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Cruise Diva's CRUISE DIARY
~ Golden Princess Canada & New England ~

Part Three

Thursday: Bar Harbor, Maine

Golden Princess at anchor... from atop Cadillac Mountain

We're re-entering the United States, so let's back up a bit. Officers from the US Immigration Service boarded Golden Princess yesterday in Saint John and each passenger on board was issued a notice to appear between 4:45pm and 7:45pm with their proof of citizenship to assure a smooth arrival in Bar Harbor. Fortunately, the procedure worked well and Golden Princess "cleared" quickly. Unfortunately, passengers paid scant attention to the times indicated on their notices and many appeared early, meaning that lines extended from the Vista Lounge to the atrium at 5:30pm when I reported at my assigned time with my passport. Some people at the head of the line were instructed to report an hour or more later.

With our vessel pre-cleared, we were off early on a "Grand Tour of Bar Harbor"—a six-hour excursion through Acadia National Park and Cadillac Mountain with photo stops punctuated by an incredible luncheon feast of Maine lobster with all the trimmings at Asticou Inn, an historic hostelry overlooking the Northeast Harbor.

As the coach made its way through Acadia National Park many of us wished we had more opportunities to alight and take pictures of the scenic vistas. The rugged coastline is a photographer's dream. Formed by glacial movement, the seascape visible from atop Cadillac Mountain is breathtaking. 

Bar Harbor, Maine

Our guide, a Maine native, confided that residents of the state call themselves "Maniacs." Okay... we called them "fortunate" to live in such natural splendor. After the tour, we had time to enjoy Bar Harbor's downtown area which houses typical resort style shops in historic buildings.

Leaf peepers report: Wow! Finally. Portions of Acadia National Park and the areas around Bar Harbor displayed autumn color at its best... truly magnificent!!!

If you go... Tendering ashore was an efficient and seamless process—amazing on a ship the size of Golden Princess.

Back on board Golden Princess, Trattoria Sabatini is truly an exceptional dining experience with incomparable food and service. I ordered the Cold Water Lobster for my entree and shared with a companion who chose Grilled Chilean Sea Bass. Both were excellent; well worth the $20 per person cover charge, especially when combined with all the courses that preceded them. The prosciutto and deviled crab cakes are sublime. Buon Appetito!

Friday: Boston, Massachusetts

Boston Public Garden

With so many interesting places to explore in Boston, how does one choose? I followed the "Freedom Trail" during a previous visit to the city and decided a walking tour through historic Beacon Hill would be the best way to branch out and get an intimate peek at one of the city's most prominent neighborhoods.

We set off from Copley Square in Boston's Back Bay area and our guide pointed out buildings of architectural significance, such as the Romanesque-style Trinity Church, Italianate public library, and New Old South Church with its Gothic accents. From the fashionable shopping area along Newbury Street, we made our way to Commonwealth Boulevard where the ornate facades of elegant brick townhouses face a promenade and gardens lined with statues of noteworthy citizens. It seems a world away from city life... a haven of quiet and serenity leading to the Public Garden where flowers were still in bloom and swans delighted our group by posing in the sunlight.

Fashionable town homes line Beacon Hill

There may no longer be a beacon atop it, but there sure is a HILL. Well-to-do residents of Beacon Hill aren't wimps when it comes to walking! Our guide led us through the maze of streets and squares, pointing out homes designed by some of America's foremost architects.

What would a tour of Beacon Hill be without a stop at Cheers? Known previously as the Bull & Finch Pub, local media recognize it as being the best neighborhood bar in Boston, which also serves the best 'burgers and a Bloody Mary to die for. Everyone else recognizes it as the inspiration for the television show "Cheers"... at least from the outside. Inside, the atmosphere of the original is warm and cozy, but bears no resemblance to the television version. For that, you have to visit the newer Cheers at Faneuil Marketplace—an exact interior replica of the television setting. When our tour ended at Quincy Market, we did just that. 

"Cheers" from Boston!

Leaf peepers report: A smattering of red and golden leaves. The most impressive gold was visible across the street from Boston Common on the gleaming dome of the State House.

If you go... Take time to relax in the Public Garden amid ornamental trees, fountains, and the lagoon. Look for the whimsical statues of a mother duck with her ducklings marching behind her. And stop in at Cheers for one of those burgers!

Next --> Part Four -- Newport, Rhode Island

Part Five -- Debarkation and lasting impressions

Back to --> Golden Princess Cruise Diary Review, Index

Part One -- Embark in New York and spend a day at sea

Part Two -- Halifax, Nova Scotia and St. John, New Brunswick

Illustrations for Cruise Diary: Courtesy of Princess Cruises & © Author's Collection

Cruise Line Profile - Princess Cruises

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