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Two weeks in Canada & New England on the revolutionized Summit: my review with photos


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Things improved once we were done with the tour.  First, we headed for lunch at the West Street Café, the second stop on our Lobster Roll Cruise Competition.    And, ding, ding, ding … we have a winner!   My lobster roll turned out to be the best of our cruise.  And my wife’s lobster bisque (which she had with a haddock sandwich) was an absolute highlight.  (The local Bar Harbor IPA was good too!)

 

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We finished our lunch by sharing a slice of Maine blueberry pie.  The server asked whether we wanted it warm or cold.  When we asked which was better, she said, “It depends on how you like your pie.”  😂 We opted for warm, which was a great choice.  (Plus a scoop of vanilla ice cream.)   This was the best piece of pie I’ve ever had in my life.   It was unbelievably delicious.

 

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We ended our visited with more walking around the town, and checking out some of the shops.  Of course, no trip to Bar Harbor would be complete without some fudge, which we brought back on board and enjoyed over the next week.

 

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The afternoon had turned so sunny that, when it was time for us to board a tender, we waited for the next whale watching boat and sat outside in the bow.   Most folks still piled inside, but we’d made the right choice.  It was a beautiful ride back to the ship, enabling me to get some photos of the Summit not through the tender windows, including the one in my first post to start this thread.  Here are two more:

 

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(photos by turtles06)

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Enjoying your review so much.  Especially the Bar Harbour review.  We took a similar cruise a few years ago, but Bar Harbour was cancelled.  We would like to try again soon.

 

The best lobster roll we had was in Prince Edward Island. Second best was Kennebunkport, MA.  Neither was as good as one we had in Alaska several years ago.

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20 hours ago, OnTheJourney said:

 

When you did your Summit cruise, did you get to Corner Brook, NF?  We did the Canada / New England in Sept. '14 - I don't recall seeing Corner Brook on any recent itineraries. 

No, we didn't go there or anywhere in NF on that cruise.  We have stopped at St. John's NF, the capital, several times on WB TAs.  I'm not sure how large a ship that Corner Brook could accommodate.  Even St. John's, which is a large city, has a very narrow entrance to its harbor.  There are tall cliffs on both sides of that entrance so no room for error or today's large ships.

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Thanks for this excellent review. I am so sad that the forward outdoor deck area is no longer available for the common folk. Not sure how much of a difference it will make to my overall experience, but I did not know about this when booking a Bermuda cruise for next May, so I am disappointed.  Thanks for taking time to post all the great photos; following and looking forward to more.

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I am enjoying your review. We were also on this cruise and did the same tours as you in Portland and Bar Harbor. We also went to the West Street Cafe in Bar Harbor for lunch.

We really liked the updates to the ship and found it lovely and light and airy. Agree that the bedside lamps are strange. Luckily my husband had the side where you had to get out of bed to switch off the light!

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Suddenly I'm starving!!  That lobster roll and blueberry pie look fantastic.  So glad you found the perfect lunch.  BTW, do you think Becky's problem was the untraditional roll?  Aside from the flavorless lobster, of course.  That thick hot dog roll should be kept for sausages, etc.

 

Your pictures and commentary are both beautiful and helpful, so thanks again for such a substantive review.

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2 hours ago, sealover155 said:

Suddenly I'm starving!!  That lobster roll and blueberry pie look fantastic.  So glad you found the perfect lunch.  BTW, do you think Becky's problem was the untraditional roll?  Aside from the flavorless lobster, of course.  That thick hot dog roll should be kept for sausages, etc.

 

Your pictures and commentary are both beautiful and helpful, so thanks again for such a substantive review.

 

Thanks for your kind words, I really appreciate them!    

 

The main problem at Becky's was the flavorless lobster.  I even tried the meat without the roll --  still no flavor.  But no question that the roll was too much.   I'm not a lobster expert and have no idea why the lobster was flavorless, but it was certainly disappointing.

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9 hours ago, BarbinMich said:

No, we didn't go there or anywhere in NF on that cruise.  We have stopped at St. John's NF, the capital, several times on WB TAs.  I'm not sure how large a ship that Corner Brook could accommodate.  Even St. John's, which is a large city, has a very narrow entrance to its harbor.  There are tall cliffs on both sides of that entrance so no room for error or today's large ships.

 

We were on the Summit the time we went into Corner Brook. 

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2 hours ago, Beth_55 said:

Loving your review ! We were on the Solstice last week and we also had those BIG spoons and the tiny ones with the ice cream !! 

I much prefer small spoons so I go to the coffee stations - they usually have small spoons for stirring coffee.

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2 hours ago, Pushkin said:

I much prefer small spoons so I go to the coffee stations - they usually have small spoons for stirring coffee.

 

I don’t drink coffee so that never occurred to me.  Thanks for the tip! 😋

 

I do hate having to “waste” a clean fork and knife when all I want is the napkin they are rolled in if I’m only using a spoon for my meal, which is often the case at breakfast. 

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8 hours ago, Turtles06 said:

 

Thanks for your kind words, I really appreciate them!    

 

The main problem at Becky's was the flavorless lobster.  I even tried the meat without the roll --  still no flavor.  But no question that the roll was too much.   I'm not a lobster expert and have no idea why the lobster was flavorless, but it was certainly disappointing.

The lifecycle stage in which the lobster was harvested can make a difference. Softshell (recently molted lobsters) are typically more tender and sweeter than hardshell. I also prefer lobster caught in the bay as opposed to the deep water/offshore ones. Unfortunately, it does happen that the meat will have little to no sweetness/flavor and you got some. 

 

Traditional lobster rolls in Maine are served in a hot dog roll... the ones that are cut on top, not split on the side. Which, here in Maine, are actually called Frankfurt rolls. LOL They are smaller and have less bread to them. I think in an effort to have a "bigger and better" lobster roll (in restaurants) they use larger rolls. Traditionalists would eat two smaller ones as opposed to one huge roll with too much bread. 🙂

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40 minutes ago, MEcruzr said:

The lifecycle stage in which the lobster was harvested can make a difference. Softshell (recently molted lobsters) are typically more tender and sweeter than hardshell. I also prefer lobster caught in the bay as opposed to the deep water/offshore ones. Unfortunately, it does happen that the meat will have little to no sweetness/flavor and you got some. 

 

Thank you for the information!  It sounds like it was our bad luck at lunch that day! 

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After Bar Harbor -- our third of three ports in a row -- we had a couple of welcome and relaxing sea days.  Time to work out, wander around the ship, take photos of odd things, play trivia, watch movies on deck, swim, or do absolutely nothing but stare at the water.  Here are some random photos.

 

I noticed this in the buffet; it would not be my first choice on a ship. 🤣

 

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I’m not a spa person, but you had to walk through the spa to get to the gym, and I was struck by this promotional sign.  As someone who has had acupuncture, I can’t image allowing anyone whose training I was not familiar with and who I had not vetted stick needles in my body when I was on land, let alone on a moving vessel, but of course YMMV.

 

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The artwork on the Summit was pretty eclectic; some things were lovely, and some were downright bizarre.  I found this particular sculpture, called “Chair for Departure,” to be quite disturbing.  The first time I saw it, before reading the title, it struck me as a somewhat abstract take on a dryer at a hair salon.  But once I’d read the title, all I could think of each time I walked by was that it was an electric chair.  I thought it was kind of an odd choice for a cruise ship.

 

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Nice (albeit chilly) weather on deck:

 

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(photos by turtles06)

 

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1 hour ago, Turtles06 said:

I found this particular sculpture, called “Chair for Departure,” to be quite disturbing.  The first time I saw it, before reading the title, it struck me as a somewhat abstract take on a dryer at a hair salon.  But once I’d read the title, all I could think of each time I walked by was that it was an electric chair.  I thought it was kind of an odd choice for a cruise ship.

 

I agree with your assessment.  Had the artist called it "Salon" or something similar it might work, but with the given title, it give all kinds of negative connotations.  On a more positive note: I am enjoying your review.

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We're currently on the Summit and like you, this has been a Lobster Roll quest.    I managed 3 days in a row - Legal Seafood in Boston, Boone's in Portland, and West Street Café in Bar Harbor.   The best was West Street Café, especially when you included the outstanding pie - and I think it may have been the cheapest.    

We're finally seeing some very nice fall color as we leave Quebec, sailing up (down?) the St. Lawrence River.   The next trip should hit peak colors in more areas.   

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