We did not go ashore for the reasons listed above. We were not called for the lighters until after noon, would have had little time ashore and would have wondered how we would have ever been lightered back to the ship before the 5:00 p.m. departure Many passengers also declined to go ashore under the circumstances. Of course, those who paid Celebrity for shore excursions went first. Due to Celebrity's poor boat handling, it was a dismal experience and a great pity.
We went ashore on our own, took public transportation to the Quincy Market area, and had a fine old time. Great public transportation at the docks, easy connections to the subway. Only one oddity; a subway stop was hidden and almost unmarked at the old statehouse. Thankfully, there was a friendly U.S. Park Ranger on the street giving directions.
The cruise terminal was recently upgraded and in beautiful condition.
We skipped Bar Harbor because of the rough seas. Therefore, had one and a-half days in Halifax. The first day it rained and rained and rained. The second day was rain, but fine in the afternoon. Waited for FRED bus, but never showed up. No covered bus shelters or canopies despite the elaborate and newly renovated cruise terminal. No bus schedules posted, and very little information online. No local representatives as in Boston or Quebec City. Inexplicably, there is very little signage to direct tourists either. Halifax was perhaps the worst cruise ship port-of-call on the itinerary. Halifax is not worth a visit, regardless of weather.
We did it all on our own. From the Chateau to the Train Station. The $1. bus gives a splendid tour of the entire city. Cleanest and best constructed buildings you ever did see. This is the Capital for the Province of Quebec and the government is by far the largest employer. The rest of Canada picks up the tab.
Quebec City provided tourist representatives who offered maps and were very helpful. They went so far as to explain the best pedestrian routes. The city was very friendly to English speakers. The best port-of-call on the itinerary, perhaps the best port-of-call in Canada.
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island: We went ashore on our own and walked around. A clean little town. However, the potato crop had been harvested and things were tranquil to the point of utter silence.
Much better information and greeting than Halifax. They actually provided a map, unlike Halifax.