Canada Cruise
The adventure started from Cape Liberty Cruise Port (that's Bayonne, NJ as interpreted by the cruise line marketing department).  Nancy's mom, Sarah, our friend Jan, Nancy, and Alan set out on the Royal Caribbean ship Voyager of the Seas.  We boarded Sunday evening, had dinner and then went on deck as we sailed past the NY skyline and Statue of Liberty.  As we passed under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge we felt like we could reach up and touch it.  The ship clears the span by only 11 feet.  That evening we explored the ship and took part in the lifeboat drill.  These guys were responsible for seeing to it that we all got to our lifeboat.  They said that they had to board and ride in one as part of their training and that with 150 people in one it is just a bit crowded. 



Day two we had breakfast and explored some more (the picture shows the promenade) and did some shopping.  Nancy and I tried the climbing wall and Sarah, Nancy and I played a round of miniature golf.  That was a real challenge with the wind and ship rocking some holes required 8 or 9 strokes on others the wind would blow the ball off the tee to within a few inches of the cup so 2 strokes was easy.  You can get some idea of the 44.1 knot wind from the picture.  Not all of the lounge chairs were this elegant.

A few more scenes around the ship.   The sun deck walking track, the Skylight Chapel, the 30 foot rock climbing wall (more on that later) and some of the art that was around the ship.

During the cruise we went to 4 shows at the La Scalla theater (a welcome show, tributes to rock and roll, and broadway, and a performance by the Platters).  We also saw an ice show and the skating competition at the ice rink.


Our first port of call was Saint John, New Brunswick.  As we disembarked each of the women was presented with a rose.  Sarah and Jan took a bus tour of the city and took in the Saints and Sinners concert by the Hal An Tow trio in the afternoon while Nancy and I went kayaking along the rugged shore.  As we rounded this point of land the waves became rough enough that there was concern for some of the paddlers in the group so we reversed course and found a sheltered cove.  The paddle was followed by a marvelous lunch of mussels, lobster, and all the fixings topped off with fresh baked apple pie. Our tour continued with a stop at the reversing falls.  The difference between high and low tide is so great that the river rushes through a narrow channel at low tide forming a class 5 rapid outbound and then at high tide the bay floods back in, reversing the rapids.  We stopped at O'Leary's to try Alpine, the local brew then some shopping around town.  This friendly moose was at one of the shops at the port.


Back on board that evening we went to an ice show with live music.  They also held a skating competition with skaters from Canada, Russia and Sweden.  Later we tried a hot tub at the exercise center that was large enough to swim in and that had jets that would push you across if you didn't hold on to the grab bars. 


The next morning we were met by the tug Theodore Too as we entered the Halifax harbor.  The only tug in the world that is based on a cartoon character.   Jan and Sarah enjoyed a concert while Nancy and I tried our hand at sailing on a 3 masted, gaff rigged, tall ship.   I had to get into the act, helping to raise the 200 pound sail. 


We also saw other tall ships, including the Bluenose II, some of the Canadian Atlantic fleet, surplus submarines, and the Voyager of the Seas.


We saw the sights of the city on a double-decker bus while Sarah and Jan took a harbor cruise on a paddlewheeler.  The Citadel is the fort overlooking the city and harbor. It apparently was sufficiently intimidating to potential foes since it was never necessary for them to fire a shot in defense.


Then back to the ship for more fine dining, music, shopping, and more shows.  Music of nearly every type was to be heard at some time somewhere on the ship.  Big band, show tunes, calypso, chamber groups, oldies, karaoke, current hits, and more.  One evening the dining room staff, more than 200 waiters, head waiters, assistant, waiters,  wine stewards, and other assorted staff from 62 countries serenaded us with their rendition of O Solo Mio and very well, even without allowing for all those accents.


The Midnight Buffet was a chance for the chefs to show off their talents.  Sculptures in ice, marzipan, cheese, sushi, watermelons, chocolate, vegetables, butter, and bread were displayed.  And then consumed.  I asked 2 of the chefs to show me their creations and they were happy to oblige.


Oh, I did say that there was more to the rock wall story.   Check the pictures of the climbers.  They didn't quite make it to the top but both made a valiant effort and Sarah was awarded a medal for being the oldest climber (82) to ever attempt this perilous climb.

Back into New York harbor.  The cruise was over but not the adventure.  A hot air balloon festival and a visit to Niagara Falls where we rode on the Maid of the Mist and Jan and Sarah went up in a helium balloon.


See other places we have visited here.

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