Sea Day, and a day in Sydney Nova Scotia Highlights – Canada and Colonial America Cruise – Caribbean Princess

NOTE: Photo heavy blog post!

Cruising on the Caribbean Princess was wonderful. After spending so much time in ports, a sea day was most welcome. Sailing the St Lawrence brought some beautiful views. Relaxing onboard the ship and just being pampered was a lot of fun too. One of my favorite things on the sea day was meeting people at the Cruise Critic Meet & Greet. Heads of departments came to the Meet & Greet to say hello and answer questions about their area of expertise. The head of food services explained what they did on the 3rd night to vastly improve the waiting time for dinner. My afternoon was occupied by my favorite activity – Wine Tasting. I did snap a couple of shots of the “menu” of the wines we were tasting and enjoying. Not one was a clunker.

We started with a sparkling wine, Veuve Clicquot Brut from France, then Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough New Zealand . Followed by Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay from California. Next up was Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma Valley, Caro, from Mendoza Argentina and finishing with Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon from California. Each wine was distinctive and lovely for it’s particular type. I love to keep a list when I go “wine shopping” in my local stores.

Of course, like every evening on board, following the daily activities a nap and dressing for dinner is the best way to begin an evening. We joined many others at the Platinum and Elite cocktail party before dinner. We were dining at 7, so we had lots of time to enjoy the appetizers that are prepared just for the party.

When we arrive just before 7 at the dining room, we are immediately escorted to our table by the lovely Ingrid.

Ingrid from Peru
Ingrid, dining room hostess

She always takes my sister by the arm and guides her to the same table, and makes certain she is comfortably seated, and her cane is tucked away by the curtains. Apparently, my sister remembered her from time spent on the ship during the summer and that really made a huge difference. Of course, we LOVE sitting at the same table, getting to know our wait staff, and they get to know us as well.

I love trying the wide variety of salads that appear on the menu. This night I had arugula and greens with watermelon, apple, goat cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette. Light and refreshing. We skip the appetizers or soup a lot of times because we were munching on appetizers at the cocktail party!

Watermelon and goat cheese
Watermelon Goat Cheese salad

My sister made plans during the cocktail party on the sea day to meet up with a lady we met during the party. Kay and her travel companions had been having a nice visit together with us, and it turned out they were part of the Cruise Critic group we had met earlier in the day. When we arrived in Sydney, Nova Scotia, we met up with Kay near the “Big Fiddle”.

You certainly couldn’t overlook that meeting spot!

Port of Sydney NOva Scotia
Sydney Nova Scotia“The Big Fiddle”

My sister was able to rent a mobility scooter in the port facility, and that made it so much easier for her to sightsee in the port area.

It had stopped raining before we disembarked. How lucky is that.

Another great meeting point
Covered gathering spot with benches in the Sydney port area

The sky was still a little grey, but, we actually saw the sun for a bit of time. The SYDNEY flag sign was another great “meeting point” in the port.

I had really looked over the map before the trip and knew this would be a great place to walk around the waterfront. There were several hotels, and restaurants close by. Daniel, the chef, had been chatting with our little group at the cocktail party the night before and he recommended a place to go to have lunch.

With my sister mobile on the scooter, it was really just about a 3 or 4 block walk, less than 10 minutes to the Governors Pub & Eatery. It was located at 233 Esplanade and delightful. We found a ramp from the parking lot for the scooter, but we were confronted with stairs!. My sister parked her scooter and used all her energy and will power to get up the stairs into the restaurant. I had gone up first inquiring about an entry for disabled, and was told there was none. Poor planning on our part for not researching ahead of time I suppose. Her determination did win out and we were seated once inside quite nicely and took all the recommendations for food into consideration.

I chose a Lobster Roll with Salad.

Lobster roll and salad
Lobster roll and salad
Look at the filling!
LOOK at that filling!
Fish and Chips for Anne
Fish and Chips for Anne

Both Anne & I sampled the bread with my sandwich and the breading on her fish, then we took away some of the carbs and just ate the filling. Both meals were huge and delicious, and we decided the only way to really finish was to get rid of the roll and the breading on the fish. Our new friend Kay enjoyed Poutine. Sorry, no photo of her food. I used the ladies room down the stairs, and of course, had to snap a photo or two on the way. What a building!

Basement of Governors Pub and Eatery
Basement where restrooms are located
basement of Governors Pub
Basement where restrooms are located
Less than sturdy handrail
Stairs at Governors Pub

Those steps to the basement and the restrooms were STEEP, and the iron handrail was wobbly. I told my sister it would be better to take her scooter back to the port if she needed to use the facilities. Definitely a no go for the person with mobility issues.

Following lunch we enjoyed wandering around town a little bit before finding our way to the Sydney Waterfront boardwalk. The boardwalk was nice for walking along the waterfront and covered a lot of area. Views were great. This “aft view” of the Caribbean Princess is my favorite.

Walking along the waterfront in Sydney Nova Scotia
Aft of the Caribbean Princess in Sydney Nova Scotia

Walking back towards the ship, we were able to make a shopping stop in the port building where there were lots of vendors selling interesting local items. I came across an author from Cape Breton NS, and had a lovely chat. I purchased her book and she signed it for me.

The Girl He Left Behind
signed by Beatrice MacNeil

This is Beatrice’s 5th book, and I enjoyed her conversation and the discussion about “what it takes” to be published. She told the story about struggling to get the book published and the big change she had to make at the ending of the story. I asked her how she would have ended it, had the publisher agreed. She said she would have let her character take a stand toward being an independent strong woman. I can’t wait to read it and see what she had to actually write in order to go to press. Beatrice MacNeil is from East Bay, Cape Breton Nova Scotia, about 22 km from Sydney.

Before long, it was time to board the Caribbean Princess, get ready for sail away and another nice evening on board. The view from our balcony was quite nice.

A balcony view
Looking down into the port of Sydney and the facilities

Before you knew it, our ship edged away from the dock and we were heading out for Halifax. Last looks at Sydney –

Leaving Sydney Nova Scotia
Leaving the port at Sydney Nova Scotia
Light house as we departed Sydney
Last look at a light house leaving Sydney

Time to dress for the cocktail party and for dinner. (More food…..sigh….)

Cocktail party appetizers
something small at the cocktail party

Of course, the cocktail party is followed by a nice walk to the dining room, and decisions about what to order. I chose this by delicious appetizer in lieu of salad at dinner.

Appetizers at dinner
Bruschetta at dinner

No worries about all the eating (and drinking) on this day, because our walk in Sydney burnt off a few calories and exceeded my step/mileage goal for the day!!

Walking in Sydney NS
Fitbit goal met

Our next port is Halifax, and we would arrive bright and early. I had a tour scheduled and next travel post I will share my day!

Tour ticket for Halifax
Tour ticket for Halifax

I hope you are enjoying these travel blogs for this amazing trip from Quebec City Canada to Fort Lauderdale Florida. If you are enjoying, please hit the like and comment. I appreciate hearing from you. Next post will be about Halifax as soon as I edit more photos and get the narrative written. For all my quilting friends, more from the sewing room soon.

By the way….if you do want to comment, you must scroll down past all those terrible commercial advertisements. This is how the program ,Wordpress, allows me to publish my blog with out charging on their platform. I know they are typically awful ads, so please just scroll on by until you get to the comment block.

Happy travels.


Highlights of SAGUENAY & SEPT ILLES – Canada and Colonial America Cruise – Caribbean Princess

Photo heavy blog!

Cruising on the Saint Lawrence in Canada brings you to some amazing ports. The perfect transportation was the Caribbean Princess cruise ship, leaving from Quebec City and heading all the way to Fort Lauderdale at the end of the season. Follow along for my views.

We visited Saguenay Canada on Saturday Oct 22, 2022. We turned off the St Lawrence and went up the Saguenay River. We docked about 7 am and were awoken by the activity on the dock. The ship was being greeted by musicians and dancers and reenactors. I wish I could have made good photos, but we were forward on the ship and the area they were performing was near the aft end of the ship. I will never forget the man with the megaphone asking us on board to “ask the captain” of the Caribbean Princess to blow the ships horns. The ship did comply when we left at 5 pm..

The port area for Saguenay was called La Baie. It had a lovely port facility and the area around the port was very walkable. Armed with google maps, I decided I would just walk around the port area, and find a Tim Horton’s, a local pharmacy and just wander and breathe in all the brisk air. There were beautiful walking and biking trails right along the Saguenay River.

Walking trail in Sagueney
Wonderful park with bike trails and walking trails

Along the beach where the ship was docked there were lots of people out walking along the river bank.. It was fun to watch the beach disappear as the tide came in. I had a great “fall weather” walk, did lots of looking with my eyes instead of with my camera, breathing in the crisp air. So sorry for the lack of photos, but it was just a delightful day to walk along the river and enjoy the views.

Caribbean Princess in Saguenay
Caribbean Princess docked at the Saguenay port in La Baie

The description for the port on the Princess info page said “The city of Saguenay, most known for its physical beauty and notable artist community, lies on the Saguenay River in Quebec, 200 km north of Quebec City. The city is divided into three boroughs (Chicoutimi, Jonquiere, and La Baie), with French being the predominant language spoken in each. Tourists can visit harbor villages in Chicoutimi, or make way to Jonquiere for enjoy scenic views and relaxing strolls through public parks. Saguenay is also home to a 163-ton aluminum bridge, built in 1950 as a unique replica that is a third the size of its steel counterpart.”

I, for one, just enjoyed strolling around La Baie. I could have taken an offered shuttle over to the larger city of Saguenay, but was content to just enjoy the area where we were docked. It was great for walking around, stopping for a coffee and just enjoying the fall foliage. I did get a “few” steps in while we were in port

Walking in Saguenay
Walking in a port has benefits!

This is what you do so you don’t gain weight eating all the wonderful food! GO WALK!

Sailing out of La Baie, as the sun was setting was amazing. The water was like glass. There were working ships going up and down the river, and it was amazing to be on a ship the size of the Caribbean Princess in a river. We slept through the arrival, but I enjoyed sitting on the aft of the ship with the few that wanted to enjoy this magnificent river and view.

Sailing on the Saguenay River
Sailing on the Saguenay River towards the St Lawrence
Sunset on the Saguenay
Sunset on the Saguenay

I spent a good amount of time on the aft of the ship, just enjoying the sights as we sailed on the Saguenay River back towards the St Lawrence River.

Spending some time at sailaway from Saguenay
Enjoying the amazing views on the Saguenay River from the aft of the ship
Sailing on the Saguenay towards the St Lawrence

The river was like absolute glass, and the sun set happened very quickly. (I have hundreds of photo’s, still and video, done with my cell phone and go-pro, but you don’t want to see them all.) Seriously, it was hard to pick just a couple to share.

Our next port was on Sunday, Oct 23, 2022 and we docked in Sept Illes. The description from the Princess website said “Named for its location facing an archipelago of seven islands and set at the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River, Sept-Iles is one of the sunniest regions in Quebec. This city is surrounded by unspoiled nature and is protected from the sea winds by the surrounding islands. Visitors can explore parks near the city such as Aylmer-Whittom where a miniature village can be seen filled with squirrels and various birds. There are also multiple beach fronts that stretch for miles across the coast for those interested in a little sun and bird watching. It is the ideal location for travelers looking to go on an outdoor adventure.”

Again, a wonderful port to just get off the ship and stretch your legs. Not a lot open near the port this late in the year, but you could feel how this port area was an attraction for the local population earlier in the season. I had fun again taking a long walk along the water and enjoying the views. Sept Illes was a working port, and also a fishing port. You will see that in some of the photos.

Just steps from our ship I was greeted with this wonderful artwork along the waterfront.

Greeting us in Sept Illes
Is the moose gazing at our ship or guarding the tug boat?

and from another angle –

Hello Moose
Which side do you like best?

I like this view the best….more artsy.

Harbor area Sept Illes
Good to know info

There was a wonderful walk along the water front. And I made a few more friends along the way!

dog friends
Monkeying around in Sept Illes
Mom with the kids
Mom with the kids?

I did wander through a dock area, but overall the Promenade was lovely.

Dad looking on
Dad keeping a watch?
Horse or donkey?
Horse or Donkey?

As I continued along the walk, I just followed others ahead of me as we walked through a “yard” where fishing items were stored. I’m not sure how these baskets are used, but there were a lot of them stacked up.

Fishing baskets?
Baskets in big stacks

This yard we walked through was full of this giant baskets. I wish there was someone around to tell the story of how they were used.

Had it been the peak of summer – this place might have been open for a drink or bite to eat.

Summer time stop?
closed for the season

My walk continued along the waterfront for about a mile and I came across a museum with the Hermel exhibition. It was fascinating. Mylène Paquette’s legendary boat, Hermel was on display. Quebec mariner Mylène Paquette is the first person from the Americas to row solo across the North Atlantic. Her boat was amazing and this was an interactive museum with video displays around the boat. I can’t do it justice so I urge you to check this website – . Mylene’s website – is worth a look and her amazing journey is shown in photo’s and video along with her journal.

I continued my walk along the waterfront all the way to Parc du Vieux-Quai, then returned along the same path to the ship. I went up to the first roadway, but there was really nothing open on this Sunday after the holiday season was over. I have to say, in warm summer weather I can imagine the area as being very active and busy. Even on this fall day the Parc du Vieux-Quai was busy with families out in the sunshine for the day, and a lot of “senior citizens” out and about, enjoying the lovely weather. Restaurants and bars were closed on the Sunday, but overall, a great place to walk. Walking back toward the ship, you could see the working port, and how vibrant the area was. Next time I visit, perhaps I will take a tour, but this was a relaxing time off the ship and fun for exploring on my own.

Once back on board, I was a bit chilly, and hungry, and took advantage of the great room service menu that Princess Cruise lines offers.

lunch on the balcony

Before long, it was time to leave Sept Illes. The tugboat at the ready, as the ship prepares to leave the dock. You knew it was time to go as the sun began to set. It’ doesn’t get more beautiful than this –

Sept Iles at sunset

The sun disappears quite quickly at 5 pm

Sun has set
A look around the Sept Illes harbor

Our next day is a sea day, and the highlight for me is meeting people at the Cruise Critic Meet & Great and going to a wine tasting!

More on that in another post!

 Canada and Colonial America Cruise Highlights – Quebec City part 2 Upper Town walking tour

Last post,( we left off on the funicular going to the Upper Town of Quebec City on our walking tour. What a view awaits us standing on the Dufferin Terrace looking toward the magnificent hotel and back down at the St Lawrence and our cruise ship.

Château Frontenac Hotel
Château Frontenac Hotel
Looking to the port
The Caribbean Princess
Monument Samuel-De Champlain
Monument Samuel-De Champlain

A significant monument to the “father of New France” greets you as you exit the Funiculaire.

As we walk, we come to the back side of the Fountain Monument of Faith facing towards Rue Sainte-Anne

Fountain Monument of Faith

Across the street is the Château Frontenac Hotel, and the 3 flags. The blue and white is the flag of the province of Quebec, the blue and yellow for Quebec City, and of course, the Canadian Red and White.

Looking up to the hotel and the flags
Château Frontenac Hotel

We walk several blocks and stop on Rue Donnacona, at L’École des Ursulines de Québec, (The Ursuline School of Quebec) and hear the story of the nun, Marie De L’Incarnation. “Marie of the Incarnation was an Ursuline nun of the French order. As part of a group of nuns sent to New France to establish the Ursuline Order, Marie was crucial in the spread of Catholicism in New France. Moreover, she has been credited with founding the first girls’ school in the New World.” (Source Wikipedia) She was declared a saint by Pope Francis in 2014. Our guide told us that she wished to be a nun as a young girl, but instead followed her parents wishes and married. Widowed at 19, she was then free to choose the convent. When she left France, she never returned. She had a son whom she kept in contact with by letters, but never saw again.

Marie De L'Incarnation
The Ursuline School of Quebec
Further walking takes us to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, which was shrouded from site due to construction. This was the first Anglican Cathedral built outside of the British Isles.   I would love to try and see it once the repair work is completed. 
The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Quebec City
Built between 1800 and 1804, the cathedral introduced to Canada the British Palladian style of architecture

Our next destination in the Upper City was back to the hotel for tea. What a delight it was to enter the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac hotel and enjoy a lovely teatime .

Fairmont Le Château Frontenac

I was able to look around the expansive hallways and lobbies as we came in from the street to the restaurant where we had our tea. I would LOVE to have the opportunity to explore the hotel more, and stay there. “Built by Canadian Pacific beginning in 1892, and designed by architect Bruce Price, the Château Frontenac is an excellent example of château-style hotels developed by railway companies in Canada.

Following our tea, we worked our way back down from the Upper City to the Lower City of Quebec. We walked along the curving street of Cote de la Montagne. It was interesting to see railings affixed to some of the buildings. It was quite steep.

Coming down from the Upper City.
Cote de la Montagne

Our tour guide suggested the next view back up the hill –

one last look up to the hotel
One last look

Our walking tour ended back at the port, where I boarded the Caribbean Princess once again. We walked a little over 4 1/2 miles on this walking tour, and I was ready for cocktails and dinner. We were to set sail at 5 pm for Saguenay.

I decided to “dress for dinner” in an outfit that seemed rather Canadian to me. And of course, it matched those nice throws the room steward put on our beds too!

Dressed for dinner
Dressed for dinner and matching the coverlet

We enjoyed the Elite cocktail party and went to the dining room for our reserved time. I can’t say anything nice about that night. Just know that many people, besides myself, were very upset about the terrible line and waiting more than half an hour to be seated. (If you know me, you know that logistics is my background and I could see all the ways this could be fixed while I waited in a line, tired from my excursion and very hungry. I have been on many cruises, and this was not the standard I was accustomed to.) My patience was shot, and I left the line, 30 minutes past our reservation time, and went to the buffet. That meal wasn’t satisfying, but at least I was seated. My sister stood in that line, with her cane for another 30 minutes. I waited until nearly 10 pm and went to the customer service desk and expressed politely how disappointed I was. The problem was resolved the following night, and the rest of the cruise there was no waiting. I love that the staff was able to solve the problem and make things right.

All in all, the walking tour was amazing, our guide was thorough, and the advice on comfortable walking shoes and coats was excellent. I would love to go back and explore Quebec City more in depth, spending a few nights at the Château Frontenac Hotel. Back on the bucket list. At 3 days in the city is needed to really explore on your own.

I will blog a bit more about our various ports as we made our way from Quebec City to Ft Lauderdale Florida, and hopefully you will find them as interesting as I did.

Spring Travel

Gosh, there has been a lot of time “in between” blog posts. It’s been since early May when I last posted on this blog. My blog friend Carole Carter wrote about “Quilting and Blogging” this past week and I am always amazed that she can keep up with posting 3 times a week with her busy life. She inspired me to get on with it! I’ve been writing blog posts since 2013, and have 474 wonderful people who follow my blog. Heaven knows why they stick around, especially this year, with only 10 blog posts (including this one!). In my busiest blogging year (2016) I wrote 82 posts. So, let me “get on with it” as they say~!!~

May was an interesting Month. The weekend after Mother’s day, the Hubby and I flew to Florida and went on a 7 day cruise onboard the Caribbean Princess. I booked the cruise because it went to San Juan Puerto Rico and I could get an AFT WAKE VIEW balcony cabin. This was my 22nd cruise with Princess, and my favorite cabin of all times.

Lately when I have cruised, I have starting posting “cabin tours” on You Tube, and I did that for this cabin as well. Hubby and I spent a lot of time just sitting and enjoying the views. Be sure to “like & subscribe” if you enjoyed the video and help my You Tube channel grow a bit.

We did lots of eating ……

dinner at the Crowne Grill
Steak and Lobster at the Crowne Grill the first night

and a bit of drinking

First drinks on board
Chocolate martini and rum & coke – First drinks on the cruise

and spent time on the beach

Shade at Princess Cays
Princess Cay in the Bahamas

and wandering around the ports,

San Juan Puerto Rico
San Juan Puerto Rico

and of course, a little time at the pool too.

hanging at the pool

My hubby is ambivalent about cruising, but knows how much I enjoy it, so he does his best to keep up with me, and plays along, pretending to have fun. He’s not a fan of heat and humidity, so he had to do a lot of “playing along” on this trip. It was mid-May and HOT HOT HOT and humid. But that pool, and the wake view helped a lot. I was pleasantly surprised he would hang out all day, in a lounger by the pool, but then again, we were in the shade, and there was a great breeze. Besides…you could order food and drinks and they delivered right to your lounge chairs.

When you are in the cabin, you could order on the app on the television as well. There are lots of choices for included food, and no extra charge for delivery. You can see the “status’ of the order on the screen as well, while you wait on delivery. In all it is very efficient.

Ordering food in the room
Ahh…room service

With our great balcony, it was easy to avoid feeling crowded when the pool decks were busy.

Enjoying the balcony and the view
Enjoying the aft balcony C753 Caribbean Princess

Man do I love to cruise. This was the very “pretty” side of cruising.

In all fairness, I have to talk about the “not so fun” part of travel right now. We were flying out of BWI (Baltimore International) on a direct flight, non stop to Fort Lauderdale. Our 2 hour 39 minute flight was to arrive at 1105 pm. We got to our hotel about 1:30 am. Our flight was an 1 1/2 hours late leaving, and watched out the window as the sole baggage handler loaded all the bags for the flight, in the rain. Our flight was full, and I was stunned that there was just one ground handler for the baggage. As you watch the news in June, this problem became more and more evident for travelers. I felt sorry for the guy, and a bit frustrated as well.

I was ever so grateful that MOST of my packing cubes were vinyl. Those ones with the mesh bags were tucked in between others, and not a lot was damp. I did “unpack” the cubes from the suitcases at the hotel, and leave our suitcases open and standing upright in hopes of drying them out. In the morning, the cubes went back in, and when we boarded the ship, the luggage came fairly quickly. We unpacked, and again, stood our suitcases upright and unzipped to air and thoroughly dry. We were glad of our early boarding time and quick luggage handling at the cruise port.

Another side of the “not so fun” part of travel is apparent in food service facilities in the airports. We had a lot of time on our hands leaving Ft Lauderdale, and had an early dinner in a restaurant in the airport. We were eating about 4 pm, and I felt so sorry for our waitress who was clearly over stressed. When she dropped things in a big way, twice, I seriously thought she was going to just walk off the job. She hung in there, with no help with the cleanup. After our meal and departure, I went back to the restaurant to speak to the manager. I wanted the manager to know that in spite of being over worked, the waitress was amazing, and kept a smile on her face. I was distressed that the other employees didn’t help her the second time she dropped something, and the food & plates sat on the floor for about 15 minutes. (The people for the order got mad and stormed out). The waitress, expecting help for the cleanup never got any help, and she was running drinks and meals to others. When she finally got a moment she cleaned up the floor, on her hands and knees. It dismayed me to see that she had no back up or help when she was clearly over worked. Of course, the manager was thinking I wanted my meal discounted or something, and I explained, that no, I didn’t. What I wanted of the manager was to take a hard look at her crew and maybe come out of the back and be aware of what was happening. It was clear that she was totally unaware. This is just one small example of good people, working hard, yet overlooked by supervisors and managers. We never saw the manager during the hour that we were in the restaurant.

Lastly, the worst part of travel is being packed in like sardines on flights. Both of our flights were full, but I guess we are lucky to have had seats, and no cancellations. We were unlucky in that a couple of days after the flight home my hubby tested positive for C-19, and then towards the end of the week, I did too. We are fairly confident that we did not get C-19 on the ship, as we avoided the elevators, and big crowds, eating dinner as a couple, not at a large table, and not going to venues that were crowded. Thanks to our vaccinations, and our doctor being willing to prescribe PAXLOVID, neither of us were much more than annoyed with cold symptoms. Of course, being stuck at home meant the suitcases got unpacked and the laundry got done quickly following the trip, and before long we were out and about busy again.

Summer is fully on here in Delaware. Sunday’s mean the grandkids and their parents are here for swimming and dinner. This is my favorite time of year. Not a lot happening in the sewing room, but next post I will have a couple of small projects to share.

What are your summer travel plans? If you are flying, I wish you luck. Things are a real mess at the moment.