Our first sailing with Crystal Cruises brought a number of unique memories that we probably can’t make on other cruise lines. Butler service was a big hit as was every single menu item we tried on the 10-day Fall Foliage sailing from Boston to Quebec City. Interestingly titled Autumn’s Palette, we did indeed see a rainbow of color along the way. But leaf peeping was just one part of the experience; captured and shared in a number of places. Here, we have one photo from each place visited. Each serves as a highlight if a best moment of the cruise.
Embarkation- Day One would normally bring a sailaway photo; standard fare for cruise vacations, much like the obligatory photo of bath products when checking into a hotel room on land. Different on Crystal Cruises, we overnighted in Boston, allowing time for Crystal guests to explore the city and take in the nightlife.
Boston Sailaway- On day two of our Crystal Cruise, we did indeed sail away from Boston. I like that we overnighted in Boston as we began our Crystal Cruises sailing, for a couple of reasons. Giving us more time to see the city, we went on a Crystal shore excursion through Boston and out into some culturally significant parts of the United States. Had we wanted to experience the nightlife of Boston, we could have done that too. See more in our Facebook Photo Album: Our First Day On (And Off) Crystal Serenity
Also on Day Two, our first off-ship adventure, a walking tour called Colonial Countryside, Lexington and Concord, that included a drive through Boston, passing a number of historically significant sites along the way.
Read more of our time spent in Boston in Crystal Cruises Adventures, On And Off The Ship.
Read more of our time in Bar Harbor in Themed Moderation On Crystal Cruises.
Day Four brought Saint John in the Canadian province of New Brunswick on a cloudy, foggy day. The reduced visibility perhaps reminiscent of June of 1877; when a major fire ravaged Saint John, the largest city in the Canadian province of New Brunswick.
On tour while visiting St John, we stopped at 18 buildings and monuments in Uptown Saint John. Our local guide explained the area was called “Uptown” because it literally was “up” from the north shore of the Bay of Fundy at the mouth of the St John River.
The day ended about as it had begun, weather-wise.
Read more of our time In Saint John in Crystal Cruises, Saint John, Built On A Rock Solid Foundation and see all the images captured along the way on tour in our Flickr Photo Album Saint John, New Brunswick.
Day Five- The weather cleared up by the time we made it to Halifax, Nova Scotia on Day Five where we would go on the most interesting of all our tours, beginning in the Halifax Public Gardens, a city center-like place where local residents had stopped come to have lunch bought elsewhere, read a book or just consider the lovely day.
Perhaps the most visual of photo events off ship was our walk up Citadel Hill to the Citadel, a place reminiscent of San Juan, Puerto Rico’s El Morro, offering panoramic city and harbor views, originally built to defend the town from a variety of enemies.
Operated by Parks Canada today, the Citadel has been restored to it’s original glory and manned by re-enactors of the famed 78th (Highlanders) Regiment of the Foot.
Day Six was a day at sea on the way to the Magdalen Islands that provided some time to reflect on what we had experienced so far and what was yet to come.
If you followed along via Instagram and Twitter during this event, you know that food played a huge part in our experience. Nearly dominating our time aboard Crystal Serenity, culinary efforts by Crystal Cruises could be accurately described as stunning, exceptional, extraordinary and noteworthy if not miraculous at times…beginning with room service provided by our personal butler Almir.
We would see Almir in the morning as we headed out on tours or throughout the day whenever we pressed the “room service’ button on our suite’s telephone. Except for the wee hours of the morning, it was always Almir that answered and delivered afternoon tea, canapés before dinner or a full meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
On Day Seven we were winding down our 10-night sailing of Crystal Serenity, stopping in Canada‘s Magdalen Islands at Iles de la Madeleine, a tiny port with a rich history. It was a short call at the place named after the seigneur (think ‘landlord’) of the archipelago in 1663. On a blustery fall day, we tendered on to the island and walked over to shipyard where fishing and recreational ships of various sized had been pulled out of the ocean for the season. See more at The Magdalen Islands With Crystal Cruises.
Day Eight brought us to Harve St Pierre and our first unobstructed glimpse of Crystal Serenity on a clear day. It looked to be another day of chilly exploration as Crystal Serenity made her way into Harve Saint Pierre, a tiny Canadian port known mainly for being the world’s largest source of Ilmenite, the primary ore of Titanium.
Harve Saint Pierre at first glance is another fishing village with tiny boats in port, a few shops around here and there and that’s about it. Sailing away brought a beautiful sunset.
Day Nine- Baie Comeau. When we told some Canadian friends about our Autumn’s Palette fall foliage itinerary with Crystal Cruises scheduled for the last days of September, their reaction was a little surprising. “Well, the ship should be nice anyway,” agreeing with others that our timing was not the best, adding “You’re a little early for fall colors.”
Days one through eight brought little fall foliage as anticipated and left us hunting for vegetation that was any color other than green. But when we arrived in Bae Comeau, we knew we had some fall colors to see and hurried off the ship.
Walking the streets of Baie Comeau, it was difficult not to notice how clean and fresh looking everything was, like it had just been built. Just founded in 1936, the company town feel is undeniable and appropriate; Baie Comeau sprang up after a paper mill was constructed and continued to grow as hydro-electric power stations, an aluminum smelter and the largest grain warehouse in Canada were added in the 1950’s.
On our last day, we overnighted in Quebec City, a beautiful place with a huge French influence that is hard to miss. Docked close to the city center, we walked off Crystal Serenity and enjoyed the day capturing colorful landscapes to share with you here.
Coming away from our first Crystal Cruise, some interesting takeaways from the experience, detailed in Our Crystal Cruises Experience, Shared. One of those takeaways and perhaps the most enduring is that when we think of “luxury cruise” in the future, thoughts will turn to Crystal Cruises. I think that says a lot.