Day 6 ~ Saturday, September 27 ~ Halifax, Nova Scotia

September 28, 2014 by

The capital of Nova Scotia and the largest city in Canada’s Atlantic Provinces, Halifax was once Great Britain’s major military bastion in North America. The beautifully restored waterfront buildings of Halifax ‘s Historic Properties recall the city’s centuries- old maritime heritage. Stroll the waterfront, and you may find Nova Scotia’s floating ambassador, the schooner Bluenose II, tied up to Privateer’s Wharf, just as old sailing ships have done for over 200 years. Halifax is also the gateway to Nova Scotia’s stunning scenery, including famous Peggy’s Cove, where surf-pounded granite cliffs and a solitary lighthouse create an unsurpassed scene of rugged natural beauty.

What a fabulous day! It is beautiful. We certainly aren’t needing our cool weather clothes.

We got off the ship in Halifax right into the terminal which was also a market with lots and lots of shops and vendors with local products to sell. It was a shoppers paradise. There was a big tent near the terminal yesterday in Saint John. These Canadians know what they are doing.

Again many of us were off to do shore excursions. Each day is busy. There is so little time to enjoy what the ship has for us to do. Many of our people did Peggy’s Cove & Coastal Scenic Drive; Peggy’s Cove, Historic Fortress, Titanic & Lunch; Peggy’s Cove & Hop On/Hop Off Bus Tour; and Historic Halifax Sites Scenic Drive. Some relaxed and some went shopping. Norita met up with a friend in Halifax and Myrna went to church and met some local people who showed her some of the sights. So everyone was busy.

Peggy’s Cove was the high light or at least the most popular. It was pretty cool. A light house surrounded by rocks with lots of “retail therapy”. It’s actually a little village where in season they do lobstering. They have a population of 35. Not sure it’s the place to live!

Sue’s tour guide shared a lot about the royal family and many stories were pretty interesting. Did you know that Queen Elizabeth will not use a toilet that someone else has sat on? When she came to Halifax for a big celebration, they had to replace the toilets in the Government house.

Once again we gathered for dinner. Some of us were just getting back on board. Tonight was Italian night. Our wait staff was in their red and green stripped shirts. Good food and fun conversations. We are looking forward to a great day tomorrow.

Day 5 ~ Friday, September 26 ~ Saint John, New Brunswick (for the Bay of Fundy)

September 27, 2014 by

Saint John, Canada’s oldest settlement is the gateway to the scenic wonders of New Brunswick. One of Canada’s oldest provinces, New Brunswick remained remarkably unspoiled: 85 percent of the province remained unsettled. New Brunswick boasts vast forests, purling streams, gentle hills, rich farmlands, and a spectacular coastline dotted by historic towns. Nature also blessed the area with one of her most astonishing phenomena: the reversing River Rapids. The fierce tides of the Bay of Fundy rise with such force that they actually cause the St. John River to reverse direction and its waters to flow upstream. Saint John’s history dates to 1604, when the Sieur de Champlain landed nearby on the feast day Saint John the Baptist. After the American Revolution, American Loyalists flocked to the area. Saint John became a thriving industrial port. But the catastrophic fire of 1877, declining commerce and decades of neglect gave the town a sad and careworn look for decades. That changed in recent years. Redevelopment of the waterfront and the old district has restored Saint John’s charm and it’s spence of history.

Wow! That was our word for the day. It was beautiful again. Just perfect, not too cold or too hot.

Again many did shore excursions. Our excursions were: Reversing Rapids, Old City Market & Martello Tower; Saint John Highlights, The Bay of Fundy & Light Lunch; Saint John Highlights & Reversing Falls by Trolley; and Big Pink Saint John: Hop On/Hop Off All Day Pass. Everyone enjoyed their tours and even learned lots about Saint John. Some went shopping and others relaxed on the Ruby.

The Reversing Rapids are the big deal in Saint John. Because of the tide in The Bay of Fundy, the St. John river reverses. In the morning at low tide, the river goes downstream. Then at high tide, it goes upstream. Some of us saw the Rapids in the morning and then went back in the afternoon. Unbelievable! It was awesome.

Bill saw a cow moose and 2 babies at the covered bridge in St. Martin. What good eyes he has!

Soon it was time for dinner and we gathered together to share our stories from the day. Everyone is having such a nice vacation and we are getting to know each other. It is such a nice group of people.

Day 4 ~ Thursday, September 25 ~ Portland, Maine

September 27, 2014 by

Portland was founded in 1632 by the British as a fishing and trading post and named Casco. In 1658 the name was changed to Falmouth and Portland was put on the map in 1786. While Portland’s name has changed over the years the essence of the area has not changed. Today, Portland still remains a vibrant fishing and commercial port, Maine’s largest city, and it’s cultural, social and economic capital.

From the renovated Old Port with its brick sidewalks and cobblestone streets to the quaint seaside village of Kennebunkport, the summer home of President George H. Bush, Portland and the surrounding area have something for everyone. Photographers are sure to delight at the photo opportunities including the Portland Head Lighthouse and the picturesque White Mountains on the Cog Railway. Shoppers will enjoy the Old port and the downtown area that feature many unique boutiques, shops, galleries and restaurants. Outdoor enthusiast will surely want to visit the world-renowned outdoor outfitter L.L. Bean and the many other brand name outlets in nearby Freeport, Maine.

What a lovely night’s sleep. Hopefully everyone is enjoying the calm waters. However, some had a very early morning. It is a lovely day again.

Another busy day with shore excursions. Sue decided that just walking off the ship and going to the terminal was a shore excursion! Some did the Portland Highlights & Lighthouse; Mount Washington & The Cog Railway; Portland Highlights & Schooner Adventure; and Maine Foodie Walking Tour & Shipyard Brewery. Everyone enjoyed themselves. Some walked on the wharf in Portland and enjoyed the sights.

Sue had an interesting thing happen to her. While on her excursion, a lady asked her what the sticker saying Group #11 meant. Sue explained that we were on a tour. The lady said were we on a van. Sue said no, on a motor coach because we were on a cruise. The lady with a very strange look on her face, asked “Where are you docked?” Sue answered, “At the wharf.” Then she realized what she said and further explained that the wharf was in Portland. Sue forgot that we were in the mountains in New Hampshire! No wonder the lady thought Sue was a little crazy.

Everyone is doing pretty well with getting around the ship now. However it is easy to get turned around. We should have it under control by next Wednesday!

Dinner tonight was lovely and we had many tasty choices. We certainly are not going hungry.

Those who saw Chris Watkins’ show really enjoyed him so we’re looking forward to seeing him in the Explorer’s Lounge. Larry actually saw Chris and the piano player doing rehearsal and said it should be a great time. Many went to the Princess Theater for the show “Once Upon A Dream”. It was very good. All 17 entertainers plus 2 camels were excellent.

Day 3 ~ Wednesday, September 24 ~ Boston, Massachusetts

September 27, 2014 by

Hailed as the “Cradle of American Independence,” Boston is filled with historic sites. Boston was America’s first great city. In the 19th century, Boston was rightly described as the “Athens of America.” Today this city of 800,000 retains it’s vitality, combining historic districts with revitalized urban centers while remaining faithful to its venerable roots. It is a city every American should visit at least once. Follow the Freedom Trail along three of the most historic miles in the country. See the site of the Boston Tea Party, trace the route of Paul Revere’s famous ride, and stand on the bridge where Minutemen fired “the shot heard ’round the world.” In the old Charleston Navy Yard you can see the USS Constitution, the nation’s oldest commissioned warship.

We were able to sleep in. Excursions and getting off the ship didn’t happen until 10 am. With so many options for breakfast, it’s difficult to make a decision.

Last night at dinner, Sue missed 4 people. Diane, Roger, John, and Lylia were missing. She wrote them a nice note saying she missed them. This morning, she saw them on deck and they informed her that they were at their table and saw her. How embarrassing for Sue. She totally missed them and then when she saw where their table was, it was even more embarrassing! They told Sue it was because they were all dressed up and she didn’t recognize them.

What a beautiful day again and what a busy city! Lots going on and we added to the masses. Again many of us went on excursions: many did the Boston Highlights Scenic Drive; Boston Highlights Scenic Drive & Harbor Cruise; John F. Kennedy Library & John Adams National Park, Fenway Park & Boston Highlights by Upper Deck Trolly; Boston’s North End Markets Culinary Tour; and Freedom Trail Walking Tour & Quincy Marketplace. Ed and Karin met family and did a lot of walking. So much to do and not enough time.

Tonight we met up for dinner again in the Botticelli Dining Room. Sue found the missing table. Everyone was eager to share their stories from their outings. It is really fun to hear what everyone did for the day. Some went off to the theater for the show. Tonight it was Chris Watkins, “Fireworks on Four Strings”. He was excellent. Others went off to explore options or just enjoy the evening.

Day 2 ~ Tuesday, September 23 ~ Newport, Rhode Island

September 27, 2014 by

In the 19th century, Newport was America’s Versailles. It was here that the great merchant princes and robber barons of the Gilded Age erected the elaborate summer houses they so ingeniously dubbed “cottages.” At the height of its splendor, a Newport season was a giddy whirl of grand fetes, yacht races and elaborate beach picnics for assorted Vanderbilts, Astors and Morgans. Today, it is the privileged traveler who marvels at the splendor of great mansions like The Breakers, The Elms, or Rosecliff. Gone are the days when “Essie” Oelrichs, one of Newport’s fabled hostesses, has 12 skeleton ships anchored offshore and dramatically lit for her legendary “White Ball.”

What a gorgeous day! It will be a fabulous day to go off the ship and visit Newport. Today we have to tender in to shore. The Ruby Princess is too large to go into the harbor. The tendering went very well. There was a Regent ship in Newport as well. We really got a neat view of our ship when we tendered. Yes it is BIG!

Many of us had excursions during the day. To name a few: Vanderbilt’s Newport, The Breakers & Marble House; Grand Mansions & Ocean Scenic Drive; Newport Highlights Scenic Drive; Newport Cliff Walk & The Breakers; Newport Highlights by Land & Sea; and Rose Island Lighthouse & Harbor Cruise. What a lot of interesting things to do and see. Some of us tendered in and went exploring on our own. Lovely area by the wharf.

This is obviously the wharf to park our yacht. However, the slip is expensive but then so is the yacht. If you saw the yacht with the helicopter on it, that belongs to Oprah. She didn’t invite us on board. Next time.

Tonight was our first formal night. So everyone gussied up and we made our way to the Botticelli Dining Room. For some of us, including our Tour Director, it was a challenge but we made it. We met our waiters and dinner was lovely.

After dinner some headed to the show at the Princess Theater,¬† “Colors of the World”. Of course everyone else did as well. It was full and some had to return for the 10 pm show. There was also something wrong with the circulation so it was extremely hot in the theater. The show was very good and was quite the production.

There is so much to do on the ship that we certainly don’t have time to get bored. The only problem is fitting in time to sleep!

IMPORTANT: The Internet on the Ruby Princess is extremely slow. We will not be able to put on anymore pictures but will add them as soon as we can. We will try to keep up with the daily update. We will do the best we can. Thank you for your patience.

Technical Difficulties

September 25, 2014 by

Due to inadequate and sporadic internet service on board, we regret to announce that the diary will be updated periodically, but pictures will be included once we return from our wonderful adventures.

Day 1 ~ Monday ~ September 22 ~ Minneapolis to New York

September 23, 2014 by

Goodness it is early! Our day started at 4 Seasons at 4:30 am for many of us. Barb and Myrna had a little trouble finding 4 Seasons but soon sighted Sue on the corner flagging them down. It is a nice morning but people who drove in to Albert Lea said it was a little foggy. We loaded everyone onto the bus, not a coach because it doesn’t have a bathroom, and headed for Owatonna. We picked up our next group of people and headed to the airport. Orin made great time and we arrived right when we were suppose to.

 

Shuttle to Minneapolis Airport

Shuttle to Minneapolis Airport

Picking up people in Owatonna

Picking up people in Owatonna

Alas, our luggage handlers weren’t there. Soon they showed and we headed to Delta Group check-in. The rest of our group met us there. So we are all accounted for. Alas, we have no group check-in person. We were patient and soon Anthony arrived. He checked us all in and off we went to security. Everyone seemed to make it through without issues.

Minneapolis Airport

Minneapolis Airport

 

Sandy and Roland at Minneapolis Airport

Sandy and Roland at Minneapolis Airport

As everyone boarded the aircraft, Sue counted all noses from the group and we were all on our way to Laguardia Airport in New York. Our flight left on time and the pilot said we would be early. We sat back to relax and enjoy the flight, maybe even take a little nap.

It was a good flight. A little choppy in places but nothing significant. We arrived pretty much on time. We gathered our luggage and headed to a coach. Sue’s not sure what happened to the truck that was taking the luggage! Princess says it takes 1.2 hours from Laguardia to the pier in Brooklyn. Our driver made it in about a half hour! He even gave us a little information about what we were seeing in New York.

 

29 people in an airport waiting for a bus

29 people in an airport waiting for a bus

Motor Coach in New York on way to pier

Motor Coach in New York on way to pier

We actually checked in pretty quickly and got on the Ruby Princess. Our home for the next 10 days. It certainly is a BIG ship! Everyone located their stateroom and then had time for exploring, lunch or whatever they felt like doing. The view of the Statue of Liberty was fabulous and looking over Manhattan was spectacular.

Statue of LIberty

Statue of LIberty

New York skyline

New York skyline

Leaving New York

Leaving New York

We had our muster drill. How fun! Everyone looked so good in their life jacket. Soon it was time to depart from New York. Most were on deck to say farewell. However, it was pretty windy and chilly so most didn’t stay out long. The sunset was worth the time spent getting cold. It was beautiful. The evening was free for dinner, attending our first show in the Princess Theater, or call it an early night. It was a long day!

George and Bev

George and Bev

 

Sunset in New York

Sunset in New York

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New England and Canadian Maritime Cruise ~ Sept. 22 – Oct. 2, 2014

August 29, 2014 by

Discover a beautiful blend of history, scenic splendor and inviting culture along the eastern seaboard of New England and Canada. This cruise offers the perfect opportunity to catch an initial glimpse of the region’s fall foliage plus historic Boston and the maritime Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island where life remains much as it has always been. Follow the footsteps of Paul Revere¬†on the Freedom Trail in Boston, visit the often photographed lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove from Halifax, learn about the French influence in Nova Scotia when visiting Sydney and enjoy the charm of Prince Edward Island, home of Anne of Green Gables. The cruise navigates the St. Lawrence River offering beautiful views on both sides of the ship as we slip into Quebec City for an overnight on the ship. This trip will activate all your senses as we sail along some of the most beautiful coastline in North America-New England and the Canadian Maritimes!

Cruise Itinerary Map

Our itinerary. . . . . .
Mon, Sept. 22 – Fly to NYC from MSP
Ruby Princess sails
Tues, Sept.23 – Newport, Rhode Island
Wed, Sept. 24 – Boston, Massachusetts
Thurs, Sept. 25 – Portland, Maine
Fri, Sept. 26 – St. John, New Brunswick
Sat, Sept. 27 – Halifax, Nova Scotia
Sun, Sept. 28 – Sydney, Nova Scotia
Mon, Sept. 29 – Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Tues, Sept. 30 – At Sea — scenic cruising
Wed, Oct. 1 – Quebec City, Quebec
Fly Montreal to MSP