We had an amazing time. I hope you will as well.
We ended up not scheduling any shore excursions & just walked around every port.
Bar Harbor was our favorite. In Bar Harbor, we found an amazing photo gallery (Katahdin Photo Gallery / https://katahdinphotogallery.com/). The guy had some awesome photos that we bought. He even takes care of shipping them home to us.
We also visited the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor.
If you like local t-shirts, check out Debbah’s Bar Harbor shop. I’m a big guy & was pleased to find some 4XL shirts!
In Portland, I would recommend Gritty’s Brew Pub for lunch (http://grittys.com/). One of the local shop owner’s recommended it to us. My wife enjoyed her burger & beer, while I loved my fried shrimp basket.
We found some amazing coasters with local photos from Peter Cordice (https://www.facebook.com/petercordicephotography/ ). He was selling them on a street corner on Commercial Street (I think it was Commercial Street).
Both Bar Harbor & Portland had local ice cream shops that my wife & I meant to stop in after lunch but we never got around to that. Don’t make the same mistake we made . . . stop in!!!!
St. John’s was OK. We explored there in the morning & went back to the ship to take a break. We ended up staying on the ship.
Halifax was our 2nd favorite port. We walked all over the city. We stopped at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic & had lunch at Salty’s. If you go to the Maritime Museum, go up the second floor to see how crowded the Titanic exhibit is. We made the mistake of exploring the main floor first. When we were done with that a Titanic excursion group walked in & the Titanic section was crowded.
We meet a couple who enjoyed their visit to the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site. My wife & I are going to go there on our next visit. Bring your jacket, that couple said it was extremely windy . . . I got the impression that it may always be windier up there than it is around town.
They also stopped by the Halifax Central Library that was just recently built. They were really impressed with it. We’ll probably stop there too at our next cruise.
Be prepared for evening fog. We had 2 or 3 nights of dense fog at night. I thought it was actually a cool experience. We had fog almost the entire day on our first sea day.
I hope you have as great of a time as we did!