This was our first cruise to New England and Canada. We were for the most part pleased with everything. There were a few areas for improvement but overall we had a great time.
We stayed the night before the cruise at a hotel in Chelsea and spent the afternoon in Boston. It was a great afternoon and evening! Lots to see and do. The next morning, we took an Uber to the cruise terminal for $21 for DH and myself.
Embarkation went very smoothly on Royal Caribbean's part. The port employees, however, were a little rude and very bossy. There was a slight delay in boarding and the port employees were rather stressed. But once we crossed the walkway and stepped onto the ship, everyone was happy and all went well.
We had booked an interior stateroom on this trip and I'm glad we did. The majority of this trip was in the fog and the ship was sounding the fog horn every 90 seconds or so. Lots of people complained about hearing that horn all night long and getting very little sleep. We were on deck 7 and never once heard the horn. It was for our safety and while no one plans for that, I was glad to get to each port safely.
Food at Windjammer was good. We ate breakfast there every morning, lunch on sea days and we even ate there one night. My biggest complaint was with the dining room. We had My Time dining and it was like chaos every night. We had tried My Time dining last year on Radiance in Alaska and we LOVED it. But on this sailing, it was if they had overbooked the My Time dining room. I made reservations as soon as they were available online for every night. There was not one night when our table was available when we had reserved. And the seating staff were walking around with radios, turned very loudly, to communicate when tables were ready. The waiters seemed to be in a constant state of cleaning off tables instead of waiting on tables. Our waiters were excellent and we were able to keep the same pair for six of the seven nights. But not every table was so fortunate. It was bad enough for us that we changed our next cruise to traditional dining. One night, we had reservations at 7pm and arrived at 6:58. We were told our table wasn't ready and to come back in 20 minutes. The Park Cafe, as always, had excellent sandwiches and pizza.
The ports were very nice, but we were surprised at which ones we liked the best. We were prepared to really like Portland and Bar Harbor and didn't have high expectations for St. John and Halifax. Portland was good, but we didn't stay in the city. We rented a car and drove to Kennebunkport and had a great time. Bar Harbor was nice, but not everything we have always heard it would be. It was our least favorite stop. There wasn't much to do in St. John unless you took an excursion out of the city and that's what we did. We went to the Caves and had a blast! But our favorite port, without hesitation was Halifax. There is so much to see and to do.
Entertainment was average and we attended one production show and two of the other shows. But the movies shown on the screen at the pool deck were great so we tended to choose that instead of a production show.
We didn't use the fitness center or spa on this voyage so I can't speak about those. And it was too cool and foggy to use the pools or hot tubs so I don't know about those either.
The ship was probably the cleanest I've been on and this was my 12th or 13th cruise. There was a notice of a Noro virus the week prior to our voyage and I'm sure that's why the ship was so very clean. There were no funny smells in any of the public spaces, bathrooms or hallways.
It did appear that there were fewer stateroom attendants than ever. We didn't meet our attendant until half way through the week which has NEVER happened before. There were only 2 room carts on our section of hallway and last year on Radiance we were on the same size hall and there were always 3 or 4 carts. While I don't expect a towel animal every night, we only had two and they were very simple ones, not what I've experienced previously. However, our room was spotless. And we never had to wait for our room to be made on sea days. We would leave for breakfast and when we were back, the room had been cleaned already. I'll take a super clean room over towel animals every day.
Disembarkment was the fastest and easiest we've ever experienced. Great job to both the ship and port employees.
We had a great time!!
Comfortable bed, adequate space and the cleanest we've ever had.
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