Wanted to see scenic, interesting destinations that would also be accessible to travel with brother who has somewhat limited mobility. Small-ship cruising is ideal, especially to explore America, so that we can continue to explore, discover, have marvelous travel experiences, without the concern or hassle of long-distance air travel, packing/unpacking, driving, checking in/out of hotels.
The itinerary - which they changed around on the spot because of bad weather at sea - brought us from Warren RI, to Bristol, Newport, New Bedford, Martha's Vineyard (where we stayed an extra day), Nantucket before returning to Warren. Each port is fabulous to visit and the ability to return to the ship when one got fatigued was great. Small ship cruising means we get to dock (except for Nantucket), and simply walk on/off.
The days pass so pleasantly: there is an early bird breakfast put out at 6:30 am (coffee and freshly baked goods), breakfast at 8 am. Touring and exploring. Lunch at 12:30 pm (if you want to return to the ship). 5:30 cocktails (it’s BYOB except for welcome and farewell cocktail parties with an open bar and delicious hors d’oeurves); 6:30 dinner; then an evening activity at 8:30 pm– a movie, live performance (we had a trio on one night and a Martha’s Vineyard native, folksinger Mark Alan Lovewell, doing sea chanties before we came to Nantucket), and one night when we played a rollicking game of “LCR” (everyone puts up three $1 bills, rolls dice, and at the end, whoever still has a bill, wins the pot).
The food on board is excellent and the menus, which reflect the region and use locally sourced comestibles, feature New England classics: a lobster bake with clams & mussels was a definite highlight; New England clam chowder; lobster bisque). The baked goods including fresh breads and scones, are outstanding. Three meals are provided daily. There are beverages and snacks available all day. Dietary restrictions are accommodated.
We are encouraged to Bring Your Own Beverages aboard which we can put in a cooler or at a bar, and each evening there is a 5:30 cocktail hour when all the fixings are provided (house wine and beer are provided at no charge at lunch and dinner), but there is also a welcome aboard and farewell cocktail party with an open bar and delectable hors d’oeurves.
The ship is modest, unpretentious, but is very comfortable, very clean and well maintained (it was refurbished in 2009), and has everything you need. There is a pleasant lounge ringed with windows; an expansive dining room (also with windows along the walls on both sides) an open sitting area (with fitness machines) on the back deck, and an open air top deck with lounge chairs and a canvas cover for rain and sun.
Our cabin (56B) on the upper deck down the hallway from the lounge, had a large picture window which we could open for fresh air; air conditioning which we could set; a toilet and sink in a cabinet and a separate shower, two outlets for plugging in, comfortable beds, bureau for storage.