I arrived in Baltimore two days prior to the cruise since I had never visited the city and had heard great things about the waterfront, all true. The streets at the inner harbor are as busy as Time Square so I was glad I had booked a hotel at Fells Point, a quaint older section of the port with cobbled streets and great old buildings including some good restaurants. I had an enormous room at the Inn at Henderson’s Wharf, with huge corner windows facing the wharf. It was a five-minute walk to the water taxi, a delightful way to transit the bay and just a ten minute ride to the Inner Harbor. Rides are just 7 dollars, 12 dollars for a day pass.
I must say after seeing sensational aquariums in other cities, Baltimore’s was a huge disappointment. The setup is confusing, the windows are small and the tanks are not stocked with particularly attractive fish. I quit after half an hour, not waiting to watch the dolphins jump through hoops. Phillip’s Seafood has a huge restaurant right near the USS Constellation adjacent to the aquarium so I enjoyed their famous but pricey crab cakes for lunch. For dinner I chose Riptide in Fells Point, where I watched the waitress demonstrate to nearby diners how to attack the blue crabs. So much work for so little crab! I opted for the lobster tails.
Passengers boarded the American Spirit the morning of June 1. I had booked a single cabin on the American Glory the previous week but it was cancelled and I was upgraded to a double cabin on the Spirit with a nice discount. The cabin was spacious and cheerful with a picture window, and located right next to the comfortable Chesapeake Lounge where activities took place including happy hour, plus round-the-clock refreshments and an ice machine. Unlike many cruise ships that gouge for web access, internet is free but not available in the cabins, and the signal was weak many days