October 2015 - Serenade of the Seas to Canada, New England, New York
Our cruise started off with a great send-off, as the captain steered us over to the Statue of Liberty where we could get up close and personal with this amazing icon.
On board the ship there was plenty to do, and it was often difficult to schedule everything in. The Serenade's night entertainment favors solo performers; a comedian, ventriloquist, an impressionist, etc. They were all top-notch and in an earlier time would have been regular performers on TV variety shows such as Dean Martin and Andy Williams.
The Centrum is at the heart of the ship. We had a cabin nearby, making it very convenient. There's some sort of casual entertainment going on here at night constantly and other fun events spring from this central spot.
The main dining room staff was very friendly and attentive. We enjoyed the food – some dishes better than others. There was a pretty good variety and we were overall pleased. The Windjammer buffet is more casual and a nice alternative. I had one “beef” when I asked for “au jus” and they didn't know what I was talking about. We treated our self to a dinner at Chops, and appreciated the superior cuisine. It also made for a nice break over a 13 day trip.
I found our ocean view cabin a bit tight – especially the bathroom. We managed okay, but my wife and I are below average in size.
Despite assurances that they would aid us at the ports, we felt somewhat stranded at times. In Boston we were pretty much on our own. This is partly our own fault for not taking an excursion that met the ship. There are “hop on – hop off” trolleys in town, but the problem is that there are several different companies, so you just can't “hop on” to any passing trolly. We “hopped off” to see the USS Constitution , but unfortunately it is being renovated in dry dock. There is a museum, however, of some interest. We had a similar problem in Bar Harbor looking for the right carriage ride. Back in Boston, Quincy Market was vibrant and charming and historic in the form of Faneuil Hall and, in a different way, “Cheers” Peggy's Cove was a surprising highlight. I thought it would just be a sleepy fishing village, but the dramatic lighthouse on the rocky cliff was the scene stealer. Another high lite for us was a visit to the quaint home of Anne of Green Gables – being familiar with the book is a definite plus. In Quebec the Serenade had to dock at a very inconvenient location which meant you had to take a convoluted walk to get to Old Town – but it was worth it! Quebec was the most unique experience of the cruise, stepping back in time and across a continent.
Before our trip the weather reports were ominously predicting rain and even hurricanes, but fortunately we enjoyed more than our share of sunshine and clear weather. The “Fall Colors” were running late this year, and even though we sailed late in October we had to be satisfied with a taste of Autumn, but it still made for wondrous scenery. Cruising up the St Lawrence with land on each side was a joy.
We took the airport drop-off excursion which included a visit to Montmorency Falls. The falls made for a spectacular ending of our memorable cruise adventure.