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New England Ports of Call

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Hi All. We're on the Adventure of the Seas going to New England and Canada in August and have a simple question for anyone who's been on that cruise before. Are the ports (Halifax, St Johns, Bar Harbour and Portland) easy and interesting enough to walk around or should we look at booking any excursions? We're seasoned cruisers but prefer to explore the ports of call if possible, rather than spending money to travel too far inland. Many thanks!

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Hi

 

We did this about 4 years ago, from memory Halifax was easy to get around, quite hilly, Portland was very nice, lovely main street. Bar Harbour was a tender port, you could walk around or get a tour to Arcadia National park from the dock. St Johns I think was docked in a working port (I think) and we did not go ashore as there was nothing there.

 

Hope this helps.

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We did a New England & Canada itinerary last year.

 

Bar Harbor is a great town to just walk around. We had a tour of Acadia National Park, which was nice, but since it was so busy, and they have traffic controls, there was one place we did not get to stop (we were in a large coach) and in the others, we did not have a lot of time. That said, it’s beautiful. I would have been perfectly happy just wandering the town, the whole day, though. We did have time after our tour and my sister and I shopped and went in to the Episcopal Church to see their Tiffany windows. There was a small museum in town as well that sounded interesting but we did not think we had time to do it justice.

 

In Portland we had an excursion to Kennebunkport, but from my research it seemed like Portland would have been a good place to just wander. There was an art tour I wanted to do. We did stop at Victoria Mansion on the way back, which is neat if you are interested in historic homes. When we were there, they were in the process of restoring one of the rooms and so it was interesting to observe that process.

 

Are you going to Saint John, New Brunswick, or St Johns, Newfoundland. If it’s the former, that’s not what the previous poster mentioned. It’s a great town. There is a very interesting museum there. It was on our excursion and we only had a brief time; I could have used more. There is also a nice market. The famous thing there is the reversing rapids. Our tour did not time it right to see them, but the spot where it happens was still beautiful. If you are interested you could probably take a taxi to see them. There is a hoho bus (I think it was called the pink bus) that some in our group did and they said it was good. They did not pre-book, they just got it at the pier.

 

Sorry, left off Halifax. This is also a walkable town. Our group had a walking tour, in fact. To get up to the fort it’s quite hilly, but otherwise the town is not bad. The Botanic Gardens are beautiful. We enjoyed our lunch and tour at Alexander Keith’s Brewery. We wanted to see the museum that includes exhibits about the Titanic, but we ran out of time. One of our more unusual stops there was the library. My sister is in the architecture field and she had read about it. It’s a beautiful, modern building with a green roof and there is lots of art inside.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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We sailed on the Anthem a few years ago.

 

Boston, we did the Cape Cod and the Kennedy compound. Unfortunately, this year in August it is not offered. We are replacing with trolley hoho.

 

Portland, we did the Portland & Kennebunkport. Portland is blah, but Kennebunkport was a nice resort to stop and sample their delicious lobster rolls. After this stop, we passed by the Bush's estate.

 

This time around we are touring only to Kennebunkport only as the last time due to traffic we did not spend a considerate amount of time in the resort.

 

Bar Harbor, we simply walked around near the pier. We got off too late and all of the Arcadia Nat'l Park tours were not time friendly.

 

St. John, nothing spectacular. Took us some 1.5 hours to get a bus by the pier to tour the city. Expected something dramatic with the "Reversing Rapids", but it was a bust as the tide which creates this phenomenon was not at that point in time.

 

Halifax, wonderful and interesting city. Many remnants of the British Empire. We took a tour to Peggy's Cove and the Titanic. Very interesting and I would highly recommend.

 

Have a good cruise.

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What we did this past October:

 

Halifax....Amazing tour Halifax Titanic Historical Tour with Paul McNeil (one of the best we've done)

 

St John N.B. ...... Roll call organized private tour with Dave's Taxi Tours...had a wonderful time saw so much !

 

Bar Harbor....Booked a Acadia NP Tour directly on their website...Thanks Heather an amazing Park Ranger !

 

Portland....Walked around town (went to Holy Donuts) there is a highly recommended tour on an old firetruck.

 

Boston...HOHO so great no one wanted to hop off ;)

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What we did this past October:

 

Halifax....Amazing tour Halifax Titanic Historical Tour with Paul McNeil (one of the best we've done)

 

St John N.B. ...... Roll call organized private tour with Dave's Taxi Tours...had a wonderful time saw so much !

 

Bar Harbor....Booked a Acadia NP Tour directly on their website...Thanks Heather an amazing Park Ranger !

 

Portland....Walked around town (went to Holy Donuts) there is a highly recommended tour on an old firetruck.

 

Boston...HOHO so great no one wanted to hop off ;)

 

 

Was the Boston hoho an RCL tour or did you book directly with vendor. Does RCL have a shuttle to Faneuil Square?

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Boston - RCL has a shuttle service to Faneuil Square, but it is not free.

In St Johns, there is a very active group of local volunteers happy to provide maps of the town, plus answer any questions about things to see.

We just get off and walk in all these ports. We do take to shuttle to Faneuil.

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Boston - RCL has a shuttle service to Faneuil Square, but it is not free.

In St Johns, there is a very active group of local volunteers happy to provide maps of the town, plus answer any questions about things to see.

We just get off and walk in all these ports. We do take to shuttle to Faneuil.

 

RCL's tour of "Old Town Trolley" mentions complementary shuttle to Faneuil Square. This tour as explained by their tour dept. is a HOHO type--so just wondering.

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The HOHO in Boston is good, but a couple things to keep in mind. You can book directly with the operator and save some money over the ship's excursion rate and get the same tour, which we did. However, if you book through the ship there are trolleys waiting right outside where the ship docks ready to pick you up. When you book independently, you have to walk a few blocks to the nearest public stop and then wait until a trolley shows up. In our case, it probably took a half hour from the time we exited the port until we were picked up. Also, as noted above many people choose not to hop off during the tour, meaning that if you do there is often a long wait to get picked back up as numerous full trolleys drive by. Overall though, it's a great way to see the city and also provides you the necessary transportation to get into the city proper as there is very little to do in the immediate area where the ship docks.

 

All the other ports are easily walkable with shops and restaurants within a few blocks of where you disembark. In Portland we did an independent lobster boat tour with Lucky Catch which I would highly recommend. Bar Harbor is pretty much walk the town and/or tour the park. Saint John didn't feel like it had much to do in town, but the reversing rapids and sea caves were interesting to see. Halifax I would definitely go back to as there seemed to be a lot in the city I didn't get to (fort and museums), and Peggy's Cove wasn't really worth the trip in the rain.

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Was the Boston hoho an RCL tour or did you book directly with vendor. Does RCL have a shuttle to Faneuil Square?

No need to book with RCI and certainly no need to use a trolley to get to the HOHO...We walked off the ship (turned left from our terminal) and down about a block and jumped on one of the HOHO's (two were waiting) there...we paid at the small office they have set up there as it's a main pick up spot for cruise ships. (Sr. discount if applicable to you it was for us)

 

At the end of our wonderful time with the driver (that no one wanted to leave) he dropped us off right at Faneuil Square (hall) so we could spend time there and then we easily got another HOHO (near the corner) to take us back to the port.

 

This was great and sooooo easy.

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Well thanks for all of this information. It's given us food for thought and sounds like there is plenty to do without having to book any onboard excursions!

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Well thanks for all of this information. It's given us food for thought and sounds like there is plenty to do without having to book any onboard excursions!

You're very welcome...and correct to avoid any ship booked excursion for this itinerary. Enjoy !!

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No one mentioned it, but the HopOnHopOff bus in

Halifax was excellent. Included the downtown garden, the Titanic cemetary among others.

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No need to book with RCI and certainly no need to use a trolley to get to the HOHO...We walked off the ship (turned left from our terminal) and down about a block and jumped on one of the HOHO's (two were waiting) there...we paid at the small office they have set up there as it's a main pick up spot for cruise ships. (Sr. discount if applicable to you it was for us)

 

At the end of our wonderful time with the driver (that no one wanted to leave) he dropped us off right at Faneuil Square (hall) so we could spend time there and then we easily got another HOHO (near the corner) to take us back to the port.

 

 

 

This was great and sooooo easy.

 

Are there more than one HOHO providers and if so which did you utilize.

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Hi

 

 

 

We did this about 4 years ago, from memory Halifax was easy to get around, quite hilly, Portland was very nice, lovely main street. Bar Harbour was a tender port, you could walk around or get a tour to Arcadia National park from the dock. St Johns I think was docked in a working port (I think) and we did not go ashore as there was nothing there.

 

 

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

 

St John’s is a nice port to walk around. They have the city market which is nice. They also had a nice craft tent right off the ship. Some nice shops along the water front street. We used to go there every year, but, haven’t been for a couple years. We will be going there Sept 13th. Looking forward to it. They used to hand out roses to the first hundred or more women off the ship. The men, they gave tac pins. Very friendly Canadians.

 

We took a tour of St Johns once too. Very nice.

 

Gwen

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Are there more than one HOHO providers and if so which did you utilize.

There was only one company set up by the cruise dock we were at...large trolley type bus...can't miss it.

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