The highlights of this cruise are absolutely the ports. Plan on lots of walking or touring. Each of the ports, Bar Harbor, Maine, Halifax, NS, Sydney, NS, Charlottestown, NS and Quebec, QC are amazing. When in Sydney, definitely do ... Read More
The highlights of this cruise are absolutely the ports. Plan on lots of walking or touring. Each of the ports, Bar Harbor, Maine, Halifax, NS, Sydney, NS, Charlottestown, NS and Quebec, QC are amazing. When in Sydney, definitely do Louisbourg Fort.
The Fort employs people to reprise the jobs people had in the 1700's. We talked to a Cannonneer, a baker, a blacksmith, a musician and some household maids. Each was a unique and amazing experience. Bring a jacket. It is cold out there, no matter how warm it is in Sydney.
When in Charlottestown, definitely look up Experience PEI and do their Heritage Quest. They give you an old style GPS (that tells you kind of where you are going), clues to PEI Heritage and a crossword puzzle to fill out after you find the clues. We love walking tours. This one was just amazing. We spent 4.5 hours doing an in-depth tour of the city and its long history. We got to see some amazing buildings, some little known sights and had amazing fun doing it. Best self-guided (kind of) walking tour ever.
The crew on Veendam are wonderful. I added tips to our room stewards, our waiters, our wine steward and our Assistant Matre' De. Everyone working on the ship that we talked to was wonderful and genuinely interested as us as people (we reciprocated).
The only downside to the cruise was a lack of live entertainment in the evenings. More bands would be nice. There was a great jazz trio, a piano bar guy and a violinist and pianist. Just not enough music. The DJ for the "Disco" was not skilled.
We loved all of the bars - The staff were great and super friendly. Read Less
We sailed on the American Star for our first cruise and they set the standard so high we decided to cruise with American Cruise Lines again. The American Constitution did not quite reach the same standard but we enjoyed the cruise. The ... Read More
We sailed on the American Star for our first cruise and they set the standard so high we decided to cruise with American Cruise Lines again. The American Constitution did not quite reach the same standard but we enjoyed the cruise. The staff will bend over backward to meet your request. We had a cabin with a private balcony. There is a open bar cocktail hour every day and if you let the cruise line know before hand they will make sure your favorite beverages (within reason) are on board. Wine and beer are available at lunch and dinner and I asked for a cognac as a after dinner drink. The excursions are enjoyable but we were in a couple of ports that we had to take the launch in to shore and caused some problems. The nightly entertainment was enjoyable but the cruise caters to the older crowd. There was one family with a young daughter and another family with a young baby but most of the people were in their 60s and older. The ship had 270 aboard so you basically got to know everybody on board. Open seating at lunch and dinner and no dressing up required. We have already signed up for their Budget Sound and San Juan Islands next year. American Cruise Lines offer an excellent small ship experience and it is well worth the experience. Read Less
This was our 5th ACL Cruise so obviously, they are doing something right. That said....for the price and advertising as a luxury cruise, they should do so much better. The Constitution is a new and attractively decorated ship. Rooms are ... Read More
This was our 5th ACL Cruise so obviously, they are doing something right. That said....for the price and advertising as a luxury cruise, they should do so much better. The Constitution is a new and attractively decorated ship. Rooms are if adequate size for a mid range category. Bathrooms small and could have been better. Furnishings are cheaply made..I.e. drawers do not glide properly. No make up mirror, no clothesline in the shower, no light shawl for afternoon naps or robes....all amenities that should be part of a luxury cruise. This is not the first time I have made these observations, but ACL does not seem to care. FOOD...a big part of every cruise was uneven...sometimes good, sometimes not. Bkfsts always good. Lunch menu never had luncheon salads, sandwiches or lighter fare. One dessert, usually, plus ice cream. Dinners only fair...both choices and preparation. In Maine, one expects lobster....but don’t put two tiny pieces of lobster on top of a HOT .DOG (terrible) and call it lobster relish!! Crew very charming, helpful and amazing, since most had been aboard about five minutes! Staff...also helpful...but, often, not prepared to answer questions. ACL has a habit of rotating staff frequently. Entertainment mediocre. We have had excellent lecturers (Todd, Bill and Laura) and boring ones. Check attendance at the lectures. ACL must know in advance if docking is an option or tendering necessary. This does affect some passengers and should be part of advance information. Met wonderful new friends. That, the weather and beautiful Maine coast all deemed the cruise a success.
Will we go on a 6th? Probably not. Read Less
After my wife's first experience cruising 20 years ago, this was something I had always wanted to do. So, this year, we pulled the trigger. What a lovely experience! The staff, waiters, bartenders all stood out as part of the best of ... Read More
After my wife's first experience cruising 20 years ago, this was something I had always wanted to do. So, this year, we pulled the trigger. What a lovely experience! The staff, waiters, bartenders all stood out as part of the best of the experience and part of our fondest memories. A tropical storm developed into a Category 2 Hurricane directly in our cruising path. But, because of the captain's care in navigating around it and changing our itinerary, we wouldn't even have known that the storm was an issue. Wait staff was exceptional to the point that we are still grieving leaving our waiter Kadek Dwi. Food was very good. The drinks and bartenders were outstanding and the ports of call were very fun! Our tours of the ports of call were self-directed so I can't speak to Royal Caribbean's Shore Excursions other than to report that our table mates who took part in a number of the cruise line's excursions reported having a great time. Read Less
We went into Baltimore two days prior to the cruise, both to ensure no travel problems and to have a full day to explore Baltimore. Embarkation was good, although we apparently had priority boarding through AAA, yet it was not noticed and ... Read More
We went into Baltimore two days prior to the cruise, both to ensure no travel problems and to have a full day to explore Baltimore. Embarkation was good, although we apparently had priority boarding through AAA, yet it was not noticed and we had to stand in line, which took about an hour. Cabin was clean and nice and as expected. Bathroom is small compared to Disney but we knew that going into this cruise. Dining was excellent and wait staff was 100%. Could not ask for anything more. One elevator appeared to be having some problems but overall ship was in very good condition. On-board entertainment could have been improved. Overall service was excellent. Captain wisely swapped two port days (Halifax, St. John) to avoid Hurricane Chris. Disembarkation was very smooth with paid transfer to the airport.
A lot of activities were to promote the spa (and its associated additional cost). No traditional poker table, only a blackjack table that appeared to be converted to a Texas Hold 'em table. Blackjack tournament ($25) consisted of playing only 7 hands, then the person with the most chips moved on to a final round at the end of the trip. Bingo was $39 and up. More lectures about ports would have been appreciated. Read Less
My husband and I took our three grown grandchildren on a 9 day New England/Canada on Grandeur of the Seas leaving on July 5, 2018. Positives: Weather was great, Baltimore is an easy port to access and park, our cabin attendant and ... Read More
My husband and I took our three grown grandchildren on a 9 day New England/Canada on Grandeur of the Seas leaving on July 5, 2018. Positives: Weather was great, Baltimore is an easy port to access and park, our cabin attendant and waiters were wonderful and the food very good. Diamond club and the designated diamond breakfast area were excellent. We did all ports independently...each grandchild was responsible for planning activities at a port and all of us had a wonderful time. We used the Viking Crown lounge on sea days for card games with the grandkids which was always quiet with no problem finding tables and chairs for our games. The ship to be very clean and easy to get around with friendly staff. When a hurricane threatened, the captain switched the order of the ports, even though in Halifax Royal Caribbean had to provide shuttles as the only berth available on such short notice was an industrial one. His actions insured that we were never exposed to rough weather and was much appreciated.Only complaint: one of the three cabins (2514 which is described below) was not satisfactory. Read Less
We have been on four cruises, all with Grandeur of the Seas. We like the crew and staff and the ship is just the right size for us. The staterooms are very nice, and clean and the staff really take pride in taking care of the rooms. The ... Read More
We have been on four cruises, all with Grandeur of the Seas. We like the crew and staff and the ship is just the right size for us. The staterooms are very nice, and clean and the staff really take pride in taking care of the rooms. The chefs and staff in the Great Gatsby go overboard (pun intended) to make sure that we had the best experience possible.
We loved the variety of menu options and there was not one meal that we did not thoroughly enjoy. The lobster night was perfect and if you are unsure of the menu items, the waiter and waitress make recommendations.
The shore excursions are plentiful and prices are set to suit every budget. We booked some tours through the ship and sometimes we just set off on our own to explore the area.
The only complaint that we had is that the 1pm curfew time for children should be adjusted to 10pm or 11pm. There seemed to be more unsupervised preteens this trip then in previous cruises, which led to some unruly behavior. Read Less
Best employees, best main dining food and service, best cruise director. Our cabin attendant was the sweetest lady ever !!!! Very helpful and kind. Also loved the on-board activities .... favorites were the 'Belly Flop' competition at ... Read More
Best employees, best main dining food and service, best cruise director. Our cabin attendant was the sweetest lady ever !!!! Very helpful and kind. Also loved the on-board activities .... favorites were the 'Belly Flop' competition at the pool and the water polo game ... crew vs guests, also at the pool. Ship had a full service spa and pool area, which was more quiet and laid-back, if that's what you wanted. Casino was brightly lit and had a wide choice of slots and game tables. Ship even switched ports of call to get better weather .... because Hurricane Chris was chasing us. As it turned out we had bright sun every day of the cruise !!!! Everything ran very smoothly. Loved all of the ports of call. Excursions were plentiful and varied. Looking forward to my next cruise on Royal Caribbean. It is helpful to leave from Baltimore, as then we don't need to fly/go thru an airport. Read Less
Converted from a scientific ship to cruising. Cabins are small and the doors can't be locked, deck has tarp-covered obstructions, decks have no service or chairs. Often hoses or equipment in walking areas. Not organized for exercise - ... Read More
Converted from a scientific ship to cruising. Cabins are small and the doors can't be locked, deck has tarp-covered obstructions, decks have no service or chairs. Often hoses or equipment in walking areas. Not organized for exercise - minimal gym is on floor 2, sauna on 5 (and is often not turned on), hot tub on 6 and massage on 3. Gift shop is just one cabin with a few shirts on hanger, a table with some gifts and is seldom open. . Very few refill supplies, i.e., toothpaste, deodorant, etc.
Getting luggage on board and identifying yours was pure chaos. Five hours into the cruise and the passenger luggage was still in the halls. Some of it was still there the next morning. The boat drill was treated almost like a joke and was VERY inadequate for someone not familiar with emergency cruising procedures. Exact details for the planned excursions were not revealed until that day's breakfast. Timetables were often missed and trips shortened to compensate. The trips did meet expectations although by no means spectacular.
The food ranks as the worst on any cruise I have taken. Breakfast was always standing in line cafeteria style. Massed produced eggs in warming pans with previously frozen croissants and sweet rolls. Lunch was also usually cafeteria style and some days it was pack your own lunch for excursions. The first dinner was lobster and mine took 1 1/2 hours to be served at 9:30 PM. Late starting (7:30 PM) & slow service often meant finishing dinner shortly before bed time. One desert choice. The only dining area was very loud and roughly equivalent to my high school cafeteria in appearance, The lounge/bar is very small, noisy and not designed for inter-mingling. If you are looking for a cruise with none of the frills, average food and service but emphasis on scenery and excursions this would be your choice. Read Less
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