Monday, June 24, 2013


New cap & tourist map of Saint John, NB, Canada
Well, here's a break from all the media review stuff.  I was on vacation!  My in-laws are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this year, and my wife & I are celebrating our 10th.  My in-laws threw a bash, took us and other in-laws on a cruise.

My in-laws were accommodating.  I get motion sick far too easy, and my daughter has shown a tendency toward car sickness, though she has been much better since we gave her sea-bands and lollipops on long drives.  I also didn't want to deal with a airplane transfer with kids in tow, so my in-laws arranged for a short cruise (4 days) that left from Boston.

We had one stop - at Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.  We took a brief 'trolley' (bus) tour of the city.  Mostly historic highlights.  Interesting bits - like the two Hollywood connections - both Donald Sutherland and Louis B. Mayer grew up in Saint John - about as far from L.A. as you can get.  (I didn't realize until he said it, but our driver/guide sounded a lot like Donald Sutherland.  So, if you're wondering what kind of accent Sutherland has, it's Saint John, I guess.)

Saint John, from the top (mini-golf) deck of the ship
I liked Saint John, though we only saw it from the tour bus.  The kids were too tuckered out to try walking around downtown and back to the ship.  We bought a few souvenirs at a catch-all tent at the disembark.

The rest of the time we kept busy on the ship, Carnival Glory.  The kids had fun.  Well, my boy had fun - my girl had a blast!  Couldn't get her out of the pool.  They also had Camp Carnival, which was a play space where we could drop the kids for an hour or so.  We used it a few times, and the staff there were very nice.  Mostly, it was eating at the buffet and then resisting eating at the buffet.  Evening dinners were pleasant and gave an excuse for dressing up a little.  Mini-golf on the 12th deck and the occasional quick drink in the evening when the grandparents offered to watch the kids for an hour or two.

Weather was in our favor, sunny the entire time except a brief shower one dusk.  Cool, though.  Being in the heated pool made for a shock when getting out of the water.

The big negative everyone agreed on was the freakin' music on the ship.  Too loud, too much, too long.  They had a full P.A. system at the main pool with dance mixes and you could not get away from it.  My father-in-law & brother-in-law wore earplugs poolside.  Carnival definitely want to be the party line, but you know they are cheap enough that there were plenty of families and seniors around - it wasn't just college kids looking for hookups.

Would I cruise again?  Absolutely.  On Carnival?  No, I enjoy being able to hear myself think once in a while.  I would consider a Caribbean destination at some point - mostly for the wife, because I'm not much of a beach guy.  But, I'd really like more Canada Maritimes, I think.  There is a cruise out of Boston that not only does the Maritimes' ports, but also cruises down the St. Lawrence right into Montreal.  I could enjoy that, imagining "coureurs de bois" of old.

L'anse Aux Meadows is another dream destination for me, personally.  I've always been intrigued by the idea of Vikings reaching North America.  I'd probably need to arrange a hop to a lesser known cruise line, though, the more familiar major cruise lines don't seem to go up that far north (at least, not from Boston.)

Now, back to the regularly scheduled groove.


  1. Cool. I'm glad you had a good time and didn't have any of the problems some cruises have had lately. Can Congratulations to all who had an anniversary.

  2. Lana and I had scheduled a cruise a couple of years back that was cancelled by the cruise line at the last moment. So far we've not been able to schedule again.