First time ever on a small-ship cruise as well as one just in the U.S. Price included being put up at a nice hotel pre-night with breakfast the next morning, transportation from hotel to ship and from ship to airport after the cruise ended. Never been part of an embarkation or debarkation so seamless. Greeted by staff and crew with friendly smiles from the get-go, which were genuine and did not diminish over the course of the cruise. Ship was gorgeous and spotless the entire time, cabins and balcony very spacious, with nice size bathroom and all amenities you could want. All-balcony cabins and a couple of big suites, and they have a couple of single balcony cabins, which is great. The public areas are lovely and inviting. Regionally inspired cuisine, with other choices if you weren't a fan, and the food was excellent. Beer and wine with lunch and dinner, happy hour every night, and wait staff were super great, as were the rest of the crew and officers onboard. The all-American crew that work on this ship, as I suspect on others of the fleet, work their butts off, and many of them serve one or more roles. They aim to please, and take the time to engage with those onboard. Special shout-outs to Alexis and West in the dining room, whose tables we got to sit at most of the time, Rick and Big Mike and Brittani were lovely when we got to sit where they were, but observing other tables, the wait staff always seemed to take time to engage with the people at their tables and from what we could see, gave great service.
Bill and Laura were wonderful, and we'll plan future cruises around when they'll be onboard. A great team, they're as nice as could be, providing entertainment during happy hour and many evenings, and Bill's talks truly brought history alive and provided an invaluable perspective and foundation for some of the places visited during tours. We could have sat and listened to him endlessly, a sentiment echoed by everyone we talked to. If he'd been our history teacher, many of us would have become history majors and/or teachers. It added tremendously to the whole experience - can't say enough about Bill and Laura. Other notable entertainment - Judy Davis, storyteller and comedian, was superb, and great jazz musicians one night. Did not miss the "fancy floor shows" of big-ship cruises one bit.
The crew was great, as were the housekeeping staff, security people, and everyone who worked onboard and who we came in contact with. Very friendly and genuine.
Beautifully appointed stateroom - seemed more like a hotel room size than typical ship stateroom size, and very large balcony. Closet, desk with many drawers for additional storage, bureau for additional storage, good sized bathroom with good sized vanity and large shower, nice bath amenities, magnifying mirror and hair dryer. Beds super comfortable, with premium linens and duvet. Spotlessly clean always. Two chairs and a table on the good-sized balcony. Loved it.