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Canada/New England - looking for recommendations

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I really want to book a Canada and New England cruise. We can only do 9 nights max. Looking for recommendations for itineraries, ships, and best time to go. Fall colors is one option - is there another time that is fantastic?

 

TIA

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I really want to book a Canada and New England cruise. We can only do 9 nights max. Looking for recommendations for itineraries, ships, and best time to go. Fall colors is one option - is there another time that is fantastic?

 

TIA[/quote

 

We went on Anthem in October 2016 9 nts from Cape Liberty

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I really want to book a Canada and New England cruise. We can only do 9 nights max. Looking for recommendations for itineraries, ships, and best time to go. Fall colors is one option - is there another time that is fantastic?

 

 

 

TIA[/quote

 

 

 

We went on Anthem in October 2016 9 nts from Cape Liberty

 

 

 

Did you enjoy it? Anything you particularly enjoyed or wished you could have changed?

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What is the best time to go?

Mother Nature has a strange sense of humor.. one week you may have warm temps and smooth sailing

and the next week is storms, rain and cloudy skies.

We did Brilliance for 9 days out of Boston in early-mid September and it was shorts and

T-shirt weather with smooth sailing. Too early for Fall colors but people were in the pools every day.

Another cruise was a Princess cruise at the end of September early October on the heels of some

"Nor'Easter" storm. It was chilly, damp and some excursions were canceled or curtailed because of

storm damage at the excursion sites.,

My advice = be prepared for almost anything no matter when you cruise, watch the weather forecast

just before you leave and pack the appropriate clothes.

Since Fall color change is somewhat dependent on the change of air temperature, the color change

could be earlier or later than usual.

Don't build expectations based on one or two places/events and you'll enjoy the experience.

 

PS. Eat most of your seafood in the ports rather than on the ship....it's fresher in port! .

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Fall is a great time to cruise Canada/New England, it's cooler, colorful and less crowded.

 

Just about all the lines cruise this route from New York and Boston. RCCL Anthem is a terrific ship. Regal Princess, Cunard QM2 and Holland America Line.

 

Jonathan

 

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Forums mobile app

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If your schedule is flexible, check the number of ships in port the days you would be there prior to committing to any particular week - it is especially important in smaller, tender ports like Bar Harbor. Also check the hours in each port because it does change week to week even on the same ship.

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Did you enjoy it? Anything you particularly enjoyed or wished you could have changed?

Yes, but the only negative was the weather, we didn't do any excursions. I had wanted to go into Boston.The other ports we got to see 15years ago.

Got to see all the shows with out reservation.

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There are a few 9 night New England/Canada cruises leaving from New Jersey on Anthem of the Seas. That's the one we choose. It visits Boston, Portland, Bar Harbor, Halifax, and St. John. We are super excited about it. I believe Grandeur of the Seas has a couple of 9 night cruises as well?

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We were on Grandeur last September from Baltimore for a 9 night. She's smaller, with fewer bells and whistles, but we enjoyed it.

 

We stopped in Boston, Portland, Bar Harbor, Halifax, and St John. We went September 1-10, and found the weather to be pretty decent. Some places needed a light jacket (specifically Cadillac Mountain in Bar Harbor and on a mail boat tour we took in Portland), but otherwise, he was in jeans/shorts and a t-shirt.

 

When we booked, Grandeur was cheaper than Anthem, and Baltimore is closer to home, so we opted to try out the smaller ship. There wasn't as much to do, and of course, the deck chairs were never full because of the weather. But all in all, we'd do it again and really enjoyed it, even on the smaller ship.

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If interested, here's my verbose review of ship & related tours (happy reading):

 

Anthem cruise that began on August 25 was my 2nd sail on a Quantum class ship and loved it as much as the previous one. This time around it was much easier as we did not have to battle sleet/snow conditions getting to the pier on a February day. We live in Monmouth County, NJ around Garden State exit 117. It took us approximately 2 hours door to door. A bit of back-up incurred on the turnpike and in dropping off our bags. Parking was a real breeze.

 

Embarkation: Easy as pie. Checking in done via Pads and took about 3-5 minutes to complete task, including our pictures and health information. A bit of foul up in the printing of the sea pass. Usually on other ships the printed sea pass includes all passengers. However, on the Anthem separate printouts are required. No big problem, were directed to a kiosk station inside the terminal and got the second sea pass. Once inside, as Diamond+ members, we avoided the lines and went directly up the ramp leading onto the ship. Cabins became available at approximately 1PM.

 

For lunch we headed to the Windjammer and it was crowded as it is customary on embarkation day on all of the RCL’s ships that we’ve sailed. Typical WJ offerings, except that I noticed a larger selection of fruits and salads, including an ice cream station. Offerings were okay, as buffets go. Got a big surprise on future visits to the WJ and it was the adding of a pasta station—this station was very popular with passengers.

 

After lunch, we explored the ship and a 2 PM went to our cabin and to our surprise our luggage was outside our cabin door. We unpacked our bags and later continued exploring the ship. We wound up by 2x70 when the ship left the pier at 4:15pm. It was a great place to see the ship leaving (add’l info in the tour section of this review.)

 

Cabin: We had #9250 which is the opposite of #9650 that we occupied on the Quantum. It’s a D7 cabin approximately 5 cabins from the elevators—very convenient. It was also what is called on CC a “hump cabin” which encompasses a larger balcony than the average. I don’t recall on other ships whether the balcony sliding doors are locked for both the inside & outside to maintain the air conditioning setting.

 

Dining: For dinner we selected Dynamic Classic with 5:30 seating. The Classic comprised of rotating each night within the 4 complementary restaurants. The wait staff and fellow diners rotated with you. Our 1st was Chic, followed by Grande (formal), Silk & American Icon. We did not know what to expect, but we found the concept quite easy and very accommodating. I had requested, via RCL dining, a table for 2, and were assigned table #125 by the window. The 1st night was the only night that we waited to be seated. On subsequent nights we simply walked in and went to our table.

 

Although subjective, we found the quality and variety to be quite good. Each night we basically began with an appetizer, followed by either salad and soup, main entrée and of course followed by the wonderful desserts. A surprise awaited us the 5th night when we left Bar Harbor, Maine. Our waiter Nemesh (who was fantastic and always a smiling) informed us that Lobster was available, although not on the menu. We thought that it was the usual lobster tail, but to our surprise it was a full lobster sliced in half and the head stuffed with tiny shrimps. Subsequently found out from the Captain that they spent $40k on the lobsters.

 

For breakfast we basically ate at the Windjammer (WJ), Main Dining Room (MDR) and once in the Diamond Lounge. We’re not large breakfast eaters and settled for an occasional omelet. Most of the time, it was coffee, water, fruit and pastries. The night before arriving in Boston we ordered room service for the following morning as we had an early tour. It was a wonderful presentation of fruit, continental breakfast, and a large pot of coffee. Rate this service an A+.

 

Lunch, we frequented the WJ and the MDR on sea days. The WJ had its usual buffet items. However, a welcome addition was the pasta station which was a hit with passengers as there was always a line. You had a choice of marinara, meat and cream sauces to go along with pasta of penne & spaghetti. In the mix was the availability of various vegetables.

 

Specialty restaurant: Had the opportunity to dine in Jamie’s on the 1st nite to take advantage of the D+ BOGO coupon. Began with the meat plank, comprised of mozzarella balls, parmesan cheese, prosciutto, salami, capicolla, caponata & flat bread. The caponata & flat bread was a meal unto itself. Followed by entrees of lamb chops (3) and prawns in marinara sauce over linguini. Had room for dessert. LOL

 

On the 7th nite, we dined at Chops Grille. Began with large shrimp cocktails, French onion soup and the 6oz filet. Enjoyed the filet as one could cut it with a fork. Also followed by dessert of 3 large cookies with vanilla ice cream.

 

Just finished mowing my front lawn, man it is hot and sticky out there. Can't remember a summer like this.

 

Continued by covering the tours

 

Tours: We basically enjoyed most of the tours taken.

 

Bayonne to New York City(haha): To our surprise, Anthem went up the Hudson River instead of open waters. What a thrill seeing the Statue of Liberty (twice), Ellis & Governor’s Islands and the Battery Park sky-line. In the process of turning the ship, it seemed that we were within walking distance of Battery Park. When the powerful azi-pods kicked-in, the 2x70 theatre shook and rattled. The Captain, who has a great sense of humor, mentioned at the top tier event, that he made a mistake and took the wrong turn. LOL

 

Boston to Cape Cod: A 9 hour tour and stopped at Sandwich , Hyannis & Chatham. Sandwich is named after the” Earl of Sandwich” which of course the sandwich is named after. Not much to see other than the Grist Mill and as a bathroom break. Next was Hyannis & Hyannisport. A nice and pleasant stop, which included a 1 hour boat ride and the primary attraction was not only the beautiful port, but the Kennedy Compound and identification of each of the homes & occupants. Next on the stop was Chatham for lunch and shopping. Chatham is a beautiful small resort filled with restaurants, hotels and variety of shops. Had an opportunity to have lunch with my old boss and his spouse who live in NJ and have a place in Brewster. They recommended Wild Goose Inn, but we were disappointed as it was noon time but had no vanilla ice cream to go along with the apple torte. On the way back to the ship we stopped at a beach(?) where the Mayflower folks wound up. It was fascinating reading the plaque and admiring the lighthouse overlooking the beach area. Thankfully, traffic was light going & coming. Our tour guide mentioned that on Memorial & Independence Days it takes some 4 hours to get to Cape Cod from Boston and its vicinity.

 

Portland & Kennebunk(Port): Tour was 4-5 hrs . We began touring Portland and its highlights. Saw many lobster markers indicating lobster traps. Small city with a smattering of traffic. Stopped and explored the park & the Portland Head Light (lighthouse). Next we headed to Kennebunk & Kennebunkport. At Kennebunk, the bus followed the rugged coastline which was occupied by beautiful & expensive homes by the beach. Never realized how rocky the beaches are in this part of Maine. Next headed to Kennebunkport and passed/saw the Bush’s Estate, which lies on a bluff by the water. Jeb Bush is building a house next to his parents. The Bushes are loved in this part of Maine. There was a lot of memorabilia backing Jeb for President. Finally at approximately 1:30 we broke for lunch in Kennebunkport, after some Pax complained that they were hungry. We lunched at the Pilot House in Dock Square and ordered the tasty clam chowder soup and lobster rolls. Full lobster dinner could be had for $15.99. Did not have much time to shop as we simply ran out of time. A couple of items that we learned from our tour guide in that Maine was part of Massachusetts and was spun off as a State so that Missouri (slave state) could be admitted . State of Maine is large or larger than the rest of the New England States combined.

 

Peggy’s Cove & Titanic (Halifax N.S.): Halifax is beautiful city. A lot of activities by the pier. Beginning at the cruise pier, there’s Harbourfront Boardwalk that stretches either 4km or 4 miles. There are condos, shops & restaurants along the 4 k/m walkway. At the end, there’s a Casino. Found residents to be very helpful & friendly. Would have loved to walk the entire

boardwalk, but we had a upcoming tour.

 

Our ship’s tour was at 1PM and it was 4-5 hours. Got the see the highlights of the city. Never realized how much of Britain is seen in Halifax & St. John’s. There is a Queen’s representative that takes care of certain Royal functions. Even though, Canada is independent, there’s a very close relationship. Many streets/avenues are called Queen, King, etc. After, we headed to Peggy’s Cove and the lighthouse. Beautiful & unusual rugged terrain & rock formation, and being cloudy this day, one can see that it’s a dangerous place during storms. We were warned to stay away from the black rocks (mossy) as they were afraid of people slipping into the water which has occurred too many times before. There were signs warning of possible rogue waves. Peggy’s Cove is a small enclave that has 30+ permanent residents. They must travel some 10-15 miles for food stuff & supplies. On the way back, we stopped at Fairview Cemetery where some 120+ souls from the Titanic are buried. There are others buried respectively in a Jewish and Catholic Cemeteries. It was very solemn and somber. The head stones are simple, with their date of birth and date of death of April 15, 2012. Many have names and other no names, as they have never been identified. So sad, to hear terrible background stories and unusual facts surrounding this disaster.

 

Notes: (a) The disembarking/embarking was done via the 5th deck, while the street level was at the 2nd.. The gangway plank was used for both coming/going and Paxs were bumping into each other. Also, there was a sharp descend that some with mobility problems found it challenging.

 

Note: (b) Unlike the delay in St. John’s due to some 20 non resident Canadians/Americans who did not heed the instructions to present their passports to Canadian Customs/Immigration, in Halifax no such problem, got off very quickly.Ps. Vat of 15%.

 

Bar Harbor: After 2 bus tours we needed a break and decided to venture on our own and explore the area near the dock where the tender dropped us. Some tenders were large in that they could accommodate some 250-300 passengers. They began at 8am. The procedure was to get a tender pass half hour before disembarking. At about 10am, when we disembarked, no tender pass was required. Passengers were picked up/discharged very efficiently. We toured the pier area and impressed. The area was vibrant, clean and chic. Condos, hotel, restaurants, shops and antique shops adorned the area surrounding the drop off point. Loved the leisurely walking & stopping/perusing the many stores. Ps. When we left, we were dining in Chic, and as mentioned had a window view of the water and saw thousands of lobster nets--what a sight it went on forever.

 

 

St. John’s: Unlike Halifax and Bar Harbor, nothing near the dock. Unfortunately the ship arrived at 11am (see note “b” above.) Paxs were getting impatient as the lines snaked all over the 5th deck Esplanade. We did not select a tour, but opted for the Pink GOGO bus. We got our tickets ($49.95each) and proceeded to get the bus. This was at 1PM and could not believe the line snaking around the parking lot. We were told that a bus would be forthcoming every 20 minutes as there are only 7 buses traversing the city. We estimated, based on the length of the lines and only 30 passengers boarding at a time, that it would take some 1.30-2 hours. If we had known this ahead of time we would not have bought tickets and would have tried something else. We waited another 25 minutes and luckily, 3 buses, one red, showed up. Got on the 3rd and began our journey/tour. There were some interesting buildings, statues and parks, but overall less than anticipated. There was talk of seeing the reversing rapids, but due to lack of tides this was a bust. Headed back to the ship, and close to the drop off point, the tour narrator, began singing the Canadian National Anthem. Amazing, as we American would find this to be Jingoistic. She had a pretty good voice.

 

As we were in Canada, not only were the shop & casino closed aboard ship,so were most of the bars plus no bothersome photographers. Found out later that the only bar open was the Schooner, maybe because of the Trivia contest (?). The ship’s departure time was 11pm and it made it for a long night. My understanding is the 11 to 11 time frame is due to the variable tides—Tide change can measure as high as 20+feet.

 

 

Ok, just finished my mowing my lawn, below is the next chapter Staff,

 

Staff: Overall pretty pleased with the ship’s staff.

 

Cabin Steward (Lester) was friendly and accommodating. Always smiling and respectful. When initially introduced we asked for ice, robes & extra bath towels. No problem with requests and he kept our cabin & bathroom spotless.

 

Wait Staff of Nemesh (Waiter) & Chathan. Both were from Mauritania and were very good at their functions. Water glasses constantly filled. Very efficient in taking our orders and explaining (Nemesh) some of the more technical ingredients associated with a specific dish. As we had a table for 2, most of our meals were finished in 1 hour or less. We ordered the full gamut of appetizers & soups, main entrée, coffee & of course desserts.

 

Note: I don’t understand why they stopped showing wait staff names on the name plates on the dinner Very difficult trying to figure out the spelling & pronunciation of someone’s name other than bringing paper & pen and write it down.

 

Other Staff: Most were friendly, courteous and smiling. Even the engineers on deck 15th d who put up with my 5am jogging/walking while they were pressure cleaning the deck and deck chairs. The only real problem that I had was with some Guest Services reps. that basically lied to my face on a specific issue. Other than that, no real issues.

 

 

 

 

Final chapter,

 

Other aspects:

 

Diamond Lounge: Constantly packed. No matter what time you got there. After the 2nd night, we basically accepted the bar service in the overflow area of the Music Hall. Many times the bartenders did not even scan my sea pass. Enjoyed the specialty coffees offered around the clock. Also, enjoyed the breakfast spread offered. Ps. Was able to bring the drinks to the dining room without any hassle.

 

Voom Internet: Bought the surf package on the 3rd day, after using one of the D+ coupons. Disappointed in that the D+ coupon was for $39.95 rather than the usual $59.99. Found speed quite slow as compared to the experience aboard the Oasis.

 

WOW wrist band: Reading on CC thread, someone mentioned that if you have a previously issued wrist band you can trade it in for an Anthem one. Did so on the 1st day, and a GS rep. said that practice was discontinued, but would honor it this one time. Got my band, but very difficult to put on. Unlike the Quantum’s model which had a clasp like a watch, this had rubber like points that needed to be inserted in the openings. Very frustrating, I finally connected before squeezing my wrist in the opening. Once I mastered it was convenient because I left my sea pass card in the power slot to maintain the air conditioning setting. Once you removed the sea pass the power went out.

North Star: Made reservations for 9:30 on the 7th day (sea day). Enjoyed it, but a bit apprehensive as there were winds blowing at 35-40 knots. What a sight of the Anthem at its apex point.

 

Cabin mini bar: This was a shocker. On the 3rd day, we got a notice in our cabin that all beverages would be removed from the mini bar. Notice included a with card listing drinks, etc, that you checked off if you opted to retain in the mini-bar. We used the mini bar to store the 5 bottles of water and the 2 cans of soda provided in our as comp for our D+ status.

 

Sunday Mass: Mass was presided by Father Michael Champlin. It was 8am and held in the Music Hall crowd.

 

Disembarkation: If embarkation was smooth, this aspect was even smoother. We were assigned tag # 4 with an 8am time frame. We were in Grande enjoying breakfast. At about 8, we heard the announcement of our slot. The luggage was near the exit. Leaving Grande and getting home took us approximately 1.5 hours to get home (got home at 9:30). Getting off and clearing customs was nowhere near the madness of Fort Lauderdale, where lines snake all over the place. Paying and exiting parking was as a snap. Going home, the roads were empty and this was due to the Saturday arrival.

 

Misc.:

 

Solarium: No real hassle with chair hogs in the Solarium. There was a constant turnover so that many chairs were readily available.

 

Decaffeinated black tea: None available in all dining venues, including the D lounge. Had to beg one of the officers in the WJ-- after 15 minutes, she found a box and brought my wife 3 tea bags. Don’t understand why not make it available. In one instance at lunch, in the dining room, asked for decaf tea and was brought chamomile.

 

Tutti Salad: Disappointed that the salad bar in the MDR on sea days did not include hot entrees.

The best salad bar are on the Oasis class.

 

 

Finally, we loved the Anthem so much, that we booked a 12 nite Caribbean sailing in January 28, 2018. In addition, took advantage of $200 in obcs when booking on-board.

 

 

Ps. We had 10 days of calm seas/oceans. It was as tranquil as the Carib. waters. Who knew that when she left that Saturday to Bermuda would face hurricane Hermine.

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We did the 9 day a couple of times when Explorer sailed out of Bayonne. Nice trip, but only got as far north as Halifax. Last year we took Celebrity Summit 14 days to Quebec and back with an overnight in Quebec and stops in Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island. GREAT TRIP.

 

If you're limited to 9 days suggest you consider a one way voyage from NY to Quebec or Montreal. Several cruise lines run them and you get a better look at Canada.

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