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Lordy Mar 28th, 2010 06:08 PM

10 day Canada / New England cruise
Hi there,
we are taking a cruise from New York in September and will be visiting the following ports:
New Port Rhode Island
Gloucester Massachusetts
Bar Harbour Maine
Halifax Nova Scotia
Sydney Nova Scotai
CHarlottetown Prince Edward Island
Gulf of St Larence
Saguenay Quebec
Quebec City

We will be going on the Eurodam / Holland America.
We have taken 2 cruises with HA before so know what to expect.
My husband and I are in our 40's and like to do our own thing.
Any tips for the ports or the ship would be appreciated.

dcannon107 Mar 28th, 2010 09:38 PM

We took a similiar cruise with Norwegian a few years ago. We mostly remember Cadillac Mountain in Bar Harbour Maine. It is easy to hop on an open bus tour that takes you to the mountain. No need to book in advance. Just walk through the small town uphill and turn to the right after the first block. You will see a tour bus site on the left. You will want to get there quickly so you have time for the tour. You can shop/eat in the town after you return. The view is amazing from the mountain, and it is a great chance to see the fall colors if you are lucky enough to be going then. Our least favorite port was Halifax. We walked to the Citadel. It was interesting to see, but definitely not a highlight of our trip. If you sail out of the NY harbour you will love the view of the statue of liberty. Get in a good position on the ship to see it coming and going. We also enjoyed sailing along the coastline and taking in views. Hopefully you will enjoy good weather and be able to see the same! Rhode Island offers the mansion tours. We paid for a tour to a couple when we got off the ship. It was well worth it and they will recommend the best ones to see. The tour building is close to the port. You are able to hop off and on a tour bus route once you pay for a tour. We enjoyed doing this very much. The mansions truly are unbelievable. That's all I can recall right now. You will love this cruise! We've talked about doing it again since we liked it so much!

ParrotMom Mar 29th, 2010 09:07 AM

Okay.. this is a highly underated cruise a Bostonian and one who has done some of these ports let me start

Newport--Home of the "summer cottages" of the You can go to the tourist office to the left when you get off the tender and buy a tour by trolley. There is also a huge museum dedicated to Tennis..

Gloucester--this is in MA and a new port for cruise ships.. There are many antique shops in Essex and of c ourse fabulous seafood restaurants..If you can get to Salem, there is the most fabulous museum, The Peabody.. it was at one time a sailng museum, but has since expanded and if the truth be told it is far better and more welcoming than anything except the Gardner in Boston. In Salem there is the witches homes..

Bar Harbor,charming and you can go whale watching and do Cadillac Mountain...the best time we had was finding an authentic lobster shack over the bridge where you p icked out your lobsters (c hoice of size and hard or soft shell), steamers, corn, etc.. and then found a table next door on a deck and gourged ourselves on fresh cold Maine lobsters for what was a song..

Halifax--what a favorite port..We hired a taxi and went to see the graveyard of the Titantic victims.. sounds morbid, but it was one of the most moving sights and the the driver told us the story about the relationship between Boston and Halifax because of an explosion years ago where the City of Boston helped out Halifax. As a result every year Halifax sends a huge Xmas Tree to the City of Boston. Then we went to the Citadel in time for the shooting of the cannons. Halifax is a college town and very colorful and hilly.. The famous gardens were damaged during a storm years is known for having more pubs than anything else.. Peggys Cove.. well, we live near the ocean and it was recommended that we not go because it was sooo touristy and if the fog came in y ou could see nothing. There is a Maritime Museum... When y ou get o ff the ship there is a lovely winding boardwalk (in the terminal you will find ladies from the tourist bureau willing to help_ with artists and museums.. If you have questions please write me
[email protected]

Eschew Mar 29th, 2010 04:03 PM

Hey Parrotmom, I didn't know you are Bostsonian! What a small world.

Lordy Mar 29th, 2010 11:16 PM

Thanks everyone for your great replies.
Parrotmom, I will be emailing you in the very near future with lots of questions. We are from Australia and will have a few days in New York before leaving on cruise. We will then have time after cruise in Montreal and Ottawa before flying home via Hawaii. We are starting off in Vancouver and having a couple of weeks to do Vancouver, Victoria Island and Seattle.
Have been to NY and Vancouver before but not too the other places and pors of call. We are still working out our itinerary but have booked flights and cruise.
Thanks again

ParrotMom Mar 30th, 2010 04:03 AM

Yep, Parrot Mom is from outside of Route 495 and you can write me at [email protected].. You notice there are some ports I wrote nothing about, because I haven't been there...yet. Eschew where are you from? There is another woman, I think Gail, who is from the North Shore who writes here too. Several years ago had met somebody from Gloucester who told me about their intention to build a port and I notice a few of the upscale ships are stopping there..Portland, Maine is also thinking of expanding their facilities.. On another board there is an American living in Belgium who worked in Lowell and is stopping in Gloucester, hasn't been here for years. He wanted to go back to Lowell for the fabulous ethnic foods.. little did he realize that Lowell is up and coming with that Folk Festival and all the new museums. Would be interested to know what "excursions" they are offering in and from Gloucester. On thing is for sure.. there are some of the best sea food restaurants within stones

Lordy Apr 7th, 2010 04:14 AM

Thanks again Parrotmom,
I have emailed you directly also.
You have been a great help with many suggestions and tips for the areas listed.
Thanks again

Eschew Apr 7th, 2010 10:32 AM

The opposite direction, Parrotmom, Braintree.
Lordy, if you want to spend a couple weeks around Vancouver, Victoria and the islands, may I suggest the following:
Tofino & Ucluelet at the Pacific side, Port Hardy near the north tip. If you have not been to the Canadadian Rockies, you should take a side trip. The driving is shorter than you think.

Lordy Apr 7th, 2010 05:55 PM

Thanks Eschew,
I do have Tofino and Ucluelet on my list.
Will it be necessary to book a hotel before we go, or can we play it by ear?. We will be there at the end of August.

We have been to the Rockies before and loved it!
We have been to Victoria only and wanted to explore more of the island.
How do you get to Port Hardy?
Do you have any recommendations for hotels?

Eschew Apr 8th, 2010 04:58 PM

Donna, I would recommend booking before you go. August is high season. There really is not much to pick in terms of accomdation as the choice is limited. If you are adventurous, book bed and breakfast. If you are hikers, see if you can get someone that will take you through at least part of thw west coast trail. However, physical fitness is a must. However, there is all kinds of short trails along the coast between Tofino and Ucluelet that is less taxing. Be careful if you wander into the water at the beaches along the Pacific Rim National Park. Strong undercurrent and occassional high wave.

Getting to Port Hardy is easy. Follow highway 19 and keep on going. While on the way up, the inside passage is on your right and you will see cruise ships going by.

We've been to BC a few times and we haven't seen all we wanted to see, and there are places taht we wanted to return. Other things for considerations:
Train to whistler from Vancouver
Cathedral growth by Port Alberni
Lake Cowichan
Butchart Garden
Royal BC museum
The Gulf islands

You might want to skip Port Hardy on this trip as it is away from everywhere else you wanted to go. On the drive to Tofino and Ucluelet, be careful of logging trucks. It was white knuckle driving as the big trucks come at you in speed with no shoulders on the highway. They have since improved the road by adding some shoulder but I will still watch out for them on the bends.

It's only a day's drive to the Canadian Rockies if you go through their toll highway (Coquihlla).

If you like wine country, then you must get yourself to the Okanagan. Great vineyards and wine that rivals the Californian. :D

Lordy Apr 8th, 2010 05:27 PM

Thanks Eschew,
you have some great suggestions.
We will definitely book prior to going.
We will be in Vancouver for 3 nights after our flight ( meeting up with friends from England ) and then have 8 days to spend on Victoria Island / Port Hardy etc areas .
We will fly out of Seattle on the 4th September but will spend 2 nights there beforehand.
We did not get to Whistler last time so will probably do this while we are in Vancouver.
We did an Inside Passage cruise a while back and loved the scenery.
Port Hardy was recommended for its scenery and wildlife. I am interested in seeing bears if possible. ( Not too close up )
We are not hikers but don't mind doing short walks along the way. We are interested in good scenery, wildlife, eating out, shopping and seeing the sights of the variuos places we are in.
Unfortunately, we are not wine drinkers. My husband sticks to beer and I enjoy cocktails and vodka based drinks.
How would you break up the time we have?
We will probablyget the ferry to the island from Vancouver and will need to get back to Seattle using the ferry also.
Is there a need to book this prior or do you think we can do this when we are there?
Thanks again for you suggestions

ParrotMom Apr 8th, 2010 05:33 PM

ESCHEW, small world one of the major posters on another board Rev/Norm lives in Braintree too..we used to live in Randolph another life time ago when Parrot Pop worked for the Patriot Ledger. Waiting to see what the Celebrity Silhouette is offerig tomorow.. going to be based in....ready for this... Bayonne, New Jersey...jezz

jenalr Apr 8th, 2010 06:59 PM

What a fabulous itinerary you've got! When we took our Canada cruise our only ports were Saint John and Halifax.

In Halifax, We went to Peggy's Cove and we absolutely LOVED IT! It was very busy/crowded that day but it was beautiful and very picturesque. We'd go again! Make sure you wear some non-slip shoes if you want to walk out to the lighthouse and rocks.

Have a great cruise!

Eschew Apr 9th, 2010 02:50 PM

Donna, train to Whistler would be a must. Make sure you get a good seat on the dome car. While in Vancouve, for a unique food and shopping experience, try the Richmond night market on the weekend, only if you are adventurerous with food and like crowds.

Before I make any comment about the ferry, do you plan to rent a car first and then take the ferry (with the car) or you plan to just walk on the ferry? If you have the car in Vancouver, drive it to the island, and then ferry to Seattle to return the car, it is not going to work too well. Even returning a car in Victoria after renting it in Vancouver may cost you a few bills for not returning it to the same place.

The ferry terminal in Vancouver to the island and the ferry at the island are not exactly located at downtown and tourist friendly. And I don't recall car rental places although bus service is available. Thise are BC ferries terminals and different from the Victoria/Seattle ferry. You may want to do some home work on that one ... Rent a car in Vancouver airport, driving around Vancouver, Victoria, return the car in Vancouver and fly to Seattle? It shouldn't cost that much more than the ferry if you get lucky on a seat sale. ($49 plus tax).

Check out the Seattle underground tour. Took it years ago and I heard it maybe comng to an end.

Rhea58 Apr 9th, 2010 10:37 PM

Lordy-- let me jump in & offer my assistance re New York City
(born there & business there) if you need any advice. post here or e-mail [email protected].

Lordy Apr 10th, 2010 07:11 PM

Hi again everyone,
thanks for your great suggestions, help and advice.
Rhea58, I will definitely get back to you in the near future with some questions. We were in NY for Christmas the year before 9/11 so I am sure there will be many chnages since then. We are having 3 nights there before we take the cruise. We loved it last time and were hoping for a white Christmas. ( It did not snow but we got snow later in our trip )

Eschew, we have not made any firm arrangements yet but were thinking of hiring a car from Vancouver and then taking that on the ferry. We were hoping to leave it in Victoria or take it across to Seattle. ( As I have said, we have not checked this yet. We would like to see a bit of the surrounds of Seattle before dropping car off )
If it is going to be too hard / expensive we would leave car in Victoria and then get another one in Seattle.
What do you think????
We will have a bit of luggage so will not want to go on the ferry as walking passengers with all of our stuff.
Parrotmom, I have written down all of your tips and suggestions. Thanks again
Thanks everyone

Eschew Apr 12th, 2010 04:42 PM

Donna, definietly rent a car in Vancouver and drive, with luggage and all. Check out cost for returning car in Seattle or Victoria. You may find the extra cost very high ($500 more?) If the cost is too high, you may opt to drive back to Vancouver and rerturn car, fly to Seattle and rent a car there again. Good luck!

Lordy Apr 13th, 2010 05:22 AM

Thanks Eschew,
we will have a look at car hire in the near future.
Rhea58, I will get in touch with you in the next few days.
Thanks again

travelenthusiast Apr 14th, 2010 07:13 PM

I don't want to hijack your thread but we are also going on a cruise from New York to Canada. We'll be on a five day cruise in August and I'm very interested in your Halifax suggestions. I wanted to make sure I bookmark this thread for later. Thank you to Parrotmom and Jenalr. I'm going to look into your ideas.

docdan Apr 15th, 2010 06:59 PM

PARROTMOM - Hi, please go to your thread on the NCL GEm - have a few questions for U

Lordy Apr 16th, 2010 05:36 PM

Hi again everyone,
Thanks for your great help and suggestions.
Rhea and Parrotmom have been very helpful thanks again.
Eschew, I did get muddled up with what we are doing re car hire.
We want to go on the ferry from Vancouver, hire car in Victoria and return car and then get ferry to Seattle.
Does this make more sense?
Will we need to book we arrive or can we do this when we get to Vancouver?
I was getting confused with what we did last time ( except for the Seattle part )
Thanks again

marg Apr 17th, 2010 03:01 PM

Re the suggestion that you hire in Vancouver and return in Seattle, we (fellow Aussies) wanted to pick up a hire car in US and return in Vancouver but were told that we couldn't hire in one country and return in another. We ended up hiring in Las Vegas and left the car at Seattle airport. If you drive from Vancouver to Seattle, there is a small town called Mount Vernon just north of Seattle - lots of factory outlet malls and a great place to spend your last dollars before heading home.
Do prebook your accommodation for Tofino - it is an absolutely lovely place.

Eschew Apr 19th, 2010 04:06 PM

Hi Donna, prebook is a must. Renatl cars will be in demand. You should still look at getting a car in Vancouver and returning it in Victoria and see what is the extra cost. The BC ferries is not too freidnly for foot passengers with lots of luggage.

I have totally forgotten that there is sea plane that you can hire to fly from Vancouver to Victoria. Almost downtown to downtown. (It is harbour to harbour) You may want to look into it as well. I think there are Harbour Air and West Coast Air, about $150 per person. The trip to to the Vancouver ferry terminal and the ferry crossing and the trip from the Victoria ferry terminal to Vitoria downtown will cost you almost as much. By the way, there is 2 different ferry routes between Vancouver and Victoria.

For flyng harbour to harbour via sea plane, you leave Vancouver by the Westin Bayshore and arrives to Victoria near the Empress Hotel. Car rental company right by the Empress. There is no security to go through like a normal airport.

I will try to answer any other questions you might have. I will be in Vancouver for 2 days in mid-May so I may get more recent and up to date information (fare and schedule etc) but then, you can pull them from the internet anyway.

Lordy Apr 20th, 2010 05:24 AM

Thanks Eschew for your advice. I am not keen on a float plane.
Last time, we went to VancouverIsland ( Victoria ) we went on a bus which went on the ferry from Vancouver. We thought we would do a similar thing again. We would hire the car in Victoria and return it there too. If it is going to be too hard, or expensive, we could hire from Vancouver and then drive to Victoria. We have not had a look at car hire prices just yet but will get around to it soon. Can we go from Victoria to Seattle?
I am a teacher and we are very busy at the moment so have not had a chance to do much research.
Thanks again for yourhelp

Eschew Apr 20th, 2010 04:09 PM

Taking the bus is an excellent option although I have never done it that way myself. The price should be reasonable. Good luck, Donna, and be nice to the kids ... ;)

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