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Embarkation: It is possible to walk to Cape Liberty cruise port from the closest NJ Hudson-Bergen light rail stop, however people will look at you like you’re crazy and you had better not have too much luggage as the footpath suddenly ends halfway and for the last kilometre or so you are stuck on the narrow shoulder of the same busy road that taxis carrying passengers and trucks servicing the ship are using, and then you wander through a zombie-warehouse wasteland before arriving at the terminal. The embarkation process was smooth and efficient considering the volume of passengers to be processed. Lunch was served in the windjammer while we waited to be able to access the staterooms and we had an excellent view of the Manhattan skyline. The captain gave us a treat by taking the ship up past the statue of liberty close to the southern end of Manhattan Island before turning around. Cabin: 2119 Category N interior stateroom. Very quiet location, and being interior it was pitch dark and I slept very well. Was showing its age in spots, there was gunk on the TV remote and dirty marks on the ceiling (?!) the shower curtain smelled musty and damp and I had no soap dispenser in the shower until day 6 when one suddenly appeared without warning or apology. Dining: I ate most meals in the windjammer buffet. I really enjoyed the variety of food provided there, the second-best poutine I ate in Canada was actually in the windjammer. I occasionally went to the main dining room in the evening if the menu looked good. I only tried breakfast and lunch in the MDR once each and the food was dreadful on both occasions. I mostly sat alone and read on my kindle, because that is what I was on this cruise for. To eat and read and go to Green Gables. The wait staff in both locations seemed to specialise in waiting until you had a mouthful of food before asking you a question – am still trying to work out if they actually meant well or is it a game they play? Entertainment: I was a hermit and did not attend any shows or bars or anything. I did attempt to go to an art auction once. The staff person serving the complimentary champagne served the people on my left, then looked me straight in the eye and served the people on my right. The person up the front with the microphone – who I assume was the auctioneer – was a super irritating twerp so I walked out after 10 minutes of waiting for him to actually start talking about the art instead of his shipping sales spiel. Ports: Newport – Perfect weather, glorious day. Tendering was pretty efficient, I got off the ship as early as possible and did the entire cliff walk before going back to the ship for lunch. Boston – This was the only port where I felt unsafe. I walked the Freedom trail and also discovered you can climb up inside the Bunker Hill monument! I got some great photos of Boston from up there. Portland – A miserable town full of unhappy people. Downtown the cool young things are posing so hard they’re giving themselves hernias and less than a mile away you walk through the meth district. I went to the Cryptozoology Museum and the Portland Observatory, it was such a clear day you could even see Mt Washington from the top. Rockland – Main Street is being choked to death by art galleries. The staff at the Park Street laundromat are friendly and helpful. Tendering was not so great here because there were no local boats the ship could charter to help move passengers faster. I tried to go to Rockland Café on main street which is apparently famous for its seafood, and it was hideous. Bad service and awful coffee and I got the feeling that tourists are just not welcome there. The bookshop café up the road was the exact opposite experience. Bar Harbour – There were three cruise ships in port the same day. I walked out to Acadia National Park and hiked up Dorr Mountain rather than Cadillac. I had the trails all to myself, it was awesome. Did get some very nice ice cream in town on the way back to the ship. St John – It was low tide when I went to the reversing rapids so there wasn’t much to see but there was an otter playing around in the water. I took a taxi tour which was $50 CAD for an hour guided tour of whatever places I wanted to go (and St John isn’t very big so it checked off all my list) the local taxi driver/guide was very knowledgeable. Halifax – The entire downtown area smells of urine. I went up to the citadel which was very interesting, and I got to see a cannon fired :) I would have like to go to the Maritime Museum but there were four ships in port that day so it was really crowded. Sydney – I walked the boardwalk and went to a couple of the museums. I was allowed to play the pipe organ in St Georges Church which was an unexpected bonus. Charlottetown – Sadly we did not have a full day here. This was the only tour I had booked ahead of time - to make sure I got to see Green Gables. The tour was interesting enough but we only had an hour at Green Gables, it also reinforced my dislike of group tours because people. The best poutine I ate was from the Chip Shack down near the pier. It was lobster poutine and it was awesome. Quebec – I walked around the old town and up to the citadel. There was some graffiti scrawled in French on a Boer War memorial that basically said ‘go home English colonisers’ I thought the ignorance and hypocrisy of that was breath-taking. Disembarkation: Went very smoothly as I was ‘self-assist’ meaning I carried my own luggage off. However, being self-assist meant I had to get off the ship by 7.30am and then we were directed to walk the weirdest possible long way out and around outside past the tourist info/welcome tent – probably to prevent us from using the free wifi and other facilities there…and as the Gare du Palais was only a couple of hundred metres way I had plenty of time to kill before my bus to Montreal was due to leave. Had I known how early we would be able (required) to get off the ship that morning I would have been able to book an earlier bus or train, but the information was not available prior to the cruise. Summary: The weather was great and the seas calm, though it was really too early in the season to see much in the way of fall foliage. I still had a great trip and was able to do all the things I wanted. And I found that early to bed, early to rise avoids the crowds on the ship. There were two occasions when I could not avoid people, waiting for tenders in Rockland, and lunch in the MDR on a sea day – another occasion which reinforced my dislike of people (what a whiny bunch of over-privileged so-and-sos). I was also assumed to be a crew member on more than one occasion – I’m not sure why, apart from the fact that I am clearly under the age of 75?

Exactly the trip i wanted

Vision of the Seas Cruise Review by jennylechat

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Embarkation:

It is possible to walk to Cape Liberty cruise port from the closest NJ Hudson-Bergen light rail stop, however people will look at you like you’re crazy and you had better not have too much luggage as the footpath suddenly ends halfway and for the last kilometre or so you are stuck on the narrow shoulder of the same busy road that taxis carrying passengers and trucks servicing the ship are using, and then you wander through a zombie-warehouse wasteland before arriving at the terminal. The embarkation process was smooth and efficient considering the volume of passengers to be processed. Lunch was served in the windjammer while we waited to be able to access the staterooms and we had an excellent view of the Manhattan skyline. The captain gave us a treat by taking the ship up past the statue of liberty close to the southern end of Manhattan Island before turning around.

Cabin:

2119 Category N interior stateroom. Very quiet location, and being interior it was pitch dark and I slept very well. Was showing its age in spots, there was gunk on the TV remote and dirty marks on the ceiling (?!) the shower curtain smelled musty and damp and I had no soap dispenser in the shower until day 6 when one suddenly appeared without warning or apology.

Dining:

I ate most meals in the windjammer buffet. I really enjoyed the variety of food provided there, the second-best poutine I ate in Canada was actually in the windjammer. I occasionally went to the main dining room in the evening if the menu looked good. I only tried breakfast and lunch in the MDR once each and the food was dreadful on both occasions. I mostly sat alone and read on my kindle, because that is what I was on this cruise for. To eat and read and go to Green Gables.

The wait staff in both locations seemed to specialise in waiting until you had a mouthful of food before asking you a question – am still trying to work out if they actually meant well or is it a game they play?

Entertainment:

I was a hermit and did not attend any shows or bars or anything. I did attempt to go to an art auction once. The staff person serving the complimentary champagne served the people on my left, then looked me straight in the eye and served the people on my right. The person up the front with the microphone – who I assume was the auctioneer – was a super irritating twerp so I walked out after 10 minutes of waiting for him to actually start talking about the art instead of his shipping sales spiel.

Ports:

Newport – Perfect weather, glorious day. Tendering was pretty efficient, I got off the ship as early as possible and did the entire cliff walk before going back to the ship for lunch.

Boston – This was the only port where I felt unsafe. I walked the Freedom trail and also discovered you can climb up inside the Bunker Hill monument! I got some great photos of Boston from up there.

Portland – A miserable town full of unhappy people. Downtown the cool young things are posing so hard they’re giving themselves hernias and less than a mile away you walk through the meth district. I went to the Cryptozoology Museum and the Portland Observatory, it was such a clear day you could even see Mt Washington from the top.

Rockland – Main Street is being choked to death by art galleries. The staff at the Park Street laundromat are friendly and helpful. Tendering was not so great here because there were no local boats the ship could charter to help move passengers faster. I tried to go to Rockland Café on main street which is apparently famous for its seafood, and it was hideous. Bad service and awful coffee and I got the feeling that tourists are just not welcome there. The bookshop café up the road was the exact opposite experience.

Bar Harbour – There were three cruise ships in port the same day. I walked out to Acadia National Park and hiked up Dorr Mountain rather than Cadillac. I had the trails all to myself, it was awesome. Did get some very nice ice cream in town on the way back to the ship.

St John – It was low tide when I went to the reversing rapids so there wasn’t much to see but there was an otter playing around in the water. I took a taxi tour which was $50 CAD for an hour guided tour of whatever places I wanted to go (and St John isn’t very big so it checked off all my list) the local taxi driver/guide was very knowledgeable.

Halifax – The entire downtown area smells of urine. I went up to the citadel which was very interesting, and I got to see a cannon fired :) I would have like to go to the Maritime Museum but there were four ships in port that day so it was really crowded.

Sydney – I walked the boardwalk and went to a couple of the museums. I was allowed to play the pipe organ in St Georges Church which was an unexpected bonus.

Charlottetown – Sadly we did not have a full day here. This was the only tour I had booked ahead of time - to make sure I got to see Green Gables. The tour was interesting enough but we only had an hour at Green Gables, it also reinforced my dislike of group tours because people. The best poutine I ate was from the Chip Shack down near the pier. It was lobster poutine and it was awesome.

Quebec – I walked around the old town and up to the citadel. There was some graffiti scrawled in French on a Boer War memorial that basically said ‘go home English colonisers’ I thought the ignorance and hypocrisy of that was breath-taking.

Disembarkation:

Went very smoothly as I was ‘self-assist’ meaning I carried my own luggage off. However, being self-assist meant I had to get off the ship by 7.30am and then we were directed to walk the weirdest possible long way out and around outside past the tourist info/welcome tent – probably to prevent us from using the free wifi and other facilities there…and as the Gare du Palais was only a couple of hundred metres way I had plenty of time to kill before my bus to Montreal was due to leave. Had I known how early we would be able (required) to get off the ship that morning I would have been able to book an earlier bus or train, but the information was not available prior to the cruise.

Summary:

The weather was great and the seas calm, though it was really too early in the season to see much in the way of fall foliage. I still had a great trip and was able to do all the things I wanted. And I found that early to bed, early to rise avoids the crowds on the ship. There were two occasions when I could not avoid people, waiting for tenders in Rockland, and lunch in the MDR on a sea day – another occasion which reinforced my dislike of people (what a whiny bunch of over-privileged so-and-sos). I was also assumed to be a crew member on more than one occasion – I’m not sure why, apart from the fact that I am clearly under the age of 75?
jennylechat’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 2119
Very quiet location. However it was showing its age in spots and there was gunk on the tv remote and marks on the ceiling.
No soap dispenser in the shower until day 6, fortunately I had brought my own products to use anyway.
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