We were a little nervous booking this particular cruise due to the ship going into dry dock immediately after. We figured the weather would be iffy due to the time of year (11/2-11/18) and did have a few chilly, rainy days. We missed only 1 port, Bar Harbor, due to tender issues. For the most part, the ship was in good repair and other than some slightly worn upholstery it was well kept and all areas very clean. Our stateroom, 8000, is considered a suite and was lovely and included a 3 cushion full sized sofa, 2 club chairs and a glass table in addition to a very comfy bed. There was plenty of storage and the bathroom must be larger than other levels as it was plenty big. Oh, and the live orchid in the room was a lovely touch.
A slight disappointment was the main dining room with their menu of sameness. Oh, there’d be a special few items thrown in daily but it wasn’t exceptional. What WAS fabulous was The Polo Grill and the grilled lobster tails and grilled shrimp every evening in the buffet. We found the Italian restaurant, Toscana, to be just okay. Husband returned one entree, a veal dish. I tasted it and agreed it wasn’t good either in texture or taste. I will say staff immediately swooped in and expedited his new order. The buffet is handled very well. No cruiser touches the food. You indicate what you want and staff prepare your plate THEN, more often than not, another staff member steps in and carries your plate to your table. There’s no self serve of food or drink. Another true highlight is tea time which is a lovely event served with a background of a string quartet. The house band was good with one member being exceptional.
Staff was fabulous. The cruise director, Shawn Carter, was one of the more engaging CD’s we’ve met. All service staff were quick with their greetings and generous in their thank you’s. The only flaw we encountered was a rather disengaged front desk staff but that blip was more than made up by the butler who couldn’t do enough for us. He was so well trained and seemed sincerely vested in our enjoyment.