. Cabin Steward was friendly and helpful. Really couldn't ask for more. Our stateroom was very clean, as was the entire ship.
I would do this again in a heartbeat. Looking forward to next year I hope. For now, back to basics, Special K, oatmeal, and salads. :-)
Thanks Royal Caribbean. You were good 35 years ago, and you still are.
Keep up the good work.