We rented a car from National (which is located inside the Rail Station, about 8 minutes walk from the pier) and drove to Peggy Cove. We beat the tour bus and had a relatively quiet visit of 15 minutes before the tour bus came. Then all hell broke loose and we left. We had lunch at Shaw's Landing. It was just OK, not great, but the view was good. Seafood chowder was served lukewarm, buns of the lobster roll was not toasted but the cold slaw was very good. Service was also very friendly. We also visited the Fairview Lawn Cemetery. There was not much to see and do at the pier. We went back to the ship in time for our afternoon coffee/tea break.
Saint John, NB - There were 4 of us so we took a Taxi for $50/hr. Our cab driver took us to The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the Reversing Falls in Fallsview Park, Martello Tower, Bay of Fundy, St. Martins and Sea Caves. We even had lunch in the Caves Restaurant in St. Martins and waited for the low tide, which reached its lowest around 2:15pm. We were able to stroll along the bottom of the ocean and picked up some "wish stones". The Seafood Chowder served in the Caves was much better but it was the Fish & Chips that was absolutely incredible. The batter was light and the fish fresh. The chips were golden crisp and tasty. We enjoyed the lunch very much. We finished all these activities within 5 hours and this definitely has better value than any Princess Excursions.
The drive to the Acadia National Park was brief and the route was quite scenic. There was not much to see, but the granite border of the road was quite unusual. Sitting on the right side of the bus gives you better view of the coast at the beginning of the tour.
Cadillac Mountain Rating:
Deciding to use Princess Excursion in this port was a great decision. First the Custom Officer was over an hour late. We were told to go to Club Fusion at 7am to clear Immigration. We got there around 7:20am and found people lining up all the way to Explorer's Lounge. The line did not move till around 8:15am. Since we had a 8:15am Princess Excursion booked, we were given priority and made it to the Tour Bus only 5 minutes late.
and the view from the Cadillac Mountain was worth the trip. Bar Harbor is a very pretty port. We got off the Tour Bus in town, visited some of the shops, and then had lunch in Testa, where they had an Early Bird Lobster dinner special at $25, complete with New England Clam Chowder soup, salad, 1.25 lb lobster, and blueberries pie. The lobster was very fresh and everything was very good. Getting back to the ship around 2pm was easy. There was no lineup.
We've been to Boston before so we just took a cab to Quincy Market. Some cabs charged $15 flat fee to take you to Quincy, which is the same fee charged by the Shuttle Bus. Going by meter should only cost $12. Either way, it's a better deal to take a cab.
Quincy Market has numerous food stands to buy lunch, but quality is mediocre. There are lots of restaurants around this area, within walking distance that serves better food.
Another magnificent mansion not to be missed. After the tour, we walked around town and walked to St. Mary Church where JFK and Jackie were married. Unfortunately, both the ground and the church were closed. We also walked to the Trinity Church where George Washington used to worship, which was just across from the pier.
We lined up over 45 minutes to take the tender back to ship. Princess staff offered no wet towel, no water while we wait. There were only two benches for people to sit on, and the line was mile long.
The Vanderbilts' Marble House Rating:
Since this is another tender port, I opted for the Princess Excursion. This is a relatively stress free excursion, but there are stairs to climb. I found that there is not enough time to explore this great mansion which is packed with history. We were given a headset with narration which was very easy to follow. Don't miss the Tea House, you get very good view of the shoreline from there.