Who: Me and DH with our 3 kids and our sons friend. 4 in balcony cabin and 2 in an inside across the hall on deck 8 forward.
Weather: Hot and sunny in NY...not so hot in Canada, but not cold...pretty chilly at night though.
Embarkation: Drove in and had trouble getting into the terminal, but once there parking was fairly quick and easy. Got there around 10:30. Hauled all our luggage onto elevator and down to porters with a ton of other folks. Once we turned over our luggage we went into terminal (up 1 level from porters) and through security and right up to check in...fairly quickly. Got checked in and were seated at 11:10. We were eating lunch on the Lido deck by 12:00.
Cabins: Fantastic location (quick shot to Lido deck). They were clean and spacious and we loved our very first balcony. The stewards were wonderful and kept everything tip top. There was a steward closet right by our cabins and that could be noisy in the early morning hours. Had problems turning our TV on (all cruise) and flushing our toilet(last 2 days) in just the balcony cabin.
Ship: Had trouble getting the layout figured out. Things seemed chopped up. The buffet was a maze and was always crowded with lines. The pool area was crowded during the day and although the pool water was freezing, the hot tubs weren't and they were PACKED. Staff was always wonderful. We had your-time dining and had a very long wait on elegant night(though they sent us a yummy tray of treats the next day as an appology...very nice) and then a small wait the next night...so we figured out to go by 6:00 or after 8:00 was the best times. There was plenty to do...shows...trivia...karaoke...bingo...and much more. There was fog and thus a fog horn...blew all through the night on 2 nights (thank goodness I brought my sound machine/alarm clock).
Ports: St. John was nice, but Halifax was fantastic. Loved the stops. We were looking for something different that the Caribbean and we got it. Kids were a tad bored though. Great cruise for couples! We were delayed getting into Halifax(fog), but we got there and so worth the wait.
Food: Yummy! The only thing we didn't like was the pizza. There was always something yummy to eat, though the lines in the buffet were horrible. The chocolate buffet was delish...fish and chips...burrito bar...deli...and of course, ice cream. I only got to do the Wok once...the lines were just atrocious there. MDR was great too...did 1 lunch and 1 breakfast and all 5 dinners there.
Drinks: Bar waiters hardly come around in the MDR or lounges...would have drank more if they came around more. No problem around the pool though, but we didn't hang out there too much.
Debarkation: Put our stuff out the night before and followed the protocall in the morning. Got off the ship without any problems.