Fall colors in Maine
Brandon and Kathy
Brandon and Kathy on formal night
New England & Canada, October 2005
A cruise to see rocky coasts and fall colors
Neither of us had ever seen the fall colors in New England. So one day when a brochure came in the mail with a picture of the beautiful leaves on the cover, we looked through it and liked the itenerary. The brochure was from Princess Cruises advertising their fall trips to New England and Canada. We called them up and booked a cruise.
Later, when we read the details of some of the shore excursions, we realized that some of the stops wouldn't actually have leaves turning color. But we decided that we wanted to go anyway; seeing the gorgeous coast line would be reason enough to go.
On October 15, we flew to New York. When we got off of the plane, we knew that we were very lucky. There was bright sun and a blue sky for the first time in weeks. The North East had been having major storms and heavy rain for quite awhile. But we had great weather the whole week we were there.
After we boarded the ship and unpacked, we watched from our balcony as we headed out of New York. We had a Coast Guard escort that kept other boats from getting close to us (this is standard practice after 9-11). We saw the sun beginning to go down behind the Statue of Liberty. We looked back at the Manhattan sky line, and finally passed under the Veranzanno Narrows Bridge as we headed out to sea. Later the moon (almost full) rose and cast a golden reflection on the dark ocean. We were to see the moon from our balcony every night that week.
Our ship, the Golden Princess, is a sister ship to the Star Princess that we
were on in the Mediterranean in 2004. These pictures were taken when she
was anchored in Bar Harbor, Maine. There are more pictures (of the Star Princess)
on the main page for last year's cruise in
the Journals for 2004 (at the bottom
of the page). There are also pictures of the interior at the bottom of this page
in the "Aboard Ship" section.
Newport is the place where the Vanderbuilts, Astors and Morgans built their
summer "cottages" (multi-million dollar mansions) in the early 1900's. We took
a bus tour around the island to see these cottages. Afterward we wandered through
a Seafood Festival that happened to be going on that weekend. We had lunch in a
local pub called the Black Pearl, wandered around the harbor, and then took the
tender back to the ship. The ride in the tender was quite exciting as the wind
had picked up to 30+ knots. During the middle of the day, the captain stopped
any more people from going ashore because he felt that the tender ride was too
dangerous. In the picture of the tender below, the water doesn't look too
rough - that is because the tender is in the lee of the ship. The captain ran
the stern thrusters all day so that the tenders could return to the ship on
the lee side.
That night after dinner, the wind picked up to 50 knots and you could definitely feel the rocking of the ship. Our cabin was at the stern of this 950 foot long ship and about 8 stories above the water. The wind was blowing so hard that we got wet on our balcony from the bow waves being blown all the way from the front of the ship to our cabin.
In Boston, rather than taking a tour organized by Princess, we took the "Beantown
Trolley" tour. You can get on or off the trolley at any of its stops. We did the
entire circuit (Freedom Trail, Old North Church, Boston Common, MIT, Cheers, etc.)
and then got off and walked through Little Italy where we had lunch in a small
Italian cafe. Next we walked down to the market at Faneuil Hall. In the
afternoon we took a boat tour of the harbor and got to see the U.S.S.
Constitution ("Old Ironsides") and Bunker Hill Monument from the water.
Bar Harbor, Maine is a small village on Mount Desert Island. It has a pleasant park near the waterfront. The town, like Newport, once contained the summer "cottages" of the rich and famous. But a fire in 1947 destroyed most of them and Bar Harbor was rebuilt as a more middle-class resort.
Much of the island belongs to Acadia National Park.
John Rockefeller promoted the preservation of the island, as well as the
establishment of the National Park in 1919. We took a tour of the park, including
a drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain. This is where we got our first good
look at the fall colors. Bar Harbor is also where we had our first lobster
rolls and clam chowder for lunch in a local restaurant (both were excellent).
After leaving Halifax, bound for New York, we had a day at sea to explore the ship and take a few pictures. We also had a chance to get our picture taken with the Captain. Kathy took this opportunity to ask him questions about his anchoring technique. It turns out that he lets out the same scope (ratio of chain length to depth) that we do.
|C. Brandon Jones
email: Brandon "at" cbjones.info
|updated November 17, 2005|