Gloucester and Holland America Eurodam

Trip Start Sep 18, 2011
Trip End Oct 09, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Well before discussing the day I realized we were remiss in describing a part of yesterday's agenda. That is the blueberry pie which was simply divine. It was filled with berries, none of this berry pie with more flavored sauce than berries, this was chock full of blue berriew with a lovely sweet sauce holding them together. The piece we had was delicious and we both wished we had one to ourselves. Not that the pie was better than the grand sweep of forest, island and water views from Mt Cadillac only that is was very memorable as they are.

Now as for Gloucester, I had an unfavorable impression of this stop based on comments on cruise message boards. I realize now I need to just be overly careful when I read those reviews. Hey it wasn't Bar Harbor for touristy or Halifax for old grand churches although it had some nice ones but it was a very quiet peaceful New England town with a working fishing port. The one main downtown street we saw was nice and tree lined with shops and cafes. Just a nice place to walk and spend a little time. The port even had a hop on hop off trolley for $3 that you could get at the port facility we were tendered into. We decided to just walk for an hour or so before going back to the ship but it was an enjoyable peaceful time we did spend there. Would I recommend it as a hot spot to visit or make as a destination? No not really but I could see worse places to live or visit if it came to that. So I just wish folks would review things for what they are not for something they want to make them to be. So a quiet working fishing port should be reviewed as that not as a touristy Bar Harbor resort town. So if you come here expect to spend a pleasant quiet few hours and not exciting activities, take your book not your party glasses.

As I wrote the above I mentioned tendering, for folks who have not cruised that involves boarding some of the ships life boats to be brought into a dock at the port the ship is anchored at off shore. So there is no wharf or dock big enough for a cruise ship and only the small life boats can be used. Small is relative by the way as the Holland America ones used for tendering can hold 110 passengers. Bar Harbor, Gloucester, and Newport are all tender ports on this voyage. It really was handled very efficiently and we never had to wait more than a few minutes to get one leaving the ship or returning to it.

As the cruise is coming to an end I thought I would take a few minutes to compare Holland America to Carnival the only other cruise line I have gone on. I would have to give the nod to Holland on the food for presentation, taste and choice not by a lot but really at least for me but I think they do very well especially in their main dinning room. As for shipboard activities it's hard to say but probably Holland gets it for me only because the craft, computer and in many cases lack of activities is more attractive to me as I like the quiet music in the bars and during the day to read and have my own time with family and by myself. Yet Carnival has a general air of be more upbeat and active with more to do during the day and in it's own way it's fun to watch even if many of the events I don't care to participate in. So if you like to read and be with others that do Holland might be right for you. That is to to say that I could not always find a peaceful spot to read on Carnival because I could just that I had to purposely look for the quiet spots on Carnival and they were pretty much all over on Holland. If Betty White is your image of a pin-up than Holland definitely is for you if it's important and you are looking for a little younger fitter look go for Carnival.

So in the end which would I pick? Either really I just enjoy the service, the wonderful food, the ability to see shows in the Mainstage nightly and the freedom to spend my time as I want. I found not trouble with doing any of that on either line so for me it will itinerary and price that stills decides my choice of cruises at this time no a particular line.
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