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Adventure OTS cruise, Sydney Nova Scotia Sea Day 5

When we woke up and looked out the balcony, it was rainy and windy. The temperature was 12C (54F) with 35 to 40 mph winds. We also were not at a port like we should have been. At 8am sharp the Captain made an announcement. The Pier was closed. Port officials offered anchorage which didn't make sense.  We gain a sea day and plan to keep our scheduled call into Halifax tomorrow. As the remnants of Hurricane Michael approach us we are expecting 35-40 mph winds and 12' seas but with our slower speed towards Halifax the Captain predicts very little ship movement.

Noon update from the Captain.   Not much has changed as we slowly poke along at around 10 knots. Winds are expected to reach 40-45 mph max.   Stabilizers are extended.  Seas of 12-13' expected. We were hugging the Nova Scotia coast just far enough out I'm sure to be in international water. Outer decks are closed, and barf bags have appeared on the stairwells.

I was not disappointed to miss Sydney since we didn't have a good plan. We had a rental car reserved but had canceled it due to poor weather. So we participated in some line dancing, and photo scavenger hunt. We played the photo scavenger hunt and had to find things or do things and take a picture.
 The human pyramid
 We won first place in the photo scavenger hunt, and got a RCL shopping bag for a prize.
 Barf bags in the halls today
 Relaxing day for a dip in the hot tub
 Tonight was the top tier event which we skipped since we could get drinks the in the DL. I heard it was packed. Here are the top tier numbers for our trip. The Captain said there are over 10 million Crown and Anchor members now.
Gold 685
Platinum 406
Emerald 225
Diamond 630
Diamond Plus 499
Pinnacle 78
Total on this trip: 1,838 Top Tier,  with 1,207 vying for Diamond Lounge access. 

The evening entertainment show was Karen Grainger a female impressionist and singer. She grew up in Toronto, and provided a good show.
 The storm continued to roar outside as we all partied on the ship.

Adventure OTS Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (Day 4 of Cruise)

Our Next port of call was Charlottetown, PEI for a full day from 8am to 5:30pm. The temperature was 7C (45F) with 20 mph winds, with mostly cloudy skies and rain showers. The worst weather of the trip. There was a Sudoku challenge in the Schooner bar in the morning, so we had breakfast in the windjammer and headed to the challenge. Neither of us got in top 3, some lady was done in about 2 minutes. It was ridiculous, we need to work on our speed.

We wanted to wait  a little to see if the weather would improve, and it did - a little. We took our bikes off the ship and rode along the coastline to Victoria Park, and PEI Battery Park.

Charlottetown is the birthplace of Canada in the sense that the founding Fathers from the original five colonies (Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec) gathered here in 1864 to write the document that would lead to formation of the British North American Act that Queen Victoria signed into law in 1867.  That is how Canada was granted it's independence from England.

Then we continued along to see the Lighthouses, and Queen Elizabeth Park. We cut back into town and parked the bikes while we walked around some. We opted to skip poutine again, and head back to the ship for a late lunch.

 PEI Battery Park
 Brighton Beach Range Front Lighthouse
 A lighthouse in someones yard in PEI.
 Cannabis would be legal a couple days after we leave Canada, shops are everywhere.
 I could never figure out what trash went where with three choices.
A memorial to the PEI Soldiers who lost their lives in the two World Wars, in Korea and Afghanistan
 Port Charlottetown was a good distance from town, good thing we had our bikes.

 Charlottetown City Hall
 We were finally in lobster country!
 A cool Halloween decoration this biker flew off his bike into a tree.
 The rainbow side walk in PEI
 Tim Hortons is the favorite coffee shop, they serve Poutine too, Kind of like the McDonalds of US.
 Fresh Lobster right off the boat
There was an Ice Skating Show tonight before dinner, "Cool Art, Hot Ice!". We left the diamond lounge early to get in line. It was a good show on a tiny 40 x 60 ft rink.

 Caribbean music on the Promenade. Most activities from the pool deck were moved to the promenade on dk5.

 After biking a day in the rain we decided to warm up in the hot tub before the diamond lounge.
 Great dinner again in the main dining room.

Adventure OTS - At Sea (Day 3 of cruise)

This was our first sea day and a chance to sleep in after our journey to Montreal and Quebec City. The temp was 11C (52F) with strong winds 29 mph and 5 ft waves, a mostly cloudy day. Today Hurricane Michael would make landfall in the Florida panhandle. We were lucky it was not headed to our home in Tampa Bay, but there were many people on the ship from Florida who were worried about it.

This cruise was not a typical combination of guests since it was a repositioning cruise. There were many older guests, lots of Canadians and Floridians since those were the starting and ending ports. There were only seven children on the ship. When they had the love and marriage show and were looking for contestants for newly weds the newest married were six years. It was a wonderful mix, and the experienced cruisers were much more tolerate, polite and friendly than a ship full of families and new cruisers would be.

Breakfast everyday was in the windjammer where I had salmon lox, and Scott had an omelet. I was able to eat fish everyday for breakfast and dinner, and resisted the bread the entire cruise. I only gained 4 lbs, which I have lost already.

First activity of the day was the cruise critic meet and greet where we met fellow members of the cruise critic forum and our facebook group, plus there were raffles of prizes, drinks and excursions from the ship staff. I won a nice back pack!
 Enjoying the hot tub in the Solarium, surprisingly was not used much, it was cold so I think people were in their rooms reading.
 The lonely lifeguard on the pool, most of the week no one was in the pools.
 I started out with good cards in the poker run, but didn't end up with a winning hand.
 Charlotte was in the facebook group, loved her card glasses. We sure enjoyed the Diamond Club free drinks, didn't spend any money on this cruise for drinks.

 Hanging out for the Captains Welcome Aboard Reception, free champagne for all in the Royal Promenade. The Headliner showtime was the Las Vegas Tenors in the Lyric Theatre. They were a group of guys who sang cover songs. It was entertaining, but I guess not that great because I didn't even get a picture.  We did stop in the casino to use our free spin to win coins - three each, and I won a Casino Royale tshirt. It was my lucky day.
 Dinner in the dining room again. loving the fish every night!
 Dinner - Jan, Joel, Chrissy, Mark. Our servers were Pablo and Ruel (Rusty).

Adventure of the Seas - Quebec City, Quebec CA Day 4

The ship stayed in port in Quebec City overnight so we had a full day to spend on land til All aboard at 3:45 pm. Muster call would be shortly after all aboard and sail away was 5 pm. The weather was 18C (64F) and cloudy with scattered showers. Not the nicest day, but nothing you can do about it. We wanted to get the ship staff familiar with us and our bikes so we took them off the ship even though we only rode a few miles along the St Lawrence river. The bikes on the ship worked fine, we just scouted out the hall and elevator before we would roll our bikes out. We tried to avoid busy times by leaving a little later, and coming back on board before the end of port call.

A couple notes for those interested in the logistics so far. My Sprint Samsung S6 phone worked fine in Canada. I have the unlimited SERO plan and got free data, phone calls were $2.50 and texts $0.20 each. I used WhatsApp to text for free. I had also downloaded the Bixi bike app in Montreal before leaving the US. There is Wi-Fi everywhere in the bars and resto's. Scott's Samsung S4 phone didn't work at all, it was a brick. His service is Tello, a discount plan that runs off Sprint network, they do not support service outside the U.S. Our friends have Apple Iphones and they worked with a discount plan but the cost was high to call, and use data. They relied on Wi-Fi.

It was interesting to note that Uber was used in Montreal and they have a station at the airport set up for it, but it seemed to be blocked in the near vicinity. We had to get a cab. But as soon as we were driving away in the cab, I checked Uber and was able to connect to their network. Uber was not available in any other Canadian towns we visited, there were no drivers. Uber is illegal in Prince Edward Island. Nova Scotia had no drivers.

Quebec City is beautiful, and I'm told seems to be just like quaint old Europe. Most of the town looks normal and business like, its just a tourist district down by the port that has the Europe feel. The hills were extremely steep and there is a funicular to ride up to the top of the hill where the Frontenac Hotel is. There is great history about this town between the French and English battles. Lots of cannons around, and we even saw a cannon ball wedged under a tree that had grown around it.

The ship had great entertainment almost every evening. We again enjoyed the free drinks in the Diamond Lounge. It turns out we never spent a dollar on drinks our entire cruise. We usually used to spend about $100 a day on drinks, but since we're diamond status now we saved over a thousand dollars on this trip with the free drinks. There were over 1000 diamond members on this cruise, and the ship reported during one of the last diamond parties that they had served over 22,000 free drinks over the cruise, over 1600 drinks each evening.

The evening show before dinner was Chad Chesmark who performed a magic show. Later that evening after dinner, there was a comedian, Michele Balan. Tomorrow would be a day at sea, and then we arrive at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (PEI) for our next port.

 Marie & Scott, Mark & Jan
 Chad Chesmark
Joel & Chrissy, Kathy & Mark
 Quebec City

 Frontenac Hotel

 Adventure of the Seas in Quebec City, QC port

The funicular sculpture.

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