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Breakaway--Canada/New England

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Just booked the Canada/New England cruise out of New York for this September. If you have done this itinerary on this ship, what were your pros and cons.

 

Thank you!

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Did the identical itinerary on the Escape this past September and loved it.  Had wonderful steamed lobster lunches in Portland, Bar Harbor and Halifax.  A great lobster roll and full-belly fried clams in St. John.  We took short (1-2 hour) local tours at each stop.  Negatives:  well, temperatures were marginal for making use of the pool or loungers in the sun. 

 

While kids don't bother us, few were on the ship and we met many interesting fellow passengers.

 

Fabulous views of Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty and the Verrazanno Narrows bridge leaving New York Cruise Port. 

Edited by FLAHAM

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Also did that trip in Sept on the Escape.Bar Harbor town and Arcadia national park a must see. Halifax great walking city along the seaport they have a great market. The weather for us was about 65 but you can expect any where between 50 to 65 degrees.

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Early/mid Sept - NE/Canada ports should be be seasonable cool or warm ... whereas, mid/late September ... it could get cold AND wet.  Check ahead & pack/dress accordingly in layers, be prepared with rain gear or 3 seaon parka, etc.  It feels like every cruiseline's ships are docked there the same day as yours.  

 

Portland, ME stop is right downtown on waterfront, walk to nearby shops, restaurants & cafe ... depending on what you wish to do/see, easy.  Halifax is similar but a longer walk, depending on which pier - could require a quick/free shuttle ride inside the busy/working/commercial cruise terminals to leave the "gated" security zone - a quick taxi ride slight uphill is easy goin into town & back ... loved the waterfront.  

 

Bar Harbour, ME is 100% a tender port - using ship's own smaller boats, be prepared for lines & wait, and if water/current is choppy & windy, a short bumpy ride to get ashore.  Best lobsters & lobster rolls, a quick 2 blocks up the small hill where many shops & boutiques are located.  If doing Arcadia National Park, at least 2 well established company have scheduled tours of different lengths, office/meet-up location (with restrooms) are right near the piers, depending on which one the BA is using - allow PLENTY of time to tender and get to land first.  

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Which week are you going- note it seems that 9/13 skips St John and has in turn longer times at Bar Harbor .

 

I did this on the Escape 2 years ago and was considering going again-

I loved Bar Harbor- did a great boat excursion tour around the whole island and it was something I would do again.

It rained in portland, but I would go back and do a similar boat tour.

Halifax had a nice waterfront area and I went to the Maritime museum.

I would say (and I would be interested in others feedback) I did not care for St John at all and found it dreary and parts not as safe as other ports.

 

Weather was a mix- left New York it was 80's and 90 the day before- most of the week in the 60's although the excursion in Bar Harbor it was in the 50's with the windchill.

 

In terms of the ship itself, its not as lively then as other times.

If you are not as much a beach person and prefer museums- then I recommend this (I am falling into this class).

I went on Bermuda in May on the same ship and did like the warmer weather better.

 

My final - and this is a general comment- I sail normally from NYC so find that when I go from Miami (infrequently) I feel more "on vacation" and "detached" from reality.

 

On this cruise, even though I liked the ports, I felt I was more or less often on a "road trip"-

My final thoughts are if you a port or two that looks interesting- go for this one time and then see if you'd like it again.

If you like going on cruises for beaches, liveliness, etc.- probably not as strong a recommendation.

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15 minutes ago, HowardK said:

 

I would say (and I would be interested in others feedback) I did not care for St John at all and found it dreary and parts not as safe as other ports.

 

 

agree 100% that it's dreary - didn't feel unsafe but it's economically depressed & I haven't been in 2 years, might have gotten worse. I get upset when people mix St. John, New Brunswick with St. John's, Newfoundland - Newfoundland was an Irish colony and the food, music and people are amazing (Come From Away is based on true story)

 

I love the East Coast/Maritimes cruised in 2015 & spent 29 days (3 separate trips) in 2017, cruising again in 2020 - but it's definitely not a lay in the sun cruise be prepared for wind & rain

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While I have not done this exact itinerary, I have been to all of the ports on it. Bar Harbor is a fun port - we took the Ollie's Trolley tour that went around the park and up to Cadillac Mt. We wandered around the town and then headed back to the ship. Very nice area. Halifax is also a busy port - check to see how many other ships are going to be there with you. We were lucky enough to visit it twice on our cruise - the first time we went out to Peggy's Cove to see the lighthouse and visit a Maple Syrup factory, there is also a cemetery for the bodies recovered from the Titanic. The city also has a great boardwalk along the port. St Johns is the home of the reversing rapids - depending on when you arrive and depart, you can see how the extreme tides cause rivers to run backwards during high tide and bays to drain empty during low tides. Portland ME - we were very curious about this town as we come from Portland OR. Most everything in this town opens at 10:00AM so we spent a couple of hours seeing other sights before heading out to Portland Head Lighthouse. 

 

As mentioned in Bar Harbor we did Ollie's Trolley - booked on our own as it was cheaper than the ship.

All of the other ports we hired taxi tour companies that we found on trip advisor as well as the ports of call section here on CC. We also had support from the roll call group - I also ordered Visitor Guides for these areas. FYI we really enjoyed the taxi tours, the were both personalized for you - in Portland ME I must have spent an hour on the phone with the owner of the tour company going over our day. We even arranged for us to split up at the end of the day - I wanted to see a Railroad Museum and my wife and her mother wanted to see the Victoria Mansion - our guide pre arranged the tickets before picking us up as they sell out quickly. These companies usually charge a flat rate for a tour - usually around $300.00 for a 5-6 hr tour.

 

I would also avoid the two late September cruises (9/20 and 9/27) as they have you hoping from Canada to the US (NYC, St Johns, Portland, Bar Harbor, Halifax, NYC) as you would have to go through Immigration in Portland which would steal lots of port time with a ship as large as the Breakaway (it was bad enough on the Dawn). The other cruses avoid that by making their Canadian port the last stop before heading back to NYC.

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Yes, 200% agreed with avoiding the 9/20 & 9/27 or similar sailings jumping from Canada back to US ports, as the CBP clearing will slow down or ruin any priority plans for going ashore.  On our Dawn sailing last May, we had to do face-to-face interviews (a quick one, still) on the ship based on our Assembly/Muster Station, before being allowed to get on the tender boats to go ashore on stop #3 - Bar Harbor, ME as first port of re-entry into the U.S.  Final disembarkation in NYC, still had to show passports & go thru CBP inside the pier again.  

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