My First Fall Foliage Cruise

Mar 18, 2020 Avatar Nanci Goussak Nanci Goussak

Sailing up the Atlantic Coast, visiting some of the beautiful New England states as well as Canada, we were able to experience a new destination with the Medallion program. (The Medallion program is, essentially, a piece of wearable tech that allows you greater convenience while onboard a Princess cruise.) Having never been to the New England states, I always wanted to do a fall foliage cruise, and this itinerary really worked out great with Princess.

Our seven-night cruise was roundtrip New York and in and out of the Brooklyn cruise port. It was super easy, very convenient, and so perfect to be able to enjoy New York for a few days before sailing.

One of our favorite things to do immediately upon boarding is wandering through the public spaces, checking out the dining, lounge, and entertainment options for later, and, ultimately, seeing what we can see to become more familiar with the ship. Since we already knew this particular ship, we opted to first go to the Piazza and visit Vines, the wine bar. The Piazza is always humming with excitement, and it’s a great place to people watch while enjoying a nice wine flight.

We always enjoy getting to know the crew in the restaurants and bars. Princess Cruises always hires really nice, personable, and friendly staff, and, as always, this crew was wonderful. They are well-educated in wine and great conversationalists, and they truly enjoy their jobs.

It was a really busy week! We sailed from New York to Newport, R.I., to Boston, and to Bar Harbor, Maine, as our last port of call in the United States before going to Canada. Visiting American cities and towns is always exciting; and, of them all, Bar Harbor was my favorite. Being a huge fan of the outdoors, Bar Harbor was a super destination. We opted to hike in Acadia National Park. (More on that later!) The highlight in Newport was a tour of Rockefeller’s summer home, “The Breakers,” and, in Boston, the highlight was the must-see Freedom Trail. With these places being rich in history, there is more to see than there is time for. I was so excited to explore, see the changing of the leaves, and enjoy the cool, crisp air. If you’re looking to see the fall foliage, it’s best to go late in the season since we never know what Mother Nature has in store for us. The farther north we went, we were able to see more colors.

The last two ports were Saint John, in New Brunswick, and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Saint John is the home of New Brunswick’s scenic wonders, such as the famous reversing rapids, where the water between the St. John River and the Bay of Fundy meet. In the morning, the water flows one direction, and then in the afternoon, it reverses itself. It’s pretty cool to see! Also, in Saint John, we saw a little village, St. Martins, where the water level drastically changes each day within about an hour. The tour we were on took us by a dock in a little fishing village where the boats were sitting on the dry harbor ground. And, then, almost magically, about an hour later, the water filled the harbor and the boats were floating. That’s something we don’t see at home! Halifax proved to be another exciting location with quite a bit to see.

This is the largest city in the Atlantic Maritime Province, filled with natural wonder. They have the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic with the rich history of the Titanic being housed here. We happen to love lighthouses and decided to go to Peggy’s Cove. This is a great “one and done” destination, and we enjoyed seeing the unique rock formations as well as the little city.

All in all, it’s a great cruise with beautiful scenery. The highlight to me was Acadia National Park. This 47,000-acre national park was once the home of Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, and the Morgans. Now, it’s a haven for rock climbers, hikers, campers, and adventure-seekers. We hiked around the beautiful lake, stopping periodically to enjoy the landscape. It drizzled on us, we got muddy, and we loved every second. On our final day, we were at sea, and we welcomed the rest and relaxation. The whole cruise was such a wonderful experience, and I highly recommend it.
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