The Albritton/Knox/Costa cruisers from the Carnival Glory were so excited to be in the port at Sydney, Canada. We booked a kayak trip with Angelo Spinazzola of North River Kayak in Baddeck, Nova Scotia for a 3-hour kayak trip on April 27, 2013. We reserved a car rental on the island months ahead of time to assure our trip with be a success only to be disappointed when we called to be picked up at the port. The car rental agency said that due to cars being vandalized, they did not have our van available for us. They apologized but offered no other options accept to call another rental agency. Of course all rental agencies we called were booked weeks in advance. When I called Angelo at North River Kayak and told him the sad news, he said for me to hang on while he made some phone calls to see what he could do to get us a vehicle. After about ten minutes, he called us back saying it didn’t look very promising but if we were willing to wait, he was going to make more phone calls. Angelo was amazing! He tried to keep me calm and upbeat with the hope there was a chance for us to still get to his tour. Angelo did state that due to the horrible circumstances, he would not charge my credit card for all 9 of us not being able to do the tour. I thought that was very nice of him to do that since it was not his fault that we could not get there. Within a half hour Angelo had the wonderful news. He saved the day! He told us that he made some calls to Mary Tulles of Destination Cape Bretton and that she was sending two employees to pick us up at the ship. Within minutes, Annemarie MacDonald and Kelsey Peters arrived in their own vehicles greeting us with smiles on their faces. They told us how happy they were to help us and off we went. They drove us almost an hour each way to and from North River Kayak to meet Angelo. Angelo waited for us after being over an hour late and hosted the tour with his employee Mackenzie. We were able to have Angelo and Mackenzie to ourselves for the entire 3 hours. The tour was amazing as we saw a bald eagle’s nest high in the trees with the babies popping their heads over the nest. We also saw the bald eagle mom watching from a tree above. We stopped at a beautiful waterfall for chai tea and homemade banana bread and strawberry-rhubarb jam that Angelo made himself.. It was a delicious break to get us ready for the paddle back to Annemarie and Kelsey as they waited ashore for over 3 hours for our return. Once we finished our tour Annemarie and Kelsey drove us back another hour to the ship stopping along the way as they showed us beautiful overlooks to take pictures. They were the best tour guides we could ever ask for. The entire time they made us feel welcome and comfortable. When we arrived back at our ship, we all offered them money for their time and gas but they refused. They said a hug would be the best thank you.
I must say that both North River Kayak and Destination Cape Bretton along with Angelo, Annemarie, and Kelsey made our kayaking trip the highlight of our entire cruise. Thanks to them we had a wonderful day in Cape Bretton. All we have talked about since we got home is how our kayak trip and Cape Bretton is the best place we have been to in our 10 cruises. They all should be commended for doing their best to helping the stranded cruisers. If not for Angelo, our day in port would have been ruined!! He is a great kayak tour guide but an even better person. He went above and beyond to make our trip AWESOME!
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