on June 1, 2011
We had been to Niagara Falls before (Canadian side) and had done the Maid of the Mist boat trip, but decided to do it again on this visit to the American side. We actually purchased the Discovery Pass which included the Maid of the Mist along with Cave of the Winds, Theatre Adventure and the Aquarium all for $33. It also included the Discovery Centre but it was closed during our visit. You enter the Maid of the Mist via a turnstile and get your ticket checked. On both the Canadian and American side you have to travel in an elevator to get to the boat. You can then join the line and are given rain coats in an attractive blue colour. Yes you look completely silly in them, but it adds to the fun of the trip and most importantly stops you getting completely soaked. The staff count you in groups in order to board the boat which actually holds lots of people so even if you feel you are in a very long line the wait isn’t too bad as so many people get on the boat in one go.So, after about ten minutes wait we we all herded onto the boat and we were actually the last on and so thought we would not be able to get a good spot, but this was wrong as we actually got a very good spot in the space where the doors close.Then the boat pulls out into the river and off you go. First you go past the American Falls and get up real close, then you pass Bridal Falls and watch all the people on land watching you. Lots of people waved at us as we passed which was fun. Then you start to enter the Canadian Falls, or Horseshoe Falls as it is known. The further in the boat travels the wetter it gets. At one point you are thinking, we cannot possibly get any closer without impending death, but just as you expect to be swallowed by the water the boat starts to turn and pull away. You then ride back to the dock for disembarking. If like me, you don’t like water or boat rides, please don’t dismiss this experience. Yes the water is choppy and yes you will get wet, make that very wet, but it is so worth it. You are so immersed in the whole experience that you forget you are on a boat on rough water, you just enjoy it.If you are in Niagara Falls during the period the Maid of the Mist is running (not winter) you owe it to yourself to take the trip. You can do so from both sides of the falls so there is no excuse and it is very reasonably priced. If you only do this it will cost $16.50 on the Canadian side or $13.50 on the American side. The difference is to do with the elevator charges on both sides, the Canadian being deeper and of course taxes.
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