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

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In the interest of full disclosure I'm starting this post on day 11 of the cruise as we have two sea days.  This will be partially be a recap of our cruise up to this point with a day or two of live posting once I catch up.  This is also posted to another popular forum so if you have followed along there, no need to follow me here.

This will be photo intensive because photography is a hobby and it's how I capture my memories plus a picture can speak a thousand words.  I kindly request that you do not copy photos and/or post them elsewhere.

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 good 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 my next cruise, the Symphony transatlantic.  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.


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. 

Edited by twangster

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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.  

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

My room on the 16th floor:







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.  



Quebec City is the seat of the provincial government and I had a great view of Parliament buildings.


Great history in Quebec City which was established in 1608 by the French.  Britain would later take 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 pictures don't do justice) I had observed a fountain lit up at night and several gates to the old city.  I didn't have a specific route in mind, I just headed in the direction of the fountain.


They are placed directly in front of the Parliament buildings.


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











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.


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


St Ambroise IPA.  Perfect.


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


Edited by twangster

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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.



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


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?  


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


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


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.  They had 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 towards 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.  





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




Cannons everywhere!



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



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


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.


Not too long before I was at the cruise terminal.





Adv Day 1-32.jpg

Typical security check upstairs followed by check in area.  Royal Caribbean has been expanding the ships supported by it's new(ish) app.  That app includes a boarding pass feature.  While I had printed my SetSail pass an had it in my pocket I wanted to see how far I could get using the electronic SetSail pass on my phone.  Entering the terminal, security and check in were no problem.  At check in she scanned my phone, and immediately found me.  All good.

Adventure has switched over to the new system where SeaPass cards are found outside your cabin.  Until cabins are ready the barcode on your SetSail pass is used to board and make any purchases. 


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.


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


Reaching ship security on deck 4 to be scanned onto the ship she asked for my SetSail pass.  I offered my phone.  She looked oddly at me and asked if I had a SetSail pass.  I said "This is my SetSail pass" showing my phone.  With great hesitation she scanned the barcode on my phone to that familiar 'beep'  while my picture popped up on her display.  "Welcome aboard" she said.  I think that was the first time she had ever seen someone use a phone to board.

With that I was on board at 11:15am. 

Edited by twangster

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Wow....great pics.  So excited to follow along your trip with you.  Can you mention the name of the App you used to board?  We're on Adventure next week and would love to be prepared with it.

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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.



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.


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


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 were 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.







This is how SeaPass cards are distributed now.  One at the door outside you cabin in an envelope, the rest inside the cabin. Since cabins aren't available until 1pm you won't have your SeaPass card immediately if boarding before 1pm but the printed SetSail pass (or phone version) can be used for any purchases before 1pm, including any drink packages pre-purchased in the cruise planner.


Edited by twangster

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8 minutes ago, Tralynn222 said:

Wow....great pics.  So excited to follow along your trip with you.  Can you mention the name of the App you used to board?  We're on Adventure next week and would love to be prepared with it.

The app is called "Royal Caribbean" and is available in the Apple app store or Google Play store for android.  Not all ships in the fleet are supported yet but they are adding new ships frequently and Adventure was added a few months ago if I recall.

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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.


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.


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



It is a very nice and modern cruise terminal.

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Out into the city I walked along the waterfront in the direction of the Chateaux Frontenac.  There I came across some inviting shops and restaurants set into old stone buildings. 





Fall decorations in place.  Note you can see the bow of the ship between the buildings for reference to location.



The crowds began to thicken.  I must be on the right path.


I was trying to find the Funicular and it looks like I succeeded.



The funicular is $3.50 CAD.  They don't accept credit cards and U.S. cash is taken at par without any exchange rate provided.







The Funicular station at the top.


With that I was at the base of Chateaux Frontenac, a luxury hotel.



Samuel De Champlain who discovered the area for France in the late 1500s.



Wonderful views of the St. Lawrence River.









The Consulate General of the United States:


There is a paved path up the hill or these stairs


The Plains of Abraham where the British defeated the French in 1759 that led to this becoming a British territory.


The paved path up to this area.



The imposing cannon of the Citadell de Quebec.  More on this in the next post.


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Following along! Great pictures. I am from Montreal and agree Quebec City is truly a wonderful city. Sounds like you enjoyed yourself there.

Looking forward to reading about the rest of the journey.

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The Citadelle de Quebec was built by the British with the original goal of preventing the French from trying to take this area back.  As it turns out it was a different enemy that tried unsuccessfully twice to take it.  The Americans.   

It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and remains today an active base for the Canadian Armed Forces for the Royal 22e Regiment for French speaking troops.  It also has a museum for over 300 years of military history and is secondary residence for Governor General of Canada.  




Since it is an active base you are required to participate in a guided tour at a cost of $16 CAD or around $13 USD.  

The Dalhousie gate to the old city is the only gate in it's original condition.  Other gates I have taken photos of were modified for automobile traffic.  


This is how the gates really were back in the day, minus the speed bumps.


Je Me Souviens is the official motto of the Province of Quebec.  It roughly translates to "I remember" and here at the Citadelle it pays homage to those that served and gave their lives in the defense of Canada.  It's greater meaning includes not forgetting the ancient past and traditions.  Perhaps OACAggie can validate my crude translation.


This building served as a military hospital.



The Governor General of Canada's second official residence (the first is in the nations capital in Ottawa). 





The Armstrong Gun (or cannon) was technologically advanced for its day in the 1800s and reaching 2 to 3 miles made it a formidable weapon (for the period).  With impressive accuracy it's placement here meant they could pick off enemy ships long before the enemy could ever attempt to fire their cannons back.









The tour included a couple of building where we were not allowed to take pictures.




All in all it was a very interesting tour that provides a lot insight into Canada's history.

Leaving the Citadell and I found myself at a familiar gate that I took pictures of during my walk from the hotel the previous evening.


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Finding my way back to the ship is much like in San Juan.  Find the general direction and walk downhill.


Quebec City has a European flair.  Avoid the jet lag and come here instead.








Back to the Chateaux Frontenac.








Found this spot I may revisit once it's dark for a night photo of the ship.


Note to self.  Don't get a balcony on the starboard side.






At this point the Silver Wind was departing on it's way to Montreal tomorrow.


There were two or three motorcoaches at the terminal.  It seems people were still arriving approaching 6pm.  


Once through security transit guests like myself could skip the check in lines.


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Some other ships photos as I returned from my afternoon walk.


Free Sushi in the Promenade!


I knew it was getting dark and wanted to catch some twilight or golden hour city photos despite the rain that was now falling.  Our guide at the Citadell has said rain was moving in.  He was right.




The Viking Star also in port today was making its departure.  It was docked around the corner way past the Citadell.



Yikes, I'm late for my 6pm MTD reservation.  Better get moving.

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Dinner in the My Time Dining room.  

I'm not sure I'll do this for all 13 nights, but here is the day one menu.


Caesar Salad:


Prime Rib


No dessert.  I can't do 13 nights of desserts.

Edited by twangster

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WOW! Thank you so much for your great trip report so far! I am interestingly following.

We just came back from another Canada/NE cruise on Anthem of the Seas a couple of days ago, so I can still feel how your cruise must have been!

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After dinner I used my 3 diamond happy hour drinks at various bars.  The diamond lounge was a zoo.  As I stood in line for a drink I overheard speculation there are 85 Pinnacles on board and something like 1,200 Diamonds.  I may attend the top tier event later in the cruise to confirm.

It was beginning to dawn on me why they call this the "Snowbird Migration" cruise.  In my fifties I am one of the younger guests on board.  I realized I haven't seen one kid yet. 

A light rain had set in.  I headed up to deck 12 to see what I could capture.





Time to find a local bar with local beer.


Midnight approaching it was time to head to bed.



No issues coming and going from the ship at all hours.

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we're doing this cruise next year..we are in our 50's too....but live outside of Ft Laud..so we thought it would be nice to only fly once....13 days is nice too.....how is the ship compared to anthem..with the SL and CK...maybe "younger" entertainment shows?








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Day 2 - Quebec City

Still in place I woke and worked for a bit.  Around 9:30am I headed to the Windjammer.  My plan was to avoid the peak breakfast crowd. 

Outside was gloomy which resulted in everyone staying on the ship and all of my new friends had parked themselves in the Windjammer.  Playing cards, using laptops, talking, a few were eating.

The only seat was at the bar in the Windjammer where a few other's had resorted to eating. 

I'm glad I spent as much time as I did exploring Quebec City yesterday.  Today wasn't nearly as nice. 


The rest of day 2 was pretty much the same.  Raining, overcast, gloomy.

Muster at 4:30pm.  


At least I was in the Imperial lounge.  Seating went quick so I was glad I got there early to beat all those old people to the seats.  Just kidding.


Soon after our sail away. It was trying to brighten up.  A few spots of blue sky appeared.





Typical escort out of port.




It's kind of weird.  Tomorrow is day 3 already yet we just sailed away.  Yikes!  Only 10 more days!.

Edited by twangster

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13 minutes ago, sisocialworker said:

we're doing this cruise next year..we are in our 50's too....but live outside of Ft Laud..so we thought it would be nice to only fly once....13 days is nice too.....how is the ship compared to anthem..with the SL and CK...maybe "younger" entertainment shows?

Anthem is better suited to cold climates.  At times the cold weather on this cruise has kept everyone indoors and that has led to the WJ becoming a parking area. 

The entertainment on this cruise has been oriented to an older crowd.  The pub and Schooner Bar musicians quite good but playing more older music at times.  Main theater entertainment had The Vegas Tenors one night who later let the ship and flew to Anthem.  I'd peg them as oriented to an older crowd but the reality a lot of acts move from ship to ship.  No Broadway entertainment on Adventure, that starts with Freedom class.  The Solarium on Anthem is enclosed, on Adventure it's open to the sky.  It, like the pool deck has been lightly used on this cruise.

Adventure does have an SL and while nice and newly decorated it isn't the same as Anthem's CL.  No CK on Adventure.

I sailed Adventure when she did he repo from San Juan to Bayonne.  I had a good idea what I was booking with this cruise and having those expectations in mind Adventure is not disappointing me, but it isn't Anthem.

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Day 2 - Dinner

Here is the MDR menu:


 I had an overseas work call so I missed my MTD reservation (again).  To the Windjammer!  British Night.  


I went with Fish and Chips and a Cottage Pie (I skipped lunch).  The Sheppard's Pie looked good and tempting but I resisted.  Bangers and Mash also available as well as several other British style items.  

In other news the whole Viking Crown Lounge was overflow for the Diamond Lounge.  Oddly they were still asking to see cards to enter the Diamond Lounge while the temporary bar on the dance floor of the VCL was open for anyone to walk up to.  I guess they figured there are so many D/D+/P why not?

Seating was hard to come by so off to the pub.


Entertainment was not inspiring me tonight.    The pub was about to become karaoke.  Viking Crown was still recovering from the Diamond Crush game (how many diamonds can you squeeze into an elevator?).  Trivia in the Schooner Bar.  Comedian is my mother's age and last night targeted my mother's age group with her jokes.  I'm sure in 20 years I'll be rolling on the floor, but not tonight.

Edited by twangster

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10 minutes ago, sisocialworker said:

will it be cold enough that I should bring a fleece jacket and water proof shell?


Weather varies year to year, but low 40's with strong winds over a cool ocean would lead me to suggest warm clothing.  Not unlike Alaska, layers are good.  Once the sun comes out and on land away from water temperatures seem higher.  On the helipad at sail away and it doesn't take long before the hot tub is calling.

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