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sopo pirates

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About sopo pirates

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Hidden Pirate Cove, Maine
  • Interests
    pillage and plundering
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    NCL, RCL,
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Canada / New England
  1. [quote name='CaribbeanBound']"In Portland, ME there is a $5 hop-on-hop-off available from the dock." Milaandra... This is the first I've heard of the $5 Hoho in Portland. Please provide more details. Where all does it go? Is there a web site? Any idea if it runs in late October? Is it well narrated?[/QUOTE] The $5 hoho bus in Portland Maine is a special service offered by METRO (the city bus company) and picks up passengers on the street just outside the cruise ship terminal on cruise ship days (larger ships). The route (8A) takes you to Congress Street and the arts district and back down to the ship and the Old Port. It normally is not narrated, although some drivers may give general info. [COLOR="Purple"]f[I]rom Metro's website ([url]www.gpmetrobus.com[/url]) Passengers arriving in Portland on cruise ships (with 1000+ passengers) can Hop On and Hop Off the PEEK AT PORTLAND, METRO 8A when they visit. The PEEK AT PORTLAND 8A makes convenient stops within walking distance of museums, galleries, retail shops, restaurants and historic landmarks. An updated brochure and map for the 2010 season will be produced in April 2010, and will be posted on this (Metro's) site. If you would like more information on this service ... please call 207-774-0351.[/I][/COLOR]
  2. As a tour guide who works in both Portland and Bar Harbor, my point of view... a) Mt. Washington Cog - yes it's a long day, but it's truly a once in a lifetime experience - (or for me 5 x's a year) You never know what the day will bring - it may be 75 in Portland but only 35 at the top of the mountain. b) Lighthouses of Maine - tour of Portland as well as time at 3 local lighthouses (and a WWII memorial at one stop). Great views of the harbor, and lots of interesting history of the area. c) Acadia w/Lobster - good choice - but if you have the option, take the morning tour, that way lunch is at the end of the bus ride and you won't be rushed back to the ship via tender and can take in the town and shopping. (and if you don't eat lobster, they offer steak)
  3. sopo pirates

    LL Bean Portland Maine

    Anyone traveling to Portland Maine after Sept 2010 will find the LL Bean Outlet on Congress Street closed - Bean announced earlier this winter they are not renewing their lease, so come September your only choice will be going to Freeport.
  4. sopo pirates

    Acadia RCI Land Tours

    As a tour guide for the company contracted by RCI, a bit more detail to possibly aid you. * loop tour does the entire Park Loop Rd - 27 mile. lots of scenic vistas along drive, Thunder Hole, Otter Cliffs & Cadillac Mountain to name a few. *Jordon Pond House tour does a section of the loop rd including Cadillac Mountain, but does not go by Thunder Hole or Otter Cliffs. Lunch is yummy with popovers fresh from the oven. View of Jordon Pond and Bubble (mountains) is nice. Lunch is more of a leisurely tour than loop road. Your transportation vehicle with RCI tours are modern motorcoaches w/bathroom. *National Park Tour transportation is school bus and Ollie's Trolley is trolley. *Ollie's tour goes by Thunder Hole & Otter Cliffs but not Jordan Pond. *do not know National Park Tour first hand so I can't comment on their routing. My final comment is: go in to Acadia National Park and see it, in any way you can. It's beautiful and no matter who's tour you take, it's worth it.
  5. sopo pirates

    Starboard or Portside balcony !!!!!!

    St. John & Boston usually starbord, Portland is port, Halifax I don't remember, Bar Harbor & Newport are tenders
  6. sopo pirates

    Maine: Portland vs Rockland?

    Family lives in Owls Head, right outside Rockland. Although a cute and quaint New England community, you'll have a lot more options on things to see and do on your own if you go to Portland. However, if the weather's on your side (not raining), spending the day along Rockland's working waterfront is as good as (if not better than) Portland's. Smaller, more compact so you'll see more activity in one location where Portland's a bit further spread out. Do you know if you'll be alongside the dock in Rockland or tendering from the harbor. That might also be a consideration. Although smaller coastal cruise ships have been coming to Rockland for years, this is the first year they'll have a big cruise ship in town so expect things to be frantic around the ship's activities.
  7. sopo pirates

    Hopewell Rocks Portland MA

    Hopewell Rocks should be offered as a Carnival tour out of St. John New Brunswick, not Portland ME. Haven't done the tour from a cruise ship, but did visit the Rocks while traveling through with camper. Drive from St. John to Hopwell is well over 2 hours each way. Landscape is lovely along ride, but not much more than trees, trees and more trees. H.R. are fascinating and on my "things to do in one's lifetime if able" as they are eroding away more and more each year and in 25 years or so the mushroom rocks may be gone. One key thing you'll want to check before booking that tour is the time of the tide. If you're due at the rocks between 3 hours before and after low tide, you'll be able to walk on around the rocks (wear old shoes / sneakers as it's very muddy and you may want to dispose of them when done. If it's on the 3 hours before / after high tide, you'll only get to experience the rocks from walkways along the shore and won't see the "mushroom" effect.
  8. sopo pirates

    lobster

    This past weekend (10/25/08) in Maine price of lobster at the various sellers was only $3.99/lb. Great time to order and have it shipped if you can't get up here. If you can get to Maine, even the supermarkets are getting in on the deal - they'll cook it while you shop for no extra charge! I got 5 "chickens" (between 1 & 1.25 lbs) totally 6 lbs for $30.
  9. I look at lifeboat drills the same as airline emergency drills. Something you need to attend AND pay attention to, each and every time. Wonder if the folks who try to skip lifeboat drills are the same ones who talk over the flight attendants with their presentation. So what if you've done it once or twice or twenty times before. The person in the muster station next to you might be a cruise novice and you can share your expertise on which show to see or avoid, which port tour is worth the time, etc. Unfortunately they didn't show lifeboat drills on the "Love Boat" so folks don't think it should be part of a cruise. DH is a merchant sailor on a container ship and they have to have regular lifeboat drills - and there are no paying passengers on board. And like so many others who've posted, bring the camera. It's one of those "special moments" you won't want to forget. We've had "Mae West" jackets which made us look like mutant ninja turtles, to the starndard horse collar which seem to be made out of 2x4s. If you're wearing one of these and stuck in the back row, lean back against the wall and see how far forward you can get the jacket to go without using your hands. Bonus points if you can get the bottom of yours to touch the neck of the person in front of you.
  10. sopo pirates

    Portland & Chowder

    Yes, the taxis are available right at the cruise ship terminal in Portland. You get off the ship and travel a short distance along the pier apron to get to the main gate of the cruise terminal. Taxis are lined up and waiting just outside the gate. Plenty of places to get Chowder in town, one the the favorites is Gilbert's Chowder House - they are a local as well as visitor favorite - rather unpretentious. Chowder is served either in styrofoam bowls, or the largest portion comes in a bread bowl. They have clam, seafood and corn chowders as well as standard seafood and burgers. (They are just up the street from the cruise ship terminal - almost the same distance from the ship's gangway to the gate as it is from the gate to Gilberts. Don't think a taxi driver will want to take you there because the fare is so small.) If you really want to get away from the crowds, have a good cup of chowder, AND a fantastic view (unless it's foggy - then no view), take the cab over to Joe's Boathouse in South Portland. It's a pricier meal - you're paying for the view, but it's a nice ride with super view of Portland Harbor.
  11. [quote name='vickila']Forgot Portland - go to Kennybunkport - they do have "lift" buses there in Maine -- if not town is nice to visit with scooter or w/c. Others went to L.L. Bean shopping (outlets) - accessible.[/quote] The shore excursion company in New England will make arrangements for wheelchair lift buses for the tours purchased through the ship, provided you advise the cruise line you will be doing the tour with a wheelchair and need the lift. There are several lift coaches with the Portland based bus companies which allows for several itineraries from the ship each port day. Those that can do the stairs on the bus can have their scooters, w/c or walker / stroller loaded in the baggage bay under the coach. If you tour on your own, some of the streets in the Old Port district of Portland are cobblestone and the sidewalks are brick which MAY cause problems getting your chair or scooter about. But if you find a stone street, go 1 or 2 streets further and it will be paved. In Kennebunkport, the sidewalks are very narrow and many shops there are also inaccessible to wheelchairs & scooters (old buildings with stone stoops galore in New England). If you take the bus tour from the ship to Kennebunkport, the parking area they drop you off at is gravel (recommend manual wheelchairs be pulled backwards vs pushed for better traction on the gravel). Freeport's sidewalks are good for wheelchairs, but access to some stores is again in question - old buildings converted into stores, might have a step up to get in. LL Bean's is so big though, that you might not want to go anywhere else once you're there. Coastal Maine is awesome this time of year (fall) and shouldn't be missed. Many places in the entire area are working on bringing their shops up to ADA standards; go on each communities website and then contact the shops or sites you're interested in prior to arriving to see which ones will work for your situation.
  12. sopo pirates

    Anyone have questions???

    [quote name='scgirlatheart']Portland is the only port we were having trouble deciding what to do there. None of the excursions seemed to appeal to us, so I thought we would spend the day shopping. What kind of shops & restaurants were around the port area? Is it easy to walk to everything, or was there transportation readily available?[/quote] Your crusie ship docks at Commercial and Franklin in downtown Portland. Just steps away from your ship (across the street) is the city's Old Port district. Shops will vary from t-shirts and keyring and nautical nicknacks (Harbor View Gifts on Commercial or Something Fishy on Exchange) to upscale women's clothing boutiques (Carla's on Fore) to jewelery (Lovell Design's on Exchange) to artwork (Kennedy Studio on Exchange) to Christmas to... I think you get the idea. It's there. Go to Portland Downtown Districts Website to find a listing of all the stores and restaurants in the "Old Port". And as you leave the pier property, stop by the folks on the corner in front of the parking garage at Casco Bay Ferry and grab a copy of the "Maine Passport", a coupon book with discounts at many of the stores in the downtown region (even $ off at LL Bean's factory outlet on Congress St). Restaurants were discussed heavily on a previous thread - lots of places in town for you to try. Everything is in close proximity and should be an easy walk. Portland's Old Port & downtown area is on a hill and some of our streets are paved with cobblestones and sidewalks with brick instead of standard asphalt and cement. (Rocks & brick can make for unlevel sidewalks in a few places)
  13. sopo pirates

    Bar Harbor excursion

    [quote name='SailBadtheSinner'][SIZE=3][FONT=Tahoma][COLOR=black]For ice cream, go up the hill (Main St) opposite the town dock. One block up on the left, there is an ice cream parlor that has the lobster flavored ice cream. [/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE][/quote] I stopped at Ben & Bill's for their Lobster ice cream the other day (Wed). I only had the sample so didn't get much flavor. Their pumpkin pie was yummy though.
  14. sopo pirates

    New England cruise in August

    [quote name='Jayne117']There are cruises in August to New England, so obviously you won't be experiencing the fall foliage. I imagine the foliage is the main reason people do the NE cruise. Are there any advantages of going in August? I can't go Sept or Oct because of school, but don't know if the August trip would be worth it. How warm/cool is it up that way in NE? Ok to swim on the ship? Less rain then you would expect in Oct?[/quote] In my opinion: Advantages to cruising in August: depending on cruise line, fewer guests since many are interested in just foliage (late Sept, early Oct), families traveling since they have school aged kids who can't go later in the year, warmer temps in towns and on water (ok for sun bathing and swimming on ships, and even some hearty souls will look for beaches in areas to go to for the day). Shops and private excursion tours are open for business - many close after Labor Day, if not Columbus Day. Disadvantage to cruising in August: no fall foliage, towns might be more crowded with tourists who drive, families w/kids (if you aren't in to that scene).
  15. sopo pirates

    Bar Harbor excursion

    Your 6 hr tour includes the standard Park Loop Road tour but also goes through some of the smaller towns on Mount Dessert Island - Seal Harbor & Northeast Harbor. Don't know where the lunch is offered on this tour (believe somewhere in Northeast Harbor - maybe Asticou Inn). Those that don't like/want lobster get steak for their substitute meal. You'll also get time at the Jordan Pond House, well known for their popovers. Makes for a long day. You might want to consider the 4 hour tour generally offered by the ships which give you the Park Loop Road and Lobster Bake - in Bar Harbor (coach doesn't go to Northeast or Seal Harbors). which would then give you more time in town for shopping or sightseeing. Lastly there's taking just the 2.5 hr Park Loop Rd tour (from ship or local sightseeing company) and then getting lobster on your own.
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