Embarkation was simple and fast once you got past the traffic at the port but we absolutely hated the emergency drill. It was a very bad start to the cruise as we were piled into an area that couldn't cope with the volume of people. About half the people had to stand for 30+ mins depending on the time of arrival at the drill and next time I absolutely won't be arriving early for it. You were then made to suffer an awful video that really didn't highlight the safety features in case of an emergency. As that was done, the Captain then came on and droned on for another 10 minutes about how he hoped we have a great cruise, what the barometric pressure was and all sorts of crap while we were penned in, hot and wanting to get on with life. Basically it was 45 mins of torture and while we appreciate safety is important, other ships can do this in 10 mins by outlining the important things instead of making it last an insufferable length of time.
The other annoying factor about embarkation procedures was being told by check in staff that cabins would be available at 1pm. We waited until 1.15pm to go to our room and then discovered a sign on the fire door stating 1.30pm. Quite why no-one can make an announcement on the ship to this effect is beyond us? Everyone understands delays can happen and in the grand scheme of things it's a small detail, but communication goes a long way and RCCL could easily have prevented hundreds of people being annoyed if only they had made an announcement on board.
After the poor start, we then had a treat as the Captain got permission to sail past the Statue of Liberty and take a good look at Manhattan. So that put us back in a good mood and we then went on to have a very enjoyable cruise.
Lots of choice for entertainment options but do agree with other reviews about the planning. Not a lot seemed to make sense. As an example, the silent disco ran one night at 11pm and that's utterly absurd given the age group of most travelers and how long after dinner it was. The second time it ran was the last night at a more reasonable 9pn and it seemed lots of people enjoyed it. Not really sure why it was given only two nights on a 9 night sailing.
Enjoyed "We Will Rock You" and "The Gift" but wasn't wowed as other folks seem to have been by "Spectre's Cabaret."
There were some negatives such as the food being a little disappointing and we never really felt like we wanted to get off a ship before as we were so bored with the food being offered. I will say that we didn't do any of the specialty restaurants as something of a protest over the way pricing has gone on RCCL. In the past it used to be a cover charge of $20 to $25 for specialty restaurants and that was reasonable, so instead, we took great delight in saving our money for the ports of call and keeping our on ship charges as low as we could.
I know the cruise-lines all have targets of trying to wring $1000 to $2000 out of each passenger on a 7 day cruise but the nickeling and diming is now out of proportion to the actual experience enjoyed.
Further, we made one trip to guest services to ask a couple of questions but they weren't particularly helpful when asked a question so we just didn't bother going there again.
The ship itself is generally well thought out and space used wisely. We did miss not having the Viking Crown lounge or a forward facing lounge area but quite understand why the ship doesn't have these features. We also missed being able to walk around the entire ship on a lower deck and having a forward view.
The ports of call were the reason we chose this sailing and we really enjoyed each and every one of them. Disembarkation was a breeze. Literally seconds stood in front of a camera and away you went. Easiest ever and a very nice surprise when you are expecting to line up for a while.
Finally, to our fellow passengers, we met some lovely people and we met some very rude people who only had thoughts about themselves. I suppose that's usual in all walks of life but we've never experienced such blatant disregard for other humans as we did on this cruise and perhaps that's because of where we sailed from?
At the end of the day, happy to be home and to cherish the good memories we made. I'm still hoping for that perfect cruise that the glossy brochures promise and the quest will go on!
Cabin was well designed and spacious. Enjoyed the larger balcony. Our room attendant was a bit hap hazard and one day didn't have the room made up when we returned at 1pm. Other than that, we enjoyed our stay.
Stayed in Manhattan the evening before the cruise and thoroughly enjoyed touring the city.
We never take a ship's excursion as we prefer to save money and do our own thing. We did a boat tour in the end and met some people who had organised through the ship. We saved $70 each on what they paid for the same trip!
Boston is a lovely city and we really felt we could have used more time there.
Lovely port and we enjoyed walking around as well as grabbing the compulsory lobster roll.
Our favorite port and we did Ollie's Trolley tour that we booked ourselves and not through the ship. It was an excellent way to see Bar Harbor and while we could have done with extra time at each of the four stops,we still enjoyed it immensely. Lobster roll followed of course!
PS. If ever there is a way to dock in this port, it would save lots of time.
This port is a little more sleepy than others but if you get out and about and explore, you can find plenty to charm you. We rented a vehicle and thoroughly enjoyed our time exploring.
Rented a vehicle and drove to the National Park where we enjoyed some fabulous views.