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Fall 2024 - best time to go, and is St John worth a visit?


Scougs
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Seeking advice for a planned 7-night New England/Canada cruise, Fall 2024, on Enchanted Princess.
Would the departure from NY on 5th October, returning 12th October be good for seeing the spectacular Fall foliage? How about a week later?
The other deciding factor is the number of ports. The 5th October departure is 5 ports, whereas the week later is only 4. The additional port is St John (for Bay of Fundy). I quite like a sea day, and the additional port makes it quite port-intensive. Is St John worth a visit? I'll happily have an extra port if the leaves will be more spectacular a week earlier.
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On 9/27/2023 at 5:40 AM, Scougs said:
Seeking advice for a planned 7-night New England/Canada cruise, Fall 2024, on Enchanted Princess.
Would the departure from NY on 5th October, returning 12th October be good for seeing the spectacular Fall foliage? How about a week later?
The other deciding factor is the number of ports. The 5th October departure is 5 ports, whereas the week later is only 4. The additional port is St John (for Bay of Fundy). I quite like a sea day, and the additional port makes it quite port-intensive. Is St John worth a visit? I'll happily have an extra port if the leaves will be more spectacular a week earlier.

You can't predict when leaves turn. Mid October is a good time frame, but there are no guarantees. There are too many variables especially a year in advance.

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  • 4 weeks later...

We visited these ports (except St John) this month from Oct 7-12. The trees had just started turning in most places, not in the spectacular numbers and colors like we hoped for. On the other hand, we had warm dry weather during almost all those days, and it can apparently get colder and wetter later.

 

A couple of other considerations:

  • Some restaurants and stores seem to close for the season after Columbus Day/Canadian Thanksgiving, which is October 14th next year
  • You can still get remnants of hurricanes or tropical storms coming up the Eastern Seaboard in early October. We had the remains of TS Philippe come through Halifax during our overnight there on Oct 7th, and it delayed us getting us out of that port on Sunday by almost 7 hours due to swells. Seabourn could only make up some of that time, so we were late into Bar Harbor the next day.
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On 9/27/2023 at 9:37 AM, LHT28 said:

It depends on your interests  if "worth it"

Precisely. I have an interest in urban development, including the city planning history and the railroads and public transportation systems that led to, and continue to support, the city centre and the surrounding region. Accordingly, I am inclined to visit places that have economic significance, and go to places that show these aspects: visiting historic railroad stations, walking the city centre, popping into a history museum, and utilizing the public transportation (not necessarily to go someplace specific, but to review equipment, facilities, and transit centres). To me, Saint John meets my criteria for being "worthwhile." But that may be that I have my peculiar interests that others may not share.

 

The other extreme consists of people with no inherent interests in anything, and will simply do whatever it is that the tourism industry tells them that they "should" do (which, for Saint John, might be the reversing falls). For these individuals, the cruise lines generally ensure that there is some type of tour available to that tourist site and sight. In my view mass market tours are rarely "worthwhile," but others very much enjoy them.

 

Others venture no further than the port facilities themselves when docked, and judge the worthwhileness of a port by the vendors and other attributes of those facilities, rather than the larger city in which the port is located. Some might judge a port from its perceived scenic beauty, while other judge it by the physical activities present therein.

 

In short, I don't know what makes a place "worthwhile" to you. It is so hard for me and many others to provide personal judgments for others in the absence of any controlling criteria. Provide some context as to what makes a place "worthwhile" to you. Better yet, read a book about the geography of the Maritimes generally, or of Saint John specifically, and then ask some specific questions here, not addressed in the book, to ascertain if it would be "worthwhile" to you.

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