This was a unique opportunity for us to experience a cruise ship outside of the Caribbean. The itinerary sounded intriguing, so we booked it in late December 2017. Good thing, as we were told the cruise had sold out.
We took the Amtrak train from our home town (Washington, DC) to the Liberty International Airport station, then grabbed a free hotel shuttle from there. It was raining when we arrived, so we opted to have dinner in instead of exploring the city.
Getting to the cruise port at Cape Liberty, NJ the next day was just a quick Uber ride from our airport hotel. Tip: be sure to have your luggage tagged with the cruise line tags before you leave for the port - once you get to the curb at the terminal, the valets are there ready to take your bags immediately. We found the entire check-in process to be orderly, well-organized and efficient. The terminal had a nice (large) waiting area set up with coffee and water while we waited for the gangway to open. We were on board the ship by 11am and immediately began enjoying this beautiful ship.
The stateroom (ocean view balcony) was lovely - plenty of room for two, and we loved being on the 8th deck ("3 decks away from everything" was our motto). There were two elevators being renovated during our cruise, and the ship was full - so we ended up using the stairs quite a bit (which was good to help us burn off some of the delicious food!).
We mostly ate in the Windjammer (buffet on Deck 11). This ship has a bar in the windjammer, and we had the beverage package so it was easy to grab a shot of Bailey's in our coffee whenever we wanted. This was great, except when we were in port in Canada - the authorities only allowed one bar per deck to be open - so we had to run over to the pool bar.
The Royal Caribbean orchestra, singers and dancers were spectacular! So much quality entertainment - everywhere you go, there's a great live band playing - but not so loud that you can't enjoy a conversation with your travel mates or new friends.
Only negative on this cruise was the port support at Quebec. We were told this was the first time this ship had docked in Quebec, and the port seemed to be completely unprepared for the ship. They had stacked metal storage containers up on the dock, and jury-rigged a gangway from Deck 4 over to a stack of 2 storage containers, then down to a single storage container, and finally to the dock. This was far too steep for most of the seniors and folks with mobility issues, and lacked an overall feeling of professionalism we encountered at every other port of call.
This cabin had a bit of an odd odor in it - just a little musty. We soaked a tissue in some tea tree oil and placed it on a shelf, and that really freshened the place up nicely. Otherwise, it was clean, spacious enough for two, plenty of mirrors, and our stateroom attendant (Dodi) was superlative.
Gorgeous port, plenty to see just walking around on your own. Great shopping!
Just overnighted in an airport hotel.
Walked around on our own; it was lovely.
Walked around on our own; beautiful port of call!
Great excursion! Very well organized; got lots of information about Halifax and the Titanic, went to Peggy's Cove, saw the Public Gardens, and had plenty of time to ask questions.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Beautiful port of call.
Very quaint and easy to get around.
The tour itself is great; the problem is that it's touted as a "shore excursion" which implied (to us, at least) that there would be some semblance of direction at the pier. No such luck; you have to find your way to the starting point before the tour begins. Once we found it, it was a fine walking tour; we just wish there had been a representative at the pier to give us a map with walking directions on how to get to the starting point of the tour.View All 44 Walking Tour Reviews