Portland ~what to do on our own?

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#21
320 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
I'm going to be on Anthem of the Seas rerouted to Portland for Monday. I've never been there but it all sounds lovely. I'm thinking walking around down town and then a cab to Fort Williams. I'm used to using Uber, are those plentiful in Portland? Reasonable cost? Or is a regular cab better? Once there, is there a specific point that is good for drop off? Thanks.
#22
Maine or at sea
13,933 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by Jasukkie
I'm going to be on Anthem of the Seas rerouted to Portland for Monday. I've never been there but it all sounds lovely. I'm thinking walking around down town and then a cab to Fort Williams. I'm used to using Uber, are those plentiful in Portland? Reasonable cost? Or is a regular cab better? Once there, is there a specific point that is good for drop off? Thanks.
Cabs and Uber are not what you might think of a "plentiful" if you come from a big city. However, I would think that the Uber/Lyft drivers would be out in force for the ships. Either or for cost. They can probably drop you right at Portland Head Light, and then request pick up there as well. As I say, the best view of Portland Head Light is from sea, so get up early and see it from the ship and save the cab ride, though Fort Williams is a nice park, and the old officer's row housing is kind of neat.
#23
320 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
Thank you. I was thinking Fort Williams as a scenic place to walk around. I'm a hiker, just like to be outside, more than city tours. We will be in port from 7am to 3pm and I am one of those people who would get nervous pushing time on the return so I figured close was better. Do you have any other suggestions that might be good? I figured we might get rerouted to Canada but hadn't thought about Portland so it's all new to me. Not a shopper either.
#24
Maine or at sea
13,933 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by Jasukkie
Thank you. I was thinking Fort Williams as a scenic place to walk around. I'm a hiker, just like to be outside, more than city tours. We will be in port from 7am to 3pm and I am one of those people who would get nervous pushing time on the return so I figured close was better. Do you have any other suggestions that might be good? I figured we might get rerouted to Canada but hadn't thought about Portland so it's all new to me. Not a shopper either.
Another nice place to walk around, and in Portland, is the Eastern Prom. As you exit the cruise terminal, there will be the "Eastern Promenade Trail", turn right, and you walk along the waterfront for about 0.7 mile and you will reach Fort Allen Park, the start of the Eastern Prom Park. The park stretches along the waterfront for another half to three quarters of a mile, with great views towards Fort Gorgas Island (Civil War fort), and Big and Little Diamond Islands and down Casco Bay. Then loop up to the top of the park for the return walk and see many of the historic Victorian and Federal homes along the way. On the way back, stop at DuckFat, where everything is cooked in, guess what, duck fat. Their milk shakes and truffle fries are fantastic. You can even swing by Allagash brewery for tours and tastings.

I just learned about a unique tour in Portland, that I'd never knew existed. It is the Portland Fire Tour that takes you around the downtown area of Portland in an old fire engine. Their place is on Commercial Street, which is the waterfront, less than a mile the other way from the cruise terminal. It only takes 12 at a time, and lasts only 50 minutes.

Of course, the big draw lately in Portland are the restaurants. Check out some of the other Portland threads for my recommendations for lunch.
#26
114 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
I love Fort Williams and think it's more than just a photo opportunity but I'm from there so I could be biased. The Eastern Prom is lovely and Duck Fat is very popular! If you do go out to Cape Elizabeth (where Fort Williams is... about 15-20 mins from the Port...) I'd also go to Two Lights State Park. Rocky cliffs and big waves, cliff walks, and another light house. Plus... the Lobster Shack which is probably the most beautiful place to eat a Lobster in the a world... I think I can safely say that without starting a big debate.. (google image?) That being said... I totally understand about not being able to relax when stressed about timing. It's close, but still a car drive away.


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#27
Minnesota
40 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by Cyber Kat
This ^^^^ seriously. I got the best shots from the ship! And we went there on our tour. It's on the port side as you sail in. I wasn't expecting it. I'm always up and out on our balcony coming into port!

We did the Portland by Land and Sea through Carnival and we enjoyed it. We had plenty of time after for walking along Commercial St.

The sea part was a sail on a schooner and it was lovely. We also sailed by the lighthouse. The company is Windjammer Sails. A 2 hour sail is $44 pp. It docked not far from the ship

You can purchase on their website portlandschooner.com

We would have checked out the Narrow Gauge RR but we did so much walking in Boston and DH had sore feet

There is a lovely park near there with great views. And also the Portland Observatory - you can go to the top. Kind of hard to tell how far it is on the map. We passed it on the bus part of the tour but didn't stop.

I had my lobster roll at Boone's with some good craft beer- close to the ship. Lots of shops, restaurants and bars along Commercial St

We loved Portland!



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We have a port side balcony this summer and are super excited about the idea of seeing the lighthouse from our room. Do you remember by any chance how early it would be? Would an hour before scheduled arrival be enough? Or earlier? Thanks!
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#28
Southern California by way of Kentucky
22,097 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by pezie
Do any shops open early when the cruise ship is in port? We arrive at 7am. I plan on going to Holy Donut. Is there anything to do before 10am? The Victoria Mansion opens at 10am.
Holy Donut a perfect early starting spot.
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#29
Maine or at sea
13,933 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by chechya
We have a port side balcony this summer and are super excited about the idea of seeing the lighthouse from our room. Do you remember by any chance how early it would be? Would an hour before scheduled arrival be enough? Or earlier? Thanks!
An hour before docking would be plenty of time. You can probably get a good shot of Ram Island Ledge Light, which is basically a lighthouse on a tide washed rock in the middle of the bay.
#30
Oxford, MS
2,935 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
OK I hate getting up early, but I think I'll have to take Chengkp75's suggestions for photos of the lighthouse. Got to write it in my notes!

Reading through all of this, I had an idea and I'm not sure if it exists. I'll cross check on TripAdvisor. Anyone know if there is a "Brewery Tour"? Might be fun for my mom and I to experience several of the local craft beers. Maybe she'll find something other than Guinness that won't give her the belches! LOL It would be something different since she's been to Portland before. Then everyone on the ship can laugh at us as we stagger back laughing our fool heads off.
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#31
4,057 Posts
Joined May 2005
Originally posted by chechya
We have a port side balcony this summer and are super excited about the idea of seeing the lighthouse from our room. Do you remember by any chance how early it would be? Would an hour before scheduled arrival be enough? Or earlier? Thanks!


It was around sun up, which was around 6am


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#32
Maine or at sea
13,933 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Portland is a great craft brewery town. Shipyard Brewing is close to the terminal, and does a tour and tasting. There are not real tours of breweries, but you could catch a cab out to the Riverside Industrial area where there are Foundation, Austin Street, and Allagash breweries. Bissell Brothers is over at Thompson Point, along with a winery and a distillery. The Great Lost Bear is a bar that has over 70 craft beers on tap, some of which, like Sam Adams craft brews, are sold nowhere else in New England.
#34
north west UK
331 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
The Maine Brew Bus offers a tour - it's located at 79 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101. They offer a 3 hour tour incorporating 3 breweries and a savoury pie baked locally (to soak up some of the alcohol). Find them at themainebrewbus.com
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#35
Minnesota
40 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by Cyber Kat
It was around sun up, which was around 6am


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Thanks so much for the info!
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#36
Minnesota
40 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by chengkp75
An hour before docking would be plenty of time. You can probably get a good shot of Ram Island Ledge Light, which is basically a lighthouse on a tide washed rock in the middle of the bay.
Thanks so much for the info!
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#37
Bridgeport, CT, USA
3,009 Posts
Joined Dec 2000
Thanks so much for all the info! Starting to plan for my June cruise...
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#38
Maine or at sea
13,933 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Another thing I recently learned about is the Portland Fire Engine Co, that gives a tour of the entire Portland peninsula (the downtown area) in a vintage fire engine. Takes about an hour, $24, $22 seniors. I haven't tried it, but sounds good.