Insignia Cruise Review by mikerem48
- Sail Date: August 2017
- Destination: Canada & New England
- Cabin Type: Veranda Stateroom
Boarding the ship was very easy. We got on board around 3 pm. Our room was towards the rear of the ship on deck 6, room 6072. This was a good location because we were able to take the stairways to 5 for dinner and the Insignia Lounge. Most points of interest are on 5, 9 or 10. The ship was around 20 years old and was very nice; very clean. It was remodeled recently. The staff was great and the food was good; although not as good as I was made to believe. The specialty restaurants were good, especially the Italian. The desserts were generally very good. The dining rooms were very nice and easy to get into for dinner.
The alcoholic drinks and wine appeared to be very over priced (average price per drink, any drink, around $15, including tip). This appeared to discourage alcohol consumption. The entertainment was good, better than I anticipated. If you want to see the show, not just hear it, you must get to the Insignia Lounge about 30 minutes early for a good seat. The ship provided complimentary water, soft drinks, shakes and malts, smoothies and ice cream. They even had a special smoothie of the day. The complimentary spa included a nice steam room and a very nice fitness center.
The ship left on time from NYC and generally from all of the Ports of Call. The visited Ports of Call follow.
Newport, RI – We took the Cliff Walk & the Breakers tour through the ship. The walk along the water front along million dollar homes was impressive and beautiful. The Breakers provided a self guided tour. The tour was worth the money although you probably could have done this on your own.
Boston, MA – In Boston we took the Historic Boston & Cambridge tour. We saw Old Iron Sides from the street and Bunker Hill as we walked parts of the Freedom Trail. The guide was great … full of information … he made the tour worth while. We also drove and walked around Cambridge on a day when the students were coming back to the campus. The guide dropped us off at the Quincy Market and Oceania provided a free bus back to the ship.
Bar Harbor, ME – Bar Harbor is Acadia National Park ... a beautiful park. We took the Grand Tour of Bar Harbor & Acadia National Park tour. Our tour included the Park, a nice drive along the shore and a lobster lunch. It was a beautiful clear day and the view from Cadillac Mountain was fabulous (the mountain top is frequently fogged in). The lobster lunch was a blast.
Halifax, NS, Canada – We took the Historic Halifax & RMS Titanic tour. It included an interesting tour of the city, a stop at the Maritime Museum and the Fairview Lawn Cemetery. Our tour guide was an expert on the Titanic and was just full of information on the Museum and the Cemetery. She made the tour. After the tour we walked back to the Museum to spend more time there. Halifax is a great city to walk along the dock.
Hamilton and St. George's Bermuda – This was our first time in Bermuda and the tours just didn't interest us. We purchased a two day bus/ferry pass for around $32 each and cruised the island. We had a great time. The National Museum, at the Naval Dockyard, is a great place to learn about local history and is a very busy place, especially when the big cruise ships are in port. The area and the museum will surprise you. We stopped at Horseshoe Bay beach, a beautiful and popular place (that means crowded). Other beaches in the area might be better for a beach day. It's also a quarter mile walk, at Horseshoe Bay, from the road to the water down hill. … it's up hill back to the bus! The Crystal Caves are worth stopping at too. They are unique. At the Crystal Caves bus stop is the Swizzle Inn. This is the place for your Rum Swizzle … a must. Taking the bus or ferry allows you to really see the island and also, mix with the local people who are very friendly and helpful.
In Hamilton, we docked downtown. The positive is that we were downtown in the middle of everything. The negative was that it was Sunday and everything, well almost everything, was closed. Even with that said, Hamilton was a pretty location. In St. George's, we docked again, downtown. This time, everything was open. Getting from Hamilton to St. George's is unbelievable. The ship cruised through a narrow cut with maybe 30 feet on each side to dock in St. George's. They even fired a canon at us as we approached. Bermuda was fun. The negative, we left about 6 hours early because of a storm along the East Coast. The storm delayed our arrival to NYC by a few hours. The storm also caused large wave action that made movements on the ship entertaining!
Getting off the ship was easy. Our luggage had to be out of the room by around 10:00 pm the night before. When your number and color were called, you just walked out. Almost too easy. We had no wait. Our luggage was waiting for us, we got a taxi (about $65 to LGA) across the street ….. and we were gone. A great trip.