Safely home after a glorious cruise on the Veendam. Weather in Quebec was wet, windy and cool. Cruising the St Lawrence Seaway was foggy and overcast but the weather improved greatly when we arrived in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. The sun was shining and the countryside reflected a verdant green. Our private tour with Duncansisland tours was fantastic as we traveled through the countryside and along the coast. What a great person and guide. Throughout the Maritimes, folks were friendly, warm and outgoing....even had a former Legislator stop us as we were walking near the provincial building(Province House) in Charlottetown, sharing history and encouraging a visit where there was an excellent film depicting the "beginning" of the country, Canada (no charge and well worth the visit). One of the best lobster dinners was at the Lobster Wharf....and the scallops were exceptional. Sydney, we rented a car and traveled a portion of the Cabot Trail...sights unseen previously....no traffic just one lovely view after another and even a lighthouse at the top (Neils Harbor). Again, beautiful weather... Clouds met us in Halifax but no rain and again, we rented a car for a visit to Peggy's Cove, traveling down scenic Route 3 (the Lighthouse route) and got as far as Lunenburg (a UNESCO world heritage site) where there was time for delicious Chowder before traveling back to the ship. If renting a car, it could not be more efficient... At Sydney, Enterprise had a car waiting to take us to their office....in Halifax, it was a brief walk across from the Pier. Just remember to book ahead. Some were disappointed in Sydney as every car in town had been previously booked (150). Bar Harbor was warm...in the 80's....bright and sunny. Took a brief Ollie's Trolley tour to Cadillac Mountain....Lobster in town, fresh and accompanied by tasty blueberry pie.....less expensive than in the Maritimes. Walked across the "Bar"...from which Bar Harbor was named...There was a bit of a delay with Immigration processing and the tender opertation but as soon as the staff was aware of the "slow down", they quickly moved to remedy the situation. In fact, the ship contracted with a commercial vessel for some of the tendering....and we had a nice mini cruise from Bar Harbor to the ship.
The Ship was everything and more than one would expect. Service was friendly and responsive. Cruise Director, Kelsey, was ever present, pleasant, articulate, a great sense of humor and knowledgeable. Music everywhere for anyone's taste...Shows were enjoyable...great comedian, wonderful Tenor and dancers. The fellow cruisers were friendly and outgoing.
The Meet and Mingle was successful, thanks to staff, all the cruise critic folks who attended and the great communication that took place from well traveled folks, Canadian and American. The Cruise Director, Kelsey came as well as the Hotel Director, Don. The Canadians were particularly helpful regarding the ports....some even had family ties to the Maritimes and many seasoned American cruisers had visited the area previously. Almost all who signed up, showed up....just have to make it clear the next time that 1000 is AM....not PM....
Disembarkation was effortless and moved more quickly than scheduled. The Port in Boston and immigration was simple as we processed previously when we arrived in Bar Harbor on the ship. The trip to the airport was brief and efficient as there were plenty of taxis to accommodate the crowd.
It was a wonderful cruise....one of the best....so those who have upcoming plans, I am sure you will feel likewise. The only suggestion is that the ship remain in port an hour or so longer as we really had to move quickly to see all that we wanted to see.