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twangster

Adventure OTS, 13 Night Snowbird Migration Quebec to Ft. Lauderdale Oct. 8, 2018

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I came across this cruise by accident and saw a decent fare for 13 nights on a recently refreshed ship so I had a YOLO moment and booked it.

This is a repositioning cruise, part of Adventure's migration from Bayonne, NJ (her summer home port) to Ft. Lauderdale (her winter home port).

Day 1 - Quebec City

Day 2 - Quebec City

Day 3 - Sea

Day 4 - Charlottetown, PEI

Day 5 - Sydney, Nova Scotia

Day 6 - Halifax, Nova Scotia

Day 7 - Saint John,  New Brunswick

Day 8 - Bar Harbor, Maine

Day 9 - Portland, Maine

Day 10 - Boston, MA

Day 11 - Sea

Day 12 - Sea

Day 13 - Canaveral, FL

Day 14 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL

I had a hard time finding decently price flights with decent times directly into Quebec City so I looked at Montreal and found a much cheaper flight.  Adding a car rental and it was still cheaper plus I could fly first class less than coach to Quebec City so I jumped at it.  

No excursions booked, just going to wing it and work some days.  

This cruise starts with an overnight in place at Quebec City.  That is actually a really great way to start because Quebec City is a wonderful old city with great history.  While you could fly in days earlier you would have hotel and meals to cover so this way the ship is my hotel and meals are included.  

Cruising solo the fact I'll get 26 points in the C&A loyalty program wasn't lost on me.  For some folks that takes 3 or 4 cruises to achieve.  That also propels me to the point I'll get a glass block on Symphony on my next cruise.  YOLO!

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Day 0 - Pre-cruise travel to embarkation port

Landing in Montreal (YUL airport) after connecting in New York (JFK airport) and I was on the ground at 4pm.  YUL airport is a major international gateway airport for Canada and we arrived on our little regional jet from JFK in the shadow of some much bigger planes from around the world.  That meant Canadian customs would be busy, and it was.  However they have rows and rows of kiosks where you enter you details, swipe your passport and it went pretty quickly.  By 4:30pm I had my luggage and was walking through the parking.

I have a confession to make.  My decision to fly into Montreal was somewhat influenced by a desire to get my hands on a favorite of mine - Montreal wood fired sesame seed bagels.  After getting my rental car I punched the address into the GPS and within 20 minutes I was spilling sesame seeds all over my rental car.  Three down and I hadn't even left the bagel store parking yet.

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Day 0 dinner complete and enough left over for breakfast in the morning, I began the nearly 3 hour drive to Quebec City.  Word of warning - in the province of Quebec turning right on a red light was illegal for a long time.  They have relaxed that but on the island of Montreal it remains illegal to turn right on a red light. 

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Day turned to dark but I did enjoy much of the drive in daylight, enough to see the trees beginning to turn into their fall colors.  Not nearly at peak, but it must be getting close.  

My GPS safely guided me to the Hilton in downtown Quebec City.   Like many hotels in major cities you have to pay for parking and valet tends to be the way to go.  I was ready to get out of the car after a day of flying and a 3 hour drive.  I had used a corporate rate to get a pretty good deal because like many downtown hotels rates can get up there.  Not only that it was the Thanksgiving weekend for Canada so rates were already up.  I had thought about staying in a hotel out of the city and driving in the next day but I'm glad I stayed downtown.  

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I was upgraded to a corner room with 270° views.

My room on the 16th floor:

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The Brice building on the left has an apartment for the Premier of Quebec on the highest floor.  The Chateaux Frontenac is also a dominant structure on the right.  They both tower over the rest of the old city below them.  

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Quebec City is the seat of the Provincial Capitol and I had a great view of Parliament buildings.

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Great history in Quebec City which was established in 1608 by the French.  Britain would later win the area in a famous battle in the 1700s.   In 1867 the Country of Canada was born and Quebec City has remained Canadian since.

 Time to hit the streets and walk around a bit.

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From my commanding hotel view of the area (which the picture don't do justice) I had observed a fountain lit up at night and several gates to the old city.  I din't have a specific route in mind, I just headed in the direction of the fountain.

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They are placed directly in front of the Parliament buildings.

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One of many gates to the fort and old Quebec City. 

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That street I saw looked really inviting so I headed that way.  They have heaters setup along the sidewalk to warm folks as they walk along.

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Time to contribute to the local economy.  I always like to try to a local beer.

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St Ambroise IPA.  Perfect.

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It was getting late to time to find my way back to my hotel.

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Quebec City is the most beautiful city - nice to see it at night (we stayed too far out of the city to see it that way). 

And you don't have to worry too much about Quebecois in Quebec City - it's Montreal where I found the most rabid Francophone attitudes.

Enjoy!

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Just now, June May said:

And you don't have to worry too much about Quebecois in Quebec City - it's Montreal where I found the most rabid Francophone attitudes.

Enjoy!

Growing up I encountered some of that.  This trip, both cities have been great although my time in Montreal was brief.  

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11 minutes ago, twangster said:

Growing up I encountered some of that.  This trip, both cities have been great although my time in Montreal was brief.  

I don't envy you the driving part - Montrealers are some of the craziest people I've ever encountered on the roads! And I come from Australia! 😄

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7 hours ago, June May said:

I don't envy you the driving part - Montrealers are some of the craziest people I've ever encountered on the roads! And I come from Australia! 😄

Compared to a lot of places such as Chile, Montreal is no different than any big city, Chile is anything goes. 

I distinctly noticed they actually moved to right on the highway.  In the U.S. that is a long lost art of driving technique.   

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IT'S CRUISE DAY!!!

I awoke... because I left the drapes open and it was beginning to become daylight.  In the daylight I could really see the old city walls that were hidden last night.

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I immediately spotted a familiar shape in the distance.  It's Adventure of the Seas!!!

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Soon after I spotted a small ship coming up the river.  It came closer, then a tug provided a water cannon salute to the pier.  That's the Silversea Silver Wind.  I wonder if this is her inaugural call at this port?  

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Silversea is now part of the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line family.  

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Today she would berth behind Adventure while she stopped here in Quebec City on her way to Montreal tomorrow.

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I consumed more Montreal bagels for breakfast and gathered my things to pack and get ready.  Tick tock, tick tock.  Did the clock just slow down?  

I had a rental car in valet so I figured that would take some time to deal with so I headed down early.  I needed to fill up my rental car with gas so shortly after 9am I headed down.   In the hotel elevator on the way down I met folks who saw my RC tags and commented that they had just got off the ship, nothing but good things to say.   The hotel lobby was packed with guests just arriving from ships. 

My GPS took me to a gas station on the way to the terminal so away I went.  That complete, my plan was to drop off my checked bag and head to Hertz to drop off the car and walk to the ship.  

Typical cruise ship drop off experience although the local taxi drivers didn't seem to understand the concept. Since I was just dropping bags and not parking I was directed to follow the taxis.  I guess with fewer ships compared to Florida these were rookie cab drivers and they had no idea what to do.  

I dropped off my luggage and started towards Hertz just 1/2 mile away.  How did we do these things before GPS? 

The rental car agency represents three companies and they were packed.  

That complete I followed my GPS back to the cruise terminal but this time on foot.

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The walk back to the ship was very pleasant.  The rental drop off is within the old city which is elevated above the riverfront, part of what makes the old city a natural fort.  

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I didn't need to walk uphill to reach the ship but it looked inviting so I did.

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Cannons everywhere!

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With my detour complete I started down towards the river using a cobblestone street.

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Along the way I came across this interesting water feature laid into the sidewalk. 

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It is excavated slightly so it slopes from the front and water ripples over the pavers with an embedded channel or mini-stream through the middle left to right.  Not exactly a waterfall but very nicely done.

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Not long before I was at the cruise terminal.

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Typical security check upstairs followed by check in area.

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The terminal is aft of the ship so it's a bit of a walk through a covered walkway that runs nearly the length of the ship.

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This leads to the gangway ramp and eventually to a briefly uncovered section connecting to the ship.  

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 With that I was on board at 11:15am.  

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A first look across the river from the ship.  Hard to do it justice in a photograph, the fall color coming into the trees was very pleasant and obvious even from a distance.

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The waterfront near the pier is fresh and modern with fountains bubbling up and mist occasionally popping out in other places.  Adventure berthed at the best possible location.

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I settled into the Viking Crown Lounge where I wrote some of this blog that I posted yesterday.  Looking down I saw what appeared to be a tour.  Local travel agents I suspect.

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Adventure now follows the practice of using your SetSail pass to board the ship.  I had my printed SetSail pass in my bag but wanted to see how the app based SetSail pass worked so I used it exclusively.  Terminal employees just did a brief "Ok, okay" and no problems.  At check in she scanned the barcode on my phone and no issues, I popped right up in the system.  

When I boarded the ship, the ship security crew manning the scanning station asked "Where is your boarding pass?" to which I said this is my boarding pass again holding the phone out.  "Don't you have it printed?" she asked quizzically.  She looked at my phone skeptically and with great hesitation she scanned it and the familiar tone beeped and my picture popped up.  I think she was quite surprised.  "Welcome aboard".

I only mention that now because the whole 'seapass pass card outside your stateroom' was really freaking out a lot of people.  I heard the crew say over and over "it will be outside you cabin" and "you can use your setsail pass to order drinks".  Over and over.  They begin to announce it ship wide over the PA system.  

In the Viking Crown Lounge there were a lot of upset people over this.  They couldn't get into the Diamond Lounge without their card to swipe at the door.  Apparently this was ruining the entire cruise and we all had been on board for just an hour.  Finally someone opened the door and the entire Viking Crown Lounge made a dash for the Diamond Lounge, except for me and one other couple.

For those that don't know, the Diamond Lounge isn't that big and nothing is offered during the day.  Happy hour drinks don't kick in until 4:30pm.  I found it odd that there were so many people clamoring for lounge access, at noon, on boarding day.  More on that later.

Cabins available at 1pm.  Making the walk from the aft forward along deck 6 I spotted my bag well down the hall from my cabin.  At this point they were just getting the bags to the right floor for delivery by cabin attendants later so I grabbed my bag and rolled it to my cabin. 

Interior deck 6 forward, cabin 6535.

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This is how SeaPass cards are distributed now.  One at the door outside you cabin in an envelope, the rest inside the cabin.

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Time to head back out into the city.  On the way I spotted the Silver Wind who received the water cannon salute earlier in the day.  We shared the cruise terminal with her.

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Transit guests, those already checked in had a separate exit down to street level.  You can see the check in counter through the glass.  Hanging above the escalator and sloping down with it were what appeared to be native dream catcher like feathers suspended above us.   It is a cool effect and nicely done as they slope downward to match the slope of the escalator maintaining a consistent height above your head as you descend.

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I had a hard time capturing it with my camera while in motion.

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It is a very nice and modern cruise terminal.

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