Page 5 of 5

Joan's emails from Brilliance of the Seas

PostPosted: 30 Sep 2015 06:31
by tobysgranny

We had been told that when we reached Boston we had to be in The Colony Club at 6.45 am to complete American Immigration, but we knew the officials would not be on until around 7.15 am so we didn't go down until 7 am. We finally completed Immigration at 9.30 am, 2.1/2 hours!

As we had decided to do our own thing we were going to do the HOHO trolley but for some reason it did not do the port loop that day, so waited in a very long line for a taxi into Boston. The driver took us a long way round to Copley Square which was nice as we saw quite a bit on the way.

After being dropped off we went into the Westin Hotel for coffee and wifi and then had a stroll around before making our way to the Prudential Building where we took the lift to the 50th floor and had spectacular views over Boston. As we had spent so much time getting off the ship and waiting for a taxi we really didn't have a lot of time to do much more so we got another taxi back to the ship.

It was quite strange in the evening not having our friends with us as they had got off in Boston. However we had a booking for Chops that evening which, once again, we enjoyed very much.

Portland and Kennebunkport, Maine

Next morning we arrived in Portland. We had booked a tour around Portland and Kennebunkport. This was a terrific tour. The weather was gorgeous. What a bonus!

First of all we did a tour around Portland which is a lovely town and then we went to the lighthouse (I can't remember the name but I will check). This was very pretty with some lovely views. We then made our way to Kennebunkport. The guide took us first to see the beach area but the fog had rolled in so we couldn't,t see s lot. Fortunately it was okay when we got into town. As we were the first coach in we decided to get an early lunch while it was reasonably quiet. We picked a big bar/restaurant and had a smashing lunch. Richard had fish and chips and I had mussels. Delicious!

After lunch we had the usual stroll around. What a charming little place. When we hot back on the coach the guide took us along the coast past the Bush estate (Bush as in George H W Bush). They are very proud of their connection in the town. The houses all look very lovely as you would expect.

Then it was back to the ship.

Since we had quite a large lunch it was a snack in The Windjammer and then bed.

Rockland, Maine

Rockland is a very small part so we had to tender in. This wasn't too bad as our tour wasn't leaving until 11.30 am.

The tour included a stop in beautiful Camden, which is a really lovely little town. When we got off the coach we had a stroll down to the harbour where all the schooner tours were. I wish we had been there longer to do one. We settled on a lovely restaurant right on the pier where we had a terrific lunch. I had a lobster roll and Richard had chicken so we shared.

Another snack in The Windjammer tonight then bed.


Another tender port this morning. Once again no problems.

Our tour included a tour round The Acadia National Park and those of you have been here will know how beautiful this is. We stopped at Thunder Hole and watched the waves coming in making a noise like thunder. Another gorgeous place.

When we got back to Bar Harbour we had a Lobster Bake at The Bar Harbour Club. The food was great and it was in a beautiful venue with a lovely patio overlooking gardens and the water. My first whole lobster and if was great even although there was not a lot of meat. We had mussels, sweet corn, potatoes and coleslaw to accompany the lobster. Delicious!

We then had a walk around Bar Harbour. Again we found this to be a charming little town and would love to come back and visit Maine.

Next day was a welcome sea day.


we arrived this morning and we are sitting on our balcony and it is baking. We can't believe how hot it is. We are doing a sightseeing tour later so looking forward to that.

We had booked a scenic drive tour which took you to the confederation Bridge. This bridge is the largest bridge over water that freezes in the world. It is 9 miles long and connects PEI to New Brunswick and is made of concrete. Other than that there was not a lot to see on this tour except fields and fields of potatoes.


We have arrived in glorious sunshine again in Sydney. We are told there's not a lot to do here but we are going on a tour to the Scottish Heritage Centre this afternoon so we are sitting up in the concierge on our own having a quiet cup of coffee before getting off to have a look around.

We did a tour to a historic Scottish village but I was very disappointed. The guide was not at all good. He knew all the facts but he was the most unfriendly tour guide I have ever come across. The bus was ancient and the air con. was almost non existent. When we got to the place at the top of a very high hill where the village was situated he said those who would have difficulties walking back down to the coach park at the bottom and could stay on the coach and be taken back down and watch the tour around the buildings on a TV . Had a known that we would never have gone on this tour. I was quite annoyed as I couldn't do what I had gone on the tour to do which was to visit a historic Scottish village. Instead I had to make do with watching a loop on a television. Not good!

The last day was doing the usual at the end of a cruise. The bit I dislike the most. Packing!

Not looking forward to American Immigration tomorrow morning.

All in all we had a wonderful cruise and we visited some wonderful ports on a lovely ship, The Brilliance Of The Seas.

Sent from Joan's iPad

Joan's emails from Brilliance of the Seas

PostPosted: 30 Sep 2015 07:37
by JollyJill
It sounds as though you have had a great time Joan, despite the U S immigration process being so long.

I have really enjoyed reading your updates because I know that I would never get P to suffer the waiting game in the U S ports. :(

Re: Joan's emails from Brilliance of the Seas

PostPosted: 30 Sep 2015 12:02
by SandraDJ
The customs and immigration process in Boston was a real shambles! I went to the Colony Club at around 6.15 because I wanted to have breakfast afterwards and had an excursion with airport drop-off booked. I was in the first group to go through when the officers finally did arrive, so didn't take too long once they started. I had a quick breakfast in Windjammer, which was not what I wanted to experience on my last morning. I got to the theatre in time for my excursion, only to be told that everyone else had come and gone! I rushed down to join the rest of the group, and we quite literally shuffled off of the ship. My excursion was due to leave at 9.00 am, but finally left about an hour later. Tht didn't matter too much to me, as I had an evening flight.

I can't believe it was less than two weeks ago that I got home, and the next cruise is two days away!

Joan's emails from Brilliance of the Seas

PostPosted: 30 Sep 2015 12:52
by tobysgranny
Glad you got home safe and sound Sandra.

Getting off on Sunday was a little better as there were not so many non US passengers on board for the second cruise. We decided to go for breakfast first and when we got down to the Colony Club everything was well under way so we didn't have to wait too long. We had no. 20 tags to get off and when we got to the dining room they still hadn't started calling anyone. It too a little while but we finally got off around 9.30 am. We used a porter to help with our luggage who didn't mess around getting us a taxi to the airport to pick up our hire car.

After picking up the car it was very easy to find the I 90 (The Massachusetts Turnpike) The highway we needed to get to our report.

Hope you enjoyed your tour before getting to the airport. Our friends, Cyril and Sharon, also did that tour.

Enjoy your next cruise.