A Travellerspoint blog

Heading Toward the Equator

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Woke up a few times during the night and it was difficult to detect that were actually moving, the sea is so calm and our location on the ship is well forward of the engines and the propellers so there's little or no noise. I went up to deck 7 at 0630 for the scheduled sunrise and I was not disappointed. The dark clouds created many patters against a backdrop of the rising sun. Have a look at this.

Following our usual routine we had breakfast in the Horizon Court, mapped out our day and watched the various trays of food being transported from servery to table. Jenny started a discussion on the topic of who she would travel with if I wasn't there. She actually came up with two or three names of ladies she felt she'd be compatible with. Sadly, I couldn't think of anyone, other than her, that I'd consider spending even two or three days with. Guess that says something about my character and the limit of my circle of 'friends'. Something to reflect on anyway.

Deciding what to do each day is the biggest challenge because often two or three possible activities overlap. By way of starting a conversation I asked a man in the Atrium what his plan for the day was ?? "Trivia at 1045" was his response. So his whole day was focused on one hour just before lunch. My plan is not much better, Port Lecture at 1000, Movie at 1330, part of that may need to be sacrificed for a 1500 Veteran's meeting and then tonight's Show at 1900. The empty hours in between are filled with eating; breakfast, lunch and dinner and the snacks and coffee, and reading, dozing and people watching.

The port lecture provided an overview of what to see and do in Hong Kong, the most useful piece of information was that relating to the location of the shuttle drop-off which will operate for the first day and the tender pier for tender operations for day two. Once again there was a warning regarding possible delays at the border control both incoming and outgoing.

Lunch in the Horizon Court, today's specials being savoury pies, I'm pretty sure they are Mrs Mac's pies. The chili-beef tasted great with tomato sauce.

Next event the theatre for the movie "Argo" staring Ben Affleck and Bryan Cranston. Based on the true story of a CIA operation to rescue six Americans trapped in the Canadian Embassy in Iran. Great suspense and an almost credible story line. Decided to stay for the end and forgo the Veterans meeting. Back to the cabin to write up this tale and for Jenny to catch up on some sports coverage. I'm way behind on current affairs and find I'm not concerned about that. Writing that causes me to reflect on the absence of a Daily News Digest which was delivered to our cabins on the Sea Princess.

This recording of events was briefly interrupted by a general alert announcing "Code Alpha, deck 7, Lifeboat 22". When I got to deck 7 we were being asked to clear the deck. Best information I could ascertain is that someone had suffered a heart attack. Not a bad place to have one, they'd be in the ship's hospital much quicker than if it had happened in downtown Sydney.

A review of the schedule in the Patter of today shows a lot of promotional 'activities' rather than the entertainment or enrichment variety. I would need to compare these against those from earlier cruises to be sure but on the face of it this ship targets a different demographic.

Dinner in the Santa Fe was a bit of fun, the couple next to us were Asians from New Jersey he was as keen to find out things about Australia as I was to find out things about his birth-place, Hong Kong. We talked so much we were almost late for the show which tonight featured a vocalist from Montreal; Claude Eric. Great voice but appeared a bit stiff in his performance.

We're making steady headway at a respectable 17.2 knots.

Will post another update tomorrow.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to see my recent images you could try the following link. Recent Images on 365

Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 04:05 Archived in Indonesia Comments (1)

In Darwin

Friday, 15 March 2013

View 2013 Sydney to Beijing on greynomadm's travel map.

Woke up early so did the internet thing for yesterday. When the connection is good it all happens quickly otherwise it just isn't worth bothering. Switched off the PC and returned to the cot for an additional hour of rest, I don't believe I even dozed off. I think my internal clock is still stuck in the East Coast daylight saving time.

Made my way up to deck 14 to capture another possible sunrise and was not disappointed. I'm glad I remembered to take a tissue to wipe the condensation off the lens. At daybreak it was already 30 °C and a humidity of close to 100%, certainly not conditions that I'm accustomed to.

The ship is due in Darwin at noon today (local time) and so the schedule of activities is somewhat reduced. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and then occupied some chairs in the Atrium to read our Kindles.

Out on deck 7 for the final approach into the wharf in Darwin. It is always impressive to watch such a huge vessel gently nudge the buffers. In just 15 minutes the lines were secured, the gangplank in place and even a potted palm or two to dress up the bottom end.

Lunch in the Horizon Court, some interesting dishes. BBQ Pork ribs, grilled sweet corn wrapped in bacon and BBQ chicken with a tasty salsa. Used our phone for the last time to call the family and our old mate down the road. I'm sure it was appreciated.

Much too hot for us to go ashore so we joined a small group in The Explorer's Lounge to watch the movie "Anna Karenina" staring Keira Knightley - magnificent gowns, gorgeous women and a totally mystifying story line. We drifted off about half way through.

I briefly went ashore to catch an image of the ship with the storm clouds in the background. Take a peek at The Diamond in Darwin. I was only out there 15 minutes or so and felt sorry for the people who walked into town and back -it was like a blast furnace out there.

Dinner in the Santa Fe again. The 'hostess' at the door is happy to just point us in the direction of our table. Our departure from Darwin was delayed by a 'technical fault'. The captain explained that the screen over the main engine cooling water inlet had become clogged by jelly fish. Amazing that such an insignificant creature could delay such a large vessel. All was rectified and we were under way only 20 minutes late.

Jen and I watched a movie on the TV in our cabin, "The Proposal" starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. It was most pleasant to see a whole movie uninterrupted by commercials and other people coming and going.

There was a comment left here yesterday regarding the amount of time we appear to spend waiting. For those of you who know me you'll be aware that I'm one of the most impatient people on the planet but here it doesn't bug me. Events occur pretty much on schedule and it is my choice to be there or not. It isn't as if we have to pay for any of these things so if we miss them it isn't a tragedy. There isn't a lot of other things we HAVE to do so really time doesn't matter. If we decide to go to a venue an hour before it is due to start we go prepared with the Kindle and read, doze or watch the antics of the others. If we weren't in the theatre or the lounge we'd be doing the same thing somewhere else on the ship. If the standing in line or the delay caused us to miss a connection or caused us a great inconvenience I might get upset, but it just doesn't happen on board. It only irritation is the speed of the internet connection and I've found a way around that to some extent. In many ways cruising is totally disconnected from the real world and we're wrapped in a cocoon of comfort with about 1,000 people taking care of everything for you.

Enough of this, I've just picked up tomorrow's schedule and need to decide what to do and when we'll find time to fit in photography and meals 8-)

Will write again tomorrow.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to see my recent images you could try the following link.substantial
Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 15:53 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Heading for Darwin

Thursday, 14 March 2013

After a very pleasant night we awoke to calm seas, strong winds and patches of blue sky. I made my way to the Terrace Pool at the stern on deck 14 and managed to take a number of photos of the rising sun, the first since leaving Sydney. I've uploaded one to the 365 Project The Sunrise.

Our usual breakfast in the Horizon Court then sat and talked at the Lobby Bar for a while before heading off to the theatre for today's lecture by Beverly Tam. Sadly her presentation was stilted, and appeared to wander over the same ground a number of times. She had some interesting material but made heavy weather in trying to put it across.

Visited the Calypso Pool for the Indian Buffet where I picked up a sample of each of the salads and curries combining to make a substantial and tasty meal. It is almost impossible to find a table for two and selecting a larger table places one at risk of being joined by boring people who have little in common with us making conversation impossible. Fortunately so far the interesting couples outnumber the boring ones. I know, "Tolerance Tony !!"

Not much doing this afternoon so we went along to the theatre for the movie, today's offering was "The Girl" staring Sienna Miller and Toby Jones and told the story of the making of the Hitchcock movie "Marnie". Strange, quirky and unusual.

Dinner in the Santa Fe was excellent as always and were at the theatre in time to find our regular seats. Despite there being three sessions of these shows you need to be there 45 minutes early to get the better seating. With over 15 minutes to show time the place is packed. The show was a repeat of the Bayne Bacon show with "all new material". He must have gone to the bottom of the barrel and fortunately finished after only 30 minutes.

With the best part of an hour to go for the Phil Cass show in the Explorers Lounge we headed in that direction. We were lucky to get any seats at all and the place was packed a good 50 minutes before show time. The act by Phil "Trust Me" Cass was a mixture of 'magic' and humour. The magic was clever, if somewhat long winded. The humour was a bit lame.

Back to the cabin to set our clocks back 30 minutes in preparation for Darwin time. We are scheduled to arrive at 1200 tomorrow an we are still trying to decide if we'll even get off. We tend to avoid being out in the heat of the day and the forecast is for 33 °C. Will report in again tomorrow.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to see my recent images you could try the following link.substantial
Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 12:01 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Rounding Cape York

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Another tropical morning in the shadow of a weather depression. Temperature a shade under 30 °C, humidity 100% and total overcast. The promenade deck was closed this morning but there was no visible sunrise anyway, so I'll have to look out for other images to capture.

Off to the Horizon Court for breakfast and spent a long time talking to a retired Salvation Army Chaplain. He was a most interesting man and had a wealth of experiences to relate from his time as Chaplain at Long Bay Jail in Sydney.

My first scheduled event was a talk by Mr Peter Tam on the topic of 'The Great Wall and the Middle Kingdom'. He was originally from Hong Kong but has lived in the USA for the past 40 years - he and his wife spend most of their time lecturing on cruise ships. He deals with the physical and geographic aspects whilst his wife is more into the religious and spiritual side.

He explained that for thousands of years the Chinese believed they were the centre of the universe, their only contact being with their Northern neighbours. He went on to propose there were three pillars in Chinese culture being:-
1. Worship of Ancestor and the enduring link of kinship that remains beyond the grave.
2. Elevation Through Study - the path to high office was based on performance at national exams.
3. Confucianism - he hinted that these beliefs had both progressed and hindered the advancement of the country. More to come over the next few weeks.

We met for lunch in the Savoy Dining Room where they served a special English Pub Food menu, the limited menu included Chicken Curry, Fish and Chips, Breaded Prawns or Scotch Egg and Salad. Interesting as an alternative for a change but not fantastic. I believe this was the 'B' menu and they alternate that with an 'A' menu.

The Captain's announcement from the bridge informed us that the Tropical Depression was passing to the South of us and that the forecast was for reasonable conditions through to Darwin. The ship has reduced speed now that the threat has passed.

Up to the Calypso Pool (deck 14) for a Pastry Buffet - there was an extensive display of huge cakes and honestly I took only pictures. From there we went to the theatre to watch another R rated movie - Richard Gere in "Arbitrage". Very popular with very few empty seats. Overlapping the end of the movie was a meeting of Veterans in Crooners on deck 7. There was a reasonable crowd but the space was not conducive to any interaction and after a few minutes of trying to pick up in some conversation in a noisy atmosphere I gave up.

I played with some images I'd captured earlier and put together a three image collage of the Atrium which occupies the central space from deck 5 to deck 7. It acts as the central hub housing the Future Cruises, Captain's Circle, Destinations and Shore Excursions desks as well as the Lobby Bar, the Library and the writing room on deck 5, the Passengers Services Desk and some of the shops on deck 6 and the remaining specialities shops and Crooners on deck 7. Take a look at The Atrium Collage.

In this blog I am trying to provide an overview of my day and I don't try to account for every minute. Obviously I take time out to put this scribbles together and sort through my photos for today's selection.

At about 1700 we changed direction as we rounded the Cape and headed Westward into the Torres Strait and on across the Gulf of Carpentaria. Dinner in the Santa Fe dining room was excellent and we think we'll have all our dinners there in future. The menu is the same in all of them but the atmosphere is more inviting and the two waiters are very attentive.

Dinner over and off to the 1900 show in the theatre. Tonight we were entertained by Paul Adams who delivered a flood of one-liners in a fast-paced delivery. I feel sorry for him as he's required to repeat the whole thing twice more tonight !! I can't explain why but I'm feeling quite tired, it must be the sheer length of the ship and we walk back and forth at least three times a day, a lot more walking than we would do at home.

Another day at sea tomorrow and hopefully some clearer weather so that I can capture a sunrise or a sunset.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to see my recent images you could try the following link.
Recent Images on 365

Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 03:12 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Port Douglas

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

View 2013 Sydney to Beijing on greynomadm's travel map.

A typical tropical morning, high temperature and humidity so high that it felt like it was raining. The ship arrived at her anchorage right on schedule and the tenders were in operation by the time we'd had breakfast. We reported at the Explorer's Lounge and were directed immediately to the tender. For the next 20 minutes we bobbed about like a cork on our way into the marina at Port Douglas.

Despite it being just after 0800 we wandered into the town on the lookout for a walking cane to assist Jenny with her painful leg. An enterprising pharmacist was open and ready for business and Jenny found what she was after. We wandered further along the main street and marvelled at all the tropical vegetation. I stopped from time to time to capture some of these colourful treasures Tropical Colour in Port Douglas. We found our way back to the marina and added a few more dollars to the local economy by purchasing two tee shirts and a pair of shorts.

The return to the ship was aboard one of the big catamarans that is used to carry tourists to the Barrier Reef. Being much bigger than the tender her motion was very different and it took only 6 minutes to get back to the ship. Despite the catamaran being three decks high and looking quite big when berthed at the marine it pales into insignificance alongside the Diamond Princess.

Up to the Horizon Court for a coffee and some fruit and back to the cabin to try on our purchases. Fortunately they all fit. A quick review of the Princess Patter and we decide to take in a movie in the theatre. It starts at 1330 so we go for a quick bite at the Trident Grill.

With many passengers ashore it was not surprising that the theatre was largely empty. I had no idea what the movie was about but Jenny thought a movie with Hugh Jackman should be OK. The name of the movie was simply "Butter", and had a most bizarre plot, very adult themes and strong language. When we returned to the cabin, I checked the listing, it was R rated !! No wonder Jenny was surprised.

Went along to 'afternoon tea' in the dining room, sitting at a table of eight. Two were quite old and had difficulty hearing so didn't contribute much to the conversation, another couple arrived late and left early and the remaining couple were right over on the other side. For a lot of the time we just sat and looked at each other.

Spent an hour or so watching the unloading of the last of the tenders and the retrieval. All of this significantly complicated by the rough seas and the strong wind. All day the ship has been maintaining a beam to the wind by operating the stern thrusters. This has presented the port side to the wind and allowed the tenders and catamarans to come alongside the starboard side. When the tenders were retrieved they could only pick up the starboard boats. The anchor was then raised and the ship swung through 180° to alow the port boats to hoisted aboard.

An announcement from the Captain informed us that a tropical depression was forming in the Gulf of Carpentaria and was heading Eastward and could cross our path. He has set maximum speed to be as far from the likely intersection as possible. He assured us he'd endeavour to provide the most comfortable conditions possible. The last readout shows us doing 21.4 knots.

The show in the theatre tonight featured the amazing voice of Karen Beckett. The lady must be nudging 60 but managed to belt out one great song after another. She covered most well known female vocalists and even dared to perform "The Hills Are Alive" made famous by Julie Andrews. Terrific hour including some very funny anecdotes.

We finished off the evening with a snack dinner at the Horizon Court and changed out minds regarding the Movie Under the Stars - we really should try to make it to one of these 8-) Two days at sea before we get to Darwin, I'll try and find something to write about.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to see my recent images you could try the following link.
Recent Images on 365

Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 04:15 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Passing Through the Barrier Reef

Monday, 11 March 2013

This morning the outside decks were closed as we are sailing under the influence of Tropical Cyclone Sandra and whilst the seas are not too bad there was 8/8 cloud cover from horizon to horizon.

Drifted through the morning reading the Kindle and locking in a short cruise on the Ocean Princess. She's one of the small ships and generally sells out quickly. Just hope it doesn't clash with any events on the home front.

Lunch today offered a special of Asian Soups, you placed your selection of ingredients in a bowl and then added the boiling broth. We arrived to find a very long queue despite it being 15 minutes into the service time. Checked back some time later and it was still just as long or longer. jenny wasn't all that keen on the idea and I just couldn't be bothered to stand in line so we gave it a miss.

At dinner last night we spoke to a gentleman from Hong Kong about attractions that we should visit and he recommended Macau just to see the grandeur of the casinos. It may be a bit of a challenge but it is something we'd like to do. Will spend the next week or so trying to work out the logistics. The ship's Shore Excursion costs over $150 and appears to be excessive.

After lunch we entered the Whitsunday Passage and sailed between dozens of islands both large and small. The area is largely covered by the National Park and all but a few are totally undeveloped and retain their natural unspoilt beauty. Not that we saw much of them with the continued overcast and occasional rain squalls. My featured image for today is an island on the Eastern side of the Whitsunday Passage taken from the bow of the ship. This is a part of the promenade deck and is an unusual feature in that it is most forward structure of the ship not normally accessible to passengers. View from the bow

Spent the remainder of the afternoon wandering in and out of various nooks and crannies. There is a lot of public space on this ship !!

Dined in the 'Pacific Moon' dining room this evening, managed a table for two again and enjoyed our meals. We finished in plenty of time for me to follow the sun down over the horizon. More predictable than a sunrise but not as colourful I think. We opted for the 2015 session of the show in the theatre and enjoyed another energetic performance by the ship's singers and dancers. The lead singers had delightful voices and the dancers were tall with legs to match.

Before turning in we decided to make it up to deck 14 for a final cup of tea, a small cake and a 50/50 soft-serve at the ice-cream bar for me. All low fat and healthy. That's it for tonight. All clocks need to be set back one hour to bring us into line with Queensland time. Port Douglas in the morning.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to see my recent images you could try the following link.
Recent Images on 365

Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 03:50 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Full Day @ Sea

Sunday, 10 March 2013

The sunrise this morning was disappointing hence no spectacular image. I'll be on the lookout for an alternative some time during that day.

After breakfast in the Horizon Court, Jenny went off to the Interdenominational Church Service while I chatted a while with Brian Richardson who is the on-board Bridge lecturer. He presents lectures on the finer points of playing Bridge on most sea-days. He is a widely travelled person and spends much of his holiday time each year providing his expertise aboard this and other ships.

I attended the first of the Destination Lectures by Elizabeth Moran. She provided a lot of important information regarding the various options in both Port Douglas and Darwin. She also touched on the tender/bus arrangements for Hong Kong and the other Asian ports.

The next lecture was titled 'History of the Great Barrier Reef' and presented by the Reef Pilot David. He started by stating that he was a Pilot, not a presenter. Sadly that became quite obvious as he tried to deal with the topic. I stayed the course but it was tough going.

Met up with Jenny in our cabin and went off to lunch, I think I disgraced myself again, the intention was to have a small portion. That's pretty much how it worked out but a small portion of a lot of things makes for a mountain of a meal.

Tracked down the lady who organised the transfer bus in Beijing and paid her the US$80 for the two of us. The transfer includes some sightseeing as well as a stop at a market along the way.

I spent some time talking with the Future Cruises lady about a cruise on one of the small ships in about 12 months time. The Ocean Princess carries only 680 passengers and tends to sell out quickly. One of the reasons I'm interested is that she's scheduled to visit Vietnam en route to Singapore.

Tonight is the first 'formal' night and there was the usual mixed reaction with some men in dinner suits and others not even bothering to wear a long-sleeved shirt. It appears that only the traditional dinning room enforces the dress rule and as we are on 'any time' dinning we attend a more relaxed room. Tonight we tried the Savoy on deck 5 and enjoyed great service and an excellent meal. We both chose the same main course, a roast Cornish Game Hen. It looked fantastic and tasted beautiful, it had been cleverly boned out yet retained its shape. See a picture of the Main Course.

The first show was at 1900 and we enjoyed the music and comedy of Bayne Bacon. Then to round off the evening we attended the Captain's welcome speech and the champagne fountain in the Atrium. If the ship is ever short of a comedy act, they could turn to the Captain - a very polished act. We are travelling at over 20 knots as he is trying to reach the protection of the Barrier Reef before the effects of Cyclone Sandra disrupts the activities aboard. There has been an increasing amount of movement all through the day.

It is getting late as I complete this and I'll post it in the morning. I hope you continue to enjoy my scribblings.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to see my recent images you could try the following link.
Recent Images on 365

Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 11:12 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Still In Sydney

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Woke up quite a bit earlier than intended but put the time to good use. I caught up on my email and checked a few other web sites. Last night the network response was very slow, understandable but I'm being charged by the minute not the amount of data. With over 2500 passengers and 1000 crew and an estimated 50% lap-top or I-pad/I-pod ownership and even if only 5% were accessing the WiFi system there would be considerable congestion during the evening hours. Not surprising therefore that at 0530 the access was much more responsive. I'll review the situation but I'm inclined to upload yesterday's postings next morning.

Managed to capture some halfway decent images of the sunrise and I'll upload that to Today's Sunrise if you want to have a look. After breakfast I went for another walk ashore to capture a decent image of the ship. I found my way up to the platform of the Circular Quay Station and I think this is the best with the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background. I've also uploaded this image to Ship and Bridge

Back to the cabin for a shower and a change of clothes and we took ourselves off to explore various parts of the ship, there are so many more places than any we'd previously experienced. This is the largest ship we've sailed on so far. With the Muster Drill scheduled for 1230 we decided to have a snack lunch of pizza, hot-dog and for me a 50-50 soft-serve, not the healthiest meal, Jenny was suitably disgusted 8-)

The Muster Drill was delayed 15 minutes because up to 600 passengers were trying come aboard in the last half hour and the shore-side security couldn't process them quickly enough. The Muster Drill went off without a hitch and the ship slipped her lines right on schedule at 1300. I made it out on deck in time to catch some of the scenes on the harbour as we headed out to sea.

At 1400 I joined Jenny in the theatre to watch a feel-good movie starting Morgan Freeman, "The Magic of Belle Isle". A fairly predictable plot but quite a few sharp and funny lines. Nice way to spend two hours. At 1700 we found our way to the Skywalker Night Club - Deck 18 Aft for complementary pre-dinner hors d'oeuvers and drink specials. This is provided each evening for Elite, Suite and Platinum Passengers. I lashed out and bought the special cocktail a Mojito. Don't know that we'll bother again.

There are four dining rooms that provide 'any time' dining they all offer the identical menu but we opted for the Santa Fe on the recommendation of a passenger who had been aboard since Auckland. Tonight's menu was Italian from the starters to the deserts, all the dishes were beautifully presented, hot and perfectly prepared. It will be interesting to see if they can maintain the standard.

After dinner we spent some of our on-board credits in the clothing shop and also dropped off an order for the Future Cruise vouchers. At the rate we're booking cruises the 'future' is not all that far off.

With 30 minutes to go the theatre was fully occupied and people were standing in the isles "standing room only" in the true sense of the word. The show was high energy and hi-tech with UV fabrics and strobe lights. The Cruise Director appears to be on the good side of average and the comedian was certainly up there with the best in his cameo spot, not sure how he'd go for a full show.

A long and busy day today and I'm sure ready for bed. Will write again tomorrow.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to see my recent images you could try the following link.
Recent Images on 365

Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 10:20 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

We're Aboard

Friday, 8 March 2013

View 2013 Sydney to Beijing on greynomadm's travel map.

Our great mate Michael arrived at 0830 to take us to the bus stop in Moruya. With over 45 minutes to wait we stood about in the sunshine and the bus arrived on schedule. After about 30 minutes we had the obligatory stop for refreshments in Batemans Bay. By the time we pulled out we were almost at capacity, just as well we'd booked some time ago. Almost every stop along the way and we arrived in Nowra for lunch almost right on 1200. We were allotted 55 minutes to grab some lunch and be ready to board the bus again. On to Sydney with detours to both the International and Domestic Airport to drop off passengers finally arriving at Central Station at 1615. The bus driver must be blessed with the patience of a saint to wind his way through all that traffic while manoeuvring that big monster around almost impossible corners.

We collected our cases and hurried down to George St and hailed a taxi. The driver pulled up in a bit of a hurry and had our gear on board in short order, he'd pulled up in a "No Stopping" zone. He explained that if he'd been caught it could have cost him a $250 fine. He didn't seem too worried though.

In no time we were at the Overseas Passenger Terminal where the ship loomed large like a city apartment block. Checking in was efficient and painless despite a reduced staff level as we were within 60 minutes of the official closing time. It is a bit unusual to be able to board so late, in almost all previous sailings the Check-In desk closes at 1530 with sailing scheduled for 1630. In this case we don't slip our lines until 1300 tomorrow.

Found our stateroom and the buffet where we had some more to eat, as if we needed it. Back to the cabin to find our cases had been delivered and we proceeded to unpack and work out where to put what. There was an abundance of hangers and shelves and drawers. The cabin has a feeling of space and having twin beds makes the most of that room. We met our cabin steward, Edwill, a jolly chap with a sense of humour.

By this time it was dark and we went for a short walk around Circular Quay to try to get a shot of the ship from the Opera House. An amazing number of people wandering about enjoying the balmy evening and perhaps also to view this amazing ship.

Managed to connect to the WiFi and internet with a little bit of assistance from the Internet Manager, I have 500 minutes thanks to our Platinum status.

Took some time to write this note and upload an image of Luna Park taken from the stern of the ship. Today's Images

Out to sea tomorrow, more then.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to see my recent images you could try the following link.
Recent Images on 365

Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 04:02 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Last Full Day @ Home

Thursday, 7 March 2013

View 2013 Sydney to Beijing on greynomadm's travel map.

Started with a short walk to Preddys Wharf for my morning dose of sunrise. The best shot would have to be this one. Today's Images

Jenny gave me a haircut which should last for the 5 weeks, she doesn't enjoy doing it but it is hardly worth my while to make an appointment with a hairdresser given I have so little for them to work on.

I was sent two links to amazing video segments. I'd like to share them with you and suggest you play both of them.
South Bank Brisbane where they play the Bolero and
Beethoven's 9th Symphony played by a pop-up orchestra in Sabadella, near Barcelona.

After lunch, Jenny went off to have her hair cut and I have reached that frustrating situation where I'm sitting around, not wanting to get involved with anything new yet unable to start the next stage. Safest thing to do is read a book !!

Locked the suitcases, camera in the rucksack and chargers and cables assembled. So many things we use right up to the last minute. Once I post this blog this notebook will be packed away too. Fridge is now almost empty of perishable food and will be turned off in the morning. Just breakfast and we're off to catch the bus to Sydney.

I've never previously tried to remain connect until this late stage.

Next posting will be from aboard the Diamond Princess, see you then.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to see my recent images you could try the following link.
Recent Images on 365

Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 22:11 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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