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Posts posted by gemduncan

  1. Thank you Twickenham & Ashland!  Now I just need to convince my dad. He thinks The Palace Royal will be too busy / congested area. But I want to be in walking distance to all the sightseeing stuff and restaurants. 


    I was also looking at Auberge Saint-Antoine hotel.  I will also check out Auberge Place d Armes.  Are there other hotels that you would recommend?  

  2. We will be on NCL Gem that departs out of Boston and ends in Quebec City. We are planning to stay an extra day or two in Quebec City. I’m debating between these 2 hotels:


    Hotel Palace Royal - closer to all the museums


    Hotel Port Royal - closer to Old City Quebec


    I’m traveling with my husband, daughter (age 11), and my father (age 73). My dad said Hotel Port Royal is a better location because it has a lot of charm and little cafe shops. I thought Palace Royal would be better so we could walk around and see stuff. We will rely on taxis/ Ubers while there. Any thoughts? Btw, this is a special trip for my father. 

  3. 18 hours ago, jdvmd said:

    I would take her if only for making family memories. Bet your father would enjoy the extra time with his granddaughter too.


    We have done two Canada/NE cruises with our kids. The first time our son was about the same age as your daughter. He enjoyed the historical aspects of the cruise. The second cruise was during our fall break and we actually ran into his homeroom teacher at Arcadia National Park, who was doing a land trip in celebration of her 25th anniversary.

    JDVMD - that is really cool you ran into his teacher! Was there anything your kid really enjoyed doing on this Canada cruise?

  4. 5 hours ago, bonvoyagie said:

    As another member pointed out - the answer lies with your daughter and what she likes and dislikes. We did the same cruise on the Dawn in 2016 we had my wife's 81yr old mother along with us in a 2br suite. The cruise is so port intensive (we had two sea days on the 14 day cruise) that it seemed like we were constantly on the move. A couple of things that helped us was the use of small taxi tours and DIY touring in a rental car. The taxi tours worked on a flat rate system and were about a push with the ship tours - the advantage is that there were only three of us, we could stop when and wherever we wanted to and the drivers tried to work around the large tour buses - sometimes doing the same route in reverse. I also ordered tourist brochures from the towns/states/provinces so we could figure out what we wanted to do and how to do it. I also called some of the vendors to see exactly what the covered. 


    BTW PEI is way more than Anne of Green Gables - yes the house is there - but there are also lots of interesting coastline and lighthouses - there is even a toy factory that makes wooded toys. There is also lots to do in Halifax. In Sydney there is the AG Bell Museum that is well worth a few hours ( my FIL worked for Ma Bell so my MIL had to see this). 


    However if you daughter is not into this kind of stuff - she will be bored. 

    That is a great idea to request tourist brochures. My husband said he was willing to rent a car at each port and drive us all around but my dad (grandpa) said it’s too much of a hassle and doesn’t want to do that.


    I talked to my daughter the other night and she is excited to go on this cruise. I told her there won’t be many kids and her reaction was “so, I’ll be the cool kid” 😊 Her reaction made me feel so much better. Now I need to do some research on what to do.


    Bonvoyagie - do you have any specific recommendations on things to see or do besides the one you mentioned above?

  5. 32 minutes ago, TPgal said:

    We are booked on a similar-ish itinerary - RT NYC/Canada/NE on the Breakaway leaving 8/30 and our kiddo will be 9.  We will be traveling with her grandparents who are 75 & 81.   





    Hi TPgal  - thank you for your supportive feedback!  My daughter is an only child and she is quick to make new friends. She really enjoys playing with younger kids....I think because she wants a younger sibling but will never get one. I agree that the only excursions are definitely a "no-go" for her.   What were some of the fun excursions you chose to do in Canada with your kiddo?  Also, that is reassuring to know that your kid still had fun in the Kids Club even with a smaller group.  Yes, electronics on the ship are a must for her!

  6. 1 hour ago, laurabegorrah said:

    I think a lot depends on your daughter's interested.  As an 11 year old, I would've enjoyed a cruise like this - outdoor hiking and sightseeing type stuff.  And I was usually pretty content hanging out with adults and didn't need other kids to play with.  But if that is not her cup of tea, you might want to consider letting her stay home.  There is nothing that will spoil a vacaiton faster than a sullen tween lol

    Laura - yes, this is totally my kid! She loves outdoor stuff and hanging out with adults. She's an only child ;)  

  7. 1 hour ago, PortFees45 said:

    I did some Canadian sailings this September. There were no children (I think I saw a baby somewhere). It was GLORIOUS. 


    Unless your tween is an old soul, she will be bored to tears. For example, one of the ports is Charlottetown, PEI. The big draw there is house where the author of Anne of Green Gables grew up. 


    No, she is not an Old Soul.  I've never read Anne of Green Gables so that doesn't interest me either. 

  8. 2 hours ago, mjkacmom said:

    I doubt there are many parents who would take their tweens out of school the first week of school. I’ve had tweens on a few cruises, even with other kids onboard none of them enjoyed the 10 - 12 group. I’d plan on her spending time with you.


    This is not the first week of school for her.  She starts school Aug 12, so this will be the 4th week of school for her.  The trip falls over Labor Day weekend so she would only miss 4 days of school.

  9. I’m cruising on Gem on Sept 4-11, 2020 (leaves out of Boston and finishes in Quebec City). This is a special trip that I’m taking my dad (age 73) on for his birthday. He has always wanted to cruise Canada. My husband and daughter (age 11) are coming too. I’m pulling my daughter out of school for a week to do this.


    I’m worried there will be no kids or maybe only a small handful of very young kids (age 5 and under) on this cruise and my daughter will be bored. We’ve always done beach cruises and she loves cruising. But this will be something completely different since most kids will just be starting their school year and no warm beaches.


    Should we all still go? Or would it be better if it is only my dad and I (husband and daughter would stay home)?

  10. GradUT - this is very discouraging. This is our very first family cruise with my dad. It’s to celebrate his birthday, too. I do not want to do separate excursions. There has to be something at each port that we can all do together as a family, right?


    Here are some options that my dad wants to do at each port. Obviously, we can’t do all of these, but I’d appreciate any help narrowing down the list to only 1 excursion per port. All of these excursions are offered via NCL.


    Bar Harbor - (1) Acadia National Park or (2) Lighthouse & National Park cruise 


    Halifax - (1) Peggy’s Cove & City bus hop on and off, (2) Coastal Drive Peggy’s Cove, (3) Peggy’s Cove coach bus tour with stops at lighthouse and maple syrup 


    Sydney- (1) Heart of the Island tour 


    Charlottetown - (1) Best of PEI tour. It is 6 3/4 hour long (2) Horse Trolly in downtown. It is only 1 hour (3) Walking guided tour. It is only 1 hour (4) Double Decker bus downtown tour. It is only 1.5 hour tour


    Saguenay- (1) Cultural stage show with horses and actors (2) Discover the Fjords secrets on land/sea tour. It is 5.5 hour tour


    Quebec City -walk around on our own and stay night 


  11. I’m traveling with my husband, daughter (age 11), my father (age 73), and me in early September 2020 on NCL cruise line out of Boston and ending in Quebec City. We are planning to stay 1 night in Quebec City before flying home.


    What are some excursions you would recommend that are good for history buffs like my dad but also fun for 11 year old girl who is bored by museums?


    I’m looking for specific places or companies to use for excursions in Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown, and Saguenay.

  12. I’m planning to book NCL Gem for Sept 4-11, 2020 for Canada/New England. I will book 1 balcony and 1 inside stateroom. We are not big drinkers. Maybe 1-2 per day. I’m traveling with 3 adults (myself, husband, my father), and 1 child (age 11).


    I’ve never been on NCL but have been on Disney Cruise. Any advice or watch outs before I pay the $50 per person deposit?

  13. I am back at square one for finding a cruise for my family, including my father (3 adults + 1 child). Please help! Here is what I’m looking for:


    Itinerary that is primarily Canadian ports - example: Halifax, Charlottetown, Quebec City *it would be a plus if it includes Saint John (Bay of Fundy)

    Dates: July 2020, or anytime around September 7, 2020, or anytime around October 16 (my daughter has long weekend break from school

    Length - 7 days 

    Fun activities for 11 year olds


    Thanks in advance for any help or guidance!


  14. I'm looking for a cruise in late June or anytime in July 2020 that goes to New Brunswick and Bay of Fundy area. I will be traveling with 3 generations (youngest will be 11 year old). I'd prefer cruise that is less than 8 days. Any recommendations?  The only cruise lines that I can find are Royal Caribbean and Holland. Holland looks to have the better itinerary between the two options, but it's also more expensive.  I would love a cruise that starts and ends in Quebec City but I can only find something that either starts or ends there (not both).  

  15. Thank you everyone for the feedback and advice.  Unfortunately, I cannot change my date (July 2020) and I cannot leave my daughter and husband behind.  We all want to go on this cruise together. I guess I will need to convince my dad to do the Holland cruise in July 2020 that only goes to a couple of the places he wants to visit.  If he wants to visit his entire list of places, then he will need to cruise on his own in the Fall.  We also do not want to drive because it will be too long a trip.

  16. 4 hours ago, GirlsClub4 said:

    I had to go through this process over the last few months, also. I have a list of the 16 cruises on this route (NE Canada/US) from end to beg of summer vacation! martincath has some very good suggestions on how to create your itinerary if you want to get creative.


    Would you mind sharing your list that you compiled? My husband, who will be traveling with us, does not want to drive and would prefer a cruise under 8 days. 


    Is there such a cruise that is only Canada (not Canada & New England) in summer months?

  17. 1 hour ago, eclue said:

    Princess offers a cruise on August 9th from Quebec city with an overnight there...to Saguenay, Quebec,Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Sydney, Nova Scotia, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Portland , Maine , Boston and ends in NYC.....not exactly what you are seeking but does the St Lawrence Riverway and a lovely itinerary.

    Hope this helps.



    Thank you so much for the Princess suggestion. Unfortunately my daughter starts school on Aug 14.


    Would it be better to do a short river cruise on the Gulf of St Lawrence and then go by land to visit Bay of Fundy area? If so, any suggestions regarding how to do both water and land tour in late July 2020?

  18. 7 hours ago, Twickenham said:


    The problem is that you're looking at the wrong time of the year. The majority of Canada/New England cruises that include the St. Lawrence are in the fall, timed to coincide with fall foliage season. HAL is the only mainstream North American line I know that does cruises throughout the summer - this year there's also Aida, but they are a German line I believe. You will get the odd cruise from other lines during the summer months, but the season doesn't get into full swing until September.


    And a bit about geography: as gnome12 pointed out, all the ports you mentioned actually are in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, although any cruise that goes into the Gulf is virtually guaranteed to include the St. Lawrence River ports (Saguenay, Quebec City and, if the ship is small enough, Montreal). And because of the distances involved, you're looking at a 1-way cruise, and if you want to include all the ports you list, probably 10 days at least.


    Oh! This explains why I keep seeing cruises mainly in September and October. I was wondering why people would cruise during those months when it’s cold. 


    Thank you you for the geography lesson. I really do appreciate it! My dad just mentioned he wanted to visit all these places and I had no clue how to get to all of them. My daughter will be starting 5th grade in mid-August so I can’t pull her out of school in September or October for a week or longer cruise. This is why I’m looking for summer time.

  19. 7 hours ago, Twickenham said:




    I can assure you that here on the St. Lawrence, we get all the major lines. While the Laviolette Bridge in Trois-Rivières prevents anything larger than, say, 70,000 GRT or so from reaching Montreal, they can all come as far as Quebec City - the QM2 comes every year, for example.


    OP, if you want to cruise in July, you're probably looking at Holland America, as they are the one mainstream line that has cruises throughout the summer



    Thank you! I have looks at many big and small cruise lines and I have also concluded that Holland America might be the best option. 

  20. I’m struggling to find a river cruise (8 days or less) in June or July 2020 for St Lawrence River in Canada. I’m wanting to go to Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Fjords in Canada, and if possible the Bay of Fundy in St John.


    Any recos for cruiselines that I should look into? So far the only cruise line that comes somewhat close to my ports is Holland America.

  21. 18 minutes ago, 1025cruise said:

    You would probably need to look at river cruises. The mainline cruises mostly don't do the St Lawrence. Only a couple of smaller ships can get that far.



    Which cruisecritic forum would you suggest that I ask my ask?  

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