Halifax, Nova Scotia
This was the fourth time we have been to this port and have always enjoyed walking along the wharf and enjoying the sights. We really didn’t spend too much time at this port but always enjoy our stay here. We saw our favorite places that sold “beaver tails” (unique pastries topped with fruits and/or syrups) and fish & chips but elected not to partake in any of these during this trip. We did stop at a restaurant where Sharon had her first lobster roll. She had another lobster roll while Greg tried a very tasty calamari dish. Tomorrow we head to St John where we have arranged to have a Pickleball match with some local players that Sharon has talked to online.
St John, New Brunswick
We were picked up by Ray, a local Pickleball Ambassador, who had set up a match with 9 pickleball players in the area. We spent the first few hours driving around the city and getting a tour to some areas we had not visited before. Ray had been a taxi driver at one time before he retired and had taken cruise tourists around the city. It was nice to have a free tour of the area by a local while having a nice conversation with him about Pickleball in the area. He took us up to Fort Howe which at one time had protected the port and today is a good vantage point to view the city and port. We spent some time at Reversible Rapids which is the most famous area of interest where you can see water flowing both up and down river depending on whether the tide is high or low. The 26 foot tide is one of the largest tide changes in the world and physically forces water to flow upstream up the St Johns River for 1 to 2 miles! It is really quite a sight. We made a stop further up river that we hadn’t been to before to gain another perspective of this very interesting phenomenon. On the other side of the river we saw Carleton Martello Tower built by the British to protect Canada from the US during the war of 1812. This was a great view of our ship in the port.
We then went to one of their indoor recreational centers to meet their Pickleball players (11 of us) and played Pickleball for about 2 ½ hours. We had great competitive games and really enjoyed the players. We extended an invite to the group to stop and visit us in GA as many of them travel to SC, AL and FL for tournament play. After play we went to dinner with Ray and he showed us some last minute sites around the city before he dropped us back off to the cruise terminal. This was our last port before heading back to New York and starting our last cruise segment to Bermuda.
After having a short day in Bayonne, New Jersey, we headed out to Bermuda on our final cruise of our 62 day journey. During our brief stay in Bayonne, Greg got a haircut, Sharon got her nails done and we saw the movie Sully before checking back on to the same ship (Anthem of the Seas) for our cruise to Bermuda.
After a day at sea we arrived at Bermuda. The weather was perfect with sunny skies, 84 degree temperatures and a gentle sea breeze. Since our stay in Bermuda was two days, we elected to go to the beach the first day with such great weather. We went to Warwick Long Beach because it was supposed to be less crowded than some of the more popular beaches. It was a great choice and there were only a few other people to share this great beach with us. The water was a beautiful blue green and crystal clear. Rocks shot up everywhere out of the water and the surf rushed in providing picture perfect views in almost every direction. We walked down a small path off the main beach towards Horseshoe Beach and found a small beach cove with very calm water and a little shade for Greg (who wilts in the sun) while Sharon enjoys the sun. When the shade disappeared after staying there a few hours we decided to go down the same path and found another great beach cove that had a great shady spot for Greg with a nice gentle breeze. While at this beach some large parrot fish came right up to the beach and we were able to take pictures of them from the surf. Next to this cove they were setting up a beach wedding for a group from our ship. It reminded us of Amber’s wedding 2 years ago. This is definitely a great destination wedding area to take a short cruise to an island that has beautiful beaches. As long as the weather cooperated you could have a great beach wedding in Bermuda. After staying in the cove a few hours we continued our walk along the path to Horseshoe Beach. Along the way we saw more beautiful private coves and took many breathtaking pictures of the unique rock formations. Horseshoe Beach was much more crowded but has facilities at this beach such as bathrooms, bar, restaurant and beach chairs. It was a nice beach but we were glad we went to the more private beaches down the road.
We caught the local bus to go back to the ship after the beach to have some dinner. We had purchased a two day bus/ferry ticket for $31 a person. This ended up working out really well for us over the two days we were there. After dinner we went back on shore to check out a few shops but everything had pretty much closed for the night except for a few restaurants that were still open.
The next day we took a ferry over to Hamilton the main city on the island. Although there are many shops in the city, it does not have many interesting sights and buildings to look at as compared to other cities we have visited during this trip. We walked around for a while and did a little shopping but decided to take a local bus over to St George which is at the opposite end of Bermuda from where our ship docked at Kings Wharf. St George had some nice shops and would have been a nice place to take a few long walks along the shore if we had had more time. We stopped for a drink along the harbor before taking the last ferry back to our ship. When we arrived back at Kings Wharf we took a short taxi ride to Glass Beach which is the primary beach on Bermuda where sea glass washes up on shore. This glass is used for jewelry. Unfortunately when we were at the beach it was high tide and much of the glass that is normally seen was under water. We did look at some of the pieces in the sand but nothing really looked worth saving. This would be a nice place to come early in the morning at low tide before other people have picked over the sea glass that has washed ashore. Next trip we will make this an early stop. After this we headed back to our ship for our 5 PM departure from Bermuda.
This concludes our last port stop of our 62 day cruising adventure! It is hard to believe it is over except for one more sea day on the way back to Bayonne, NJ. We have had a great trip and although we are sad to see it come to an end, we are ready to get back to our real lives. We miss our granddaughter, Bella, (who we had been watching 4 days out of the week prior to our cruise) and are ready to get back into our sports (Pickleball, racquetball, aerobics and golf). In November we will be on a short 2 day cruise on the new Harmony of the Seas when it does its inaugural sailing in the Caribbean. This is actually a complimentary cruise being offered to travel agents that do a lot of business with Royal Caribbean and we are sure that Royal Caribbean has many special events planned to celebrate this inaugural sailing. We have already booked our entertainment for the ship (Grease, new dive and skating shows). The Harmony is the newest sister ship to the Oasis and Allure of the Seas. We will probably do a short blog after this cruise to let everyone know what is different and unique about this new ship. In December we will be taking a short 7 day Caribbean cruise on the Norwegian Epic which will end our cruise season for the year. Next year we have several cruises planned with the big cruises being the 15 day Grand European river cruise going from Amsterdam to Budapest and a Norwegian Fjord cruise that is combined with an African Safari. If anyone wants to join us on either of these cruises/safari, please let us know. We love to have friends or family that cruise with us.
Greg & Sharon