About A Fall Cruise With Me
By Tom Fitzmorris
This autumn's Eat Club voyage takes us back to one of our most enjoyable itineraries: a cruise from New York along New England's shore, then into Canada as far as Quebec. And back to New York. Eleven nights, beginning September 21, 2012. Fares begin in the low $2000s.
Here are twelve reasons you ought to join us.
1. The Ship. The Queen Mary 2 is the flagship of the Cunard Line. It's more an ocean liner than a cruise ship, built for transatlantic crossings and around-the-world tours. If the seas get high, you won't be able to tell unless you look out the window.
2. The Tasteful Style. The QM2 is very British. That doesn't just mean afternoon tea and a British pub. It's also the polite, cultured charm for which England is famous. It's everywhere, from the server who might not charge you for your second cappuccino to the enrichment programs on the daily schedule. There's fun stuff, too--but nothing coarse.
3. The Fall Colors. Departing New York on the last day of summer almost ensures that at somewhere along our way the famed New England fall foliage will be exploding with color. Our eyes are in for a treat.
4. The Shellfish. September is a great month for lobster, and we'll be in the crustacean's home waters. I never understood what the big deal was about lobster until I ate one in Nova Scotia. Fat. Meaty. Delicious. The best scallops and mussels also come from here.
5. Boston. Unlike most New England cruises with their half-day in Boston, ours stops in Newport Beach, full of magnificent mansions from a century. That gives us the entire next day in Boston, a city jammed with history and Americana. Join me for lunch in one of the great Italian trattorias in the North End!
6. Cajun Origins. A bagpipe band meets the ship in Halifax, Nova Scotia. (Cunard was founded there). Rent a car (or share with others in our group) and drive to the heartbreakingly quaint fishing towns along the coast. The Cajuns came from here. You still see "Boudreaux" and "Couvillon" on mailboxes. Also here: better seafood than anywhere except Louisiana.
7. Quebec City. The first time I visited Quebec City I kept thinking, "Why can't we play up our French heritage in New Orleans the way Quebec does?" The old town is irresistibly charming and full of French restaurants. The QM2 remains overnight in Quebec, allowing us to have dinner in one of those.
8. The Other People. Our group is united by a special love for food and drink. What great celebrants to socialize with! All our past cruises resulted in new long-term friendships. There are advantages to traveling with a group. Share tables, tours or car rentals. At this writing, twenty people are reserved for our group. That's already a good party, and I expect about another dozen before the deadline. The more we get, the more amenities the ship will give us.
9. No Other People. You probably don't need to be led around by the hand. We don't expect that everyone with us will want to do the same things. I'll plan an event or two for us to get together every day. Eat Club tables in the main dining room bring us together for dinner. But in all cases, you are free to do whatever you want. No roll calls will be taken.
10. The Bay Of Fundy. The highest tides in the world are around St. John, New Brunswick--our fourth port of call. They make the rivers run backwards. I know a restaurant where you can watch the incoming tide and the outgoing river flow fight it out.
11. New York City. There is simply nothing to match the grandeur of sailing out of New York's harbor. And Since we're there at the end of the cruise, my family and I plan to spend a couple of days in the Big Apple. I'll pick a couple of restaurants for a lunch and a dinner. If enough people show an interest, I'll arrange a hotel for the group. Good news: September is a slack month for tourism, and hotel rates are low.
12. Me. I'm a live radio show in person--including the part where you can turn it off if it gets on your nerves. I've made this cruise twice in the past (plus twenty other cruises) and can give you a lot of guidance if you ask for it. On most days I'll stuff a newsletter in your stateroom mailbox to let you know what's up. On the first night, I look forward to buying your first cocktail. (And, if you hang around with me, probably others as the cruise glides through the seas.)
Think about it, then call our special representative Sharleen Gordon at Cunard:
1-800-468-7752 Ext. 31138
Tell her you are booking for the Eat Club group on the September 21, 2012 sailing from New York to Canada. She can answer all your questions.
And for more information--even if it's just to fuel a daydream--go to the Eat Club web page. Or just e-mail me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'd love to host you on a very cool, relaxing trip to a part of America that's nothing at all like New Orleans.