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Home > Member Reviews > jethag's Port Reviews of Montreal, Quebec City, Halifax, Bar Harbor

jethag's Port Reviews of Montreal, Quebec City, Halifax, Bar Harbor
Maasdam cruise in May 2012
Member Name: jethag
Cruise Date: May 2012
Embarkation: Montreal
Destination: Canada & New England
Member Review: jethag's Maasdam Review
Montreal
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
We were there independently before the cruise. The airport is about 30 minutes (with traffic) from downtown. Although I usually like traditional hotels, the Sofitel is modern and airy and the service first class. The downtown location was convenient, and Old Montreal is a cab or metro ride away. We had dinner at the Restaurant Bonaparte in old town, with mixed results. Montreal is very cosmopolitan, very clean, and French with a North American twist. People are polite. We took a half day Grayline tour which gave a good overview of the city, including the port, Old Montreal, and the site of the Olympics. It would be hard to see as much on your own in such a short time.

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Quebec City
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
We got out early in the morning and were able to get fantastic pictures before the streets became more crowded. Although we didn't book an excursion from HAL, we took a horse and buggy ride. They have an established price of C$80 for 45 minutes. It seems high, but we knew we wouldn't be doing too many excursions during the cruise, and we enjoyed every minute of it, esp. since the weather was beautiful. You have to go inside the Frontenac Hotel even if just to see it. Quebec is much smaller than I expected and the old town can be covered by foot if one is an avid walker. Oh, and it absolutely oozes charm.
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Halifax
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
There are some interesting parts of the city such as the Citadel, but most of it burned down in the early 20th century and now looks rather industrial. The historic parts have a Scottish atmosphere, but this is Nova Scotia, after all. We didn't start early bec. it rained in the morning (the only time the weather wasn't good). By the time it cleared, there wasn't time to go to the Fairview Cemetary, the resting place of most of the recovered Titanic victims. However, there is a small Titanic exhibit at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, walking distance from the Maasdam's berth.

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Bar Harbor
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
After living in New England for 17 years, I finally visited Bar Harbor and was not disappointed. It's everything you expect from a small coastal Maine town. The main street going up the hill has the requisite souvenir and ice cream shops, but there are also some nice crafts. We also visited the local beer brewery and sampled their beer (forgot the name). And of course, we had Maine lobstah for lunch at the place recommended by the cruise director. There is a pleasant walk along the coast which is not too long or strenuous, but with good water views. We got some nice pictures of the Maasdam, anchored out in the harbor.

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