We chose this cruise because my husband and I needed a very relaxing vacation. Our winter, spring and summer had been very chaotic due to family illness. With that being said, we were excited to be going out of Cape Liberty, no need to fly. We've cruised on Royal Caribbean ships quite a few times. Upon boarding, sea pass cards are not given out anymore. You are given a piece of paper with your reservation number, name and cabin number. The seapass cards are left on your cabin door. It was nice to get through check in fast and easy. Onto the ship we went to the buffet on deck 11. It was only 12:00 noon and the line to get into the buffet was long, winding around passed the elevators making it difficult to exit the elevators, with no ship staff directing guests. We quickly left the area and went to the Atrium floor to have cold hot dogs and hamburgers, along with dried out pizza. Next we went to our cabin, where the steward greeted us. However, there were no key cards on our door. We showed the steward our reservation and cabin number. He told us it was not our cabin, another passenger was in the room. We became a little distraught and insisted that there was a mistake. He knocked a few times and an older, disheveled lady came to the door. He asked that she present her seapass card, while she insisted that she was in the correct cabin. Turns out that she had our seapass cards in hand with our credit card number, had already used the bed and ate from a plate of cookies left for us in the cabin. The steward asked her to leave the cabin, which she did. My husband and I asked for a supervisor of housekeeping to speak with and told the steward to reclean the room. He wanted to leave the cookies for us, but we insisted he remove the plate. We cannot understand how this lady who was in a cabin on another floor, took the envelope with our names off the door and made such a cabin error. Royal Caribbean's new practice of leaving seapass cards on cabin doors with vital credit card and ID info is extremely irresponsible and an unsafe practice. Not a good introduction to a vacation on a Royal Caribbean ship. We reported the incident to guest relations and they tried to gloss over our bad experience by offering us a box of chocolate strawberries which we never received. Eventually 3 days after sailing and reminding them about the chocolates did they bring us a bottle of wine.
Our waiter and bus boy were terrific each night. We went to the dining room one morning for breakfast. We waited forever for our orders to be taken. We received our food cold at different times. Not sure if waiter staff were new and being trained, but have never experienced such impersonal service on a Royal Caribbean ship before. The entertainment was decent, however, the first late night comedian swore a lot, and we did not find him too funny. The piano player in the bar area each night was the best on board. Everyone who passed by stopped to listen, and all in the bar area sang along to his songs. The casino was cramped and full of smoke from cigarettes. Poorly ventilated and we never used the casino due to the awful smoke-filled air. The port of St. John was okay. Bought a trolley car excursion through the ship to Bay of Fundy, but didn't think there was much reversing of the falls. We were also not told marketplace would close early because it was Labor Day. Our tour guide told us we could get off at the marketplace but would have 5 minutes to shop. Bar Harbor was quite nice. Tendered over and walked through the town. Lots of restaurants and shops. Had a wonderful lobster roll at Testa's on the main street, overlooking the harbor. We enjoyed Halifax. Walked from the ship along boardwalk to the Maritime Museum where they have a huge exhibit of the Titanic and the disaster of the Titanic's sinking. There were exhibits of ships from WWII and Korean War as well. Very interesting museum and no need to take a tour through the ship. Very walkable with chairs/benches along the way. Embarkation was easy and quick at Port Liberty. Collected luggage. Face recognition through Customs. Walked off into parking garage, which was a big plus. We were surprised by the lack of caring presented by the ship's crew. It seemed that most of the crew did little to make us feel the cruising experience was more than okay. If we had not cruised before on Royal Caribbean , we wouldn't have known how unusual this crusing experience was on this sailing.