I tossed in that “in the daylight” line because the last time we were in Québec City, we were here overnight, and I was lucky enough to be able to get some incredible shots. This time, I got a chance to actually take the same photo at midday that I took five years ago at 5:00 a.m. It will give me a great photo to show to people when they think I am crazy for getting up so early just to take photos. In fact, while I am mentioning it, here are the two pics, side by side. Five years ago at 5:00 a.m. and yesterday, at around noon. Click on the photos to read my captions.
We had a pretty good day in Québec City. Kathleen and Jocelyn had gotten totally worn out from our three days in Montreal, so I set out with Cathy, Mike, Steve and Jamie to explore the city. As I mentioned above, we were here just about exactly five years ago. It was a lot warmer yesterday than it was five years ago. Our ship was docked just a few hundred yards up the pier from where we had been that time. But both were just a short walk from downtown. We walked through the lower town to the funicular that, for $5CAN, would take you to the upper town. It’s a good thing we were early because when I walked by the lower station later in the day, there was a line the proverbial mile long.
Once up at the top, we found something that amazed me—the Québec Marathon. What were the chances that the two times I would come to Québec City in my lifetime, I would be there for the marathon? Of course, that meant that we would have to see the city and work our way around the city, avoiding the race. We were able to get across the track with the help of race officials, but we still seemed to run into the racers wherever we turned.
We walked around, as Cathy was looking for a kind of embroidery museum that she had seen on her previous land-based visit. It was part of the works of the Ursuline nuns who pretty much-founded education here in Québec City. When she had been here before, she said it had been a cute little shop attached to the convent. Now, they have a complete museum, but it was more about the order’s history than the embroidery. The others decided to take a look and I decided to shoot a couple of photos of the church next door. Mike and Steve were out in almost no time, but Cathy and Jamie really enjoyed it.
I decided at that point to head off on my own to take some more photos and then head back to the ship to have a late lunch with Kathleen and Jocelyn. We ended up trying the Waves Grille. I would tell you all about the lunch and the Grille, but I am saving those thoughts for a big post on the food. That is really what Oceania is all about, and I want to hit it all at once. So here’s my meager number of photos from Québec. The light was just too harsh for me to really get into taking photos. Don’t forget; if you click the first shot, you can then scroll through with your arrow keys or by swiping…and PLEASE…don’t look at my photography on a phone. Please…
When I do a live report on a cruise, I also put most of the text and one of the photos on a thread on Cruise Critic (for the non-cruisers, find out about Cruise Critic here). Fellow cruisers will ask me questions on the board, and I got one this morning. I thought I would post the question here as well. The person asking was comparing Viking Ocean to Vista and wanted to know if this was an “open ship.”
Here’s their exact question:
“Does the new Vista have the same openness as a Viking ship? Can one see the sky and water when in common spaces? Or is there drapery hanging from the ceiling, or are there walls of windows? I am a Viking Cruiser because of the ship design, first and foremost.”
Here’s what I told them:
If it’s sky and water you want, stick with Viking. Thanks for making me think about this. It’s not something I usually would even contemplate, but you really made me realize how little there is below deck 12. When I got up in Québec, I wanted to see the city. I had to climb to Deck 14 and go into the Horizons Lounge to be able to see the Hotel Frontenac. On Viking, I could have done that from at least three lower decks.
I would say, on the whole, this ship is more closed up. I know exactly what you mean. I found the Viking ship we sailed on to be VERY open. Like most cruise ships, some lower decks are public (in the case of Vista, that is, five and six) and some upper decks that are public (12 through 16—there is no 13). You can only see the water from the upper decks or your own verandah. I am typing this sitting on deck six. You can’t see a thing anywhere on this deck except in the dining room, and there, we have been put in a windowless corner every night because of the size of our party. Most of the rest of the dining room is covered with sheer curtains you can see through. Some people sitting by the windows have opened those up.
This also reminds me that on sea days, I exercise by walking on the ship. On Viking, there is a wrap-around promenade deck that I walk on. Here, the only place to do that is a very nice walking/jogging track around the back portion of deck 15. The Viking promenade is 1/4 mile, and the Vista track is 1/10th of a mile. So you see a lot of the same things again and again.
Quebec City is the most European of any city in North America; they speak French all the time. There is a part of the town called Old Quebec, which is really like being in France. The architecture is just gorgeous, food, shopping. I’d say Quebec City is the most beautiful city in North America I’ve seen. —Sebastian Bach