Need a little overview

Jun 3rd, 2004, 12:24 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 113
Need a little overview

Hi Guys:

My boyfriend is taking a business trip to Canada and has invited me along. The trip is being planned by a outside party. I feel so blessed and the red carpet is being rolled out.

The itiniary is : Fly Inn to Montreal, take a train & check into the Delta Beausejour Hotel. Cruise on Shediac Bay Cruises

Next day: Drive to St. Andrews by the Sea & Check into Fairmount Algonquin & site sea & dinner.

Next Day day Whale watch, spa service & Lunch at H. J. Walker Estate

Next day Depart for St. Johns check into S. John Hilton & Dinner Curise on Lord Sheffard

Next Day more stuff in St. Johns

1) Have any of you guys stayed at the above hotels? 2) Do I have to exchange my money for Canadian currency (for tipping & shopping) 3) What's the weather in late June (need info for packing purposes).

nigelsmom is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2004, 12:35 PM
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Wow are you a lucky girl! I can't comment on any of the hotels but yes, you need to exchange your money. I am assuming you are American. The exchange rate works tremendously in your favour right now.

If you want to give me some of those American bucks at par for the Canadian dollar though, I will gladly take them.
atilla is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2004, 01:26 PM
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Hey Atila:

Yes, I'm American, NYC girl(boyfriend complains that I tip too much) and I've never been across the border. Plus it's the first time I've ever had someone else book the itinerary. I know I should sit back and relax, but I'm squealing with anticipation (lol).

So, need tipping info (it's 15% here) and any other useful information.

nigelsmom is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2004, 02:56 PM
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Hello Nigelsmom,

I can't help you with your location-specific questions. However, the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs posts a really good web page called "Tips for Travelers to Canada."

It lists the documents you need for crossing the border and many other useful details.

Suggest you use an ATM to withdraw some Canadian cash as soon as possible after you enter Canada. I would do it in the airport, right after clearing customs and immigration. That way you'll immediately have appropriate cash for any small purchases you need to make.

Most people use credit cards for their major purchases.

Here's a currency conversion website so you can figure out how much Canadian money an American dollar can get you. (At present US$1.00 = C$1.36.)

Sorry, I haven't answered your questions, but you did say any info was okay.

Hope you have a great trip.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2004, 04:02 PM
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Assorted things...

Montreal is one of the great cities of the world. Do you get to stay there for a day or two?

That train to the Beausejour Hotel is an overnight train, leaving Montreal's Central Station in the early evening and arriving in Moncton in the middle of the next day.

There are excellent places in the Montreal train station to buy snacks to take on tyhe train with you.

Make sure you have proper sleeping accomodation on theis train. It's run by Via Rail, and called The Ocean.

The hotel is maybe 35 years old, in downtown Moncton, close to Main Street, and there are some restaurants and shops within walking distance. Shediac is half an hour, or more, away by car.

As hotels go, it is fine. Not fancy, not plain, just in the middle and comfortable. The Algonquin , however, is one of the great resort hotels of Canada, and is a special place.

My father used to work for the New York Central, and one day he had to trace a lost boxcar.

It turned out his office-mate had sent that boxcar to Portland Oregon, when it was supposed to go to Portland, Maine.

Which is to tell you there is Saint John, with no s at the end, and St. John's, with an apostrophe S, in Canada

You are going to Saint John with no S, and it is in New Brunswick, as is Moncton and St. Andrews. The Hilton is tied for the "best" hotel in town, right on the waterfront, has a good restaurant inside plus there are some other good spots nearby. And the St. John Market is worth a visit.

St. John is fairly close to Fundy National Park, which is worth a visit.

Weather in late June will be, probably high 60s or low 70s during the day, and perhaps 50 at night. Bring a warm jacket for evenings, and it can be cool on the water on those cruises, so bring something that blocks the wind.

It cools off in the evenings more than it does in New York City.

Canadians in all those places are used to Americans, and understand many have not quite caught on that there is such a thing as Canadian money, and besides, they (the canadians you tip) may be ahead because of the exchange rate. Soyou can use US money.

But it's easy to get Canadian money from bank machines at the Montreal airport or the train station in downtown Montreal. Many places will not accept US $50 or $100 bills under any circumstances, and probably not Canadian 50 or 100, either. Fears of fraud, not animosity toward tourists.

So bring a wad of US $20s, and as you spend these you'll get some Canadian in change, plus get some Canadian at a bank machine, and you'll be fine.

No need to convert in NY and bring Canadian money with you.

Your trip sounds like fun. Take lots of pictures to show the folks back home.

BAK is offline  
Jun 4th, 2004, 06:41 AM
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Morning Guys:

First...thanks for the responses..your information is greatly appreciated.

Judy: I'm going to take a look at the web site u suggested (nothing beats a good tip).

BAK: I had heard we take a train ride but I had no idea it was overnight..I'll check with my boyfriend to see if the travel agent has supplied us with sleeping quarters (thanks for the heads up ) We take the train immediately after flying into Monteal.

Spend 1 day at Beausejour, 2 days at the Algonquin (in Saint John) and 3 days at the Hilton.

I'll try to remember to bring $20's and get to the bank as soon as we land. I heard thru the grapevine about a couple of the places will lunch & have dinner which include the cruise, Garden Cafe, and Walker Estate. I'll remind him to bring lots of warm sweaters for evenings plus a winderbreaker he can roll up & put in suitcase.

I'm really looking forward to experiencing a different culture and checking out what the various towns have to offer.

Thanks for all your info.
nigelsmom is offline  
Jun 4th, 2004, 07:05 AM
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Regarding>get to the bank as soon as we land<

Remember, you don't need a bank. You just need an automatic bank matchine, assumingyou have a card that words in these in New York.

It will work in Canada, too, and automatically compute a good exchange rate.

Look for machines with the Plus or the Cirrus symbol on them, and identification that they belong to RBC, Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust, CIBC or BMO/Bank of Montreal.

These are "official" bank machines with the lowest fees.The train station you need is in downtown Montreal. (There's another station near the airport, but that is the wrong one. It's called Dorval)

Central STation / Garte Central is underneath the Fairmont queen Elizabeth and across the street from the Bonaventure Hiltion.

Since expenses seem to not matter much, just take a limo or taxi from the airport.

And, once you get organized at the train station, perhaps you can take a little walk, depending on the time available.


BAK is offline  
Jun 4th, 2004, 07:54 AM
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Hey BAK:

Just checked with boyfriend..we've got a sleeper car (whew)! Great suggestion & info for train, cause I know he would have said "Driver, take us to the train station (lol). Now I know, we should definately be at the downtown Montreal station for sure!!

We arrive mid morning so I'm assuming we'll have some time to catch a bite an eat. I believe we might be joined by a guide and a few other guests. They probably will make lunch suggestions and get us acquainted with what we should expect before we board the train.

Since our last stop is Moncton on the trip I'm thinking I might want to try and do something close to the station in Montreal before leaving and buy a few trinkets for friends, co-workers and family.
nigelsmom is offline  
Jun 4th, 2004, 08:18 AM
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Lucky you. The Algonquin is one of those great railway hotels built in the late 1800s for rich tourists. I spent a weekend there a few years ago, and I always smell saltwater and woodsmoke when I think of it--the lobby has a huge fireplace, and there was always a fire going .

It you want to learn more about the hotel, go to the Fairmont website (, then click on Hotels and Resorts. There's a slideshow on the Algonquin site that gives you a pretty good look at the hotel and surroundings.
Mairi is offline  
Jun 4th, 2004, 01:27 PM
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If you have a whole afternoon in Montereal between arriving by plane and catching the train, you've got lots of time to go to Old Montreal and wander around.

You could walk -- 15-20 minutes -- or take a taxi. That's the most useful, and most different from NY, thing to do there. And you can find good souvenirs and presents in Old Montreal.

It makes sense that Moncton is your last stop, assuming you catch the train from there back to Montreal.

If you want to do quick shopping in Montreal, just follow the signs from the station to Place Ville Marie, (past the food court,up the escalator, through the door) and you're in a giant underground shopping mall, which includes some good shops selling quality art and souvenirs.

ALso, go into the lobby of the Queen Elizabeth, (same route from the station, more escalators) and you'll find excellent gift shops there.

Do not rely on the gift shops at the airport!

True traditional Quebec gifts include woven goods and maple syrup and wood carvings, but there's lots of good contemporary stuff too, including jewelry designed by local artists.

BAK is offline  
Jun 16th, 2004, 10:55 AM
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One last question, any good suggestions on places to eat in Old Montreal? We've got a coctail reception scheduled for 4:30 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel and I'd like to get a bite to eat (& possibly some souveniers) before drinking & settling in on the train.
nigelsmom is offline  
Jun 17th, 2004, 06:00 AM
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A young lady I met working in a Montreal boutique spoke very well of a restaurant called CUBE, which I think is located in Old Montreal.
bettyo70 is offline  
Jun 17th, 2004, 08:12 AM
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Re>We've got a coctail reception scheduled for 4:30 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel <

I'm assuming this is before you get on the east-bound train to go towards Moncton.

Am I right in thinking the train leaves around 7 pm?

Things to think about -- perhaps you'd want to have dinner on the train. That's what I'd do.

It's a half hour or so to walk from the QE to Old Montreal, and fifteen minutes to catch a cab and get back to the station. That narrows down the window for going to Old Montreal and having a memorable meal.

I'd suggest, ifyou don't want to eat in the dining car on the train, that you get yourself some sandwiches and salads at the food court area inside the train station. You might want to do this BEFORE the cocktail party, so that you have the widest selection. Tehre's lots of good food available in the station. Much better than most train stations.

But if you don't want to do that, I'd probbably eat right in the hotel. Not the main dining room, but the high-end coffee shop will give you a good meal.

BAK is offline  
Jun 17th, 2004, 09:15 AM
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Hi nigelsmom
I was in your amazing city about 3 weeks ago, my first time there. I hope you have as good a time in Canada as I had in New York. I cannot wait to go back again, saving my pennies up already!
atilla is offline  
Jun 17th, 2004, 10:45 AM
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Hey Guys:

BAK: I'll think I'll take your suggestions, being that I'll have my other half with me who'll be asking a whole lot of questions and we do have a few things to take care of, checking luggage, day check bags, getting to ATM, locating some souveniers, getting a snack, making a few calls & so forth. Thanks for all your help

atilla: I'm glad to hear you enjoyed your time in New York. My beautiful city is such a double edged sword, so it's nice to hear that enjoyed it the first go'round and will come back for a second time around (lol). I'm getting more and more excited every day and trying to get everything in place before we come up to your neck of the woods. I'm just a little frazzled (happily) because as soon as I get home I've got to unpack catch some zzz & join the rest of the family in New Orleans. When I get the pictures developed I'll share them with you.
nigelsmom is offline  
Jun 17th, 2004, 11:15 AM
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Oh man, you must have done something good somewhere to be so lucky! Enjoy your trips.
atilla is offline  
Jun 17th, 2004, 11:20 AM
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I almost forgot, the next time I go to New York, I will be troubling you to answer some questions for me. I'm especially wanting to know some things about Greenwich Village and Soho.

Any help you could give me in the future will be very appreciated.
atilla is offline  
Jun 17th, 2004, 12:11 PM
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No problim' Ivegotchacovad.
nigelsmom is offline  
Jun 17th, 2004, 12:42 PM
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lol! That was in your best New York accent, eh!?
atilla is offline  

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