We booked on this itinerary for 2020 but we all know what happened then! We last sailed to eastern seaboard of Canada and the USA in 2005 on QE2 and thoroughly enjoyed it but our travelling companions preferred to stick to the Canada-only option (Arcadia was doing the Canada/USA itinerary this year). It was a major improvement on our 2005 experience as we got the colours of the 'Fall' just right, they were truly beautiful.
Aurora is our favourite ship and, despite a Covid-ridden cruise to the Caribbean in March this year, our love for her has not diminished. There were only 1170 passengers aboard which made the ship very spacious and the impact of Covid was minimal to our knowledge and seldom mentioned. Pre-cruise and on-board testing were sensible requirements and wearing masks inside the ship and when on tour for most of the voyage was not an imposition. And people were very compliant which made for a good atmosphere aboard.
We love sea days and for most of the voyage the weather was remarkably good. Unfortunately, Hurricane Fiona caused difficulties in the first part of the cruise, both in the damage it caused to several of the Canadian ports on the itinerary as well as the requirement for the captain to take a wide detour to avoid it. As a result, Quebec ended up as the first port of call, nine and a half sea days after leaving Southampton, but we were able to spend an extra half day in this lovely city as a result. Corner Brook was added to the itinerary to substitute for St John's, Gaspe and Charlottetown and the contrast between the mixture of big and small ports was both interesting and refreshing.
We've travelled around the world in one of these standard balcony cabins and have no issues with their comfort or facilities. On this occasion we were situated more amidships than usual and the noise of maintenance on the tenders below us was rather intrusive. We'll probably book further forward if we travel on C deck in future
A handsome city with lots of easily accessible attractions. Unfortunately, our afternoon 'Duck' tour was cancelled owing to a 'breakdown' although we did see it later happily touring the port full of passengers - presumably not P&O's
A beautiful and accessible city. Apart from getting soaked in a rainstorm on our first afternoon we had a good ship's tour to the Montmorency Falls (and other countryside sights) followed by a fascinating Hop On, Hop Off bus trip around the city
The town was as pretty as we remembered but had obviously been damaged by 'Fiona'. Our afternoon trip to a Highland Village was a run out through lovely countryside to a historical open museum. Rather more Scottish than Scotland in the event but a very interesting visit despite the rain. We had a rather nerve-wracking ride back to the port with the bus evidencing an increasingly noisy mechanical problem. It was finally diagnosed when several wheel nuts were found to be missing on arrival at the port.