2013 Vancouver to Montreal Cruise Log
We have decided to do another cruise. This one will be a 43 day cruise (3 legs) from Vancouver to Montreal. We booked the cruise while on our 2012 Caribbean Cruise in order to get the onboard booking credit. We only had a choice of about 5 rooms on our level, so I took 1123, right under the spa entry. It should be a quiet room.
The booking of excursions opened up on December 24th and we booked them on that first day available in order to get all of the excursions that we wanted.
August 20, 2013 - Vancouver
The alarm went off at 2:30AM. Of course,
I was already waking up and watching the clock every 20 minutes from the
time I went to sleep. Eric (from Vintage Limousine) arrived at 3:40 and we
were loaded up and off right at 4:00. Even though there was a bit of slow
traffic, we arrived at San Francisco airport at 5:45 and had a quick
check-in and security check via United First Class lines.
August 21, 2013 - Embarkation
Awoke at 8 and had breakfast, a buffet
provided by Regent. Everyone is having their bags picked up "sometime
after 9" by the hotel, then catching a bus to the ship sometime between 11
and 1. We decided to keep our bags with us and take a taxi over to the
ship on our own. I like to be sure that the bags make it onboard and not
have one left at the hotel without you knowing it.
August 22, 2013 - Cruising the Inside Passage
Matt was the first up at 7. Partly cloudy out with
just a slight mist over the water and 53 degrees out. It has been a very
smooth rides so far, but we do have land on each side of us.
August 23, 2013 - Ketchikan, Alaska
We awoke at 6:30 and had breakfast in
our room. Our shower has a bit of a problem. It just stops when it wants
to. Maintenance will be looking at it while we are ashore.
Your excursion commences with a short transfer to Saxman Native Village. A guided nature trail walk brings you to the Tribal Clan House where you will enjoy a short video program that introduces visitors to the culture and history of Saxman. Following that, you will make your way into the Beaver Clan House where you will be welcomed by native dancers and singers. Then it's time to move on to the Saxman Totem Park, one of the largest gatherings of totem poles in the world.
At the Totem Park, your guide will help unravel the mysteries of these towering, majestic poles that stand as sentries over the present generation. From here, it's on to the Village Carving Center where world-famous carvers work and pass on their skills to eager apprentices. Before leaving here, a visit to the Village Store provides guests with the opportunity to purchase some of the finest Alaska Native art available or a small memento of your visit.
Re-joining your coach, you will see the sights of Creek Street on your way to your final stop, the Great Alaska Lumberjack Show. Let the fun begin as you watch hardy lumberjacks bring to life Alaska's colorful forest history with an action-paced competition in the partially covered and heated outdoor arena. Cheer on your team of World Champion lumberjacks in events such as chopping, sawing, tree climbing and much more. You will be kept on the edge of your seats as the entertaining host relives rich logging tales of a bygone era.
It was a 3 1/2 hour excursion and very
interesting, although the show was a bit corny. There were only 16 people
on the excursion, so it made things move along nicely.
August 24, 2013 - Hoonah, Alaska
We awoke at 7:45 and had a quick light breakfast in
the room before heading to the 9:30 Enrichment Lecture by Terry Breen on
the "People of the Mist". This area is part of the Tlingit (pronounced
Klinket) community, as was Ketchikan. Hoonah has a population of 860 and
this port is only visited by Regent twice a year. Once as the first cruise
of the Alaska season, and as the last. We will be anchoring here. The area
only holds one cruise ship at a time, so we are guaranteed to be the only
After some time to beach comb on the shore, your tram will return you to the pier.
Once we got off the tram, we walked
through the old salmon factory which had a display of how salmon gets into
the tin cans. We did a bit of shopping, then got aboard the tram. The tour
is as described, but we did not see the wildlife listed, but did see many
whales in the distance and I spotted an eagle in one of the trees. Matt
got a great photo of that.
August 25, 2013 - Skagway, Alaska
Awoke at 8:00 with another beautiful day for us. We heard that it rained most of the day yesterday. The ship had already docked and we are lucky enough to be the only ship at port for the day. Had breakfast on the back outside deck of La Veranda. They were serving champagne and caviar (but we did not partake). We went back to the room for awhile, had an early lunch on the pool deck, then headed off the ship for our excursion. We took a small bus into town to begin our "Ghosts and Goodtime Girl's Historic Walking Tour". Description:
Depart the pier for the transfer into Skagway, then on to the Red Onion Saloon. A lavishly-costumed and highly-entertaining madam will greet your arrival, then guide you through Skagway's streets and back alleys. Here, women of the evening once brushed shoulders with such notorious characters as Soapy Smith and Skookum Jim.
During your visit, you will hear stories about Klondike Kate, Oregon Mare, Pea Hull Annie and Diamond Lil, and learn about the adventurous, lusty and sometimes tragic lives of thousands of women who stampeded north. Your journey will take you past historic 1898 buildings and notorious Gold Rush districts as you explore this forgotten piece of Skagway's history.
Your tour will conclude with a visit to the world-famous Red Onion Saloon's restored Brothel Museum. Here, you will be invited to join in a champagne toast, and explore the halls and bedrooms of this infamous brothel. Along the way, you will see original relics and images of the ladies of the evening that worked there. And, if you are lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the resident ghost, Lydia.
Our guide, "Ida Dunhim" did a great
job! She was humorous and informative.
August 26, 2013 - Juneau, Alaska
It was an early morning with a 6:30 wake-up and 7:00 in room breakfast. We were out the door at 8:00 and out for our 5 1/2 hour excursion. We were the only ship in port (although that changed by the time we got back) and it was sprinkling just a bit, but not enough for an umbrella. We boarded our bus at 8:20 and were off .
Depart the pier for the narrated drive to the Mendenhall Glacier. This monumental river of glistening ice towers is 1.5 miles in height, hundreds of feet thick and the only glacier accessible by road in Southeast Alaska. Upon arrival, you will visit the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. Here, you will find exhibits, interactive videos, and panoramic views and photo opportunities of the glacier. U.S. Forest Service staff members will be on-hand to familiarize you with this unforgettable attraction. Time permitting, you can stroll the glacier-view path or take a short walk to view salmon in a nearby stream.
Next, you will proceed for a scenic drive through the Mendenhall Valley, past Auke Lake and on to Auke Bay. Upon arrival, you will embark a waterjet-powered catamaran that has been specially-designed for wildlife viewing, then set out to explore Stephen's Passage. You will relax in the warm, comfortable and spacious main cabin as you pass by pristine marine wilderness surrounded by snow-capped peaks and glaciers. This area is world-renowned as a favored summer feeding ground for humpback whales, orcas, sea lions, porpoise, seals, bald eagles, and more.
Upon sighting the whales, your captain will gently
maneuver the vessel for optimal viewing and photographic opportunities.
Since the whales are often close enough to hear them breathe, be sure to
bring a warm jacket to wear on the topside observation deck. If conditions
allow, an underwater hydrophone will be deployed for an opportunity to
experience their solemn song. Throughout the cruise, your onboard
naturalist will explain the behavior and habitat of the humpback whale.
Following your tour, you will return to Auke Bay, then re-board your coach for the return drive to the pier.
Mendenhall Glacier was awesome to see.
We were given an hour and 15 minutes to explore. First we took a quick
look at the stream area to see if there were any bears. Non to be seen.
Then, thanks to a suggestion by Janet Simonitsch (from our past cruises),
we took the Nugget Falls Trail, a 2 mile round trip hike to the bottom of
Nugget Falls and as close to the Glacier as you can get in the park via
trails. We knew we could do the walk in less than 45 minutes as we walk 2
miles every day in that time. We got a lot of photos. The showers had
stopped by the time we got back to the bus.
August 27, 2013 - Cruising the Hubbard Glacier, Alaska
Another beautiful morning (just a bit overcast) as we
awoke at 7:30. Grabbed a quick breakfast outside of La Veranda taking in
the mountain views as we entered Yukutat Bay heading for the Hubbard
August 28, 2013 - Sitka, Alaska
Wasn't sure we were going to have a nice
day when I awoke at 6:30. It was foggy out, but 10 minutes later we broke
through the fog bank and had the most beautiful and sunny day in Sitka.
Depart the pier aboard a boat in search of Alaska's abundant marine and wildlife. Along the way, you will have an opportunity to observe sea otters, whales, sea lions, porpoise, harbor seals, brown bears, deer, bald eagles, and a variety of marine birds. You will also learn about the sea otters' recovery following their near-extinction at the hands of Russian fur hunters in the early-1800s. An onboard naturalist will explain the workings of this remarkable ecosystem throughout the tour.
Your water jet-driven tour vessel has been specially-designed to navigate Southeast Alaska's narrow island passages and open bays, and offers spectacular wildlife viewing at close range. Each vessel features a warm and comfortable cabin with enclosed seating, large windows, a snack bar and restrooms. During your cruise, you may visit the topside Observation Deck for breathtaking views and photo opportunities. Binoculars, a souvenir route guide, complimentary snacks and beverages will be provided.
This is the same company that we had our
whale excursion with. In fact, the boat we were on was brought over from
Juneau. We did see a few otters, but they were mostly by themselves and
not in groups. We saw eagles, puffins...or at least a relative of the
puffin and spent quite a bit of time watching whales.
August 29, 2013 - Sea Day
Woke up at 8:00 to overcast skies. That
already tells me that it will be a long sea day as I will not be tanning.
We went down to La Veranda for breakfast where the special was eggs,
cheese and ham in a croissant. Half of that and some fruit was plenty for
me as I need to begin cutting down on the amount of food I am eating.
August 30, 2013 - Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
We awoke to another beautiful day. Not
sure how we are getting all the great weather. It rained here yesterday.
Had a very light breakfast in the room and just relaxed before an early
lunch at the pool deck.
Join the ranks of worldwide travelers that have journeyed far and near to explore this home of uninterrupted blooms from March through October. Delight in the Village atmosphere of Waterwheel Square, as you make your way towards the Italian Garden located at the mansion that was home to the Butchart family.
From this point you can head towards the serenity of the Japanese Garden or try to envision the Sunken Garden as the limestone quarry it originated as.
Visiting the Butchart Gardens is a must when visiting Victoria. You will want to be sure and visit their seed shop and wonderful gift shop before re-boarding your coach for the return to the pier.
We took a bus to Butchart Gardens, which
is about a 40 minute ride. Along the way the bus driver took us through
town pointing out many of the buildings and sites.
August 31, 2013 - Astoria, Oregon
Woke up at 7:15 (earlier than I wanted) to the sound of the ship's horn. That can only mean FOG. So the horn goes off every 90 seconds until 8:50 when things cleared as we were pulling into Astoria. We had a light breakfast in the room, then off on our excursion:
Depart from the pier and begin driving through downtown Astoria, the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies. After crossing Young's Bay Bridge, you'll pass near the site where the Lewis and Clark expedition wintered in 1805-1806 and then continue south in the shadow of the beautiful Oregon Coastal Range. The natural scenery, a forested wonderland of spruce, cedar and hemlock, is truly hypnotic as you travel on to Cannon Beach, a small, friendly town named for a schooner's cannon discovered just offshore in 1846.
The gorgeous setting and slow, easy pace of Cannon Beach have attracted a thriving artists' community of photographers, painters, glassblowers and ceramists. You'll have time to admire their work in the town's many galleries and boutiques while exploring on your own. The town's waterfront looks out over Haystack Rock, a basalt monolith that rises out of the surf 235 feet and has become an icon of northern Oregon.
A bit farther up the coast, you'll find Seaside, another charming coastal village located at the end of the Lewis & Clarke Trail that is a national landmark. Upon arrival, you'll be greeted by a guide from the local Chamber of Commerce who will introduce you to the town and what it has to offer. Then, you are free to walk the oceanfront promenade, browse the antique shops, or savor the local seafood at your own pace. This area is also synonymous with saltwater taffy, a locally made confection that comes in all sorts of exotic flavors from huckleberry to habanero. Following your time in Seaside, you'll re-board your bus and make the drive back to the pier in Astoria.
We were given an hour and a half at
Cannon Beach, which reminded us of a Monterey/Carmel type town with nice
shops and galleries on 2 main streets. Seaside, where we spent an hour,
was more of a Santa Cruz feel...a bit newer and more touristy. It even had
bumper cars and a lot of quick food places including deep fried everything
(even deep fried Kool Aid).
September 1, 2013 - At Sea
Another quiet relaxing day on the ship.
Leisurely breakfast in La Veranda, then up to a book signing by Terry
Breen and Captain Green. Terry's Book on Alaska was very helpful, along
with her website Terryslog.com. If you ever visit Alaska, her site is a
great guide. I am sure she will be staying aboard for the Panama Canal as
that is another of her specialty areas. Captain Green was there too
signing her book and stamping it with his Regent "Captain" stamp.
September 2, 2013 - San Francisco
The Captain told us last night that we
would be going under the Golden Gate at 5:45 this morning, and he was
pretty much correct. I awoke at 5:30 to the sound of...you guessed
it...our ship's horn. Fog again, and at 5:45, all you could see were the
pillars of the bridge going by.
September 3, 2013 - At Sea
First of two full sea days. Awoke at 8
and checked the cruise map on TV and we are directly across from Los
Angeles. 73 degrees outside already and it looks like we will have sun all
day and a high near 87. Sounds like tanning will be on the schedule and
after breakfast, it was. Stayed out until 1:00 when Matt came to get me
for lunch. We spotted a few whales off in the distance, but nothing
September 4, 2013 - At Sea
I'm not quite sure what happens to
people when they get aboard a ship. We noticed this yesterday with the new
passengers. Now these are intelligent people, some owners of corporations,
airline pilots, etc., but somehow when they get to the buffet, they grab a
plate and then just stare into space blocking up the entire line. It is
like they have never been to a buffet, or that the buffet god has put them
in a trance. They are not reading the labels or helping themselves, they
just stand there.
September 5, 2013 - Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
The word of the day is humid. We got up
late and walked out onto our balcony and the first thing we noticed was
the change in temperature (already in the 80's) and the humidity. There is
no wind, so it is immediate sweating.
This diverse tour offers you the best of Cabo San Lucas by both sea and land. As you disembark the ship, your comfortable tour boat will be waiting for you, ready to transport you on a brief sail to Land's End, which lies at the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula. Relax and enjoy a complimentary beverage as your vessel journeys across the deep blue waters of the Pacific Ocean while an experienced guide provides an informative narration about the history, ecology and major points of interest in the area. This beautiful, yet desolate stretch of rugged coastline offers up some truly spectacular views of towering granite cliffs, unusual rock formations and vast expanses of pristine beaches that are tucked away amongst rocky coves.
Looking landward, you quickly become aware that this popular resort area lays claim to many miles of unspoiled beaches and impressive hotels. Reaching the sight of the famed "Los Arcos", the dramatic natural rock arch that rises starkly from the sea, you'll have time to take some photos and watch a sea lion colony at play before heading back to the pier for the second phase of your tour.
Phase two begins by boarding your deluxe motor coach and heading into the heart of Cabo San Lucas to a local glass blowing factory. Here, you can observe the talents of native craftsmen as they use their artistry to design wonderful works of art. Afterwards, get a different perspective of the cape region, striking in appearance, from its arid desert setting and white sand coves, to its swaying palm trees and the deep blue sea.
Your drive will next take you north to view the contrasting coastal scenery before arriving at San Jose del Cabo, a charming and picturesque town. Visit the local mission church and its shady tree-lined plaza.
Continuing on, take a break at the Sunset Da Giorgio restaurant, located atop Cabo Bello, where a refreshing cold beer or soda is served. From this cliff top location, take in the sweeping panoramic view of the Bay of Cabo San Lucas with its majestic rock formations rising from the turquoise blue sea.
Heading back, your coach will pass through the small downtown sector of Cabo San Lucas before returning you to the pier.
Not the best of excursions.
Although we did what was described, the time spent at each place was wrong
and things like painted murals were explained in too much detail. The boat
ride out to Land's End was good. The glass blowing factory was the
highlight of the tour. We were a bit late getting back to the pier and
they had one tender held to get our group back to the ship.
September 6, 2013 - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
The seas were not rough until around 4:00AM, but at least it was while we were in bed. Woke up at 9:00 (we moved our clocks forward again overnight) to fairly calm seas...only a bit of a roll. We talked with Carmen, the Concierge, who has been on several of the cruises I have been on, had lunch and got ready for our 2:00 excursion:
It's a jungle out there and it's your turn to explore
it! Boarding your coach at the pier, you'll drive along the scenic coastal
highway to Mismaloya and into the foothills of the mountains. In one of
the most exciting jungle locations in the area, you will be given the
opportunity to take in brightly colored plants and flowers as you travel
through the exotic tropical forest. Because of the dense vegetation and
absolute primal nature of this area, it has served as the filming location
for several movies, such as 'The Predator'.
After your jungle visit, you will re-board your coach and head back to town. A stop will be made in town for you to enjoy some free time for shopping. You may choose to return to the ship or stay in town and make your own way back. Guests may choose to transfer back to the ship on the coach at the appointed time, or stay in town and return on their own to the ship.
Not quite as listed. First, we did
it backwards, which put us at our shopping stop (the same jewelry store
that I have been to every other excursion to this city). Matt and I walked
across the street to the tile factory/store, then to the glass store. That
stop was 30 minutes. Then it was off to "El Eden", a restaurant and site
of the filming of "Predator". We first had a 50 minute lunch break (not on
the schedule, and as we ate on the ship, so we only had soda.), then off
for a 45 minute hike (finally), then back to the restaurant for 10 minutes
before heading back to the ship. We arrived back at the ship at 7:00
and decided to order food in the cabin. I had a steak sandwich and Matt
had a pizza. Nice to just relax in the room for awhile. The ship left port
right at 8:00.
September 7, 2013 - Sea Day
We have a new Captain of the ship.
Yesterday, Captain Green got off the ship and Captain Ubaldo Armellino got
aboard. We traveled with Captain Armellino last year in the Caribbean. It
was raining in the morning when we had breakfast, but by lunch time the
sun had come out. Today was "Tex Mex" day at the pool grill, which was
very good. I got some tanning time in while Matt watched a movie.
September 8, 2013 - Huatulco, Mexico
Let Matt sleep in until 10:00. Had lunch by the pool at 11:00 and headed off to today's excursion:
Meeting your guide on the pier, you'll select your equipment while receiving a snorkeling briefing and overview of the site. After boarding your transportation you'll travel a short distance to the stunningly beautiful La Entrega Beach, a dazzling crescent of white sand beach and aqua waters, set against a backdrop of lush greenery.
This wonderfully tranquil and pristine spot features an enormous white coral plate that is home to a wide variety of amazing marine life. You'll have approximately 90 minutes to snorkel around the coral reef and relax and enjoy the gorgeous beach and warm translucent waters before it's time to head back to the port.
The snorkeling was very good, although the guide swam
very fast and some of the guests had a hard time keeping up. We snorkeled
over the reef, went into a small cave, then back over the reef. All went
well until it was time to get back onto the boat.
September 9, 2013 - Puerto Chiapas
Awoke at 7:30 and had breakfast in the room before our 9:00 excursion:
This tour gives you a taste of both Chiapas' ancient past and its present day. Traveling from the pier, you'll first make your way to Izapa, the most important Olmec and Mayan archaeological site found in Chiapas, as well as the largest.
These pre-classic ruins are located in southern Mexico near the Guatemalan border at the base of the Tacaná volcano. Situated here at the foot of the Sierra Madre mountain range and along the narrow pacific coastal zone, the fertile land of Izapa receives abundant rainfall and is the center of age-old cacao production. Chocolate is made from cacao, and in ancient times the Maya used cacao pods as money.
During your visit to this fascinating pre-Columbian archaeological site, you'll learn about the legacy of this mystical ancient city and how it is believed to be the place where the long-count calendar originated. Artifacts uncovered here point to a highly developed society of culturally advanced people. Researchers are of the opinion Izapa was first settled around 1500 BC and inhabited until sometime in 1200 AD. Some of the attractions to be found at the site are several large pyramids, thrones, altars and carvings.
Leaving this extraordinary place behind, you'll visit the town of Tapachula. A walking tour of the downtown area includes visits to Saint Augustine Church, the art deco culture house (the former city hall) which features some marvelous large stained-glass windows, and the Soconusco Archaeological Museum which houses an impressive collection of ancient artifacts.
Before returning to the ship, you'll have free time to stroll around the town, perhaps stopping by Miguel Hidalgo Central Park, also referred to as "La Plaza de la Música" (the musical square) to enjoy some traditional marimba music performed by local musicians who gather there daily to perform. A popular gathering spot, there are also shops adjacent to the park where you can browse for souvenirs while enjoying the nearby music.
We did this excursion in reverse and did
not have any free time in the city. Our guide liked to talk and took up
all the time we had everywhere. When we got to Izapa, he spent the first
20 minutes talking about every tree in the park and showing the vendor
wares. Matt and I decided to finally walk away and into the site on our
September 10, 2013 - Sea Day
Thought I would give you an update on
Matt's leg. He is doing just fine. After we got back on the ship (right
after the accident), we got a call from Katja, the Cruise Destinations
Manager. She had seen his leg when we got on the ship. She wanted to make
sure he was ok. Then the ships doctor called. She wanted to see him. He
told her that he was fine and that there was no bruising, and that he had
washed it and put bandaids on it. Since then, the General Manager, the
concierge and Katja have all checked in. I was very surprised that he was
not in more pain or limping or just all black and blue.
September 11, 2013 - Puntarenas
Early wake-up at 6:45 and had breakfast in the room.
Then it was to the theater to trade our tickets for bus numbers as we
always do. There was a long line and when I got to the front, they said
take your ticket to your seat and wait for us to call your tour and then
come up and get your bus number tickets. This is different than every
other tour they have done and no announcements were being made until
everyone was getting upset. It all has to do with consistency.
In Puntarenas there is a place that evokes the power of life, where your senses touch the beauty and immensity of Mother Nature, and where admiration, discovery and gratitude become one with sweet birdsong and the elegant flight of the butterfly.
The Sky Walk will take you into a world of green rainforests. The abundant wildlife inhabits the forest surrounding the Tárcoles River and protected biological reserves, making for interesting observation. After a short, easy walk you will arrive at the first of three suspended cable bridges over the canopy of the forest. Each bridge stretches between 270 and 330 feet and all are displayed on top of the exuberant flora of the rainforest up to 126 feet above the ground. During your walk downhill, enjoy the sights of the forest below and around you as you walk towards the ground trails before reaching the next bridge or air trail. View the impressive marshlands of the Tárcoles River. As you continue your way, your eyes will meet the endless ocean, while surrounded by the sounds and sights of the forest. Experience the sights of the most outstanding features of the forest, including several species of birds, monkeys, butterflies and mammals that inhabit the area before returning to the ship.
The tour was pretty much as described except that,
like most Canopy walks, we did not see any birds or monkeys. We did see a
lot of ants carrying bits of leaves. It reminded me of "Bug's Life". At
our starting/ending point, Hotel Villa Lapas, there were iguanas and
birds. We also walked across the bridge to "Santa Lucia", a replica of
Costa Rica's historical past.
September 12, 2013 - At Sea
I awoke early and went to the pool for a
light breakfast. Matt got up a bit later and had his cup of tea.
Because my tennis shoes were still dirty from yesterday's excursion, I
left them by the cabin door (I had left some mud in the room yesterday
afternoon and did not want any more to get on the carpet). When I came
back to the room at 9:45, I could not find them. Our butler had taken them
and had them cleaned. 10:15 brought our second emergency drill of this leg
of the cruise. If a ship has a segment of more than 15 days, they must do
a weekly drill. We did not have to bring our life preservers, nor did we
have to go out onto the deck...only check in at the theater and listen to
September 13, 2013 - Panama Canal Crossing
Awoke at 7:00 to check where we were. We
had picked up our Panama Canal Pilot around 6:00 and the lifeboats had
already been pulled onto Deck 6 to get them out of the way. As I checked,
I could see a dozen other ships (mostly cargo) waiting at sea for their
turn to enter the canal.
September 14, 2013 - Cartagena, Colombia
Back in South America. Woke up at 6:00,
not that I wanted to, but there were loud booming sounds. Opened the
drapes to a lightning and thunder storm. It was the bolts of lightning
that Matt loves, so I woke him up to see them also. Then it was back to
bed until 8:30 when I had a light breakfast at the pool deck.
Depart the pier for the drive to the San Felipe Fortress, the largest Spanish fort in the New World. This fortress defended the city from several attacks, and withstood a bloody assault from British Admiral Vernon.
After a photo stop at the San Felipe Fortress, you will proceed for a visit to the Old City, which offers lovely views of the ocean. Upon arrival, you will take a stroll down its beautiful Colonial streets adorned with breathtaking balconies overflowing with flowers. Because this tour places a special emphasis on walking through the city, you will have an opportunity to visit most of the main plazas and streets that connect them. Along the way, you will see San Pedro Square, Custom's Square, Slave Square, or Coches' Square, Bolivar Square, and Santo Domingo's Square. By taking this route, you will understand how the city functioned during Colonial times.
Your tour will conclude with a visit to the modern area of the city. A stop will be made at the Pierino Gallo Plaza for a bottle of water, and an opportunity to shop for Cartagena's finest emeralds, jewelry, coffee, handcrafts, and leather goods.
Following your tour, you will re-board your coach for the return drive to the pier.
This is the 4th time that I have been to
the Old City and still like it very much. The street seller (sunglasses,
cigars, jewelry, etc. become a little much, but as long as you ignore
them, it is fine. I did not take my camera, letting Matt take all the
photos. We could have done without the New City stop. It was basically a
jewelry store stop, and I can do without those. The day was very warm and
it is still quite humid.
September 15, 2013 - At Sea
I awoke at 9:00 and had a light
breakfast by the pool, then went to lay out in the sun before it got too
hot. They are closing down the pool deck at 1:30 for the "Country Fair".
It was a bit overcast, then it rained on us for about 4 minutes. Enough to
make everyone get under cover, then go back out in the sun again. Matt
went out to the pool deck a bit later and read more of his Steven King
book. We had lunch together at the pool. Matt ordered pizza from room
service and brought it out to the pool. As they only have a few kinds,
Matt got pepperoni and I got ham. I went to the counter and got a few
slices of pineapple and made it a Hawaiian pizza. The crusts were a bit
soggy, so we both just scraped off the topping and ate it.
September 16, 2013 - Georgetown, Grand Cayman
Awoke at 8:00 in time for breakfast in the room, then off to our excursion:
Experience the graceful beauty of one of Grand Cayman's undersea denizens up-close during this stingray swim and snorkeling tour.
One of the most popular excursions on Grand Cayman is a visit to the world-famous Stingray City Sandbar in the North Sound, where you can snorkel and wade among these friendly Southern stingrays. It is one of the few locations in the world where man can interact with these shy creatures in their natural habitat.
Depart the pier for the brief drive to your snorkeling boat. Upon arrival, you will embark your boat and cruise to the sandbar. Here, you will feed and play with these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat, where the water depth ranges from 3-5 feet.
Following your swim with the stingrays, you will be transferred back to the pier and ship.
This was probably one of the best
excursions ever. There was only one small boat there, so we basically had
the Stingrays to ourselves. We got to spend about an hour petting and
holding the Stingrays. They are like cats. They know they are going to be
fed at some point and are very used to people. They love to rub up against
your leg (which quite often catches you off guard).
September 17, 2013 - At Sea
We turned the clocks ahead again last
night, so we are now on Eastern Time (only one more move ahead when we are
in Canada). Glad that both of next year's cruises are heading West. That
way, we will always get an extra hour of sleep on the clock changing
September 18, 2013 - Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Awoke at 7:30 and had breakfast in the
room before being called (by excursion) off of the ship. Everyone,
including crew, had to go through customs and be off the ship. However,
this one was kind of silly. All we had to do was show our passports. No
declaration forms. There were only 2 lines and 2 agents. One for US
Citizens, one for Non-US Citizens. Each line was SLOW.
Race through the Everglades on an airboat, the absolute most thrilling and enlightening way to observe this amazing ecosystem and its exceptional wildlife.
Your tour commences from the pier with a drive deep into the heart of the Everglades, one of the world's most unique ecosystems. The best way to experience its natural beauty is by airboat, a mode of transportation specifically designed with a flat bottom to skim across the shallow water. After hopping aboard, you'll tear off for a thrilling ride through the immense, watery wilderness that the Seminole Indians call "pahay okee," which means "grassy water."
Your up-close exploration has you passing sawgrass prairies, cypress-dotted swamps, pinelands and hardwood forests, all of which make up the Everglades National Park, which was established in 1947. A massive watershed, the naturally beautiful Everglades supports thousands of species of plants and animals, the most renowned being the American Alligator, which can grow up to 16 feet long. There's no telling what you will see along the way, although alligators, egrets, herons, iguanas and turtles are frequently spotted in the Everglades, which is the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi River.
Following your exhilarating ride, you'll enjoy some free time to explore the park on your own. You might watch an alligator show or simply browse the reptile exhibit, familiarizing yourself with some of the unusual creatures that live in the area. When your visit comes to a close, you'll rejoin your coach for the transfer back to the pier.
The excursion was as described. What
wasn't was the guide we had. He talked the entire hour on the way there
and for the entire hour on the way back. He started quite loud, turned the
microphone down and was still loud. It almost became too much. He wanted
to pass along EVERYTHING he knew about the animals of the Everglades. He
was almost like a school teacher. He kept asking us questions just hoping
we would have the answers, and almost put people down if they gave a wrong
answer. We just kept our mouths shut hoping he would give us a break.
September 19, 2013 - Port Canaveral, Florida
The seas were very rocky overnight and
Matt moved to the couch as we were rocking from head to foot and he
On your tour of the secure areas, you will have an close-up view of the space shuttle launch pads (closer than regular guests are allowed), see one of the largest buildings in the world - the vehicle assembly building, and visit the award-winning Apollo/Saturn V Center. Here, you will relive the launch of the massive Saturn V rocket and enjoy a front-row seat as man lands on the moon.
Your personal tour concludes at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, where you will have the opportunity to touch a piece of Mars, enjoy an IMAX space film and "The Shuttle Launch Experience" which will take visitors on a simulated shuttle launch beyond the boundaries of Earth.
At the conclusion of your Kennedy Space Center experience, you will board your coach for the return transfer to Port Canaveral.
This is a nice tour of the facilities
and one that I enjoyed again. Our guide was very good and had a great
knowledge of the space program. It was a nice warm day in the mid to upper
80's with just a touch of humidity in the air.
September 20, 2013 - Charleston, South Carolina
We awoke at 8:30 to get ready for our 11:00 excursion:
Experience Charleston's scenic beauty and historic past in a unique new way during this picturesque horse-drawn carriage tour through the city.
Depart the pier aboard a horse-drawn carriage for a leisurely guided ride through Charleston's narrow streets and alleyways. As your horse's hooves clap along the pavement, the scent of tea olive from nearby gardens will fill the air as you take in splendid vistas and photo opportunities of the city's impeccably-restored 18th- and 19th-century homes and buildings. Your guide will also provide you with an informative narrative about the city's 300-year history.
Following your tour, you will be returned to the pier.
It was nice to be back in Charleston. We
got into our carriage, which was mule-drawn, not horse-drawn. One of our
mules was named "Otis" after the Andy Griffith Show town drunk. This
because Otis the Mule walks with his tongue hanging out and looks like a
drunk. It was a nice one hour tour after which we walked through the Old
Market, then out into the city. We had lunch at Subways and continued
walking around. We got back to the ship at 2:00 and I went out by the pool
while Matt did 2 loads of laundry and watched a movie.
September 21, 2013 - At Sea
We awoke at 8:00 and had breakfast outside of La
Veranda, then went to play Bingo as today was the last day of playing and
the final game had a cash prize of just over $800. They play 4 games and I
won the first for $76. We did not win any of the other 3 games.
September 22, 2013 - New York City - Day 1
We awoke at 8:00 and had breakfast in
the room and by then we were heading into New York Harbor. Terry Breen was
doing commentary. It is a nice sunny day, but very windy coming into the
harbor, but the wind died down once in. We passed by the Statue of Liberty
and then up the Harbor to our pier, which was not quite ready for us and
we had to sit out in the harbor for a about 4 hours. All of this because
the ship in the slip next to where we were going was being fueled by a
barge and we could not get in. All of the days excursions were cancelled.
Finally at 2:00, we were docked and ready to disembark. We met up with
Mike Milton (a former dancer on Regent and recently from the national tour
of "Anything Goes"), who gave us a great tour of Rockefeller Center, the
garment district and Times Square. We left him at 3:45 and went out on our
own, having dinner and then over to Foxwoods Theater to see "Spider-man -
Turn Off the Dark". It was a nice musical, with great sets and of course,
lots of flying over the audience. We had first row "flying circle" balcony
seats where Spiderman landed several times.
September 23, 2013 - New York City - Day 2
Another beautiful day in New York. Sunny
with a light breeze and a high in the upper 60's.
Enjoy the best of the Big Apple on this tour that combines viewing the city by both land and sea.
Travel by coach from the pier, enjoying a scenic drive as you make your way to Lower Manhattan's historic 18th century South Street Seaport. This charming area is replete with historic tall ships, museums, exhibits and restaurants. Upon arrival, you will have approximately 1 hour to explore at your leisure before boarding the 'Zephyr', a state-of-the-art, custom built luxury catamaran that will take you on a 60-minute tour of New York's waterways. From the decks of your touring vessel you will experience unparalleled views of the New York City skyline and the port as your guide provides an informative narration throughout your cruise. Sail under the Brooklyn Bridge and view many of New York's landmarks from the unique vantage point of the water, including the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, World Financial Center and the famous boroughs of Brooklyn and Staten Island. See Ellis Island, the famous immigrant gateway to America, and make sure to have your camera ready as the highlight of your cruise will no doubt be as you pass directly in front of the Statue of Liberty.
Arriving back at the South Street Seaport, you will re-join your coach for the leisurely transfer back to the pier, taking in some additional sites along the way.
The bus we were taking got stuck in
traffic and did not arrive for about a half hour. We did, however, have a
nice guide who knew the city. We got to the South Street Seaport just in
time to board the Zepher, so there was no free time in the area. The 3
deck "catamaran" was filled with Asians who could not understand the
commentary and were just talking over the ship guide and were also a bit
pushy. We were on the upper open air deck and they hogged the rails, so it
was hard for Matt to get photos, but he did a good job.
September 24, 2013 - Newport, Rhode Island
I awoke at 6:30, Matt at 7:45 and had in-room breakfast before our 9:30 excursion (this is a tender port):
Discover Vanderbilt's Newport on this delightful tour that has you visiting two of the grandest mansions ever built in the United States, The Breakers and Marble House.
Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877) established the Vanderbilt family fortune in steamships and later, in the New York Central Railroad. As the industrial revolution reached its zenith in the late 19th century, the Vanderbilts soon became the wealthiest family in America and chose Newport as their summer playground.
Departing the pier, you will first drive to Marble House. Completed in 1892, Marble House was modeled after the Petit Trianon in Versailles. Mr. Vanderbilt instructed his architect, Richard Morris Hunt to build "the very best living accommodations that money could buy". After nearly four years of work, and a total cost exceeding $11 million, the mansion was completed in 1892 and given to his wife, Mrs. Alva Vanderbilt, leading hostess of Newport Society, for her 39th birthday. This striking Mansion became the social and architectural landmark that set the pace for Newport's transformation from a quiet summer colony of wooden houses to the legendary resort of opulent stone palaces. You will enjoy the stories of the elaborate parties of the Gilded Age as you tour the public rooms and grounds of Marble House.
Continuing on, you will next visit The Breakers , the grandest of Newport's summer "cottages", The Breakers was commissioned by the Commodore's grandson, Cornelius Vanderbilt II, Chairman and President of the New York Central Railroad. Inspired by the 16th century palaces of Genoa and Turin, the 70 room Italian Renaissance-style villa was designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt who directed an international team of craftsmen and artisans. Completed in 1895, the mansion is situated on a 13-acre estate overlooking a magnificent view of the rugged Atlantic Coastline.
The self-guided audio tours of the mansions provide insight into the life of this fascinating time in American History at your own pace.
We did the tour in reverse, visiting The Breakers
first, then the Marble House. Both of these mansions were beautiful, if
not a bit over the top. The self-guided audio tour worked great. There was
not a long time spent in each room (as I have had with other audio tours)
and you could fast forward if you wanted, or stay in a room and enter a
code and get more information about a person or thing. No photos are
allowed inside the mansions, so on the photo page you will see internet
photos of the interiors.
September 25, 2013 - Boston, Massachusetts
Another early day with wake-up at 6:45. We were already in port, which was scheduled for 8:00. Breakfast in the room before our 8:30 excursion:
Travel back to Revolutionary Boston with a walk along the Freedom Trail. Your experienced guide will reveal the sites and scenes of critical events that paved the way for American Independence. Highlights include the Massachusetts State House, Park Street Church and the Granary Burying Ground, the final resting place of many famous Americans including John Hancock, Samuel Adams and Paul Revere. You will see the site of America's First Public School, and the Old Corner Book Store where the nation's greatest authors including Emerson, Longfellow and Hawthorne often gathered. In the heart of Old Boston is the Old South Meeting House where angry colonists met on the eve of the Boston Tea Party to plan that fateful day. Near the circle of stones in front of the Old State House, you will hear the story of the Boston Massacre, the first bloodshed of the Revolution. Upon passing Faneuil Hall, you will continue to the North End, Boston's oldest surviving residential neighborhood and home of Paul Revere. Before returning to the pier, you will visit the Old North Church where Paul Revere ordered two lanterns hung in the steeple to signal that the British Redcoats were approaching by sea.
Your walking tour ends at Quincy Market where you may return on the complimentary shuttle back to the pier at your leisure.
This was a very good tour. A great way
to see Boston. I had done part of the Freedom Trail with Setness Tours, so
I knew a few of the sites. It began with a bus ride to the beginning of
the trail and our guide gave us an overview of the city and some sites
along way. Then we began our walk. Have a good bladder if you do this walk
as there is only one bathroom stop in the middle of the tour.
Just realized that we are now less than a year away from our next cruise.
September 26, 2013 - Bar Harbor, Maine
6:45 wake-up again as we were getting ready to anchor outside Bar Harbor. Our tour met at 8:30:
Encompassing the best that Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island have to offer, this tour includes the beautiful scenery of Acadia National Park and Cadillac Mountain as well as a chance to learn about the fascinating world of the lobster fisherman during a visit to the Lobster Oceanarium.
Starting off from the pier, you will drive towards Thunder Hole via a scenic drive along the historic 27-mile Park Loop Road which takes you along the ocean's edge. After passing Otter Cliff, you will find yourself at Thunder Hole, where the ocean swells converge against the granite cliffs to create a thunderous roar. A short photo stop is made here (if designated bus parking is not available, an alternate photo stop will be made at the tour guide's discretion) before continuing on to the summit of Cadillac Mountain (weather permitting) to marvel at the 360-degree view of the coast.
Next, you will travel past the High Seas Estate, a beautiful mansion built by a wealthy gentleman whose wife tragically perished on the Titanic before ever stepping foot in her dream home. You will also pass by Sand Beach, Otter Cliffs and Jordon Pond House, the famous restaurant where tea served on the lawn has been a tradition for more than a century. Nearby Eagle Lake holds a wealth of secrets and the open ocean and crashing surf give Acadia its unique personality.
You will also have a visit to the Lobster Oceanarium, where visitors of all ages have the opportunity to see and learn about the lobster industry. As home to Maine's only lobster hatchery, the Oceanarium features an authentic lobster fishing boat display and fascinating, hands-on exhibits. A lobster expert demonstrates, using authentic traps, how these succulent creatures are caught and make their way from the ocean to your dinner table.
Back in Bar Harbor on the campus of the College of the Atlantic, you'll have an opportunity to visit the Turrets Mansion (or similar), one of Bar Harbor's last remaining summer mansions overlooking Frenchman Bay. The Turrets is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a fine example of the opulent lifestyle of the Gilded Age. Your guide is happy to share tales of a by-gone era, when America's wealthiest families made Bar Harbor their summer playground.
Highlighting your tour is a visit to the Looking Glass Restaurant located on the estate grounds formerly owned by Mary Roberts Rinehart, a mystery writer from the turn of the last century. Surrounded by an 8-sided glass wall, the restaurant features a commanding view of Frenchman Bay, Bar Harbor, and your ship at anchor. Relax and enjoy a piece of traditional homemade blueberry pie with coffee or tea before transferring back to the pier where your tour concludes.
This was a nice tour and we had an
excellent day (sunny, but cool) to see everything from Cadillac Mountain.
We did not get to a gilded age mansion, but rather a summer home once used
by Randolph Hearst. It was called Cleftstone Manor. Not the most exciting
stop of the tour. The blueberry pie a the Looking Glass Restaurant,
however, was VERY good.
September 27, 2013 - Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
We awoke just before 7:00 so that Matt could do two loads of laundry as soon as the laundry room opened. We then went to breakfast at La Veranda and hung out in our cabin until our excursion. We were originally going to go on the "Tall Ship" excursion. It would have been a one hour cruise
on what we thought would be a big schooner ship. We are glad we switched when we saw that it was just a large sailboat. We picked the "Duck Tour":
Explore the seaside beauty of Halifax City and its harbor area during this memorable sightseeing tour aboard an amphibious vehicle.
After receiving a safety briefing, you will embark your amphibious vehicle - the Harbor Hopper, and then plunge into the harbor with a big splash as you commence a 1-hour harbor and city tour of beautiful Halifax. During Atlantic Canada's most popular tour which takes place both on land and in the water, your guide will introduce you to Halifax's finest shops, restaurants, museums and historic sites. You will also see the impressive Royal Canadian Naval Fleet and spectacular sights along the waterfront.
After approximately 1-hour, your tour will conclude and you will be transferred back to the pier.
This was a fun tour, although the
morning was quite cool and breezy. Matt wore his Alaska jacket. With this
tour you get to see the city and go out on the harbor. We were told
several stories including how Halifax was one of the first cities to get
the call to go rescue people from the Titanic. They have several displays
in the Maritime Museum (which we did not go to) and a replica of the
Titanic's Grand Staircase at the Nova Scotia Casino.
Experience the scenic beauty and marine life of the Great North Atlantic during this nature and whale-watching adventure in Nova Scotia.
Depart the pier with your guide for the brief walk to the Tall Ships Quay. Upon arrival, you will embark the Haligonian III, a whale-watching vessel with a fully-licensed bar, canteen and washroom facilities. This well-equipped boat offers passengers a choice of decks; a lower section enclosed and heated, and an open-air upper deck.
As you cruise along the coastlines of George's Island and McNab's Island, your guide will inform you about the wonderful sights and wildlife you will be passing and answer any questions you may have. Upon reaching the Great North Atlantic, you may be able to catch a glimpse of some whales - the world's largest mammals, help the captain and crew bring up live lobster traps and view an onboard demonstration of touch tanks, featuring examples of local marine life.
Following your nature and whale-watching adventure, you will be returned back to the Tall Ships Quay and then walk back to the pier.
The first part of my walk was along
the entire harbor walkway. I went to the casino to see the Titanic's Grand
Staircase replica. It was quite small. I was glad I saw it, but not sure
it was worth the long walk. I then walked up a few blocks through the city
of Halifax, back to the cruise terminal area where I spotted a "Super
Store" nearby. I had to ask a guard how to get there, which was through a
back entrance of the city's bus terminal, through several underground
corridors, out the front end of the bus terminal, through a few parking
lots. I got what I needed and retraced my steps only to get lost in the
bus terminal building. Somehow, I ended up on the 3rd floor in front of a
locked office. The office guard let me in, got me in an elevator and down
to the basement. I finally made it out and back to the ship. Matt was back
onboard around 3:45 and found me sunning by the pool deck.
September 28, 2013 - Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
Another early morning and breakfast in the room. The ship was about a half hour late docking in Sydney, so excursions were postponed by about 20 minutes. This was ours:
Discover inventor Alexander Graham Bell's many remarkable contributions to the world in his namesake museum in Baddeck, a lovely village that you will also visit.
Starting off from the pier, you will head for Baddeck, which lies due west of Sydney. Because of Cape Breton Island's many rivers and waterways, you will be treated to a lovely circuitous route to Baddeck, passing over Seal Island Bridge and stopping to take photos at Kelly's Mountain (weather permitting). Arriving at the Alexander Graham Bell Museum, you will be struck by its unusual design, which is based on the tetrahedron form that the inventor used in his flight test kites. Although Bell is renowned for inventing the telephone, that groundbreaking accomplishment only touches upon his scientific achievements. The Scotsman Bell earned 18 patents alone and collaborated on another 12 in areas such as medicine, genetics, electricity, sound, speech, aeronautics and marine engineering. Following a brief orientation, you will have 1-hour to explore the museum at your leisure, viewing numerous original artifacts, photographs and exhibits.
After touring the museum, you will re-board your coach and drive into Baddeck where you will have some free time to discover the heart of this charming town. The village perches on the shores of Bras d'Or Lake and is wonderfully scenic, adding to its reputation as a fine resort town. During your visit, you might walk along the waterfront or stop in one of the quaint restaurants for lunch. Seafood, especially fresh Atlantic lobster, is a favorite. Afterwards, you will transfer back to the pier in Sydney.
A nice museum, fairly new, that did
a great job of presenting the life of Alexander Graham Bell and all of his
inventions. It was his family who made all of the donations of the items
and some of the items there nobody knows what they are or what they were
used for. The city stop in Baddeck was kind of useless. We had about a
half hour there, and there is not much to see. They basically wanted you
to visit the different stores in town.
September 29, 2013 - Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Up at 7:45 with breakfast in the room and a 9:00 excursion:
Seeing Charlottetown by horse-drawn trolley is the ultimate way to become immersed in the area's history, as the founding fathers relied on this same mode of transportation.
A horse-drawn trolley will be waiting for you at the pier, and climbing inside it will feel like being transported back in time. The horsepower, literally, will be supplied by a pair of well-muscled Clydesdales, a breed of draft horses named after the area in Scotland where they derived. Traveling along, you will hear the distinctive click of their hooves upon the city streets, the feathering on their lower legs rhythmically dancing in the breeze. It's a wonderful way to journey through the historic downtown, marveling at the Victorian architecture.
As you make your way through the city, you'll see many of the key landmarks and attractions, including the Province House National Historic Site. A conference held in the building in 1864 led to Canada becoming a federation, and Charlottetown became known as the Birthplace of Canada. You will also be able to admire the historic homes lining Great George Street, many of them built in the mid-1800s. Other sites include the Confederation Centre, a hub of cultural excellence and Founder's Hall.
By the time your tour ends back at the pier, you will have gained a fine understanding of the area historically and still have plenty of time to explore further on your own if you like.
It wasn't really a trolley and not not
Clydesdales, but it was a fun ride and very interesting. Our guide was
great. It was just an hour long, but am so glad we did this. The 2 horses
"Doc" and "Pat" were a kick. Doc is old and if he can get away with it,
likes to pick up the pace. Pat hates when he does that and will (if the
driver is not watching) bite Doc's ear. So they work well with each other
and keep each other under control. Doc, now in his mid-20's, retires after
September 30, 2013 - Sea Day
This is the only sea day of this leg
and our last sea day of the cruise. It is a sunny but cool day and as we
are entering the St. Lawrence River, the waters are very smooth.
October 1, 2013 - Saguenay, Quebec, Canada
We turned our clocks back last night so
that we are back on Eastern Time and we got and extra hour of sleep. That
just meant that I was up and bouncing around at 6:45. We started to dock
at 7:30 and part of the town turned up, all dressed up in period pieces
and they were dancing and there was a very loud announcer. Lots of geese
Watch an action-filled performance of the long-running "La Fabuleuse", a mesmerizing show that tells the fascinating story of the founding of the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean area.
A shuttle transfers you from the pier to nearby Théâtre Palais Municipal, the largest indoor theater in the province and certainly one of the most beautiful. Here, you will be treated to a riveting performance of "La Fabuleuse", a show that has been continuously running for more than 25 years. It is an extravaganza. Each performance involves more than 100 local actors, 1,600 costume changes, and a host of animals. Add pyrotechnics, laser lighting, special weather effects and music, and you won't be able to take your eyes off the stage.
During this spectacle of nonstop action, watch the history of the region unfold. You'll see how the Indians lived before and after encountering the legendary French explorers Jacques Cartier and Samuel de Champlain. You'll see romanticized scenes of the area's main events and everyday life in the rural province, recounting the drama of the colonists and loggers. A devastating fire, joyous wedding, and destructive flood are all part of the action. In fact, there are so many scene changes, actors, and animals coming on and off the stage that each year the performers spend 15,000 hours in rehearsal. All that hard work and dedication shows. After the usual standing ovation and curtain goes down, you will return by shuttle back to the pier.
Brandi joined us for the show, which
uses every bit of technology available...explosions, lasers, water, fire,
etc. It was an abridged version of what they normally do. All of the
talked lines are lip-synced...some not so good...but I think they normally
do the show in French and the "actors" (which are all volunteers from the
community) have a hard time knowing the lines in English. I am very glad
that we saw the show.
October 2, 2013 - Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Awoke at 6:45 as we were pulling into
port. We are right up against the main city, so after breakfast we decided
to take a walk into the city, and boy am I glad we did. We got to the "Old
City", which is about 3 blocks away and it was like stepping into an old
french/european village. Quaint streets with cafes and art galleries. As
we went out early, there were very few people in the street. The Crystal
Symphony also came to port, so the city began to fill with tourists from
both ships. We climbed the stairs to the old chateau (now a Fairmont
Hotel), then back to the ship. The morning started out cloudy, but ended
up warm and sunny. Once again, no rain on any of our land days.
Mother Nature reigns supreme in the pristine countryside surrounding Quebec City, and you'll be in the heart of it on this magnificent tour.
Starting off from the pier, you will head outside of the city limits and into the idyllic French Canadian countryside. Riding through the foothills, you'll see the majestic Laurentian Mountains in the distance, the St. Lawrence River below, and the wonders of nature all around. Upon reaching serene Lac-Beauport, a scenic lake surrounded by emerald forest and frequented by outdoor adventurers, you'll stop for photos.
It's a great introduction to the natural beauty that lies ahead at Montmorency Falls, which thunder down 275 feet into the St. Lawrence River. Explorer Samuel de Champlain named the falls for his patron, the Duke of Montmorency, and it's a memorable tribute as the falls are 90 feet higher than Niagara Falls. The views are stunning from the elegant Montmorency Manoir, where you may enjoy tea and pastries, before crossing the bridge to the Island of Orleans. At its southwestern tip, facing Quebec City, you'll visit Sainte-Pétronille, a village that has been a fashionable summer resort since the 19th century. Of course, Canada is synonymous with maple syrup, so you'll also stop at an authentic sugar shack to learn how maple syrup is made and to sample sweet maple taffy.
Afterward, rejoin your coach for the relaxing and scenic drive back to the pier.
We once again did the tour in
reverse, but it was very enjoyable. We arrived back at the pier at 5:00
and hurried to make Brandi's 6:00 show.
October 3, 2013 - Travel Home
Up at 6:45 with breakfast in the room
and out of the room at 8:00. We went to the theater to wait for our color
and number to be called. The ship was a bit late in docking, so everything
was delayed about a half hour. We were off the ship at 9:30 and took the
bus (provided by Regent) to the airport. We got in the priority line and
quickly found out we were in the part of the terminal for those going
straight through to America, and that we needed to be at the other end for
flights to a Canadian city first. Made it there, through the line and the
TSA (no requirement to take off shoes). We went to the Air Canada lounge
to relax and have a bite to eat.