Fall is without a doubt my favorite season! I just love the cooler temps and the beautiful colors of the leaves as the green starts to fade – which I don’t get to enjoy living on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Singles Travel International made it possible for me to enjoy the visual feast of Fall with the Autumn Splendors Cruise and Cheers to Boston Weekend. After the summer sun and let’s not forget the heat; it’s a welcome change for many.
I joined in on the Boston weekend, where our Weekenders land tour merged with our Autumn Splendors cruisers to have dinner at the infamous Cheers! (They definitely knew our group by the end of the evening!) After our “see you soons” the following morning, our group parted. As the weekenders were heading home or to extend their adventures in Salem; our cruisers headed to the Port of Boston to board the Serenade of the Seas®.
Expecting the usual hustle and bustle of embarkation day, I was pleasantly surprised that the lines weren’t long and everyone was chatting a bit more than usual as we waited. I even met a gentleman that attended the first graduating class of my high school – small world, eh? I finished check-in in near record time and I was off to meet up with the group.
The Autumn Splendors group was a great mix of past and new guests…with two first-time cruisers. By dinner, I was questioning a few if they had met before and to my surprise…No! This always make me smile when I can’t tell new friends from those who have traveled before. People really are eager to make friends and this guarantees a fantastic experience.
I know it’s a bit corny on my part, but I say it every trip because it’s true…our Singles Travel International members are awesome! I can understand that it may take some out of their so-called comfort zone, but isn’t that what we want? Why live vicariously through others, when you can be the envy of your friends/coworkers?
Our itinerary was a bit unusual, as our first three days were in port. Normally we have one leisurely sea day before we hit the ground touring. Our first port of call was Portland, Maine. Portland is perched on the Casco Bay, a natural deep water harbor on the southern coast of Maine. As Maine’s largest urban area it’s known as a cultural destination. I found it to be a vibrant city with a beautiful view. The group had a few excursions to choose from so as our foodies were off nibbling their way through Portland; others decided to meander the southern Maine coast and see Kennebunkport. A wonderful day and a great start to our adventures yet to come.
Our next port of call was Bar Harbor, Maine (or “Bah-Hahbah” for our New England friends)
We tendered in to this quaint little port and met up with our trolley to take us to the Acadia National Park. The fog hung heavy as we made our drive up to Cadillac Mountain…it was like being in San Francisco! As the sun started to make its appearance, the fog began to lift. Although it was still early for the vibrant gold and copper leaves, the Acadia National Park is a definite must see – Breathtaking! Some of our singles even took a bike excursion on the carriage roads. After the tour, what would a stop in Maine be without a Lobster Pot lunch and blueberry pie for dessert?! YUM! Needless to say, we had to walk this off by, you guessed it… Shopping. By late afternoon, we tendered back to our home on the ship to spend the evening with our group and discuss our day’s adventures. All agreed this port was one that needed more of our attention and some plotted their return.
Welcome to St. John, New Brunswick! We docked early and it seemed that we had brought a bit of the fog with us. Not to worry, we brought a lot of sunshine with us too! On our tour to see the murals of Sussex, we stopped off at the reversing falls to check the current of the water. After a tour of the murals painted throughout this little town and a bite of lunch, we were back to check the falls since the tide was on its way in. We did indeed confirm this natural phenomenon that the current reversed and water was now flowing in the opposite direction! We headed over to the beach to test the water and grab a group photo before heading back to the ship. With a final city stroll and a walk through the market, we headed back for our “All Aboard.”
Our day at sea was a welcome one. After a relaxing morning, and group lunch in the dining room we headed up to the sports deck for some fun. While a few of the guys decided to take on the rock climbing wall, we sat back cheering them on as they made their way to the top to ring the bell – Ding! Ding! Next up…miniature golf. FORE!!! The Singles Travel International gang took over the course and the competitive side of our members came out; but all in fun. There’s always as much or as little as you want to do onboard. Whether it’s a full day of activity or just relax by the pool, there’s something for everyone. We rounded out the evening with dinner and dancing (or casino) before catching up on some sleep for our last day of touring.
Our final port of call was Halifax, Nova Scotia. We spent the morning strolling along the seaside in this upbeat and friendly city. We met back up at the port to board our coach to Peggy’s Cove, a quaint little fishing village that lies about 26 miles outside of Halifax. This idyllic spot looked like a scene in Cabot Cove from the Murder She Wrote television series. After a photo op of the lighthouse, several of the group stopped in the Sou’wester restaurant for some yummy treats of homemade gingerbread and ice cream. Before we realized, it was time to head back into Halifax. We ended our tour with a trip around the Citadel before we returned to the port.
As for our time onboard….where do I begin. We had some awesome theme nights such as our Knotty & Nautical “Lobstah” Bash the evening that we left Bar Harbor. We had fellow cruisers in the Schooner bar wanting to know all about our group and commenting on how much fun we were having. Singles Travel always draws a crowd. Our attire ranged from captain/sailor to lobster print to a full on lobster costume. Our next theme night was roarin’ good fun as we took it back to the 20’s and had a Gatsby night. Our dapper guys and flapper dolls were just what it took to turn back time in the Crown & Castle pub. We had quite a few double takes as the other guests onboard made their way to the theater. We met back up with a few of the onlookers from the previous theme night and they were wishing that they were travelling with us! (So I showed them how easy it is to book online.) For those that are uncertain about dressing up when it comes to theme nights…. Just go with it! Let loose and have fun! (ALWAYS optional)
This group definitely forged friendships and A LOT of memorable moments. We had so many quotable quotes that we had to make a list! Just a few words bring laughter and the memories bring a huge smile! Look out – I can’t imagine the next trip that they book together! This one simple pursuit can not only broaden our horizons, but our friendships.
So for those that are contemplating traveling with Singles Travel International, what are you waiting for?? Click “Book Now” for that vacation you’ve thinking about and let’s see the world together!
Your Singles Travel International Concierge,