We had a wonderful trip to New England. Our ship visited New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Bar Harbor Maine, Boston and Newport Rhode Island. I highly recommend this voyage and October is definitely the time to go.
The ship: Passengers were complaining. Their most common observation was that Princess has made a lot of cuts, including staff. We've never had to wait in a long line to enter the buffet before, but that happened regularly on this trip. The afternoon tea with finger sandwiches & scones wasn't efficiently run. Lines to get a table in Anytime Dining were long and frustrating, but even worse for those who wanted a private table and were given a beeper to tell them when one was available. We saw men get so angry they pounded their fists because they had to wait so long. But, the room steward and dining room staff were wonderful and the food in the dining room was delicious. We enjoyed watching football games on the outdoor big screen. It was cold outside, but it was fun to watch the game with other hardy fans.
St John, New Brunswick.
We walked from the ship along the waterfront to a street that took us up a hill to The Citadel. We paid to enter the fort (some people walk up the hill and don't bother to enter the fort - what a shame!) and caught up with a free docent tour in English. At 12 noon we watched as the soldiers shot off the cannon. All the soldiers were in kilts. What a great experience. I'll let you find out how The Citadel communicated with the other forts in the area. They had a good idea, but it only worked when the weather cooperated.
Halifax, Nova Scotia:
We took the Reversing Falls Jet Boat Ride tour. Oh my gosh! It's an all day tour and you really truly get soaking wet. Only for people who like adventure, wild rides, trapped in a whirlpool, and can hold their breath under water. See, there's a big river that is headed out to sea, and then twice a day the ocean tide comes in, and when the river and the incoming tide meet, it's pandemonium!
Bar Harbor, Maine:
Acadia National Park was closed because of the partial government shutdown, so we went to the visitor center, got a map of a walking tour and saw the town. We had a clam chowder and lobster lunch followed by blueberry pie in a restaurant on the waterfront. I bought blueberry jelly and tea towels in the little shops as gifts.
We took the Duck Tour, which was great. We got off the bus downtown (an option rather than going back to the ship) and walked the Freedom Trail and then, back to the ship. It was a long walk and I was pooped by the time we got back to the boat. (I lost 7 lbs on this cruise from all the walking!)
Newport, Rhode Island:
This was the port I was least interested in but it turned out to be a big favorite! Plan ahead and plan your route to see all the mansions. Some are on a street that is not on the waterfront and others are on the coast. We didn't go in any, but some are open to the public.
Oh, and there's NYC at each end. We've been there plenty of times before, so we didn't linger… plus grandchildren in CT awaited our arrival. But in NYC the best thing to do is the double decker hop on, hop off buses. You get a narrated tour of the city and can visit all the sites for about $50.00 per person, if I remember correctly.