Carnival Victory-September 13, 2006 Canada/New England-Boston, Portland, Saint John, and Halifax Room: 1201 (1A-guarantee)
AIRPORT/EMBARKATION: Everything in New York seems to happen in one hour intervals. Our flight arrived at LaGuardia at 12:30pm. The bus loaded at 1:30 and at 2:30 we arrived at the Pier. The baggage handlers did take the luggage off the bus and directed you to the freight elevators to reach the second floor for check in. By 3:10 we were on the ship but after you activated your sign and sail card there was no direction to get to your cabin. The atrium was already crowded with guests which made it difficult to navigate thru the area to the elevators. The Life Boat Drill was at 3:30 with ship departure around 4:45.
PORT DEPARTURE: This was my favorite sail away. The Starboard side sees the Status of Liberty and Ellis Island. The Port Side see the New York Sky Line and Ground Zero. After that the ship sails under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, there is little room between the ship funnel and the bottom of the bridge. It was an experience to be on the Sky Deck (Deck 14) and come so close to the bridge.
ACCOMMODATIONS: The room was a 1A guarantee with a twin bed/sofa converting to a bed and two port hole windows. It was the last cabin forward located on the Riviera deck. This location was convenient for debarkation on port days and the last day the room steward let us stay in the room until our deck was called then we debarked via one the crews gangways. Since the Dining Rooms are on Decks 3 and 4 and the Caribbean Lounge on Decks 3-5, you could use the stairs and avoid the elevator.
PORTS OF CALL/SHORE EXCURSIONS: Boston: Fenway Park. History Tour not a Sports Tour. You don't have to be a baseball fan to love this trip just be able to walk up and down a lot of stairs. The first stop was the press boxes, then the Hall of Fame. We were able to walk on the field to the scoreboard and look thru the slats to see the signatures on the wall inside. Later climbing the stairs to sit in the seats above the Green Monster. Leaving the Park via Autograph Alley. On the 30 minute trip to and from the park our guided pointed the historical sites of Boston making you realize you need to return for several days to see everything.
Portland, Maine: Best of Portland and Kennebunkport: This tour starts with a drive thru the port area past Victorian Homes, pubs, shops and restaurants. The tour does stop at the Portland Head Light. Then its on to Kennebunkport for a stop at Dock Square for lobster rolls and shopping. The bus does go past the Bush Estate at Walkers Point, but the buses are not allowed to stop. Our guide did tell us that secret service has turned buses back. The shops in Portland are located on Commercial Blvd.
Saint John, New Brunswick: Saint John Photography Tour: The Saint John Photography Tour is hosted by a local photographer who gives tips on taking better vacation pictures. Since a foggy day in Saint John is the norm, he concentrated on what you can photograph when the weather hampers your day. Stops were at Carleton Martello Tour, Reversing Falls Rapids, and Rockwood Park. The tides change rapidly in Saint John. Twice daily the tides of the Bay of Fundy reach such heights that they actually force the Saint John River to change direction and flow up river. The rapids at the mouth of the river actually change direction. Our guide stopped here at the beginning and the end of the trip to show the big difference in the tides in such a short period of time. After visiting Rockwood Park, we walked thru the Old City markets which has local vendors.
When you disembark the ship locals hand all the women roses. There is a vendors tent outside the ship area which also has local vendors. There are a lot of great architecture outside the port area.
Halifax, Nova Scotia: Trolley tour in the Heart of Halifax: The trolley tour starts with a drive along the waterfront, passes the Public Gardens then heads up the hill for a stop at the Citadel. Our stop at the Citadel included the noon firing of the cannon and enough time for pictures. The last stop was the Fairview Lawn Cemetery for a visit to the graves of the Titanic passengers. Our guide gave us suggestions for places to return to visit in the afternoon. There's a bus stop right outside the terminal (FRED) that stops at all the downtown area sites. The shops located in the terminal area have some of the shops that are located downtown.
SHIP: Dining/Entertainment/Staff We had all our dinners in the Atlantic Dining Room. The dining staff was excellent, very friendly and accommodating. Several days we had breakfast and lunch in the Pacific dining room. The two shows Livin In America and Vrooom were excellent productions. This was the first time I saw the Legends show featuring guests and the production dancers, a very enjoyable show.
A very enjoyable itinerary and ship.