Caregiver Cruise

2016 Caregiver Cruise to New England and Canada!

We know it can be difficult to travel when your loved one has memory impairment, but we all still need a vacation! Both the individual with a dementia diagnosis and their caregiver are able to attend the cruise, making the program possibly the first of its kind in the country. Insight provides supervision during excursions, and respite at sea, giving cruise participants the opportunity for a vacation in a safe environment, in the company of others who “get it.” In addition to the many benefits a cruise offers – the chance for a vacation, seeing new sights, a getaway – the caregiver cruise provides families with a sense of normalcy.

One caregiver shared: "It was just fun to be with other people because at home I’m pretty isolated and this gave me an opportunity to be with people, be entertained, go to the shows, just relax and enjoy things - without my husband and with my husband."

Check Out What We Did!

We made daily posts here with trip highlights and excursions so you can feel like you've cruised along with us!
We departed from Baltimore on Thursday, May 26, 2016, and returned Saturday, June 4, 2016 with stops in Boston, Portland, Bar Harbor, St. John, and Halifax.

Day 7: Halifax - Bay, Beer, and Beavertails!

Day 7: Halifax - Bay, Beer, and Beavertails!

June 1, 2016

Day 7 was our final port of call in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Finally the weather broke and we had a beautiful day exploring Halifax and Peggy’s Cove. Many of the folks got a chance to grab some breakfast and sit outside on the deck as we pulled into Halifax Harbor. We had some scenic views of the lighthouses and the rocky coastline and the busy city of Halifax. Our day started early and ended late – it was jam packed all day! Our report time was 10:15am to meet our bus tour to Peggy’s Cove.

As honorary Shore Excursion Director, Joel helped random passengers with questions about their excursions, even helping them get their tickets ready and getting them to the right line.

We started off by boarding the bus with Barbara as our tour guide and driver Randie. Barbara gave us a brief overview of the City of Halifax (proper) as she didn’t want to spoil our afternoon tour. As we drove about an hour to Peggy’s Cove, we passed through small fishing villages, where the lobster season in this particular area ended yesterday. So no lobster boats to be found anywhere. Also, we learned how important the lobster industry is to the economy of Halifax and how there are very strict guidelines on who can fish for lobsters, who can sell them, etc. They take this VERY seriously here. But as we got to Peggy’s Cove, we were given the history of how the Cove came to be, and also how life in the Cove is a simple one. There is only one church in the town, and there are no gardens, because of the rocky land.

We had about an hour of free time to explore Peggy’s Cove and walk around the very, very small town. Some folks headed up to the lighthouse (where we were told not to go any further than the lighthouse because of Rogue Waves.) Some folks decided to take a seat in the little restaurant and have some famous ginger cake and ice cream and take in the views. Others decided to explore the rocks and then hit the gift shops. Pewter and maple syrup galore!

Once we were all back on the bus, we headed back to the Port of Halifax to grab our Double Decker City Bus Tour! We boarded a 1950’s style PINK double decker bus where Michelle was our tour guide and took us through the historical downtown Halifax. A couple of things they are known for – the Great Halifax Explosion of 1917 and how the shipmen of Halifax were the ones to collect the remains of the victims of the Titanic, which hit an iceberg in 1912 off the coast of Newfoundland.

As the tour got underway, hunger started to set in with the crowd! Even though the theme of the cruise has been eat, eat and eat some more, by 2pm, we all had felt like we had not eaten in days. So, the one thing that Christi wanted to do was to visit the Red Stag, a small restaurant, and have one of her favorite beers. Well, this all sounded fabulous to the group! So we all decided to hop off on our Hop On and Off Tour about halfway through and grab some food. Luckily, they dropped us off right across the street! We all enjoyed our beer and ate like we’ve never seen food before and we were never going to see it again!

After we finished, some of the group decided to take the boardwalk back to the ship, because it was such a beautiful day, and some decided to go the other way on the boardwalk in search of Beavertails! If you’ve never had a Beavertail, you can read all about them here: Basically they are pastries that are delicious! This was the one thing that Sophie (Christi’s daughter) really wanted, so the group set off and found them! Everyone enjoyed a bite (or two, or three, or even their very own) Beavertail!

Then it was time to kick it into high gear to head back to the ship. As we walked (briskly) down the boardwalk to the ship, it was a very cute area filled with gift shops, boutiques, various restaurants, cafes and bars! Once we made it back to the pier, some folks did some last minute gift shopping before re-boarding the ship.

As we got on board, apparently there was some incident on board that delayed our departure by almost 45 minutes. But soon enough, we were waving goodbye to our last port of call on our Caregiver Cruise. Some folks watched from the deck, while others collapsed in their rooms from a very, very long day.

Tomorrow is our second day at sea and our second day of respite care. This will again allow the caregivers a much needed break while Christi and Joel take the group to various activities around the ship and to the reserved conference room from 10am – 2pm. We already have the day planned out and hope it will be nice weather so we can enjoy the Belly Flop Contest in the pool!

Today’s lesson of the day – be sure to bring snacks with you as your excursions could end up taking WAY longer than you thought!!!

Arriving in the cute town of Peggy’s Cove.

We were just as happy to see the sun!

Enjoying the views of the lighthouse.

And the beautiful day!

While also enjoying the local entertainment!

Our photographer has to get in at least one picture!

Our Pink Hop On Hop Off tour bus!

Exploring Halifax.

And enjoying our tour!

A stop for lunch before we wasted away!

All this sightseeing makes you hungry!

Christi got her favorite beer!

We all raised a glass in approval!

Enjoying our beavertails for dessert!