Woo hoo, I finally settled on and booked my October cruise this week! I'm sailing on the Majesty out of Boston on October 8, returning to Charleston on October 20. I want to spend two nights in Boston before and two nights in Charleston after and am looking for hotel suggestions. Also, any suggestions on restaurants, sights of interest, etc. in either city could be appreciated.
As you will be spending a good amount of time in Boston, I suggest splurging for a hotel in the Back Bay or Downtown areas. I suggest booking early, as October is a peak time here. There are a number of hotels near Quincy Market, and many hotels in Back Bay. Living here, I do not have occasion to stay overnight in one, but I have gotten feedback from friends and relatives who visited. Some of the places that they enjoyed were the Westin Copley, Lenox Hotel, and Park Plaza, all in Back Bay. The Omni Parker House is located closer to Quincy Market and the Freedom Trail. If your budget is somewhat higher, there are also the Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton, both alonside the Boston Public Garden, which should be gorgeous in autumn.
Best activity in Boston? Freedom Trail, for certain, and a tour on one of our Duck Boats. (Do a google search for Boston Duck.) As for restaurants, Back Bay has many wonderful ones, and be sure to visit Boston's North End for fabulous Italian!
BTW, I've done the Boston-Bermuda cruise on Norwegian Majesty a few times, so let me know if you have any questions. I haven't done the repositioning cruise, though -- sounds great!
For Charleston, you might look into one of the B&Bs in the historic district. Several are in charming historic homes. You'll be quite a distance from the airport, and will probably want a rental car for touristing around, but the ambience of the historic area can't be beat!
Just checking in to thank you for your suggestions. I'll do some research this weekend and I'm sure I'll be back with more questions.
Lisa P, Any suggestions you have re the Majesty will be appreciated. I've only cruised once before on the Dream in Alaska last summer and loved it. I understand the Majesty is a bit smaller than the Dream but that was what I was looking for. How did you like the Four Seasons? Any great places to hang out for a little quiet time?
gxchan, I am so sorry for my delay in getting back to you.
I haven't stayed at the Four Seasons Boston, yet I've been there a few times for conferences, and one of my friends and I have breakfast in the Bristol Lounge every other month or so. She is a travel liaison for her company, so I've gotten to see a few guest rooms -- they range from cozy to magnificent, but you can't go wrong with any of them. I've also seen the fitness center and pool, both of which looked marvelous.
As for Norwegian Majesty, there is a wonderful area on Deck 5 with the most comfortable window seats and beautiful ocean view. I usually order a cup of tea from the adjacent coffee bar, and armed with that and a book from the onboard library, I am set for the morning. The Pasta Cafe is also great. There is no charge, but reservations are required. I'll be on Norwegian Majesty in August, so I'll post updated information on the NCL board when I return.
Lisa, my daughter lives in Boston, and several times that we have visitied, we've tried walking up to the Boston Duck Tour desk in the Pru, and the day's tours have been sold out. I believe they don't do walk-ups any more; I'm not even sure they have a desk in the Pru any more. They have a website on which folks can reserve a tour. We did it for the Washington DC tour, which was a lot of fun.
The Pru desk is still there, as is a new one at the Museum of Science. There's also a booth in Faneuil Hall, but tours do not begin here. Tickets are sold at the Pru and Museum of Science on the day of the tour, but they are extremely limited -- you pretty much have to camp out there and be first or second in line. Buying them over the Internet a few days in advance is the best bet.
I hope you get to ride the Ducks on your next visit. It's a wonderful tour. I've done it a couple of times and enjoyed it greatly.
Cambridge is a great location. And, depending where you are, you may be close to the Duck Tour starting point at the Museum of Science.
Duck Tours are tours of the downtown Boston area via amphibious vehicle. They are restored WWII vehicles. The highlight is the ride down the Charles River, so you can see Boston and Cambridge from the water. This is combined with a tour through the streets of Boston, including a good part of the Freedom Trail. The guides are informative and humorous at the same time. More info is HERE. As noted above, definitely get your tickets ahead of time as they sell out quickly. October is a busy tourist season here.
Oh, Lisa, thank you for the duck info. I haven't made any plans for activities while in Boston yet (too busy shopping for what I "need" for the trip-LOL) but am starting the list with the Duck Tour! It looks so cool! And the little I've read about things to do didn't include it. I'm flying into Boston on Friday late evening and sailing out on Sunday, embarking mid-afternoon, so I want to make the most of my time there. Any other sights to see you could offer would be appreciated.
The Holiday Inn in Cambridge I've booked says they are close to the subway, MIT and other great places, so I think I'm in a good location.