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We had chosen this cruise because of the ports of call, and from that point of view the cruise was extremely good. Being able to see so many different places in Canada in the one journey was really good and we had some nights in port as well so we could sample the ports by night. The ports included several areas where we could see national parks and the big cities of Montreal and Quebec as well as smaller towns. Embarkation from Liverpool meant a mere 20 minutes taxi journey for us. We especially like Liverpool as an embarkation point as the cruise terminal is centrally. This means that once you have left your main luggage and checked in, there is no need to just sit and wait like you do in other terminals. Hence we did our usual and, once we had spoken to the staff to find out how long it would be before our embarkation, we made the most of the lovely afternoon by strolling along the river front and sat with a snack and drink from one of the vendors. There are also pubs and hotels very near the terminal. We were told our embarkation would be about 45 minutes time so, as we still had plenty of time before final embarkation, we returned about an hour later and were then able to embark immediately. Our luggage was waiting for us when we arrived at our cabin (5052) which was a superior outside midship on deck 5. We moved to cabin 5052 a couple of days later. Please see cabin review(s) below for explanation. Both cabin stewardesses were excellent. We were given our chosen dining arrangements of first sitting and table for two. There are not many tables for two, so this was an advantage of our early booking. Our waiter, Danny and assistant were very good, as were the other restaurant staff. We found the food to be very good overall, but there were two occasions when I had chosen chicken and it was not cooked properly. On both occasions these were replaced swiftly with a completely new meal. The ship was in fairly good condition for its age and furniture in the restaurants and bars was in good condition, but some aspects were not to our liking. The only bar serving the outside was the Lido on deck 8, with the bar higher up not open on this cruise, even in warm weather. Bar staff did come round the other outside decks, but sometimes it took a while to get a drink outside. We found the Lido bar very confining at night as there was a barrier across the floor and the bar protruded a long way to one side, making the seating area difficult to access at busy times. Apart from a few evenings when we were in the upper reaches of the St Lawrence, the net curtains were always closed in the restaurant, even though it was fully light at the time. We have been able to see out of windows when dining on other ships, including all the other Fred Olsen ships. All windows on the ship were dirty when we embarked, especially our cabin window. The only windows we saw ‘cleaned’ while we were on board were the ones in the Observatory. That must have been with dirty water as they looked much dirtier after ‘cleaning’ than they were before. The water supply was turned off from 2am until 5am on at least four nights during the cruise. It seems that affected the supply to the whole ship, including public toilets and staff accommodation, so it is lucky and perhaps surprising, that we did not have some sort of illness on board. We do not take part in many of the daytime activities. but I listened to some of the talks, most of which were not particularly good, apart from those by Mick Testoni who spoke about his time on RNLI lifeboats, which were good. The port speaker was a pleasant person, however, the content of his talks were very confusing in that he flitted from here to there and did not make clear how to get to places he mentioned, or even if they were walking distance from the port or up to twenty miles away. When talking about the trips he was equally vague about what was to be expected and even got details totally wrong at times. My husband used the gym a few times which he described as ‘massively underused’ so there was plenty of availability of equipment which he found to be good. The one highlight of the daytime cruise entertainment was when a number of senior officers, (including the captain), took to the pool one afternoon for what was called 'Dolphin Racing'. This was extremely funny and like a ‘crossing the equator’ type of event. I think the staff concerned were really good sports for taking part in that. The evening entertainments were mixed, with some cabaret artists being very good and others not so good. Some shows were good, but many were designed for people who were in their seventies or beyond. Ballroom dancing was extremely well catered for, but as we have found more recently on Fred Olsen cruises there was no option for a disco style of dancefloor unless you stay up until after midnight! This always irritates us as there are two lounges with dancefloors and we do not see why they both have to be used for ballroom dancing, to the exclusion of more modern styles. In the past we have known music requests to be allowed, but not on our more recent cruises. Fred has even stopped the sixties night, yet that was the era when people who are now in the sixty to seventy age range were teenagers (and a lot of them cruise). It seems to us Fred has no wish to encourage anyone under about seventy onto their ships, unless they have ballroom dancing as a hobby. Some of the entertainment staff did cabaret style singing in the evenings and while some were OK, I cannot say that sort of thing is particularly to our liking. The staff all worked hard though. The crew show was excellent as usual. The first evening we were in Quebec there was a group of local musicians brought onto the ship and they were exceptionally good. We found the observation lounge to be about the best place to sit on the ship, both during the day and at night. There was a Rosario trio playing there. This was the best Rosario trio we have heard on any of Fred's ships. As well as the excellent, restaurant, bar, reception and cabin staff, we found the vast majority of the other staff to be extremely good as well, with the notable exception of the shore excursion staff who we found to be unhelpful and rude. In Charlottetown as we went ashore we walked into the cruise terminal, which was opposite the disembarkation point. The senior shore tours member of staff was there and asked if we were on tour, we said, 'no', and she immediately pointed to the door on our left and said, ‘Out that door and turn right to the town’, in a very brusque manner. If we had done what she told us, we would have been denied access to the very helpful local people who were in the port terminal to greet and advise us and who could be clearly seen just ahead! Needless to say we went straight ahead. We had researched the ports before the cruise and had booked four excursions, mainly to some very good national park locations which we could not have easily seen independently. None of these excursions went according to plan, the one to Louisbourg Fort from Sydney, being particularly bad. We have done a lot of trips on four different cruise lines previously, (including two with Fred in Greenland) and they were better organised than the majority of the ones on this cruise. I will cover these trips fully in port reviews below if possible, or will post them on the 'ports of call' forum for Canada if not. Fred’s planning of this cruise could have been improved on. Although we know port times can always be changed, we did not get notification that we would be leaving Montreal two hours earlier, (and hence missing our late night), until about 10.00pm the night before our arrival. It seems that Fred’s office had miscalculated the travelling times in the river, so we had to leave early to reach Quebec the next day. Details of the port times had not been properly researched either. We were constantly assured that there would not be a time change the night before we reached Corner Brook, even though a number of people had queried it. The next morning the Captain woke us up at what we thought was 7am to tell us it was actually half past eight! I was subsequently told by the cruise director that the Captain knew about this mistake by half past ten the night before, yet not even people who were still in the public areas of the ship were told about it until the next morning. Most of the staff were not told either, which was unfair to them. A one and a half hour difference is a lot. It was good to visit the area of Canada at this time of year, as it was before the main season started and we were the first ship of the season in a number of ports, so many places were very quiet. The temperatures were as expected for this time of year, with the maritime regions being still fairly cold, with some mist which is common there in spring, but luckily it did not rain in most ports and there were only a couple of days affected by mist, so we did well. The weather was quite summery in the Quebec and Montreal area, as expected there at this time of year. The sea was kind to us the whole time and the ship kept steady, but dull breezy weather followed us back across the Atlantic, so it was not really an out on deck journey. We made all ports which was lucky, as a few ships had missed their calls to St John’s because of sea ice prior to our visit. In fact the Maritime areas had only been free of sea ice about 3 weeks before we arrived and we were sailing through areas where there were icebergs around, but not near enough to be seen. Disembarkation went smoothly although the retracting handle on one piece of our luggage was not working properly when we picked it up. Luckily the manufacturer was prepared to replace the bag, but it is the third time we have had a retractable luggage handle damaged by Fred in our last seven cruises. Hence we are beginning to think it must be a speciality of theirs. Overall, a successful cruise and I would even like to repeat with something similar, but probably later in the summer or early autumn and preferably as a fly cruise. We would be looking for another ship as well.

Canada was a Good Destination but the Ship Could Have Been Better

Black Watch Cruise Review by tring

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We had chosen this cruise because of the ports of call, and from that point of view the cruise was extremely good. Being able to see so many different places in Canada in the one journey was really good and we had some nights in port as well so we could sample the ports by night. The ports included several areas where we could see national parks and the big cities of Montreal and Quebec as well as smaller towns.

Embarkation from Liverpool meant a mere 20 minutes taxi journey for us. We especially like Liverpool as an embarkation point as the cruise terminal is centrally. This means that once you have left your main luggage and checked in, there is no need to just sit and wait like you do in other terminals. Hence we did our usual and, once we had spoken to the staff to find out how long it would be before our embarkation, we made the most of the lovely afternoon by strolling along the river front and sat with a snack and drink from one of the vendors. There are also pubs and hotels very near the terminal. We were told our embarkation would be about 45 minutes time so, as we still had plenty of time before final embarkation, we returned about an hour later and were then able to embark immediately.

Our luggage was waiting for us when we arrived at our cabin (5052) which was a superior outside midship on deck 5. We moved to cabin 5052 a couple of days later. Please see cabin review(s) below for explanation. Both cabin stewardesses were excellent.

We were given our chosen dining arrangements of first sitting and table for two. There are not many tables for two, so this was an advantage of our early booking. Our waiter, Danny and assistant were very good, as were the other restaurant staff. We found the food to be very good overall, but there were two occasions when I had chosen chicken and it was not cooked properly. On both occasions these were replaced swiftly with a completely new meal.

The ship was in fairly good condition for its age and furniture in the restaurants and bars was in good condition, but some aspects were not to our liking. The only bar serving the outside was the Lido on deck 8, with the bar higher up not open on this cruise, even in warm weather. Bar staff did come round the other outside decks, but sometimes it took a while to get a drink outside. We found the Lido bar very confining at night as there was a barrier across the floor and the bar protruded a long way to one side, making the seating area difficult to access at busy times. Apart from a few evenings when we were in the upper reaches of the St Lawrence, the net curtains were always closed in the restaurant, even though it was fully light at the time. We have been able to see out of windows when dining on other ships, including all the other Fred Olsen ships. All windows on the ship were dirty when we embarked, especially our cabin window. The only windows we saw ‘cleaned’ while we were on board were the ones in the Observatory. That must have been with dirty water as they looked much dirtier after ‘cleaning’ than they were before.

The water supply was turned off from 2am until 5am on at least four nights during the cruise. It seems that affected the supply to the whole ship, including public toilets and staff accommodation, so it is lucky and perhaps surprising, that we did not have some sort of illness on board.

We do not take part in many of the daytime activities. but I listened to some of the talks, most of which were not particularly good, apart from those by Mick Testoni who spoke about his time on RNLI lifeboats, which were good. The port speaker was a pleasant person, however, the content of his talks were very confusing in that he flitted from here to there and did not make clear how to get to places he mentioned, or even if they were walking distance from the port or up to twenty miles away. When talking about the trips he was equally vague about what was to be expected and even got details totally wrong at times.

My husband used the gym a few times which he described as ‘massively underused’ so there was plenty of availability of equipment which he found to be good. The one highlight of the daytime cruise entertainment was when a number of senior officers, (including the captain), took to the pool one afternoon for what was called 'Dolphin Racing'. This was extremely funny and like a ‘crossing the equator’ type of event. I think the staff concerned were really good sports for taking part in that.

The evening entertainments were mixed, with some cabaret artists being very good and others not so good. Some shows were good, but many were designed for people who were in their seventies or beyond. Ballroom dancing was extremely well catered for, but as we have found more recently on Fred Olsen cruises there was no option for a disco style of dancefloor unless you stay up until after midnight! This always irritates us as there are two lounges with dancefloors and we do not see why they both have to be used for ballroom dancing, to the exclusion of more modern styles. In the past we have known music requests to be allowed, but not on our more recent cruises. Fred has even stopped the sixties night, yet that was the era when people who are now in the sixty to seventy age range were teenagers (and a lot of them cruise). It seems to us Fred has no wish to encourage anyone under about seventy onto their ships, unless they have ballroom dancing as a hobby.

Some of the entertainment staff did cabaret style singing in the evenings and while some were OK, I cannot say that sort of thing is particularly to our liking. The staff all worked hard though. The crew show was excellent as usual. The first evening we were in Quebec there was a group of local musicians brought onto the ship and they were exceptionally good.

We found the observation lounge to be about the best place to sit on the ship, both during the day and at night. There was a Rosario trio playing there. This was the best Rosario trio we have heard on any of Fred's ships.

As well as the excellent, restaurant, bar, reception and cabin staff, we found the vast majority of the other staff to be extremely good as well, with the notable exception of the shore excursion staff who we found to be unhelpful and rude. In Charlottetown as we went ashore we walked into the cruise terminal, which was opposite the disembarkation point. The senior shore tours member of staff was there and asked if we were on tour, we said, 'no', and she immediately pointed to the door on our left and said, ‘Out that door and turn right to the town’, in a very brusque manner. If we had done what she told us, we would have been denied access to the very helpful local people who were in the port terminal to greet and advise us and who could be clearly seen just ahead! Needless to say we went straight ahead.

We had researched the ports before the cruise and had booked four excursions, mainly to some very good national park locations which we could not have easily seen independently. None of these excursions went according to plan, the one to Louisbourg Fort from Sydney, being particularly bad. We have done a lot of trips on four different cruise lines previously, (including two with Fred in Greenland) and they were better organised than the majority of the ones on this cruise. I will cover these trips fully in port reviews below if possible, or will post them on the 'ports of call' forum for Canada if not.

Fred’s planning of this cruise could have been improved on. Although we know port times can always be changed, we did not get notification that we would be leaving Montreal two hours earlier, (and hence missing our late night), until about 10.00pm the night before our arrival. It seems that Fred’s office had miscalculated the travelling times in the river, so we had to leave early to reach Quebec the next day.

Details of the port times had not been properly researched either. We were constantly assured that there would not be a time change the night before we reached Corner Brook, even though a number of people had queried it. The next morning the Captain woke us up at what we thought was 7am to tell us it was actually half past eight! I was subsequently told by the cruise director that the Captain knew about this mistake by half past ten the night before, yet not even people who were still in the public areas of the ship were told about it until the next morning. Most of the staff were not told either, which was unfair to them. A one and a half hour difference is a lot.

It was good to visit the area of Canada at this time of year, as it was before the main season started and we were the first ship of the season in a number of ports, so many places were very quiet. The temperatures were as expected for this time of year, with the maritime regions being still fairly cold, with some mist which is common there in spring, but luckily it did not rain in most ports and there were only a couple of days affected by mist, so we did well. The weather was quite summery in the Quebec and Montreal area, as expected there at this time of year. The sea was kind to us the whole time and the ship kept steady, but dull breezy weather followed us back across the Atlantic, so it was not really an out on deck journey. We made all ports which was lucky, as a few ships had missed their calls to St John’s because of sea ice prior to our visit. In fact the Maritime areas had only been free of sea ice about 3 weeks before we arrived and we were sailing through areas where there were icebergs around, but not near enough to be seen.

Disembarkation went smoothly although the retracting handle on one piece of our luggage was not working properly when we picked it up. Luckily the manufacturer was prepared to replace the bag, but it is the third time we have had a retractable luggage handle damaged by Fred in our last seven cruises. Hence we are beginning to think it must be a speciality of theirs.

Overall, a successful cruise and I would even like to repeat with something similar, but probably later in the summer or early autumn and preferably as a fly cruise. We would be looking for another ship as well.
tring’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Superior Outside Cab
Cabin B 5053 + 5052
Cabin 5053 was a decent size, and in reasonable condition, but we were disappointed that the window was not as big as that on Balmoral or Braemar. Storage space was good and cases went under the beds, though the bed had to be lifted for to slide one case under it. The beds are in an L shaped configuration and cannot be moved, but we knew this when we booked. This cabin became a problem as we discovered that there was a lot of vibration and irregular judder when the ship was running at high speed, particularly affecting the bed nearest to the corridor.

After a couple of days we moved to 5053 which was on the other side of the ship and was better regarding that problem, but not perfect. It was one cabin further forward on the other side of the ship. Cabin 5053 was the same grade and style as our first cabin, but had a bath with a shower over, (so more space to shower), and it had a much bigger bathroom cabinet. The location of this cabin was under the self service restaurant, which opened early in the mornings and it had a tiled floor with heavy metal, garden style chairs, so knew when it was open! We learned to sleep through most of this towards the end of the cruise though. This restaurant was also used for late night snacks, but the part directly above us was not usually used late at night. At least the restaurant noise was not right through the night. Both cabin windows were quite dirty and remained so for the duration of the cruise.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island)
    The ship had to tender here as we arrived on the same day as the first oil ship of the year that could deliver oil. Prince Edward Island had been surrounded by ice until shortly before our visit and apparently the town was running out of oil, so we were no competition for the only docking position.

    We really enjoyed this port in which we just walked into the town independently. We started by just walking up into the town and visiting a couple of churches. The first was the Trinity United Church which is the oldest church in the town, dating from 1864. The roots of this church are in the Methodist movement of the 18th Century. It is a very open, yet warm building with a lot of wood in the structure and some lovely stained glass windows. The other church we saw was opposite and was a typical stone built church.

    We then went back towards the ship and went onto Founders Hall and went round the exhibition of the formation of the confederation of Canada. We were given audio guides, which did not work very well at all and it was necessary to stand in a specific spot for them to work at all, so I do not see how they could be used if the exhibition was busy. My husband found the exhibition interesting, but I thought there was too much repetative politics and history and it seemed never ending as we were guided around a route within the building. It would be more interesting for Canadians I suspect and the staff at the entrance agreed it was designed more for Canadians.

    We then walked through the town and to the left. There were lots of interesting buildings, and we sampled the excellent local ‘Cows Ice Cream’ as we went (I had butterscotch flavour). We eventually came to a big white house in large gardens with white gate that was open. Reading the notice, we discovered this was the governor’s house and there was a small exhibition room that was open to be seen freely and we learned that it was ok to walk around the gardens (I think that is Victoria Park). We just walked across the front of the house to view it better as it was getting late in the day and then crossed the road to go into Beaconsfield Historic House, (now a museum), which is one of the oldest houses in the town and was built for a wealthy shipbuilder. We had a very interesting and informative guide who showed us around the house.

    There was a lot in the town so we had a very full day and left feeling we could easily have spent another day there.
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  • Corner Brook
    We had decided not to take a trip from this port as we had read that it was possible to walk the stream trails which sounded good. In practice we were told by a person in the port that the longer trails would take about four hours to walk so they suggested we just walk around the lake near the town. We found this trail to be uninspiring and we could hear traffic noise the whole way round. There was not a lot in the town, but we went into a church and there was a museum, which we did not to go into, as we wanted to stay outdoors because weather was good. We were told we could go up to the roof garden in City Hall if we asked at the reception desk. We did this and were asked to sign in before going up in the lift. There was no charge and there were good views from the top, but not many plants in the garden as the snow had not long cleared.

    We regretted not walking further or getting some sort of transport out of town as there was not much in the town. We did stay on deck for the sail out of port though and that was very picturesque. It took about an hour to sail out of the fjord.
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  • Montreal
    We only had one day in this city, so decided not to venture as far as Mount Royal. The tourist information staff at the port suggested a walking route and we more or less followed that. It did involve some uphill walking and possible public transport had been suggested, but we did not need it. We went up towards the Mc Gill University Campus, taking time to see some of the massive underground city on the way. We walked around the university campus which had very open grounds with grassed areas, plants and trees as well as the many historic buildings.

    We then dropped down to Rue St Catherine and turned left, passing Place Des Arts and then walked downhill through China town, (which is a little run down), towards the old town. I went into the Basilica de Notre Dame, which was stunning, as was the chapel at the rear. Both had a lot of carved wood and coloured lighting was used to best effect, which gave a very warm feel. This contrasted favourably with the stone church buildings seen so often. Unfortunately, it started raining heavily at this stage, so we went into Chateau Ramezay, (it has a website), which was the house of the first governor and dates from 1705. It is now a museum and has displays and audio points which tell the story of the house through the years.

    We then returned to the ship and met relatives who live in Montreal for an early evening meal at a pizza restaurant near the port, just before we sailed.
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  • Ponta Delgada
    Ponta Delgada was very similar to Funchal in many ways, but smaller and quieter with considerably less tourist influence. The roads went uphill as you leave the seafront and became quieter still. We walked into the upper reaches of the town and went into the Palacio de Sant’Ana Garden which was lovely. It had a lake, flower beds and trees, some from the southern hemisphere. The gardens surrounded the Palacio which is now the offices of the Governor of the Azores. This impressive building is painted deep pink and white and is of an historic design. The entry fee was only about two or three Euros and they were quite happy to let us have the senior rate on showing our bus passes, which we used as photo ID for the ports during the cruise. We found a café near to the garden and had a drink before our garden visit and a light lunch afterwards, then just strolled back down to the port continuing our circular route.
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  • Quebec City
    We had two full days here so decided we would go to Montmorency Falls the first day. We looked at trips, but decided against them as they seemed to spend very little time at the falls. We knew we could get a public bus there and got some good advice from a tourist information advisor at the port. She suggested walking along the riverfront to the bus stop for the number 800 bus in the direction of Beauport. The bus stop was near the train station and luckily she had marked it on a map. We went into the farmers market on the way to the station. The train station itself was an old, very ornate building which was worth seeing in itself. We decided it would be easier to get a two day pass for the local buses, (approx. $13 each), and we were able to buy them in a convenience store in the train station. The store was not easy to find, but a local person helped us.

    We enjoyed the 20 minute or so bus ride to the falls, which are very near to the bus terminus. There was a footbridge over the top of the falls giving good views. We crossed the bridge and followed the path a short way along to a large flight of stairs down the cliff. We went down the stairs to the bottom and were then able to walk towards the tourist building at the bottom of the cable car. We bought a drink and a snack here before getting the cable car back up to the top of the cliff, near to the Chateau, (which is a short walk from the top of the falls). I think the cable car was about $10 single and $11 for a return. We could have got the return from near to the chateau and skipped the long flight of stairs, but are glad we did use the stairs as it gave more views of the falls and the walk was enjoyable. The chateau had a small display area and pleasant gardens. People who went on organised trips to the falls were very disappointed as they had very little time by the falls and could only see them from above.

    On our return to Quebec we found that we could use our bus passes to get the bus back to the port, (it is bus number 1 and does a circular route around Quebec city). From the port you need to get the bus going to the right to go into the city. We used the bus that evening to go up to Grande Allee where there are a lot of bars and restaurants which are popular with the locals. We enjoyed walking through the city down to the port that night. The next day we went into the city a couple of times using our bus passes on the number 1 bus for some journeys. Without the passes the bus costs $2 per journey.

    We had a soup and a beer in Chateuau Frontenac. The main hallway of the building was worth seeing, but the bar could have been anywhere in the world, so nothing special. The area down by the port was the best area from our point of view as it was quieter. We made the mistake of walking up the wooden stairs from near Chateau Frontenac thinking we could get up to the Fort. We walked, and walked……… and ended up to the far side of the Fort and unable to access it from there! We gave up.

    The centre of Quebec was nice, but was rather touristy compared to the quiet, unspoiled ports we had seen previously. Montmorency Falls were more impressive from our point of view. I think we felt that way because the city was very European in style, but impressive water falls like that are not something that we see in Europe.
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  • Okwari Adventure
    As we were docking, some of the local people from the La Fabuleuse Show, were performing on the quayside. They then greeted us as we came off the ship and handed out some local sweets as we went ashore.

    We went on the ‘Okwari Adventure Excursion’, which was a good experience of the great Canadian outdoors. We went into a forested area by bus and then went on Rabaska Canoes. There were ten people to a canoe and everyone had their own paddle, which surprised some people as they thought someone else would paddle for them. This meant a number of people were quite lazy and the work was left to a few of us. There were three canoes, the tour guide went in one, a member of the tours staff from the ship went in another one and we were in the third one, not quite knowing where we should go or what we should be doing. It was enjoyable though and we saw a beaver lodge and dam. We were on the canoe for quite a while and were then given a drink and cookie before getting back on the bus.

    On the return journey, we had a stop near to a very beautiful part of the river with waterfalls. The description of the trip said we would have a guided walk through the forest and we were given the impression we would see wildlife, but that was not to be. However, we did spend a long time on the canoes and by the river so the tour took nearer to four hours than the allotted three hours. So it was very enjoyable, but the tour description could have been much better.

    We went to La Fabuleuse that evening and hope to review that separately.
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  • St. John's (Newfoundland)
    We were on deck for both the sail in and out of St John's and were very glad we were as ‘The Narrows’ really were narrow with good views to both sides. My brother and his wife live here so we had a tailor made day which was interesting as it was our first visit.

    We were taken to Cape Spear first which is the most westerly point of North America. Unfortunately the old lighthouse was not open, but we could see inside though the windows. We then went on a drive around the area and a stroll through an old fishing village. We were able to return to their house for lunch and later went up Signal Hill, unfortunately there were no views as the mist had drawn in. We went into the visitor centre on the way down, which had a video showing and a museum area. There was not much time left for the town, but it was a mix of old and new with a number of older wooden buildings in the historic area. We were told we must return to experience the nightlife area.
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  • Fortress of Louisbourg
    We were due to leave on a tour at midday so just walked into the town in the morning. The historic part was right opposite our cruise ship, so we went into that area first and saw many traditional wooden houses. We then walked to the right through the town to a grassed area by the water front with one or more statues. We then only had time for a quick drink in a cafe as we needed to return to the ship.
    Our tour was to the ‘Fortress of Louisbourg’ and was the worst run tour that we have ever been on, yet the fort could have been a very good place to visit. According to the schedule, on arrival at the fort we should have had a half hour tour of the buildings and one and a half hours of free time to experience the fort and be allowed to interact with the costumed actors who were present. The overall time was cut short as the coach was half an hour late and the tour guide from the ship insisted we were still brought back to the ship at the original return time. Hence we only had a total of 1.5 hrs in Louisbourg. The tour guide from Cape Breton, kept us outside in the cold talking at us about unrelated military history, (basically a long list of sieges), for most of an hour. He then took us into a very interesting looking museum and rushed us out within five minutes. He then took the group to the chateau and insisted we sat down in the chapel of the chateau to be talked at monotonously by him for most of the remaining time. He only allowed us about five to ten minutes of free time at the end, instead of the hour and a half we expected. Being off season not everything was open or fully operational and not all costumed actors were present, but for the originally planned two hours, we would have had plenty to see and there were plenty of costumed actors who appeared to be extremely realistic and entertaining. The person who accompanied us from the ship made no attempt to put the guide straight on what we were supposed to be doing, yet he knew what was scheduled to happen during the tour. This tour was run for the ship by ‘Ambassatours Gray Line’ and we would never consider going on one of their tours again.
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