we flew into quebec - on reflection and next time we should have flown to montreal - bus to via rail then train to quebec. since we went on a redeye we got a deal on priceline at bestwestern. there are no buses from quebec airport -very small terminal - taxi was cdn 32.50 flat fare to hotel. taxi driver warned us not in the best area so take taxis at nighttime. all we wanted was sleep and walking round the area in daylight gave us no worries- supermarket not far away. took about 30 minutes to walk to cruise port-arrived at port at 1130 am - boarding started at 1230 so by 1300 hours we were in buffet having lunch while a convenient steward looked after our hand luggage on deck 9 right outside buffet area. we heard no announcement on cabins so went and retried our baggage and headed for our cabin anyway. now we had booked an inside guarantee so whatever our B7 balcony cabin was like was going to be ok for us. cabin did look like it needed refurbishing - carpets/drapes long past it - but the balcony did make it look better than it was. small shower soap dispenser and one small tablet soap made up the toiletries.
as we are costa pearl our 10 euros in casino chips and bottle of spumante was delivered during the afternoon. plenty of room in mini fridge for our personal drinks. cabin steward very attentive kept cabin spotless as he could and was in and out fast every day. restaurant at nice very noisy - seated on a table for 6 - 1st sitting at 1830 hours - maitre d did not want to discuss smaller table unless we changed to late sitting. after a few days of misserved meals/waiter putting plate in front of you then ignoring you when you tried to call him back to say wrong food/too dry etc we absconded to buffet where we could eat what we liked - that opened at 1930 hours. salad and pizza open till then. on last formal night when we went to buffet there was no alternative only pizza but that was just fine with us. went to club atlantica one night - would not be worth 20 euro each imo - but as we are costa pearl that was free for us. we had the overnight on ship in quebec and it sailed at 1700 hours next day so that was nice. ports in canada - saguenay (very welcoming port with blueberry pie and maple syrup suckers handed out), charlottetown pei, sydney and halifax (maritime museum cost cdn $4 to avoid rain) too far to walk to titanic graves -guess you need a no 9 bus (20 minutes) or take a cab - they all made for a nice hike from one end of town to the other. Bar Harbor, Boston, Newport then New York where we overnighted before disembarking at our leisure at 1015. (well we got off when we wanted as we had travelled light and kept our luggage with us).
sat near intrepid museum in the sun for a while then meandered up to the new york port authority bus terminal. as retired military we headed for the uso lounge to check emails drink coffee then down to coach usa for the $7.50 ride (note that's the over 62 fare) to newark airport. they say coach usa goes every 15 minutes - it was running late but no problem it came after 30 minutes and was a quick ride to newark. entertainment - the 3 production shows were very good - we enjoyed them. the italian tenor - singing in italian was too much for us - he must have done 4 or 5 shows all in all it was an interesting cruise port wise at a never again to be offered price -