Christopher Muther and his parents were going to be on a boat with his partner, Alex, and his parents. Easy as lemon merengue pie, right? Well, no.

CHRISTOPHER MUTHER/GLOBE STAFF

Christopher Muther and his parents went on a cruise with his partner, Alex, and his parents. Easy as pie, right? Well, no.

Alex’s parents don’t speak English — they’re from Spain. My parents don’t speak Spanish. (From left): Susan Muther, Vidal Gonzalez, Maria Gonzalez, Edmund Muther

CHRISTOPHER MUTHER/GLOBE STAFF

Alex’s parents don’t speak English — they’re from Spain. Muther's parents don’t speak Spanish. (From left): Susan Muther, Vidal Gonzalez, Maria Gonzalez, Edmund Muther.

The first stop for our boat was Bar Harbor. We drove up Cadillac Mountain with stops to walk around and enjoy the scenery.

CHRISTOPHER MUTHER/GLOBE STAFF

The first stop for their boat was Bar Harbor. They drove up Cadillac Mountain with stops to walk around and enjoy the scenery.

The cruise ended in Montreal, and the plan was to spend a day in the city with the parents.

CHRISTOPHER MUTHER/GLOBE STAFF

The cruise ended in Montreal, and the plan was to spend a day in the city with the parents.

Our week on the boat didn’t resemble any television advertisement I’d ever seen for a family cruise — but it was memorable in its own odd way.

CHRISTOPHER MUTHER/GLOBE STAFF

Their week on the boat didn’t resemble any television advertisement for a family cruise — but it was memorable in its own odd way.

A Canadian cruise that screams ‘family’

A new kind of family cruise — in two languages! By Christopher Muther

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/09/12/BostonGlobe.com/Travel/Images/Fair2010-Prints(88)A.jpg Fall festivals around New England

Celebrate the harvest season with agricultural fairs, food festivals, craft markets, and oodles of entertainment for all ages.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/09/15/BostonGlobe.com/Travel/Images/17358%20-%20QM2%20NYC.jpg Trans-Atlantic sail with a novice: plain fun amid QM2 luxe

This is the only passenger liner that makes regularly scheduled Atlantic crossings from May to January.

The Tip

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/09/19/BostonGlobe.com/Travel/Images/fatboat-1020.jpg Your cruise destination: Fat City? No way

Here’s how to stay slim on a cruise ship.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/04/11/BostonGlobe.com/Boston/Images/8b124ef1fe0b4c9b908f056dcd09439d-8b124ef1fe0b4c9b908f056dcd09439d-0.jpg When good cruises go bad

Our friend calls it “the cruise from hell.” The weather turned sour and the seas were rough; yet the captain forged onward.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/08/08/BostonGlobe.com/Travel/Images/duany_0880-3139693780-O.jpg Cruising her way to the top: Edie Rodriguez

Crystal Cruises chief symbolizes its guest personality.

a Tank Away

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/09/10/BostonGlobe.com/Lifestyle/Images/westerlynapatreepointA.jpg A wealth of options in Westerly, R.I.

Rhode Island’s southernmost and westernmost town has a split personality.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/09/15/BostonGlobe.com/Travel/Images/6a6a1c59f135484eb70f8126950ccc6d-ef08681b03e543d0b7ece961fcba2e66-0.jpg Nova Star lulled me to sleep, and I loved it

A weekend on a very sleepy off-season Nova Star cruise between Portland, Maine, and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

Secret of the Week

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/09/16/BostonGlobe.com/Travel/Images/14HAPPY_GLOBE_SECRETS_FALL_RIVER_MARINE_MUSEUM.jpg Titanic items at the Marine Museum

At the Fall River museum, there is a life vest, section of the ship’s wooden railing, and a chair from its Turkish bath.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/06/11/BostonGlobe.com/Travel/Images/Art%20auction%20on%20cruise%20ship%20-%20Park%20West%20Gallery.jpeg On-board auctions find curious cruisers ready to buy

Most of the major cruise lines offer art auctions as part of their entertainment programming.

travel troubleshooter

Why won’t Econo Lodge pay my parking ticket?

Linda Troop pays for parking while she’s a guest at an Econo Lodge, then receives a parking ticket. Who has to pay?

News, apps, deals, and gear

Here, there, and everywhere

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/09/15/BostonGlobe.com/Travel/Images/sil2%2021hte_2.jpg From pet-friendly travel packages to improving travel photos

News, apps, deals and gear from New England and beyond.

Globe Magazine

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/09/20/BostonGlobe.com/Magazine/Images/p35rider--90x90.jpg Fall travel

Cool trips for thrill seekers.

Cape Cod and the Islands

Henry David Thoreau, circa 1855.

Henry David Thoreau’s ‘Cape Cod’

We thought this brief passage from Thoreau’s chapter titled “Across the Cape” would be an appropriate way to say goodbye to the Cape for the summer.

Nonstop destinations from Boston

Pilsen is the center of the Mexican community.

The hunt for Chicago’s next hot neighborhood

A tour of three of Chicago’s emerging neighborhoods: Pilsen, Logan Square, and Andersonville, plus a look at the scene at the new Godfrey Hotel.