Embarkation: Worse experience ever. Almost 2 hours just to check-in at the port. Two lines – one for priority one for steerage (us). Our line did not move. Meanwhile they closed our line (about 15 people behind us) and everyone was sent to the priority line. We watched people get in line an hour after us and checked-in within 20 mins or less. Were told the reason for our line not moving was that they permitted all those with wheelchairs or strollers (who were in a separate line) to check in immediately from our side. If this was the case then why didn’t they take people from both sides for the next available check-in counter? This was our 7th cruise on five different lines and we have never taken more than 15 mins. (if that long) for check-in. Cunard should be embarrassed. This was unacceptable and inexcusable and is how our vacation started. When we finally made it to the ship, dropped off our carry-on in the cabin and went to grab some lunch (because we spent lunch in line waiting to check-in) it was almost 3:30 p.m. and they were clearing the food from the buffet. Not a great first impression.
Disembarkation: This was fine. We got in a line when we were ready (rather than waiting for the designated times provided by Cunard) and other than getting stuck behind two people who could not get their wheelchairs over the ramp, it took about 10 mins.
Cabin: The cabin was fine. The furnishings were outdated, dusty in places, dirty carpeting (not just in need of a good vacuuming but stains), mold in the bathroom but there was plenty of closet and storage space for two people and the bed and pillows were comfortable. Horrible sewage odor at all times in the bathroom. We never, and I mean never, met our steward. We knew his name because there was a card in the room and we saw him in the hallway a couple of times but he never introduced himself or stopped by to see if we needed anything (we left him an extra tip every day too) – EXCEPT when we were still in the room at 8:30 a.m. on disembarkation day – then he knocked on the door and told us we had to leave. Again, having been on six other cruises this is the first time a steward was incognito. The location of our cabin was good. We had an inside midship (between stairs C and D but closest to D). HOWEVER, the cabin vibrated constantly – the bed, sitting on the toilet, the floor, sitting in the chair – the entire cabin almost the entire time. We couldn’t understand why because we were on deck 4 above the Britannia dining room. This was very annoying.
Overall location was good. Average inside cabin size, adequate storage. Outdated furnishings, comfortable bed/pillows. Vibration almost the entire time which could be felt while in bed, on the toilet, sitting in the chair - very annoying. Terrible sewage odor in the bathroom the entire time (in fact as soon as you hit the 4th deck you could smell it).
Walked along the water, visited the public gardens, toured the Citadel.
It was July 4th so very crowded. Took the shuttle bus from the cruise port. Walked some of the Freedom Trail to Bunker Hill and back again.
Because we had to tender and it was foggy we couldn't get off the ship until about 1p.m. This limited the amount of time spent in Newport. We took the local bus to the Forty Steps and walked the cliff walk for about an hour, got back on the bus and back to the tender (at which time the fog had rolled in again).