Three ports in three days. If this was a Caribbean cruise, you’d be suntanned, waterlogged and have analyzed the differences/similarities between the islands. On a fall Canada/New England cruise, it’s totally different. You dock in or very near to the city centers (as on many European cruises), dress in layers and understand the bargaining in the shops just isn’t accepted. Nova Scotia is a small scenic province. Shore tours are the way to go if you’d like to get out into the countryside. Peggy’s Cove, a small fishing village, is always recommended by past visitors to Halifax.
Breakfast in the Seaside Café (the typical top-deck buffet) runs smoother and has more variety than on most cruise ships. I haven’t experienced more than a three or four minute wait for my usual egg-white cheese omelet. The wait staff is very attentive, always bussing and cleaning tables to keep the crowd moving along. Finding a table for me and my laptop has never been a problem; there is ample seating indoors even at peak times.
In the defense of shipboard wifi, I have to say that on this sailing aboard the Constellation, the wifi connection has been almost perfect. Elite Members of the Captain’s Club are given ninety minutes of complimentary internet. In addition, I will purchase the $99.95 package at 240 minutes, knowing full well I’ll blow through that in a very short time. Keeping with the wifi theme I set out in Halifax on a mission to find a hotspot. Having done my research, I knew the location of the nearest Starbucks; a fifteen minute uphill walk from the port. Along the way, I stumbled upon a cute independent coffee house, the Wired Monk. Needless to say, this was a wifi café. If you are ever in Halifax in search of free wifi, stop by this place, get a cup of organically grown java and get caught up on work, email and research the hotspots in your next port of call.
Right near the port is the city’s oldest cemetery, an interestingly macabre tourist attraction. A cruise passenger could spend the day just walking around the port area of Halifax, called Harbourpoint. Passing a larger than life bronze statue of Samuel Cunard, founder of Cunard Line and born in Halifax, continue along the boardwalk towards the little shops and restaurants overlooking the water. On this blue-sky sunny fall day, people were strolling along the walkway, street musicians were entertaining for a pittance as leaves in shades of amber and rust found their way to the ground.
Back onboard, hungry so I headed upstairs to sample the tiny tea sandwiches. And they did not disappoint. And in another hour…there’s sushi!
Dinner with my tablemates was again a fun experience and a way to exchange shoreside experiences, which I’ll file away for my next visit to Halifax. Tomorrow is a day at sea, including a gala buffet luncheon in the dining room. Goodnight for now…
Sherry is editor and creator of CruiseMaven.com. An expert on ocean and river cruises plus trains in the US and Europe, Sherry’s goal is to share her experiences to entertain, inform and inspire readers to travel the world.