I met an old colleague who resides in Providence, and we spent the day together reminiscing over past times and catching up to the present. We had lunch in a highly upscale inn (the Spiced Pear), and had a wonderful visit. Newport itself seemed like a wonderful place to visit. I did not partake of any of the ship's arranged tour offerings.
I took a bus tour offered by the ship (BAH-K). It started with a wonderful lobster lunch, the best lobster that I had eaten in decades, and preceded by five bowls of mussels! That in itself would have been worthy of five stars. The young female tour guide made the bus tour most enjoyable and informative. And, having seen Bar harbor for the first time since my teens when I went to camp nearby in Ellsworth Falls, ME, made me want to return for a week or two of vacationing there.
OK, this was really St. John, New Brunswick, Canada. I took a bus tour (SJB-I) to St. Martins. a little fishing village. The weather was chilly and rainy, putting a damper [UGH, PUN!] on the trip, but the female guide was superb in keeping our interest. She was a resident of St. Martins with grown kids, and she related family activities like going out in the woods during moose ruts and calling male moose with a moose call made from a shoe lace threaded through a hole in the bottom of a tin can (knotted inside to keep it from slipping out), then wet and stroked to produce the call of a female moose. We all got to try the moose call and to sample the local "delicacy" of seaweed jerky (I already forgot the local name for it). And we saw the before and after reversal of the river flow from the in-rushing tide of the Bay of Fundy. We had a great fish chowder lunch (better chowder than any soup served on the Crystal Symphony!), and I was able to order absolutely first-rate fried clams (with the "bellies") made from freshly caught local clams, a real treat for someone who was raised in New England. So, despite the rain, this was a really good tour.