My wife and I both 61 yrs old took this cruise for our 40th anniversary out of Baltimore. We arrived a day early and stayed at the Best Western on O'Donnell Street. One of the best decisions I made prior to the trip. Nice hotel with breakfast with a shuttle to the inner harbor for dinner and then a GREAT shuttle they sub contract to take us to the port and pick us up. Picked us up at 10:45am from the hotel and 15 minutes later dropped off. On return we left the ship at 7:30am and there where 3 vehicles from them waiting to take us back!
Embarkation went very smooth as we got out of the van and the driver put suitcases near the handlers and we just walked off to the ship! We arrived about 10:45am after passing a line of cars and walked right on ship. Never being on this ship and our only 2nd cruise in 15 years, we were a little confused after getting on deck 4 the centrum. They had the center all filled with tables and big signs for selling stuff. So we stumbled around and finally found where our room would be, then went up to the Windjammer to eat. Room was ready at 1:00pm and our luggage was delivered by 3:00pm. Be prepared for them to ask you at least 20 times about buying the separate dining packages the first day on every corner of the ship you may be. Annoying to say the least.
Ship looked great to us, but met some people that said they have been on 50 or more cruises, so others may have other remarks as they have many to compare to. But this being our 2nd cruise, we thought it looked wonderful and we did a lot of staring around at all the glitter.
We had cabin 4556 and could not have been happier. NO noise, great bed and right in the middle of everyplace we needed to go. I even came up with a solution to an annoyance I had been reading about here on CC about the shower curtain sticking to a person. I brought 4 big binder clips and some string and put a clip on each side about half way up the curtain. I then found a place around the sink to put two other clips across from the others and tied string to each clip and pulled till the curtain came out from the stall and tied to the clip. Worked great and never stuck to me, just a little funny trying to duck under the one string when getting into shower and funny to look at! I should patent it! See attached picture!
My wife and I consider ourselves foodies, meaning we love to eat and eat most anything. We ate all our breakfasts and lunches in the Windjammer and all dinners, when not off ship, in the dinning room using MTD. Here is where you will read, (now that I have read reviews and completed the trip) different views of the food. I cook most of our meals at home since I retired, and consider myself a pretty good cook. This food was very adequate, especially at the Windjammer. The main dinning room food was presented very well and most everything was delicious, not quite gourmet, but very good. I always ordered two appetizers and two desserts at each meal to get a variety and in case one may not be to my liking! So don't fret, you will get your stomach filled up and have your buttons bulging.
I think we enjoyed this trip to as there seemed to be more people our ages or within 10-20 years. They announced there were 180 kids onboard, but I only noticed 10 or so.
Entertainment to us was very good, especially the main events. Paul Rudder was the director with "Tornado" Tanya and they did a great job. Think we saw them all but one, where people told us it was really good. Our only thumbs down act was on the first night with a comedian in her late 50's who did an adult act for the late showing which we thought was just tacky! Of course we knew it would be somewhat dirty, but it was just gross. NOT a great way to start a weeks cruise. But then again some people roared!
Can't say enough about service. Everyone we encountered was friendly and helpful. You feel like you want to give extra tips to all of them and we did on a few!
Boston we did the hop on hop off. This was probably our least liked stop as it was just big city with people, cars, traffic everywhere. Lines to places to eat and being on our own on a drop off we just wondered around feeling lost! We did visit a few places of interest, but was glad to just get back to ship.
Portland we did the Portland Discovery tour on our own with a trolley and boat tour. Portland was a very beautiful city and we loved this stop. We did the trolley, the ate at Dimillo's right behind were we boarded the trolley. Lunch was very good and the best part was after we were done our boat tour start was almost next door, so no rushing around looking for places.
Bar Harbor was maybe tied for our favorite with Portland. We did Oli's Trolley which we enjoyed and then walked around the wonderful town. Many nice shops. Asked one of the storekeepers where to eat and she said a couple places, one being Side Street café. Went there at 11:00 before crowd and had a great lunch of lobster rolls.
St Johns we did a private tour with Dave's taxi which was a good choice. We had 6 people in a mini van and we could come and go whenever we wanted. Took us to a nice place to eat also. Not a ton of things to see here beside scenery, but we saw them at leisure. My only advice to this tour is not to have more than 5 people. They squeezed 3 people in back seat and luckily they were not all my size. Tight fit for them I'm sure.
Halifax we did another private tour with Halifax Titanic tours. The driver was very professional, dressed in a suite, talked fast, pointed to many things through city. Only thing to us anyway was way too much information if that is possible. I guess if you want to see it all he is your guy, but looking at every church and old building got a tad boring to just us. Other in the van loved it I'm sure as I saw one of the women hug him when we left! He took us to many nice places after getting out of city though. Just not sure I'd do it again.
Leaving the ship was just like when we arrived, like clock work! We decided to carry our own luggage off the ship so we were told to be in the centrum at 7:30 to 8:00am to leave. Luckily I walked out about 6:30 and saw that the seasoned people knew to start lining up their luggage early. So I went back and got ours and brought it out to do the same. Half hour later the place was packed and we were like number 10 to get off ship. About 7:15 they allowed us to leave and we just showed them our sea pass and custom paper and we were in the parking lot being picked up by our transfer people from Best Western. We were on the road by 7:45am.
Great ship, good food, entertainment, cabin, a wonderful vacation!
Very smooth, especially if taken by hotel where you stay the night before.
Hectic city driving, crowds of people, confusion unless you have a guide.View All 40 Old Town Trolley Tour Reviews
Did Portland Discovery tour. Excellent guide, (Paula), and nice boat ride after.View All 51 City Tour Reviews
Did Oli's Trolley. Nice ride.View All 10 City Tour Reviews
Did Private tour. City driving and not that interesting except Titanic spots.View All 55 City Tour Reviews