Hidden Gem Cruise to Canada
In September 2022, I took a 7-Day Cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway round-trip to Canada/New England from New York. Canada/New England is a hidden gem in the cruise world.
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Norwegian Breakaway was originally launched in 2013 and fully refurbished in 2020. She is a 1068ft Long, 145,655 GRT, 3963 Guest Cruise ship. She features brand new Starlink High-Speed Internet powered by SpaceX. Two of the most popular guest areas on board are Syn Norman's Pour House and The Waterfront.
Syd Normans' Pour House features live rock 'n' roll and decor reminiscent of one of LA's legendary rock clubs! The Waterfront is a 1/4 mile long oceanfront promenade with several bars and restaurants featuring open air dining/drinking.
This was my 2nd time sailing on Breakaway, my first trip was Western Caribbean in May 2018. Both Cruises I sailed with my mother (age 65/69, respectively)
I must say, Canada surprised me in many ways. The Itinerary was New York, New York -> Newport, Rhode Island -> Portland, Maine -> Bar Harbor, Maine -> Saint John, Bay of Fundy -> Halifax, Nova Scotia -> New York, New York.
Newport: This port required the ship to anchor out in the bay and guests to ride a tender boat to shore. Tenders are always fun because you have the opportunity to get some great photos of the ship while you are riding the boat. Once ashore we boarded a waiting tour boat for a viewing of the harbor. Once back to shore we did a little exploring, I was working for Travel + Leisure Co at the time, so we visited a couple of the Wyndham Destination Resorts in Newport before returning to the ship.
Portland: Here we participated in a motorcoach tour called Best of Portland and Kennebunkport. Momma is a lifelong fan of Murder, She Wrote starring the late ANgela Lansbury, and the show was filmed primarily in this area. Highlights of the visit was the Portland Head Light at Fort Williams Park and the small town of Kennebunkport itself. The town is full tot he brim with small boutique style shops and restaurants, we climbed up the hill and got some local ice cream before returning to the motorcoach for our trip back to the port.
Bar Harbor: We also opted for a bus tour in Bar Harbor...or as the locals say "Baahr Haarbahr"...this tour was a scenic ride up into the mountains, ending with an authentic New England Lobster Bake. This was the absolute highlight of Mom's trip (and a lifelong dream fulfilled)
Saint John: The port here opens right into a container park full of craft stalls, and small eateries. There is also a 3 "stack" high observation platform made from Containers, I met a local family up here who came to see the ship come in, we asked them for a recommendation where to get a good breakfast in town. They pointed us to a lovely tavern named "Cask and Kettle Irish Gastropub", I had the best chicken & waffles I've ever had! After breakfast we once again boarded a motor coach for a tour of the city, first stop was the City Market. Here we were tricked into trying a local delicacy called "Dulse", which is a dried red sea weed, I was not impressed, but to each their own! After leaving the market we continued on our tour of the city and returned to the ship in mid-afternoon.
Halifax: This port was the absolute highlight of the trip. Not only is Halifax the birthplace of the father of modern ocean cruising (Samuel Cunard; 1787-1865), its also the final resting place of 121 souls lost on April 15, 1912 on the RMS Titanic, and home to the 2nd most photographed Light House in North America. We took a guided tour of the city with a stop at the Titanic Graveyard (Fair Lawn Cemetery). The 121 Graves are arranged in such a way to represent the bow of a ship. One of the most famous markers was that of an unknown child. Thanks to modern advances in DNA science, this grave was positively identified as Sidney Goodwin, who was only 19-months old when Titanic went down. Another remarkable grave is that of J. Dawson, belonging to Coal Trimmer Joseph Dawson, per James Cameron is simply a coincidence and was not an inspiration for Leonardo DeCaprio's Jack Dawson in the 1997 Titanic Film.
We returned to New York on September 11, and as much as I wanted to go pay my respects at Ground Zero on the anniversary, I was not able to go.
Highly recommend a cruise to Canada/New England for those who love cruising, but are not necessarily beach people, or for those who love nature or history.
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