I had won a cruise lottery certificate on a previous cruise and used it towards a credit on the repsitioning from Quebec City to Fort Lauderdale on the Eurodam. I came very close to cancelling this cruise. The Hal Cert Depaertment was very frustrating to deal with. I originally booked an HH guarantee hoping to upsell to a Balcony but the prices were way too steep. About six weeks before sailing the balcony prices dropped to $100.00 below what I had paid for an Ocean View Guarantee and I inquired about an upgrade to a VH Guarantee since the price had droppped. The Ocean View Cabins dropped to the cash value I paid so my certificate was worth nothing and I was subject to claim $800.00 on income tax. If you are on HAL ship and buy the Win a cruise lottery ticket it is subject to income tax and it is more aggravation using it than it is worth. The Win a cruise Bingo is not subject to Income tax because you can win up the $1200.00 in Bingo and not be subject to income tax.
About 14 days out I was assigned an H Cabin. 5 days before sailing I was offered an upsell from an H to a VB cabin for $199.00 per person so I took it. I was still paying more than what was fair but this was a sanity upsell.
We took a red eye on Air Canada leaving the West Coast on Saturday Night that connected through Toronto unto Quebec City. I would have like to have taken the Friday night Red Eye but due to the Canadian Thanksgiving the price of the ticket was twice as much leaving Thursday or Friday Night.
We had a four hour layover in Toronto. We found this little place called the Exchange Cafe that had a full breakfast for $7.,99. The food was good for an airport Restaurant.
We arrived in Quebec City at about 11:00 had our luggage by 11:15 and headed to the Taxi's. The standard rate for a downtown Taxi is $32.00. I had exchanged some money in Canadian for some pocket change. My dad paid the cab driver and he took US dollars.
We arrived at the Courtyard Marriott Downtown Quebec City at about 11:45. Check in was not til 4:00 but they had a room ready at 11:45 and let us check in early. At check-in, they asked us if we would like to purchase the buffet breakfast plan for $14.00 per person which included tax and tip. I was traveling with my 82 year old father and this was well worth the price. This hotel is centrally located and the service was wonderful. They arranged cabs for transportation to the ships the following morning. I definately would recommend this Hotel.
At about 1:00 we took a walk down to the Harbor and saw the Eurodam. This was a Sunday and many locals were downtown enjoying the festivities. There was a Belly Dancer, a One man Band, on one of the side streets there was a pumpkin patch. Quebec City is a great walking town. I wish we had more time there. This is definately a place I want to go back too and enjoy.
We ate dinner in the hotel restaurant. The food was excellent but also very expensive. There are allot of Restaurants in the area if you do not want to eat at the hotel. The Courtyard is very Centrally located.
The following morning we ate breakfast, went back and packed up and checked out at 11:30. I let the staff know I had vacated because they had many folks waiting for rooms. Our cab was not scheduled til noon but the cabs were showing up at 11:30 so we just went. This was a very eventful cab drive. The cab driver used the back roads and stops signs were optional. When we got to entrance of the terminal, it was lined up with cab drivers and they were all swearing at each other in French. Our cab driver got us into the parking lot. He asked if it was O.K. to be left off in the parking lot. It was only 100 ft to check in our luggage and we were fine with that. The cab ride from the Marriott was $10.00 plus $2.00 tip. We paid in Canadian. I am sure the driver would have taken US.
We arrived at the port, did all of our paper work and were on the ship by 12:30. I was very wowed by the Eurodam. I was also excited to See that Captain Darrin Bowland was the Captain. He had been the Captain on a previous HAL cruise aboard the Zaandam to Hawaii. My Holland America Cruising experience has been on the following ships Veendam, Ryndam, Zaandam and Ooesterdam. All of our luggage had arrived by 1:00 and we were unpacked by 1:30. Very Empressive!
After unpacking we headed up to the Lido for Lunch. Than explored the ship. At 4:15 we headed for the munster drill. After the munster drill we headed to the crows nest to meet some cruise critic folks we had scheduled a private tour with in Hailfax Nova Scotia.
We had opened seating. We went without reservations every night and were seated immediatly everynight. The only night we did not eat in the dining room was the last night and we ate in the Lido. I have never eaten dinner in the Lido before. I might due a little more of that in the future.
I was so happy to see HAL Staff in the dinning room that I have seen On previous HAL cruises and some had been promoted. Anne the Casino Host had been promoted. She was a dealer on the Zaandam last year.
I didn't try the Pinnacle. I would have liked to have tried the Tamarind but my dad does not like Asian food. Ate breakfast in the dinning room once and the rest in the Lido. All lunches in the Lido with the exception in Bar Harbour where I had my naked lobster roll with butter on the side.
This was a very Port Intensive Cruise. I had to space my self so I would not get exhausted and overwhelmed.
In Sangenay we did Sangenay & Herritage Route Tour. I also heard that the Hop on Hop us Bus was great. The weather was beautiful
On our Sea Day cruising the Saint Lawerence River we had over 50 folks attend the Meet & Greet.
Again the weather was beautiful.
Gaspe: This was one of 4 tender ports. I was very impressed with the tendering on this ship. We walked around town and than came back.
Charlottetown: We did the Island Tour & Anne of Green Gables. They had a morning tour and afternoon tour. We did the morning tour. The weather was misty in the A.M. and Windy in the PM
Sydney: Beddeck & Alexander Grahm Bell Museum. I think this was one of the most awesome tours that we did. Beddeck was a Beautiful little town. I could go back there. When we docked in Sydney it was very windy but over in Beddeck it was just beautiful. It was right on a lake. We could see some of the Cabot trail on this tour.
Hailfax - One of our Cruise critic members had arranged a private tour with Les from Hailfax Taxi Tours to go to Peggy's Cove, historical part of Hailfax and the Swiss Airline Memorial. There were 5 of us and highly recommend using Les from Hailfax Taxi Tours. Again this was a beautiful day.
Bar Harbour - Again a beautiful day. We started the morning by going through immigration. This went very fast. They called passengers by floors. This process started at 8:00 and was done by 9:00. I made a reservation directly through Ollie's Trolly for the 2-1/2 hour tour of Accadia National Park. The day was so beautiful and the views were breathtaking from Cadillac Mountain. I know sometimes it can be very fogging in Bar Harbour. I feel extremely blessed that the sun was shinning that day.
Glocester - This was a long tender ride into port. We did not have anything planned so we purchased the $3.00 pass Hop on Hop on Bus for the day. We got off at the Fishermans Memorial and than walked back to the tender. The last tender was at 2:30. I decided not to take the bus to Rockport.
Newport Rhode Island - This is the day the weather turned on us. It was raining. We got to the pier and purchased a 1 hour 30 minute tour of the historical Rhode Island that took you past the Summer Mansions. We stopped by the breakers to see the Cliff Walk but no body wanted out. After the tour I decided to go back to the ship instead of going shopping. We set sail and had chopping water.
The next two days were sea days the waves were high and we were only doing 12 knots on the first sea day. The captain was trying to stay out of a storm. The first sea day was formal night. I wished they would have cancelled formal night because of the Seas. The ship looked pretty sparse on the first sea day.
Second Sea Day the seas were calmed. The captain came on in the morning and said that we would not make it into Fort Lauderdale in time because of the Storm and because of the slow speed in the Saint Lawrence. He cancelled all tours in Fort Lauderdale and converting them to transfers. We had booked the Airboat ride in Port Everglades because our flight was not til 3:20. The captain cancelled the Computer Tech Class and offered free Internet for people to use to change their reservations in case they needed too. They also offered free phone calls to the airlines to anyone who need them.
We did not get our tags for our luggage till about 6:30 at night. Our luggage was out by 11:00. In the morning we received a letter that they had given us the wrong color tags and that they had been changed along with our disembarkation time.
This is the first time I have disembarked from Fort Lauderdale. In my cruising history I have disembarked from San Diego, Long Beach, Seaward, Vancouver, Port Canaveral and Miami. Fort Lauderdale was the most chaotic I have ever experienced. In in all fairness it was probably due to the cancellation of tours and everyone taking the bus to the Airport.
There were 3 ships in Port The Oasis of the Sea, The Carnival Freedom and the Eurodam so the Airport was hopping. I found the Fort Lauderdale Airport the worst I have been too. The TSA the worst I have experienced. Just plain rudeness that was uncalled for.
This was a wonderful trip. I enjoyed visiting places I have never been too and would definitely go back too. Thanks to the crew of the Eurodam for a wonderful trip! Also thank you to mother Nature for making most of the trip wonderful.