I love all the Vanderbilt houses, and the Breakers is no exception. My only complaint on this stop was the tour operator allowed us too much time here and everyone was back near the bus with about 20 minutes left. When we asked if we could walk to the Marble House, the bus driver got nasty and said if we chose to walk to the next house he wouldn't take us back to the ship. Guess he was having a bad day....
The Vanderbilts' Marble House Rating:
The house is fabulous. Having read the book, Consuelo and Alva Vanderbilt, I was interested in seeing the house that Alva designed and where she plotted her daughter's loveless marriage to the Duke of Marlborough.
There is a small snack bar on the premises, which is important if your excursion runs straight through lunch as ours did.
We started out by going to Quincy to the John Adams home and library. If you've seen the HBO mini series, John Adams, you will love this tour. The house and library are loaded with items that were actually used by the family.
The JFK library is a must see in Boston. Beautiful setting, moving exhibits.
We were blessed with a funny and knowledgeable tour guide too!
Beautiful park. Worth the trip. We had an outstanding tour guide who really knew her stuff about Mt. Desert Island.
We had a lobster lunch included, which was good. I've started to believe that the included lunches on these excursions are not always the best restaurants each port has to offer. I wouldn't go out of my way to go back to some of these places, but if you're on a bus all day, it is wise to have the included lunch, I guess.
Cadillac Mountain Rating:
If you get a warm, clear day like we had, you will be treated to a spectacular view. Glad someone else was doing the driving as it was twisty and turning all the way up and back.
What a waste of time. They loaded about 50 of us in a small excursion boat and sped around Halifax harbor for awhile, pulled a lobster trap out of the water to demonstrate the lobster industry, pointed out two remote lighthouses and then dropped us at their own restaurant for a mediocre lobster lunch. Skip this one.
Maritime Museum Rating:
Fabulous. Don't miss it. The Titanic exhibit is great and there is a very good film. Also, the ship's models are incredible. Many of these were built exactly to scale and usually were made for the cruise lines themselves, so they are really well built.
Paid extra for a Seafood 101 Cooking Class at the Culinary Institute of Canada and it was worth every penny. Very hands on, learned a lot about seafood and better yet - got to eat it! Limited to 16 participants this was our favorite excursion of the cruise. After class we had plenty of time to tour Charlottetown and do a little sight seeing and shopping.
Very knowledgeable guide showed us the lower and upper sections of the city, let us run through the Frontenac, pointed out some side streets and shops and then took us to the Battlefield are before heading to Montmorency Falls. With her overview we were able to spend the afternoon on our own and had a great time exploring the area.
Montmorency Falls Rating:
Pretty spectacular falls. We went to both the upper falls and the visitor center at the base. Very nice.