Sept 18 and 19.. A bad start! Our two day pre-cruise to New York turned out to be a basically a one day trip because the remnants of the hurricane dumped tons of water on NY and LaGuardia was accepting limited flights. In short, we sat at Detroit Metro for 10 hours. We stayed at the Super 8 Hotel on 46th between 5th and 6th. The Waldorf it was not but we didn't pay Waldorf prices either. It suited our needs nicely. This was our first trip to NY and our impressions are crowded, sirens, horns, packed sidewalks and the best eye-popin deli sandwich we have ever had at the Stage. To sum up it was MAGNIFICENT. What a city!
Sept 20.. Embarkation.. Unorganized chaos! Too long of story to go into. Once we got through security and found the proper line (on our own) things were fine. Champagne upon boarding and although cabins were not ready we were allowed to place our carry on pieces in the room. Then it was off to lunch in the Seaside cafe. More on the food later. Cabin 9034 was a beautiful balcony cabin forward on deck 9. Some people don't like the overhang,we loved it. The cabin though not as large as some on Holland or Princess was great. Lots of storage space and a nice shower. We were very happy for 11 days.
Sailing.. If you have never sailed out of New York at dusk you have missed out on a sight you can never forget. Lights like diamonds from both sides of the Hudson. The decks become hushed as you slowly pass the Lady. YOU CANNOT TAKE YOUR EYES OFF HER. God Bless America. Our trip has begun.
Sept 21.. Newport R.I.. Sunny and cool. We had been to Newport before and did not tour. We tendered in a visited the shops and fed upon the atmosphere of this sailing mecca. We visited the church where President and Mrs Kennedy were married, had lunch, and returned to explore more of Connie. Passengers who did tour gave generally favorable reviews.
Sept 22.. A beautiful sunny cool day. This morning we found the Aquaspa Cafe serving light breakfast and lunch. We ate there for the remainder of the cruise. If you don't like that type of food at least walk by and look at it. It was wonderful.
Sept 23.. Sydney N.S. .. The morning very cold. Jackets and gloves. We have read posts were people have said "Stay on board, there is nothing there!" True, there is not much to Sydney. We have heard it is kind of a "courtesy" stop by some lines. It is an old mining town. But get of the ship and walk the town. It is only a few blocks long. Pop into some of the shops. Look into some of the historic churches. We enjoyed our time in Sydney. The tours received a mixed reaction.
Sept 24.. Another sunny cool and wonderful day at sea.
Sept 25 and 26.. Quebec City There is not enough room in the review to do justice to Quebec. We will keep it brief. Your first sight of Quebec as you come up the St Lawrence is the famous Chateau Frontenac towering over the city. Right across the street from the dock is "Lower Town" connected to the "Upper Town"by the 45 degree funicular ($1.25) or if you are healthy you can walk up. It is steep. All the tours met with enthusiastic comments. We took the morning "Countryside" tour. We visited St. Anne De Beaupre and Montmorency Falls. we stopped at an Inn for snacks and a great view fo fhe Falls. The Laurentians were stunning. At that high level they had already had frost The colors were brilliant. We spent the next day and a half exploring the city. Hundreds of shops and outdoor restaurants. Crowds of people everywhere enjoying the city. There are street performers on the boardwalk and parks. The weather was beautiful. Sunday we were in shorts. We spent time sitting on a bench outside the Frontenac enjoying the sun and watching the people. The view of Connie docked below will always be in our memories. We could go on forever about Quebec but will close with this. We had heard the people of French Quebec don't like the American tourist. We have never been treated better in ant port we have visited. Quebec, you can be proud ! On to the Saguenay.
Sept 27..Cruising the Saguenay. God laid his hand on this day! The day was magnificent. A little cool but brilliant sunshine and blue skies with fleecy white clouds floating around. We cruised 20 miles of the fresh water river. We sailed to Trinity Bay at Cape Trinity. The cliffs at Cape Trinity and Cape Eternity rise as high as 1600 feet. At the entrance to Cape Trinity sits The Statue De Notre-Dame du Saguenay. The statue honors the Virgin Mary. She sits 1,100 feet above river. While viewing the statue the ship was very quiet. Over the speakers they played a beautiful rendition of Ave Maria. It was not hard to spot the tears. This was Captain Papanikolaou's first visit. He announced over the speaker that he would like to sit in the bay for while. A man who has been around the world yet he was so taken by the magnificence of this river. We saw a few White Beluga whales but did not see as much sea life as we had hoped. We cannot in words do justice to the Saguenay. You must sail it.
Sept 28 .. Cruising.. Cloudy and cool. This was really the only time the seas got a little bumpy. Coming out of the Gulf of St. Lawrence into the Atlantic can be a little rough.
Sept 29.. Halifax N.S. On our arrival to Halifax we were met by the Pipes and Drums. Scotland the Brave filled the morning air. For this Gordon Clansman it was a touch of old Scotland. We had also been to Halifax before and rather than tour we got a map from the tourist booth and set out on our own walking tour. The day was cloudy, windy and a little cool. The walk covers 3 or 4 miles. It takes you past some nice stores, through the Public Gardens (quite pretty), up to the fort then into downtown Halifax. We had a lunch of great crabcakes at McGelvies and then toured the Maritime Museum and the Titanic Exibit. We then returned to the pier, shopped the booths and learned of the history of Pier 21 where Connie was docked. Pier 21 is the "Ellis Island" of Canada. Our time in Halifax was too short.
Sept 30 .. Set sail for New York. A few comments on Connie at this time: Food.. Very good but we will eat anything. It was no better or no worse than we have had on Holland or Princess. Our waiter Aker and his assistant Jose were outstanding. As usual we choose a table for two. We are not anti-social but we do eat dessert and do not linger at the table Entertainment. Many people do not attend shows, we do, all of them. The Cruise Director Derek Habraken was excellent. Very friendly and visible. He did a good job. The Monday show Batucada in our opinion was fair. We heard many negative comments. The three remaining production shows were excellent. We enjoyed each of them. The Coverdales, an Acapella Quartet sang at the shows and around the ship. Very good. We thought the comedian Janine Gardner was great. As with all comics some people thought she was smutty. To each his own. They had a very average magician and a gal with a good Broadway voice whose choice of music was suspect. The absolute highlite was Pearl Kaufman. She is being talked about on the Celebrity boards. The performers in the various venues were all good.
Things we liked... Connie is a "no announcement" ship. How nice it was. Things We didn't like.. The last four nights were Formal..Informal.. Formal. Boo Hiss.
Oct 1 .. Good morning Lady Liberty. Up the Hudson at sunrise. Silence on the decks. Were glad to be an American.
Disembarkation.. Organized chaos. Celebrity sends a letter to your cabin telling you where to be at what time and you will disembark from there. Great system if people will let it work. Will they? Not a chance. Me first. Me first. Off the ship at 10:15, waited in taxi line 50 minutes, took a hour to get to LaGuardia and by time we cleared security had less than an hour for our 1:50 flight.
Great cruise, great fellow passengers and New York New York.. What a wonderful town !!