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About LiftLockCouple

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Trent Severn Waterway, Lock 21, Ontario Canada

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  1. We have booked a B2B Vancouver - Sydney for Sept - Oct 2017. Therefore we are looking for oneway back to Toronto. The quickest, most direct route is AC. We are looking at PE for this itinerary to try and ease the pain. Our longest travel day to date was a return from Amsterdam via Frankfurt so this one is a marathon. On the AC website and on Choice Air the total, taxes in, has so far been $2300 CAD give or take $100. The exchange on the CAD is killing us !!! I have been looking for a few months now, well before our date came open and the price has been quite steady at that price. We also looked at a break in Hawaii using the suggested Jetstar and then WestJet or AC for the remainder but after the added costs of the stop, wasn't in our price range. There was an itinerary on Air New Zealand with stops in Auckland and LAX but it wasn't good enough to hook us. So far we have not taken the plunge. We are also working on CC points and Areoplan points to try and limit the pocketbook damage. Good luck with your search.
  2. I agree with all of your points. But don't you think that our flight was full , including the two butts in seats that we represented, for exactly your last statement? One consideration is the option on both AT and Rouge to get the premium seating for significantly less than business class or Premium economy on any of the mainline carriers. I know of others, returning to Canada from our cruise that accepted connections on alternatives, including AT for their own reasons. One being that Rouge did not have a flight to / from Barcelona on Monday ( the day the cruise ended ) so they had to chose something else if they wanted to get home on Monday. Of the other choices, one couple flew on United via New York, another on Air Lingus via Dublin, another accepted two connections in Europe then on to Vancouver. We accepted Rouge for what it is, to get the price and non-stop to Toronto on the date we wanted to fly. If a mainline carrier ( or any carrier ) were prepared to fly us home in 20" wide seats with a 32" or better pitch, great service and entertainment, and non-stop, for the same price, the Rouge flight would have been empty. BTW. I firmly believe that AC has made a marketing blunder by linking Rouge to the Air Canada brand. Now , the main airline and its service is known by the lowest denominator of Rouge. We also flew on Westjet on this trip and it wasn't all that great either. The flight attendant said " get this Boeing going " at least half a dozen times and the entertainment system had very limited selection because we were in the US airspace, give me a break, they have had this problem for years and never done anything about it. The service was not any better than what we experienced on Rouge.
  3. We just came home from Barcelona on Rouge. The flight left early, arrived early, and the luggage was on the carousel in record time ( two minutes after we got to the carousel ) . The Flight attendants were very professional and provided good care. Rouge has a poor reputation but this flight was excellent. I still hate the entertainment system though. The food......... well what do we really expect eh?? They served a cajun chicken wrap that was made in England from Thailand chicken with a Best before date of 2017. But what the heck, a non-stop flight that was on time ( actually early ) and at Pearson we were in our car an hour after arrival at the gate. This flight was full so apparently there are lots that chose Rouge instead of the options. We knew another couple on the same flight from Nova Scotia, they were content with the flight and service.
  4. This not really a knock on Rouge but about what can happen. In this case the very cold weather ( well below 0 Fahrenheit ) contributed to this event. DS1 and his wife are right now sitting at YUL waiting for a make-up flight to FLL for their cruise on Allure departing this afternoon. Last night they flew to YUL from YYZ for a Rouge flight to FLL arriving FLL at midnight. The flight ( AC418 ) from YYZ was delayed about an hour. Their Rouge A321 ( Rou1608 ) couldn't get the door to close and arm properly. After lots of maintenance attempts, no luck, the flight was cancelled. They were sent to a hotel, given a total of $27, and a new flight booked on a 767 for 11am this morning. The scheduled landing in FLL is 230 this afternoon. This is way to close for comfort and they haven't left YUL yet. Our fingers are crossed that nothing else goes wrong and they get to the ship OK. For the record there are lots of other options to book non-stop YYZ to FLL but in their case, the connection at YUL was required. I'm sure that 99 out of 100 times this itinerary goes off without any problem but in this case they have had a big problem. It can happen. Don't fly the day of a cruise unless you absolutely have to.
  5. This is a video I took on my cell phone today, while waiting for DW to arrive from Ottawa. Not a great video but it shows the new pedestrian tunnel between the island and the city mainland. The tunnel is accessed via a bank of elevators at the city end and escalators / elevators at the terminal end. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXDxJthG0bg
  6. Great report. Glad you were successful and enjoyed your time at the Falls. I have enjoyed watching the birds fishing as well. Must be like being a kid on a toboggan slope.
  7. This video was taken 4 years ago from an observation platform on the west side of the river ( and of course bridge ). I have not been there lately so cannot confirm it is still open. I have added some pictures of the location. As you can see the water is flowing upriver into the mouth of the Saint John River. In 1765, members of my family ( from Massachusetts ) sailed past this exact location on their way to the lands they settled well upriver at Maugerville near present day Fredericton. Enjoy your day in saint John. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlEcqNh3RBY This view is towards the city. The river is to the left, straight ahead is the Saint John Harbour. The cruise pier is just out of sight past the harbour cranes in the distance. This is the Restaurant building we are speaking of as seen from the observation platform If your mobility allows, these are the stairs you must negotiate to get to the observation platform http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Restaurant_Review-g154960-d5086916-Reviews-Reversing_Falls_Split_Rock_Cafe-Saint_John_New_Brunswick.html This is an alternative with refreshments at the top of the stairs.
  8. Unfortunately, when I was in SJ in June, the Restaurant and visitor center were closed. I assume the visitor center has moved.
  9. Yes. I am most familiar with Saint John where I visit several times a year. In Saint John there are two locations I frequent for a Lobster Roll. Deluxe French Fries is a fast food outlet in the food courts of Brunswick Square ( and Market Square ) just up the street from the cruise terminal. The roll is a simple top cut hotdog roll and the price is under $10 for the sandwich only. The other location is Lord's Fish Mart in the Saint John Market, again not very far from the ship. I am less fond of their roll because there is to much bread. The roll is to large. In both cases a platter which includes fries and coleslaw with a drink is less than $20 but I can't remember how much less. People who have opinions on the merits of various styles of Lobster Rolls will dispute which is best but in reality, either is pretty good. In general, I prefer the version served by Deluxe, and I like their fries better as well. In Halifax I recall picking up a lobster roll in the food court at the Historic properties area. I have not been to Halifax in a few years so my memory is slipping on the details. Edit to add: Regarding Saint John. There are two good " dine in" restaurants in the same area. Grannon's in Market Square and Billy's at the Saint John Market. I'm sure you can get a Lobster Roll in either place but i never do. I am interested in the scallops, mussels, and crab along with the wonderful chowders when I eat at those locations.
  10. Three I like from a recent cruise to Bermuda. The Norwegian Breakaway on the horizon at sunset, An aircraft on descent into New York, and, well, I can't add anything to the last one.
  11. I am aware that this thread will only be of interest to a limited number. I have no personal involvement with Porter Airlines and have actually only flown them a total of 2 round trips. The most interested would likely be cruise passengers from the Canadian east provinces or the from the Boston / New York / Chicago areas. Any cruise passengers looking to fly to /from Montreal or Quebec City might find this of interest as well. No Non-Stop between those cities and Boston etc but the connection in Toronto is extremely easy. We recently flew on Porter Airlines from Toronto's Island Airport known as the Billy Bishop Airport ( YTZ ) to Newark return. This small airline and its very small hub terminal airport are a pleasure to use. The airline uses Bombardier Q400 aircraft due in part to the small airport at Billy Bishop. The airport terminal is small making the check-in to gate distance equally small. The longest ( still very short by international airport standards) walk is for connecting in-bound USA passengers. No USA Customs and Immigration pre-clearance at YTZ. The pleasant part is with the on-board experience, complimentary soft drinks etc as well as Wine and Beer, and friendly service. The departure lounges in Toronto include comfortable seats, WiFi, and complimentary soft drinks, juice, water, coffee, tea, and cappuccino along with almonds and cookies. In Newark there were no snacks but all the drinks were there. Porter flys very frequently between Newark and YTZ which made it possible to show up early and be rebooked onto an earlier flight. There is no charge for this service at the airport. We departed YTZ 1 hour early and on the return left Newark 2 hours earlier than originally booked. Porter does have a codeshare agreement with Jet Blue making connections via Boston to the USA convenient. The last point is a negative and is often mentioned on these boards. That is the lack of an interline agreement with other airlines for rebooking in the event of mechanical or weather delays. They will not rebook ( as far as I know ) onto another airline to complete your journey. We had a great experience and just wanted to share this with the cruising world. There are lots of options and we are all free to chose the one that meets our needs the best. Just saying that Porter is a good one to consider. Here are some pictures. the first three are from the USA departures lounge at YTZ. Ready for departure with the terminal and Toronto city skyline in the background. Climbing past the downtown skyline.
  12. Here are some pictures taken this past Sunday outside the Cape Liberty Cruise Terminal. The Debarkation went amazingly swiftly. No waiting for anything, even US Customs and Immigration. We had an early number ( 8 ) so that may have helped but there were lots of others departing at the same time. We were off so early that the only wait was for the car service which wasn't planned until 9:30. We used Dial 7 with good results. No complaints. The exit from the terminal is in Zone 9 almost to Zone 10. When planning to meet a car service or family member etc. i would suggest agreeing on zone 7 or 8, alternatively go the other way to zones 11 etc. Zones 9 and 10 are very busy. Looking towards zones 8 etc on the left with the cabs waiting on the right. The exit from the terminal at Zone 9. Shuttle bus pick-up area , the taxi dispatch is on the left out of the frame.
  13. I flew WestJet Encore ( their regional airline with Q400's ) yesterday, YYZ - YFC. All good. I took a max size carry-on but was not challenged to size it and prove it. That might have been because the flight was only half full. I have flown with this luggage before as carry-on and knew it would easily fit in the bins as long as it wasn't "fat". There was a lady with a smaller bag but it was stuffed and fat. It would not fit in the OH bin. She had to put it under her seat. The usual in-flight free soft drinks service with small snacks. The aircraft was shiny new. The seats and seat pitch were acceptable ( I am 6' and over 200 lb !! ). Security at YYZ was quick and uneventful. All good.
  14. I have mentioned this previously but will do so again. I flew Rouge at the end of August as the second leg of an open Jaw route, YYZ - LHR , DUB - YYZ. It was on one ticket so no discernible price difference. I had to change plans at the last minute and rebook a week earlier than originally planned to depart Dublin. The available seats " forced" me into the Plus cabin. Both legs were flown on 767's. I have previously flown a significant number of legs with AC on every one of their aircraft types from the B1900 to the 777-300 LR ( including the HD version ). There most certainly is a difference in comfort and service between AC mainline and Rouge. Even in Rouge Plus where the seats are very comfortable, the IPad entertainment system is a PIA. I attempted to watch a movie and hold the IPad upright the whole time. The economy cabin was packed to the gills and the passengers are required to have their own IPads ( app loaded ) or rent them to get the available entertainment. The same " hold your own" approach would also apply in a much smaller space than what I had. I have also flown AC mainline to San Diego and Florida which are now served by Rouge. Given the option I would switch to WestJet to every destination where the two airlines compete. And I am not a great WJ fan. I agree with Calliopecruiser, Rouge operates like a discount carrier but doesn't charge like one. Worse, anyone flying Air Canada for the first time and finds themselves on a Rouge flight will tar the entire airline with the " crappy" brush because of the name association, unless of course, they understand what they are buying.
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