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Match Game 72

HAL Zaandam Montreal to Boston Aug 10, 2019 Review with Pictures

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Then we walked back through the historical site, visited some more buildings and listened to a Native American singing. He had a beautiful voice.

 

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We drove back to the Enterprise, dropped off the car and took a shuttle ride back to the port. That evening we caught both a sunset from the promenade deck and a pig hanging out in our cabin.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

And then it was Thursday, and we visited Halifax.

I often take a snapshot of the back on board time. Because this cruise was so port intensive, we tended to stay for less time in the ports so we could relax a bit before dinner.

Here's a look at what the gangway from Zaandam to Halifax port looked like. 

For all ports, the gangway was located at the bow of the ship on either deck 2 or deck A.

 

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Edited by Match Game 72

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Thanks for your lovely photographs and nice review.  I'll be taking this cruise (B2B from Boston) next summer aboard this ship.  She is due for renovations April 2020, I believe.  You have me very excited because my turn-around day will be in Montreal.  Since my traveling companions will be leaving the ship then, I must make do on my own.  It's good to know that the Hop-on-Hop-off bus stops at the port.  How close is that museum to where the ship docks?  Since I'll be by myself in a strange city, I don't want to be walking far and getting lost.  This is the first time I've ventured to travel solo since my husband died.  A huge step for me, but one I must take, and this second leg of the cruise seemed like a perfect time to try it.

 

Anticipating the rest of your review.  Thanks again.

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14 hours ago, sevenseasnomad said:

Thanks for your lovely photographs and nice review.  I'll be taking this cruise (B2B from Boston) next summer aboard this ship.  She is due for renovations April 2020, I believe.  You have me very excited because my turn-around day will be in Montreal.  Since my traveling companions will be leaving the ship then, I must make do on my own.  It's good to know that the Hop-on-Hop-off bus stops at the port.  How close is that museum to where the ship docks?  Since I'll be by myself in a strange city, I don't want to be walking far and getting lost.  This is the first time I've ventured to travel solo since my husband died.  A huge step for me, but one I must take, and this second leg of the cruise seemed like a perfect time to try it.

 

Anticipating the rest of your review.  Thanks again.

Please let me clarify. The HOHO that stops near the Museum of Civilization is in Quebec City. Montreal has quite a lively port area, though. 

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9 hours ago, KAKcruiser said:

Did you notice if there was a section in the dining room for Club Orange?

There was a large sign/banner near the dining checkin. So I'm sure something was being done for Club Orange members,

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9 hours ago, mcrcruiser said:

Thanks for your very nice review & photos 😊

You're welcome! I take loads of pictures every day when we are on a trip. With digital format, I can just snap away until my heart's content.

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3 hours ago, puppycanducruise said:

Thanks for the comments and pictures.

Love the towel animals.

I like the towel animals, too.  It's a small detail that sets apart a cruise from a land hotel experience, in my opinion.

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3 hours ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

The Fortress of Louisbourg is a wonderful tour.  We also did it and enjoyed it.

 

Great pictures.

Thanks.

 

I should mention that the walkways are mainly gravel. There's a lot of walking, and I suggest comfortable shoes.

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14 hours ago, Match Game 72 said:

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I didn't know there was a Bar Harbor in Massachusetts! I think they meant 'ME'.

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In Halifax, we decided to visit the Citadel. It is within about 1.2 miles from the ship, but because it is on a hill, we decided to take a taxi there and walk back.

A taxi was available as soon as we stepped out of the port building. It cost us $11 cdn including tip, and the taxi was metered.

At the Citadel, we paid for 2 adults, one senior and our son who is under 17 was free. Total cost was $33.45 cdn.

 

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, HAL4NOW said:

I didn't know there was a Bar Harbor in Massachusetts! I think they meant 'ME'.

Ha!  Good catch, HAL4NOW. There are so many US states beginning with M; it's easy to mess up the abbreviations.

Edited by Match Game 72

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We spent over an hour exploring all of the exhibits located throughout the Citadel. We also watched some training exercises before the noon cannon was shot.

 

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We learned some details about Canada's contributions to significant wars in the 20th century. They has a relatively new exhibit on D-Day that was particularly interesting.

 

 

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I should mention that the Citadel is very close to the Halifax Public Gardens. For various reasons we did not tour them this trip, but they make a nice companion to the Citadel.

 

Leaving the Citadel and finding the waterfront is very easy. Just walk out of the main entrance/exit and head down the hill. We walked through a public park in which a band was playing and enjoyed the sites along the way.

 

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Now here's where my photos trail off. If I remember correctly, this evening was the second Gala night. After 10 pm there was about 15 minutes when the serving staff provided a Chocolate Surprise on deck 5. Delicious! And a brontosaurus claimed our cabin for the night.

 

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Our last full day on Zaandam was Friday. Because Bar Harbor is in the US, all passengers were required to present to customs on board. We were assigned a group color, and when our color was called, there was nearly no line at all. It was a very easy process, and we were given a slip of paper so that we could qualify for a tender to Bar Harbor. This meant that disembarkation in Boston was incredibly fast. Grab your luggage and go!

 

Just my son and I tendered to Bar Harbor. We are all New Englanders and had been to Acadia National Park, etc.

 

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The tender docks very close to the main area of Bar Harbor. Once you walk off the deck, you are already in the thick of local shops. Keep in mind that it is an uphill walk to find the ice cream, lobster rolls, and popcorn!

 

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That evening included packing, our last wonderful dinner in the MDR, and a final drink at the Crow's Nest. There was no towel animal to say farewell.

HAL allows guests to select their disembarkation time. We tried to have breakfast in the MDR, but was told it would be a wait since they were out of tables. So, it was the buffet for the final breakfast. I liked that HAL allows you to keep your carry-ons in the cabin while you have breakfast.

Our actual departure time was exactly as planned.  Uber and Lyft service the Boston port. There is also a cell phone waiting lot if you have a friend picking you up. We took a Lyft ($11) to North Station and used Amtrak's Downeaster to travel to Portland, ME.

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While we really liked the service and food quality on HAL, I doubt we would book another cruise with them in the near future. The limited hours and activities at the kids club, The Loft, was a deal breaker for us. Coupled with the poor condition of our cabin, we feel we could get a better value from other cruise lines.

Thanks to everyone who posts on CC. Your advice was invaluable for planning this trip. And feel free to ask me any questions as well.  🙂

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Thanks for all of the posts and pictures. Even though we lived in Limerick, ME for a few years we did not make it up to Acadia National Park. A New England cruise is on our list of future cruises we hope to go on.

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