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  1. Definitely consider doing The Lucky Catch with your kids in Portland. It's fun for all ages. Check it out on Trip Advisor, the reviews are extensive.
  2. If you're open to it, a car service would be much easier. The island roads are narrow and crowded. Finding parking is tough. A service can drop you off and pick you up. I did a quick search and found one. I'm sure there are more. Here's a start... check it out. https://www.atyourservicetours.net/
  3. Another option, if you're in Portland before September 2nd, is to take the 11 o'clock ferry. It just goes to Long Island and back to Portland. You'd get to see 3 islands (Little Diamond, Great Diamond, Long Island) plus the bay around those islands. This ferry returns to Portland around 1PM. That would give you a shorter boat ride but more time for lunch on your return. A senior roundtrip fare to Long Island (if you took the 11am ferry there and back) is $5.35. You won't get narration on that trip, though. Unless you bump into me! LOL After 9/2 the 11:00 ferry is dropped and your only option is the 10:00 or you won't get back in time.
  4. That's the thing... it's the SAME boat. It's called the Mailboat Run because that's the time they send the mail down bay. It's a regularly scheduled ferry to all of the islands, from Portland to Cliff Island. It doesn't go to Peaks Island as they have a dedicated ferry. But the 10:00 boat to Little Diamond, Great Diamond, Long, Chebeague and Cliff Islands IS the Mailboat Run! For locals, it's the 10 o'clock down bay. For tourists, it's the Mailboat Run. So if you're on that boat you'll hear the narration they do for the tourists regardless of what you paid for your ticket. As far as I can tell the only thing you get for the extra cost is the map. I will often sit and talk to tourists... answering questions and pointing things out. They narrate some of the time but you have to remember that this is a passenger/freight ferry and not a "tour boat".
  5. The senior rate (65 and over) is only $5.75 if you just buy a ticket to Cliff Island. Adult tickets are $11.75, with kids under 5 free. It's the same exact trip. The only thing you get extra for buying the "Mailboat Cruise" ticket is a paper placemat map of Casco Bay. Tickets TO the islands include your return trip to Portland... most people don't stay on the boat to return on the same run, but you can. There will not be time to get off the boat to buy anything... once passengers are off, those waiting on the pier will get on and the gangway is pulled. Since the ferry leaves at 10AM I would suggest you consider bringing coffee/pastry and plan on having lunch when you get back to Portland. Standard Bakery is excellent and they are across Commercial Street from the Maine State Pier, next to a hotel. You could also bring wine/cheese for the return trip! For that I'd suggest Casco Variety (94 Commercial St... just two piers past the Maine State Pier where the ferry terminal is located). They have beer/wine, sandwiches, etc and open at 6AM. It's a popular place for islanders to grab a cup of coffee and muffin for the boat ride. And you're correct, they don't usually sell out. I'm from Long Island... so I ride this boat a LOT. This is similar to the map they give you... print it and bring it with you. LOL Hope you enjoy your cruise and especially your visit to Portland!
  6. The Observatory is a great suggestion and you can walk from the cruise pier to it.
  7. They are... and yes, they are YUM!!! I cooked 4 last night. Honestly, if you're looking for boiled/steamed lobster on the waterfront any place that serves it is good. If you want a lobster roll or something else made with lobster, then it might make a difference where you get it.
  8. My advice would be to take a ship's excursion for this one. You'll need to get to a car rental place and back to the ship... and then find parking in K'bunkport. Or, look at a private car with driver if you want to avoid "the masses". https://www.mainelimo.com/area-tours/
  9. I'm down by the piers in Portland at least once a week year round and I have never seen a horse & carriage. I know one company comes in during the holidays and does wagon rides, but if there's a horse & carriage there it's news to me! Maybe MSC brought them in special for their passengers. I did a search and couldn't find any, either.
  10. Yes, it's still there and yes, it's open for lunch. When I go to Ri Ra's it's never for the food. 😉 I mean... that's not the reason I'm going there. I also would suggest that you go to Bull Feeney's. You'll walk right by Ri Ra's so stop in for a beer and appetizer, then head up to Bull Feeney's for round 2 and lunch. FYI, you'll need transportation if you go to the Great Lost Bear.
  11. The north Atlantic is cold... you'll want a jacket if you plan to be out on deck at night. NE/CA fall weather is very variable. You might hit what we call Indian Summer and it will be HOT. Or, we could have a cold spell and you'll be looking for mittens and a hat. Bring options. Definitely a windbreaker/raincoat, a fleece of some type, long pants and something other than sandals. Mornings are often cool and foggy while the afternoons are hot and sunny.
  12. Thanks for the very quick reply!
  13. When is the Equinox getting dry docked?
  14. They lost 2 of ours... never saw them again.
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