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Eclipse slips quietly into Boston Harbour around 6am this morning. We are awake in time to see her dock. It’s strange to see buildings and traffic after only seeing water as far as the eye can see for the past week. We dock at the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal which is only a short distance outside of the city centre. We step out onto the balcony to be met with a very chilly almost frosty morning. Daylight is breaking to the east as we head upstairs for breakfast.

Before we can go ashore we have to clear immigration. The CPD is due to come onboard just after 7am. We have no idea how long this process will take. We have a tour later this morning and our meeting time is 9.45 so we hope it’s done before then. People are assigned a group number and you have to await for your group to be called before heading down to deck 4. We are in group 9. Mhairi and Graham by contrast are in group 27. Our group is called around 8.45 and so we make our way down to deck 4. We join the back of a very long, slow moving line of people. However, even though slow, it was moving steadily and after about 20 minutes we are stood in front of the CPD officer who duly inspects our paperwork and stamps our passports. By 9.15 we are all done and receive the requisite sticker on our sea pass cards. Without this we would not be allowed to leave the ship.

After returning to our cabin we gather our things and head down to the dining room to join our tour group. We are assigned tour group 12. Historic Boston and Cambridge. We head outside to the cruise terminal and find bus 12. Our tour leader, who name I don’t recall, greets us and we board. It’s a fairly small tour group of about 20 people I would say and after a short wait for 2 late arrivals we are off.

We are headed to Harvard first of all and skirt around the city centre passing close by to Fenway Park home to the famous Boston Red Soxs. All the time our tour guide is giving us lots of interesting information about the city. We arrive close to Harvard and from there it’s just a short walk to Harvard Square. It’s a beautiful crisp sunny morning and the square itself looks lovely with the trees in their Autumnal finery. We learn a lot of fascinating facts about the founding of the university. Annual fees are $60,000 but because of the unique way in which the University is funded students are accepted before they have to reveal their financial status and a suitable financial program is tailored to each students monetary capabilities.

From Harvard we head in southerly direction passing the MIT, another illustrious seat of learning and back into the centre of Boston. We stop at Copley Square where we can see the Trinity Church, The Old South Church and the Boston Public Library. Our tour guide goes to great lengths to explain the construction and architecture of each of the buildings. Copley Square also sits at the finishing point of the Boston Marathon where we can see a monument to the famous race.

From Copley Square we head up through Boston Common and toward the Old North Church. Site of the infamous events of April 18th 1775. Outside is the statue of Paul Revere, one the the most famous of the Patriots from the Revolutionary Wars. We sit inside the Old North Church where a speaker tells us the story of the Lamps that signalled the direction the British troops would take that night. It’s a fascinating tale.

From the Church we head to Quincy Market where we leave our tour that is now heading back to the ship. We spend some time looking around the Market and buy come candy to take home before we head to the Shuttle Bus to take us back to the Cruise Terminal. There is a line of people waiting to board. The gangway is very narrow and so they are only allowing about 10 people up at a time. We have a very late lunch in the Mast Grill before returning to our cabin.

Eclipse leaves port around 4.30pm and we reverse about half a mile down the causeway before turning 180 degrees. We sail very close to Logan Airport and have clear view of the aircraft taking off. As the sun sets the temperature plummets and so we retreat back into the warmth of our cabin. Peter disappears to the gym and i sort out my wardrobe. Trying to figure out what I wont wear again, what needs laundering and which clothing I will need for the hopefully warmer weather next week.

We head to the Sky Lounge for a couple of pre dinner drinks, then Martini Bar and Cellar Masters. The bar tender in Cellar Master is not happy as this was the point at which everyone boarded the ship in Boston and the security staff have managed to break her fridge.

Dinner is in Moonlight Sonata. One of the best of the cruise. Food was excellent…especially my main. Before sitting down I had mentioned to Peter that i fancied some pasta. Spotting a Chorizo Linguine on the menu I order it. It was amazing. I could eat it everyday for the rest of the cruise and not be disappointed. Our two waiters are lots of fun and very chatty this evening. The guests on the table next to us, Texans from Austin, are equally chatty.

After dinner we head back up to the Sky Lounge were there is a 80’s themed night. It’s not that well attended but we stay for a while. The wise thing at this point would be to head back to the cabin but no we find another bar for a baileys and then head back for pizza later. We do drink plenty of water though. Daylight saving begins here in the US tonight so clocks go back another hour. Tomorrow NYC.

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Patrick O'Halloran

Escape With Us

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