Holland America seven-day Cruise
St. Lawrence River|Boston to Montreal|September-October, 2018
By: MEG HIGGINS
September 2018 ~ Our 30th anniversary was on the cusp, and my husband and I had mused about visiting the Quebec City region. When I contacted Boomer Travel, Liz Dahl proposed a Holland America seven-day cruise along the St. Lawrence River –wow! We didn’t see ourselves as “cruise people,” but once she unfolded the itinerary – ports from Boston to Montreal, great onboard amenities, along with a reasonable price tag – we knew serendipity was at work.
We boarded on a Saturday afternoon, and shortly after arriving in our state room, there was a knock on the door. I opened it to a very friendly man named Baung, who promised to take care of us the entire trip. At once I knew we were in good hands, and I felt confident about our decision.
It’s fun being on a ship! We explored every inch and strolled the decks at all hours, enthralled by exquisite autumn views of the thriving river. The ship is large but not too crowded, and there’s no sense of obligation to join in activities that don’t suit your fancy. Our state room was spacious, bigger than expected, with good amenities – fresh fruit everyday, a full bath with a tub – plus the dreamy pleasure of sleeping while at sea.
Delicious food? – check! We dined at four on-ship restaurants and often met other guests when offered the option of sharing a table. We loved the superb string quartet that played every evening, also presentations by America’s Test Kitchen, BBC films and music plus dancing at several cabarets sprinkled throughout the ship.
The Captain and the entire staff were wonderful, a real highlight! Warm, gracious and very accommodating. Gratuities are included in the daily tab, so no need for constant tipping, although so pleased by the service, we added an extra tip at trip’s end.
Off-ship, we got to know towns, large and small, along the St. Lawrence. Each morning brings a new port and, if you like, a well-organized side trip. We preferred to wander on our own and found good restaurants, shopping and galleries. I’d recommend the Maritime Museum and the Art Museum in Halifax, and of course, Quebec City is fantastic with funicular rides, plus shops and restaurants clustered along the winding streets of old town.
Our trip was delightful and thinking back, I realize the notion of “cruise people” is a silly assumption based on too little experience or information. If Liz hadn’t suggested the Holland America trip, we would have missed out on a lovely adventure. “Thanks, Liz and Boomer Travel Patrol!”