On a Big Apple Dawn

After an evening of dinner, a show, and some dancing, we returned to our cabin for the final night …
… only to rise early for the special treat from the deck to the east …
… but the show we came to see was to the west …
… as we approached the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge …
… which the ship cleared with a little to spare …
… to eventually dock on the New Jersey of the river with a wonderful view of Lady Liberty and the Manhattan skyline featuring One World Trade Center, the Empire State Building, and the morning clouds getting ready to make a break.
From the dock, our return home started as we went directly to the airport, so we couldn’t connect with NYC area bloggers as Lame, Guapo, Kay, and Weebs. But if you are late joining this trip, click here to get you to the start, plus each post will end with the next stop.

On Remember (the) Maine

Remember the Maine was a battle cry associated with the Spanish-American War in the late 1800s. This post is not about the ship explosion in Havana harbor, but about our two port stops in Elyse’s beloved Maine.

We had visited Maine 15 years ago (or more), but this was our first visit to Bar Harbor. This small town is a resort town in a scenic setting and the getaway into Acadia National Park.

Bar Harbor received its name after a sandbar that only appears in the harbor during low tide. It’s a nice walk, but get back before high tide returns.

Bar Harbor Low

A nice walk across the bar to a small island …..

Bar Harbor High

…. just don’t get stuck out there

With its outcroppings of pink granite, Cadillac Mountain is Acadia’s high point, and its summit provides an outstanding view of the harbor and surrounding islands.

Bar Harbor Cadillac

3 Ships brought 6,000 people (We had the best spot on the right)

Our next-day visit to Portland delivered a warm, sunny day. With a population of about 66,000, Portland is Maine’s largest city. With walks along the Eastern Promenade, through the trendy neighborhood of Munjoy Hill, to the commercial district, and visiting the stores, galleries, and restaurants of the vibrant Old Port District, who knows how many miles we walked.


Portland Old Port District

The Old Port District is alive!

On to the last stop.

On Mary Time

Whether Mary had a little lamb, Hail Mary, or Along Comes Mary, this post has nothing to do with Mary – but everything to do with our cruise stops in Canada’s maritime provinces.

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (population 35,000) is PEI’s largest city and provincial capital. It may be a city, but it sure as a small town feel. It’s also the setting of the novel Anne of Green Gables.

We walked around the residential neighbors with well-maintained homes and took the long walk to Victoria Park and beyond to the lighthouse. Interestingly, the rocks and sand are red, and even the shallow water near the shore had a red cast.

One of the many gorgeous old homes

One of the many gorgeous old homes

The red in Charlottetown

The red in Charlottetown

The boardwalk along Victoria Park is a refreshing walk

The boardwalk along Victoria Park is a refreshing walk

Charlottetown is also the home to Cows Ice Cream, rated the world’s best ice cream by Tauck’s World Discovery. We tried it, it was good, but sorry Tauck, it’s no Graeter’s, which wasn’t listed! Nor was Viveka’s beloved Mövenpick!

After Charlottetown, we cruised north to Corner Brook on Newfoundland’s west coast. This will probably be the closest I’ll ever be to Kayjai (she’s on the east coast).  On this day we were without a camera because of issues. Too bad because the fiord-like trip into Corner Brook was scenic.

Corner Brook, Newfoundland (pic from Wikipedia)

Corner Brook, Newfoundland (pic from Wikipedia)

Halifax was our final maritime stop. Unlike the two previous stops, Halifax is definitely a city … and the amount of new construction surprised us. Interestingly, the fortress that guarded the city is atop a hill above city center.

Old Clock installed 1803 just below the Citadel

Old Clock installed 1803 just below the Citadel

We didn’t realize the role that Halifax played in the Titanic disaster. With the nameless headstones, the trip into the cemetery with the most gravesites (121) from the ship was surreal.

Halifax Titanic Graves

The unidentified and the identified (amazingly, some were identified in 1992)

The unidentified and the identified (amazingly, some were identified in 1992)

We also boarded a bus for a trip to Peggy’s Cove, a small, picturesque fishing village found among the glacial remnants. Tour buses flock to this village for its charm, scenery, and lighthouse.

Peggy's Cove is picturesque

Peggy’s Cove rocky shore

Hope you enjoyed your quick journey to the Canadian maritime provinces of Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia.

Visit our next ports.

On an Explorer

Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, and Vasco da Gama are a few of the early European explorers. but this post is not about any of them because the day after arriving in Quebec City, we joined another explorer – Royal Caribbean’s (RCCL) Explorer of the Seas.

This 1025 ft (312.4 m) explorer is part of RCCL Voyager Class capable of carrying 3,114 passengers and almost 1,200 crew. Our trip was about 96% capacity.

When in port, we spend much time seeing sites and walking. Our evenings following a pattern of dinner, theater entertainment, then dancing – but the dance floors on this ship were a negative. Enjoy some pics of the ship.

Explorer of the Seas

Explorer of the Seas

Beautiful main dining room named after famous explorer

Beautiful main dining room named after famous explorers

1,350 capacity theater

1,350-seat capacity theater

900 seat ice rink

900-seat ice rink


4-story Main Street Promenade for shopping, eating, drinking, and gathering

Some rooms overlook Main Street

Some rooms overlook Main Street

A not-for-me climbing wall

A not-for-me climbing wall


The top deck (from ship-technology.com)

The top deck (from ship-technology.com)

Find out where this trip went.

For additional information about Explorer of the Seas

On North American Europe

I imagine a few long-time readers where wondering my whereabouts during my blogging break – so, here’s the scoop.

Quebec City may be the only city in North America that has a strong European ambiance. French is the main language. People look French and dress in European style – and the city has a distinct European presence in its architecture. Have you ever been there? For us, it was worth a second trip!

With its lower town along the waters of the St. Lawrence River, the walled upper town sitting on the bluffs, then to the modern city outside the wall, Quebec City is extraordinarily charming. History, art, boutiques, cafés, and more await visitors …. and walkers are in for a wonderful treat. We walked many miles, so here are a few pics. Enjoy, and do you have any favorites?

Chateau Frontenac (a Fairmont hotel) appears as a crown as it sits high atop the bluffs



The boardwalk leads visitors toward the Citadel and the Plains of Abraham



Lower Town is bustling with tourists and old buildings



Two Lower Town murals




Outside the wall, walking Rue St. Jean gave us a wonderful street for the locals which enters the old city gate

We enjoyed the fountain near the train station


The lit crown of Chateau Frontenac … Good night


Our vacations continues here.