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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Where to start, and apologies in advance for the length of this but when you are spending this amount of money knowing the line and ship is critical. First, we are experienced cruisers having been on Holland American, Celebrity, Royal ... Read More
Where to start, and apologies in advance for the length of this but when you are spending this amount of money knowing the line and ship is critical. First, we are experienced cruisers having been on Holland American, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Viking and Brendan. This was our first and last cruise on NCL. It started before we sailed. We actually chose the cruise based on the Maritime ports we wanted to visit. Even before we sailed NCL dropped one of the ports we wanted to see but it was too late to cancel our trip without a penalty. Then NCL asked if we wanted to “bid” on a cabin upgrade. We had selected a lovely cabin on the picturesque side of the NCL Dawn for this cruise but thought, what the heck, and put in a minimal bid for an upgrade, big mistake. We got an “upgrade” to a mini suite. Unfortunately it was on the other side of the ship directly under the buffet. We researched the suite, 11150 on the Dawn, which got terrible reviews for constant noise from the buffet restaurant above. We called NCL immediately but were told “ sorry, no cancellations or changes;” we even asked to go back to our old room and forfeit our bid, no deal, so we purchased ear plugs and hoped for the best. On to our trip. We were supposed to be met at the Boston airport upon arrival, well we arrived, got our bags and still no agent. After calling we were told the agent would be there shortly. After 20 minutes she arrived and said she needed to check with her supervisor for when we would get transportation. We finally got a van 30 minutes after that, so one hour after we had our luggage we were on our way to the port. Now on board, the observations. The Dawn is a smaller, older ship, refurbished a few years ago but still showing some age. Being smaller the entertainment is nice but no big shows. The theater stage is small and old theater type seating a bit uncomfortable and tight. There are no tables for drinks or even cup holders. Some have renamed NCL to “Nickel and Dime” as they really seem to push selling raffle tickets, bingo cards, art and wine auctions. Every venue you go to they are pushing some raffle. On board internet is absurd at almost $35/day for unlimited access for one device and you need to book it for your entire cruise. You can pay $1.00 per minute plus $4.00 activation charge for basic email and web but no audio, video or VPN. It was sometimes hard to find a quiet spot just to read especially if weather was a bit inclement and everyone was inside. Our cabin was decent from an appointment perspective but if you are a light sleeper make sure you have ear plugs. In this suite you will hear every chair scooch and cart from the restaurant above all day until 10:00 pm and then again from breakfast setup starting at 5:30 am. Next, don’t get the Ultimate Drink Package unless you are a true alcoholic. At $89.00 per day per person this may seem like a deal but what is in the fine print is the additional 20% automatic “tip” additionally added to your bill, so break even is about 10 drinks a day per person and it doesn’t cover specially coffee, soft drinks, bottled water or juices. The staff onboard were friendly and amenable but not exceptional. With the combination of NCL’s automatic daily, per person service charge and freestyle dining, where you were constantly with different staff no one seemed motivated to do anything special. Some bar staff would engage a bit more when we slipped them a couple of bucks on drink orders. Beyond basic room services, folded towel animals were the extent of our steward service. The biggest disappointment on this ship was the food. The food in the “free” dining rooms, Aqua, Venetian and O’Sheehan’s doesn’t even qualify as average. You will find 200% better quality at your local casual dining spot. Everything is geared to drive you to their premium,”pay for” restaurants. At least the Garden Cafe is what you would expect for an average buffet. Personally we ended up enjoying making sandwiches from the cheese and cold cuts and getting our expensive “Ultimate Drink Package” drinks and taking our food and sitting by the pool. This cruise was my first experience with “freestyle” dining and I don’t think I like it. First we were told that you could make reservations either by the onboard app, on the tv or by phone. What they didn’t tell you was that was for the pay restaurants only. They would take reservations for the free restaurants only by phone and then only for specific times. Being freestyle all the free restaurants were in a hurry to turn the table so every dinner seemed rushed; frequently we would get our appetizers even before our drinks. Even the speciality restaurants were a bit of a disappointment as here we were in oyster, mussel and lobster heaven and not one restaurant had any of these on the menu any night. If you do decide you are willing to pay extra for decent food book your tables days in advance especially for “at sea” days or you will find nothing available until after 9:00 pm if there is even an opening. The “pay” dining has good but not great food. On our cruise we dined in the Italian and Japanese restaurants and both were good but the quality was what we have had on other cruises in the main dining rooms yet here we had to pay an additional $30/person with an automatic 20% tip. Shore excursions. So we came to the Maritimes to enjoy the scenery and most importantly the fresh seafood. Needless to say we never saw “fresh seafood “ on board but thought we would at least enjoy it on shore in the excursions. In Nova Scotia we took the excursion to Peggy’s Cove with a billed lunch at Murphy’s Seafood Restaurant. When we boarded the tour our guide asked how many people wanted a lobster roll for lunch and how many wanted pasta. So we went to Peggy’s Cove and saw all these lovely, fresh lobster spots and started salivating for our lunch. Then we rolled back into Halifax around 2:00 pm only to turn into a strip mall Steak and Stein not for a fresh lobster roll but for a “lobster wrap” and salad, something I would have expected from a chain sandwich place. On P.E.I. known for lobster, mussels and oysters, our included lunch was the choice of a boxed turkey or ham sandwich. Luckily we got back to the pier early enough to buy and enjoy a lobster roll. Also, these are small ports and typically have three and maybe even four ships in port at any given time so all the buses end up at the same locations simultaneously. My recommendation is skip the NCL tours, get off the boat early and either hire or rent a car see what is important to you then find a nice spot for some wonderful local food. Although we enjoyed seeing the Maritimes the NCL “Cruise Experience” was a big disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We booked this for a late Summer luxury treat. We chose a Suite and enjoyed this tremendously and could not fault a thing. The on board experience was also excellent from a dining perspective and also the bars/bar entertainment was ... Read More
We booked this for a late Summer luxury treat. We chose a Suite and enjoyed this tremendously and could not fault a thing. The on board experience was also excellent from a dining perspective and also the bars/bar entertainment was good. The general shows were of a poor quality and it seems Princess is downgrading from a cost perspective. The on shore activity was also mediocre with the cruise terminals of a poor quality (not expected for USA) and limited choices of transport into town etc, unless you went on a Princess "over priced" excursion. In the end we found and booked our own private excursions for better money and also more tailored made for our needs. All was good until disembarkation when we were 100% let down by Princess who once, got you off ship, abandoned you. We queued with over 300 other people for 2.50 hours+ for a cab with no other choice of transport. Cruise and experience ruined !! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Horrible customer service for six hour boarding. No attempt to provide customers any relief. No credit offered. Elderly people had to lie on concrete floors for hours. No food offered. No chairs. No communication until 5 pm when Cunard rep ... Read More
Horrible customer service for six hour boarding. No attempt to provide customers any relief. No credit offered. Elderly people had to lie on concrete floors for hours. No food offered. No chairs. No communication until 5 pm when Cunard rep announced it would be another hour or more before checking could commence; this was followed by 1000 people groaning and booing Sheets dirty in stateroom No wine steward in brittania Wines offered have average markup of 500 percent The wine delivered to our stateroom was awful. Vinio rates the wine as in the lowest 2 per cent of wines in the Loire valley and with average retail price of $6. Cunard sure seems to be really cheap these days with the diamond class free welcome gift Food in brittania. Over cooked. Steak full of grizzle and inferior cut. Must be from a discount butcher toss away as certainly not quality. Dry. Tough. Desert chocolate cake gooey and awful. Waiters shakes at best. No pisitive communication with guests Purser desk staff rude and curt 12th floor outdoor restaurant closed for entire cruise even sunny windless days in port. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because we have always had a great time on NCL. We love being able to eat at many different places. When we arrived at the terminal to board, it was raining very hard( not the cruise lines fault for sure) but there ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have always had a great time on NCL. We love being able to eat at many different places. When we arrived at the terminal to board, it was raining very hard( not the cruise lines fault for sure) but there was no overhang to exit the taxi and our clothes in our luggage got soaking wet waiting to be loaded on the ship. The terminal was in a large tent. we spent two days drying our clothes out. Additionally, when you walked from the tent to the ship, it was not covered and you got soaking wet trying to board the ship. At least by the second day, a crew member had umbrellas to assist the guests as the rain was still coming. We had to walk back to the train station ( 20 minutes) to find a taxi. You would think the cruise lines and tourism dept in Quebec could make arrangements to have taxis available. We asked the guest services staff on the ship if they had taxi numbers and the clerk said that's not their job. Ok so you step off a ship into a tent and no one can help you. The second day they did run a shuttle bus downtown. After we went downtown we told our taxi driver where we needed to go back to the ship and he got lost. Couldn't find the ship. We told him to go to the train station and we could walk. Only day at sea, second day of cruise, we decided to try the Venetian Dining room for lunch. There were four of us on the cruise( two couples) . My wife was at the podium with me and the nice hostess had handed the waiter our menus to seat us. Our friends were talking to someone right outside the door we had met on the train a couple of days earlier. I stepped through the open door and told them our table was ready and this officer comes yelling at me and my friends to go back and get in the back of the line. He yells at us that we are not to break into the line. The hostess, waiter and others all saw what really happened and we couldn't believe that an officer would raise his voice that way to a paying customer. The hostess and waiter tried to apologize and I reported it to the maitre d who brushed us off ( this officer we found out was his boss.). We all took our seats and ate our lunch. Honestly, this put a real damper on the rest of the cruise. After spending thousands of dollars on tours, food, drinks and the cruise, hard to believe someone like that is aboard the ship and in hospitality. a couple of things... The shopping port talk had no suggestions on St John. he had no map of the city or recommended stores. In his talk he basically said there is nothing to do. We found it an excellent stop and the market in the center of the city quite lovely. We have sailed on Dawn at least four other times but never this itinerary. It is obviously the ship doesn't go there that often. We only took one tour with the cruise line and it was wonderful. We booked private cars in Halifax and Bar Harbor and we had great experiences with Halifax tour guy and MDI tours in Bar Harbor. I would recommend one of the other lines that parks downtown at the regular terminal and one that sails there more often. Obviously NCL is not the best one for this itinerary but we still love the dining options and will give them another chance next year. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
First cruise and probably the last. The list of problems on this ship are too numerous to elaborate. Briefly - no hot water some days, no self serve coffee/tea available - only available with room service after 6:00 pm, inadequate ... Read More
First cruise and probably the last. The list of problems on this ship are too numerous to elaborate. Briefly - no hot water some days, no self serve coffee/tea available - only available with room service after 6:00 pm, inadequate seating spaces for breakfast and lunch during inclement weather, options for meals are severely limited, old and outdated stateroom, poorly coordinated and overpriced excursions, movie room had seating for about 8 people. At embarkation they lost 2 of our 3 pieces of luggage so that we had to track them down. Three full days at sea with nothing to do - what a waste of time and money. TV program listings on the daily activity sheet were for the day before. They cleaned the brass handrails on the stairs with Brasso and failed to wipe it down thoroughly. Got black on our hands when we used them. Service providers were overly friendly but many did not understand English. One redeeming quality was the workout room was well equipped. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I wanted to take my elderly mother on a calm cruise as a cruise was on her bucket list. When I boarded the ship I ask if I could rent a wheelchair for my mother I was declined do to the face I did not make arrangements when I booked the ... Read More
I wanted to take my elderly mother on a calm cruise as a cruise was on her bucket list. When I boarded the ship I ask if I could rent a wheelchair for my mother I was declined do to the face I did not make arrangements when I booked the reservation. I didn’t think we would need one 3 mo prior to the trip. I was spoken to TERRiBLE by the security personal. After we boarded the ship an after a 2 hour wait to get in our room I was told it was mandatory we attend the safety drill procedure. I could not take my elderly mom there with walking disability down the stairs so I had her stay in the room while I attended.. My mother there has Dementia also. When I returned to the room my mother was not there. I went to the hallway an ask the cabin Stew Ricardo if he had seen my mother.? Ricardo stated he went into the room (I assume to clean as it was not very clean when we arrived) an he saw he sitting on the bed with a blanket. Ricardo then said she said she was hungry then she left the room. I told him I needed to find her she has dementia. I looked through halls of our floor an I found her safe an sound. I was then paged by the security personal. I went to guest services an was invited to an office of the security personal. The female security officer and the male officer spoke to me HORRIBLE!!!!!! The female officer stated the cabin stew stated he found my mother in the room wrapped in a blanket laying under the bed. Complete total LIE. First of all my mother would not b able to get on the floor much less under the bed. Second, ileven if that were true...why would he leave her there?.,I told them that was impossible!!! They then told me the cruise line was never t responsible for my mother and I was not to leave her alone. I told them I would not have left her alone had it not been for their safety procedure an the caregiver who was suppose to be on the trip with us had cancelled the day before., I was shocked humiliated over they way I was treated. Also I ask guest services if I could rent a wheelchair was declined from for the ship and also declined for shore excursions an just walking in the towns when we docked so our entire trip was spent on the ship except for one day we left the ship for Halifax an I thought maybe I could rent a cab. My mother had a very difficult time even walking down the ramp to the port. A very nice man who works for Hop on Hop off ask if we needed anything I explained I wanted my mother to tour the city was unless we hired a cab it wasn’t going to work out. He said if we wanted to take the Hop on Hop off they would help me get her on an off. We did do that an we just stayed on the bus but at least she was able to see the city. This was the only time during this vacation someone treated my mother with kindness and respect. I feel my mother was discriminated against several times by the Cruise Line an will never take another Royal Caribbean Cruise again. Your cruise line should be ashamed. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
This ship went to the towns that I wanted to visit and ended up in Quebec City, Canada, which was important to me. The rooms were itty-bitty. The bath had doors to toilet, etc. but no more than 1/2 of a person could fit in there at ... Read More
This ship went to the towns that I wanted to visit and ended up in Quebec City, Canada, which was important to me. The rooms were itty-bitty. The bath had doors to toilet, etc. but no more than 1/2 of a person could fit in there at a time and I am not a large person. I could only raise my arms to shampoo my hair if I turned on a diagonal. The food was terrible and served over and over. There wasn't a truly good meal the entire trip except maybe the prime rib on the last night. That too was thin and covered with an indescribable sauce. A few dishes of fish were ok, no shellfish except tiny, cut in half shrimp. The steak was terrible. Everything was overcooked and then covered with unrecognizable sauce. They had several days at the buffet with very strong Indian food that I could not eat, so it was back to salads and eggs. The tours were abominable based on what people said and I had read that earlier in the reviews. Most towns were easily walked in about an hour so tours were mostly unnecessary. I did take a Hop On-Hop Off Bus in Boston and asked why they were charging $69 for one person when I remember it being much cheaper last time I was in Boston, or any other city for that matter. The staff at the kiosk said it was because NCL owned the buses. At the very least, they had a connection. Never mention that you are on the NCL! The staff was remarkable but usually unhappy, we saw some cry while working. Entertainment was 2 days of real entertainment. There was a juggler/comic who couldn't. In the bars there was a piano player who was wonderful but they made him sing, which was awful. Being tone deaf would help the audience immensely. I have been on Holland America, Princess, and even Carnival (although I wouldn't recommend them either) I have loved the first two. I heard so many people complain, almost everyone I met. Also directions to exit were barely posted, not even the floor number so we had to ask other guests or follow any line we saw. Speakers didn't usually work in our room. Directions for the next day weren't even printed. Plus events were canceled so eventually we stopped going. Never again on NCL!!! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Involved no flights, was able to drive to Boston and the weather and pink sandy beaches in Bermuda! Received a text message while we were enroute to Boston that the itinerary had been changed to Canada and Maine due to weather. I live in ... Read More
Involved no flights, was able to drive to Boston and the weather and pink sandy beaches in Bermuda! Received a text message while we were enroute to Boston that the itinerary had been changed to Canada and Maine due to weather. I live in NE and my corporate offices are in Halifax. I was packed for Bermuda. Food was nothing special. I got the drink package only to find out they were out of Michelob Ultra and the Margaritas were premixed and I'm pretty sure that they forgot to put in the Tequila. Hostess at the restaurant was very rude and the pool bar was understaffed with waiters/waitresses and bartenders. I stood in line for 45 minutes for drinks numerous times. Bingo was $ 50 for three games - ouch! I've been on 2 Norwegian cruises and 3 Carnival cruises and never experienced anything like I did on this one! On a positive note - Luz and Pedro were great! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I had previously travelled on the Magellan and Columbus with Cruise and Maritime and had enjoyed both trips. On this basis, I booked a 30 day cruise to Canada with my partner on the Marco Polo. Embarkation on 5th Sept at Tilbury was ... Read More
I had previously travelled on the Magellan and Columbus with Cruise and Maritime and had enjoyed both trips. On this basis, I booked a 30 day cruise to Canada with my partner on the Marco Polo. Embarkation on 5th Sept at Tilbury was chaotic and delayed. On being shown our cabin, I immediately saw that it would not meet our needs because of insufficient storage. My complaint was lodged with the cabin steward who offered extra hangers and said that empty suitcases could be stored one deck below. Upon further enquiry, I was advised that these would not be accessible. My partner has recently endured cancer treatment necessitating the use of bulky incontinence aids which added to our luggage. We were called for the evacuation drill immediately. After this, I went promptly to reception and lodged the need for more (accessible) storage. I was told that no other adjustments could be made. I then asked to leave the ship. I was advised that as it was 15.45 and the ship was sailing at 16.00 that it was too late to disembark. I confirmed that I would have to leave at the earliest opportunity at Glengariff. The receptionist stated that she would escalate my complaint to her manager. During the next 44hrs at sea, I had the misfortunate to have my initial concerns realised and worse fears confirmed. Marco Polo is described as “elegant” and “stylish” . This is misleading. Rather it is tired and dated. For example. the Marco’s Bistro carpet was soiled and sticky, the ceiling in Scott’s Bar was damaged with twisted metal and broken lights. Two lifts were unreliable ( I was stuck in one for several minutes) and then broke on the first day requiring repair. The stench of diesel on the Baltic Deck and in our cabin was all-pervading and nausea-inducing. I was advised that the ship is over 50 years old. To describe the ship as stabilised is misleading. During the crossing to Ireland, there was excessive roll even though the sea conditions were described as “slight”. I saw no stabilising fins being deployed presumably to maintain speed and fuel efficiency as seas were slight. I witnessed several passengers stumbling and numerous accidents with crockery and glasses including with the senior officers (broken glass) during the Captain’s presentation in the theatre. My nausea and discomfort when laying in our cabin were compounded by the strong stench of diesel. The food was not of the same standard as on previous voyages. Although I was not able to eat much beyond the first day due to nausea, my partner who was a chef confirmed that too much salt was consistently being used in all the dishes he tried. To describe the entertainment as “truly sparkling” is misleading. The entertainment’s director offered a comically bad rendition of an Elvis impersonation on the first night and then made a hardsell on drinks etc. The dancers were good but the material they were given to work with was woeful. Given the cramped conditions in the theatre, the first night was enough to dissuade us from going back the following evening. On the 6th, Sept I again went to reception and stated my intention to disembark the following day. Once again I was told me that my complaint had been escalated to the manager but no response had been forthcoming and he was not available to speak to me. On 7th we anchored at sea for Glengariff. Disembarkation by tender was delayed (I finally got ashore 3 hrs after arrival). I confirmed to reception that I did not want to disembark but felt I had no other option as my complaint had not been resolved. I incurred the cost of of repatiation and the disappointment of not being able to enjoy what iI had eagerly anticipated as a trip of a lifetime. Cruise and Maritme have advised me that they take 28 days to respond to complaints. I recommend avoiding this ship. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
This is small ship with limited facilities, no spa, no pool. The most disappointing was the lack of internet service, We were told the ship would leave from Chicago however it left from Milwaukee, we had to be bused there and never were ... Read More
This is small ship with limited facilities, no spa, no pool. The most disappointing was the lack of internet service, We were told the ship would leave from Chicago however it left from Milwaukee, we had to be bused there and never were given an explanation as to why this change was made. Things were very disorganized at the Chicago hotel, no one was there to direct us to the buses. Mackinac Island in Michigan.was wonderful but the other ports of call in Canada were mostly small Indian villages with little or no shopping and restaurants. Service and food onboard was good. We had a premium stateroom that was fine although the balcony was uninviting (painted steel and plastic furniture) We had to leave the ship early due to lack of internet service. There is little to do on the two days you are at sea. Unlike most of the other older passengers my wife and I have businesses to run. If you need to stay connected to the internet, this cruise will not be good for you. Read Less

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