Caribbean Princess Cruise to New England/Canada
DAY 5: Saint John, New Brunswick
Another rainy day put us in a dreary mood as we boarded the tour bus for the scenic overview of Saint John, our first stop in Eastern Canada. We had to turn our clocks ahead one hour last night.
We drove through this sprawling, industrial city to Martello Tower, a stone keep which housed soldiers and ammunition in days of old. It seems every port has a fort, and yes, when you’ve seen one…you’ve seen them all. This was interesting in that it had the bunks inside to depict how the troops lived there. It was cold, windy, and rainy. We scampered back into the bus. Next stop was Reversing Falls, where the Bay of Fundy meets the St. John River with voracious tides. I’d seen these huge tides sweep in like a tidal wave on a dry river bed on a previous trip to Canada with my parents in my youth, but here you can see the currents swirling around. Across the water is a pulp plant spewing white smoke. The plant has filters so you don’t get that awful sulfur smell, but it’s a highly unattractive feature of the city.
We got out again by the Saint John City Market for a quick peek and decided this was worth a return visit. After lunch on the ship, we walked briskly outdoors to Market Square, a brick building housing a shopping mall. This led into Brunswick Square Shopping Center, which in turn led to the City Market. You don’t have to walk outside; there’s an indoor pedway to get from one place to another. City Market had the best souvenir items with maple sugar, maple spread, more blueberry items, and other foodie goods. There’s some English china and table linens if you’re into that stuff. We didn’t buy a lot here, just a few maple products. The sugar candies are too sweet but worth trying if you’ve never eaten one, and the maple fudge is fresher at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival. We tried their java but prefer Starbucks. We were happy to get back to the ship. Despite its natural wonders, this was our least favorite port. Maybe some of the other tours further afield are better. If you arrive before 11:00am, ladies are gifted with a fresh rose and men with a souvenir pin when you disembark. The people are very courteous and eager for tourism so I wish them well, but I’d suggest a nature tour of some sort rather than a ride around the industrial city.